13: Scared of the Dark
"...If the devil comes home and finds you, it will cost you your life..." (Grimm Brothers, The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs)
I watch the window that the girl leapt through with an empty sadness. The first human being that I've met since coming to the world of the Living and she jumps from a window.
Or had she been human? There's no mistaking the scarred and gruesome features that had stared up at me upon my rescuing her. She'd tried to cover her face after that, but I had saw enough to know she had been horribly wounded. Who could have done such a thing to a young woman here, in this world? It sends chills up and down my spine to even think of it.
I glance down at the bloody head of the cruel, little man before stooping down to pick it up. His face is frozen in a permanent scream, one that I'd most certainly been the cause of. It saddens me to know that I am the reason for such an unfortunate experience for anyone here. I hadn't meant to cause harm to anyone in this delicate and precious world, but he'd been about to kill the poor girl. I acted quickly. Everything after that had become a dark blur in which I had only been acting on instinct. I was only vaguely aware of the blood that had spilled from his body, the screams that whispered through the room, the terrified expressions on the small, warped faces of the men.
I shake my head and drop the little man's miniscule one as the dark feeling once again tries to settle over me.
The dark feeling fades as quickly as it appeared. I stand up straight as Dain and Dante burst into the room. They are breathing quite heavily and look frightened out of their minds. Every word they seemed keen on saying disappears from their vocabulary as they stare around the room.
“By Death's sickle,” Dain murmurs as his eyes fall on the severed head. He looks at me with narrowed eyes. “Zenobia, did you do this?”
My eyes drop. I feel like a scolded child. “Yes,” I admit in a soft voice. “I did.”
Dain blows out a breath while raking his hand through his greasy, black hair. “No wonder those little men ran by us screaming so. They acted as if they saw the devil.” He gives me a pointed look before glancing around at the coffins containing the dead girls. “I don't suppose any of you will complain when I say we should find another place to rest for the night.”
“Aw, we can't go back out there. You saw how poor Zenobia was feeling,” Dante says while walking over to my side of the room and pulling me into a side hug. “She'll die of fright if we take her back out there while it's still so dark.”
“It's a wonder none of us die from it right here and now,” Dain mutters while nudging the leaking head with the toe of his boot. It rolls beneath one of the beds and is obscured by shadow. Dain crosses his arms and shrugs. “What do you say, lass? Do you think you can manage out there or should we spend the night here and wait for those little men to return?”
YOU ARE READING
Wicked (Book One of The Cursed Chronicles)Fantasy
Winner in the 2016 FCRAs "Miraculous Magic" category! Esperance is a medieval land coated in magic and wonder. Heroic princes slay demons and dragons and beautiful princesses slumber beneath curses cast at birth. In this land, fairy tales are normal...