Yes, pretty, some might even call it beautiful. It brings light, heat and protection, but it’s also dangerous – more dangerous than you could yet imagine. In the wrong hands it can become a lethal weapon. In hands like… yours, say. Go on, hold it.
Ow! That’s hot! It burns!
Like I said, it’s dangerous. And you should never accept gifts so willingly. Remember that. Let this be a warning.
Why not? I like gifts.
Because, little Firefly, people can’t be trusted. They’ll offer you what you want most in the world then use it to tear you apart. Don’t give them an easy target. Keep yourself safe. Never trust anyone.
Not even you? Or mum and dad?
No. Not even your parents, not even me. Now, do you want to try holding the fire again?
I can barely believe how naïve I was ten years ago, before I’d known anything about the world I lived in; that Protectors were anything more than people with blood-red streaks running through their hair and that flames didn't spring up, dancing, in just anyone’s hands.
I think that one of the hardest things to learn as a writer is that, no matter how much you might love a particular chapter, scene or character, sometimes you need to step back, look at things objectively, and then cut.
My original opening was a flashback to an exchange between Roxy and Vincent. Perhaps one of the fundamental flaws with it was that this isn't exactly clear, but adding 'Vincent said' etc. didn't feel right. It's a great memory of Roxy's, and perhaps I should have used it for the 'Q&A' I posted with her, but as a series opening it didn't work.
Fire's actual opening packs more of a punch - from the first sentence there is action, danger and, of course, fire. I still read my original with affection though and writing it gave me a strong initial grounding of Roxy's character.