Merry Christmas, everyone. Hope it's been wonderful. Here's the fourth part of the Child of Fire. As always, you can find the links below or under the stories tab. Enjoy.
Child of Fire - Part IV
“We have rules for a reason!” Reverend Carter’s voice echoed ripe with passion. “What are we to do upon seeing the sins of those around us? Perhaps we should ask Caroline Miller.” From the pulpit, Reverend Carter’s eyes bore into Mrs. Williams’ soul. “For those who don’t know, little Caroline cursed at her mother, then attempted to hide outside of town. WE HAVE RULES FOR A REASON!”
The Reverend’s knuckles whitened on the edges of the pulpit. “In accordance with his mother’s wishes, I assure you that we have taken a humane approach to her punishment. Let it be known, however, that iniquities will be punished.”
Rob’s eyes fixated on the floorboards. He didn’t know the punishments, and he certainly didn’t want to find out. He would have to be more careful if he wanted to keep visiting her.
Nearly two weeks passed before she sang again, though her chilling song played endlessly in his dreams. The strained notes arrived early, and Rob sat next to the windowsill, determined to hear every note. The disappearance of the Miller girl anchored him in his room, but her voice proved stronger than the looming punishment. After all, hadn’t he visited her before and returned? She had warned him, too, however. His feet were moving before his mind could halt them. A quick flip of the lock on his bedroom door, and he slipped through the window and into the woods.
By the time Rob straddled the uppermost branches of the tree, crimson and yellow stains all but hid the color of his skin. She hovered below the same branch, wavering from side to side, almost floating in the wind.
“You should listen to their rules.” Rob studied her lips, but they showed no signs of movement.
“I don’t like their rules.”
“I didn’t either.”
“Do you ever leave?” Rob asked hesitantly. For five minutes she didn’t respond. For five minutes, she rocked gracefully from side to side. For five minutes, Rob worried she was dead.
“No.” Rob’s face flushed with a mixture of relief and heartbreak.
“I can help you,” he spoke loudly, though it only heightened the desperation in his voice.
“Let me help you,” he pleaded, his eyes moistening.
“I’ll come back for you,” his voice found strength and cemented his resolve. He didn’t have a choice. Before she could respond, he was dropping from limb to limb, spike to spike, until his bloodied feet landed sharply against the ground.