Knowledge, Aflame

Hell to Pay, Chapter 6

Teivel rolled out from under the pew.  The rafters of the ceiling collected smoke, which seemed to roll inwards up the pointed roof.

The synagogue was still devoid of people.  Teivel spun his head around looking for the source of the smoke.  The large room was stifling from the heat.  The doors leading to the back of the building poured out from the edges of the door jamb.  Teivel quickly ran to the back and reached for the door knob.  The heat was bearable, but only just so.  The door swung open to reveal several bookshelves in the back ablaze, carrying with them decades on decades of knowledge.

The fire jumped up one towering bookcase at a time, slowly reaching the front end of the church.  Teivel ran inside, trying to grab any books he could muster.  Hus lungs and throat took on the scorching smoke, and he felt his strength leave his body.  The heavy books dropped from his grasp, forced to back out of the room.  The Quaran on the alter sat before him as he crouched down to catch his breath.  Regaining his strength, he went to pick up the massive book.  Shoving it under his arm, he made a dash for the door.

The bright light of the mid afternoon blinded him for a brief moment.  His eyes adjusted, and he found himself face to face with a man in another fancy uniform.  The man, who had been standing in front of the opposite door was equally surprised.  Teivel recognized the symbol on the man’s uniform; it was not someone he would want to deal with at the moment.  Before the man could react, Teivel took off down the road.

He didn’t dare  look back to see if he was being pursued.  The neighborhood before him was familiar, it was his.  Finally able to catch his breath, he looked around for anybody following him or otherwise.  Everyone living in this quarter had been shipped off like him.  For some reason though, they had set the synagogue ablaze.  It was no act of nature or bad luck.  He found his way to his home, still intact.  Busting through the door, he ran back to his old room where the last remains of his notes would be.

Traces of the imagery and symbols present in the books in the synagogue adorned his notes.  They paled in comparison to what the shelves contained, to what they had destroyed.  The room was dark, and the lamps had no more oil.  The front room still had rays of light drifting in through the window.  Tievel collected the candles from around the house as well.

Those people were destroying valuables of the intellectual variety, something that Teivel could not overlook.  Those books were his sanctuary during the times no other person wanted to talk to him.  The value of those books were beyond what any king had in any coffer.  This evil was the product of man.

Tears welled up in Teivel’s eyes, from loss, from anger.  The cold stone floor that had once belonged to him and his parents laid before him.  He cleared his mind, and attempted to produce the same feelings he did when the darkness propagated, from the body of the dead guard.

The fireplace had slivers of charcoal within, damp and cold.  His fingers became covered in soot as he dug through the pile.  The powder was dark like the force he had produced before.  Point to point, he drew a pentagram on the floor with the traces on his fingers.  The room remained silent and cold.  His finger ran against the frigid stone, creating runes he only vaguely remembered, but was able to produce none the less.  Still silence.

Teivel sat back against the wall and breathed heavily out his nose.  The light coming in the windows created a long shadow from the frame.  A faint noise came to his ears, a scuttling.   A chewing.  A bag of dry rice sat besides the fireplace.   He prodded at it with his foot, and something went running.   A mouse.  It ran to the corner of the room by Teivel, and before it could find a way out, he jumped upon it.  It’s tiny body struggled under his grasp.  He held on tighter, until eventually the struggling stopped.  Opening his hand, the limp body of the mouse sat, unmoving.  It was barely warm, holding on still to the faint essence of life in its body.

Teivel held up to his face, and closed his eyes tightly.  Without a second thought, he enclosed his jaw around the skull, and ripped his hands in the opposite direction.

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