lighter

„Leave him!” The beggar roared from the top of his lungs. He couldn’t watch this happen. Not here, right under his nose. In the dusk, heading to his sleeping place he encountered them.

It was a picture of misery – a little boy cowered by the wall of the cemetery, with two pale women tailing him. First he thought, they were common visitors, but then he saw their hands, or more – their talons. They were about to corner the boy.

The low growl in his voice made the female figures freeze in motion. Their heads flew his direction. Their necks were a bit too long to be natural… A surprised expression crawled on their far too flat faces. The younger woman clicked with her tongue disappointed. They didn’t expect a beggar to be- courageous.

Causing the disruption, he had to think fast. The bottle of liquor in his coat pocket could save them both. He usually did not give a rat’s ass about the ghouls hunting and feeding. But today was strangely different. He couldn’t put his finger on it. Maybe it was the boy’s dreadfully crying, that touched his old jaded heart.

The ghouls knew his scent. He smelled like a booze soaked old man, mixed something else… Something animalistic… They even tolerated him, because he was a half-breed. They left him alone, and he got out of their way. Simple. Their preferred preys were women and children, anyway. An old bald drunk coward wasn’t what they imagined tasty.

The bummer waved a butchers knife at them, slowly putting himself between the creatures and the sobbing boy. “Do. Not. Touch. The boy. I swear, if one of you tainted creatures lay one finger on him-„ His teeth were grinding. The man pushed each of his words over the cliff of his teeth into the dark space between the ghouls and the shivering boy.

“THEN WHAT?” The younger woman hissed. Her thin lips curled up, showing too much of her blue gum and needle-like teeth. The older one smirked amused, eyes burning with anger.

“I torch you,” he stated. With his left hand he reached in his coat, pulling the bottle out. With his right hand he opened it and stuffed a dirty handkerchief into the bottleneck. Molotov cocktail was ready. He cloaked the boy the best he could. “Stand up, boy. In my left pocket is the lighter.“ The beggar reached down and pulled the child up.

“Oh dear, you make it sound so easy… I’ll tear you to little shreds, before it even catches heat. Ha! You reek of terror, old fart.” The older woman made a her talons click, as she came closer. The boy yelped up with horror, pressing his back against the wall of the graveyard, tugging himself closer to the beggar.

“C’m on! Lighter!” The beggar yelled. “To kill a ghoul, we need fire!”

The old woman laughed and clapped her hands. “Dinner served!”

“… Fire?” The boy sniffed, his face lit up. There was sudden recognition in his eyes, as if the beggar said the only magic word, that meant something to him. “I got fire!” Without a world he stretched himself, and inhaled sharply. With his little hands he shoved the man out of his way, so easy as if he was a feather. The unexpected notion threw the beggar off his feet. Protest got stuck in his throat, as he saw what happened. The boy breathed fire. He exhaled fire!  Flames erupted from his mouth and nose, focusing into one screaming whirlwind. The ghouls sizzled as the heat consumed them.

“What are you?” The boy just smiled at him.

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