She doesn’t hear the two figures approaching the clearing, emerging from the trees. One rushes to her side, cradling her to his body. The other just stares down with cold eyes. She stops screaming and pushes her younger brother, Malcom, away.
“Put your clothes on Shae.” She looks up, her eyes locking onto her older brother.
“Leave me alone.” She tells him, pulling her knees to her chest. Her older brother grunts, throwing the clothes at her.
“I said leave me alone, Damon.”
“And I said put your clothes on.” His tone is harsh and demanding. Shae had no other option but to comply. Picking up the clothes she awkwardly wiggles into them, without standing up.
“Happy?” She glares at her brother before turning to sit with her back to him. Malcom sits in front of her, trying to put on a smile but failing.
“Did you do it?” Damon asks and Malcom’s mouth drops.
“Jesus Damon, can’t you be a bit more sensitive?” Shae snorts at Malcom’s question.
“Him? Sensitive? I’d love to see the day he discovers emotions. He won’t survive with the wounds I gave him.” She replies.
“So you killed him?” He asks again.
“I said he won’t survive.”
“Is he dead?” Damon’s tone shows he’s losing patience.
“Isn’t it enough that he won’t survive? Can’t you just leave it at that?” She stands, squaring up to her brother. He stands ridged, looking down at her. Malcom puts a hand on her shoulder but she shrugs it off.
“No we can’t leave it at that. You were supposed to kill him. It was an order. You had to kill him. Anyone could have done it but it had to be you.”
“Why? Arron was harmless, he would never have exposed us. So why?” Shae is close enough she can feel her brother’s breath. The smell is familiar, it’s been in the air all night, and now, it’s causing her stomach to clench. The musty metallic odour of iron and copper.
“So you would have no more ties to this place.” Malcom mumbles, causing Shae to look at him.
“What did you say?” She takes a step away from Damon and walks towards Malcom. He would be more cooperative. Her sweet little people pleasing brother.
“So you would have no reason to come back here. When we leave we won’t be coming back. He tied you to this place and you would’ve told him where we were. He was a liability if they found him. You know that.” Malcom confessed, not making eye contact with Shae.
“So I wouldn’t be tied to this place. He wasn’t my only friend here!” She shouted at her brother and he flinched. In the background Damon began to laugh.
“Seriously? Are you talking about that damn witch?” Damon spits, balling his fists.
“Don’t you dare speak about Leah.” She points a finger at him, her jaw tightening.
“God Shae, you are unbelievable. Who do you think we are running from? It’s because of witches that we have to leave! They are out for us. They want to take away our freedom and enslave us again. It won’t be long before your little playmate and her mother join the rest of them…If they get the chance that is.” Damon smirks causing a chill to run up Shae’s spine. Everything about his posture sent alarm bells ringing in her head. He knew something she didn’t and it worried her.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She grips Damon’s shirt but he pushes her away.
“Now you’ve done it.” Malcom mutters, looking into the forest.
“I swear if you have done anything to Leah or her mother…”
“We have done nothing.” Damon says, looking away from Shae and in the same direction as Malcom. Shae looks too and her heart stops when she sees the glow. Orange and red light illuminated the night sky, as if it was desperately trying to capture the moon and stars. Shae feels sick looking at the sight, it was as if her body could feel the heat and the destruction that accompanied it.
“No…” She whispers before she takes off, running as fast as she can; in the direction of Leah’s house.
Leah’s farmhouse is intact, a ring of fire surrounds it, keeping people and wolves alike out. Leah stands at her front door, her mother in the garden, close to the fires edge. Shae’s father stands speaking to a group of people, taking about a way to get through the fire unscathed.
“LEAH.” Shae runs towards the fire, only to be grabbed by Damon.
“I can’t let you go in there.” He tells her, tightening his grip. The fire rages on, the heat stealing the breath from Shae. Seeing her friend, Leah rushes from the safety of her home, her mother grabs her wrist.
“Don’t go out the circle. They’ll kill you.” Releasing her wrist Leah continues to the edge of the flames.
“Are you okay?” Shae asks her and she nods, tears in her eyes. Shae frowns, her friend never cries. Anger grows in the pit of her stomach. Her family has done this. Her dad did this. Forcing her way out of her brother’s grip, she rushes towards her dad.
“Stop this right now.” She demands, getting his attention. He looks around her narrowing his eyes at Damon. He looks at the ground avoiding his father’s gaze.
“You aren’t supposed to be here.” He states, his face emotionless as he focuses his attention on her.
“I won’t say this again. Stop this.” She threatens, taking a step closer to her father. “You don’t give out orders.” He hisses at her, taking a step himself. She should back
down. This isn’t just her father. It’s her alpha. The leader of the pack. She should back down. Shae straightens herself, holding her head high.
“One person I cared about died tonight. I’ll be damned if I let another die because of you.” Shae moves to stand in-between the fire and her dad. Leah stands next to her mother, holding her hand. The flames begin to calm, lowering at Leah’s request. She will be prepared to help her friend. If Shae is willing to stand against her father for her, Leah won’t let her fight alone.
Shae’s father approaches, stopping in front of her, but he stares behind her at the two witches. They remain behind the safety of the fire, carefully watching him in return.
“You’re already damned.” He reminds her.
“I’ve got nothing to lose then.” She responds before walking backwards into the flames. Trusting, that they will not burn her.
Thanks for reading! I would love some feedback so feel free to comment! – A.L.Tucker