Knife Edge
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I forget sometimes, how my power works.  The ability to become anyone and anything, to call upon the natural world, the wake, the trials.  That as a vessel I hold the emotions and memories of everyone I come across.  Impressions, desires, even questions.  To feel the world turning at my fingertips.  To see the difference reflected in my own blood.  To speak the words of the spirits, and chase the talent behind their dreams.

To see what they will become.  To know them.  To descend the mountain and embrace them a thousand fold.

Carving a path down the slopes, weaving wildly between the dense trees and springing from a densely woven barrier.  Converging among rivulets of lights, accumulated from every corner of the world-

I was once a king.  A leader.  A hero.  I fought with demons and brought down treachery on a daily basis.  I was also the one to build people up only to strike them down the next day.  I don’t much care whether it’s good or evil, the philosophies I share.  I don’t hesitate for the likes of shame or grief, nor concern with the affect that I have on people outside of the present.

Every boon comes with a sacrifice of equal measure.  To ignore and dismiss something in the present is to endure it for all eternity.  To know the greatest gifts, one must endure great struggle.  I raise hell to split the continent, if only so that every person gets the chance to be their best.

I have the power to instigate radical changes, and draw many to my cause.  A natural con artist.  So long as there is despair in our world, The hunt is on.

Of course, that was a lifetime ago.  I still remember the sensation that marked the end.  I was stabbed in the back.  Not in a metaphorical sense.  Just another day in the revolution.

Fate had an interesting sense of timing that day.  Normally, I wouldn’t succumb to a blade, but it was within a heartbeat of that moment that I felt the reaper take my soul.  A white fire poured over the battle-field, stirring the trees and carving rivers of light toward my body.  Thunder rolled as the scythe drew across my spirit.

I felt my will, my desires, my mind withdrawn from me.  Years of my life folding over and framed for a precious moment before falling away.  There was one place, a sliver at my center, that didn’t change.  With everything I had left, I projected my will around it.  The flames shifted with one last sweep and began to part with it.

Patches of skin, limbs, sides, fingers, emerged from the epicenter.  Brushing the remnants aside I stumbled forward, slicing into the ground beneath my left forearm.  With slow stunned breaths, I took my bearings.  The environment around me spun wildly with every exertion.  I knew there were familiar people around me, but I could only see them as scratches of color.  Vague blurs among the nonsense.

I shifted my weight onto one hand, felt myself rise and fall, the prickle of tension beneath my palms, the arbitrary weight washing over me.  The two met and warred across my arms, and I placed concepts within them.  I waited, watching as my body rejected them, adjusted, then honed in on roots that formed in their wake.  Pinning them in place and drawing lines from one place to another.  The lines rippled and tore, but I continued to draw more, carefully watching and learning as the ink drifted through my body.

I forsook the single stroke to pin down and anchor recognizable patterns.  Stringing them together - seams that shattered - and then repeated the process.  Trial and error eventually built a map of my body close enough to reality to stand on my own two feet.  Waves of force swept me like a hurricane.  Uneven ground and foreign nerves vying for every ounce of my consciousness.  I pinched and pressed those structures, tracking every fragment that came loose, and wrapping the shadow of my attention around them.

The battle was still in full swing around me, albeit more reserved.  My allies were plagued with concern, and our foes were too entertained by the notion for their own good.

Don’t make a fool of yourself in front of a child.

Drawing the designs of my body, I was rocked by the bond between my soul and my surroundings.  An indomitable will twisted the space around me, and biding my time allowed me to stay on my feet.  In that state, I surrendered half of those designs and called upon the souls nearest to me.

As I returned to consciousness, I felt their presence mount within me, acknowledged my own limits, yet calling to mind those streams.

A power in me stirred, obliterating one of my few remaining constructs, and I centered myself on it.  It resonated, grazing every corner of my being and stoking my nerve.  Riding that wave, I felt my strength half, then double and back again.

Soaring into the air, I tackled one of the larger bodies and milled my arms to roll out away from them.  The adult warrior stumbled in surprise, and then braced as a shell erupted before him.  Steam and mist wrapped my blood circle, the limit of my reach, and stemmed the power of the beast within.  I felt my body tremble, and at the same time, that a presence was brought up on the shock.

The barrier collapsed, and the second power traded places with the first.  Stars erupted across my vision as vital components made themselves known.  I slaved the new energy to seek out and secure them all.  Bound to my survival en expedited by my will, That energy latched onto my flesh, saturating it to the bone and launched toward the guardian before me.

They crossed their arms in front of me and made to bat me down.  A haymaker slammed into it a heartbeat before I did and wrenched it out of the way.  A tongue of fire lashed out before me and jetted through the warriors torso.  They made a queasy face as pins and needles swept through them from the inside out.  I clapped my hand to the arm overhead and swung both feet into their diaphragm.  The flames convulsed again and the warrior stumbled back, winded.

I swung back to the ground, and a hand, the one not being chewed by flames of creation.

“You in there jack?”

Sentiments struggled to wire themselves through my throat, but with every attempt to spell them out, I managed to bark one word concisely, “Hungry.  Very.  Dizzy.” I reasserted my grip, and miraculously, the guy took the hint.

“Is that all?” He smiled bitterly, then scanned the area, “I don’t suppose someone else could be bothered-”

I furrowed my brow, and focused all of my intent into one spot.  The prickling in the warriors arm faded quickly, but he looked at me like he was holding a live bomb.  He drew me into his arms, rocked me, and then slung me into the air.

Not that I recommend it to anyone handling a child, but that was as much as I hoped for.  I didn’t know much about what this body was capable of, but the simple idea took hold.

Devour.

An ally saw me coming and frantically tried to break the momentum.  They didn't take the brunt of it though.  Green wires sprung out and snared everyone surrounding her, disarming and incapacitating soldiers in turn.  I sank into her arms with barely a touch over standing weight.

I took one look at her then rolled out.  Even as a six year old, I managed to land on my feet.

Sigh… “I never worry about the consequences.” Really shot myself in the foot with that one.  You can bring all the best ingredients, but that doesn’t mean they’ll mix well.  Sometimes it works and other times you go back to the drawing board.  In this case, I rushed in without giving the situation time to develop.  I bypassed a lot of story elements in this take.

Then again, maybe all I really need is more time.  Time for the MC to get around.  Time for the other characters to pay a visit.  I don’t like faceless OC’s.  I don’t like that I fall back on that.  Fortunately they made themselves known, which means that their characteristics now have a foothold.

Here’s to second takes.