The Ritual of the Flames

It was a hard and gruff voice, so, a man's. He was tall – she could tell by the way his voice spread through the forest: like a ripple in an otherwise calm lake. He was taller than her mother. And she didn't know the man, neither did her mother. Yet they were next to each other. Her mother quite unwillingly, though. It was this man who separated her from her family. She was stuck in reality whereas her parents were, hopefully, in heaven. Together at last. Would the last of her kind be able to fight for her life and flourish in the epic battle in which her life was her prize? Or would she fall?

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5. Chapter 5

Chapter Five

 

 

               The man slithered out of the car. His clothes were fused to his skin in some places. He dragged his legs behind him, looking similar to the animal that should have his slit eyes. He took in a shaky breath and Renn wished she remembered how to breathe.

 

               His fingers curled into his palms and his nails pierced the dirt as he dragged himself forward. His eyes rolled back into his head, leaving the whites staring into Renn's soul. Renn sat, terrified at what was happening but mesmerised at the same time. Her mind flickered, her breathing returned, and her head shot between her legs just as a tree impaled the man. She stayed cowering for a minute afterwards. When she decided to look up, there was a shaggy, brown-haired boy looking down at her. His yellow eyes sparkled.

 

               "Need a hand?" He asked, sticking out his left hand. His voice was deep yet he could not have been much older than twelve.

 

               "Thank you." Renn said, taking his hand. She stood up and looked around.

 

               "Quite a mess you have made, you know?" He asked, retrieving his hand.

 

               "Quite as mess I made?" Renn asked, locking her eyes on the burning car.

 

               "Yes. You," The boy repeated. He looked at her, her expression portrayed confusion. "Do not tell me you do not know."

 

               Renn drew her eyes away from the car and the burning body within and focused them on his yellow, sparkling eyes. "Do not know what?"

 

               "If you do not know then I cannot tell you. You will have to talk to Madam Poppy Orav. I will take you to her."

 

               The name clicked in Renn's mind. The name was that of the woman who owned the orphanage. She nodded, eager. "Okay."

 

               The boy smirked and patted down his un-tamed hair. "Jamie."

 

               "What?" Renn asked.

 

               The boy chuckled. "My name, it is Jamie."

 

               "Oh! My name is Renn." She smiled and followed him away from the crash site.

 

〰 〰 〰

 

               The boy was wearing a tattered pair of, what was once, black trousers but now stood to be dirt-ridden and a torn, orange shirt. His hair was ruffled and stood on edge in places. His eyes were completely different to the rest of him. They were yellow. They were the gateway to his mind which worked like that of a rocket scientist.

 

               "Are we going to an orphanage?" Renn asked, even though she was sure of it.

 

               "Yes, we are. How did you know?" He let his eyes drift in Renn's direction.

 

               Renn shrugged. "I have been looking for an orphanage for two days."

 

               "Well then we had better get going before the sun sets. We do not want to be caught off guard in the dark although, judging by what I have seen you do, our chances of survival are pretty high." Jamie winked and walked away from the burning car.

 

               "What? What have you seen me do?" Renn questioned. She, in her own mind, had not done anything out of the ordinary. Did this have something to do with what Hazel had said she had seen Renn do?

 

               Jamie turned around, his eyes twinkled. He spoke one word before turning on his heel and leaving a confused Renn by the burning car. "Fire."

 

〰 〰 〰

 

               It took Renn less than five minutes to catch up to Jamie. But it was well into the night before she asked him the question that was eating her from the inside out.

 

               "What fire, Jamie?" She begged.

 

               "Think, Renn. You saw that tree erupt through that man. Who do you think did that?"

 

               Renn's eyes showed every emotion she was feeling but they mostly showed her fear and her exhaustion. "You?"

 

               Jamie nodded. "And you, Renn, you have that ability as well. Just not with Earth. Yours," Jamie blinked, his eyes gleaming even more so in the twilight. "Is with fire. Beautiful yet deadly."

 

               Renn took a small step back. It was a lot for a nine year-old to take in, especially when that particular nine year-old was about to collapse from exhaustion. She nodded and shut her eyes. Her legs gave way and her body hit the gravelled ground with that familiar thump - powerful enough to make Renn relive the horrible moment when Hazel died.

 

               Before Renn fell completely into the drift of sleep, she heard the crunch of running feet on gravel and Jamie's terrified scream.

 

               "Renn?" Jamie knelt by the collapsed being. "Renn!"

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