The wings were long; the wingspan was longer than eight feet. A white swirl design adorned a mottled brown background. When the wings moved, it looked as if they were broken.
Darren had finally earned his wings and was in for a chance of joining Pele in the fire, it was just down to the luck of the draw.
He looked in the mirror and knew that he belonged in the way and that nothing had ever looked better than he did with the wings attached to his arms. He had one task left to complete before he could get his antennae. He couldn’t be a full Sun-Seeker without antennae, it would be shameful to meet Pele without antennae, Darren knew that he currently didn’t deserve to meet his god.
He walked out of the door of his flat and down the three floors worth of stairs to get to the main entrance.
Once he was out of the flats, he crossed the carpark and opened the sliding door of a van which he then climbed inside.
Half an hour later the van stopped outside of a fenced in park where children were playing happily while their mothers sat sharing gossip on the park’s benches.
Darren was Metamorphosed, now he had to prove himself.
He climbed out of the van with another one of the Metamorphosed following after him.
He had his brown brass helmet on now so nobody would recognise him as Darren John Talbot, instead they would see him only as one of the Metamorphosed.
His task was to find a male and a female that he could welcome to The Way, they would be granted the great honour of becoming larvae and would embark on their own journeys to become Sun-Seekers and meet Pele.
Perfect children were what he was after, brown haired ones were perfect, they would find it easier to settle in.
He had to find some lively specimens.
None of them were moving, they were all stood stock still staring at him. Darren couldn’t tell which of them were lively and which weren’t.
He heard a scream.
Darren saw that the other Metamorphosed was making good progress in his task of capturing an adult specimen to play its part, the Metamorphosed had also managed to fulfil the criteria of getting one that had the brunette phenotype. Not phenotype, Darren reminded himself that his days as a biology student were over. They were either perfect or they weren’t.
The children had also noticed the scream.
A male and a female had started to run towards the perfect adult specimen, the children were both perfect.
Darren ran and scooped these unknowledgeable larvae up in his wings.
Then Darren and the other Metamorphosed ran back towards the still open van and threw their specimens inside. They then climbed in afterwards and closed the door of the van.
Inside the van the two Metamorphosed were putting blindfolds on their specimens which were so consumed by fear that they didn’t put up much resistance.
The van kept moving for hours, driving along the same few streets and going around in circles until it finally stopped outside a large warehouse.
Darren slid the door of the van open, excitement pulsing through him as he took his blindfolded larvae out of the van and led them into the warehouse.
Inside the warehouse there was one room, every corner of which was lit by candlelight but in the centre of the room was Darren’s dream, the great pile of wood that would take The Chosen One to meet Pele at the end of the night.
The longest serving Sun-Seeker walked over to Darren who traded his specimens for the antennae that completed his growth and turned him into a Sun-Seeker.
Now Darren could meet Pele with pride and know that he was worthy of the greatest honour of all. The other Metamorphosed followed Darren into the room with his specimen and was also granted the honour of becoming a Sun-Seeker.
The rest of the swarm had to arrive before anything else could happen, it was only five o’clock and last time nothing had happened until midnight.
Not all of them were as devoted as Darren, he knew this and so many had met Pele before him that really didn’t deserve it, they didn’t know how lucky they were.
Six o’clock came and the full swarm had not yet gathered but the buffet table was unveiled and Darren went to feast on what he had been given. Cheese sandwiches, purified by Pele’s might were stacked all over the table with bottles of water being offered as a drink.
Darren sat and ate the food and drank the drink, watching the doorway so that he could count how many of the swarm were arriving.
Eleven o’clock and they still weren’t all there, Darren was starting to suspect that the missing members would come at midnight because the fools thought that there was something special and mystical about that time.
Darren knew that the event should have happened when the sun was still high in the sky so that Pele would be smiling when The Chosen One was sent to meet him.
Midnight and they were all there; the swarm had arrived.
There wasn’t much more waiting to be done before the longest serving Sun-Seeker drew a name from Pele’s sacred top hat to find out who The Chosen One was.
The paper was held up in the air for all to see. Darren strained his eyes and found out that all of his dreams had come true, he was a Sun-Seeker and also The Chosen One.
He stood up and slowly walked towards the pile of wood that would transport him into the realm of his god.
Wearing his wings, helmet and antennae he struggled up to the top of the pile of wood and laid down on the platform at the very top.
At ground level, the new specimens had their blindfolds taken off so that they could watch the ascension ceremony to be initiated as larvae and gain knowledge and understanding to learn of The Way.
Petrol was poured onto the wood at the bottom of the pile by some of the Metamorphosed and the longest serving Sun-Seeker used a match welcome Pele to the ceremony and light the fuel which would bring Darren closer to Pele’s glorious embrace.
The police burst into the warehouse wielding asps and riot shields.
With the assistance of armed units, they arrested every member of The Way that they could catch for crimes of performing ritual sacrifice as well as assault and kidnapping.
They didn’t arrest Darren.
Darren was still laid on top of the pile of wood on the platform that would take him to see Pele.
He could already feel Pele’s embrace and now he had passed beyond the point when the police would be able to prevent him from receiving the ultimate glory.