art by Cheryl Owen-Wilson
Remembrance In Stone
by Amanda C. Davis
Fire sings of pain: the tingling victories and the scorching failure. When Badra calls on fire, her skin lights up in sympathetic memory. When she gets her scars too close to the flame, they prick the way they did the first time they were burned. The scars recall the wound.
Fire is pain, and air does not quench it. Air is a blow from behind, disorienting pressure, empty lungs. Air is so heavy. Badra had no idea. If Gera had lived to teach her air, she'd have been prepared. Instead the air runes fell on her shoulders like boulders, squeezed her life out breath by breath, until she was so weak and so afraid she called back the runes and broke the spell. Air sings of cowardice, because weeks passed before Badra dared to try again.
Gera taught her water. Rune by rune, they built ponds out of droplets and rivers out of trickles. They drank magic and bathed in magic and danced under magic when the clouds burst.