They gave a warning for the squeamish before they began. I, with a front row seat, wasn’t going anywhere.
Chey laid face down on the table to my right. Stefanos prepared his tools for the demo: a glass fire cup, his fire wand, a lit tea candle, a cup of alcohol, and a scalpel.
Working on Chey’s back, Stefanos sliced five incredibly small scratches into her skin. So small, in fact, were his marks that I could barely see the lines of blood.
With a quick swish of his wand inside the fire cup, he placed the glass on top of the tiny wounds.
And then we all watched as the blood began to seep up and out. Chey’s flesh raised from the burnt oxygen inside the glass. The lines of blood trickled down to the edges of the cup.
Chey and Stefanos spoke about their blood cupping as we all sat watching.
Somehow, because of Chey’s movements, the cup dislodged. Stefanos again spun lit accelerant into the glass and placed it back over the cuts. Again, we watched as physics pulled the blood out from her flesh onto her skin.
And I sat, my eyes locked on this small cylinder of glass, mesmerized by the show.
They then had us all stay quiet and watch the glass carefully. Chey braced as Stefanos popped the cup.
It wasn’t what they’d hoped; no intense splatter of blood displayed on the glass, though there was a small pop of blood.
The cup to the side, Stefanos poked at the hematomas on Chey’s back. Because the cup was placed twice, she had two differing sized hills of blood just under her skin. Stefanos played with them, moving the hills around like a cat gingerly batting about a ball.
We asked how she felt. We asked how much it hurt. How long before the swelling would go done? What kind of a mark did she expect to have afterwards?
Hurt, no. Felt, I can’t recall.
Chey hypothesized the swelling would be down by the end of the day, leaving her with a rather large bruise for weeks.
As they cleaned up and the class disbursed, one thing remained on my mind. I had never seen blood play live before, especially not that up close and personal. I did not squick. I did not shy away.
In fact, I loved watching it. I wanted to touch Chey’s back (though I never asked). I wanted to play in the blood (though again I made no overture).
I recalled seeing Stefanos pick up a large clot of blood formed at the edge of the glass cup. It looked like a wet red dead worm. And yet I wanted to touch it, push it around, play with it.
Because of Chey & Stefanos’ Pyro Passion presentation, a majority fire play class, I learned that maybe, possibly, I want to play with blood.
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