The opening of Chapter 10
The breathing was rhythmic. With each breath, she was breathing in fire. All around her were flames, and she could feel the heat and smell the acrid smell of smoke. She inhaled and imagined that the fire was entering every pore of her body like a sponge. She could feel its heat and she imagined herself expanding, expanding and flickering. She was a flame as she consumed the fire. She was rising and floating like hot air and she had filled herself with the element of fire and felt its energies. She was burning her dross, transforming it into pure energy, cleansing herself in the fires. She then began to reverse the process, breathing out the fire through every pore in her body but feeling renewed and almost reborn of the fire as she did so. In her mind’s eye, she could see the Salamanders looking at her. She would soon command them; they would do her bidding just as the Sylphs, Gnomes, and other elemental creatures would too in time. Right now, she was working to strengthen her will through the element of Fire so that she could, in time, command them.