Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Captured Fire - Part 9

Image courtesy of suphakit73 /
This is the Ninth
installment of the 
short story 
Captured Fire

This story is the story of a nine-year-old boy,
Robbie, who enters a magical world where he learns about the meaning of life,
friendship, and respect for others

After what seemed an eternity the neighborhood quieted down, only for the voice of a few mothers calling their sons to come in.  The trio flew down to the yard to view the aftermath.  Several jars were scattered in the yard blinking like hazard lights.  They landed next to one that was on its side with the lid off.  Robbie immediately ran into the jar.

“How is everyone, do you need medical help?” he surveyed the interior of the glass prison seeing most were well except for a few bulb amputees. Convinced that things were under control he ran off to the next jar that was standing up right in the yard, Rosella and Jason were already there.  As he approached he saw Jason’s face contorted in a look combined with fear and confusion.  Rosella seemed to be explaining something to him.

“As you can see, without air they can’t breathe, without breath there is no life.”

Robbie saw as he got closer the lid was on the jar and everyone inside was gasping for air.  The hurt and mutilated were lying at one side of the jar.  He had to think fast to try to save them.  There were three of them.  Maybe they could help everyone get out, he thought as he surveyed the jar.

“I’ve got an idea.  The three of us can push the jar and I believe we have enough strength to knock it down.  I got out of the bughouse by myself, I think the three of us can generate enough energy to open that lid.” He ran to the side of the jar and motioned for the others to follow him. Rosella hurried to help while Jason just stood staring at the jar.

“Fairy, why don’t you just use your magic and open the lid? Fix everyone.  Look what you did to me, just go ahead and do this. Help them.”  Jason tried to sound strong but his voice had a quiver to it, maybe even a pleading tone.

Rosella stopped and looked at him shaking her head.  “You just don’t understand do you?  Some things cannot be fixed with magic it takes much more caring and compassion. 
My kind of magic has it limits. Now the heart and love must do the work.”  Then she left him standing and accompanied Robbie in trying to down the jar.

“I think if we put our strength at the very bottom, push with all we have it will probably fall down.” Robbie said with assurance. “Then we can push on the lid and I know we can get it opened.”

Rosella agreed and both squatted down and pushed their hands under the bottom of the jar as far as they could.  On the count of three they both pushed with all their might. The tendons on their necks bulged and their faces turned deep red.  Out of breath they both stopped. Repositioning they tried one more time, this time the jar moved on the ground just a little.  Stopping to catch their breath again Robbie looked inside and saw the fireflies gasping for air but trying to look hopeful for rescue.

“I think we’ve got it now, we know what to do.  It did moved a little.  Just a little harder and we will have it.”  Robbie’s voice was starting to lose the confidence he had started with, but he got down again ready to try one more time.

“One. Two. Three. P U S H.”  They both grunted and strained pushing as hard as they could. The jar teetered just a little and those inside who could move tried to help by running to the other side and jumped up and down. Rosella and Robbie used all their muscle and faith in believing it their responsibility to knock the jar down. 

Robbie was just about to the end of his hope and ready to stop when they both heard a loud screeching and thumping behind them and before they could turn around to see, they were hit from behind with a huge force.  Something went sliding between them and down under the jar in a flash, it was Jason.  In an instant the jar started to rock back and forth in slow motion. As it leaned over farther the fireflies inside all ran up the angle and before anyone could blink an eye, it crashed to the ground. To the small creatures inside it fell with the force of an earthquake.

Panting and exhausted the three were motionless on the ground for a few seconds.  Then Jason stood up, “come on we have to get that lid off,” and he ran off quickly. Rosella and Robbie gave each other a surprised look then got up and joined Jason at the cap of the jar. 

“Okay we have to have a plan, I know we can do this if we all work together.  Look we got it this far.  I got out of the bughouse so with combined energy we can do this.”  The two watched Robbie as his mind worked to calculated how to unscrew the cap with the same concentration he used to calculate catching fireflies.  After all unscrewing a cap is much different when you are a beetle than it is when you are a human boy.

“Okay, if we use the force on this side to push up and force on the other side to push down we should get it opened. Jason you stay here and be the push up guy. I’ll fly to the other side I’ll pull down. Rosella you get on the top and watch how it moves and push up or down as needed.”

They all got to their positions hoping Robbie knew what he was talking about.
The fireflies in the jar looked with anticipation, also praying, that he did.  Robbie landed on the jar ring about midway from the ground and planted his feet as firmly as he could on the slippery glass. Rubbing his hands together he then placed them on the jar ring.  Jason at the same time positioned himself under the ring and dug his little feet into the ground as deeply as he could, placing his hands and his shoulders on the cold metal ring, ready to use all his strength to push.  Rosella flew to the top of the jar ready to see which way she was to push; she had no idea what Robbie wanted her to do.

The jar was quickly losing what little air it had and Robbie knew there was not much time left to get his friends out alive.  He closed his eyes tight, said a little prayer, and yelled. “Now push!”  Jason raised his arms like a weightlifter and Robbie braced himself and started pulling the ring. Rosella saw the best place for her to push was just a little past the middle of the jar.  Adrenaline kicked in for all three and none of them seemed to slow down.  One, two, three times they tried.  “We have to do it this time, or I think we lose,” Robbie yelled to them. All three nodded for they knew he was right, with a deep breath, and a pray, all pushed harder then they ever thought possible.  Finally a little slip of the ring, their little arms shaking and straining, the ring slid and the top popped off.  Robbie lay on the ground dizzy and out of breath as Rosella flew over to him. “Robbie, we did it we actually did it.  For years we have never been able to understand the mechanics of these prisons, we needed you to show us,”  she then flew over to the opening and started to help those who were injured.  Robbie stood up and Jason walked over to him just as the medic crew flew in to take the injured back to the firefly village.

Jason just looked at Robbie dumbfounded, “Wow,” he said.  “I never would have believed any of this.” 

“Me either,” Robbie answered.


© Copyright 2013   Eileen A Partak

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