No Choice but to Die
Once Im out of the house I begin to look for my small book, one of the many journals that contain sketches and notes of the creatures Ive stumbled upon in the forest. I find it hiding under a pile of cut wood, in the same spot I left it. I grab the pencil from my waist, which I keep at all times, and step into the small carved path I made into the Woods of Wickery.
The Town is made up of three sections, the Outer farms, the village square, and the edge. My family lives on the edge, a secluded area that surrounds the outer edge of the village. Our cottage stands a few feet from the woods. A security measurement my mother told me, meant for escape. Though I know little of what we would be escaping from. The outer farms are where crops and wells were made to make the town self-sustainable. While the village square is a small area with buildings and farm stands that circle a small statue of the king mounted on a Mare. Not allowed to venture far from the house, Ive only been a few times.
A careless expenditure I had realized at a young age, as I was caught every time.
I was about 10 years old when it last happened. An old priest dressed in a blinding white dress and covered in yellowing white hair, found me as I walked into town out of curiosity, during the Holiday of Haven-ing. He grabbed my hair and dragged me toward the villages temple. Stating two words that would stick in my mind for the time to come.
”Forsaken child… ”
He threw me inside, without as much as a glance, where he joined me in the middle of a lightly candle-lit room, which ran high and endless. Suddenly looking into my eyes he said ”Stay here and keep quiet, we have enough rats in the village to hang you dead and dry in the middle of the town square ”. I muffled as I dared not even say a word for fear of what mother would say if she were to see me here in this state.
He stood turning on his heel, as he exited and locked the door behind him, leaving me alone and silenced by fear. I looked around to find an escape but the room was empty, with a few candles on an altar in the far back corner. Where the face of a man painted still and beautiful, eyes of raw gold, just like my mothers stared back at me. My panic mellowed and soon I was listening to the creaks and wallows of the temple. The rooms thickening incense began to make me dizzy, soon leading me to unconsciousness. I woke to find myself in my bed as if that experience was nothing but a bad dream. Through the folly of naivety and hope, I believed I was safe. A day or so passed. Quiet and calm as I practiced my sisters lessons solitary in her room. When Mother crashed into Hollys door just as we were about to finish, swinging it open and looking at me with great disdain.
She said to me ”Your stupidity will cost this family. If you had not killed that priest, Why did you go to town? We have been safe, safe! Marigold! He helped us, the deal for our safety was made to him and only him. Unprotected we die at the hands of royalty or worst. You should have listened to my rules. Rules that are broken will never go unpunished, never… ”
”Mother, I- I didn - ”
”Silence your guilt, it is shown through every fiber, his body was run through and darkened like soot, just like the young midwife. ” Slamming the door behind her. I heard her footsteps leave a wake. Kill? when…
That night I found myself wondering about my so-called dream of visiting the village and the priest, curiosity of how I got back, but to this day I know one thing for sure. I did not touch that priest.
The woods gloom over my head and the trees curve and sway before me, making me praise them for their beauty. The beautiful Woods of Wickery. I follow along with each branch and bud before me, poisonous colored creatures filter the sky. One of the tiny birds are called the Necter Nymph. Their beating wings and radiant greens and blues cut through the air. I am careful not to touch the bright yellow flowers or the seductive berries budding from the ground. I find peace in the chaos of Mother Natures wilderness. I sit next to a great Wickery Tree that tangles straight to the forests canopy. Holding my book I begin to draw what I sense.
I am not a silent being, but I usually have little to say to my family. All of us being wildly different people keeps us bonded yet isolated from the village and others. But when I weigh on my situation I think back on things that have never made sense to me. Why do people who love family so deeply keep separated realities or perspectives on how they think of them? My sister Holly, a mystery and an earnest soul keeps the house in order from the perceptions of how she perceives us. Ive never spoken about it, but growing up in that room I do not remember a single day that it did not smell of decay and felt sadness. Mother told me my room is solely mine because it reflects my sister and me. But I sometimes wonder why I sleep in a room that, so horribly reflects the way I do not wish to be. So Ive Spent years anywhere, everywhere else, in my sisters room, her library, or the woods near the house, talking to my friends, the frogs, the trees…. I tell them my secrets and my dreams. I tell them my true thoughts and feelings. Most times they stay staring at me with apprehension. But I am comforted by each living thing willing to listen. From the books Ive read of fairytales and fables, Ive come to the conclusion that it is normal to speak to animals and journal what I want. Although Mother might disagree…
As the sun comes down and the shadows grow heavy I weave my way to the back of the cottage. Entering once more into the house. I wish to stay later bathing in the sincere environment of the woods. But I know I cannot, Mother will be waiting for me at dinner, and she does not care for those who are late.
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