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Sacrifice (May Promptathon #7)

PROMPT: ​"She followed the woman for days and at last her patience was paying off."

Time 20 Minutes


By Laura Nettles

She followed the woman for days and at last her patience was paying off. The woman’s footprints in the muddy underbrush had led her directly to her current stake out. The inside of the hut was dark save for seven candles lit on the floor.

Leaning forward around the wooden door, the view stole her breath. Heather was kneeling with a baby in her arms. Mary’s hair stood on end as she heard the shrill cry of a baby cut short. The little girl’s body was placed in a summoning circle between the candles, her face turned away from Mary.

No one knew of Mary’s presence. Or suspected Heather like Mary had. She was the lone witness to this atrocity.

As Heather started to do her ritual, Mary ran back towards the village. The judge would believe her. It was his daughter that had just had her neck twisted after all.

Bang! Bang! Her fists slammed in a staccato rhythm upon the judge’s manor door.

The door creaked open. The wife stood there in her evening dress, a puzzled look on her face.

“Mary, what are you doing here?”

“Your daughter!”

“What about Constance?” She seemed concerned, but not overly so.

“Heather has her!”

“Of course. She is nannying her.”

“She has her in the woods! She killed her!” Mary yelled, leaning against the door frame.

Behind the judge’s wife, emerging from the dark, Heather appeared, cradling the small, breathing form of Constance.

“No. What?” Mary stammered.

The crooked grin on Heather’s face told her all she needed to know.

Nothing she had seen was real. Nothing was sacred to Heather. Mary was left with no way to prove the witchcraft.

‘From now on, you will leave me alone.’

The words rang in Mary’s head. A shiver raced up her spine dripping in sweat. The threat was left unsaid. Implied. Unnecessary. Fatal.

The End

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