Monday, October 3, 2011

The Granddaughter

Nightmare Fuel (Awesome brainchild of Bliss Morgan)
Day 3 Prompt

Prompt photo courtsey of Beanhugger on DeviantArt

“Potions for sale!  Cure what ails you.”  

Thin lips curved into a slight smile as the little village came into view.

“Where’s your grandfather, child?” 

A gnarled finger pointed at her with contempt.  

“He’s a day’s travel behind me,  Miss.  I’ve got all of his wares here with me.”  

The old woman’s eyes squinted tightly as she studied the girl. 

“These roads are no place for children on their own.  Your grandfather needs a talking to.”  

“Thank you, Miss.  Is there anything I can get for you?”  

She wrung her twisted, knobby hands. 

“Yes, child.  Give me the tonic for my Rheumatism.  Have you eaten today?”  

“No, Miss.  Not yet.”  

She thrust the milky glass into the woman’s hand.   The sound of coin clanked as it fell into the glass jar affixed to the side of the wood.  

I’ll bring you some food, child, and tell the others you’ve arrived.” 

Looking away, her small cheeks reddened, “You’re too kind.”  

She hobbled away, slowly shuffling toward the inn. 

Lurking in the shadow of a crumbling building, a man with a dirt-smeared face motioned to her and disappeared behind the structure.   She briefly glanced toward the inn, making sure that the old woman was not approaching.  She snaked down onto the ground, her tiny bare feet hardly touching the grass as she ran.

“Were you successful?  Samhain approaches and I will need another host.”  

 “Yes, before the sun rises in the morn, meet me on the road east of the city.  Travel until you reach the thick forest.”  

The man’s hands shook, his voice soft.  She placed a small sack in his hand, glass clanked against itself from within.  

“This will save your wife from the illness.  Your service will not be forgotten.”  

He bowed his head and spun on his heels, rushing back into the main area of town.

She smiled, happy with herself, quickly returning to her post.  The old woman appeared with a basket of food large enough to feed a family. 

 “How much, Miss?”  

“You’re hungry, girl.  Take this gift I offer you.”  

Her cheeks screamed red in protest to this woman’s kindness.  If only she knew the truth.  The woman left before she could argue.

A stream of people came and went, almost completely wiping out her inventory.  Many questioned her about her grandfather’s whereabouts but no one pressed the issue.  It was amazing what a soft smile could hide.

When the moon began to rise and she’d made her last transaction.  Drawing the rich red curtains tight, she prepared for her journey.  She’d leave before daybreak to meet the man she’d caught in her web.   Carefully unrolling a scroll, she studied the incantation.

She didn’t sleep at all, hoping that the man would live up to his end of the bargain.  Nervous, her mouth puckered as she whistled her secret signal to the horse.  Slowly, he carried her east.  Through the city and the foothills, past the good road.  When she reached the forest they waited.  She pulled the heavy curtains open wide. 

Just as promised, as the sun’s golden light shone through the thick trees, they emerged from the west.  Whimpering protest came from within the old cart.  

“ I've brought her.  She’s a slave from the castle, so don’t take her there.  No one in the villages will know her face.”  

She took his hand as she stepped down, trying not to show her excitement as they approached his offering.  

“She’ll do.  Thank you.  We’ll be back next year.”  

One side of her mouth snuck in a smirk. 

The man put the girl in the carriage, bound and squealing.   She whistled, drawing the curtain closed and they traveled into the night.  Eventually, she untied the slave.  Offering food from the basket with a soft smile, she was lulled into a sense of safety. 

Many nights she’d prepared.  The scroll was no longer even necessary anymore.  As the moon rose straight above her carriage, she gave the horse the signal to stop. 

“Let’s rest awhile before we try to find your home.”  

The girl nodded, almost flopping onto the blanket stretched across the floor.  Her breaths grew longer, until they spoke of blissful vulnerability. 

She stood, going through the motions familiar to her each year.  Calling through the thin veil to the Other Side, she chanted.  Only when she was sure they could hear her plea, she left the body currently occupied.  The evacuated body dropped to the floor, lifeless.  Hovering, the smoky wisp caressed the slave girl’s face.  It pooled around her mouth, disappearing as she inhaled unknowingly.

The slave girl’s eyes opened wide and she stood. 

"What a pity, that was a lovely body.”  

She used all her strength to push the limp, crumpled form from the carriage.  With a whistle, she was on her way.

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  1. I only wish to have separate paragraphs for the dialogue - it would make it easier to read for me :)

    This is a great introduction to something that could be a longer piece, but stands on its own. Lovely descriptions, as always. Awesome job with the prompt (and making it freaky too)

  2. There ya go :) Thank you very much. I had fun with this one!