“Alright now friends,” began Solomon Chew, his long, thin face illuminated from underneath, the wind now blowing audibly, “the hour is nigh. This is the moment we have waited all our lives for. You two stand behind me. It is time to begin.”
He paused and inhaled deeply, closing his small green eyes. Wind howled all around the barn and throughout the woods as if a thousand spirits were unleashed already.
Solomon Chew stood with his arms outstretched and opened his eyes triumphantly. “Behold! The Demon of the Flame!”
The three young men stood transfixed as the fire raged in front of them. Strange animal-like shapes leaped out of and into the flames. It spread rapidly, surrounding them on three sides. The barn door remained unblocked behind them.
As if from a dream, Hal awoke. “We got to get out of here!” the guitarist yelled, shaking his brother awake with all his might. “We gonna get burnt up!”
“Sol! We gotta get out of here!” Hal screamed. The walls of the barn itself had caught fire.
“No you fools! Don’t you see? This is it. We stand here before the Fire God! This is the final test!”
Suddenly a loud crashing sound quieted the three boys. Sparks flew all around them as part of the roof caved in. When the ash and smoke cleared, Solomon Chew lay prone upon the barn’s dirt floor, his left arm pinned beneath a heavy wooden beam.
Lacking time for planning or panic, Hal and Shane pushed the beam off his arm and rolled him out from under it. Sol cried out in pain. He swooned, pulling Hal closer to him. “Them warnings was right,”
he whispered before unconsciousness took him.
* * *
Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion!