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Pearl's Possession

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Mother and I live very far from the marketplace. We aren't near the other townspeople, and the children here won't play with me. They mock my mother, who seems not to mind. But I know it must bother her; it certainly upsets her when I stare at the letter she always wears.

The scarlet letter. It's so red and so beautifully embellished with all that golden thread. The "A" seems alive; it's so deeply colored. When I stare at the letter I feel as thou it really is alive. I feel a connection to it, for some reason. It is as though the letter exists for me alone, as though it is here because of me, but I don't know why that would be.

"Pearl! Hurry up!" My mother scolds me as I drag behind her. We are walking to the scaffold, as we do every day. It's rather boring, standing there and watching people watch us.

A group of children begins throwing stones at us as, laughing loudly as they do so. This isn't a new occurrence, but suddenly it's too much. I turn towards them and snarl, feeling some strange rage wash over me. The vibrant red of the letter runs through me, and I feel something urge me on.

An old woman watches nearby. I saw her at the governors house recently, Mistress Hibbins was her name. She was the one who was rumored to be a witch. I hear her voice in my mind, marveling at how it seems as if she's speaking in my ear.

"Pearl. These children are being very mean to you aren't they?"Her voice says evenly. Or maybe her mind says it. I look at her and her mouth doesn't move at all.

"Yes they are!" I yell at the children in front of me, who look at each other confusedly.

"Who does she mean by they?" One boy asks another, slightly lowering the stone in his hand as he speaks. The boy next to him shrugs and they continue.

"You can make them stop. I can help you. Do you feel how strong your anger is? Your rage makes you strong. Stronger than them. They are weak, attacking you and your poor mother."

"I'm stronger than all of them," I say out loud, lifting my nose in the air as I speak.

"Pearl, hush," my mother says, grabbing my hand and pulling me along.

I swing out of her grasp. "I can make them stop, Mother. They're being mean."

I hear Mistress Hibbins again. "Remember your anger, girl! Let the Prince of Air guide your rage!"

I know not who she is speaking of, but I decide that I'm done with talking. These children must pay. I don't like them being mean. I rush towards the group, counting them as I do. There are four boys and three girls and only one of me. But I have the Prince of Air in my soul and Mistress Hibbins in my
mind and scarlet rage in my blood.

"She looks like a devil! Look, her eyes are all black!" Shrieks one of the girls. I target her first.

***********************************


I wake up several hours later in a very dark room. I look around and think that I must be inside the prison. As I wake I try to remember what happened earlier. I remember my mother screaming, begging me to stop, but stop what? I recall a woman's voice telling me to continue, that more blood needed to be spilled for the Dark Prince, and my heart chills when I remember the voice of this dark being himself, thanking me for his service and promising reward if I would keep helping him.

I start to shake when I fully remember what I had done. I ran towards a girl first, one who looked to be a little older than me. I clawed and bit and kicked and fought her until she stopped struggling. One of her friends was crying next to her and I ran at her next. My mother was trying to pull me off of the sobbing girl, and I turn around and struck at her too. The boys had run off by then, and after the second girl stopped moving people had arrived.

I was yanked to my feet, and I slipped in the pools of scarlet that surrounded me. I yelled at them in a language unfamiliar to me, but the Prince told me these were his words and I should not be afraid of them. After so much fighting and yelling I was exhausted and felt myself fall asleep then and there, falling into the deep circles of blood beneath me.

I began to sob; I hadn't meant to kill anybody, I was a good girl. I hadn't wanted to hurt anyone, not until that bad prince told me to.

"Yes you did, girl. You've wanted to get back at them your whole life."

My eyes open wide in shock when I begin to hear Mistress Hibbins again.

"You killed them. You killed them because you wanted to, and you enjoyed it."

"No," I whisper brokenly, my voice rasp.

"Yes you did. And you will again. The Dark Prince liked your work. He'll call on you again when he needs fresh blood."

"No! No, leave me alone! No!"I begin to shriek and pound my hands against the door of my cell.

The door opens and the warden steps in. "Pearl?" He says cautiously. "Are you all right?"

I can feel my eyes turn black this time. "No," I snarl. "I'm not."

He screams as I lunge at him, and in the back of my mind I hear the Prince once again.

"That's my girl," he says cheerfully. "I knew you could help me."

I don't respond. I'm too busy with the task in front of me. I work at spilling the beautifully scarlet blood in the crying man before me. So scarlet. Deeper than the letter. And much more fun.



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