Birth of The Free Bird

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RED SCARF - 3

“What’s wrong, Finch?” Thomas asked. His voice was low but full of curiosity.

“I - I want to play outside. We can sit under the tree.” She smiled nervously.

And get soaked? William complained internally. On his way here, he expected to, at least, have a rest at her small place which had a roof on top of it, safe from the rain.

“We’ve been playing outside since the past few days. Let’s go into your place.” Thomas insisted.

Finch looked at them, appalled. She was scared of what Mosley would do to them. The white hair woman would not hurt Finch but the same thing would not apply to any of the boys from village.

“Why do you want to go to my oasis?” Finch turned the question to them, making them furrow their brows. She did not like to answer them with lies and she did not want to tell them the truth.

“So we can stay dry.” was William’s dry answer.

Thomas raised his eyebrow, looking at William bluntness. But he was right. They needed to stay dry and be comfortable. They were not Finch, who got used to live in the Forest. They were the persons who got used to proper shelter in a civilised environment. Even though the forest seemed like a safe place, it was still not a place they felt comfortable to hang out.

Finch did not know what to respond to them. She really was out of words to get them to stop asking her about coming to her place. If she had known that Mosley did not like anyone entering her oasis, she would have not invited them to come there. She felt bad that those two boys who brought her foods had to stay outside in the rain, keeping her company. Her conscience wanted to take them to her place but her mind told her to keep them away from there.

When three of them was contemplating of what they should do, a new voice came, calling the forest girl.

“Finch!”

William was the first to gave a sudden jerk of his head towards the voice. Then Thomas followed. Their faces were a pure mixture of shocked and anger. Their eyes widened, mouth agape with incredulity.

Finch was as shocked as the two boys but a glint of happiness was obvious in her eyes. “Edmond!”

Edmond grinned at her, happy that she remembered his name.

Seeing Edmond stood there, in the middle of the forest with them, angered Thomas. He fisted his hands on both sides of him, glaring at Edmond full of hatred. He launched himself towards Edmond and threw a straight punch on his jaw, knocking the boy out in an instant.

William gasped at Thomas’s impetuous behaviour.

But Finch was furious! She had been wondering when she would be able to see Edmond. Now that she did see him, she was happy. But Thomas, he stole that happiness in less than two minutes.

“Why did you hurt him?!” Fumed Finch, running to Edmond’s side who was laying on the ground unconsciously. She shook Edmond’s body gently, unsure what to do. “Edmond, wake up!”

Thomas’s hand, the hand that he used to knock Edmond out, felt oddly burnt. He still had it in a fist. His knuckles went paler and the burn sensation got worse. His eyes were red, from glaring so hard at the boy whom he despised.

“Tom, what were you doing?” William grabbed Thomas’s upper arm, turning him around to face William. His eyes were terrified. “His father is gonna hurt us, oh god!”

“I don’t care about his father!” Shouted Thomas angrily. His eyes stared at Edmond with total contempt. “It was his own fault. He could not even follow one simple request to not following us here.”

“You’re such a bad person.” Finch whispered very low. But Thomas caught each and every words she said. “He just wants to play with me!”

“He is annoying! I don’t want him to play with you.” Ever since Thomas heard that Finch liked Edmond, he became more persistent to keep him away from her. He felt jealous that Finch liked the boy after their first short meeting. When he saw Edmond following William in the market, he was clouded by a strong hatred, knowing that boy must have liked Finch too, he wanted to kill him.

“Go away, Thomas.” Said Finch.

“What?”

“I said go away! Go back to the village and don’t come back here.” She cried. Her hand rubbed Edmond’s jaw gently, hoping that it would wake him up. She did not know what to do. She never had someone pass out in front of her. She never had to look after someone but her.

William and Thomas was shocked of how Finch reacted. Their eyes were on her, gauging her expression. She did not look like she was joking when she told Thomas to leave. Her eyes glued on the boy. She looked distressed with unconscious body of Edmond next to her.

“Finch, you can’t-“ Thomas spoked but was cut by her outburst.

“I said leave!”

William who was scared of the consequences that he had to face for Thomas’s temperament, nudged on Thomas. He had been thinking of all type of excuses to get away from it.

Thomas turned to William who pulled him to his side, stepping further away from where Finch and Edmond were.

“We have to go to the village before him.” Whispered William right on Thomas ear. “If he said something about you hurting him in the forest, people won’t believe it. No one knows that we came to the forest.”

“I don’t wanna leave him with Finch.” Thomas disagreed. His tone was firm.

“Please, Thomas. People would believe that we’ve been coming here and they will start coming to see Finch. No one knows about Finch except Brandon and few other boys. They won’t say anything. They’re our friends.”

“You forgot about Neil. He’s Edmond’s brother.”

“He won’t say anything. Let’s go, Thomas.” Pleaded William, desperately wanting to leave the boy alone in the forest. He was confident that Finch would not take him back to the village. He knew Finch did not want to leave the Forest. She would not leave the forest for anyone.

Thomas groaned in frustration. He really did not like the idea of Finch staying with Edmond. He wanted to drag Edmond out of the forest and dump him in the river.

As Thomas thought deeply on what he was supposed to do, his eyes swept over Edmond’s unconscious body. A red scarf that looked exactly similar to the one that Finch was wearing, wrapped around Edmond’s neck. The fury that had not subsided, grew more intense. This time he punched a tree on his left side as hard as he could, bleeding his hand.

“What did you do that for?” William yelled hysterically, shocking to see Thomas hurting himself.

Without giving any response to William, Thomas turned on his heel and trod angrily, going away from Edmond and Finch behind him.

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