Medeiros watched as Terrance Blackhorn exited the stage. As the lights suddenly vanished, casting the arena into blackness, the encantado breathed deeply and quickly ran out to the center. Her poi, ready and waiting to be lit, rested limply in her hands. Mede took another lung-filling breath, dug a lighter from the folds of her dress, and, with the flick of a wrist, lit both poi. In a dazzle of light, both wicks caught fire. They blazed brightly, the fire hungrily lapping at the twine. Mede smiled at the crowd, taking in the awed expressions caught in the flickering light.
She began to dance, guiding the poi into a butterfly followed by a pac man twist before dissolving the twist with a wrist twirl into an albatross. The flames flared as they flowed around her, illuminating her hair and dress. Quick step, then the albatross unfolded into a perfect five beat atomic inversion. Mede twisted in a circle, morphing the atomic inversion into an anti-spin hybrid weave. This routine was second-nature by now; she knew it by heart, and practiced rigorously, so she knew not to be afraid of the flame's licking tongues as she leapt into the air and flipped, twirling the poi around her body. The temptation was there, to go back to the snake and slide into the dark water where it would be cool and the heat of the fire would be washed away, but Medeiros shook the thought away as she landed gracefully on her feet, poi dancing around her in intricate patterns, leading the fire along. As much as she loved the water, fire called to her in a brazen way, perhaps because of its finicky nature. Whatever the reason, the encantado loved fire dancing. It was reason enough to endure human form far more often than normal for her kind.
The fire, as if realizing she had become distracted, suddenly caught on the back of her dress. It gobbled the fine fabric, and she could feel the heat burning her spine. Mede hissed under her breath, glad that the flames were on her back and not the front. This way, the audience may never realize she had let the flames out from under her thumb, and perhaps they would believe she just had a very short act. With a flare, she began whipping the poi about in intricate patterns and variations, all the while backing up. Feeling the fire growing, Mede began to run backwards, glad when she realized she was by the exit. With a flourished bow, she backed out of the audience's line of sight and began to strip.
Medeiros threw her poi into the water buckets awaiting this purpose, and, heedless of whoever may be watching, ripped her dress off. She grabbed the dress and shoved it into a bucket with her poi. She frowned when she pulled out the dress. "Damn it, I just had this one delivered! Now I'll have to have a new one made. Aaargh!"