“Kaleigha,” Kasim begged. “Ask me questions.”
“The story or I walk,” she said.
“The story can’t be told straight because it is not a story,” Kasim sighed, finally answering her first question.
“Go on,” She said.
“Questions.” Kasim chided.
Kaleigh choked on her rage.
“Let’s be calm,” Kasim’s voice wavered in fear. “I am bound by rules…”
“DAMN THE RULES! I DIED FOR THIS SHIT!” Kaleigha’s rage manifested in bright jets of crimson flames that erupted from her extremities and lit up the forest like daytime.
“Stop, please,” Kasim fell to his knees and whimpered like a child. “You don’t understand.”
She looked at the fire in awe. It roared into the blackness above and blasted through the nearby trees.
“No! No! No!” Kasim cried and stretched out his hands. “Stop her! It can’t end like this.”
She looked beyond his fingertips and saw silhouettes lurking on the edge of the light.
The brightness grew as the branches overhead burst into flames. The silhouettes shrank away from the flames. Only one, Kahrim, did not shy away from the light.
“Sister,” he said. His deep, soothing voice washed over her. “This is not the way.”
“I want to know what is going on,” Kaleigha sputtered. “Everyone keeps trying to be slick. I just want the truth.”
“If you cannot handle what you see before you,” he said, holding her in a steady gaze. “The full truth will destroy you.”
Kaleigha closed her eyes and tried to calm herself. She took a few deep breaths and the jets winked out.