The story so far:
For once, the internet held no quick answers. No matter how Devon searched, there was no support group for people who felt like they were on fire. There was no yahoo answer, no website, blog, youtube video, helium atricle-
And he was still on fire.
Devon would have felt disapointed, but he really didn't feel much of anything these days. Just the pain. It filled him, consumed him, was him. So to cope he had blocked out everything. He was more like a machine these days as he went about his business- dressing, eating, grooming, pretending to socialize. Mostly though, he went to doctors and contemplated suicide.
Which he did now, as he sat in front of his computer, still wearing only his bath towel. He shook himself out of his reverie and decided to leave a comment on a website about strange maladies. It read simply - "I feel like I am on fire all the time. Has this happened to anyone before? And how do I fix it?"
He didn't really expect an answer. Expecting things simply took too much concentration. And after all, he was on fire.
But three days later, he did get an answer.
The man knocked on his front door.
It was noon when the man came, so Devon wasn't exactly thrilled about standing in the doorway. "Please come in."
The visitor was a tall, thin man in his late fifties, with a thick head of unkempt silvered hair and a full beard and moustache that shifted from dark gray to black. He was dressed in an imaculate black double breasted suit, with slick black shoes and a long wooden cane in his left hand. His eyes watched Devon with a horrid fascination as he entered the shadowed interior. "Dear God, boy. Do you mean to tell me that you've simply put up with the sensation of fire all this time, and haven't done a thing about it?"
Devon would have been surprised, but he was in too much pain to feel such complex sensations. So he said mechanically, "How do you know about that? Who are you?"
The old man put a strong, long fingered hand over his chest, sending sparks of light dancing on the heavy golden rings adorning his hand. "I am Gregory Leontropicus Pindock, and I am responding to the question you left on the website, 'strange maladies'."
Devon took a deep painful breath of scalding air as he tried to gather his thoughts. "Yes... but how did you know where to find me?"
Gregory waved a hand dismissively. "We will discuss this later. For now..." he cocked his head and studied Devon as if he were a newly discovered species. "How on Earth have you done this? No drugs... no booze... you're just standing there with more chi in you than a troop of Shaolin monks, and yet you're still alive. Completely off the scale. You should have instantaneously combusted months ago! This is fantastic! You're a shining star, my boy!" His blue eyes sparkled with excitement.
Devon was still on fire, of course, so the man's excitement failed to catch on. "Right, whatever. Can you make this stop?"
Gregory Leontropicus Pindock's eyes glittered like jewels and his perfect white teeth flashed, an ivory trail nestled in the forest of his beard, as he replied cheerfully. "We're going to do a lot more than that, my boy."