Speak Again

fanfiction by Wild Iris

A Commission of Beacons

Fire burns once, and its fuel must be replenished. So the villagers insisted when we commandeered their wood. We sympathized, for we were cold ourselves, wishing we were stationed anywhere but this mountain hamlet with its head in the snows.

When the signal came I found that we were still alert, still soldiers. We climbed the trail at a run, shielded the torch with our bare hands as the wind tore at the flame. I realized that these cruel, clear heights were our allies.

Fire burns once. But that fire leapt from peak to peak, keeping itself alight by burning.