Monday, July 7, 2014

The Old School House

I'd aimed for one of the parking lots in front of my old school but before I could even catch a glimpse of where we'd arrived, Torvin and I were sent sprawling by a thunderous explosion.  I went sliding face first across the pavement and Torvin was thrown into some kind of accidental graceless cartwheel.

I got up quickly, holding my stinging, bloodied face like my hand would keep my teeth from falling out.  I hurried over to Torvin, who was crumpled against the curb.  He seemed to have sustained less damage than I had.  "You okay?" I asked.

He shakily got to his feet.  "Yeah," he said.  "I think so.  How's your face?  There's no skin left."

"I'll be fine," I assured him.  "Listen, we need to figure out—"

The second explosion was at least three times as powerful as the first, engulfing Torvin's entire form in flames and propelling us both away from the building.  I landed in indescribable pain that seemed to originate from every cell in my body.  I was pretty sure both of my legs were broken—as well as some important bones in my arms and rib cage.  A good two thirds of my skin felt like it had just melted off and my lungs were definitely messed up.  Despite my badass Devil's body and my powers of strength and healing and the fact that I couldn’t technically die, I was pretty sure I was going into shock too.

I tried to stand up but my mangled limbs failed me.  I propped myself precariously against the trunk of a big sycamore tree and surveyed the scene.  The massive building in which I used to spend five horrible days a week stood across the parking lot from me.  The closest section that had once been the administrative offices was now sporting enormous orange flames, with debris from its demolition still raining down.  It was like the daydream that almost every kid has had at some point, but in my current situation I couldn't really view this as a positive development. 

Torvin might be dead.  I didn't see Jaelin, Sylnie or Talamur anywhere. I couldn't even walk.  I wanted to let out a good cathartic expletive but my jaw was broken and my tongue was numb.  All I could manage was a demented howl of agony.

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