Uncage the Sun
By Charlotte C
Kaere woke, hoping that it would be gone. It wasn’t. It was never gone. That thing inside her never spared her from it’s unrelentless, burning wrath. It was like her very being had been set aflame. Kaere spent every waking minute pinning it down and drowning it out; every minute asleep, too. No one could ever know that it existed. If anyone did… She squeezed her eyes shut to block out the words and images that shot to her head and leaped out of bed.
If anyone found out that Kaere had kekuasaan, they would send her to Obscurus, the Emperor of rot and bone, the Emperor of the world. He was said to be the gateway between light and darkness, life and death. That made him the most powerful being there was… and the deadliest. He claimed that he was the only one with this power that he called kekuasaan, and if someone told him that he was wrong, he would “switch them over”, which was a sugar-coated term for whatever happened to them. All that anyone knew about it was that anyone that challenged Obscurus was never seen again.
The early morning air was cool; it was freezing, actually. There was only one thing Kaere hated more than the cold, and that was Obscurus. Although she had never met him, she had a feeling deep down that he was terrible. The wind wrapped around her. It seemed to be trying to torment her. Every time a tendril of wind licked her face, she folded further in on herself. Deeper and deeper, she spiralled, almost out of consciousness until she no longer felt the teasing of the cold wind. A curl of heat sparked to life at her navel, swiftly spreading to the rest of her body. She realized that her eyes were closed and opened them to see that she was swaddled in flames, but they didn’t burn her. The fire seemed to call her name. Kaere, Kaere, Kaere it chanted in a trancing whisper. It cradled her in it’s burning clutches, like it wanted to soothe her to sleep. It almost did, but she was jolted from her trance by a distant memory; it could have even been an old dream. She remembered the chanting, the sleepiness. Kaere threw herself from its grip and shot back into her body. The flame, it was her kekuasaan. She had somehow gone into her kekuasaan.
Kaere couldn’t shake the feeling of her kekuasaan lulling her to sleep. Couldn’t dismiss the fact that it felt like home. Couldn’t stand that all those years, she had been fighting and drowning out what she really was and what she could be. Couldn’t bear that all those years, she had been living without her soul. Her kekuasaan was her soul, and she was going to set it free.
Kaere knew that her kekuasaan was very, very powerful, and she knew what she would do with it. She could feel it with every breath, feel the fire ready to explode from her into the world. Flickers of the ceaseless flame slipped through her mental grasp and shone in her eyes. She closed her eyes and willed it away. Not yet, she told it. Not yet.
Shrouded in a dark cloak, Kaere approached the two guards outside the Emperor’s manor. They looked almost surprised but composed a quick security check nonetheless.
“State your business,” one of them said.
“Let me see the Emperor,” she said, failing to hide the demand in her voice.
They looked at each other for a second. “Are you sure you want to-“
“Yes.” Kaere interrupted. She was already impatient with them. One of them hesitated near the enormous solid oak door. This was ridiculous. “Now.” That was enough for them to jump a little and scramble to open the door. Idiots.
The manor was dark and reeked of rotting things. All natural-light was blocked out, leaving only a few candles to see from, except their flame was nothing like the bright and comforting one that dwelled inside her. No, this flame was cold and dark and lacked the life that was expected in a fire. There was no way she could be successful with the lack of light. It didn’t pose much of a dilemma, though. Kaere let loose a portion of her power equivalent to a grain of sand to the Sahara. A flame bloomed to life in her palm like a wildflower. She willed it to become brighter and let its light fill the space. It revealed a tall-backed leather chair facing away from her that seemed to spew darkness and the appalling smell oozed from it. Kaere forced herself to take a deep breath of the putrid air and took a step towards the chair.
“Stop.” croaked a voice nestled deep into the chair. It was Obscurus. Kaere paused at the bluntness of the voice, the thick accent, the over-pronounced “p”. She knew that voice. It opened the floodgates of fractured memories with missing pieces. She couldn’t stop the flashbacks as they poured into her mind.
I stood by the doorframe, not bothering to wipe my tear-stained face. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the whirlwind of black flame forming just outside my ramshackle house. Another tear slid silently down my cheek. The figure in the centre of it all offered a sad smile and a wave, and then he was gone. That was the last time I saw my father.
Kaere blinked as the realization settled in. Obscurus was her father. Her mother had died and her father had abandoned her to fend for herself. How could she have forgotten? How could she not have wondered where her hatred for Obscurus came from? How did she never question where her kekuasaan came from? Obscurus was her father, and that really messed up her plan.
Originally, Kaere was going to walk into the Emperor’s manor and burn the place to smithereens. It was completely outrageous and she had no plan for what would happen after. Kaere tried and failed to formulate a new plan. She sagged her shoulders. There was no way out of this mess, now.
“So you have it, too,” Obscurus remarked, still facing away from Kaere. It took her a second to realize he was talking about her kekuasaan, and duly noted the flame, still alive in her palm. She didn’t feel like responding. Accepting that he would get no reply, Obscurus turned his chair to face her. Kaere’s heart began thundering at a rapid pace.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come here, Kaere.” He said, his voice almost laced with sorrow. He remembered her name. Kaere hated the way it sounded on his tongue. “I remember the day I left you as though I have lived it over every single day until now,” he paused for a moment, “if only because it haunts my dreams every night. Every minute of my life, I regret leaving my little Kaere alone in that awful house.” The words struck deep in her heart, in her kekuasaan. But one of them stood out.
“I am not yours,” Kaere seethed.
“No,” Obscurus replied, irritatingly calmly, “not anymore. And you never will be again. I have done horrible things, Kaere. They were all mistakes, but that day, I made the biggest mistake of my life and I didn’t get the chance to fix it. I didn’t make the chance to fix it, and now it’s too late. It’s time for me to ‘switch over’. Fix this world I’ve ruined, It’s yours now.” And with that, he set himself aflame in the same, black fire, and disintegrated into ash. That was the last time she saw her father.
Her father had left her once again. She had so many questions that would never be answered. She had so much anger and sorrow and disbelief bottled up inside her and she needed to let it out. Kaere collapsed to her knees and let out every grain of power in her.
The world was on fire. Everything was burning except for Kaere. She let it fill every broken part of her, let the fire run through her veins until there was not even a spark left. When the fire died out, there was simply nothing there. Nothing was spared from Kaere’s flame. A smile spread wide across her face. There, she thought, all fixed. Now the world could start anew. She fell asleep on the ashen ground. There were going to be many long days ahead, but it would all be worth it for the world that she would build. You should know, you live in it.
For my Inhale, I read the first chapter out of several dystopian novels such as A Court Of Thorns And Roses and The Selection, and a dystopian short story called Harrison Bergeron. One of the things I learned is that use of metaphores creates a sense of realism, so I incorperated metaphores into my story.