Good afternoon, Arrowheads! So, it’s come to this… I finally wrote another Flash Fiction Friday piece, and it just so happens to be Part 3 of my short story, Ember. So, without further ado, let’s revisit this creepy kid:
The burnt photograph of the courthouse wedding was the only thing left among the ashes of Ava and Robert Dean’s home. Ember’s orange eyes lit the stormy night with pleasure of a job well done. Rain settled in far too late to save ole Ava. Her next target though, she’d have to wait on.
“Sizzle sizzle, right to the ground!” Ember cackled from her vantage point on the upper branch of a live oak in the backyard, shielding herself from the rainfall. Oh, how she resented rain, its power to bring life back to withered beings. Her former existence, weathered by over fifty years time, was now nothing more than folklore of the old southern town. Now though, now she’d give them all something to remember her by.
Ava and Robert Dean had seemed nice enough neighbors up until the fateful night of the kitchen fire. Suffocating in the flames, her flesh and hair burning, it was then Ember vowed if she got a second chance in this world, she’d seek revenge on the old hags. They had been too stuck up to check on her, too uninvolved to notice the bruises under her eyes, or the leash around her neck that her so-called parents made her wear. Either that, or too uncaring to tell anyone. After all this time, she decided it was the latter. The only thing that could quench her taste for justice was to do the same to the entirety of their family, no matter how many generations it took.
Uncle Sherwood and Aunt Atlee–as the granddaughter had called them–surely didn’t expect Ember to be the reason their honeymoon suite caught fire back in 1985. Unfortunately for her, they had escaped, as Ember didn’t expect there to be emergency sprinklers on the room’s ceiling. Another form of rain, always working against her. But, when the couple crashed their car ten years later due to a little girl playing in the road, no one was the wiser.
Now, all that was left was the sole grandbaby–Kenna, and her mother. The father–whose identity had never been known to Ember, nor Kenna–had left without a trace a few months into the mother’s pregnancy.
“Smart man,” Ember whispered to herself, twisting a fireball on her fingertips, “otherwise, he’d die today.”
Ember allowed herself to doze off around 3:00 a.m., not waking until the SUV she’d been waiting for spun into the driveway, causing the gravel rock to fly out beneath the wheels. Kenna and her mother emerged from the vehicle, crying hysterically as they ran toward the ramshackle house of ashes.
“Why didn’t anyone call?” Her mother wailed, falling to her knees, allowing ashes to sift through her fingertips.
Ember rolled her eyes and snuck into the vehicle through the back hatch. I’m sure they would have, if the “storm” hadn’t knocked down the powerlines, Ember thought, heaving a silent cackle while she hid in the vehicle, her grin thirsty for blood.
Soon, they’d all learn to never rely on rain.
© Copyright 2018, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Thanks for reading! I hope this wasn’t too creepy for you; I’m not a fan of horror myself, but this story had been itching to be written for a while now.