“I feel like things are getting increasingly worse. I am no longer myself or not as much or I don’t know. I don’t believe in angels or demons, but the nightmares, the dreams, the visions. The visions have been so surreal as of late. The absent, the loss of time has become confusing. I no longer understand what is happening to me. I fear for the worst inside of me and for my family. I see them burning. Each and every one of them. Burning layer by layer until there is nothing left but their skulls and their laughter. It sounds like my voice, it sounds like something ungodly. The laughter rages with the fire as if it saying something or maybe it is just their screams. Please help me. Help me before it is too late. Help before they are no longer dreams.”
“Three days after this letter was sent Mr. Kleine and his family burned to death in their family home. The investigators say their deaths were similar by all accounts to his dreams or visions as he calls them. Each one was written in vivid description found in what was labeled confession letters. The house as a whole still stands today. The fire contained to one room and one room only. No reason for this has ever been turned up. Fire doesn’t care about anything, but it appears on this night it did. Mr. Kleine has been blamed for this atrocity, but should he be? Is the question I present to you today. Yes, young lady in the cardigan,” the professor calls out.
“You want to know if he is at fault for his actions?” She asks. “Yes, Did Mr, Kleine commit murder willingly or was it something else?” The professor asks once again. “We have to go with the facts, sir. The fact that he killed his family by not saving them is true. Premeditated murder wouldn’t be that far from the truth as well judging by the letter you have presented. Willingly, however, is a much harder question to determine. I would say no he didn’t, but he still did. He murdered his family whether he wanted to or not,” she answers. He waits for anyone else to raise their hand. No one is willing to challenge her statement. “You are right it doesn’t matter in the sense of the law. Ethically though does it matter that the person to receive this last latter was the local police station? Does it matter that they did nothing other than file it way as a joke? How much blame can be put on them? How seriously should we take cries for help when it comes to mental illness?” He points at a young man in the third row, “We should take it very seriously, but when does a story become fact? After it already happens. The police had no reason to believe that any of this would happen.” The professor nods his head, “Then let’s talk about facts.”
“In his dreams, Mr. Kleine only saw the room burning, his family burning, and he himself burning. He doesn’t go into detail about which room these visions take place. Given he only saw fire around him it would be hard to determine this information. Yet throughout the detailed accounts he never experienced or wrote about his death. He only wrote about the death of his family and the burning of the room. To this day no one knows why only the room burned. There was no reason, there was no incendiary device or substance used, and there was no faulty wiring. The Kleine family simply caught on fire and as his family burned he tried to put them out while they laughed hysterically. In fact, the only reason investigators decided that Mr. Kleine caught on fire is because he was trying to help them. Isn’t that right Mr. Kleine ?” A man or what is left of a man walks in from the back of the lecture hall, “Yes sir that is correct.”
He slowly makes his way up to the front of the class. His skin rigid and pressed tightly against his bones, “I tried everything I could to save my family. Though none of it worked. I was found guilty by reason of insanity of course. No one could explain what had happened. Deemed insane I spent quite a few years in an asylum. Until my visions became more about something other than myself.” The professor helps him onto the stage, “Well, then I wasn’t so crazy. Then I became known as someone who was gifted. I became someone special. My family’s death haunts me every day. I see their faces and I hear their screams, but something converged on that night. Something lives inside me. Something that no one understands not even myself. But that is not why I am here is it Miss Greenwood?” The girl in the cardigan drops her pen onto her notebook. Flustered she tries to respond, “I don’t know what you mean sir.” More people enter the hall dressed in tactical gear as a silence takes over the room. “I believe that you don’t, but I know that you will,” Mr. Kleine lays out cryptically. The tactical team surrounds her. “Please come with us Miss Greenwood,” the lead asks. She sits there silently making her decision. She tries to reach for her bag but she is ordered to stop. Knowing she has no other options but to comply she rises from her chair like a burning phoenix. Flames spitting all around her, “You had to come and get me, Steven. You had to be the hero.”
The room begins to panic as she rises higher into the air. “You know that this is what I do. You knew that I was coming for you and yet you made sure things would be difficult,” Kleine says. The tactical team has their guns trained on her. Even though all the flames surrounding her the laser sites of their weapons can be seen resting on her head and throughout her body. They wait for a signal, for a sign. “You pretend to understand the vastness of the world you stumbled into. I was born with these flames. A gift upon which I was destined to attain. I will not have it taken away from me,” she screams with fiery breath. “No one said anything about taking your gifts away,” he says to a nearly empty room. “In fact, I think your gifts could be quite useful if you would like to join us.” The flames flicker around her, “Enslavement is more like it. I’ve heard what you are doing. You thought you were being coy. I knew right away there was more to all of this than a simple lesson,” she lets out. “Would have been disappointed if you didn’t know. Wouldn’t have even let you live for a second longer, but I also know how this ends. Not all gifts are created equal or fair,” he stares into her eyes. Her anger causes her to discharge a wave of flames as she burns hotter the team begins to feel the full force of her powers.
“We can help you control those powers,” He begins to say. “I don’t need your help,” she conveys her clothes telling a different story as they begin to singe. “Unless it is your intent to ruin that cardigan then I think we could be some use to you. Come down from there peacefully and we can discuss what I am offering,” he reasons. She places her head within her hands as she descends back to the floor the lasers following her as she goes. “So my options are death or join you? You leave a woman with little choice, but to go with you,” she says as her feet touch the ground and her flames slowly dissipate. “It would appear that way, but not all intentions are good. Not everything I have to do is for the benefit of myself. Something you will have to learn in time,” Mr. Kleine states. She screams and as she does a burst of flames engulf her once again. The tactical team around her is surrounded by flames. They pull their triggers, each bullet ripping through their predestined entry point. Tearing through her flesh, desecrating her skull, and what is left of her body falls to the floor. “The fucking visions are never wrong,” Mr. Kleine says as he limps out of the auditorium past her lifeless corpse. The team follows him out one by one without a word.
Will this be a series?… hard to tell… has the makings of one though… so that is something… Hope you enjoyed this weird tale of murder or a negotiation gone wrong… flames.. burning.. fire… seemed to be the theme of this one… Join us next week as we discuss the importance of water…