Number eight finally felt his body begin to level out. That dreadful sinking feeling had left him at last. He had not seen them strike but was absolutely positive that he knew which face every bruise and pain had belonged to. He would soon remember their face, he would soon remember the fine details of the tale which ended with his name being erased and he would not rest until the final pulse of his assailants could be felt by his very hands.
China lay down beside the fire and felt her body begin to warm. She had an overwhelming feeling of sadness that couldn’t be clearly distinguished from the fires heat. She knew what they had done, but she was still blissfully unaware that she knew. As the clock ticked she raised her body from the ground and walked to the stove making sure, as always, that she glanced at her reflection in the stained glass window. She could never quite decide what colour made her look more beautiful, but today she felt that a light bottle green was definitely her colour. As she circled the kitchen table and headed back towards the fire she realized that the only reason she had gone to the kitchen was to catch that sideward glance at her beautiful face. She suddenly felt sick with self-loathing and decided that despite the pretty blood red panes that held her face would shatter into a million pieces if they could really see how truly ugly she was. Without any hesitation, she removed her slipper and firmly placed her left foot on top of the hot piece of coal and began counting. She never really had a set amount of time that it took to remind her of the pain that she had escaped, she usually just waited until the selfish spoilt rich girl inside her vanished and the grateful lost soul who had been granted refuge returned. Today, for no reason at all, eight seconds seemed to resolve her foolishness. She placed her foot within the slipper, and began slowly but steadily circling the small space, this was all part of her rules, if they saw she was in pain then it would have been for nothing so she walked until her eyes felt ready to burst but most importantly her back straightened and the smile returned. As she heard the key turn in the door she carefully wrapped a cloth around her hand replaced the bright orange tool to the fire and pretended not to see the flames engorge as they fed off of her shouldering skin and blood.
The table always held fond memories for the Rinehart men. Mainly of the feast from each night before this one. But tonight the memories would stain the rich dark oak wood. As the light caught each side of this intriguing looking object it seemed to encase forever the face of each man gazing into it. All they knew of its value was that it would truly be great and that although they would not admit it, each and every one of them would soon reveal just as many sides of themselves as this strangely shaped, beautiful piece of natures glass had revealed to them.