The Purple Daisy

*First short story I've written in a while so bare with me! It's a rather dark topic so if anyone thinks I've done the rating wrong please say!*
For the Reincarnation competition. Occasional strong language.
Demons are parasites, latching onto souls throughout the centuries. Angels are here to rid the world of these demons, but at a price for humanity.

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4. Chapter 4

“Stop the fire.”

While I have run to cower at the other end of the house, Red stands perfectly still. His voice hasn’t changed. His stare hasn’t changed.

“We need to get out! Get me out!” I yell over the crackling. The flames are climbing higher, sparks spitting up the wooden door.

“I can start it and you can stop it.” Red repeats.

“We need to get out of here. We’re in the woods in a mainly wooden house with wooden things. We’re going to die!”

He just gawks at my screeching.

I knew they were all insane. What the fuck have I done?

I don’t care about the desperate tears running down my crimson face. I needed to get out. But there aren’t any windows and the door will be cinders in five minutes.

“Concentrate. We can control the fire. The loss of your family has truly unlocked your potential. Control your emotions.”

My mouth is too dry to shout anymore. I can hardly breathe through my sobs. The smoke is slowly filling the space, twisting around the furniture until it hits the roof and falls back down. The fumes scratch down my lungs.

“Concentrate on the anger. Imagine the fire is your loss and just let it all go.”

“I… I can’t let my parents go! They only just left me!”

“You can.”

The men don’t move. The man who ran with me has a smile smacked on his face. The flames are against his back, threatening to catch him at any moment.

I close my eyes and slink down the wall to the floor. I crumple my knees up to my chest and hug them. My weeping muffles against my legs. What have I done?

All I can think of is my family. What would they say about this? About how I’ve been beyond stupid. They’d understand I’d need time to grieve, but would they have understood me pushing everyone who had offered help away? I wish I hadn’t have spent so much time alone recently. I took help when the pressure built up and someone was kicking my door in, but that was definitely the wrong kind of help.

My mind turns back to that day, the day we went to the beach. I want my last thoughts to be etched in my brain for whatever comes next. I try and remember more than just the photo can tell me. The smiles. The laughing. I never want to forget their voices. I try and imagine they’re holding me right now, trying to remember their touch. Remembering how safe I felt in their arms. They’ll make it all ok.

Cold brushes over my entire body.

I don’t move from my bundle as I hold my breath. The room is silent. I can hear the house’s creaks and groans, but no more crackles and snapping.

A hand swipes over my arm, making me flinch my head up from my legs. Red crouches over me, not whoever takes you onto what happens after death.

“Taking the time to think lets you control your emotions. You might think you gave up, but happy memories can block the more… sad ones. It’s not exactly what I wanted but it’s a base. You should’ve let your anger burst and the flames engulf all before allowing your anger to simmer back down.”

“You… you can’t tell me I did that… There’s not… magic isn’t a thing, I’m not a child.” My throat is hoarse. My eyes won’t produce anymore tears. The adrenaline no longer tingles at my fingertips and breathing hurt my chest. I was exhausted.

This night had gone too far. This night was too much for anyone to handle.  

“Oh no, it’s not magic. It’s a gift from your soul. That soul has so much potential. It’s why you have above average endurance and speed compared to normal humans. You may have needed my help just then, but eventually you will be able to do anything alone. The potential is the only thing that’s insane.” Red stares at me like I’m an exhibition behind glass, his eyes wide and alight with awe.

As he continues, his voice picks up an almost bright tone, the most emotion he had shown all night.

“You haven’t been able to use most gifts, like the birthing and destroying fire, before because you just haven’t felt the darkness of pain and loneliness enough previously. Not enough to weaken your soul enough to the point where it needs to reach out to its unworldly gifts and make it do anything to protect itself at any cost. The soul wants to emerge. I can feel it. You can almost taste the power.”

Red’s closed eyes and licks his lips. A glimmer of a smile on his face makes my stomach churn. If his words were meant to comfort me, they did the exact opposite.

“Your parent’s and grandmother died because the angels were aiming for you. The angels thought they could isolate you and then you’d want to give in and let them win and destroy your soul. We won’t let that happen though, will we?”

His smile is now on me, but for a brief moment I swear it flickers into a smirk. His eyes narrow, waiting for an answer.

“They don’t sound much like angels.” I stay on the floor, looking at my knees, mumbling.

Red sighs, “No, they don’t do they. But trust me; with the gifts the soul has given you, you are amazing already. Your potential is immeasurable.”

I meet his wonderment with silence. Puffing out a quicker sigh, Red stands.

“Your soul has already given you many talents. You would do well to help it unlock all it can do.”

“No…” My voice comes out smaller than I wanted it to, “I’m me. Everything I’ve done is me. I’m not… I’m not just a puppet.”

Red pauses for a moment, an eyebrow raised, “The soul has enhanced you, but not as much as it could. You wouldn’t be a puppet. Just eventually you’d let the soul become strong enough to overtake your weaknesses. You’d still be… yourself, but this soul needs to be free and help humanity bur-… just help humanity.”

The image of a well-prepared speech was beginning to show in Red’s dialogue, cracks in his patience starting to appear.

I stay silent.

I don’t want any of this.

I wanted to scream, but my fear fixes me to the floor.

Red licks his lips once more, “Do you know the reason Rebecca, the person who bore this soul before you, lived the extra eleven years when she apparently went missing? Well she came with us once we had told her of her capabilities. She thought she could save the world with these gifts and trusted us to protect her.”

“But she still died, didn’t she?” I snap, but my words are still a quiet murmur.

“She made the mistake of not trusting us fully.”

“She had a family. She had friends. And you took her away from that and she died and I got this soul anyway.”

“She died because she was weak. She died because she risked seeing her family for a common emotion, just because she missed them a bit. She showed weakness and was punished for it. We were lucky to be at the scene of her death so to distract the angels while the soul could escape and come to you. We’re the reason the soul has managed to survive this long. We will not let it be destroyed now. You could be part of something that will change the world.”

“I have to save my own world before even thinking about saving anyone else’s.” Somehow I manage to muster some anger towards the end of my speech.

“You are capable of being so much more than just yourself. You won’t be weak because you have no family. You have nothing holding you back.”

I’m stunned into silence.

How could anyone say a thing like that? Death is not… it’s not a good thing me losing my family…

I open and close my mouth a few times before words actually find their way out, “I have friends. I have my future. I have a life and I will never let go of my family’s memory.

Again, Red pauses. When he speaks, it is firm, like a disappointed parent scolding a child, “When you erase your family’s memories completely, you’ll be free from all negative emotions clinging onto you and will be able to bring about the negativity by yourself. You’ll be able to control yourself as well as this world. You’ll be dangerous.”

There was no point arguing with these maniacs.

This is when I take my chance to run.

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