F is for Fire – #AtoZChallenge

TW: Torture

“So then,” remarked Grant. “Is today the day you become king?”

Godwin turned his head away.

“It’s quite simple,” Grant went on. “Just put it on your head. Aldred will tell you what to do.”

“I won’t,” mumbled Godwin.

Grant turned and poked at the fire. “Shame, really. Won’t you reconsider?” He pulled a glowing rod from the flames and turned back to Godwin. “I think you’d be a fine king.”

“I won’t.”

Grant pressed the glowing rod against Godwin’s upper arm. Godwin lurched against the restraints that held him in his seat, the sound of his own cry hurting his ear. He continued to weep after Grant put the rod back into the flames and began fiddling with other implements that were also in the coals.

“I’m not sure what holds you back,” Grant said. “Bertram hated you; you hated him. You can run his country.”

“I won’t,” Godwin choked.

Grant pulled a small plate on a rod from the flames. “I think you will.” He pressed the glowing plate against Godwin’s chest. The smell of burning flesh and hair stung Godwin’s nostrils. He wailed.

“Do you want more?” Grant commented. “Or are you ready to accept your role in our bright future?”

“I won’t,” mumbled Godwin.

Grant sighed. “How disappointing.” He went back to the fire. Godwin shut his eyes, waiting. Grant seized Godwin’s right wrist and turned it over, exposing a tiny tattoo of Bertram’s family crest. “The only proof left,” muttered Grant. He pressed the glowing metal over the tattoo.

Godwin screamed.

“And now you are no one,” muttered Grant.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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