She was playing with a little fire. They twinkled around her head, like flies, those living flames. She danced with them, giggling and hopping to a melody she had conjured in her mind. Her evening music lesson had left her restless with inspiration, and she was dancing this away. Her beige dress had little flower patterns sown in it. It was night and the door to the balcony was closed. She expected no visitors, other than those who were invited. Her teacher had gone home, her parents were asleep, there was to be no-one, yet there one was, in the corner, sitting in the chair where maids read her bedtime stories.
“Who are you?” the little girl asked from the cloaked man whose hood obscured his face.
“I ask that from myself more often than I care to admit”, the man replied, his voice weary and sad.
“You’re here to kill me”, the girl said suddenly with a softly restrained tone.
“What makes you say that?” the man asked, the hint of sadness even deeper now.
There was a tense silence between them. The girl stood still, staring at him with an unblinking gaze. The man waited some time before resuming to speak:
“You’re not wrong, nor are you right. It’s something else I’ve decided to do, after careful deliberation. But in some sense, yes, it is a form of death.”
“What you want?” the girl asked, the tiny hovering fires around her head flickering.
“Now, that… is a difficult question. There’s what I wish, and what I can realistically have. It’s a complicated world”, the cloaked man said, he didn’t sound as sad anymore.
“Tell me how I die”, the girl commanded.
“You’re too precious to perish at this age. You’ve committed no crime that warrants a sentence. Unlike the people I regularly deal with. But that is the difficulty, issue is your ability to sing into existence things that shouldn’t be.”
The girl listened, looked at her sides and rushed to huff at the hovering flames, extinguishing them with a mere puff.
“They’re gone. Now go away”, she said firmly.
“If only it was so simple. Once… something is out of the bottle, it can hardly be put back in. In order to protect your city, and not just your city, but all cities, what your blood enables you to do… it’s a flame that would engulf them all, if left to roam. But worry not, I have come to another decision.”
The cloaked man stood. Only now did the little girl notice the curved blade towering behind of him, strapped in his back. It had somehow been absorbed entirely in the wall a moment before, hence she never noticed, it’s like it had no weight. As he stood, his back all straight, it’s as if his shadow reached every corner of the girl’s bedroom.
“You will join us. And you will be like me. A protector.”