Leila could barely contain her rage as she glared at the man in front of her. Back in her old hometown, the one that she had fled out of for fear of her life. The wooden shacks were still there, slumping over in disfigured despair.
The man who was responsible for this stood in front of her. He had turned her out from her home, made sure she would be hunted for the rest of her life, and made her life living hell.
And here he was, the insatiable smirk on his face that turned his wrinkled face of an old man into a young face of a snake.
“Leila,” he said, laying his hands palms up. “You don’t have to do this.”
She growled, stalking closer. Fire flickered on her hands, burning away the rain that fell relentlessly. This was the man who was responsible for the deaths of her family. This was the man responsible for the deaths of thousands more.
She could hear the fighting behind her growing farther away. Like they had planned, her army was leading his away from the center.
“I do have to do this,” Leila hissed, spreading her fingers wider, fueling a small fire in her hands.
The man scoffed, sweeping a pale hand through his ink-blank hair. His face, wrinkled with crevices of hate and anger, was blank. In his eyes, Leila could see the truth- he was a stone-cold killer who did not care about the deaths of the innocent.
“Leila, let’s think clearly here…”
“You threw me out of my home,” she growled. “You sent your Hunters after me to make sure I would be hunted relentlessly for the rest of my life. You tortured my sister, and torched my entire village. And then you went after my friends.”
The man laughed. “You brought this upon yourself, Leila. Remember, we are just friends.”
“Your friends killed my entire family!” she screamed, the fire flashing red before fading back into the warm orange that pulsed in time with her heart.
He shook his head. “No, if you had not run from your fate, I would not have killed anyone. You ran from me.”
There he was, with his little mind games. Leila, herself, had wondered what would happen if she had faced him, head on, that day. Would he have killed her family? Yes, he would have because he was a killer who was unsatisfied with one death. He was insatiable.
The rain continued to fall, drenching both persons. But she ignored it, the hatred within her fueling her more than the fire flickering on her hands.
Leila laughed, a bitter sound that disappeared before it hit the rain. “Don’t play your games. You’re done here.”
The man shook his head. “You ran from your village who turned you out because they were simply scared of you.”
“They should not have turned me out,” Leila hissed. “I was just a child then who had no control…”
The man waved a pale hand dismissively. “You had control. You refused to embrace it. You were a danger to everyone around you. You had to be stopped.”
“By killing me? Like you killed my family?” she yelled, fire leaping from her hand in a glorious spark of red and orange onto the ground becoming a ring around the two, caging them in.
There was nowhere to run.
The man laughed. “They were not your family. They hardly cared for you. They agreed to be killed to draw you out.”
“Lies!” she said, her breaths coming out into gasps.
“Your sister was the mastermind behind it. A sweet little girl, corrupted by you. I remember seeing her green eyes glinting with elation when you ran away. She was glad to be rid of you…”
And Leila lost control, the fire erupting out of her in glorious arcs that flickered and spattered around. The man had ruined her family, had ruined everything. And where fire started, fire ended, demolishing the man and everything around him.
The houses were devoured by the hungry flames, terrified screams of villagers disappearing into silence as the fire silently tore them apart from the inside out. They deserved this. All of them. They turned her out, hunted her for her entire life, and made sure she would be seen as an outcast. Just because she could do magic.
It was disgusting. The villagers she had grown up with had turned her away. And the dead man in front of her was the cause of it.
Because if Leila could not be embraced by her village, she would burn it down to feel its warmth.