• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 09
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You breathe the fire of a dragon with your art. Measured and far reaching.

You can feel the heat of it on your own neck, drawing in deep breaths to gather the smouldering fire in your heart, bring it forth into the world, to be viewed by others. You wonder often if they know that this fire, right here, is yours. It simmers when you’re sleeping, stirring you awake with a new idea. You jot down a note, or two or ten, never quite returning to slumber. Instead you gather the things around you, the artefacts that others might call props. The things of your heritage, they beckon you as you try to connect with them, make a sense of them that translates, somehow. And sometimes lost in your own thoughts, you forget about the heat in the flat, from outside or in, that London summer swelt that wraps you up and leaves you soaking, droplets over your eyes, intermittently blurring your view of your own creation. Most times you ignore it, let the fire inside your own belly be the thing that you focus on.

This picture would be one of many, a series, developed over time, so that you as the image, is no longer just you. It’s Gambia. And Britain. And the silence that lives between the two. You wanted closed eyes and a serenity that didn’t distract from anything else. The ancient look of the photograph, the photograph itself. And when all was done, you let the work speak, shout, scream from a tower. It was and wasn’t you, standing atop, mouth open, fire making billowing exits from your throat, your mind, your heart.

You wondered if everyone could breathe fire like this. Even sleeping, dreaming, waking to hot, hot heat and smelling smoke that wasn’t yours. You thought creative, mustered a vision of luminous scales, webbed feet and wings that could fly you and everyone around you, out of the tower.



Away from the lick of flames eating up a cladding unfit for the purpose of life continuing. For moments you were that dragon again; you could see it. The girl who flew far from here, her artistry lighting the way, leaving everything much more beautiful in her wake.

You always were a dreamer though, and you knew how to bring the mythical to life. Now it was hard to imagine not being able to bring that same energy forth, to save your own magical life.

But you still live on. Still remind us of the danger of a flame. And the beauty of it. And all the ways that you breathed the fire of a dragon with your art.