The Flame That Started It

Fire is a powerful force and within the hands of a Witch, it is even deadlier. Alice is a rare anomaly, as no one has ever seen a Witch that could cast fire, and it is one that the government takes full use of to hunt down others of her kind. With only once choice to continue living in this world, Alice mercilessly takes away their lives by ending it or capturing them for the government to do as they see fit.

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1. The Prelude to the Fire

Prelude,

 

 

 

            Stars encumbered the pitch-black sky as the lights of a busy city illuminated underneath it. The cold wind breezes across the rooftops wavering through my long hair, and chilling my skin with its cold touch. Above the thirty-foot drop below me, I could feel the weight of the gravity, just inches away from plunging me to my own death. This is the only thing that makes me feel even remotely alive. No matter what lies within it, the city skyline is a beautiful thing, constantly reminding me of its grand scope.

            Static started to transmit through my ear piece, and a young man’s voice spoke, “Any noise on your side, Alice?” I wish I could tell him no and run away from all of this, but just by walking around, I can feel the discomfort of my ankle bracelet, harrowing my fate. Walking even a foot out of the area that was designated to me would cause this scenario to be the other way around.

            “I saw some lights go off and on in the building next to me; I’m heading over there now.” The buildings are so close it’s almost hard to tell where each one ends, but this allows me to easily jump across each rooftop. With little effort, I’m already on the next building, opening the door that leads into the stairwell.

The walls within here are ravaged, being unmanaged for years now. This whole city block is a nesting ground for criminals and animals alike. But with one sound of the alarm, that dreadful alarm, this block is as dead and empty as the ones who inhabited it. Well, almost completely empty; there’s still two lost souls that need to be shown the way out.

            Following the layout of the building based solely on my memory from outside, I try to find the room that raised my suspicion. The first room I go to check is empty, all but a single noose hanging from the ceiling. I wonder who was trying to find the easy way out. Sadly, the only way out now is through me. The second one is filled with broken furniture, showing that this place use to have life within these walls, but still no sign of my targets.

            As I’m walking to the third room of this floor, my instincts tell me that this one is it, and an undefinable feeling overcomes me. The same on that always strikes at me at the moment of truth. I wrap my little fingers around the doorknob as the cold brass gives me a quick shock. The cracking sounds of a deteriorating building fill the room, as I push the door open with little resistance.

            I take one step in, making a lay of the room. The clouded moon shines its way through the shattered windows, illuminating away some of the darkness. There’s old furniture about covered in cobwebs and old sheets that are stained in who knows what. But other than that, it seems like it is another empty room.

            My instincts are wrong, I suppose, but as I make one more turn through the room, I spot a candle. The tip is singed from recent use, and as I start to realize this, I hear a shift in the furniture. Four eyes stair at me between the shadows of the furniture, completely still. They look like fireflies in the night; only the fear in them is no doubt human. They both look at me with desperation and horridness. I lift up my hand without a second thought to any of this.

            “No please! Whatever you’re about to do, please don’t do it!” A woman’s voice pleads from the dark, knowing quite well what my next move is. She asks and begs the same thing I always hear, and I tell her the same thing I always say, “I’m sorry, but this is how it is.”

            “You can’t take us in!” The woman stepped out of the shadows, shambled and on her knees. The other pair of eyes has yet to reveal itself. “Listen, we will leave and you’ll never hear from us again, just let us go!”

            “You know that is impossible.” I open the palm of my hand, spreading my fingers outwards.

            The woman’s eyes jolt around looking for an out, then spots the marking on my hand clearly, “T-that tattoo on her palm! Your one of them! Why are you doing this to your own kind?”

            That question always harbors a lot of pain with it, but I push those feelings away deep down, hoping they never have to surface. I take a deep breath in, and exhale out, “I’m sorry.” The other pair of eyes runs its brittle body into me, grappling onto my leg. I look down to see a small girl in tattered clothing, with bruises and cuts across her face and body, staring up at me through her dirty-blonde hair. Her eyes are completely blue, reflecting off the moonlight in such an elegant way.

            She starts to scream and kick around in a tantrum, yelling at me like I’m a monster, “Don’t hurt my mommy! She is super nice I swear! We will be good!” Her tears smear onto my shorts.

            The mother quickly reacts, and pulls her away from me. She places her daughter behind herself, looking at me with hatred now. “Don’t you dare touch my daughter! Please, just take me and leave her alone!”

            If anything, I could probably do it the other way around, but the daughter is the one with the most importance. I take another firm stance, and with dull, lifeless eyes, I stare down into the mothers, telling her this is the end.

            Within an instant fire bellowed out from my hand, and her body was ablaze. The daughter gave one last scream of desperation, but it was too late. The mother ran around in a panic, rolling around on the floor, and screaming in terror; slowly melting and burning into nothing. Her hair, clothes, skin, and eyes; they disintegrated into ashes. What was left was a deformed and mangled corpse, filling the air with a putrid smell.

            The little girl didn’t know how to react, as she just stood there with dry tears, and widen eyes. She turned her head towards me, looking as broken as I once did. “Why?” She spoke weakly with her eyes demanding and answer. “Why!?” She charged towards me in a furry, banging on my legs over and over.

            “I’m still trying to find that answer out, but just be happy we are both alive for another day.” I probably sound as dead as the smoldering carcass next to us, but I have nothing else to give this girl. I place my finger in my ear, pressing onto the receiver, “I have the girl.” A moment of silent passes, and through the broken windows, I can feel that breeze again.

            “Good, we will be waiting outside for you.” The receiver cuts dead, and this girl’s judgment has been decided for her. I grab her thin wrists, but she pulls away from me immediately. “This can go a lot easier if you just walk out with me.” I speak out to her hoping for everything to go easy, but that’s only a fantasy. She looks at me with spiteful eyes, and screams, “I want my mommy!”

            I sigh heavily realizing where this is going. I reach behind myself, and pull out my specially designed pistol, aiming it perfectly still. I give my final demand, “Start moving out of this room, or I will shoot you. You understand what a gun is, right?”

            “I want my mommy back! Bring her back!” The girl falls to her knees and starts slamming down onto the floor, bruising and damaging her hands even further. I try to grab her again to stop what she is doing, but a sudden tremor sweeps across the building, knocking down stacked furniture and breaking an already decrepit house.

            She continues to slam the ground and yell out, “I want my mommy!” The tremors grow stronger as the rage within the girl outburst more. I quickly try to find my balance, but the tremors continue to disrupt me. The girl lets out one more roar, leaving no air within her lungs, “Rahhhhh!”

            Her final slam breaks through the wooden floor, shaking and splitting the house in two. The slam echoes throughout the walls as the split starts at the girl’s hands, but she passes out from all the exerted energy, giving her no ability to save herself from the impending fall. The house is already falling on its side, making the floor nearly completely vertical, so I scurry up it like an animal, trying to make my way to the girl. As I make it over the edge of the split floor, I see that half of the girl’s body is hanging over the side adjacent to me. I make a massive leap for her, catching her hand before her body tumbles into the darkness below us. Through all the smoke and zero to no lighting around me, it’s hard to tell what part of the building is even standing still.

            The floors tremble more violently and start to crash downwards. Placing the girl on my lap, I decide to slide down the floor, and try to fling out of the window, but halfway down a support beam comes spiraling down on top of us. Within milliseconds time to react, I lift my hand up and explode the beam in a fiery doom. I managed to clear it away, but the force of the explosion propels us faster down the floor.

A random floorboard piece is sticking up among all the wreckage, causing me to panic and make some last second adjustments on our path downwards, but our speed is too great; my leg slits across it, taking out a huge chunk of my skin. I hold in a yelp, biting down on my tongue. The impact flips us forward, and we go tumbling down the rest of the way. With no more control of how were falling down, I don’t have time to prepare how we crash through window.

We fly out with massive momentum, hurling through the air before landing into the window from the building next to us. My body smacks dead on the ground, killing all momentum from earlier. There was a moment of numbness, but that went away quickly as the pain from the small glass pieces in my skin started to sting with immense torture. Trembling from all the pain, my body could barely move an inch. Blood spilt out from my leg, and I can feel the hot-stickiness from it forming underneath me. The girl seems to have taking very little injury, as she calmly sleeps on top of me, unknowing of what she just went through. I want to scream, but I don’t have enough energy to even open my mouth. All I can do is silently lay here, while tears gently flow over my face.

            If I die from this, or if I died back there, would anyone care? It feels like my death would only be a convenience for the ones holding my leash and for me as well. Dying has a welcome mat at my feet, and it doesn’t come off as frightening or scary; no, it sounds much more like luxury, and an end to everything I have done. That mother was right, I am like this girl; I am one of her kind, but I continue to capture and slaughter the ones they love to sustain my own life. Why do I have anymore right to live then they do? I’m just like her- a Witch. An abomination to this world and their pure society.  

            The sirens of ambulances echo from a distant, and I can hear feet of men rushing up the building. They will come to fix me up, and then put me in my cage, only to be rereleased back out to do this again. And if I want to live, I will listen to them, because I am a Witch and this is how it is.

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