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The Old Crone In the Woods, Part II

II. Liesel spent months worrying about this, about dark minions and young souls that hurt, she even started fearing for herself for questioning the teachings of the church. She did not want to damn herself to Hell, but she couldn’t believe that it was true that a loving God would punish children for something that they themselves couldn’t do. How did it make sense that helpless infants could be punished due to their parents? Why would they suffer for another’s sins, how in the world did such a thing make sense? But Liesel kept this turmoil inside, and tried to just keep on living her life, didn’t tell of doubts that haunted her thoughts, or worried dreams that kept hear up at night. It all came to a head six months later, her neighbor’s new baby died in his sleep, The town gathered up for the funeral, to weep loudly, and to pour out their grief. Liesel loitered near the back of the crowd, every so often she glanced to the woods, until finally she saw the woman, and decided she’d settle this for good. She crept out of her parent’s house that night, made her way slowly down to the churchyard, at midnight the old crone walked to the grave, and from her cloak removed some sort of jar. She opened it and stood there quietly for a long moment, then shuffled away, Liesel followed, determined that somehow she would not make this foul demon pay. Through a dark forest of eldritch oak trees, where brushy undergrowth scratched at her skirts, across gurgling streams that wet her feet, down dark ravines where the wolfpacks still lurked. Amidst calling owls loud in the night, she followed that old crone through the wild, she kept a good distance, forty paces, her feet bled, and she wheezed from the trial. Finally she came upon a small glade, to the center of it the crone did go, right to an old cabin that rose up there, Over the door was a sign that said ‘Limbo.’ Her heart froze as the old woman walked in, she saw the briefest flash of light from inside, all of her reason screamed out, ‘You should run!’ But she couldn’t, no matter how hard she tried. Some great force acted deep within her soul, she couldn’t say if for good of for ill, but Liesel found herself approaching the door, simply a pawn to some powerful will…

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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