In BURNT on January 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm


When Josey reaches the ranch, she’s stumbling like she’s blind.  She can still see her father sinking into the river, his face turned up towards her.  This image is superimposed over everything in front of her eyes.  A double-exposure like how they make ghosts appear in scary movies.

She rushes through the house, throwing open doors, searching for a human face to replace the horrible vision that haunts her.  She finds no one.  The place is deserted.  She runs outside and collapses.  The sobs come now.  And the horrible shaking.

She feels a hand softly stroke her hair.  It’s the older woman, the one who held her last night when she was afraid.  “Lucas sent everyone away.  The staff too.  Everyone.”

Josey stares hard, forcing the kind face to fill her entire field of vision.  She grabs air between sobs.  “He killed my dad.”

Candace takes her hand and they walk briskly away from the ranch.  The sun is setting fast.  Candace knows there’s a barn out there somewhere in the gathering darkness but she doesn’t like the idea of dragging Josey around looking for it.  The only shelter she can see is the teak sweat lodge Lucas uses for vision quests.  They huddle inside.

When Josey can breathe again, she asks, “Why didn’t you go with them?”

“Do you know what my name means?  It’s from the bible.  Candace means Queen of Children, after a woman who protected children.  That’s why I chose it.  I know all about fathers.  Children need protecting.”

Her words calm Josey.  “What was your old name?”

“The name the church gave me.  Lotus.”

The Story So Far

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