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That night, in the penumbra of contented sleep, he sprinted, left to right, through her dream corridors, opening and closing doors, dragging his knuckles like a doomed Andersen prince in an untold fairy tale. Everything he touched he set ablaze.

And in her sleep, she followed. She sensed her body lift heavenward, and everything that tethered her in place withered into ashes beneath her. Her skin warmed as she rose and rose further away from her burning bed, weightless, free, unafraid, and suddenly, very much awake.

She struggled to understand the riddle. He said something about the heart and the mind, and truth, and the catharsis. She warmed beside his flame, not understanding his words, and touched his fragmented skin. Fair, freckled, a webbed spatial constellation, spreading like flowering vines connecting them each to each, to earth and sky. Equally tethered, equally free. He, her spark; she, his tinder.

And she gathered his morphing shape onto her own. She smoothed his licking flames into a twisting containable shape, but failed, again and again. Together they rose, each mutually engulfed, and soon she gave of herself fully, even as she burned. And while his fire bespoke cacophony, collapse and complete engulfment; she sensed the rapture, not the prediction.