Note: I will be posting a chapter from The Dangerous Life of Agnes Pyle each day until the book has been fully posted. I am doing this as a way to entertain those who have been coping with the new life of social distancing, social isolation, and quarantine in the world right now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once complete, I will hold the book on in full on my site until 1/1/2021. On that day, it’ll no longer be accessible for free.
I ask people to share links freely while the book is available, but please do not copy or do anything else without expressed permission from me, the copyright holder.
If you would like to skip ahead, you are always welcome to purchase a copy, just click the link HERE (or click up top at the menu bar) to go to the book’s page where there are links to where it is available in both print and ebook. Enjoy and I hope that you and your family are doing well!
The Dangerous Life of Agnes Pyle
by Jeremy C Kester
(c) Jeremy C Kester – All Rights Reserved
Emily was pacing around the room. David wasn’t responding. She sent the text message just a few minutes before, but time was passing much slower than that. Reports came in quickly about the fire. Agnes’ house. She knew it even as her father raced out the door refusing to tell Emily the address. Didn’t matter though, she heard the address over the scanner.
Her father was a volunteer firefighter.
Clearly David had to have been doing something that was distracting him from the phone. Did he have it on silent? Was it in another room? He was probably playing video games with the volume turned too far up or his headphones on. It was not the right time for that!
Finally, a text came through. Took him long enough, she thought to herself.
“WHAT? Can we go now?????” it read. Took him long enough. But she wasn’t thinking patiently. Had this been another day, something less urgent, she probably wouldn’t’ve even cared that it took him that long or longer to reply.
She fumbled with the phone trying to type a reply. Shaking wasn’t helping her. She clicked the send button as she tried to run out of the door. Sneaking past her mother was easy. In fact, it was too easy. Unlike her father, her mother didn’t have the same strict sense of curfew. Emily wanted to go out? No problem. Since her father wasn’t home, it meant that she didn’t have to worry.
David and her met a block up from Agnes’ house. Each had a look of worry in their eyes. “Are you sure it’s her house?” David asked.
“They said it over the scanner.”
“Oh man,” David said. “Hope she’s OK.”
Over the houses surrounding them they could see the orange glow of their friend’s home. Agnes’ home. The pair ran as fast as their legs would carry them, David trailing behind the taller Emily. As they came within sight of the fire, they saw the dozens of emergency vehicles surrounding the area.
A police barricade was set up with many people in the neighborhood filling in the spaces to watch the fiasco. When both children reached the edge they looked around wildly trying to see if they could see an ambulance, and around that ambulance if there was any sign of their friend.
The pair moved up and down the line seeing if they could see anything. Worry filled both of their faces allowing them to both know what each of them were saying without saying a word. Careful not to attract any attention, they tried to slip past the barrier to get a closer look. Easy. Just a little closer. They needed it. They needed to make sure that their friend was safe.
Emily was the first to cross the barrier. She had done so often. Father was a firefighter, there was at least an excuse. Conversely, David took a moment to decide whether it was a good idea or not. Of course it was. Fear kept him from reacting as fast. Something about crossing over the orange edge of safety held him back. And then it didn’t.
A short jog brought David back to Emily’s side. Caution was needed. If by chance they were spotted, they would have to be taken back to the line.
And that is what happened.
“What are you two doing?” an officer asked right before grabbing the pair. “This is not a place for kids.”
“That’s our friend’s house!” Emily said. “We want to see if she’s ok!” David hid behind his friend.
“Your friend is fine, but you two need to leave. No one was home. It is not safe for you to be here.” The officer grabbed the pair nudging them back towards the barrier.
Thinking it was a good idea, Emily blurted out, “my dad’s one of the firemen!”
“And I am sure that he would be less happy to see you here,” the officer cut in.
Red flushed across Emily’s face hidden well by the reflection of all of the lights surrounding them. Adults always ruined the best of plans. To think that this wasn’t even for anything other than to make sure that their friend was ok. Where was the harm in that? Of course they couldn’t know the harm in that… the harm in a fire demon being nearby.
“Emily, we should go,” David said to the side.
The officer knelt. “Look,” he said trying not to be too blunt. “Your friend is OK.”
“How do you know?” Emily asked pointedly. Her face was staunch, angry.
The officer shook his head. Taking his hand off of them, he said, “her guardian picked her up earlier. Nobody was home.” Timing was of course exaggerated. Earlier could have meant anything to anyone. To the kids it meant long before the fire. To those a little closer to the situation, it meant that Brandt and Cadence had gotten there just in time to get Agnes out before a demon killed her.
The officer knew that; Emily and David didn’t.
“I want you both to just go home. I am sure that your friend will be able to call you to let you know herself.”
Heads nodded. Without much more protest, the pair snuck back into the night. Every so often they turned back to watch the blaze. Filip kept his eyes on them to make sure they continued walking.
“I hope she’s OK,” David said. Emily did too.
If you would like to skip ahead, you are always welcome to purchase a copy, just click the link HERE (or click up top at the menu bar) to go to the book’s page where there are links to where it is available in both print and ebook.