“Hemlock, if you ignite that vapour you’ll spend the week in the lower tower cleaning out bat droppings.”
Hemlock didn’t take his eyes off of the other boy, but slowly closed his mouth. His fangs had started growing through and he still nicked the tender human flesh around his jaws if he moved too quickly. The courtyard, that a moment ago had been filled with eager onlookers, was quickly dispersing as Madam Thorn made her way through.
Her tail swished angrily behind her. Hemlock cast his eyes down and fidgeted with his talons. The other boy, Cain, had tried to vanish into the crowd but Thorn grabbed him by an ear and dragged him back.
“Now, what’s this all about?”
They both remained silent. When it was obvious she wasn’t going to get an answer, Madam Thorn turned and started walking towards the outer courtyard. Both boys looked stunned, their tails frozen behind them. But not for long.
“Follow,” Madam Thorn barked sharply.
Soon they passed from the inner keep, where their lectures and dormitories were, and entered the outer courtyards. This was used for the more practical aspects of their education. Keeping dozens of young half-breeds in a confined stone castle isn’t the smartest of ideas, so the keepers of the academy had long ago thought of ways to help relieve the pressures of adolescents.
Two deep wells were situated near the outer wall. They’d dried up long ago, but the stone still remained.
“Cain, that one. Hemlock, stand over the other.”
The boys may have been at odds with each other, but they shared their confusion. They climbed up onto the lip of the wells and looked down. Nothing. Even with their keen eyesight, the bottom was lost in darkness.
“Now, are either of you going to tell me what this was all about?” Again silence. “Suit yourselves. Start spitting, I want to see you fill those wells with flames.” They hesitated. “Now!”
Hemlock had only been igniting for a few weeks. Small hiccups that charred his lips, slowly developing (under careful guidance by the incendiary master) into a steady stream he could begin to aim and control. But they were always short bursts, after a lot of practice. Looking into the well, Hemlock felt a lump rise in his throat, but it didn’t feel like anything flammable.
Cain coughed and spluttered, but pretty quickly was raining fire down into the pit. His success spurred Hemlock into finally been able to release his own.
Once both pits were aflame, Madam Thorn walked around them, looking down and inspecting the flames. Dried wood and leaves that had collected kept the fires going. The walls dripped with the sticky residue that occasionally burst into flame.
Using her claws and tail, she knocked both boys off their feet, sending them tumbling into the wells, engulfed by the flames with a pair of screams.
“When you’re both done flailing, we can talk about your behaviour.”
Prompt originally posted by FieldTrippin on reddit and received 2 upvotes.