Fiery Skies

Disclaimer: I do not own ANY of the characters I've used from Inkheart/Inkspell.

I came up with this story for an assignment for art. I kinda liked it and thought i would continue it. So enjoy! (?)

Flames

The Motley Folk had set up camp in Ombra, a city under the control of the Laughing Prince who, ever since his son, Cosimo the fair died, was called the Prince of Sighs. It was one of the cities where the Motley Folk were still welcomed in.

It was a lovely morning when Hitomi emerged from her tent. She was tall for a woman, around 5'6, with glittering green eyes and silky black hair. She had tanned skin and was wearing a simple blue dress. The dress was made in such a way that it accentuated her curves. She had many suitors among the Motley Folk, yet she didn't want to be involved with anyone. She loved her independence and time alone with herself; but she was not a loner. She had a lot of friends among the townsfolk and other performers, her closestfriends being Dustfinger and Roxane. They were also part of the Motley Folk. Dustfinger was a fire eater (like herself, and possibly the only one more skilled with talking to fire than she was), and his wife, Roxane, was a talented singer. They usually performed together; Dustfinger and Hitomi enchanting their audience with their skill with fire, then Roxane easing their worries with her beautiful voice. They had the best performance among the Motley Folk.

It was in the summer when it happened. It was a windy day in Ombra, a bad day to play with fire; yet Dustfinger insisted on performing. Hitomi was doubtful. Dustfinger pleadedfor her to perform.

"Please!" He begged her, for what seemed like the millionth time. Hitomi shook her head.

"For the last time, NO," Hitomi stated. "The weather is not ideal for our performance. Maybe later, when the wind is calmer. You and Roxanne can perform together anyway, so you don't really need me."

Dustfinger knew she wouldn't agree to perform. When she said something, she usually meant it. Aww! But he wanted a new costume very badly!

He had been on a walk the other day, when he saw a well made fire eaters outfit, among many other outfits, hanging outside the tailor's tent. It was black, with intricate embroidery around the sleeves that made it look as if the fire hugged your hands as you moved them. When he saw it, he automatically knew he had to have it. He went inside and inquired about the price. It was surprisingly cheap. He could make that much money in one performance. But the tailor said the price was going to increase tenfold by a week. This was the performance that would get him that outfit. But now he wouldn't get the gown if Hitomi wouldn't perform with him! Spoilsport, he thought. Everyone knew- though, he hated to admit it- that the performance wasn't as good unless Hitomi was performing alongside him. The meager amount of coins they received when Hitomi wasn't with them proved this to be true.

It was late afternoon. It was warm. It was humid. It was windy. But it wasn't as windy as it was in the morning. Dustfinger approached Hitomi. "Are you willing to perform?" He asked hopefully.

"No," she answered.

"Oh come on! If I can do it, you can do it! You are the best fire eater around here-"

"Did you just call me 'the best fire eater around here'?" Hitomi interrupted.

"Yes," came the mumbled reply.

"I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear that." Hitomi smirked.

"Yes, Yes! OK? I called you the best fire eater around here, but I was going to add, 'with the exception of me, of course,'" Dustfinger couldn't meet her eyes. He knew she was better than he was. He had always been the superior one. But things change...

Flashback

It was the previous summer, when Hitomi had a basic grasp of the art of fire eating. Hitomi pleaded Dustfinger to teach her his art. She yearned to know how to tame the fire, she wanted it as a friend. Fire was a powerful ally. And a devastating enemy. Dustfinger refused to share what he knew. He took great pride in being the only one to posess such skill in his art. After a week of begging, demanding, entreating, pleading, beseeching, imploring him to teach her, he gave in.

He had gone to get more of the fire honey, which enabled him to speak and command fire, so she could have some too. Otherwise, all you would be able to do was simply play with fire. This she was already able to do. What Dustfinger did went far beyond playing. He had authority over fire. True, it wasn't absolute, but he could summon fire to do his bidding. Which was more than Hitomi or that other, miserable excuse for a fire eater, could do.

He had eaten a bit of the honey, and was showing Hitomi what to do. He was teaching her the language of fire.

"Ok, the words are incendia exorior, meaning, fire come forth."

When he said this, a small flame appeared in front of him, and sank to the ground. The small flame started to burn the grass and twigs around it and started to grow larger. Dustfinger snapped his fingers and the medium sized flame (around the size of a torch flame) disappeared. Hitomi gasped in amazement. When she saw him perform, she had always thought it was an illusion! But now...

"Incendia exorior,"Hitomi mumbled to herself, trying to feel how the word sounded on her tongue.

She yelped in surprise. There, in front of her face was a weak flame. It flickered as it decended to the ground. When it hit the grass, it went out completely.

Dustfinger paled. It was impossible. No one should be able to summon fire in this way. Not without fire honey. But it just happened. Dustfinger was dumbstrucked.

Hitomi looked at the spot on the ground where the flame vanished, then at Dustfinger, then the ground, then Dustfinger again. Judging from the look of his face, she wasn't supposed to be able to do that.

End of Flashback

After discovering that Hitomi could summon fire without the aid of the honey, they launched into the lessons of controlling fire with gusto. Hitomi was a fast learner, and eventually started to get better than Dustfinger. Dustfinger had noticed this too late, and before long, he had taught her everything he knew. Now she was obviously the better fire eater. She just needed more confidence in herself. Though, he would never tell her this.

Hitomi stared at Dustfinger, trying to see if he was lying to her, just to get her to perform. She stared at him, and looked him in the eye. To her surprise she saw he was telling the truth. She doubted what he said about her being the best, besides him (of course), but glowed from the compliment he had just paid her. Dustfinger complimenting someone was a very rare occurance.

How could she say no?

"Ok, ok I'll perform."

Dustfinger smiled. "Thank you," he said, then walked off to prepare for the show.

In Dustfinger's tent, before the show

Dustfinger looked at his old costume. It looked ok. It was reasonably worn, but it wasn't bad. Dustfinger smiled to hiself. That costume is as good as mine, he thought to himself.

Their program started off normally. Dustfinger and Hitomi would make sparks rain from their hands. Where the sparks landed, a flower made entirelyof fire would blossom. They did this for a couple of minutes. Then, they started to juggle flaming torches. Each of them jugglingthree torches, then juggling thesix flaming torches between themselves. The crowd watched, enchanted by this extraordinary display of skill with fire. Then came their grand finale. They let the flaming torches brush their backs, and the fire spread along their shoulders and the length of their arms. They looked like they had just sprouted wings. Blazing wings. It was an awe inspiring sight to behold.

The wind shifted.

Hitomi's eyes widened in panic. The fire on her shoulders and arms were spreading! She began to whisper fire words that could keep the fire at bay, but then the wind got stronger. The fire ignored her and kept on spreading, eating away at her cothes and throgh the protective fire-proof fabric underneath. The fire had engulfed her upper body now. Apparantly, the fabric wasn't as fire-proof as Hitomi thought. She let out a scream as she started to feel the intense heat around her body. Her scream increased in volume as the fire started to burn her face. Darkness started to eat at the corners of her vision. She had justenough time to take a glimpse of Dustfinger trying to control the fire raging around her body and Roxane running off to find Nettle, a gifted healer, before she lost consciousness.


A/N: Well, this is my first chapter...this is my first fic. I have a vague idea of what's to come after this but yeah... I don't really know how good this fic is so... if you're not interested in reading what's to come, i won't continue it. I want, like, 10+ reveiws if you want me to continue the story...sorry if I'm really demanding! Oh and I don't really like the title, so new title suggestions are welcome.

REVIEW! (plz!)