The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Christian Facet” by Caitlin Havens
The fire set ablaze to the whole town. Piece by piece, shreds of grass acted as tiny matches, turning from emerald to a ruby. The fields would eventually burn out leaving only char and darkness. The residents of Olean, New York never meant to do what they did, cover up such important details. We thought what we were hiding about Christian Facet would hurt the world too much, but we were wrong.
About five weeks prior, our small town made national news. The day was cool with very little sun peeking through the grey clouds. A thin blanket of snow covered the ground and kids walking to school would jump on every ice patch they saw. Christian came to town that day. A black car with dark tinted windows drove down 17th street and a giant moving van followed close behind. Everyone stopped and watched as the Facet family began to unpack. Clothed in shorts and t-shirts, the family was quickly welcomed by a strong gust of wind that nearly knocked the three over. They grabbed giant eskimo-like coats and threw on a wool cap and gloves. The clothing was many sizes too large for little Christian Facet. I remember making eye contact with him, then smiling his big smile that could have melted the snow if it had eyes. I looked away, without emotion, and sped off to school. I wish I had smiled back.
Everyone was talking about the new family in town, it was like you couldn’t get away from the Facets. Good and bad rumors, plus some different stories, circulated as to why they were here. Then, one day, like a scene from a movie, the crowd of kids at school parted down the middle and there in front of me stood little Christian Facet. I looked in his eyes for an uncomfortable amount of time, but I saw something there. Something like a different world, but he was nowhere to be found. Granted I had just met the kid; however, it was like there was no soul. Sound grew loud, then there was nothing. I was in a trance-like state of mind. He blinked, and I came back. Everyone around us stared with faces painted in confusion. I ran out the door and I didn’t know why. I ran and ran and ran and didn’t stop until I found myself at the Facet house.
I didn’t know why I was there and something told me to go back. Ignoring every instinct, I walked forward to their door. I walked in as if I belonged there. The big wooden door creaked as if it were an intentional signal of someone’s entrance. A light was on in what looked to be the study; upbeat orchestral music was playing. I followed the noise and entered the room. Books were lined neatly along the wall of shelves. A wooden writer’s desk sat in the middle of the room with a garnet and dark gold carpet under the furniture. Papers were everywhere, lying on the ground like they were thrown in a moment of haste or worry.
On the wall to my left was a rack of guns. I backed up in fear. After turning around all my vision was filled with the image of two scrawny chicken legs. “Hello, Charlie,” he said. I wondered how he knew my name. Before I could ask his hands were wrapped tightly around my arms. Then, we were making our way down to the basement. As we descended further, cold air hit my face. The man set me down on the ground and the cold, stone floor ran chills up my body. I spotted a box of matches but before I could light them he grabbed a hold of me again making it impossible to move. He forced me down on a cold metal table and shot a needle in to my side. I couldn’t remember anything after that.
Now, I stand here, at the end of 17th street. A box of matches in my pocket and a single match burning out in my hand. I look down the street in horror. This is what my town has become, nothing. At the opposite end of the street, little Christian Facet could be seen. He made his way over to where I was. I didn’t move. Inside I was yelling at myself to run, but I wanted to stay. He came up to me, took my hands and stared in to my eyes. I saw him, I saw his soul and not a world. His eyes were sad and worried. His smile was apologetic, then he thanked me. I didn’t smile, I just stared at his eyes. Two figures began to approach us but before they got close enough to hear, with a tear in his eye, Christian said to me, “I can’t see your soul.” The two figures got closer and held my hands. We began to walk away from the fire and to a black car with very tinted windows. A moving truck followed close behind. And there was little Christian Facet, waving to me from the road, and I from the back seat of the black car until he turned in to a speck of black.