The Second Self

I saw my image in the glow of the fire. The flame flickered as I disappeared and reappeared. I came and went with each heartbeat. I was here, gone, here, there. I exhaled and the flame flinched backwards then forwards. It lunged towards me and grew bigger. My image became darker and stronger. I could feel myself getting weaker as the flare glowed more intensely. I inhaled and the heat of the fire raged through my lungs. I was warm with fear. I started melting towards the ground in submission to the flame that now towered over me. I curled into a ball with my head on my knees. The black shadow emerged from the flame and rested on top of my rounded spine. I could feel the heaviness of my second self drowning in towards me. I knew the image that escaped from the flame, and now she burned inside of me.