I arrived in Colorado Springs in the early twenties, before there was much to talk about. The town was nice and quiet, out of the way, and surrounded by mountains. I may have been the sun god, but I was still a lover of the mountains. They, like me, stretched tall to reach the sun. I enjoyed climbing them at midday to get closer to the sky. Laying on the top of a mountain while the sun beat on my face was one of the most nirvana-inducing places for me.
On this day, in particular, I lay on top of the mesa as the warmth filled my body. I lay on the grass with my feet crossed at the ankles, and my eyes shut tight. I felt my body cool down as the warmth disappeared. Shocked, I opened my eyes to move the clouds away. But when I opened my eyes, I couldn’t see the sky, much less any clouds.
A beautiful woman with fiery red hair hanging down past her shoulders stood above me, blocking the sun’s warmth from meeting my body. “Excuse me,” I said as I sat up and brought my knees to my chest. “You’re blocking my sunlight.”
“Oh, is that so?” She smirked at me. “What are you, the god of the sun?”
I chuckled. “Something like that, my dear.”
She scrunched her nose and said, “Why are you laying out on the mountain? I thought you were dead from dehydration from the hike up here.”
I chuckled. “Oh, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m in perfect shape. Some would even say I’m in god-like shape.”
She quirked an eyebrow and looked down at me with ferocity building in her gaze. “And just what is your name, Mister Conceited?”
I reached my hand up, and she took it, pulling slightly. I stood and looked down at her, flashing a smile. “You can call me Pollo,” I said. Ah, I almost forgot the origin of that name. “And you are the fiery Miss…?”
“Bonnie,” she smiled at me before turning her face back into a scowl. “And fiery is right, so you better be careful, Pollo.”
“Bonnie, my dear, the only thing I’m afraid of is a world with no sun to keep me warm.” I smiled at her. She was truly a beautiful specimen of a mortal. Her long red hair snaked down her body, quietly creeping over her shoulders and covering her chest. Little orange stars littered her face as her red hair radiated a warmth I had never felt before.
“You should be afraid of me,” she scowled. “I am one of the most feared witches in Colorado.”
There it was. She was no mortal. Nay, she was supernatural. She was a witch who presumably controlled the fire from the depths of Hades. The warmth that I felt radiating off of her was more than just a feeling from seeing a beautiful woman. It was from the magic radiating off of her.
“Witches,” I said with a grin, “have never scared me, little one.”
She snapped her fingers, and a flame appeared on the tip of her finger like she had just struck a match. I raised an eyebrow, feigning impress. While it didn’t truly impress me, I entertained the little witch.
I clapped my hands and poked at my bottom lip. “Very good,” I said as I stared her down. “Now, actually impress me.”
She huffed and stomped her foot. “You’re going to make me mad if you keep testing me, Pollo.” She clapped her hands together, and a ball of fire the size of a basketball manifested in her palms. The flames twisted around one another as they whipped around her arms.
I have to admit that I was a little more impressed this time. It took power to conjure a fireball that size and one that she could control nonetheless. “If you’re such a powerful witch, why are you all the way up here on the mountain bothering me and not terrifying the villagers?”
“That,” she said, pointing behind me, “is my home that you’re laying in front of.”
I turned my head to look in the direction she was pointing. Sure enough, a two-story cabin sat behind me, nuzzled up to a creek. I shook my head and looked back at her. “That wasn’t there when I got here,” I confessed.
“Well, duh.” She snorted. “Of course, you couldn’t see it with my wards protecting it. Do you really think I would leave myself vulnerable to passersby?”
I shrugged. She had a good point, one that I couldn’t argue with. “If you’re so feared, why are you worried about other people finding you? Don’t you think they’ll stay away if they know you live here?”
She laughed. “Yeah, because mortals are smart enough to stay away from danger.”
“That, Bonnie, is a very fair point,” I admitted. “They’d probably try to burn your house down with you in it.”
“I wish they would try.” She smiled as she waved her hand in the air to create a fire funnel around her. “That would be about the dumbest thing they could do. Not only would I survive, but they would lose their life almost immediately.”
Suddenly, a strike of lightning ripped out of the sky and hit a nearby tree. The tree burst into fire, followed by a storm of rain and wind that drenched Bonnie and me where we stood. “Shit,” I said as the rain wet my hair. Strands clung to my forehead as I shook my head like a dog trying to get the water off its body after a bath.
Bonnie sighed. “Come on,” she said. “You can stay here until the storm passes.”
I threw the back of my shirt over my head and followed Bonnie to her house. Once I got to the entrance, I felt like I had run into a brick wall. I rubbed my face and called after Bonnie. “Mind letting the wards down so I can get in?”
She turned around and looked at me, smiling. She flattened her hand and raised it as high as she could. She brought her hand down to her side. “There you go.”
I pushed a hand to the open door and watched as my hand crossed the threshold. I sighed a sigh of relief and walked into the cozy cabin.