One more Forever part 5
Silence filled the cabin as the last wind slowed. Jacob took Rachel's hand and led her to the fire that was once again burning hot. The flames danced around, like a ballerina performing for a huge audience, spinning and rising high in to the air, then falling quickly back in to the fireplace. Only once did the flames reach out and touch Rachel's face, the sting causing her to pull away from the heat that now branded her cheek. Jacob touched her cheek and she felt a cooling sensation exactly where her face had been burning seconds ago.
"We have no more time, Rachel. Eli knows you will get stronger with time. He can not wait or he risks losing the battle."
"Where did he go?"
Lizabeth spoke out. "He went to gather his witches to increase his powers. When he returns, the battle will be fierce."
"She is right, Rachel. We must perform the ritual now. You need to trust in us that we will not harm you. There may be pain for a short time but the pain will only make you stronger."
"Then let us get on with it. The sun will rise soon and my father will be visible. I only had the power to shield him while it was dark."
"You can cloak him fully when the rites are finished. Before your mother died, she left instructions on how to give you full strength. Make the fire hotter, witches and bring the green branches to push in to the flames. Do not do that until I tell you or Rachel could be harmed."
"I don't understand this. If I have a child, this Karen you called her, then don't we know that I win and go on to give birth? Why don't you and I just get together and make this happen?"
Jacob looked at her, his eyes filled with both love and fear. He kissed Rachel deep and purposefully. "My darling Rachel, how I wish with all of my heart that we could do just that. In order for us to be one, we must first defeat Eli. I am going to ask you to step in to the flames."
"What!!!!! Are you crazy? I am not stepping in to a fireplace that burns so hot I moved away from it's heat."
"Rachel, you will not die. This is the way we coat our body and soul in flames. Your body will absorb the flames and you will no longer be able to be hurt by flames. This is a rite of passage that only queens and princesses can do. Any one else would die a very slow, painful death. Please, Rachel, time is running out."
"Do not let me die, Jacob, I will come back to haunt you." Rachel stepped in to the raging fire, her feet burning as she pulled herself inside. Jacob and the witches watched as her body was completely sealed inside the flames. She cried out as the flames bit at her and coated her body with what felt like a hard shell. "It burns, damn you, it burns like the fires of hades, Jacob. I trusted you and now my whole body is engulfed in this fire."
"Rachel, think about it. You are smothered in flames yet you still talk and move. They flames are simply melding in to you so that you can use them for your battle. Please do not leave the fire or all will be lost to us. Think of your baby daughter, waiting to be born and be a Queen."
Suddenly, Jacob heard screams from the witches. He watched with unbelieving eyes at what he was witnessing. One by one, the flames struck out from the fire, grabbing each witch and pulling her in to the fire. He could see their body's melting, the skin from their faces, sliding away and falling to the flames below their feet. The rancid smell of burning hair made Jacob cover his nostrils. Rachel screamed out as she felt the witches burning flesh be absorbed through her feet. She could feel her body getting stronger with each witch.
A storm now raged outside the cabin. Lightning struck the ground and trees. The forest seemed to close in around the cabin, keeping the lightning from striking to near the cabin. Burning bark could be smelled and trees were a lit with fire as they sacrificed themselves to save their princess. The wind began to push against the cabin door, trying it seemed, to push it open again. Rachel held her hands out and flames went from her palm to the door, spreading over the door, holding it closed. Lightning lit the sky so fiercely and constantly that the cabin appeared to have flood lights inside. Jacob shielded his eyes from a strike that touched the cabin wall, causing a huge spark to ignite near the base of the cabin wall.
Rachel screamed out again, this time the sound was pure pain. Jacob tried to reach inside the fire but was pushed back against a wall. He fell to his knees as Rachel's pleading pierced his ears.
"You promised me, Jacob-b-b-b-b-b-b. You swore I would not die but I feel my body dieing now. I trusted you and you let me down."
Jacob searched his memory for something he might have missed from Rachel's mom. He could hear her voice talking to him, telling him how to save her daughter from death. Then... it all came back to him. He grabbed the green branches he had gathered from the trees. He began pushing them in to the flames, feeling the heat from the fire intensifying as the flames ate away at the branches. Like a starving animal, the fire tore at the branches engulfing them and leaving nothing but ashes in it's wake. As Jacob watched, his mouth opened wide and his eyes unsure what he was seeing, Rachel body melted in to the flames. He searched the flames and found... nothing. The flames had devoured her body. Jacob fell to the floor, tears pouring from his eyes.
"I did what you told me to do, damn you!!!!! What the hell did I do wrong????"