Firebrand

A Literati Mafia Collaboration


She was radical in her views, a firebrand, a revolutionary, but she had this fiery allure that I couldn’t resist. Maybe I should call it love or just feisty infatuation. I’m not sure anymore, but she controlled all my senses like a puppeteer controlling puppets in heat.

I spent years with a funeral cortège, surrounding me with their black coats, beards and black hats, but she drew me away with her allure, her sensuality and her beauty. I felt myself losing control; slipping, sliding, falling and fading under her spell, and she unleashed this heart trapped in a rib-cage of stone, helped it break free; burst, splinter and smash, until an incandescence enveloped my substance.

I spent all those years fueling my fucking prison cell paranoia, but she helped me believe, beget an heir of trust from a soul-womb of rotten weeds. I love her for that, but I’m still uncertain if this love’s unconditional or if I’m just another chamber in her heart – forgotten after a while, forsaken after a fling. But passion grips me, and I can’t let her go. Maybe I’m fucking twisted to want just a sexual healing, or maybe I want something more profound. I can’t fathom it yet.

… … …

I’m a mirage. An illusion. I could have been an actress or a really high class escort; all of the love with none of the strings. I’ve been told before that I’m like fire – captivating but painful to touch. He meant it as an insult, but I never took it as one. Everybody knows what fire does. It consumes.

When I saw him, dressed entirely in black, I wondered if his soul was dark too. Wondered if it’d be harder to draw someone in after they’d lost all the naivety that tricks people into falling in love in the first place. And it wasn’t, because hope is eternal, I’ve found, and he had such high hopes for me. For us. Once you’ve convinced someone you’ve healed them, they become addicted to you. They cling to me like medicine, never realising I’m heroin until it’s much too late.

“I’ve consumed you.” I whispered the words to him one night, for once drunker than he was. My tone was mischievous, light, almost amused. So he smiled, tentatively, thinking that was the response I was looking for. But I saw the question in his eyes, the doubt and the edge of fear. He wasn’t sure I was wrong, even if I was joking. And he didn’t want to be consumed, he wanted to be saved. For a second, I wished I wasn’t too wretched to give him that. But that wasn’t what I wanted, I reminded myself. And yet I couldn’t shake the thought that that was the first time I’d thought of someone that wasn’t myself.

… … …

Throughout the entire exchange, the fucked up pasts and impossible futures, they, neither of them, felt the transformation happening within. The shift without. It had snuck in quietly. She’d branded his soul for all eternity. Not one day that followed, not one fucking moment passed when he wasn’t completely aware of the change she’d brought about. The need. The desire. The complete necessity. Magma coursing through his collapsing veins. Day by day he strode through crowded streets, hopeful and yet fearful he’d catch a glimpse of her. The fiery red hair. Her face that glowed whenever she got angry or as they fucked, passion lit her from within. Cigarettes crushed beneath his heel. Perhaps more red wine would drown the fire within, the inferno she’d ignited…

She, for her part, found herself standing in the aisle of reds, her hand automatically reaching for the familiar bottle. And later, stumbling down the sidewalk, bottle wrapped in brown paper, heels kicked off and held within her free hand, her fogged brain went over it all again. How could she have let him in so deep? What started as curiosity quickly had become something so much more. He got under her skin. Delving deep inside like his tongue on those countless nights of passion. She laughed. She hadn’t been prepared. All those thoughts and ideals she’d long held onto, now tossed from the balcony window. She felt exposed. Yet free. Dropping the bottle, followed by her shoes, she looked about her, and a moment of clarity dawned. She knew what she had to do, should have done it ages ago. Getting her bearings, she turned east and began the long trek back to the beginning…


©️ Nitin Lalit Murali, Richela Rosales Maroto, tara caribou – 2018

You can read more about love, loss, longing, and second chances at Fighting the dying light, ChelaRose, and Caribou Crossings.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, this is really an amazing thing to read. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tara caribou says:

      Thanks. They did such a great job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say you all did.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. bluerooster says:

        It could, might possibly be that you are among the” they”? Just a premise, I have.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. tara caribou says:

        Well… I personally WAS one of the authors, yes.

        Like

  2. Excellent, everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nitin says:

      Thank you Jennifer!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Chelarose and commented:

    Improptu collaboration. as you do. Definitely check out Nitin and Tara’s work if you like this. And while you’re at it, the rest of the collective. They’re all seriously talented writers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. bluerooster says:

    An impossible journey, returning to the beginning. Who among us can do so, without losing what pain and suffering along life’s road, that which defines us and makes us what we are today?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tara caribou says:

      Did she go back to him? I wonder…

      Like

  5. bluerooster says:

    but you inferred that “they” did a nice job, thus excluding yourself, if in fact you were among them…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tara caribou says:

      Eh. I feel out of my league with these guys. I want to do them justice. I don’t feel I did… but I published anyway.
      Thanks for the kind words though, Wayne.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. David Redpath says:

    When it comes to poetry,
    it would seem,
    three is good company.
    Congratulations on a
    collaboration most gratifying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tara caribou says:

      When it comes to comments,
      It would seem,
      Yours are the best.
      Thank you for a
      Comment most satisfying.

      LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  7. David Redpath says:

    Tara, when it comes to
    inspirational reading,
    like breeds like,
    and comments be comets
    in a firmament glowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tara caribou says:

      You’re awesome. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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