12 – Rebirth


The next day, when Tali awoke, Fortenra was still gone.
This wasn’t like him. Fortenra loved her. What happened last night must’ve been some sort of dream. Now she had to make her own breakfast, had to be alone…. No. No. She wasn’t going to do that. And she had long passed the point of turning back to her parents for help.

Tali had been dead. She had died! And she remembered how it felt. She remembered dying. Her life had passed before her eyes in a split second. She had relived everything and she realized how much of a stupid waste of a life it was that she had lived. She wanted to change things. She wanted to live a life worth living. She wanted to be popular at school instead of just resented.

She wanted to burn this place down. And that’s just what she would do. That’s where she would start.
She balled her hands into fists and heated up the air around her, which soon burst everything into flames. Goodbye couch. Goodbye TV and refrigerator and bed! The paint flaked from the walls. The carpet melted beneath her feet. The Phoenix was going to start over, like a Phoenix should!

The room began to fall apart around her, and she could hear screams from the distance. They were the other tenants, and they may as well start over too if they lived in a dump like this!

It wasn’t long before the entire area was reduced to ashes. Tali felt free. A great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Liberation!
As she stepped from the wreckage, she noticed a large crowd of people had gathered. They all stood and watched her wide-eyed. Did she do that? they whispered to themselves.
In a fit of pride, Tali grinned and pointed back to the still smoldering pile of debris that used to be a building.
“You see that?!” She yelled, pointing to herself. “I did that! ME!!” She tossed a fireball at the rubble.
“Tali Heartlie is starting over! Just you watch!!”

One of the people stepped forward. “You bitch! My sister was in there!”
An icicle was thrown and it pierced through Tali’s heart before it melted. She immediately fell to the ground and died.
The crowd began to cheer at first, but quickly went silent when Tali self-cremated and rebirthed herself from the flames.

“What the hell?!” The Ice Man yelled.
He began to throw more ice shards, but this time Tali was prepared and all the efforts turned to mist. Tali laughed, then realized she needed some new clothes and ran off to the nearest car to drive to a clothing store.

Throughout the day, she would steal things and angry Dexterians would kill her. Each time Tali revived faster, the pain and fear of dying becoming less ominous. Soon Tali felt and feared no pain or death and was able to revive herself instantaneously. However, it seemed that each time she revived, the ring of fire it took to resurrect herself became larger, harming more people and things around her, like a ripple in a pond covered with flaming oil.

Finally Tali wised up and stole a fire resistant suit. This allowed her to bring herself back from the dead clothed. Word spread quickly at the Phoenix and her rampage across town. But soon the challengers thinned and the followers grew.

Someone who could revive themselves had never been heard of before. The Phoenix’s power was on par with a god’s. Regardless or not if people believed Tali would bring about the new world, all of them feared her. In a few days time, Tali had to only show her face for others to do what she wanted them to. Others began to commit crimes in the name of the Phoenix. The actual Phoenix Gang, the Heartlies– Tali’s Mafia family– were taken care of and replaced with new devout followers of the new religion which worshipped The Phoenix as their lord and savior.
Tali was unconcerned with them.

Five days had passed and Fortenra was still not here.
She was going to find him and get him back.

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