Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Halloween prompt

A writing prompt! It's been so long. And I only have ten minutes. So here it goes.

Judgement is Mine. It used to be an almost-forgotten proverb, one with no real meaning that our parents would chant when we complained of grievances. Like a muttered curse when a toe is stubbed or a hopeful prayer to ward off evil. But with the Death that took the old ones, the mantle of rulership fell upon the oldest living woman in the village, as protocol dictated. It was supposed to be just until the wisemen again came through the land and formed a new council. But they took too long.

There were reasons seventeen-year-old Veronica and her cronies were tasked so heavily with menial chores. It kept them busy. Out of trouble. But once she come into power, she branded the old proverb upon the wood above the gathering house. And she sat below it, on the only silver chair not yet destroyed, to condemn those her friends brought for judgement.

I was one of the first to be taken. When Justin came to my house, I was still weak from the mourning. He dragged me across the wooden floor and out onto the dirt street. Justin, who a month before had come round my house to escort me to the Harvest gathering. Justin, who had held my hand when it was dark. Justin, who's fingers clamped so tightly into my forearm that the pain encompassed my shoulder, sped up my neck and pulsed against my left temple.

Veronica judged me. The Death was determined to be my fault, for my whoring. But really it was because I was the next in line after her, younger by only 23 hours. Derik burned my house. Cynthia shaved my head. And Hilary shredded my clothes.

There was only one place to go. I found sanctuary with the witches. They were the only ones who would risk taking me in. They've promised to keep me. Until judgement can be mine.

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