The Great Fire of London

January 22, 2008
By Lin Wang, Coquitlam, ZZ

A tall hooded figure lurked from the shadows behind the cottage, elegant and composed as he stared into the endless sea. Silently, he raised a pistol and pointed it into the darkness. Time to wait for his victim and revenge.
* * *
A young man walked stiffly down the alley, one step at a time, his skin pale in the moonlight. Masked, he appeared expressionless except for the drop of sweat on his forehead. His posture rough and rigid, a black cape fluttered behind him in the crisp air.

Approaching an ancient bridge, something stirred, shattering the silence.

He crawled, frightful and reluctant, soon approaching the Execution Dock. In the distance a church bell struck midnight, and a voice moaned in the darkness.

“Nothin’s here, aye,” his fist tightened around his cutlass.

His face darkened as he climbed up the dock to a wooden gallow. Swinging like a pendulum, hung a broad shouldered man whom he recognized as his captain.
“Aye Captain, me be here to free yer. Those scurvy dogs, how dare they hang yer off a gibbet…
“Shiver me timbers,” he whispered. “Captain, yer can’t be dead!”

He saw the faint movement of an arm, and let out a sigh of relief. Drawing his cutlass, he sliced the rope with a swift motion. The figure groaned slightly, crashing into the dock with a bang.
“The end of the world is coming, Lawrence,” the captain crooked. The young man offered a shaky hand, but his captain sank to the ground, motionless.

“I’ll kill those dirty landlubbers!” Lawrence knelt down beside his dead captain, his hands shaking in grief. He jumped back in alarm as he felt a gelatinous liquid. His captain’s body was soaked in blood.

“London shall be cursed,” the faint whisper resonated. Lawrence jerked at his captain’s familiar voice and looked around, startled. His captain’s body was gone.

Immediately, a skeletal hand shot forth, disarming him, then pointing a cold pistol to the back of his head.
“To the London Bridge.”
* * *

The elegant figure carefully revealed a brilliantly carved wooden torch. As he tightened his fists, a magical fire erupted into life. Fast as lightning it spread, wildly through the streets of London.
Lawrence trembled in fear as the fire surrounded him with unbearable heat. Macabre thoughts of hell filled his mind, as he feared for his fate. The smell of burning flesh taunted the night air, followed by a high pitched scream that he recognized as his own.

The hooded figure lifted up his hood to reveal a satisfied smirk across his face. Jumping off the bridge, he disappeared in a thin cloud of smoke. No one heard a splash, no one saw a body and only the wooden torch was found. A message of death for all.

On September 2nd, 1666, the Great Fire of London swept through the city, leaving its unique mark in history. The person who committed the crime was never discovered, and the mystery continues unsolved.

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