He burned: flames danced upon his skin, scorched his flesh, yet not a mark was left to show their path. Up his legs they climbed, screaming as they went. – No, it was he who screamed, screamed until he had no breath, and gulped at air that seared his heaving lungs.
He could not fall to his knees. Frozen, he stood, as the flames climbed up over his hips, and reached out their dancing tendrils to his hands.
Up his arms they slid, dragging his pain along with them. His eyes rolled back in his head to show their whites, and his mouth opened; his soul screamed and his skin screamed and his every nerve blasted its white-hot message across his mind.
The flames climbed up, across his shoulders, licking along his flesh to nuzzle up against his neck. As they curled up to kiss his face, they leant to whisper their song into his ear.
And then it was dark, and he was alone.
He stumbled, and fell, his hands upon a surface smooth as ice.
And in the coldness, he cried out for them.
They did not return.
He screamed, but the void did not reply.
So he sat, and alone, he sang the song the flames had sung, had whispered in his ear.
in absentia luci, tenebrae vincunt