In the beginning, before she understood what it wanted, it felt as if light followed her. It bent around her, nearly imperceptible, but it made the wrong shadows. It felt like a sentient thing, tracking her.
One summer day, she sat in full sun, stretching her limbs like a cat. As she flexed her fingers, luxuriating in the tingle of muscle over bone, she saw the light bent with her fingers. Where she moved, it moved, and she was pulling it in towards her in strands. Thick ribbons of pale sunlight that curved in and popped away again as her fingers bent.
She found that by manipulating her fingers, she could weave the strands of light together; the thicker the cord, the stronger it pulled at her. The tug was gentle, but insistent. As she wove, her fingers taut with ropes of light, her hands and wrists seemed to be pulled into an elsewhere.
The girl became uneasy. She understood that she could keep going, but where would she go? She held her fingers still, thinking.
She was wary, but excited. She could do this thing. This thing that no one else could do, that no one else seemed to see her doing. Pulling at the rope of light a little, experimenting, she saw that she could see through her hands and forearms. "How will I make this big enough to hold all of me?" she wondered.
She decided. Releasing the tension in her fingers, she let the strands of light unravel. Pulling her index fingers towards her, she started over. The girl cast on a strand of light and began to knit.
As her fingers flew, and the afternoon sun began to weaken and thin, the girl draped the sheet of light over her lap, working furiously faster and faster. Just as the light turned silver, she finished the last row. Taking a deep breath, and hooking her fingers firmly into the shimmering, shifting edges of her cloak of light, she swung it around her shoulders and wrapped it tight.
The sun went down. The girl went with it, her light cocoon blinking out like a popped bulb.
There was a sound like a million pieces of paper being krinkled into a million balls. And then there was no sound at all.
Being inside the light was like being inside taffy while it's being pulled. She could feel herself being folded over and over again, the light being kneaded into her. It felt enormous: not painful, but very concentrated, as if she had to hold all of it in her arms and not lose track of one iota.
Gradually, she became aware of slowing. Stopping. When she moved what had been her limbs, she was no longer manipulating the light. She was light, perfect and fluid. She held for a moment in darkness, poised, and then the girl opened her eyes.
She felt the shape of her fire. She blazed.