Edi Grace screamed as loud as she could as they dragged her from her bed at the moon’s full crest, the night chilly despite the onset of an early spring. They had not allowed her to even gather a coat or her shoes. “No!” She cried, tears streaming down her cheeks, threatening to freeze before they arrived at her chin and were blown away by the sharp wind. “No, please don’t let them do this to me! Please!” She tried appealing to the by-standers, none of whom seemed the least bit sorry for her.
Instead, they spoke openly in front of her, allowing Edi Grace to see their disdain for her. “I don’t know what they were thinking; having a second child!” Nellie Rey said, “They should have known from the moment she arrived, squalling like the devil was inside her, apparently he was.” Second children usually had the devil in them; unless the first child was a disgrace. Robbie Burr didn’t breath for the first few minutes of his life and he was said to be the town idiot. Folks said Satan wouldn’t live in him because he was too stupid to be influenced. When his brother came along no one questioned his purity. The protection of the firstborn passed to the younger.
This was not the case for Edi Grace. Her older brother was perfect, which was why she was being banned.
Edi Grace fought as hard as she could against the two men holding her arms, lifting her off the ground now as she added violent kicking to her struggle. The bruises were already starting to form on her flesh, visible even more lewdly in the moonlight. Upon arrival at the dock two more men stepped up, both from the head council over the town. One grabbed her legs and lifted them up to his chest height, pulling them flush against his broad form. The other trapped her wrists and began binding them with a thick twine. The Headman, the greatest man in all the land, came forward and began to speak to the crowd that surely contained the entire town.
“My people!” He boomed in a voice that made Edi Grace tremble, “You have all gathered here to witness the damnation of this possessed soul before you.” He paused looking out over the group, each head nodding in agreement, some in enthusiasm. “As is our custom, we give each second child seventeen years to prove worthy and strong enough to withstand the evils that buffet our great land. This task has proven too hard for this demon!” The Headman yelled at Edi Grace directly. “We have seen the very fires of hell on her head. Placed there by the devil himself! And now we condemn her to a watery grave that not even the demon possessing her can escape from."
As the man holding her feet let her go Edi Grace realized there would be no release from this fate as her feet were tethered just as secretly as her arms. Crying, pitifully to some, she lost all fight in her as they dragged her, half by her shoulders, and half by her hair to the small wooden canoe that would never survive the trip down river where the rocks and rapids waited to reach out and claim her life. “To symbolize our triumph over this evil, my people,” The Headman cried with vigor, “Accept this offering of surrender from the devil himself!” The Headman grabbed the long fiery red hair, streaked with gold, the hair that Edi Grace had secretly loved, and chopped it with a knife until it came away in his hand. “Die and take the demons with you!” The Headman declared and pushed the little canoe off with its shivering, short haired passenger curled up on the bottom.
As she drifted away, slowly, but surely to her death, she heard the cheers from the people on shore, glad to be rid of her once and for all. And it wasn’t long before she heard the rushing rapids with their white fingers threatening to pull her out of the little canoe to the watery death she had always feared.
I know it's very short, but those of you that know me, know that I do that a lot. :D
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