Chapter 4: It Said Goodbye

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

Reads: 70

Banshee like snorts infiltrated the air as panic arose. As Albert was being dragged away, one of the guards went up to the frozen thief with a torch in hand. He placed it up towards the cheek of the man, hoping to see any life in there. The guard bounced back in fright, seeing the frozen icicle blink, its eyes swelling up a rosy red. The man inside was trying to scream, as many made way in attempts to free the criminal- well, now victim. Another guard took hold of the stiff arm, only to pull back in fear. It was as if the frozen man knew. You could see his face twisting in pain as his body literally crumbled to pieces, smacking the cobblestone path. Blood seeped out onto the ground as some citizens vomited in shock- including that one guard that would have this imprinted on his brain for life.

 

No judge, no jury; just punishment. The lone star in the sky shinned brightly. But the real entertainment for this afternoon? Word spread fast, sentences skipping essential conviction or two. How could Mary and Albert do such a thing? It was all a ponder between the residents. Whispers coming about as guards went to fetch Mary who had been preparing a meal for her family. It made it worse for the people at this tiny town that Mary and Albert did not deny the girls existence- thus concluding they must be under the witches spell.

 

The couple were forced to their knees, hands bound by a thick rope. Two men held onto Albert and Mary like a dog tied to a tree.

“It is not their fault they have came to such foolishness!”

Many woman were on the ground, hands together with the brows knit tight. They were praying while the men were shouting profanities. The announcer was in the middle of the circle, standing next to a pole that had not been used in a long time. Since the old wood and ash had to be tended to, Rune’s parents could only think of one thing… It was their fault.

 

“We love her! She is our dau-”

 

A hard slap across the cheek, tears flew to the ground as Mary lost her balance. Albert tried to tend to his wife, but being tied up had its disadvantages. All he could do was let her rest that tired head on his chest which had been breathing heavy with anxiety.

 

“That witch turned them!”

 

The crowd roared in agreement. The announcer had that stupid grin as his big belly seem to vibrate from his laughter. In this world, the obese are the healthiest considering they get enough to eat. Being this guy is the mayor came at no surprise he ballooned up. The sun above reflected off his balding head, just the middle was missing of hair that use to reside there. His sausage like fingers pointed this way and that, hyping up the crowd.

 

“Kill the witch!!!”

 

Someone shouted, as another spit spluttering out of the their mouth like a rabid dog.

 

They were too late getting Rune out of this town, they tried to be cautious and Albert? Very much was blaming himself. He was usually so careful and seeing Rune expressing her gifts today should have hinted for them to stay home. His fingers dug into fists, hard enough to make the crimson sneak out.

 

Suddenly the crowd grew excited, even more so when today’s entertainment came out. Rune was screaming, trying to pull away. Her bare feet dug into the snow as the two guards heaved and haled their prisoner. Her hands were bound, a rope around her neck that was being tugged harshly. She wore nothing besides her blindfold, a blessing in disguise in her parents mind. Mary started screaming out to Rune, just crying so hard and Albert? He started saying sorry over and over.

 

“Papa..”

 

Rune halted a moment, looking in the direction of her parents. It seemed the world grew still, just a moment, just enough to make her realize this probably going to be the last she hears them. Rune clenched her jaw- it was SO loud for her it was almost hard to concentrate. At the end of the leash the guard pulled abruptly, making Rune fall face first. She squeaked in pain as the second guard grabbed her by the hair, pulling it enough to yank it out if he so choose.

 

“I’m sorry! I’M SORRY!”

 

Rune screamed as the two men tied her to the pole. Hands above and ankles below were tied intertwined. The only thing shielding her body was her long, wavy white hair. Rune never once cut it, being afraid of the knife, so; up it was always up in a braid and now its been revealed those beautiful, full locks touched her knees.

 

The mayor laughed as did the audience when he yanked the blindfold away. Immediately Rune began to shriek in pain once that single ray touched her white hues. They seem to sizzle in the light, causing smoke to spill into the atmosphere as the mayor was handed a torch.

 

“Once this vile thing is dead, Albert and Mary will be back to normal! Our town will be safe!”

 

The crowd of roaches cheered, almost canceling out Rune’s outcry. Before any words could be exchanged, the mayor threw the torch at Rune’s feet. Mary cried and she cried hard. Albert pushed himself up, beginning to run towards his daughter. The rope that bound his hands didn’t let him go close, not even enough to smell the flame. The flames licked Rune’s skin, the girl’s screams could probably be heard for miles.

 

“Let her go! LET. HER. GO!”

 

Blood flew this way and that as one of the guards punched Albert square in the nose, causing him to stumble backwards and making him fall to the earth. Mary used her legs to push herself next to Albert, placing the back of the palm that was cuffed gingerly upon his face. This was it, this was the end.

 

Smoke as white as milk engulfed the area as the flames continued its cackle. Rune’s mouth gaped as her face turned towards the sky, her skin seeming to curl back.

 

Albert and Mary stared in horror as their daughter began to melt, slowly but surely turning into a puddle on the ground, extinguishing the fire that had laid at the girls feet seconds earlier.

 

Everyone was silent a moment, watching as the water vibrated from the touch of the heat. She was long gone. Mary and Albert screamed as the rest of these animals yelled in excitement, happy to be rid of the witch.

 

How could this be?! The thief who was known to cause violence had been successfully stopped by Rune but because she was different she was being punished instead of praised.

 

It seemed in an act of mercy, someone grabbed a knife and released the couple from their bind. Instantly they held each other, sobbing and full of regret.

 

“We should have left sooner!”

 

The plan to leave the town, as Mary stated should have happened a week ago, maybe even a day or so. They waited too long and now their little girl is…

 

As the townsfolk began to clean up the mess, everyone stopped when the ground began to shake. Albert looked up first, nudging Mary to do the same. That puddle turned into a blob before floating up in the air. It twisted and turned, almost fighting itself as it morphed into an a solid spiral. Not even a second soon after, some of the people jumped in fright as spikes formed, slicing the air just as quick.

 

That dumb mayor lip began to quiver.

 

“Oh sh-”

 

Before he could finish, a spike lodge itself through his mouth, no longer spewing his hatred of the damned.

 

Everyone began to panic as the mayor fell backwards, landing in front of the couple who they were trying to quote on quote save.

 

No one was spared, not even the children as spikes catapulted into spines, some into heads and some more than once. It was random and terrifying and it seemed to go on for hours.

 

When the air seemed clear of its screams, only silence fell upon this tiny village. Battered breaths by the pole was the only thing to make a sound. Fingernails gripped the snow, hair all over the place. Rune came back into a solid form and very much having not a clue what just happened. She knew it wasn’t right, it was NEVER this quiet.

 

Instead of standing upon her heels, she slowly crawled forward where she last recalled hearing her parents. Not one breath besides her own, no lung motioning up and down. Her hands felt leather, slithering up towards the mouth of the man who put her to death. She pulled back once feeling the icicle protruding from his mouth. Did… did she do this?! Rune sniffed her hand, just to be sure and well, it was blood alright.

 

“Momma!?…. Papa!?”

 

Suddenly in a frenzy, she began to bolt forward, moving past the array of corpses. It did not take long to find Mary, her body had been wrangled about. Rune felt along the breast, feeling the familiarity of smells. Not only was she dead but she died protecting Albert. His corpse was right up against Mary’s body, impaled together and thankfully died together. Rune stood up as this melancholy desert seem to joke about her misfortunes. The palms of her hands hid her face, feeling around for the blindfold that she called her own. Once secured tight, she stood still, just taking in everything. They were gone, all of them were gone. The stench of death was encumbered on her own back. This day was suppose to go much different-why was she different?

 

A long, somber cry made it’s way to the air, the snowflakes seeming to spin a little more than normal. It felt like a long time of her standing there, just starring at her parents bodies.

 

After awhile, bloody footprints left a trail as she made her way back home. It was still warm inside, the pot of soup just making it to the fire. It smelled badly burned so it was kind of accurate to Momma’s cooking. She never seem to do well with making soups but this smell had a more violent undertone to it. Rune felt around, noting some of the material in the house had been yanked off. Quickly she grabbed a few things, including a new pair of clothes to bath her naked form. The cuts that had been left by the guards were gone, so were the bruises. It was like she was reborn but still without vision. This was indeed a cruel joke.

 

Pulling her hair into a very loose bun, she grabbed the nap-sack to start to depart. She had no idea where to go but knew she could not stay here. Grabbed the handle, she turned it halfway, only to stop short. She took a step backwards, realizing she was no longer alone. A rough huff reached her ears as the knob began to turn, revealing a towering figure in the doorway.

 

“Rune?”

 


Submitted: January 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 alchiap. All rights reserved.

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