The Witch’s Memory part seventy

The witch tossed back her hair and searched the sky

“I’m going to help you and I’ll tell you why

Too long our world have been at arms’ length

Not taking advantage of each other strength

So we battle amongst ourselves

Placing us in our combined hell

To break free means to reach out

Showing that vengeance is not all that where about

If that means starting with you and me

Then that is how it must be

I carry no ill will towards you

For we have only just met that much is true

But our struggles are connected down to the bone

This is our plight that we must own

We need to save each other no longer broken

By the words so long ago spoken”

The princess was confused by the witch

As her surroundings return to pitch


The Witch’s Memory (revisited) part eight

Time passed by, days turned to months, months into years
And the time did little to quell the fears
Jaspeak felt that long lost day
When she listened to what her father had to say
Now she was a lovely lady of sixteen
Her hair shimmered with a dark sheen
Eyes of violet sparkled dazzling in the sun
And when she smiled the day truly had begun
She was the loveliest lady in the village for sure
Wickedly sharp and so much more
She could conjure a spell with barely a wink
Impossible things one could hardly think
No spell however was as wicked and cold
As the one she could place over one’s heart and soul
A look from her would make your heart prance
Making the boys in the village take their chance
At winning the heart of a girl so fair
A challenge her father could hardly bear
Each day he expelled a weary groan
Begging the boys to leave her alone
But their persistence would grow of this he knew
For her beauty was alluring and her heart was true
Thankfully Jaspeak went on without much notice
Choosing instead to simply focus
On her studies of the power of magic
To cure what ailed a land so sick
Still purging out the darkness caused by her lineage
Her family’s name she pursued to salvage
At this time she was running home
As she did her father let out a groan
Having an idea already lodged in his head
And wondering if it was too late to fate her a quiet book lover instead
An ambitious tyke she would always be
Her destiny for greatness easy to see
Jaspeak gave her father a hug
Truly a powerful and wondrous drug
One capable of washing away woe and trepidation
Filling his soul with overwhelming elation
Of course with his heart melted it was time to pursue
What it was she actually wished to do
The young lady asked to delve deep
Into the woods while the sun did sleep
To be watched over by no more than moon and prayer
Assuring him that she was able to care
For herself and her own well being
Not to forget the knowledge she’d be acquiring
There was no fight he was able to provide
A youngling’s education could not be denied
So with a grudging groan he submitted to her whim
And the lovely girl went to hug him
Not stopping in her praise that he was the best
Although it did his heart well he knew it was jest
Jaspeak went skipping off into the dark of the forest
Where woodland creatures were seeking their rest

The Witch’s Memory (revisited) part seven

The uneasiest of truce was brokered that day
Sending the two on their separate way
The non-magicals would go about their life
And about their work without an iota of strife
As long as the magicals stayed to ourselves
In the land where dark magic delves
Search parties were sent out for the missing daughters
Hearts were fearful they met up with marauders
Of them there was neither hair nor hide
Leaving the king to suspect they’d died
But what to do with the one who remained
The one pregnant and caught under the dark magic strain
Ready was the babe to go through the trials of birth
Although its mother was no longer much worth
Madness dwelled deep in her dark eyes
Dark like the magic we all despise
What to do with this girl now
“The daughter I once knew is dead like a slain cow
She with her sisters far away from this place
Away from the dark things and her father’s disgrace
This thing before me is no child of mine
So what you choose to do by me is fine
Though I ask a favor if you please
Set her ablaze to rid her of this magical disease.”
The king left the words there like a festering boil
Leaving our people in shock and to recoil
Once the shock was done and over
What to do with the girl did hover
Fortunately her life was spared
Although so drunk off of magic she could not have cared
She gave birth to our new lineage
Our bloodline: the great Erwin the Sage
Our greatest minds were left to exercise
The demons within the mother’s eyes
Eventually it all was ill fated
As her condition deteriorated
She passed away the following fall
A heavy burden on us all
And baby Erwin was raised by the folks of good
Things were turning out exactly as they should.”
Little Jaspeak gave her eyes a blink
Letting moments pass so she could think
“But Dad that doesn’t explain
How it is you gave me this name.”
Her father’s eyes took on a distant haze
She found herself lost in them just like a maze
The world held its breath right with her
“Remember what Jaspeak and his bride were
That was their past long behind
A shred of who they were you cannot find
They were tainted that much is true
But that my dear has nothing to do with you
You my dear are a new spring bloom
Not predestined to their doom
You were not made in darkness and blight
But rather to show the world the light
Jaspeak at one point was truly great
That greatness is what I see for your fate.”
The little girl gave her father a hug
One tear soaked and oh so snug
He picked her up and carried her
Inside the home where Mother waited with dinner
And as they partook of meat and bread
Not stopping until they were well fed
Despicable plotting was amiss
Plotting that would forever end scenes like this

The Witch’s Memory (revisited) part six

Our leader took this time to flee
All the while his head buzzing like it contained a bee
The world he knew swept out under his feet
Leaving him to wonder what end his people would meet
Jaspeak declared war on the nonmagical ilk
A distasteful act like sour buttermilk
Our leader pleaded to all of our kind
Speaking of the great wizard had lost his mind
He told them of what the man planned
Then he made a plea, not a demand
Calling on the good within them all
To help him complete the great wizard’s fall
There were a few who sided with Jaspeak
But there was no reason for our leader to grow weak
Those who were willing to join the fight
Were great in number, courage and might
A line had been drawn on the proverbial sand
Armed with magic and followers at his command
Our leader led the charge against all that was dark
For goodness he claimed would leave its mark
So a war waged on between evil and good
A battle for truth and no more falsehood
Jaspeak proved to be a formidable foe
Leaving his enemies with no where to go
Only to press forward through all he could conjure
Making an army of all manner of creature
Nightmarish beasts and blood drenched demon
Anything at all that the great wizard could summon
The war waged on for far too long
Our leader and the heartbroken king plunging headlong
Into the center of the terrible battle
The faith in their cause refusing to rattle
Until at last the king’s blade struck true
In the warlock’s chest and Jaspeak’s face went blue
The wizard fell upon the ground
They were victorious but certainly bound
By woe, misery at those they had lost
Their victory coming at a great cost
Many of the valiant lay dead in the wake
Waiting for the grim reaper to take
Their souls to the heavens or the depths of hell
A resting place for them to eternally dwell
The king and our leader were left on the battlefield
What had been broken could never be healed
Although they had fought side by side
A solace between them it did not provide

The Witch’s Memory (revisited) part three

A heaviness perched upon his shoulder
Making him appear several years older
She snuggled in his arms, her eyes aimed to the lowering sun
Her mind wondering what it was that had been done
What had been done to cause her father this woe
The answer her curiosity had to know
“Well your great- great-grandfather Jaspeak,”
He father did speak
“Was a great wizard beyond any compare
So much so it was considered unfair
To those without any kind of magic
In fact their lives seemed rather tragic
Because of Jaspeak we had no worries about being fed
From his magic we learned how to heal when we bled
We could create fire with the flick of the wrist
And that is only the beginning of his achievement list
Almost everything we have, food and supply
Came because a man named Jaspeak did try
Meanwhile outside of this land we call home
The spirit of pestilence did roam
Touching the crops, the water, and folks’ health
With all that combined it touched the kingdom’s wealth
The king at the time was no better than a pauper
All of his gold reduced to a handful of copper
Desperate the king came to us on bended knee
Making a most generous plea
For us to stop watching them suffer
He had very little to offer
In exchange for crops and fresh water
He would provide us more land and his first daughter
For most of us folk his offer was far too generous
All he had to do was ask, no need for all this
Jaspeak however thought otherwise
He didn’t care for the ungifted’s cries
Deep in his heart these people he did loathe
No matter how hard the people strove
For peace, love and unity
To him this was not how it was supposed to be
Jaspeak was all too aware of their plight
Considered it a plague to rid the world of this blight
Magical folk were superior he thought in his head
And he considered this the reason he had been bred
To bring his people into the dawning of a new age
Where he would be crowned most wise and sage
He’d build castles on the bones of the unfortunate
His place in history already set
He convinced our leader to take the deal
His plot beginning to churn its wheel
The did retrieve his firstborn
Who was lovely if not a bit forlorn
Wouldn’t you be if you were found in her predicament
No more than a commodity meant to be spent
A royal made to be a bargaining chip
So it was understandable she had a tremble in her lip
Jaspeak claimed the girl as his own
his plans for her laid unknown
But no one would dare question a wizard so great
That is until it was much too late
Back to his home went Jaspeak and his unwilling bride
His heart swollen with unearned pride
Pride in doing what he felt right
A course of action to bring his people to the light
You see my sweet dear
The sold princess had need to fear
Jaspeak wanted to create the dark art
Of curses, jinxes. It was his plan from the start
And the lovely young girl would be his practice
A litmus test for his dark magic
So our folk went along with the deal
And soon the non magical folk began to heal
From the troubles that plagued them so
But how were they to know
That their troubles were far from an end
If they had known they would have began to fend
To protect themselves from the troubles that loomed
Perhaps then they may not have been doomed
For several years the truce between us seemed great
We were devoid of harm and devoid of hate
We could call our non magical brethren friend
The lines between enemy and friend started to blend
Then one day as the non magicals were reaping their wheat and hay
They found their crops withered and reeking of decay
This was the first time they had been met with woe
Since the deal had been struck so long ago
The non magicals cried out about what had befallen them
With winter approaching things may turn grim
Our leader befuddled by this new predicament
“Something happened. Magic awry it went
Our own crops are fine and doing quite well
Why this happened to you I don’t know what to tell
We’ll seek for you an answer to this
No stone unturned until we find what’s amiss.”
This soothed over our relations
And the king’s people went back to their vocations
As the non magicals went about their life
Our leader sought to end the pending strife
What better way to find a solution to the matter
Than to seek Jaspeak for a little chatter
Our leader sought out the great magician
Hoping he’d play the part of magical physician
He marched over to the wizard’s home
To find Jaspeak waiting on his porch alone
Out leader wished to ask about the king’s girl
Curious to the answers that would unfurl
But a greater matter rested at hand
A matter that would effect the land
To his surprise the situation was known to Jaspeak
A solution he already did seek
He told our leader to go about his way
Perhaps he’d have a solution by the end of the next day
This pleased our magical lord
Those actions were the reason Jaspeak was adored
Happy that Jaspeak was hard at work
He felt there’d be an answer to this murk
Then the next day came as the sun did rise
And more complaints were brought to our leader’s surprise
This time the king was a part of the company
Our leader said “What bring you to see me?”
The king could not hide his countenance
“It seems we’ve been plagued by a new circumstance
This has nothing to do with the deal we’ve made
But we’ve exhausted options, unheard went what we prayed
Gone mad every animal has
They hiss, growl and even spazz
Their eyes glow garnet red
They gnash and bite, and don’t crave to be fed
All they do is run crazed and wild
Just the other day a wolf bit a child
This child fell ill and rabid as well
Quite a situation as you can tell
For now the young one is locked in the tower
As you can imagine this all has been rather dour
We can not begin to eat such beasts
For fear of becoming the same at least
We have little to offer in way of wage
Any help at all would be so sage.”
Our leader waved away this jest
“We will all do our best
Something strange is happening in this land
An answer to this is what I demand
Take back to your castle an eased heart
Jaspeak will know just where to start.”
The king and his folk bid ado
Now that this conversation was through
Our leader sought out Jaspeak once again
Hoping with his wisdom he’d know where to begin
The sun gave way to the night’s pearl eye
Our leader felt dismayed yet he didn’t know why
He knocked on the door for the wizard Jaspeak
Instead of strongly the knock came meek
Strong or not the knock was heard
And Jaspeak wore a grin like a cat who’d caught a fat bird

Beautiful (revisited)

*Here’s another revisited piece of Halloween goodness. Originally this was posted on Webook for a contest to create monsters. It didn’t win but plenty enjoyed it. I hope you will to. Until next time have a writeous day!*

“I just want her to dance again.”

The words pour in my ears through a dirty filter of drugs working through my veins. I’m numb. If not for the fact I can see and hear my captor I could have mistaken this for death. A man, shock of red hair and yellow skinned, sharpened a blade at an ancient grindstone. Sparks flew, illuminating the filthy dungeon which housed them. Remenants of other unfortunate teen girls littered the blood-soaked floor. As the sparks fall like poisoned fairies I can see his bloodshot eyes. I can’t tell the color they once were. It looks like he’s done nothing but cry for years nonstop.

The grinding stops. Only a lone candle lights this torrid opus of horror. I see the machete blade clearly as he holds it in trembling hands. He’s so thin the blade seems to anchor him to the ground.

“She was a beautiful dancer,” the crying-man says. “Since she could walk…she danced. Then daddy had a bit too much to drink one day and ran her over as she walked home from school. I didn’t mean to. What father would that to his little girl?”

The crying-man nearly collapsed under the weight of his fallen tears, but steadied himself with the ominous blade. I want to scream but the damn drugs. “She died. All because of me she never got to be the dancer she wanted to be. But I can fix that. Isn’t that right honey?”

With that said there was a shuffling sound. Something was dragging along the floor. I can’t tell if my heart is pounding or not. Then the sound reveals itself. Jagged nails dug into the ground to pull his daughter into the light. A series of garish black stitches seem to hold all of her limbs together. The arms are slightly different sizes, her once beautiful crimson locks was now a mangled mess, and her lower half…was missing. The crying-man leaned down and stroked her face like she was an animal. He stared upon what was left of his baby girl before turning to me again.

“I just want her to dance again.” He comes closer to me, close enough for me to feel the dampness in his eyes. “You would have loved to see her dance. She was so…beautiful.”

He raises the blade.

The candle goes out.

Harmony (revisited)

*This is a short story I wrote around the same time last year. At some point I’d love to flesh out the tale a bit more. Until then I hope you enjoy!*

Leaves of scarlet and amber skittered along the ground making a sound like skeletons clawing out of tombs. Children of all ages took to the streets to partake in the festivities of Halloween night. Jack o’ lanterns shone with garish grins from porches, and plastic bats were caught in store bought spider webs. Every street in the town of Harmony was flooded with princesses, superheroes, fairies, and at least three versions of SpongeBob Squarepants.
The familiar chant of trick or treat reverberated through the darkness to be greeted with smiles and candy by the fistful. It was destined to be a glorious night in the close-knit community of Harmony. One of the best since the town was created twenty years ago.
“Bet we get the most candy tonight.” Jason said smugly from behind his Captain America mask.
Although the boast appeared to be directed at no one in particular, the boys knew it was meant for Tom. Tom, unofficially, had been made leader of their little band of misfits. The crew consisted of three; Tom, Mike, and a kid everyone called Bozo. Perhaps he was given the name because of the way his hair, fire orange and just as wild, jutted to the side like bad clown wigs. Or maybe it was the way his eyes darted from left to right even when he sat still. Whatever the reason everyone, including teachers called him Bozo, and his true name had been lost to the ether.
Tom, in his pirate garb, scoffed. “The only way to do that would be to steal our candy. Besides it’s not like more houses are going to spring up.”
That’s when behind the superheroes’ molded grin Jason gave his own unsettling one. “There are more houses outside of Harmony.”
A cool autumn wind rustled their bags, and brushed their necks like an affectionate apparition. Tom’s blood turned to lead which settled in his gut, hardening. Still his own face remained steadfast.
“Whatever. Like you’re going to leave Harmony.”
“Of course I am.”
The resolve in Jason’s voice accompanied by a chorus of yeahs and giggles from the other two members of his crew was enough to imply his seriousness. Behind that mask there was truth in every word he said. The respect and honor of Tom’s classroom hierarchy was at stake.
“You’re not going to get more than me.” Tom threatened.
“Try to stop me.” With that Jason and his crew took off as a complete unit. A gaggle of masked tweens charging off into the night, heading for the town’s gates.
Shaken from their stunned states Tom and his friends peeled off after them. The brisk autumn wind pressed against the trio, making each step harder and their prey further away. Soon Jason and his crew faded away, leaving Tom and his crew huffing along the sidewalk. Tom couldn’t believe how out of shape he felt for being so young.
“We’re never going to catch them,” moaned Bozo as he looked ready to topple over.
Tom had been ready to concede to this when he happened to look up. His eyes fell on the woods. Tall, brittle trees dressed in armor of dry bark blocked out the moon. Beyond the thick bunching of trees, he knew as they all did, the next town over resided. Jason may have had the lead, however if Tom cut through the woods he’d beat him to the next town first and win the war.
“Let’s cut through the woods.” He said already heading in that direction.
The only thing stopping him was the feeling of no one following behind him. He turned back to find both his friends stricken with the exact same face. Their youthful faces suddenly old and racked with fear. They were frozen like gargoyles that turned to stone at night.
“What’s with you guys?” Tom nearly shouted.
“We can’t go through there.” Bozo answered. “Don’t you know about the pixie?”
“The what?”
“The pixie that guards the woods? Everyone knows about. You can never go through the woods.”
“Well I’ve never heard of this, and it’s just a bunch of trees. The next town is right behind them.”
Mike and Bozo exchanged glances, letting the words flutter between them. Neither of them wanted to speak the tale so the burden fell to Bozo.
“Before this was Harmony it was all woods, trees and ponds everywhere, ya know? The stories say the woods were inhabited by pixies who were the protectors of the wood. All was fine until a developer came and decided to build his town.
“He built the town quickly. One moment had been on the verge of a forest, and the next it was leveled to nearly nothing. Most of the trees were gone, the flowers and animals as well. With it the pixies died. They died because they were caught off guard, not doing what they were sworn to do which was protect the woods they were assigned.
“All but one who had gone off to gather some food. She came back to find all her family, her friends, dead. Her mind filled with their screams and the screams of all the chopped trees. The screaming is said to have drove the pixie insane. They made her do…things.”
Tom did his best to appear undisturbed by the story. “What kind of things?”
Bozo looked around before speaking as if what he was going to say would be carried on the Halloween air to the ears of unseen enemies. A ghost of panic settled in his normally wild eyes.
“Haven’t you ever wondered why no one bothered to mow down this patch of woods? I mean, you easily fit several huge houses in it. Well from what I heard the pixie started messing with the machines. All of a sudden all the bulldozers and everything wouldn’t start. Tires would be flat in the morning, and windows smashed. Heck, I even heard a few fires were set.
“So they sent in construction workers with chainsaws. Not a single tree was touched before they came running back out. They all said they heard something, a voice whispering to them to run. To leave the woods alone. To leave a gift for the fallen. Some even said they felt little hands on them. Scrabbling over them like a cat. Those hands were headed for their eyes. Of course this company quit after that.
“But the developer still remained adamant that this last bit be taken down. So while he was on the phone making calls for a new company to come out and level the rest of the woods, his daughter decided to go out and play amongst the trees. Story is she went in deep, where all you can see in either direction is more trees. Then came the screams. She screamed so loud, man.
“Her dad, the whole town, came rushing to the sound. His daughter stumbled out, blood trickling down her face. Her eyes were gone. Totally gone, man.”
“And you think this pixie took them?”
“Of course! At least that’s what my mom says. She was there after all she said. Besides this town is named after the girl, his daughter that is. Harmony.”
A chill went through the air, rattling the bones of the trees. Somewhere in the distance a court of owls shot off towards the waning moon, their hooting echoing through the blanket of darkness. Tom looked around at his friends. They were petrified, trembling beneath their layer of disguises. Tom did his best to maintain his composure, but his insides were a chaotic fluttering.
“Whatever. You guys can be chickens if you want. I’m going to get some more candy.”
He turned and headed for the dark void of shadowy woods. With each step he hoped, prayed, he’d hear the footsteps of the people he called his friends.
But he was denied that joy.
The bare trees swayed drunkenly in autumn’s breath dressed in the light of the moon. Tom couldn’t explain it, but the air felt colder here as if the season decided to play as winter this Halloween. The wind forced the brittle branches to scratch together like dry witch’s fingers. Shafts of silver light jetted down between the fighting tree limbs.
Tom’s fingers tightened around his bags of candy. Inside his chest his heart thundered against his ribs, echoing in his ears. Moonlight shone the way for him.
However the further he went into the woods the more his confidence grew. His heart slowed down. Victory seemed to be at hand. The story Bozo told him seemed distant now. A bad dream fading when he woke.
“What a bunch of cowards.” He spoke to the trees.
What had started as tentative steps were getting bolder, longer. He was sure he could sense other kids up ahead. Everything was going his way. And then…
Tom stopped in his tracks. The voice was a whisper kissing his ear. Back and forth he twisted his head scanning the moon-dappled darkness. To greet his vision there was more cold and black.
Once again he set off on his way, putting one foot in front of the next. His heels trampled leaves underneath, crackling like burnt paper.
This time Tom was sure he heard something. Again he searched through the darkness to find nothing. As he searched this time the trees appeared to be closing in on him. He couldn’t remember which way he had been facing. All around him the trees started to swayed, clacking together violently. Through the shadows he thought he saw the trees began to move, shuffling about like the dead.
As he felt them wandering, the moonlight became scarce. At times seeing his own hands in front of him was difficult. He dropped his bags of candy and ran. Tom had no idea where he was headed; he just knew he needed to get away. Far, far away from the suffocating black, from the voice chasing him.
Wind greeted his face brushing away the sweat beading on his brow. His breaths became shallow. Shadows gathered in bunches shading the world from him. The cool air seemed much cooler, as if the world dropped thirty degrees.
I…see…you…I see you…Intruder…I see you…Pretty eyes…The better to see with…Intruder…
Tom kept running. Every inch of his body hollered in protest. He wanted to stop, but in his mind sat the firm knowledge that he couldn’t. He needed to escape.
I want them…You’re eyes are so big, hoo-man…So big…Perhaps then I’ll see…Perhaps then…
The voice drifted into the dark, encircling him. It felt as though a tiny mouth was breathing on his neck. He panicked. His fear caused his feet to tangle. Tom fell to the earth quickly. He crashed with a thud, fallen leaves shooting up around him like confetti. The fall stole his breath, silencing him.
In his silence the world was frightening. He heard leaves rumbling along the ground, the swish of the air weaving through the trees. In his stunned state he heard the sound of little feet beating against the crinkled leaves.
The footsteps were precise, and quick, and headed for him. Alien breathing accompanied the sound, something like wind trying to work through a busted reed. Tom’s vision grew watery as the noise pulled closer. His eyes hurt as the salty tears stung him.
However the closer the sound came the slower it took to reach him. The beast was slowing down for some reason. Tom did his best to stay silent, although the pain racked his body. Through the liquid veil in his narrowed eyes he witnessed a creature step into the shafts of dwindling light.
It was grey, like spent lump of charcoal, and stood no more than a foot tall. It was propped on four spindly legs that managed to hold up its frail body. Everything about it seemed sharp, from its pointy fingers to its jagged feet, and most certainly its needle-like fangs from its small mouth. Where there would have been eyes and undoubtedly pointed ears there was nothing.
Nothing besides caked blood years old.
Tied to the creature’s waist was what Tom mistook for bells. But as the creature came further into the light he knew they weren’t bells. They were eyes. Harmony’s eyes.
The sickly looking creature made a clicking sound as it darted its head left to right. It was so close, close enough to reach out and touch it, close enough to smell the stink of dead leaves on its breath. Growing up he always thought pixies and faeries were beautiful and fun looking. But he was wrong.
So very wrong.
“Where are you?” screeched the eyeless pixie as it sniffed the air for clues. “Any who enter my wood must leave a gift. A gift, a penance for my fallen clan, my family. You didn’t leave a gift. No gift, hoo-man. I want those eyes, those precious peepers, hoo-man. Give them to me.”
The pixie scuttled about on its four legs, inhaling deeply. “I know you’re here hoo-man. Give me your sight. Let me see through your eyes. Let me see how hoo-mans could not notice my people, could not see them dying. How hoo-mans could not hear their screams, the wailing of the trees. Can you hear them, hoo-man? Can you hear their cry? I can. I took my ears to escape the sound but no no no, I hear them still. Maybe if I took your ears…Yes yes. Ears and peepers, yes.”
Tom remained laying there like a parched slug. The smell of the leaves was driving him mad. Still he couldn’t move.
The pixie sniffed the air then cautiously skittered close to Tom’s face. With the pixie this close Tom saw the layers of dirt on its ashen flesh that it wore like armor. He did his best to hold his breath as the stench assaulted his nostrils. More tears filled his eyes.
“I want my gifts, hoo-man. I want my penance. Give them to me!”
The pixie’s shout rattled a family of birds from their slumber. The moon seemed to get brighter as if trying to aid the creature. Tom didn’t want to die here in the woods. Not by the hands of a murderous pixie. And certainly not over candy.
Again the pixie made the horrible clicking sound from its throat. Tom cringed, drawing the attention of the mad fae. It stared down with hollow sockets.
Like a bolt Tom took his hand and smacked the creature away. There was no time to see where the pixie went sprawling to. He needed to move, and move he did. Under the blinding moonlight he ran, ran, and ran.
Anywhere had to be better than here. So the only objective on Tom’s mind was to move, keep moving. Fire burned in his legs. He ignored it.
‘Keep moving Tom, keep moving.’
Soon he heard the sounds of actual life. Cars, people, laughter. It drove Tom to move faster, toward the life, toward salvation. Streetlights called to him like a beacon through the cluster of trees.
‘Keep moving Tom. Please keep moving.’
His internal dialogue paid off as his weary feet landed on the sidewalk. Never in his life had he been so glad to see a block of cement. As he stood panting, Jason and his friends came up the street.
There was genuine respect in his nemesis’s voice. “Well well well. I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Tom struggled to breathe. When he finally caught his breath he looked up to find a look of horror etched in the eyes of Jason and his crew. The feel of tiny, sharp hands pulling at his eyelids made him scream.
“I see you. I want my gifts. I want my penance!”