Chapter Nine

‘Father, candles!’ Lord Evans yelled.

‘Everyone stand still!’ Father Jones’s voice boomed around the room.

Lady Williams had dropped her candle, but she did not care. She was debating within herself. She loved her son, but there was an evil spirit inside. She could wipe away the tears and turn into an emotionless woman. Life has taught her that at least. But she could not stop thinking about the thoughts of her son.
Was it the spirit explaining, or was it her innocent son. Innocent, that was the word. Was he innocent?

She stood straight, no longer was she going to cry, she thought. It must be done, she shouted within herself. Looking at her son, watching him shake with anger, brought no further tears. Wait, he was shaking with anger? His eyes were still closed but he was attempting to free himself. It must be her son! ‘Only he gets angry when I’m hurt. Only he drops everything, just to be by my side. He saw the tears,’ she gasped.

As Michael opened his eyes, she was pushed to the ground.

‘Mother!’ Michael shouted. He tried to look for her with his eyes. ‘Where is my mother?!’ He, again, shouted. There were too many people surrounding him, too much noise coming from the crowd. Each voice bumped onto the walls. This can’t be happening. Where is she? He thought.

‘I said, stand still. QUIET!’ Father Jones slammed his palm on the table, once again.

As the room fell silent, Michael continued to struggle. ‘Where is my mother?!’ He yelled.

‘Your mother?’ Father Jones began laughing. ‘She’s not your mother! You do not have a mother!’ He walked up to Micheal and passed on a sly smile. ‘Boy, I know that you have nothing in you, but we must keep up the act. Think of the good of the church and the donations,’ he quietly muttered in to Michael’s ear and slowly pulled out a large blade from his robe. ‘This is for your hair,’ he continued, as he scrapped it, lightly, across his forehead.

Then, standing up straight, he clapped his hands. ‘Everyone, light a candle and pour the wax,’ he ordered. ‘Lady Williams, you’re pathetic,’ he shook his head. ‘Get up and move! We have an evil spirit to remove,’ he said. With one final look at Lady Williams, he stepped back.

Lady Williams slid back against the wall. ‘My son, my innocent son,’ she kept repeating, as she wept. She looked up at the portrait. The candles flickered, lighting up the portrait. The young boy in the frame no longer held a sinister look. He appeared happy. His eyes danced with happiness and told her that everything was going to be fine. It told her that he would be fine. She slowly stood up and directed her gaze at the boy on the table. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Michael felt no pain from the wax. He knew he was burning, that his skin was peeling away. Any second now, his clothes could catch fire. He knew that, but did not care. All he wanted, was to know his mother was alright. He wanted to find her. These damn ropes. These damn people. He could not help thinking. His face burned with wax, cracks appeared across his body, yet the people refused to give up. One candle after another was lit, each drop of wax was followed by another, yet the people refused to give up. Michael was forced to close his eyes.

He finally felt the tears sliding down his own cheeks. He knew the word ‘hope’ did not exist in his world, but feeling helpless was completely different. More than anything, he felt helpless and the hurt went straight through his heart. He could hear people cheering around him.

‘Mother! Help me!’ Michael suddenly screamed.

Fire roared.

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