The Green Glow
The girl was kicking again, struggling against the ropes that bound her. Jacques slapped her, and she fell back into the darkness. A muffled cry escaped her gagged mouth.
“Quiet you,” Jacques muttered.
Michael squatted over her. “Soon, little girl. Soon you’ll get what you deserve.”
The girl sobbed as Michael licked her face.
Jacques shoved Michael off. “Not for you. Not yet.”
“Lord Lucien wouldn’t know.”
“Oh, he might. He’s perceptive. And she might talk.”
Michael sneered down at her.
“Besides,” continued Jacques, “we’ll get our turn later.”
Michael giggled. “Lucien gets what he wants and we get the rest.”
“Over and over again,” smiled Jacques. He prodded at the modest fire before him with a long stick. “That’ll be a good day.”
“Then we’ll give her to the dogs,” added Michael, pinching her thigh.
Both men chuckled as the girl shrank away from them. Jacques poked at her with the stick. “There you go, lovely. There you are. What?” Something caught his eye. “What is that?”
Michael squinted into the darkness beside him. “Where?”
“That,” said Jacques pointing past the girl into the darkness. “In the trees. I think. I think I saw a light.” The forest was black. They waited.
“You’ve lost your m–,” began Michael.
A greenish light flickered into existence among the trees. The light grew and a deep hum echoed in the clearing where they watched.
“God,” said Jacques.
The light and noised vanished, and they were bathed in darkness again. A faint scent of ozone settled in.
“What was that?” marveled Michael.
“I don’t –.”
The light reappeared, more brilliant than before, rising high. Crackling noises accompanied the hum. It dropped then rose again, increasing in volume.
Then darkness again.
The girl was sobbing, moving toward the men and away from the light. She bumped into Jacques and froze.
The light returned, a glowing ball shining down as bright as the sun, only green. They felt their hair standing on end. Sparks snapped from the trees toward the fiery mass.
Michael jumped up and ran for the trees. The light chased him. He didn’t get far before tripping over a fallen log and laying himself out flat. He cried out.
Sparks and lightning touched him. Then the burning ball vanished again. Jacques heard Michael crying where he had fallen, but could see nothing. His skin itched where his hair had been standing up.
Moments later, the light returned but further on. It was moving away. The girl and Jacques huddled together for several minutes watching the glow fade into the distance. It had been gone completely for several minutes when the ground suddenly shook. They looked again to see beams of green light streaking toward the heavens.
Then silence. And darkness.