Guardian Of The Flames : Chapter One [Part One]
Kevin awoke to the sound of glass shattering. There was darkness all around him, so much so that there seemed to be no difference between keeping his eyes closed or open. He shot up in alarm, trying to sit up but was pulled back down, his wrists stinging. His hands seemed to be bound on either side of him and so were his legs, leaving him lying on the cold ground disoriented and panicking. He repeatedly yanked at his bindings but all that achieved was a sound of rattling metal and the worsening of pain in his wrists. He couldn't recall when he had fallen asleep or how he had gotten in this current predicament.
A shriek sounded from somewhere above and for a moment he stopped struggling. There was a clanging noise and suddenly, bright light filtered into the room making his eyes squint.
"You do not give me orders!" someone shrieked and terror filled him as he recognized whom that voice belonged to. "You will do as I say!"
"Ms Woodcott," another voice spoke "T-there is hardly any need for this. It is a simply a waste of time. You know it will not be permitted until-"
"Shut up!" Ms Woodcott said, her voice sending shivers down his spine. He lay perfectly still, not making a sound and prayed for her to go away. He couldn't care less about how long he was trapped in this position for as long as she didn't come near him.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, he could make out a small flight of stairs leading up to a doorway; a few feet from where he lay. Ms Woodcott was making her way down the stairs while the other person stood near the doorway. His heart was beating rapidly in fear as she came closer and he could see her face looming over him. As she relieved him of his bindings, he desperately tried to remember what he had done to deserve this treatment. Had he disobeyed an order? No matter how much he tried, he couldn't recall anything in that moment.
"Up!" she yelled, yanking him to his feet. She grabbed his arm in a death grip and started dragging him up the stairs.
"Quickly!" she would shout every time he stumbled or fell.
As soon as they reached the top, entering a long corridor, she threw him in front of the person she had previously been conversing with- a tall man with his hands clasped behind his back and a terribly nervous look on his face.
"So?" Ms Woodcott demanded, glaring at the man.
"W-well, h-he is y-young, "stuttered the man giving Kevin a once-over. "N-not ready."
Ms Woodcott's eyes glinted dangerously. Off to the side, Kevin could see the remains of what used to be either a glass sculpture or vase lying on the wooden floor, next to a stand it must have been knocked off from.
"He is thirteen! Old enough I should think."
The tall man was nearly trembling in fright. "Ma'am, w-we a-are ready to a-accept your situation if y-you would j-just p-provide the-"
"And I have said to that fool Carlston multiple times that I cannot provide the name of whom I work for!" Ms Woodcott nearly screamed.
The man took in a deep breath, as if that would assist him in regaining some of his courage. "Well then, I am afraid I cannot help you."
Fury flooded her eyes. Her pale skin had taken on a red tinge. Releasing Kevin's arm she moved to stand in front of the man who took an automatic step backwards. Dreading what was about to happen, Kevin closed his eyes.
"Well then," he heard Ms Woodcott say, her voice shriller than usual."I believe there is only one thing left to do."
A slash sounded through the air followed by something falling to the ground with a thump. Kevin kept his eyes shut, not wanting to face what had just happened. He just hoped-
A slap to the side of his face forced him to open his eyes and cut across his thoughts.
"Keep your eyes open!"
Ms Woodcott stood clutching a knife in one hand, her expression maniacal. He tried his best not to look at the body lying on the ground behind her. She clutched his arm with her other hand and once again dragged him down the corridor, the flight of stairs at the end of it , the foyer and through the front door into the thunderous , rainy night. She continued down the street, ignoring his sounds of protest.
"I haven't done anything," he said, somehow managing to find his voice through the terror. "Where are you taking me?"
But she had only shot him a murderous glare, causing him to keep completely silent as they made their way through the cobblestone paths of the town. On seeing them, people on the streets started rushing back to their houses, to bolt their doors and windows shut and lock themselves inside. He shivered in the rain, barely being able to walk. Whenever he fell, Ms Woodcott roughly pulled him to his feet and proceeded to pull him forward. H e couldn't tell for how far into the town they had travelled but by the time he was pulled to a stop in front of their destination, he nearly passed out. He fought to stay conscious; there was no saying that she wouldn't leave him lying out in the rain.
They were standing in front of a building, the wooden door of which was covered in the scratch marks and dried blood.
'Not again,' he thought nervously.
He knew where they were and in the last two years, he had been here far too many times for his liking. Ms Woodcott raised her hand which still held the knife and banged on the door, screaming for someone to open it up. There was grunting and the shuffling of feet from the other side before the door was opened revealing an old man- the guard standing at the entrance holding an oil lamp. She stormed through the doorway and momentarily let go of his arm as she snatched the oil lamp out of the guard's hands, thrusting it at Kevin. As soon as he took the lamp from her, she grabbed him again, steering him past the musty foyer. They continued straight down the long hallway leading off the foyer, consumed almost completely by darkness. There was an odd smell of limestone about. He tried to keep his eyes fixed ahead, not wanting to look as the oil lamp shone its light on the walls. He knew what they looked like and in his opinion; they were better left in the dark.