on flames

August 5, 2017 - Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus)

These tanagers are found from western Panama through Colombia to western Ecuador. There are two subspecies, easily distinguished by the color of the males’ back feathers, which are red in one subspecies and bright yellow in the other. They eat invertebrates, fruits, berries, and seeds, foraging mostly in the understory and canopy. Their cup-shaped nests are built from leaves, plant fibers, and lichens in bushes or low trees. Females incubate the eggs alone but both parents care for the chicks.

Old Flames Part 1

Okay!! I finished another one! YAY!!! This one is also kind of short; however, I really like the concept and I SURE WILL continue it. I just want to thank my friends; Jerry and Lucas, who gave me this idea. I also want to thank my friends @illumegeoff and @ihaveabadreputation for being super supportive and making me smile. Anyways, I really hope y’all enjoy it. Please let me know what you think and also my requests are always open!

It was one of those perfect summer nights; where all that could be heard were the sounds of waves crashing into the shore, and crackling from the fire. The air tasted sweet and smokey like roasted marshmallows and sandalwood. They were the only two there; no cameras, no screaming fans, just her and Shawn. They were finally alone, but for how long? She really wasn’t sure. They hadn’t seen each other in months since he’d been on tour and she had been focused on school. It just took him coming home for her to realize how much she had really missed him.

They had known each other since they were small and they had grown quite close over time. Shawn’s music had taken off over the last few years and even though he came back to visit her and made time to call her, she couldn’t help but miss the small things they used to be able to do together. She couldn’t help but feel selfish. She felt like their whole relationship had changed in only a few short moments. Now, she had to share her best friend with hundreds of thousands of strangers. They couldn’t go grocery shopping for his mum anymore or embark on late night adventures to Mcdonald’s, and she missed that.

He was home for a few weeks and they had planned a small trip together. It was nothing too extravagant; just a couple days up in Muskoka, as her family had a cottage there. It was going to be an escape for the both of them. The desire to get away from congested city life and surround themselves with the crystal blue water, sandy beaches and thick forest was overwhelming. They were both exhausted and just wanted to relax and spend some quality time together before he had to resume his tour and she had to go back to school.

She cherished days like these; perfect, untouchable. The kind that made memories that could never be ruined or spoiled. This corner of the world was theirs; to enjoy and to feel safe in. She wanted to take advantage of that.

That is how a three and a half hour car drive, through hellish traffic, turned into a carefree night on the beach. Shawn had brought a few packs of Molson Canadian; which he’d been all too excited to buy since he had recently turned nineteen. She was more focused on bringing the marshmallows, blankets and bug repellant. However; she had still managed to find herself about two or three drinks in before completely losing count. Her veins felt electric and her head buzzed with a timeless urgency that she couldn’t manage to shake. It could have been the beer, or the fact that she had been locked in Shawn’s jeep; bumper to bumper, for several hours. Maybe, she was just feeling stir crazy. Or maybe it was just all the excitement that had built up due to the anticipation of spending a few uninterrupted moments with her best friend.

It was just like old times; except now, Shawn was telling her all about his adventures from all over the world. He shared so many amazing stories she felt her face start to hurt from smiling; and that in fact, just made her smile more. God, she had seriously missed him. “How about you? What have you been up to?” he asked her before taking a sip of his beer. She thought that he was probably on his third or fourth now, but she really had no idea. She was perplexed for a moment. She couldn’t just say that she had just been working and studying for the past four months, even though that would have been the truth. She really couldn’t think of anything that could be considered half as exciting as what he had been doing. So she just shrugged and played it off like it wasn’t really that important.

“Oh come on. Really? You don’t think I know you by now?” he asked humorously. “I want you to tell me everything, even if you don’t think it’s cool. I seriously want to know what you’ve been doing.”

“Okay fine! Jeez. You’re worse than my mother sometimes,” she joked sticking her tongue out at him. He rolled his eyes at her and pointed at his watch just to rush her along a bit. She laughed and bit her lip awkwardly. “I started Grey’s Anatomy. You were right. It’s really addictive.”

“See, I told you so! I knew you’d like it,” he said rather childishly. She laughed and just nodded taking a quick sip of her beer. “I also took a sign language class a few weeks ago. I was just bored and I’ve always really wanted to learn. So I figured I’d just go and see.”

Shawn gazed at her in complete admiration. She had always had these quirks. These simple but odd and slightly incredible things that just shaped her into this beautifully complex person. He being her best friend could read her like an open book; however, at the same time she always found ways to surprise him. This was one of those moments; where he couldn’t believe how enraptured he was in the very thought of her. He couldn’t believe how extra-ordinary she really was. And he especially couldn’t believe that he had traveled all over the world and hadn’t found anyone that could ever hold a candle to her. She was his oldest flame; even though she barely knew it.

The Undying Flame.

It was the name Aerik had given to the mark he bore from the Calamity’s ruin. Whatever magic spirited him away from the destruction over Carteneau had burned itself into his skin - a reminder of what he had witnessed. 

Unbeknownst to him, beneath his flesh the mark seared its vision onto his aether - it was like a primal’s tempering, only Aerik’s free will was kept nearly wholly intact. The flame that raged inside his core from the day he reappeared in the Twelveswood was one that called him to heal and mend - to fix the realm and its people to the best of his ability.

And so, once the Sea Wolf had recovered, he took up the study of Conjury - a field he never found much interest in originally. But the mark urged him on to greater heights as a healer. He traveled and learned, practicing his healing arts. He came to eventually be blessed with the Soul of a White Mage, and the succor of the White flowed within his veins - fueled by the embers of the mark. 

All this and Aerik simply thought that healing was his true calling. It wasn’t until his time in the Agency, and his usage of one of the members aetheric scanning devices, that he learned the truth thanks to ancient texts. The mark he bore was that of the Phoenix - an almost nigh-unknown elder Primal - that of rebirth and healing. He assumed that somehow the Phoenix was called to Carteneau by the prayers of the Eorzeans.

That was all just theory though - the truth of the Calamity burned and died that night several years ago. It was unlikely anyone would know what happened for certain. All Aerik knew was that somehow, he’d come in contact with the Phoenix’s aether - it mingled with his own, giving him purpose after his displacement. 

He was no Warrior of Light - nor did he want to be - but the Phoenix lived within him. He walked through and lived in the fire - as the Tamer of the Undying Flame.