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Author Topic: Prompt 1: A Divergence from Truth Around a Fire  (Read 47 times)

Calvin Sharppe

    (12/04/2019 at 16:05)
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Around the cozy fire of a hearth
Perhaps in an alternate universe, many years from now
Late in December

There were more children sat around his feet than last year. Most heads had shaggy mops of dark brown and black, ribbons tied up high on their heads, giggling girls, quieter boys who were too young as of yet to speak up loudly. Calvin's back hurt, which was why there was a throw pillow behind him, propped the long way and crushed against his weight. There was a little twinkle in his eye as one of the oldest girls tugged on the edge of his trousers.

"Tell us about how you got your scar, grandpa!"

It was a tale which he'd spoke of multiple times now, but with new eyes and ears on him, how could he say no to those glimmering looks at him? He shuffled in his seat to get comfortable, looking into the fire pensively before tugging the side of his lips upward in a smile.

"I was living in Hogsmeade as a young man- hopping around the various bars and pubs." Calvin crouched down low for effect, trying to get on the same level as all those who sat on the carpeted floor. "It was late, far too late for anyone to be up. But that's when Godric Park was at its best- quiet. That was when… I saw a shadow… darting quickly in the distance. I thought, who could it be out here so late at night? So, curious as I was and also making sure someone wasn’t making a trouble, I went to investigate. I chased after the bloke- a slow walk at first to remain inconspicuous but then that turned into a small jog until  I was outright running, running in the middle of the night through the park until-

“SLASH!” He pitched his voice higher and some audible gasps ran throughout the room. Some of the girls had their hands reach towards their face, covering their mouths in anticipation of the horror.

“Something sharp and long cut me deep in my leg. I didn’t even notice at first- I was so focused on catching the guy. But he must’ve caught onto me to place the trap, and all of a sudden my head was getting dizzy, woozy from the loss of blood.” Cal placed a hand on his head in imitation of that night. In reality, he had been brought down quickly, maybe even too easily for his liking. “I worked quickly to try and stop the bleeding but just when I thought the skin had been charmed closed, the wound sealed, it would burst open again, the blood pouring out like a fountain.” His mouth made gurgling noises and a little girl, no more than five, made a retching sound from the back.

“Just then, an older lady came up, claiming to be some sort of investigator and psuedo-Healer. Even she couldn’t help me. Things were getting dire now, I could barely see my leg anymore it was coated in darkness and black liquid. My eyes were seeing double, I wasn’t sure I was conscious anymore…” Calvin’s voice faded away into the quiet, letting the cliffhanger linger in the air.

“W-WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?” piped up one of the boys, finding it unacceptable to leave the story there. “Yeah, go on, tell us!” The voice seemed to have a pout attached to it.

His eyes darted left, and then right, looking to make sure he had captivated everyone’s attention. “Then… I was apparated to St. Mungo’s. Fixed me up real good.” Then, and only then did he lift the leg of his trousers up, revealing a faded but still dark flesh colored line down the side of his calf. Those in the back scrambled forward to see, some coos of ‘oh’s and ‘ah’s echoed around. The story seemed to shift and change with each passing holiday, having used to mention being overly inebriated when the tale began but dropping that for a more heroic form of cat-and-mouse chase.

“Did you ever find the person who did it? What happened to them?”

Follow up questions chimed in, one after another. Calvin turned away from the group, his hands dismissing the questions straight away to focus more on the flickering flames of the hearth. The warm fire was where he wanted to focus on now. The voices died down as one by one the little ones and their attention wandered elsewhere to the other parts of the house until all that was left in the room was Calvin Sharppe, alone with his thoughts and memories.

maybe i might get a little