There was time when Mr. Fenway was a church goin man. Oh so I heard.
Religion ain't somethin that a lot of the Havanan people participate in. A lot of people threw that whole thing out after the War. Pa was one of them people. And so was Mr. Fenway.
Arthur Fenway grew up way back when States were still round and thrivin. There used to be a place down in the southern places where the roads were red and the grass was burnt. There the sun seemed to always be blazin, and people's skin used to be nice and tan. Some had to wear stuff to protect themselves from the sun; some kinda chemical sheildin stuff that made sure you didn't get sick. Others had skin that wasn't affected by the sun as much.
Mr. Fenway has the kinda skin that you needed the sheildin stuff for. But he went and grew up in a church full of people who didn't need the sheildin stuff; people who looked kinda like Riley. They used to dance and hoot and holler and all that good praisin stuff. Mr. Fenway loved it, even though he was different than the rest of the people there. So when he grew older, he found himself a gal in town who looked like them.
A few years later his wife, Cheyenne was her name, gave him a handsome young boy. He grew up nice and tall and strong and Mr. Fenway thanked his God everyday for them both. He even bought the two of em back to the worshippin place he went to as a young boy. And they were a happy, god fearin bunch of people who hooted and hollered and did all that good praisin stuff.
Then the War started. Accordin to the Mayor, the Stars fell. Ain't that funny, cause they never said anythin bout no Stars startin the War.
People in the church and round town started dyin left and right.
And his son, Isaac, went off to fight for his family.
Cheyenne Fenway, once a beautiful woman, became sick once her son started fightin. The doctors had said it was because of her depression and gave her pill after pill after pill. But she ain't never get better. Mr. Fenway tried to tell her that her son wasn't dead yet. That he was tall and strong and had his mother's courage. But his mother's courage had grown weak when her son had left her. And she gave up about him ever comin back. It wasn't the enemy that killed her, it was her grief.
Mr. Fenway cried a lot for his wife, he even thought a lil bout endin it all. But then he went to church, and he felt better. Cause the pastor said she was in a better place, and that made Mr. Fenway a happy and content man.
Then he met Pa.
Before Pa was a decorated soldier, before he met Momma, he was friends with Isaac Fenway. They had fought side by side against the enemy, and watched a lot of their comrades fall. Then Pa watched Isaac die in battle. And he told the gruesome story in detail to Mr. Fenway.
Arthur Fenway was never the same after that.
He grew angry at the church and stopped goin. Cause they ain't know how to explain his son's death. And even if they did, I don't think Mr. Fenway woulda taken heed to what they said.
The god-fearin, church goin man had grown angry at everythin and everyone. And he had let a darkness that had never been there before grow inside him and take over his life. He used to smile a lot, but ever since then his mouth been etched into a permanent scowl. He used to laugh a lot too; used to be a downright riot. But now Mr. Fenway sees jokes as a waste of ya time.
Only my Pa knows and remembers the old Mr. Fenway. I ain't never doubt his words bout how Mr. Fenway became the way he is. I ain't never doubted that Mr. Fenway was a kind hearted man once. I ain't never doubted that he had a family to call his own. But now I do. Now I think Pa was just makin something up; lyin to me.
Arthur Fenway ain't never been a kind hearted man. He ain't never cared about nobody, least of all a wife and kid. His crusty lips ain't never curl up into a smile. And he ain't never, ever, laughed.
Mr. Fenway talks all the time bout monsters in the woods.
But he's the monster. Mr. Fenway's one of the very creatures he be warnin the towns' people bout. I see it in his eyes as he watches the girl's body jerk backward and lay still. He keeps starin at her, his face lookin like the Devil himself. The gun falls back to his side, and he seems to calm down.
Monster. He's freakin monster.
He drops the rifle onto the ground. Pa just watches; he ain't doin nothin.
What would a Calmon man do?
A Calmon man woulda pulled the trigger.
But Pa ain't pull the trigger, he couldn't.
A Calmon man would-
-he ain't pull the trigger.
But a Calmon man would.
You ain't a Calmon man, are ya, Pa? Calmon men are monsters. Calmon men kill people. Mr. Fenway is a Calmon man. Pa's just Pa. He's like me, he's just himself. And Pa himself wouldn't kill nobody.
But he still shot the girl.
He meant to kill her then, didn't he?
Answer the question…
A Calmon man would answer the question.
Mayor Calhoun wants to just leave the girl there. No one comes out into the woods anyway, so she wouldn't be found.
It's Mr. Fenway's idea to burn the body.
"Hurry on up before it rains!" he screams at one of the men- a younger boy named Marcus Crimwood. I ain't really talk to Marcus that much, only other kid I've talked to is Riley. He ain't got that many other kids round his age since he was born at such an awkward time; eighteen years ago. Wasn't much people wantin to bring a baby into the world back then. Maybe that's why he's so quiet round town, and why he couldn't wait to be goin on the Hunt. Cause he wants to be considered one of the older men so badly; it'd give a group of people to belong to.
Marcus ain't say a thing when Fenway pulled the trigger on that rifle. In fact, I remember his face turnin, and lookin toward the stream at the sound of the gunshot. Ain't Marcus a good kid? He's quiet, sure. But don't he at least gotta heart?
He pauses, intimidated by the ancient man standin six inches below him. Then he reaches into his back pocket, and takes outta lighter. Mr. Fenway moves aside, makin a show of guesterin Marcus to the girl. "Light up that head full of all that pretty hair first," Mr. Fenway says with a cackle.
Marcus bends down and kneels next to the girl. He takes a handful of her hair, and slowly brings the lighter toward it.
And his entire body bursts into flames.
Every one round him flies backward, a few of them fallin next to the hooves of their horses. I watch in horror as his arms flail, his feet spring him backward, and he lands on his back writhing in pain. He doesn't make sound. His body is gettin burnt to ash, and he doesn't make a single sound. It's like watchin a puppet get set on fire, its just a buncha flames movin all over the place. No one moves close enough to help him as his body roll back and forth in the grass.
His arms and legs keep flailin.
He keeps slamin his palms back onto himself, tryin to put out the flames. But they've engulfed him, and they ain't goin nowhere.
What the heck?
What the freakin heck?
Then the flames stop movin. And Marcus becomes nothin more than a ball of fire. A lifeless ball of fire burnin away on the ground. I think I throw up again. I don't even know if I breathe for the next million years. My eyes stay stuck on that ball of fire that used to be Marcus Crimwood. My arms hang limp at my side, my legs feel like jelly, and my head seems about explode. Marcus was a good guy. He ain't deserve that. Ain't nobody, not even Fenway, deserve that. I feel the ground tremble under me as Apollo takes off. I don't know, and at the moment, I don't care. The men down there ain't lookin up here, anyways. They ain't even lookin at the body.
They lookin at the girl-
And she's sittin up…
"That hurt," she says lookin at Mr. Fenway.