There weren’t Legos as much as
baseball bats and shoulder pads.
We would hit plastic balls
in home runs and we would
tumble down hills with our
baseball bats and shoulder pads.
My brother threw for me
as our father threw for him,
but all I know is Father’s anger,
and he does not throw for me.
Brother showed me how to strap on my armor, and sometimes the bats would turn into swords. Then Father’s anger couldn’t hurt me anymore. Our skin was made of steel and our swords were made of diamond. If our father was the dragon, then we were the knights to the rescue. Clad with our baseball bats and shoulder pads.
But metal can rust. I saw my brother rusting, and then I became dust. What was left of us? Baseball bats became wood again. Shoulder pads weren’t armor anymore. What we once wielded was now our greatest fear. What we once used to fight was now used to shield us from the flames. We were surrendering.
Then, ‘we’ wasn’t ‘we’ anymore. It was my brother, and then I. As if I were an afterthought. The baseball bats rotted away. The plastic of the shoulder pads melted on me. I was burned in the end, but not by the dragon.
My meadows turned to ash, the flowers wilted. And there I stood in the wreckage. All that was left was a baseball bat, and some shoulder pads.
The dragon had failed to burn those. He rusted my brother, burned my flowers, and turned me to dust. But he left my armor, and my weapon. And though the dragon won before, and I shake when I hear him roar, my bones are made of steel. My heart burns inside my chest, while my frozen skin crackles. This is my battle cry. Because maybe I can’t fight fire with fire, but I can fight it with ice.
So I grabbed the baseball bat and put on the shoulder pads. Now it’s time to face my own dragon.
they see him running on sunbeams in the early morning. stars are tied to his toes and they rattle behind him like chains, but he has never felt so liberated. there was a time when atoms were exploding in his lungs and he could not breathe, colors would fly behind his eyes and he could not see. his skin was numb from too many suns burning beneath the surface. he used to curse the morning; now he holds it in his hands and sprinkles it down upon us.
he still sees himself as human, is that a surprise? though he is stardust and the remains of energy, he is flesh and blood first. he came from the womb, not from the sky. he knew his hands before he knew his wings; he knew his words before he knew his magic. he dances with the snow on winter nights only to melt it away in the day. he drinks golden wine, it’s gods ichor he sips. he twirls his curls around his fingers and whistles tunes only the bluebirds understand. he runs barefoot through forests and though his feet may bleed, he brings the sunlight with him and that’s all he needs. he trips on skies and sips waterfalls, throws his wishes into wells. he can make miracles happen. what being in the world would want to make such magic angry?
a thousand suns have tried before, to hold him in their burning grasp. there is no force known to us that can contain him where they lack.
Cam – version one:
his hands grip her arms firmly, pulling her closer to him. the veins and muscles show on the top of his hands, his knuckles white and his fingers to leave bruises on her skin from how hard they’re pressing into her skin. the muscles in his arms show through the denim of the jacket he’s wearing, the wind blowing hard against his red wings, with a tint of blue along the edges to express the faint flicker of anger he’s feeling. his left arm wraps around her waist, his fingers tracing the small of her back. his eyes are closed, shaded over with a faint purple color because he hasn’t slept in days. his lips part touching her, soft at first. his nose is slightly crooked, straight until the edge of the bridge where he’d been kicked in the face too many times. his nose is upturned only barely, giving him a stubborn appearance—which would be correct. his eyebrows are slender and long, thick but not overgrown. not sculpted, but natural. his hair is short and choppy, brushed forward to hide his slightly larger-than-normal forehead.
Jace – version one:
his fingers are long and calloused against the blade. his knuckles stand out against the thin metal as he runs his fingertips along it like stroking an animal. he is gentle with it. his sword is a piece of him. his lips are parted as he looks away, his tongue touching his upper lip and hiding his teeth. his hair is long and dirty blond on the shadows, pieces hanging down by his ears and brushing his shoulders. his eyes are sharp, a striking sky blue against the brown leather of his tunic. his body leaning back, his chest fills out his clothes, thin and agile, as is the rest of him. his shoulders are tense, pointing inward, as if he’s bracing himself for an attack from behind. his eyebrows are furrowed, causing creases to be seen against the smooth skin of his forehead. his cheeks and mouth remain stoic, showing no other sign of emotion besides pure focus. his nose gently slopes down, remaining parallel to his face to the tip of his nose. his neck muscles stand out given the way he’s turning his head, his gently curving jawline starting just below his ears and swooping down to lay flat underneath his chin. the distinct line of separation between jaw and skin is stark in the light he’s standing in, making his jawline appear more sharp and present than usual. his ears are flat and small against the side of his head, but keen. his elbow is jerked back, his arm tracing up to his hand still touching the blade of his longsword delicately. his left hand grips the hilt loosely, his fingers plainly not gripping it firm enough. his thumb presses over his fore and middle finger, the nail smooth and curved underneath his touch.