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The Owl Woman and her Mindless Man
They had silenced the girl, at last, although with some difficulty. They were a double edged sword, the fighters. If they thrashed and screamed loud enough it could mean trouble, and if they managed to escape; disaster. Especially in time like these, with the energy so low it was a risk to attempt a victim as resilient as the one at hand. However, the work of sedating the strong ones, if done well, would always pay off. For it was the feisty ones, the ones with the most vitality and will to live, who delivered the best, lasting results.
Now the pair stood back from their work, panting. An old woman, who's ginger-root, knotty hands held heavily to the handle of a stubby walking stick, watched her prey's eyes, still shining, determination dancing behind them. A smile twisted itself across her face, which was weathered as an ancient stone, having been exposed to the elements for centuries. She was wrinkled, deep lines covered her brow and yellow cheeks. The girl, now bound by rope and tied to a tree, glared at her captor with eyes glistening with defiance and loathing. It was impossible to see the innocent complexion the woman's face once had, for it was warped by the sinister deeds she'd carried out. She had been marred by the evil she had witnessed, committed, become.
Chuckling, the hag stepped forward to get a closer better look at her victim. Behind her, a man with the same demented face, seven feet tall shuffled anxiously. The carpet of fallen leaves beneath him crinkled with every footstep, and he whimpering slightly. The woman roughly took hold of the girls face and turned it to examine at a profile, nodding with satisfaction at her high cheek bones. The longer this process took, the louder the towering man behind her became, until soft whines crescendo into chilling moans. The woman's pleased expression melted into one of anger within a heartbeat and as she spun around to confront the noise the baby fat on the young girl's cheeks stung where the crone's claws had pitched it. With a hiss and a sharp blow the old woman silenced the man. Despite that they had dragged their victim as far into the forest as possible, as always, so that somber trees are the only witnesses, one could never be too careful. The last thing she wanted was her idiotic husband ruining such an excellent find.
With a final reprimand she turned her attention back to her prey.
"Stay away from boys, dear," she hissed, remembering how she'd learned this the hard way. She could still picture her husband before the procedure, fat and lazy, always cursing her. Now he could pull his own weight. The woman looked out of the corner of her eye and caught sight of the swollen pink rings around both the man's nostrils and the two raw marks which went down to his upper lip.
"Men are nothing but trouble," she smiled recalling the look on his face as he was so rudely awoken from his customary mid-day nap. His now bloodstained armchair was no longer an eyesore in the middle of the room, he'd pushed off into a corner, and it hasn't been sat in since. No matter, he wasn't using his brain anyway.
The witch reached forward and stroked a piece of deep maroon fabric from where in was tied around the girl's face. At first she was angry at her mindless husband for, in the struggle, using her shawl to gag their hysterical victim, however, she now realized that having the personal item attached to her sacrifice would lead to better results.
The old woman leaned in, her face was inches from her captive's, and at this distance the girl could clearly make out the depth of the lines which ran like canyons across the barren desert of dry, ancient skin. The crones jagged and broken talons would occasionally clip her cheeks as her fat fingers ran across the foul tasting cloth in her mouth. The girl's heart pounded and her body ached, but still she couldn't let her clear eyes convey it. Her gaze steadily met that of the woman's, although she was frightened by the darkness that danced behind it.
Suddenly, the shawl was ripped away and thrown to the ground. The girl gasped and swallowed down mouthfuls of clean air hungrily. The old woman, now closer than ever whispered, "Any last words?"
Still panting, the girl raised her head to look again at the crones evil eyes. Although the girl's hair was tangled and her face was covered in dirt, sweat, cuts and bruises there was a radiance that shone through. The old woman's mouth watered at the sight and an expression of twisted desperation came across her face. The girl's racing heart and a feeling of disgust replaced the knot of fear in her chest. She began to feel sorry for the old bat, sorry that her only joy in life bettering herself, even if it meant destroying something innocent. She thought to herself, if the only thing you love is yourself then you have no one who loves you. Silently, the girl swung her head from side to side and rumbled her brow in disapproval. With a single quick motion, she craned her neck back and spat on the woman's face.
The old woman released a deafening screech which echoed through the trees and with amazing force cam down upon the girl.
As the girl's spirit came from her body a blinding light erupted. It filtered through the surrounding close-nit trees and created a network of finger-like rays which surrounded the thicket they were standing in. The old woman bathed in its golden power and felt invigorated by its warmth. She could feel her spine untwisting and wrinkles melt away. Closing her eyes in bliss she tilted her head back and inhaled. As quickly as it had come, the wave of life had passed over them and now only two remained; a demented old man and a beautiful woman sitting on her knees. Her full, red lips spread into a stunning smile and she laughed like a bird chirping. It had worked, she was young again. She rose from the ground gracefully and opened her eyes.
The old man jumped as the beautiful woman standing nearby let out a bloodcurdling screech. He watched the blind woman stumbled around aimlessly clawing at her own youthful, radiant face and throwing herself into tree trunks. Turning, he quickly lumbered off, leaving her alone and forever in darkness, never to lust after beauty again.