The Devil's Demon

May 12, 2011
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A hooded figure crept out of the corner, careful not to disturb the silence that engulfed the abbey. The light and bustle of people from the day had disappeared and now there was nothing but silence and darkness. The figure had been able to slip easily in on the pretence of going to pray, and after words had quickly disappeared to hide until all the priests had gone to sleep. The figure stopped and looked around, making sure that no one else was there before sneaking down a long hallways and disappearing out of sight just as quickly as they had arrived.

Gavin half opened his eyes at the lit candle that had appeared in his small chamber, sensing almost immediately another presence.

He sat up quickly and looked around. “Who’s there?”

A cool familiar voice spoke. “Don’t scream.” He abruptly turned his eyes and saw a hooded figure step out of the shadows where they had been hidden in the corner of his chamber. Hands reached up and pushed back the dark black hood to reveal a woman with the palest skin that was only made paler by her long black hair that fell from the hood around her shoulders. Her grey eyes were looking straight at him, waiting to see how he would respond.

“Evaine,” he whispered her name, and then his sense kicked in. “Get out! Now. Get out now and I won’t call the guard.” He warned quickly standing up and backing away from her.

“I came here in peace. Please, just listen to me,” she said quietly taking a step towards him.

He took another step back and raised the cross that hung on the chain around his neck that he always wore.

“Leave now and take the evil that you bring with you! Lord Jesus protect my soul” he whispered the last prayer to the cross and held it higher.

Evaine stopped mid-step and he noticed her visibly flinch at his words. Good, his prayers were being heard.

“Gavin, do you really think of me this way? We grew up together, do you really believe that I am evil?” her voice choked on the word evil and she stood with her palms up in a sign of openness. He looked at her and tried to block the images of a little girl covered in mud running after him.

She spoke again, sensing his hesitation. “I wouldn’t have come unless it was for someone important. You know I would never come for myself.”

He took in the sight of her, her boots and the end of her long black cape covered in mud. It was possible that she had a weapon hidden somewhere on her but if so he could not see it – not that she needed it, he knew well enough that the devil’s words were poisonous and could make even the most devote follower of Jesus betray his beliefs. But this was Evaine, and at the sight of her there in front of him again after all this time he could not tell her no.

He sighed and sat down on the edge of his bed, placing his head in his hand before looking up at her. “Why are you here?”

“I was told that Lynia was gravely sick.

He nodded, “They brought her in a week ago. Brother Isaac, our Infirmarion, and I have been doing all we can to help her but nothing is working. Every day she gets weaker and weaker. She won’t touch any of the food brought to her and if we force her to eat it she can’t keep it down. She can barely stand now and she runs hot and cold off and on day in and day out. Father Brian says that it seems God has decided to take her to be one of his.”

Evaine turned away from him for a moment and he thought he noticed her shudder and take a deep breath, before she turned back to look at him with a determined look in her eye.

“Let me see the child.”

“No!” he said abruptly.

“Gavin, Maureen sent out a message for me to visit her house last night. She who has always followed your God so religiously,” she continued to look at him. “She is desperate to do anything to save her little girl. So desperate that she pleaded with me to sneak in her tonight and then gave me instructions on how to find you!”

He made a disgusted noise. “I should have known that she would turn to the work of the devil to help her. She always did look to you too much whenever we played. She should be among those who are watched.”

“She’s your younger sister! I know you believe me capable of evil, but don’t think wrong of Maureen. Lynia is her only child! Is it wrong for a mother to want to save her daughter so badly? The daughter that came from her own flesh and blood?” she stopped for a moment and took a breath before looking up. “She trusted Linnet more than me, but now that she is gone I’m the only choice Maureen has.”

He made the sign of the cross at the sound of the horrible witch’s name. “Thank the Lord for that. The town is much safer now that devil’s helper is gone.”

“Don’t you dare say that!” Her voice snapped with venom that he had never heard before. “She was a priestess to the Mother Goddess and not some witch to your devil!” she spat out the last words and looked at him with disgust. “All she did was follow the religion that has been here for years long before your Christian God came and you had her burned to death for it!”

The anger and passion in her voice made him shrink back even more and he found he could not call up the strength to argue with her though he knew she was wrong. Seeing her like this he was afraid.

She stopped for a moment, seeing the fear in his eyes and took a step back before calming her voice. “Take me to the child.”

He stood up and picked up his candle: he would do what she asked for Maureen.

“This way,” he said and she nodded. He carefully pushed the door open and led them both down a long passageway.

He stopped outside the door and looked at her. “There will be a monk in there with her to keep her company.”

“Then tell him that you have come to take his place for the night. Say whatever you need to say but get me alone with the girl. And if you tell him that I am here I will know.”

Her eyes were like steel, and he immediately looked down, not able to take the full weight of her stare.

He nodded and pushed open the door, leaving her by herself in the hall. Inside the room he noticed a small bed with a young girl about ten years old lying under layers of covers. She tossed and turned, sweat on her brow and her skin deathly pale. Her brown hair lay matted on her face and spread out on the pillow behind her. An elderly priest that Gavin knew was sitting by her bedside with the bible open in his lap. At the sound of someone entering the room he looked up.

“Father Gavin! What are you doing here?” he asked in surprise.

“I couldn’t sleep tonight. It seems that ghosts of my past don’t want to leave me alone,” he replied, not that far off from the truth. “Why don’t you go and get some sleep while I watch the child? One of us must rest.”

The other priest smiled. “Why thank you. I would appreciate that.” He turned a sad glance to the child on the bed who was still shivering though covered in blankets. “It seems the Lord wishes to take this child to him sooner than we would have liked. At least we can be comforted by the knowledge that she will be in a better place.”

Gavin nodded. Anyone who saw the little girl at this moment would know that she wasn’t going to last long.

The other priest left the room, and he had a moment where he feared that Evaine would be caught in the hall. He waited for a shout of surprise or any other unusual noise but all he heard was the sound of the friar’s footsteps disappearing down the hall.

He breathed out a sigh of relief, not that Evaine was safe but that she hadn’t done anything to the old Priest. As a little girl she had been a danger, and now that she served the devil he didn’t know what she would do to get her way.

He heard a gasp and turned around to see Evaine standing there. He didn’t know when she had snuck into the room but her eyes were now transfixed on Lynia in front of them.

He watched her and waited to see what would happen.
Evaine stared at Lynia in front of her. The last time she had seen the little girl she had been running around in the yard and laughing. Though Maureen had told her it was bad she hadn’t been able to imagine it. She sent a prayer up to the Mother Goddess and wished for the millionth time that Linnet was still alive and able to help her, but instead she had to save the girl on her own.

She strode towards the bed and sat down on the edge, placing her hand on the girl’s skin.

Lynia shook and her eyes opened wide at the sight of the stranger on her bed.

“Shh… Lynia I’m here to help you. Your Mother sent me,” she said immediately meaning both Maureen and the Mother Goddess who watched over them all.

The girl didn’t move but instead kept her gaze on Evaine.

“I’m going to help you if you let me. But you have to trust me. Do you?”

Lynia stared at her for a moment and then moved her head in the slightest nod. Evaine clasped the girl’s hands in hers and then waited. At the feel of the disease that had ensnared Lynia and was trying to pull her out of this world, she shuddered and turned pale. The child was worse than she had expected, and her original plan would do nothing to save her.

She stared into Lynia’s eyes and knew what she had to do.

“Lynia. I’m going to try to save you, but I need you to promise me that whatever happens you will remember that it was the Mother Goddess who sent her power down and saved you.” She looked straight in the girl’s eyes, desperate for her to understand. “She isn’t some myth or demon like the Christians would have you think. She represents the earth and life, and will always be there. Do you promise me?” She held the girl’s eyes and waited.

“Yes,” she could barely hear Lynia’s voice but the point was that she did hear it, and that was enough for her.

She knew what she had to do, she just didn’t know if she would make it. She held Lynia’s hands tightly in her own and slowly, very slowly spoke words of power that Linnet had taught her long ago.

The power flowed through her, using her body as a vessel to transfer its healing ability to the sick child it needed to reach. Evaine wanted to scream but instead bit her lip to keep from crying out. She shook, her body barely able to take the power, but she would not let go of either the Mother Goddess or Lynia.

Then, just like that it was over. The essence that had surrounded her was gone and she was left sitting on the edge of the bed holding Lynia’s hand. Lynia’s eyes were open and she was looking straight at her. The girl’s entire face glowed and there was a light to her eyes where before there had been nothing.

She smiled, and Evaine couldn’t help but smile back relief flooding her body that the girl was okay.

Then chaos.

The door came crashing down and four soldiers came rushing in holding swords drawn at her, along with Gavin and two other Priests who appeared to have a position higher than his. Actually looking at them she recognized one of them as the main priest who led the town services.

“Don’t try anything, witch!” the oldest priest said spitting out the last word.

She didn’t move an inch, but instead fixed her gaze on the man who had spoken to her.

“Step away from the child now, before the demon you worship can cause her more pain.”

She stood up and stepped away from the bed, though she knew what he said was a lie.

“Wait!” Lynia’s shout startled the men as she tossed the covers aside and tried to run towards Evaine. The shock didn’t last long though, and Gavin grabbed her quickly and pulled her to the side holding her out of reach.

“Stay away from her child, she’s a demon sent by the Devil.” The other old priest commanded.

Lynia struggled for a moment but Evaine could tell that her energy was still weak, because seconds later she stopped fighting.

She took a moment and then cleared her voice, already seeing the path that the Mother Goddess had laid out for her.

“Oh really? A demon you say?” her voice was cold and penetrated the room as she looked straight into the eyes of each man in the room, her gaze finally stopped on Gavin who looked down unable to face her. The traitor. She never should have trusted him. He must have snuck out and got the guards while she had been transfixed with healing Lynia. She had hoped that his memories of them as children and his desire for Lynia to be well would have made him trust her, but she could see clearly now that to him she would never be more than a “witch”.

“You serve the devil and refuse to listen to the words of Christ our Savior!”

“The devil? The Mother Goddess has been here long before your christ was ever born. She was here when the earth began and she will be here no matter how many of us you purge. Where is your god? Can you show him to me? No, you can’t. You sit and worship altars and crosses that are nothing but pieces of metal or wood when the Mother Goddess who created everyone, including you, can be seen in the earth at your feet and the air we breathe. Yet I serve the devil? Those like me who see the truth and leave you and your religion in peace are hunted down and slaughtered like nothing more than beast. Tell me where righteousness is in that? Tell me!”

She waited as the men stood silent her cold clear words, filled with the power she knew possessed, echoed around the room. She didn’t care about any of them, though; their minds were made up and she knew it. Instead her eyes went to the one person in the room who she needed to understand: Lynia. The girl was looking straight at her, filled with awe and wonder at the strange woman who dare speak against their god and to the priest in such a manner. Evaine knew her words had been heard, and that was all she could do.
“Seize her and lock her up; she’ll be burned at the stake tomorrow!” the head priest ordered.

She looked around the room and knew she wouldn’t be able to escape. She was trapped! They would drag her out kicking and screaming and beat her till she could fight no more. Then when she had no more strength left in her, they would take her out and tie her up and set the wood on fire, letting the flames consume her and ignore her screams.

She knew this would be what would happen: she had seen it with Linnet. She would rather die then face that torture.

She sensed the guards approaching her, their weapons drawn. She gave one final look to Lynia and pulled out that small dagger she had kept hidden the entire time.

Sounds of surprise filled the room as the men immediately stepped back, afraid that she was planning on fighting them.

She didn’t hesitate: and in moments the dagger was plunged into her heart and everything was gone.

The men stood in shock, and Gavin’s hands loosened their hold of Lynia. She took the spare moment to push away from him and run towards the collapsed body on the ground where blood was pouring out.

She kneeled on the floor and turned the strange woman who had saved her. Her dark hair was fanned on the ground and her pale skin was already as cold as marble. An expression of peace and serenity covered her face, though a dagger still lay in her chest.

Lynia couldn’t react. This woman had been right there! Only moments ago she had held her hand and glowed with a power she couldn’t understand. Only seconds ago she had stood in the center of the room radiating that same power while the priests stayed back, and yet now she was gone.

The men in the room seemed to have gathered there senses because the guards stepped forward to take the body. Gavin stepped forward and pulled her back, but she didn’t fight.

“Come child, we must got pray and thank the Lord that you are safe.” She didn’t respond but instead followed him to the chapel. She vaguely heard the priests saying something about how the witch must have taken all of the devil’s curses with her when she died, and that must be why Lynia could now walk and was alive, but she barely noticed, her mind still focused on the dead woman.

The priests kneeled down in front of the altar and motioned for her to join them. She kneeled beside them, and the old priest started his prayer of thanks.

She turned her face away from the pieces of metal and instead turned her gaze towards the window, where the first rays of the sun shone through on the earth, just like a mother covering her child.

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