Amberlee's Plight

March 16, 2013
My whole life flashes before my eyes. I am dimly aware of Beda struggling, her young face now contorted with fear. "Amberlee!"?I stare at her, my eyes concerned but resilient. You cannot be weak. You must stand stong even when you're just about to break.
"Let go of her."
The words tumble out of my mouth without me stopping them. Beda stops struggling, almost if she believes my meager request will change their minds.
"Oh, yeah, we totally will, when she dies," cackled one of the captors. "Big sister come to save the weakest, hmm? That's adorable."
I think of the worst that could come from this. Beda's pale, limp, seven-year-lived form, Mama's eyes filling with salty tears..
My parents always tell me to forget my feelings. It is me in battle, this psychotic bitter monster, not caring who I kill. This is war. And parents must be obeyed.
And yet I cower.
I admit it, I am not brave. I am afraid to die, afraid of the unknown realm.
So I watch Beda struggle, wanting to wrestle her free, but not having the gut. She becomes increasingly pain-stricken as minutes tick. But she does not give up.
I cannot take this, I cannot watch this.. I think of surrendering.
"D-don't!" shrieks Beda. "Don 't--do--it!"
"Do you want to live?" I ask her. My voice is like stone, set and unyielding.
"Y-yes--but--you promised--promised me--that you wouldn't---let them--have it!"Beda stutters.
I would give a tiny little bracelet for my sister's life. And yet, the bracelet could do evil things. Bring the plague. Bring a pandemic.
That was it! That was how I would destroy these evil people.
Bring sickness.
I began the little chant that activated the bracelet:
Bring sickness to my foes
Make them sorry for what they have done
Bring sickness to my enemies,
So that they are gone.
Beda drops to the ground.
The effect is sudden.
I run away, because the weak forms of her captors are slowly recovering.
"Beda, run!"
I don't give her a second to hesitate.
I grab her arm with a stone grip and steer (more like pull), my sister from the scene.
"That was a horrible thing to do, Amberlee," she says as we are walking past the dark alleys. "They didn't deserve that."
"They were going to kill you, Beda!"
"They wouldn't have," said Beda quietly. "They're just playing with your emotions to get you to give it up."
"Then why were you struggling?" I ask.
"I was trying to get free on my own."
"Obviously," I mutter. "you're too nice, Beda."
Beda's eyes are confused. "Why?"
"You think no one is bad, that everyone deserves a good life, even criminals. People who kill deserve to get what's coming. You can't befriend everyone, because while you're having one of your friendly conversations, he'll kill you."
"But that bracelet is malevolent and ominous," said Beda. "Why would you ever want to use it? I mean, it seems a bit harsh."
"Would you rather have died?"
In answer to this, Beda looked down at her sandals.
"Twig, you should be happy we're alive," I say. "Now come on, Dad is probably pacing by now."
"What on earth, Amberlee? Why is your sister covered in scratches? Did you go out again unsupervised? ANSWER ME!"?I am silent as his gaze bores into me.
"That's a lot of questions," I say finally.
"I almost died!" yelled Beda. "And then Amberlee used that horrid--"
"--that horrid sick bracelet--"
"She did WHAT?"
"I needed to, Daddy!" I say hastily. "I needed to because they were going to kill her and there are certain situations where I've got no choice!"
"Hand me the bracelet."
I slap it into his outstretched hand.
"Never use this again, Amberlee."
"There are no situations worth inflicting such pain and strife on another. I would rather you give it up.
But I wasn't going to.
Even if I died with it, I wasn't going to abandon it.
One doesn't easily abandon a weapon.

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