When I turned the tap, fire shot out.
Not like the faucets in towns near fracking operations, where flame spits out of plumbing and hurts people. It’s actually a little hard to explain.
This fire came out like molten lava, but thinner and, you know, splashier. Liquidier.
The bartender smiled encouragingly at me — I assume, since his astounding facial hair left everything below his eyeballs a bit of a mystery == and I carefully held the earthenware mug under the flow.
It smelled like burning honey.
The surface of it didn’t bubble, quite, but it roiled and surged. I drew it close and felt the tiny hairs on my upper lip curling away.
When I sipped, cautiously, it began like sipping too-hot hot chocolate where you get just a fleeting taste but the heat drives you back, only here the heat draws you in and you find yourself drinking it deep and long, blazing down your throat even as you panic a little and wonder what sort of irreparable damage you’re doing to your system. The thick honeyed fire fills your belly and spreads instantly until your whole body burns like dropping into a hot bath.
In the dark bar I glowed, faintly, anywhere my skin was visible. I felt incredible. I felt strong. I felt like I would never feel tired, ever, again.
I looked up with glowing eyes to see the bartender aiming a fire extinguisher at me.
“Just in case,” he said.
“It doesn’t always work.”
And I looked at the dark, dark scorched marks on the floor around me, and I poured another.