The man sat at the edge of the fire, its red flames flickering within his dark blue eyes as he inhaled deeply from the broken cigarette he had been carrying in his pocket since the flames had come. The sky above was lit in a cascade of exploding colours from the rockets that were being sent up by the families on the edge of the beach. As he watched the children dance with their sparkling toys and stare into the burning wood, he couldn't help but think of moments from his boyhood, dark thoughts he had long since hoped had been buried in his unconsciousness. This was All Saints Night and the present he had come to face was opening up scar's in his past that he knew deep down would never heal, no matter how hard he tried. There was a noise in the distance and he looked to see what it was.
In front of him were three small boys who seemed to be dancing some kind of strange Indian jig, hopping around each other in circles, their open hands patting their open and gaping, soundless mouths. As he stared at them they suddenly stopped and one of the children looked towards him. A shiver went up his spine as the blonde haired boy stared into his eyes. It seemed that this child was right inside his mind and his presence brought a coldness that unnerved him. The boy smiled and slowly walked towards him, his dark eyes glowing in the night as the fire raged behind him. It was close to midnight now and the memories from the past was walking its way towards the future. The man knew that this what he had come here to see. He knew that this encounter was what he had been searching for. It should have brought him satisfaction. It should have made him realise that he wasn't insane after all and that his nightmares were real. It should have done all these things but as the boy came closer, the only sensation the man could feel was pure and unadulterated terror. Some secrets are best left uncovered and some mysteries should never be solved. He knew this now. He thought of running but he knew deep down that now there was nowhere left to run. He shivered again and his heart missed a beat as the boy stood in front of him and stopped. The childs face was pale and cold and his eyes dark and empty. It was the face of a child and an adult all at once. As the man stared into his eyes it seemed to him that the bonfire and the fireworks and the sky were slowly starting to disappear from his vision. All he could see now was the child as it stared into his soul.
The Child stared even deeper and smiled, dark lines on its lips cracking as it did so. In the distance there was the sound of metal being stretching and the rattling of chains and a claw scraping down an old blackboard. The man gasped as a series of images opened up inside his head. The bullies in school pinning him against the wall as they stole his lunch money and cut his tie to shreds, the head master beating him with a metal ruler across the face, his mother being carried away by the police, his dead father and brother on the kitchen floor, his eyes in the mirror screaming. He could hardly bare it any more and began to clutch his head, trying to stop the images from coming. "Please," he said, "Why are you doing this to me?" The child smiled and opened its mouth. A thin grey fog came out. There was a voice inside the mans head. "You did this to me" said the voice, "All those years ago." The child opened its mouth wider and the man looked with horror. Deep down inside the child's throat was a burning red eye and it was staring at him. The man screamed, but it was too late. The child was laughing.
A few minutes later, a concerned father will call the police. The families will take their children away. When the police will come they will call an ambulance. The doors will open and a stretcher will come out. The man will be placed on the stretcher and when they get him to the hospital the doctors will treat him for third degree burns. They will say that he got too close to the flames and that this is why his eyes were burnt clean out of his sockets. No one will know what really happened. The man will spend the rest of his life in darkness. In that darkness sitting in the corner, laughing will be a little boy. Every day of his life the man will be tormented by the soul of this lost child. He will become a recluse. He will wish to God that he never went to the fire that night. The child will console him and tell him that everything is all right now. The man will wish he had he had done something all those years ago instead of standing rooted with fear whilst his mother performed those terrible acts. He will wish many things. The child will always be there, whispering to him. The flames are lovely and warm and nothing will harm us here, brother, ever again.........