The Trials by Grace Watson

     In the church with the peeling, white paint, the townspeople were having a trial; when shots rang out, the women and girls quickly made their way home for they knew that the verdict was guilty. However, there was one girl who was teetering on apple crates outside of a church window because she was curious about the fate of the men and women with the black stripes down their faces.

     Through the window, Erin saw the sheriff handcuff these strange people and push them towards the door where they began a somber march to the gallows. When Erin noticed that one boy that was about the same age as her kept giving an older gentleman a knowing smile. However, it was too late, by the time Erin realized what they had in store for the townspeople, the young boy had tossed a cylinder can into the air. That’s when all hell broke loose. The can exploded leaving a red smoke in its wake; that caused the men to double over in agonizing pain. Erin quickly covered her mouth with her shirt. It did not make a difference because her shirt was basically rags that were ripped and mended again and again until they were almost unrecognizable.

     The men and women with the black stripes down their faces were completely unharmed throughout the incident. While the men were otherwise occupied, they ran away to the hills, but the young boy, who had tossed the explosive can, headed straight toward Erin, knocking her unconscious. The last thing Erin heard was the sheriff saying,

     “Look what you have done, boy!” Grabbing the young boy’s shirt collar and dragging him to the doctor,  who shoved a needle through the side of his neck that knocked him out cold.

      It was two days later, when Erin woke up in her room that was covered from floor to  ceiling with books. Her mother, Malisa, was seating on her bed, patting her forehead with a wet cloth trying to coaxed her awake.  

     “Mother, what happened?” Erin asked tentatively.

      “Don’t worry about that right now,” Malisa said still patting away the sweat on Erin’s forehead,” rest now and everything will turn out alright.” Erin laid back down, but fought against sleep because she knew that she will see all of their faces, their ugly faces.

     “Erin, wake up! Wake up, Erin!” Malisa exclaimed, shaking Erin awake. The frightened young girl woke up abruptly, clutching the blankets in her fists so tight that her knuckles turned white, as Malisa comforted her daughter, ” It is going to be alright. It was just a dream.”

     “It looked so real,” Erin turning her head up towards her mother, “What do you think it means?” Malisa has a wonderful power that allows her to interpret other people’s dream.

     “I don’t know.”

     “What do you mean?” By the look on her mother’s face, Erin knew that she was hiding something. In a rage, Erin yelled, “What are you keeping from me?”

      Malisa got up and slowly made her way to the door. And through the door she says, “You don’t understand it right now, but you will.” And then there was a click. As soon as Erin realized what Malisa had done, She threw herself at the door, banging against it with her hands and feet, wailing like a child.

     “Let me out! Please let me out!” Once it became clear she wasn’t going to be released from her prison, she heard an argument ensuing between her mother and the doctor, who also happen to be the mayor of the town.

     “What if the medicine doesn’t take effect, Doctor?”

     Dr. Bethel without mincing his words, “Then we will kill her before she can affect anyone else.”

     “NO!” Malisa screamed at the top of her lungs, “what have I done?”

     “Take her to the infirmary. She has gone mad.” Dr. Bethel announced to the two men dressed all in black. They grabbed Malisa roughly with their monstrous hands, even as she continued to ask, “What have I done?” Over and over again.

     Throughout all of this, Erin constantly banged against the door in protest. In exhaustion, she slumped against the door, and cried, “What am I going to do?” However, she did not have to think too long because the young boy from that fateful day began tapping at her bedroom window.

     “Psst. Over here.” Erin quickly got over her exhaustion and ran to the window. “I am here to help you.”

     “If you and your people never came here at all, I wouldn’t need help.” With every emphasis the young boy shrunk deeper into himself out of embarrassment. “Now, would I?”

     “We are going to get nowhere if you keep arguing with me. Now I am going to let you out.” He began to use a crowbar to unlock the window.  

     “Not until you tell me your name!” Erin announced through gritted teeth.

     “Is this really the time for pleasantries?” He asked dumbfounded and annoyed.

     “Your name?” Crossing her arms in a defiant stance.

     “Edwin.” He said as he lifted his arms to assist her down.

     “Well, Edwin,” Erin announced as she looked around at her surroundings, “Now what?”

     Before he could answer her question, there was a loud bang. “Are they shooting at us?” Erin asked with bewilderment.

     “No, they are shooting in celebration, haven’t you heard the king is coming?”

     “I do not appreciate your sarcasm.” Erin said as Edwin quickly grabbed her arm and ran.

     They were miles away when a scream broke through the silence of dawn. “That’s it! Let go of me right now!”

     “Erin, we have to keep going. We are almost there.”

     “Oh, really? Where is ‘almost there’?” Erin growing increasingly frustrated, “We have been running for miles, I can’t even see the town anymore. Why can’t we take a break?”

     “Because they know that you have escaped and if they know that, then they also know that I helped you, which means that they are after the both of us.”

     “I don’t even know why they are after me in the first place.” Before she could finished her thought, the ground began to shake. Erin looked up and saw horses that were black as death with gleaming red eyes galloping toward them. “Edwin!” Screaming over the deafening sound of the horses’ hoofs,”Shouldn’t we run?”

     “Why? They aren’t trying to kill us.”

     After they were rescued by the men on the black horses, they made their way to their village. Once they got there, Edwin led Erin to their witch-doctor.

     The witch-doctor was a blind woman with long, black hair. She was moaning over a fire when Erin and Edwin walked into her tent. “You are lost child.”

     “Who? Me?” Erin was startled by her appearance, “How am I lost?

     “You don’t know who you are.” The witch-doctor said in her rhythmic voice.

     “Can you tell me who I am suppose to be?”

     “You are different, but it is a good different.” She announced with a smile. ” You can change that though.”

     “How?” Erin and Edwin asked simultaneously.

     “You must find your own answers.” With every word, she began to drift away, until she was nothing.

     “Wait!”

     A month passed and Erin was still thinking about what the witch-doctor said. Until one day when Edwin and Erin were walking back to the village after collecting berries, when an idea struck her,

     “Edwin, I need to go back to my town.” Edwin had dropped his basket in shock and asked

     “Why?”

     “I need to find my own answers.”

     It was decided that they will traveled together, even with the probability of something bad happening. They quietly made their way into the town one night and made their way to the town hall and began to search for answers.

     They began looking in the marriage records, because she always wondered who was her father, but they never did find anything on Malisa, but when they shut the cabinet door, a letter fell out and landed on the floor.

     “What is this?” Edwin kneeled down, and picked up the envelope, then began to open it.

     “What does it say?” Erin asked, peering over Edwin’s shoulder.

     “It’s your certificate of adoption.”

      “What? Why didn’t they tell me?” She held her head in her hands. “Does it say who is my parents were?”

     “Maybe we can come back tomorrow.” Edwin asked tentatively.

     “NO!” Erin shrugging off his hand. “I need to know.”

     “Erin! They killed them and Malisa adopted you.”

     Erin immediately turned and walked out the door, and made her way the doctor’s house, because she knew he had something to do with it.

     “Erin! Where are you going?” Edwin yelled, chasing after her.

     “I am going to kill him.”

     To Be Continued…

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