Belle gazed into the fire, focusing on the ring that lay within its burning embrace. This close the heat was overpowering which made concentrating difficult but then again that was the point.
“The fire is an illusion. There is no fire. There is no heat. If I reach in, I will not be burned. The fire is an illusion . . . "
Fanning her fingers out as far as they would go, Belle held the stretch until she started to shake. The white band around her fourth finger had almost faded. Once she succeeded she would wear the ring again but she had to prove to herself that she was worthy of the memory. She continued her mantra, using it to regulate her breathing. "The fire is an illusion . . . "
A stray thought came from a corner of her brain.
I am the master now.
She felt the truth of the statement infuse her, spreading like a wave of glacial frost. She was the master of her own destiny and she was going to retrieve her ring today.
It wasn’t about speed, it was about belief.
Belle reached into the fire.