The Night They Didn’t Come
The sun was sliding behind the pages of the horizon. Ominous echoes of mining rattled through the earth. Distant thudding of lumberjacks wafted on the breeze. Shadows of houses began to stretch and deepen. Shapes of trees began to dance on the ground. Night was falling over the small mountain town.
The town was empty. Only the huddled form of Rose Belltower could be seen as she hurried from the stockpile. No other soul braved the darkness of this night. Rose shivered a little, then continued in the direction of the fire pit. She was alone. It was time.
Rose approached the fire pit. She hesitated for a moment, then stepped over the stones and stood directly in the fire pit and lowered the log to the floor. She took a deep breath. She scraped flint against steel and a spark flashed out. No fire. She could hear her heartbeat through her ribs. She struck again. No fire. A thin layer of sweat shined on her skin. She struck again. Still no fire. Her arms began to shake and her breath came in gasps. She struck one last time and with a hiss the wood was aflame. The flames flickered and beat like a heart as they began to bite into the flesh of the log. The fire was alight, but no hearthlings came to enjoy its heat.
Already the growing flame had risen over Rose’s ankles, but she felt no pain. The hollowing sound of the pickax still rose from below. The log now burnt fearfully and tongues of flame touched her waist. The thud of the ax still wafted from the forests. All Rose’s fears were gone. She calmly stood as the inferno embraced her entire body. The courtyard was now illuminated by the ferocious flames. But none of the hearthlings were there to witness the unburnt sentinel in the fire.
The night wore on. The flames burnt on. The other hearthlings worked on. Still Rose Belltower stood in her throne of fire. The blaze wilted the log. Time crawled. Rose stood. The fire began to die. The hearthlings still didn’t come. The sun peeked over the horizon. The log was gone, consumed by the fires of the night. The hearthlings climbed out of the mine. Rose stepped out of the fire pit, unhurt. The rooster called. It was day. A legend stood that night.
For those who don’t understand what this story is talking about watch Dev Stream #205
I hope you enjoyed.