Chapter 7 - Ruby
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020
"Who are you?" He asked, walking close to me.
I step into the center of the circle, the farthest I could get away from the circular line. I didn't move after that. Not that I couldn't, but it feels like the fire has its own life. It's burning higher than me, almost blocking my view. With a wrong blew of wind I might end up being toast.
I looked at the guy again, hoping he'd help me, but his narrowed-down eyes only stared coldly at me. His eyebrows, pulling together as he waited for the response to his question. He doesn't even look bothered about the abnormality of the fire that surrounds me.
Or perhaps, he did this? Could he be the responsible for this? Pouring gasoline all over the direction where I would be running when I wasn't looking earlier, and threw a match stick just on time? But it was a short time to plan, it can't be possible. And why would anyone hurt someone they don't know.
I looked to my right, to the bookstore, and started wondering why the counter girl hasn't come out yet to help me. I'm so sure she could see me from the glass walls. Is she afraid? Is this guy in front of me is somewhat part of a gang, that people in here are afraid of?
I looked back at the guy, he has a bandage around his forehead. At the corner of his lips, was a bruise, I think. And it looks like he just got it.
Was that the reason why we were supposed to remain hidden across the street? Because they are avoiding a conflict?
I looked to my left, back to where I came from. There I saw Dave and Macforth, now walking towards us. My rash actions had given them no choice, I put them in a situation they weren't supposed to be in.
I immediately looked away, not wanting to give the fire guy a hint about them.
I wanted to tell them to step back, to remain hidden for they shouldn't be involve in the consequences of the thoughtless actions I made, but I couldn't find the courage to speak. I couldn't utter a single word. It feels like my throat had dried up and the fire around me just added to the tension.
And for the first time I realized, there's no one in the view except the four of us. The cars were all frozen, aren't heading towards us even when the traffic light is on green.
Is everybody scared and hiding too?
"Who are you!" He glared. I don't know if I'm just imagining it but the fire rise up with his voice. It feels like the fire was moving with him.
I wanted to hurt myself for even considering that irrational thought.
"Who are you?" I heard Macforth spoke, and he sounded near. His tone is more irritated than scared.
The guy looked at them and composed himself in a somewhat defensive position. And I couldn't help but blame myself if Dave and Macforth will be in a street fight in the following seconds. What if the guy's gang is just around the corner? What are they going to do with my friends? What are they going to do with me? If I didn't show myself, we're definitely still be hidden. Like the rest of the people. This is all on me.
I panic when the guy held up his right hand towards my friend, but my eyes almost popped out when I realized that the fire's coming out from his bare hand!
There's no burning object, no match, no lighter! It was purely his hand and the fire!
His hand is burning!
My knees wanted to collapse. His hand's burning but he doesn't look hurt. How. Is. That. Even. Possible?
At this moment, I could no longer tell if I really survived the incident earlier with the metal basket. I must have been hit really hard. So hard it sent me into sleep without letting me suffer from any pain. From the clinic and up to this point, everything must have been a part of a dream, because none of these make sense.
Nothing is rational.
"Jermond!" The voice made me stop touching the fire, I wanted to test if I was only dreaming.
There's suddenly another guy with a blue cap running from the fire guy's back. I'm worried that their other friends will show up sooner.
This new guy was looking at my friends while he's heading close to the fire guy. He got his fair share of the silent moment before taking off his black shades.
"Interesting." The new guy beamed, tapping the fire guy's chest with the back of his hand, and resting his arm on the fire guy's shoulder. He looks at Dave and Macforth with enthusiam.
I glanced at my friends to see what exactly had caught his interest but I found nothing. I mean, if there's anything that could get his attention, isn't that suppose to be the guy with the fire on his hand?
"This is just a misunderstanding. My brother meant no harm." The new guy explained, sounding cheerful.
"I don't see how is that a misunderstanding." Macforth glanced to my direction.
The new guy turned to me before tapping his brother's shoulder.
I gulped when it was the fire guy that faced me. He looks pissed, confused and alarmed, or not. I can't tell anymore. I'm scared, praying that his next action will be anything but taking out his emotions on me.
I almost have a heart attack when the fire opened, making the circle halfway broken.
How did that happen? It was like someone poured water on the fire enough to cut it open.
Everyone stared at me. Why? Are they thinking I did it?
Dave walked towards me, his eyes, never leaving the fire guy. It is so obvious that everyone is weighing each other. Only the new guy looks pleased with the whole situation.
"Pria." My head snapped up when Dave called. His head was angled to me but his eyes were not. And right there I realized how the strangers affect him, hence the vigilance is unquestionable.
Dave stop just outside the burnt portion of the ground, extending his hand to me. Without further adieu I held it and he began towing me out of the half circle.
Dave and I walked to the pavement, beside our van. He never turned his back to the fire guy as we walk.
I notice the fire went smaller and still.
I looked back to the strangers, both were watching Macforth as he head towards us. I'm holding my breath, mentally cheering him to walk faster, afraid that they will attack him any minute now. I'm paranoid. I feel like he'll only be safe when he's standing next to us, when there's a sufficient amount of space between him and them.
When Macforth was already next to us, Dave positioned me behind them.
I wonder if they created a plan while they were across the street, and putting me behind them was a part of that, just so I could run while they were trying to distract the strangers. Should I escape now and call for help? Or should I remain still and wait for the official signal from them?
"You guys are so serious. Will you please?" The new guy step forward, smiling. His cheerfulness towards the situation is so confusing. Well, he does looks friendly and human. Even the fire guy looks human, but humans are not capable of controlling fire.
"I'm Primeric. This is my brother, Jermond. And as I told you, we are not up for something." He explained with hand gestures, and held still, waiting for a handshake.
Honestly, this Primeric guy doesn't really look mean. He appears sociable and nice. And I consider him polite too that he bothered to introduce himself and his brother despite how unwelcoming the three of us towards them.
"Come on, guys. We are friends here. It's very obvious that we have a common ground." He smirked, still waiting for a handshake.
There was a long moment of silence between everybody but Dave reached his hand, something that didn't surprise me. Dave could be all that suspicious but never will he be impolite.
"I'm Dave, this is Macforth." Macforth, as expected couldn't be less vigilant than Dave, he did nod but he didn't bother the handshake. Primeric's brother was walking close towards us.
"The fire, if you don't mind." Dave asked courteously and calmly.
Jermond paused for a second, like he had forgotten about the fire but immediately nodded.
I jumped upon hearing the loud whoosh sound when the fire vanished in an instant. Dave glanced down at me mouthing the word 'It's okay'. I nodded, but my knees trembled.
And then, the wind was tossing my hair all over my face again.
I tried to look through the invisible air, analyzing. What else is left there to do?
When my eyes focused. There were people again. The sky is brightly blue again. I heard the door bells as another customer walked out from the bookstore. I heard the wheels of the car as they sped on the road. The small sounds people usually take for granted now seemed to be yelling next to my ears. All came to life in an instant. What just happened?
I checked the ground, the circular burnt part was so visible, an indication that the fire was real. What has happened?
I find myself dumbfounded, again.
There are people walking passed us, they seemed to have popped up, and it seems like they don't know what happened.
"Watch where you're going." Jermond snarled as a girl bumped on his back. The girl apologized, saying she didn't see him. Jermond looked really irritated, his eyebrows pulling together. He sounded a lot like Macforth, that I had to looked at Macforth to check if it really was not him. Dave looked at Macforth too, fighting a smile.
"Why?" Macforth asked, curious.
"Common ground." Dave chuckled, shaking his head.