Friday, April 13, 2012

Engraved (Friday Fiction)

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Author's Ramblings: I don't know where this came from, just the idea of hands that were burned and the reason being a secret that was half the reason it happened in the first place. 

She sat on the oversized rock beside the mailbox, waiting as his old pickup truck rumbled into the driveway entrance and choked to a stop. He was out in a minute and hurrying over to her when she lifted her head and those dark eyes warned him to stay back.

"Andrea?"

"Stay where you are."

The eyes were piercing as they roved over his worn figure. It had been a very long day.

"Look once and look well." She cautioned.

He stared at the hands presented to him. Pale, slender-fingers, creases in all the right places and perfect, rounded fingertips.

Except for the horrible, burned scars that still smoldered in her flesh, the letters black, the wisps of smoke, grey and the result, angry, red flesh.

"Andrea..."

"I did it." She mocked, turning away so he wouldn't see the tears. "I did just what I said I'd never do, because you asked me." She laughed, but it didn't reach her eyes. "I'm branded for life now, Jackson. For life. What do you have to say to that?"

Jackson opened and closed his mouth several times. Anything that he could've said was so ridiculous in the light of what he was seeing right in front of him, that he didn't dare breath a word aloud. There was nothing he could say to that.

"I thought so." She drew a shaky breath. "I thought that's what you'd say." She drew her hands back. "I didn't do this just for you." Her voice was cold and hard. "So don't even start thinking that you're worth it."

"Andy, I wouldn't have-"

"You're free now." One hand twitched, feebly. "You're free to go and live your life. I don't want to ever see you again."

"What? No! Andy, wait, I can't-"

"Read of you, maybe, hear about you, possibly." She allowed. "But I don't want to see you here again--not here, Jackson. Not in Danengreen. The day you set foot over the county line--I'll hunt you and haunt you."

"But-!"

"This is what you wanted, isn't it?" She smiled, darkly. "Freedom? To know what it really is? To know if it exists?"

"I never wanted you to-"

"You can't have it all, Jackson." She laughed. "You cannot have it all. I loved you, you know. I really thought I did." She nibbled her lower lip. "I must have, or I wouldn't have done this, but then again, I am selfish like that." She slowly and awkwardly slid from the rock.

He reached to help her.

"Don't touch me!"

"S-sorry. I just-"

"You were just leaving. I know." She said, pointedly. "Go. Now. Before they decide I didn't give them enough."

"Enough of what?"

"Go!"

He stumbled towards the pickup truck and somehow, numbly turned the keys and backed out of the narrow driveway.

She stood at the edge of the street and her dark eyes drilled right into him. "Freedom is worth it, Jackson. It is always worth it. He paid a kind of price I could never hope to repay in a thousand lives and years. Never. I accept it, because it is a gift, He gives it to me. Just like I'm giving it you to." She drew herself up. "You're free now. Go and don't ever look back."

The weight of her words settled on him in a way that made his stomach twist and churn. "Andr-"

"Search and run, if you must." She bowed her head. "But never stop searching and never forget me." Her smile was watery. "I shouldn't include myself, but I'm selfish like that."

He shook his head.

"Never stop searching." She repeated. "Find Him. Let Him find you. When He does, that's true freedom."

The scent of smoke caught his attention. Flecks of fiery sparks leapt from her bruised, marked--branded--hands. She refused to meet his eyes.

The truck began to lurch forward without his consent.

He twisted and looked back  in the rear view mirror in time to see his house explode in a ball of fire.

Andrea calmly moved to stand in the center of the straight and when her head raised to look after him, he saw her eyes were no longer dark, but a burning, fiery red.

The price of freedom was too costly after all.

(c) Sara Harricharan.

A/N: And that turned out to be decidedly more morbid than I was aiming for, with the idea begin hands burned, branded or engraved in relation to freedom and the gift of Salvation. The idea was that she took his place for a position he didn't want (taking on the elemental power of fire) and in turn, set him free, as long as their paths never cross again. Random musings for thought, anyhow. Thanks for reading!


2 comments:

Kristina said...

Oooo, I really like this. I like the tension and the mystery surrounding these characters. I love a story with a dark side. Really good writing, dearie! :)

Yvonne Blake said...

Hmmmm... I didn't expect that ending, but I'm not sure what I was expecting. That is an interesting concept - an engraved hand.