Dreams & Trouble
The fire was everywhere, all around him, relentlessly engulfing everything in its reach. The heat of the flames already burnt his skin, and they were coming closer by the second.
He spun around, searching for a way out, any chance to escape this hopeless situation, but it was futile. He was going to be burnt alive. Again.
Gritting his teeth, he forced himself to accept his destiny. There was no way to stop the flames, and he was already on the verge of surrendering, his lungs so full of smoke that he could barely breathe. It was over.
The flames approached fast, and he couldn’t help but think about the pain. He knew how it felt, being on fire. And he also knew that he wouldn’t die, which was probably the worst thing about it. Without death to release him from his pain, he had to stand it ‘til the end, ‘til the fire was over and the flames had died down.
If he was lucky, he’d lose consciousness soon, but that was pretty much everything he could hope for. Smoke blurring his vision, he finally closed his eyes and prepared to wake up in a pile of ashes.
When Parrish opened his eyes, there were no ashes. In the darkness around him, he could only make out the silhouettes of a wooden desk and a couple of filing cabinets along the walls, which led him to the conclusion that he had – once again – fallen asleep at the police station.
With a bitter aftertaste, Parrish remembered the events of the day: Meredith’s interrogation, Peter Hale being the Benefactor without even knowing it. Hopefully, he was aware of how many people he’d killed with this stupid dead pool Meredith had created.
The dead pool that included his name, Jordan Parrish. According to the banshee, he was worth five million dollars. But why? What was he?
Meredith seemed to know the answer, but there was no way she would tell him. She didn’t even say a word when he tried to interrogate her the other day.
Leaning back in his chair, Parrish let out a deep sigh. He was having the same dream every night since that idiot tried to burn him, so it had to mean something, right? Even if it was just a nightmare, he wasn’t sure he could stand it much longer. He needed to find out why he was still alive; what kind of supernatural ability had made him survive the attack. And maybe, just maybe, this dream was supposed to help him.
Maybe someone was trying to tell him how to start: With fire.
As soon as Sheriff Stilinski entered the office that morning, Parrish told him to call Lydia. The sheriff figured it was about Meredith; why else could the deputy need Lydia’s help?
The girl arrived about half an hour later, looking anxious. She went straight to Parrish’s desk. “What happened? Is she okay?”
Parrish looked up at her, momentarily stunned by her appearance. Lydia wore her hair straight today, strawberry blond strands framing her pretty face. And those incredible eyes; they got him every time.
“Listen, it’s not Meredith”, Parrish explained. “I wouldn’t say she’s fine, but she’s kept under survey.”
Lydia sighed in relief. “That’s good. The sheriff told me to hurry, so I supposed it was her… I’m still a bit traumatized, I guess. Keep thinking about that moment when Brunski told us she hung herself.” She shrugged, taking a deep breath. “Never mind. Why am I here, then?”
“I need your help with something”, Parrish announced quietly, peeking around the office to make sure they were alone. Then he looked Lydia right in the eye. “Something private. To be honest, I need your help as a banshee.”
Lydia stared back at him, studying his expression. “This is about you surviving the fire, isn’t it?” she asked in a whisper.
For some reason, Parrish couldn’t stand looking at her any longer. He averted his gaze and began fumbling with the matchbox on his desk. “I need to figure this out”, he muttered, pulling out a match. “I need to know what exactly I am and why I’m still alive.”
Lydia nodded. “I get that you’re bit confused about all that… supernatural stuff”, she answered, “but I really don’t know how I could be of any help for you.”
“Lydia, you’re the only person I could think of to do this”, Parrish insisted, his eyes locked on the match in his hand.
When he lifted his head, Lydia was looking down at him in confusion. “To do what?”
“I’ve got a plan”, Parrish said, “but you gotta trust me on this.”
With these words, he lit the match and watched the little flame dance just inches from his hand.
Lydia remained silent for a long time. As he waited for an answer, the flame wandered down the match until it reached his skin. He could feel the heat in every cell of his body, eradicating from the spot where the fire burnt away at his palm.
When he looked up, he caught Lydia staring at the flame. For a split second, Parrish feared she would use some lame excuse to get the hell outta here – something like, I’ve got classes right now. I’m sorry. – but she didn’t.
“Okay”, was all she said, her voice still a bit unsure. “I’ll see what I can do to help you. And if that’s what it takes, I guess I’ll have to trust you.”