Let It Burn
Ever since Joi Kophazy was little, she remembered hearing the story of the “evil” teacher who had come to her town many many years ago….
Stories about how sweet she seemed, how angelic her countenance, how soft her steps.. and how melodic her voice was.. at first.
Stories about the way the children of the town had begun changing under her teachings.
Children that had once been good, kind and obedient, began to steal, fight with their parents… and began turning evil,.. devilish it seemed.
Stories of Lofty Mason, a crazy man in town who thought she was sent to take all the children of the town straight to the devil.. Particularly compelling was how he had gone completely mad one day and set the whole school house on fire, with 23 children, and sweet, kind, gentle Miss Magoon inside…
Some might say that crazy Lofty Mason had sent the children to the devil himself. Maybe that had always been part of her plan?
That had been 200 years ago today, and Joi was strangely compelled to visit her grave. Drawn there by the stories, by the mystery, by something…
“They say that a stone taken from the grave of Miss Magoon can set fire to anything on which it is placed when under the spell of true evil.”
Obviously, there was no evil here, or the whole place would have burnt to a crisp a long time ago.
Joi picked up a small circular stone that was laying just on the edge of the gravesite. It felt warm from the sun.. comforting…
Hogwash! That’s what those stores were!
Joi placed the stone in her pocket and hurried back home. It was getting late, and she was looking forward to the yummy cake her mom would be making for her 15th birthday. Chocolate with peanut butter icing, a little slice of heaven on a plate!
Over the next few weeks, that little stone sat, wrapped in a tissue, in her top drawer. Every so often, she would take it out, and rub it gently. She loved how smooth it felt..
Then she began taking it with her, tucked safely in her pocket.
She would rub it softly for comfort when Raun picked on her.
She would stare at it for hours, and felt calmed by its presence.
Tuesday was NOT turning into a good day. She had failed her math test, tripped going UP the stairs to English class, spilling her books and purse all over the place, and had torn her blouse on the locker when she slammed it in anger.
Then there was Raun. He circled her all the time, asking for a kiss..
Because she “owed” it to him.
Hadn't he saved her from getting beat up by the crashy circle of girls when she told on them for smoking in the bathroom? Surely she could give him just a little kiss.. just a “teensy weensy one on the cheek?”
Every day, it was the same ole same ole line.
Every day he approached her.
He seemed to be everywhere and appear out of nowhere at all times of the day.
She was 15 for god’s sake! He was 19 and STILL a Junior.. He would probably never graduate; he didn’t have the brains for it. But he sure did like the high school girls, and the “fresh meat” that came in with every new freshman class.
No matter how many times she tried to rebuff him, he just would not take the hint. Truth be told, she was a little afraid of him. He was twice her size, at least, and very very persistent.
Tuesday, she had had enough.
Pushing at his chest, she yelled at him to leave her alone. The anger swiftly made it to his eyes, and his hands became hard on hers.. Looking her in the eye, he told her that she would regret that push.. and there would be NO ONE to stick up for her from now on.
Watching him walk away, Joi felt an odd sense of relief and anger at the same time. Relief that he walked away, anger that he thought he meant that much to her?
Cutting through the woods on her way home from school, reflecting on the day, rubbing her stone… and then there he was.
Standing firmly in the middle of the path.
She started to walk around him to the right, but he moved to obstruct her path.
She tried again to the left, but again, he blocked her way.
Literally picking her up with one arm, holding his hand over her mouth, he moved to the tree line, and the mouth of the woods.
She was terrified! She knew that something was going to happen, and it was not going to be good.
With her one free hand, she struck him as hard as she could in the head. With all the might she could muster. all the frustration that had been bottled up.. focused into that one blow.
A huge flash of light, then silence..
She rolled over stunned…
Raun was laying in a heap on the ground, not moving.
She had ended up beside him, but miraculously not hurt.
She reached out to touch him, stone in hand, and in an instant, he burst into flames.
Curiously she stood and stared at his burning body. The flames were there. He was being consumed by fire, yet she felt no heat, smelt no smoke, and was not afraid.
She felt no remorse. Shed no tears. Had no urgency in her step as she went to get help.
It was though she was watching it all from another perspective.
The fire apparatus arrived. Policemen came running. Spectators showed up in droves.
The fire would not be put out.
On and on it burned, into the night.
When it finally died down to an ember, it was decided that lightning had struck Raun, who absorbed the shock and then burst into flames.
It was all very curious to Joi.
Hogwash! She thought weakly, the stone feeling warm in her pocket.
If this story touches you in any way, good or bad, please feel free to comment below. Your comments inspire me, encourage me, or help me to see the error of my ways and are always welcomed!