Part 27: Reunited
Thunder boomed in the distance as the flock of phoenix’s soared above the skies. The people in Elwood’s party danced happy, cheering as the birds dived in the stormy sky. Charlie stared at the sky in amazement, tracing their path with her finger slightly on fire. “They’re so beautiful,” she whispered to Daisy.
More thunder rumbled, and a scream came from the group of kids. Charlie spun around to see Mr. Betts shoving the children out of the way, marching right toward her. Errol and Elwood both jumped in the way shouting for him to stop, but he only marched on. Mr. Betts reached the edge of the cliff just as a lightning flashed against the dark sky. “Run away from me?” he snarled. “I was going to be famous because of you! We were going to change the world!” He took a step forward.
Charlie moved back, feeling the edge of the cliff at her heel. “Stay away from me!” She shouted, her hands igniting.
“You’re coming back with me!” Mr. Betts demanded. “You’re better off without these people.” He took another step forward, reaching out. “You can learn to use that fire for so much more.”
“NO!” Charlie screamed. Her foot slipped off the edge, loosing her balance. She grabbed Mr. Betts arm, hoping to pull herself up, but instead she burned her hands into his arm. He howled in pain, and shook his arm violently, pushing Charlie off the cliffside.
She closed her eyes tight, too afraid to scream, too afraid to call out for help. Even if she could, her breath couldn’t come, so only her tears flew in the opposite direction. Charlie waited for the end, for the harsh, cold river to wrap its rapids around her, but it never came. Instead she hit something warm, soft, something familiar. Opening her eyes, Charlie gasped as she looked at the warm orange and yellow feathers under her hands.
The smallest phoenix, with a patch of red feathers around its eye, chirped happily as it soared above the storm clouds. Charlie hung on tight. A faint memory creeped from the back of her mind. She was younger then, pulling off a net from a trapped phoenix… with a red patch around the eyes. “It’s you!” Charlie whispered. “Guess it’s your turn to save me.”