"After her! Don't let her escape!" the townspeople were in a frenzy. "Capture that witch!"
"How did i let it get to this?" Bonadel asked herself as she ran. The people had been chasing her for hours. What was supposed to be a simple practice session in the forest had escalated into a town-wide witch hunt. If that hunter hadn't come along and seen her holding fireballs, she wouldn't be in this mess.
A pitchfork flew past her and impaled itself in the ground right in front of her. She skittered around the up-ended pitchfork to avoid impaling herself. She pulled out her wand and cast a fireball at the feet of the people. 'Too late to play innocent now,' she figured. She really wished Gwendolyn or Reynelda had come to see her. But they were in Alden, and she couldn't get there by herself. At least not without having the life drained out of her. "You can't run forever, demon spawn!" someone shouted behind her. Bonadel glanced back at the crowd and lost her footing. The mob swarmed around her before she even hit the ground. "We've got you now, you witch!"
"No! I'm not a--" A townsman interrupted her with a shovel to the head. "Shut up, demon spawn! You'll pay for what you and your kind have done to humans." she was hoisted violently to her feet. "Villainous wench!" someone shouted. Bonadel tried to reply to that, but someone hit her in the face with a boot. It wasn't even a kick, someone just decided to throw a boot at her.
When she came to, she'd already been tied to a stake. No trial, no investigation, just straight to the burner. "Please," Bonadel begged. "I beg of you not to do this. I've been nothing but kind to you all over the years." She turned to a woman standing nearby with a baby. "Mrs. O'Reily. Who was it that helped you bear your child that cold winter night? Was it not i? Your own husband wasn't even there to be at your side."
"Yes," the woman replied with contempt as she hefted her falling baby. "No doubt it was your witchery that caused this so you could place some curse on my poor child. You deserve far worse than mere burning, savage witch." the woman spat at Bonadel. Bonadel turned to another man, the hunter that found her out in the first place. "Good sir Malone, did you not come by my house often in my youth and regale me with tales of your hunts? Does that mean nothing to you?!" she sobbed. Bonadel couldn't understand what was going on anymore. She was surrounded by all the people she grew up with. They had all been so nice to her in her childhood. What could she possibly have done to make them hate her so much? And in such a short span of time.
She wished to God that her parents could at least be around to defend her, but her mother died when she was born, and who knew where her father could possibly be at such an urgent and dire time. "I beg of you, please release me." she pleaded. "I swear none of you will ever see me again." she was met only with various objects being thrown at her.
"Silence!" the town chief barked. "I now pronounce on this day, April 3rd 1745, Bonadel W. Greer age 17, having been discovered as a witch shall be burned at stake." He turned to Bonadel with a look of complete disgust. "I only pray that God not have mercy on your soul."
"Please." Bonadel begged silently. She had cried herself dry, and her voice was too hoarse to carry another word. The flaming torch came sooner than she expected and before she knew it, the fire was slowly creeping up the stake. Bonadel cast a horrified glance at the townspeople who were in an uproar. The fire found its way to her skin and Bonadel let out a fierce shriek. She looked back at the crowd and was filled with new hope. Reynelda and Gwendolyn were amidst the crowd.
Gwendolyn mouthed something to her and she looked to the sky. It was a rain spell. "elementum recolligo huic locus." she chanted. "commodo mihi vestri--"
"Stop her!" a townswoman yelled. "She's trying to invoke the wrath of Satan upon us." Someone ran forward through the crowd and doused Bonadel with a jar of oil. The fire intensified and enveloped Bonadel completely. The last thing to cross her mind before she surrendered to the darkness was her father.
She did not know how long she was in the dark, it seemed like an eternity. It was silent. She couldn't move or feel. She just remained enveloped by a deep, heavy darkness. All she had with her was the memory of what had happened. She had been betrayed by people she held close to her heart. Gwendolyn and Reynelda had refused to directly assist her. But she didn't hold it against them, displaying their magic would definitely have endangered witches everywhere.
Then finally, she heard something. It sounded like clawing. Yes. Something was clawing its way toward her. But what? She couldn't be sure. She didn't even know where she was. Then she saw the light. It was warm and radiant but also had a distinctly evil feeling to it. She felt a hand grab her and pull her toward the light. Bonadel opened her eyes slowly. The air was arid and foul smelling.
"My daughter." a voice said. Bonadel rose to her feet and turned to the voice's owner. "Father!" she embraced him tightly. "Father, where are we? Is this where you have been?"
Marcus, her father gestured around vaguely at the burning barren landscape that surrounded them. "We are in hell, my child."
"Hell." Bonadel repeated. "But how can this be? I was just burned at stake."
"No, Bonadel." Marcus said seriously. "You have been dead for four months, but your soul was trapped in limbo. I have only just found you and brought you to this realm."
"But if we're both here, then does that mean you are dead as well?" she asked as she embraced him. "Oh, father!" she sobbed. "And what of mother, is she here too?"
"She is here," Marcus replied. "But she is safe, i assure you. More importantly, Bonadel. The people who did this to you, do you wish to see them suffer in like?"
"See them suffer?" Bonadel almost laughed at the thought. "Is such a thing possible from here?"
"No, but i have the power to bring you back to life." Marcus replied. "But you must offer your soul to me at the end of days."
"For this opportunity father," Bonadel said. "I would offer the souls of my unborn children."
"Excellent." Marcus laughed and cut his index finger with his thumb. "Partake of my blood, child. Share in my immortality." he offered his bleeding finger to Bonadel and let a few drops trickle into her mouth. "The deal is formed. Go forth, my child. Have your vengeance." He placed a hand on her head and she blacked out again.
She awoke and immediately began to claw at the blackness in front of her. It felt soft and seemed to just give way for her. She reached the end of the blackness and noticed she had just crawled out of the ground. She was in a marsh, just a short distance away from the town she grew up in. “The bastards must have spread my ashes here.” Bonadel muttered. She peered into the muddy water and was shocked to find that she looked seven years old again. She looked again and saw she looked to be around seventeen.
She did this a few more times till she was sure she had the hang of it and then she settled on the seventeen year old form. Bonadel focused her magic into her palms and she conjured two fireballs. She looked up at the sky and laughed heartily. The sound of her voice echoed into the twilight sky.
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