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Celia’s eyes are attracted to the dressed up church window pain as she walks towards Sunday lessons through the sobbing rain.
“Everything always looks so sadly peaceful during the rain,” she comments to herself, grasping her umbrella tighter while her pace quickens. As she makes it into the church, she spots a huddle of people, all murmuring to one another and barely any bothering to glance towards the squeak of the large door opening and closing. Quickly closing her umbrella, she approaches them, unknowingly to what she was to encounter.
“Is everything alright?” She asks with concern and curiosity mixing in her honey like voice. A just over medium height scruffy looking man turns sharply on his heels, over towering pour Celia, causing her to take an involuntary step back.
“Get out of here, witch,” He says sharply, his stone like eyes burning into her, making her cringe unwillingly.
“I do not know what you mean,” Her eyes avoiding his, yet trying to not show fear. “I am just here for Sunday lessons,” she fidgets with the handle of the umbrella, her eyes now tracing the church for Father Laurence, feeling the anger of his eyes un-approving on her. What had she done? She had worn proper clothing attire, and came to church on her free day, what would this stranger have against her if it weren’t her appearance?
Suddenly, she hears the voice of the person that she was looking for. “People, calm down!” his voice sounded strained and a little higher than normal.
“Father?” she whispers under her breath, though he was nowhere in sight.
“There will be no fighting in the Lord and Saviors home!” Father Laurence’s voice arose and so did the crowd’s.
“Father?!” Her thought slowly becoming strained with worry. Her eye catches a glimpse of his chocolate brown hair in the mist of the crowd just as it jerks towards the sound of her voice.
“Will you excuse me for a moment,” he questions but doesn’t wait for an answer as he pushes his way through the edgy crowd to her and with a swift grab of her wrist his hand pulls her into the kitchen where they where away from the angered eyes and ears.
“What’s going on?” Celia asks, her voice dim with imitation as she looks into his worn eyes. What could make him this worried?
“You shouldn’t have come today,” he says, voice all but loud.
“What do you mean? I come every Sunday… Does it have to do with those people?” her eyes shift unsettlingly towards the door. He stands there for a moment, looking at the sink half filled with dirty dishes that the volunteers probably forgot to take care of.
“You need to get out of here. Get away, as far away as you can,” He grabs hold of her wrist yet again, pulling her into the room that he lives in.
“Wait!” she says, trying to yank away. What is going on? Why where those people so mad? Why do I need to go? Where am I going? All sorts of questions where running around in circles inside of her head. Then she heard that man’s voice echoing inside of her mind.
“Get out of here, witch.”
A small breath draws past her lips as she plants her feet into the ground. Father Laurence just stands there as if rooted to the spot, letting his hand drop from her wrist.
“Father… Do… Do they think that I am a witch?” Her voice even quieter than before as small bits of fear begins to wrap around her, growing increasingly tighter.
“Yes,” he says, voice grave, but doesn’t turn towards her.
He just stands there for a moment. “Only God knows child,” he says as he looks up at the ceiling, his expression was something that Celia didn’t recognize. Before she could say a word he became enrooted and walked over to his dark pine cabinet. “You will need to go across the bridge quickly,” he began instructing her. “I have a friend in the next town over, just turn right at the big Oak that the kids play on, the one just past Jonathan’s Market and you should get there,” he grabs a bag and shoves things into it quickly. Celia just stands there, still in the spot that he had left her.
“F-Father Laurence?” she asks, her voice more timid that a beat child and had just as much fear in her eyes as one.
Father walks back to her and grabs a small blanket and wraps it around her head. “After you get into the next town, ask for Father Ben and hand him the blanket. He will know what to do,” he continues as if he dint hear her, avoiding her eyes.
“Yes Father,” she replies, grabbing a hold of the bag that he was holding out, she to avoiding his eyes.
“Now go, hurry,” he says, pushing her towards the exit. “I will distract them long as I can,” Celia silently nods as she grips a hold of the bag as if it she where holding together her nerve, her feet caring her quickly out of the church into the pouring rain, trying to block out all of the ruckus back in the church. Trying to not think about how Father Laurence, who had cared for her ever since her mother had died, was going to face that horrid mob of people so blinded by a rage that didn’t have a soul. She was just seventeen yards outside of the church as she heard the words that she had been dreading, the words that made her jump out of her skin, and made her feel her heart sink to the deeps of her soul.
“There is the witch!” a man’s voice laced with furry shouted as the big wooden door squeaks loudly open, followed by a shot of thunder accompanied by an flash of lighting. Her eyes widen and clench together before she starts off in a dead run away from the insane seaming mob of angry people. Why? Why would they want me? “What have I done?” she gasps out the last of her thought. Her feet carry her towards the direction that Father Laurence had told her to go, sure that Father wouldn’t point her in the wrong direction, especially in a situation like this.
Celia dashes past the Market before she knew it, no one would be shopping in the harsh rain, or wile there is a mob either. Her adrenalin running out quickly, she began to slow. The twisted chants of slaying her where sounding closer and closer, and the objects that they where hurling at her where getting closer to hitting her. Just as she passes the oak, she can see the bridge. A half wave of relief washes over her rain drenched body, but only half. She still had to make it into the other town. None of the superstitious people in the town ever went to the towns over unless if it was completely necessary, thinking that ‘their’ town was the only clean and pure one, and the others where run by witches and demons, so they wouldn’t have a problem with her fleeing to another town, hence why the only way to another town way by bridge, they were easy to block off.
Another clap of thunder and bright lightning zaps through the dark sky, blinding everyone momentary as they run. Thinking nothing of it at the moment, Celia continues to dash through the pellet like rain until she gets closer. Then that relief that she had felt just a moment ago melts away and despair takes its place. Her eyes widen to the size of saucers as she realizes that her only escape my lead her to a just as painful death than what the insane mob behind her had in store for her. The bridge had caught on fire.
Swallowing the lump in her trough she gathered the last of her energy and bolts off, the mob getting farther and farther away while the bridge grew closer and closer feeling the heat on her dripping wet body just before she steps on the old rope bridge. She heads right into the hellish flames and is consumed with heat and fear, and presses on. But this already bad situation go’s to worse, her already sunken heart sinks deeper and her already eternal fear grows just by one sound. CRACK.
The next is all a blur to her. The world of fire vanishes. Whooshing air is all around her until she hears the rush of water in some unknown direction until it meets her, and her screaming fades.
Father Laurence finally catches up with the mob chasing after pour innocent Celia, only to hear her scream and a splash below. The mob cheers with delight “The witch I vanquished!” was the basic gist of it. The all turn to walk back and tell their story of ‘triumph’ only to see Father Laurence, expressionless.
“Father, what is wrong? We have defeated evil! This is joyous!” one of the men from the crowd shouts with shouts of agreement.
“What’s wrong? You just killed an innocent girl!” he says, trying to maintain his rage.
“We washed her evil from our town, Father. Well, with help from the rain, because everyone knows that witches hate rain water!” another arrogant voice rings from the crowd, and yet another shout of agreement.
Father holds his tong for a moment before speaking, “No. Rain doesn’t wash away witches, because witches don’t exist.”
“And what makes you so sure of that?” and aggravated voice calls from the back.
“I know because if there were, they would have gotten rid of all of you long ago!” the murmur rises again. “Look! Anyone of you or your loved ones could be pinned as a witch! Just because someone says so, doesn’t make it true!” the crowd erupts into shouts of disagreement. The Father just holds up a hand, waiting for them to stop. “People.” He shakes his head and lets his hand fall. “You are the evil here. Not the pour girl that you have just cased off of a cliff! She had done nothing to disserve this fate that you have driven her to!” He moves his head away from them, keeping his emotions in check, “And God doesn’t have a place for killers in heaven.” Without another word, he walks back, trying not to absorb the fact that Celia, who he had watch grow from a little child to a teen just to be chased off a cliff, is dead. Leaving him with only anger and sadness.