The Saga of Salvation
"Soon they will be here to hang me," Saga spoke to the water. Her eyes remain closed, as the voices get closer, unseen torch flames dancing between the branches of the trees. "That is, if I am lucky."
"Find the witch!" They called out, if only they knew... Saga wills herself into mist, cursing herself for being less than what they said. Heretic, murderer, enchantress. They whispered that she communed with the dead, and ate the tears of men. Her lips vehicles for the poison that would wither society.
Their leader had not felt that way when their bodies were entangled like the coils of one rope. He had not selected these words then, in the days before his eyes landed on public office. Saga, the anomaly who lived at the edge of the woods. Proof that one woman can live alone.
Was that not the issue all had fallen down upon? He had asked to make an honest woman out of her, and she had honestly told him how she already was one. Infuriated, he had never darkened her doorstep again. No more daisies appeared on her porch.
Floating, she could imagine the way the water muffled the noise was real, danger farther off. She lives in a world where people leave others alone, where charity marks man's assessments of one another. Right up until she is yanked from the flow, dripping and painfully aware.
Saga cries, and they assume she is afraid. They drag her up and out of the stream, only to knock her down again on its shores. "We've got you now! Recant!" Men and women who've traded harvests and celebrated babes with Saga now spit into her face. "Harlot! Wife of Beelzebub!" They screech, wild eyed like animals fighting for their lives. Saga knows they are more.
"Candace, p—" she begins, eyes locked with her closest neighbor. The words are slapped from her lips by the same hands which once traced them. Issaac, she takes him in now, the metallic taste in her mouth swirls into nausea. "You stand accused of witchcraft." He says without meeting her gaze.
"I've seen 'er in the night!" Candace yelps straight off, had Saga offended her once, unaware? "Naked she is, each full moon!" Her words are carried off in an onslaught of overlapping voices. "Shagged me goat!" collides into "Gave my husband the wanderin' eyes!".
Indeed, it appears Saga has been busy. It is quickly established that she is to blame for quite a number of things, which then escalates into "She sacrifices children in them woods, little Jimmy is still missing!" Old Mr. Harson screams.
Yanked painfully up by her hair, Saga is shoved along the dirt road that leads to town. Insults, refuse, and elbows beat against her in equal measure as she walks, but her body has gone numb already. Saga sobs, but it is not from fear.
The moon is rising as they reach the town square. Like Saga hoped, a noose awaits. Issaac is so bold as he states to the town how crisis has been averted, the admiration is clear in the faces of the crowd. He places the noose around her neck, so close she can smell the familiar twang of his sweat. And he lingers, briefly, but it is long enough. "I love you, Issaac." Saga breathes.
Like a springboard, her admission propels him back to preform, even though he knows how it hurts. He gulps it in, waves filling his mouth with lies. He sinks, and she doesn't know him anymore. "Any last words?" Her lover asks, his back turned to her now for all time.
Saga waits, and her silence yanks her down, painfully squeezing against her throat. Her eyes are going to pop out, her head will explode, she must... she must breathe. Against her will, her legs kick out wildly. Empty, there is no answer beneath her feet. Darkness comes to hold her.
At the edge of the woods, where the witch once lived, comes a mist, thick like smoke against the ground. It creeps along slowly, gaining speed as it reaches the road. Expanding, it sweeps along the adjacent grass, killing each flower it caresses.
As the town comes into view, it begins to concentrate. Moving along the stone pavers like a carriage of smog, its wispy appearance becomes solid, pearlescent. Compounding, subtly shifting, it begins to take on the shape of a man. His feet define themselves, and he steps into the square to gaze at Saga. "I suppose you've lost once again, my dear." He chuckles, and with that he is off.
His form, though solid in appearance, sweeps through walls to grip the lives within, he drains family after family with a blank stare. Saga had made it so long this time, Chett was incredibly hungry. His nondescript face would reflect great pleasure if it could, as the demon ate to his heart's content. So brutally fast, his victims never screamed before he had them.
Opon visiting the last house, Chett was stuffed, satisfied after his lengthy wait. There was only one thing left that he truly desired...
Morning found an empty town, Chett languishing in the local tavern, pretending to enjoy the local ale. Saga wanders in, the noose still tight against her neck. She pours two beers and sits a distance away from him, chugging the first and sipping the second. It is a while before she speaks, loosening the noose at the same time for dramatic effect. "I don't want to do this anymore Chett."
"Well, I could just eat them straight off next time." The demon quips, rising to pour himself another drink. The silence stretches for another while, Chett finishing his ale and reaching for the spout again. "It's nice to buy them some time, isn't it Saga?" He eventually offers.
Shadows lengthen as the day wears on, the pair drinking in silence. It is almost dusk when Saga taps the keg, and nothing but foam trickles out. "Well, it was a good run." Chett says, "I bet you'll do even better this time!" he slaps her back jovially, and then he is gone.
Saga stares through the doorway, hopeless and angry. "I will never kill another human again, if you can show me that they are kind." He had promised so long ago, "Live among them, and prove me wrong.". The memory hangs in the air, bitter in Saga's freshly restarted lungs.
This is my response to the Pic 1000 prompt, hosted by freewritehouse. It is open for three more days if you want to join in too! 😁
Mmm! I loved it! Such an interesting twist!
Thank you so much @mellindor 😁🤗
Omg... This is amazing Grin... Oh, dearest Saga.
Thank yooouuuu! I'm so glad you liked it sis!! 🤗💕
Oh, it’s brilliant. Fantastic read!
You really had me going expecting the worst of human nature, only to discover that the supernatural is well aware of the evil and simply uses it against us. We’re so good at killing ourselves!
We really are 😅😔🤷♀💃🖊💚💞 Thank you so much for the great comment!! 😍🤗
Did you ever think that this line would be in one of your stories?
Great writing as always xx
Bahahahaha!! 🤣 I said to myself, no one will notice that joke...
I'm grateful for you, and your hawk eyes 😍😁💚🤗
Woooooot! I was trying to really understand where this was going until I read the last paragraph! Such clear and concise writing! Such pristine plot! My eyes....muahh! You're a gem!
Deraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Thank you for the amazing compliment, you always make me feel so cool 😎😁💕🤗
That is cause you are cool! My compliments are just stating facts!!
What a haunting and powerful story! You effectively capture the emotion and desperation in Saga's final moments. Too bad the same people Saga believed in failed her.
🤣 I couldn't help laughing at this part. Couldn't Candace come up with something authentic?
And Chett? Watch out for that being! This is a beautifully written piece. You had me on the edge of my seat all through. I admire the way you combine elements of fear, heartbreak, and tragedy to create a memorable and impactful narrative.
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This is such a fantastic comment, thank you so much for the time you took here! 💚 There's something unparalleled about having another great author offer a positive critique on your story... It's my favorite part of Hive 😁! You really made me smile! 🤗
😊 So kind of you. You are a fantastic writer! !LUV
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Trilling, I must confess. What a beauty.
Thank you very much 😁
Thank you! That was a great story. Sad, powerful, showing what fear can make people do and believe. And also hopeful, insofar as there are some people - supernatural or not - who still believe that humanity isn't all bad. As for being made an honest woman... all that it takes is to be true to oneself, and no one but me can make me into one :)
It's amazing how much you and others saw in that image. I noticed the contest prompt from some other post, and stared at it for a few minutes without having a single thought more than "Well, bathing with your clothes on makes sense if you hate showing your skin as much as I do, but that's quite a flimsy dress, so I guess that's not the reason."
Cool story.. S0 cool @grindan
I feel for Saga
She had to go through all that, since the humans were heartless, I'm sure the waters got Saga's back
This is amazing!
Making an honest woman, witch hunt, what a hurt male ego is good for with help of the stupid people who easily forget and love to blame someone else for their misery.
Good, there are demons like Chett, bad is he eats fast.
It feels to me like nasty people are not punished enough. I hope he doesn't make exceptions if it comes to rank, the elite.
A powerful story with a good message although that message will not wake up anyone.
Thank you for joining pic1000. 👍
Thank you for this awesome comment, and for your thoughtful read :)
I always love the feedback I get when I participate in pic1000, and the strange things that seem to grow from these pictures! It is definitely one of my favorite writing engagements!
I am running a love letters thingy, and some people have talked about how freewriting initiatives have meant a lot to them, and helped them make friends here. I totally agree! Sometimes you just need to relax and write whatever comes to you! 💗 Thank you for being someone who spreads this courage!
I hope you have a great weekend, and a beautiful Valentine's day if you celebrate it 😁🤗