Salem

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


“This is a prime example of the people that possess these ‘powers’,” he taunted the crowd, “Unfriended, uneducated, unwanted, and simply unneeded. He is unworthy of walking the same Earth as us.
And for that, he shall die.” The crowd erupted into cheers as the village leader threw the torch at the boy’s feet.

Submitted: March 22, 2018

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Submitted: March 22, 2018

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Salem

He was bound to a cross on top of a large stage. Hay was tied around him, “to keep the fire going” the villagers had explained. The crowd cheered as one of the village leaders lit a torch. The teen mumbled a desperate “no” before weakly pulling at his ties. The village leader walked slowly to the teen until he was a foot beside him. He laughed at the boys struggling and the crowd mocked it. He raised a hand upward, motioning to the boy. “This is a prime example of the people that possess these ‘powers’,” he taunted the crowd, “Unfriended, uneducated, unwanted, and simply unneeded. He is unworthy of walking the same Earth as us. And for that, he shall die.” The crowd erupted into cheers as the village leader threw the torch at the boy’s feet. The boy screamed as flames flickered at his feet; dancing as though his feet were swaying in sync with the blazes. The fear radiated off the boy; a woman in the crowd broke off into a strangled cry. The fire spread up his body to his hips. He screamed in agony. Suddenly, the flames stopped. The boys once closed eyes opened slowly in astonishment. The village leader questioningly looked at him. Before another word, taunt, chant, or cry was said, an arrow struck the village leader in the chest. Villagers swarmed the stage, armed with torches and their dull sense of human emotion. Arrows were being shot in all directions, it was either a miracle, coincidence, or perfect plan that saved the boy.

 A masked, cloaked figure came up from behind the boy and started to untie him. The boy studied the figure but didn’t say anything. For all the boy knew, this was his death initiation to hell. When he was untied he immediately crumpled, weak from the burnings. It had not only scorched his body but burned away his hope. The figure scooped the boy in his arms and ran to a cart. Gently placing the boy in, he ran the cart to the tunnels where he knew no one would see or dare go looking. It was a close call whether they’d make it or not, the villagers seemed persistent. But, by chance, they made it just in time. He grabbed the boy again and carried him into the tunnels.

Even a blindman would know not to go in these tunnels. You could hear the eerie sounds and screams, feel the once living creatures stacked below your feet, smell the rot. This tunnel had far passed its expiration date. The figure pushed on, carrying the child in his hands, careful not to stir him in his blacked-out state. He traveled the turns with ease, having gone through these tunnels as a child, it was very remember-able. He walked for about an hour through the tunnels that now seemed sewer like, navigating himself towards his home-safe. Whenever the boy seemed to stir, he stroked his hair calmingly, willing him back to rest. They arrived to his ”base” after nearly 2 hours. It wasn’t much, but who it housed was far more crucial. The man had come across various people like him; shapeshifters, wave-turners, heat-bringers, thought-feelers, all which he offered housing and food to. He felt that most of all they would need to stay together.

He laid the boy down on a small cot and went to see Sam. Sam was his second recruit. Sam was given the nickname, “Merman” when villagers first saw Sam save a whale from being beached. He had found Sam when villagers tried to drown him in the ocean. As for the boy, the villager gave his own narrative of why Sam shall die, “Drown in your grave, for I control only of my arms, hands, and body. Those are human traits. You control of the waves? Well drown in your bloody abyss, sea monster!” They bound his arms and legs, and threw him into the waves. The man who saved the boy had also saved Sam, he swam into the storm and grabbed Sam, pulling him back to shore, saving his life.

He knocked on Sam’s door, “Hey Sam, it’s me.” Sam opened the door. “Do you have him? The boy?” Sam questioned. “Yes. He’s a little burned, but he will be ok.” Sam nodded. “So were going with plan a, then?” Sam said, walking out of his room. “Yeah.” The man said. “Do you know if they made a reward for him yet?” Sam asked. “Not sure.” The man replied. They went into a small caved in area of the tunnel where they stored food. It was running a little low. They each took an apple. “We can’t keep taking in people like this.” Sam commented. The man looked at the food and nodded. “How old is this kid? Will he even be useful to us?” Sam questioned. “He looks around 15. Well he has powers, so of course that is of use. Why? Are you trying to suggest something?” The man asked. “If the reward for him is high, I say we just turn him in and get the money. I mean, look around. We won’t last much longer like this.” The man considered this. “But he is of our kind. We can’t just abandon him like that.” The man said, anger growing in his voice. “Ok, ok. I am just saying it is an idea.” Sam held his hands up, showing they were both together on this.

A loud thump noise came from the boy’s cot. The man got up and jogged over to the cot. The boy was awake. “Where am I?” He asked. He looked scared and weary. His eyes looked dull and sleepless. He was skinny and malnourished.  It looked like even before he was lit on fire, he was scorched of all life. The man laid the boy back down onto the cot. “Shush, its ok. Were in a tunnel.” The man said. The boy looked confused. “Just lie down, I’ll get you some water.” The man said. He walked over to a water bottle and grabbed it, heading back to the boy. Sam stopped him. “What are you doing? You’re going to waste our resources on him,” Sam pointed to the boy, “and yet we don’t know what he’s even worth yet!” The boy sat up, hearing this conversation. He looked scared. “He is worth something. He is a human being. Stop with this cruelness!” The man screamed. He walked over to the boy and gave him the water bottle. The man sat down next to him and asked him questions about his life, the man in return, telling him stories of his own.

Around night time the man made his way back to the food area to get bread for a supper for the boy. He fed the boy and when the boy was sleepy, told him, “Good night.” He left the boys room and stumbled upon Sam. He was eating his own portion of bread in a small cavern like spot in the tunnel. “Hey. I am sorry about earlier.” Sam said, pairing his words with an apologetic look. “It’s ok.” The man said. He was still upset about it, but didn’t want to have a screaming match with Sam and wake the boy. “How is he?” Sam asked. “He is doing alright.” The man said, thinking back to the stories the boy had told him. “Well, I’m tired. I’m going to sleep and will see you in the morning.” The man said. “Goodnight.” Sam said.

Sam did not go to sleep in the next hour. Or the next two hours. Or even the hours after that. He was waiting until the middle of the night. He was not going to let this boy get in the way of his plans. He was a small, fragile boy. He would not be useful and would hold them back from reaching their desires. When it seemed around 4 am (judging by his level of tiredness) he crept into the boy’s room. He slipped a hand around the boy’s body and threw him over his back. He walked for an hour in the tunnels taking twists and turns. His knife seemed to grow heavier each step. When he finally couldn’t bare to walk anymore he dropped the boy to the ground. When he was done and had made sure the boy was dead, he walked back to the groups’ area.

The man seemed frantic the next day when he couldn’t find the boy. He searched everywhere and suddenly he stopped. He thought of the smile that curved on Sam’s lips when he apologized last night. He cried, realizing the boy would never be found. He left the tunnel, not caring about where he was going, just having to leave. The boy was innocent. He had never done anything wrong. But yet he went through his entire life malnourished and in pain. “What a cruel world” the man thought. “I am sorry” the man whispered, sobbing. “I am sorry!” he shouted. He left the world in pain and sorrow, hoping to meet the boy once again.


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