Flame surged through loins, stiffening flesh, causing sparking bolts to shoot into tissues dormant and quiescent for so long. A chain reaction of fire spread throughout the body: Salty liquid trickled down the brow, hesitated on the coarse tendrils of chest hair, rolled ever further down to Rio.
Flames ignited within, inhalation of smoke causing the characteristic rasping and fetch-and-miss breathing, the bright pink (almost red) colouration of face and neck, upper chest and thigh, the mottling of in-between areas.
Flame shrank the sinews, causing the extremities to jut upwards and outwards as if pulled by determined puppeteer. Gasps echoed from the agony-ecstasy of extreme heat taking over, having its way, winning the ancient battle between body and mind, scorching sense out of the equation.
Flame: Primal, red-gold, dangerous, destructive, burning away artifice and pretence. Flames: Melting and melding, reconstructing and reconfiguring. Flames: Breaking down the barriers between male and female, metal and liquid, life and death, body and ash.
Flames surged through loins, stiffening flesh. Man dipped, forged by alchemical need, into the softly-liquid cauldron. Flames heated water – and twin gushes of steam, escaping in a jet-propelled blast of noise, quenched the fire.