Like An Apparition

A boy must reverse the curse put on his family by righting the wrong of his late father.

    The redheaded boy looked down at his hand with incredulity. A small bit of smoke was emanating from it, dispersing through the air of the empty church in which he sat. It had started suddenly, starting at the tip of his pinkie and working its way down, almost reaching his wrist. After a speechless moment, he thought to rise from the tier of wooden seats and dart into the nearest restroom, where he poured water over it. His thoughts formed foggily. Was his hand aflame on the inside? What an implausible notion. He looked at the back, which was fine, but smoke still ran fluidly from his left palm. He decided to go to the hospital.
    After two hours' wait he was let in to see a doctor, who merely scoffed. By now the smoke was being emitted by the whole of his left arm, yet no one seemed to notice, nor did this doctor. "Have you been evaluated for schizophrenia?" was the best the man could offer, and with outrage did the boy storm out; what a waste of time. If this was all he had seen there was no way that after his 18 years he would have schizophrenia -- that wasn't even a possibility.
    On his way home, an old woman took hold of his arm, inspecting it. She was a mass of wrinkles and bones, half the height of him and draped with many layers of cloth that might have been from India. Her eyes were a beautiful purple, and she might have been albino.
    "Come with me," she said in a thick, foreign accent, and motioned him into a nearby house, quite normal looking, with a bent old willow writhing in the front yard with a giant dream catcher hanging from it.

The End

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