Volcan stones exploded under Tyler’s heel, the sound raucous and skull-rattling. The explosive roar was deafening, drowning out the chorus from the spectators watching from the levitating verandas above.
Up over thirty feet, narrow strips hung like slim, floating isles, measuring roughly a yard across. They stretched as far as the racetrack, casting dark shadows on the ground below like snakes lying in between the twelve running lanes.
The onlookers filled every space atop the verandas, squeezing and jostling against one another and shouting wildly in support of their favorite Torches – contenders sprinting along the readily combustible Volcan track.
The natural mineral ignited from just as little as the friction of their shoes against its surface. From a single spark, burst forth a roaring flame – a blazing beast that bore down nary a second behind the sprinters.
The young men ran like their lives depended on it – essentially, it was. There was nothing to protect them from the scorching talons, except for their protective boots. Yet since the fire sprang to their heights with ferocity, there was stopping the beast from strangling their necks and shoulders.
Watching them, the spectators were gripped with excitement and frenzy. They were seemingly sadistic, since they betted on their favorite Torches, heedless of their peril. They could care less that Tyler and the other young lads were racing for their lives. It only mattered how much dough would triple.