Clara registered everything in slow motion. Kenny's arms flailed two more times before the twine that spanned the walls pulled free. The two curtains it supported first wafted up, then drifted down onto the floor where they fell into a ragged heap.
The half of the room that had been hidden behind the curtains was unremarkable. Clara could now see the record player, still skipping along. She also saw a small kitchenette and a half-cracked open door that revealed a tiny bathroom. The few pieces of framed art on the walls looked as if they'd either come with the apartment or had been found in someone's trash.
The last thing Clara focused on was Kenny himself. The curtains and merciless sunlight revealed his rail-thin form at the center of the room, only a few feet in front of her. He was hunched over, wearing only a pair of faded blue boxer shorts. His rough stubble showed that hadn't shaved in at least a week. As Clara looked over his pale skin, she slowly came to accept what she was seeing: that although Kenny looked weak and malnourished, both his face and body were completely free of burn scars.
She turned to Nicholas and was relieved to see a look of shock on his face.
"Did you know?" she asked.
Nicholas didn't speak. He only shook his head one time.
Kenny knelt on the floor and grabbed the curtains, balling them up in his hands. Tears streamed down his cheeks.
"Why did you make me do this?!" he screamed. "Why?"
Nicholas crouched down and moved slowly toward Kenny, hands in front of him with his palms facing out.
"Kenny, I'm sorry," he said. "We didn't mean to make you upset."
"You didn't," Kenny said. He snapped his head at Clara. "She did!"
Clara froze. Nicholas held out his arm between the two. It was a warning more than anything – Kenny hadn't tried to stand.
"I'm sorry too, Kenny" Clara said. "I just wanted to know..."
Kenny wiped his eyes and sniffed. He mumbled something too quiet and garbled to understand.
"What did you say?" she asked. "I'm sorry, I didn't--"
"They only pretended to bury him," Kenny whispered, looking down at the floor as he spoke. His voice was much calmer now than it had been a moment before.
Clara looked at Nicholas again. His mouth was hanging open.
"He's not in the ground," Kenny continued. "He never was. They made the fire to help Eric."
Nicholas laid his hand on Kenny's shoulder. "Who started the fire, Kenny? And your skin – why isn't it burned? Everyone thinks you're--"
Kenny stood up suddenly. He smiled and set his eyes on the ceiling. His feet moved and he began spinning in place, the sheets whirling around him like tentacles.
"His body is on fire, but it isn't him burning," Kenny said, laughing out the words. His eyes seemed to be seeing the scene he was describing. "The building is falling down all around us but I run in to save him even though I wasn't supposed to but then I see the glowing... and the glow is all around Eric..."
Kenny spun faster. His voice cracked as he bellowed, "And the fire... the fire flies all around him..."
Chuckling, Kenny fell into a clump on the floor. He caught his breath.
"What are you laughing at?" Nicholas asked.
Kenny looked up. "Can I tell him what you asked me?" Kenny said. "About my skin?"
YOU ARE READING
Breach Point (Haunted)Paranormal
When high school sophomore Clara Tuffney is hired for a summer internship at an engineering firm, she accepts an invitation to live with her Aunt Maureen in the quiet seaside town of Breach Point, New Jersey. Soon after arriving, Clara learns of t...