Flame (working Title)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
There is a fire that fuels the world. If the fire goes out the world dies. Keeping the fire lit is not an easy thing, every thousand years or so it requires a new flame to keep it burning. It has been this way since the world was.

Submitted: September 12, 2012

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Submitted: September 12, 2012

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The flame

There is a fire that fuels the world. If the fire goes out the world dies. Keeping the fire lit is not an easy thing, every thousand years or so it requires a new flame to keep it burning.  It has been this way since the world was.

The boy

 He lives in the house... the abandoned one on the cor­­ner with the chain link fence you have to climb in high-heeled shoes to get over. The boy didn’t wear high-heeled shoes so he just stood and looked at the house.

The man was in there, the one from his dream.

 In the dream he had gone inside the house. As he entered he first noticed the smell. It was a dank musty smell of earth and rot. As his eyes adjusted to the dark he could see the room was filthy and small. The floor was made of dirt and littered with old newspapers. There was a scratchy sound. He turned his head in the direction of the noise. There was a man asleep in the corner of the room. His breath was coming out and going in ragged breaths. Like the sound of paper being uncrumpled then crumpled again. When the boy looked at him the man turned his head towards the boy and his eyes opened, he whispered one word. Flame. Then the boy woke up.

 Now he was just wasting time. Looking at the house. He had never actually seen the man, only in the dream. Still he knew the man was inside. He curled his finger around a link in the fence. He thought about the dream.

The old man

The man was old. He had stopped counting years long ago. In his mind he could see the boy in front of the house. His face spread sideways into an inhuman grin. It was good that the boy had come he thought. That meant that walking through the boy’s mind had been worth the trouble.

The Boy

The boy was home now. He had spent his day thinking of things to do, doing some of them and not doing others. He thought of the abandoned house. He made a sandwich, sat down at the kitchen table and ate it. Usually he did not remember his dreams and if he did they did not mean much to him. The old man’s voice came back to him. That one whispered word. Flame. It sent a shiver up his spine. His gut hurt. He tried not to think of it, to push it out. It would work for a few minutes but then it would come back. He tried reading a book, watching television. Nothing would keep away the dream and the cold feeling of dread that came with it. Something inside him said he should go back to the house and find the old man. This thought scared him. He told himself it was too late to go right now. He would wait until morning and then walk to the house.  That night he dreamed of the old man again. He was walking and talking to himself. He carried something in his hands. It was a small box. The man opened the box. A light shone from within it. The man dug a hole. He took out a small glowing ball, then placed it inside the hole and covered it. He spoke some more words that the boy did not understand.

 

 When the boy woke up he felt tired. There was a small pain in his chest.

He went back to sleep. This time he did not dream.

The old man

 The man was in the woods now. It was time to wait.

He waved his hand above a section of earth. A large hole formed. He climbed into it then waved a hand over himself. Dirt filled in and around him. He was comfortable here. The earth was cool and soft. He could think more easily now.

The above world was so loud and hot. How could they breathe up there he wondered. He would wait and rest for a while now. He thought of things while he rested. He thought of the flame. How many people had he planted them in? Would it work this time? What would happen if it did not work? Would the boy know what to do?

 The boy

 When the boy woke up it was early morning. The pain was still there. It reminded him that he needed to go to the house. He packed a lunch, bolt cutters, and his wallet. Then he unchained his bicycle and left.

 The old man

 Waking was always the same. He would feel refreshed for a while. The earth was always nourishing. He had convinced himself that the boy would succeed. Now he would go back to the house. He was hungry and the boy was expecting him.

 

The boy

While he worked on cutting the fence he felt fine. The day was sunny and cool. Sounds of children playing near by echoed in his ears. The chain link cut easily. Before he knew it he was through the fence to the other side.  As he was standing up the ground seemed to tilt a little, nausea spread through his stomach. He leaned against the fence. The pain in his chest flared up. He looked at the house. Its windows seemed to stare straight through him. Fear made him want to turn and run as far from the house as possible. He hated this place. Closing his eyes he took a deep breath then let it out, he opened his eyes and then he opened the door. Sunlight pierced through the cracks around the shades drawn over the windows lighting a path for pixie like dust.He held the door open to let more light in. At first inside the house looked just as it had in his dream, so much so that he expected to hear the sound of the old man breathing, he didn’t. As his eyes adjusted to the dimness he started to see small differences in the waking world of the house that were not in the dream world. Flies buzzed and raced here to nowhere then back again in front of the windows and behind the shades, bumping the glass searching for a way out, one had landed on the floor, he stepped on it and turned his heal to insure its death. The floorboards creaked as he walked across the room. His boots made hollow sounds. The floor was thin and he thought there must be a basement bellow him. The pain in his chest had started to spread. He needed to find the old man.

 

 

The old man

He could see the flame spreading through the boy. He could sense his fear. These beings of the above world could be so fragile. It was a shame that they were needed to carry the light. A stronger vessel would be better. Dirt fell from the ceiling as the boy walked across the topside of the house. It was good when they came to him. It meant that they were clever enough to realize they needed him, and that was an excellent start. He used the darkness in the house to gather enough strength for the showing of what was needed from the boy. Sitting down on the dirt floor he closed his eyes and hummed. 

 

The boy

 He had found the door to the basement now. He could feel that the old man was down there. Almost every part of him said not to go down the stairs. Only the pain told him to move forward.  The stairs were steep and close together. There was no rail; he put his hand against the wall. It was damp and cold. He winced as the pain twisted a bit in his chest. He was at the bottom step when something grabbed him around his ankle. He felt himself fall, and then there was an explosion inside of him, as he hit the floor dust rose like a mushroom cloud around his body. The pain in his chest radiated throughout his entire body. He screamed.

 

 

 

The old man

When the boy had stopped screaming and his body had gone still he let go of him. There was probably a softer way to show the boy but he preferred to shake them up a bit. He started to draw in breath, as he did this he turned into a sort of mist, and then entered the boy through his ear.

The boy

Wherever he was it was cold. His eyes were closed but her could see a sort of light, the kind of light you see when you’re a kid and you press your fists into your eyes. He opened his eyes and jumped a bit because he saw the old man was sitting next to him watching him. He closed his eyes again; then opened them and asked, “ Who are you?”

The old man

They never seem to sense the urgency thought the old man. Always starting with so many questions who, what, where, why and how? (as in how do I do it)?  He sighed a sigh as long as the ages, and then said, “I am The Keeper. You are inside your mind. You do it the way you do it”. Out his pocket he took out a key. The boy looked like he wanted to ask more questions. He raised his hand as a sign for the boy to stop speaking. Then he took his hand, pressed the key into it and closed the boy’s fingers around it. He closed his own fist around the boy’s.

The boy

The boy felt the weight of the key and then the burning. The key glowed red-hot. It felt like the time when he was a small child and had placed his finger on the wood stove, a thousand years hot. His eyes screwed shut and he threw his head back in pain. The burn ignited his mind. There was a sudden burst of imagery. He saw zombie like wasps floating, and then landing then rising and floating again tiny flesh eaters above a hole that led to a footpath at the edge of the world.

The old man

He released the boy, and put the key back in his pocket, stood up and then withdrew from the boy. Showing a Flame carrier what was expected of them was a something that took a lot from the old man. It wore him down. He would return to the forest now and lay in the earth again.

 


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