They took it all from her. Everything she loved, everything she even stopped a moment to care for, to value. The townsfolk barred her from her home, chased her from the streets.
It was too long ago for me to know her crimes, if she had any. In those days it could be as little as not saying the right words in church, or following the right leaders. Dissent was not just frowned upon, it was forbidden. The town’s masters would say the only true freedom was the freedom from choice. Perhaps she just chose to disagree and that was enough. Who can say? There was no court in our town, no jury to weigh the gravity of a crime. All judgements were singular and without question. Just like the one against her.
I guess out of great loss great hatred grows. She might have died on banishment. Perhaps she did and what returned was from the other place, the other realm. Or perhaps she survived and grew on anger and revenge. In any case she became wise, as only pain and loss will provide.
And she returned. She returned not as she was, or even as one they could recognise. I was but a sick child when she came, swirling into town, the tempest rising.
She saw me, and somehow I knew her and she knew me. We communed in some form of shared loss, but I was too young to understand. I just knew in that moment I loved her fiercely, more deeply and profoundly than even my own parents. And far more genuinely than anything I could ever feel for our godforsaken little town.
So when she called the ravens of despair to the town and set them flying, when all around me were fallen and dying, I survived. I watched the conflagration from my window ledge,shuddering and wondering, seeing her in her glory. I think I wept for my family, but I do not remember for sure, do not know. I just let it all go.
No-one was left after the storm but me. And then she came to my room, quieter and content, more human than alien. She touched my fevered brow and the vexation broke. And she took my hand and led me from our wasted lands.
My new mother, my new home. My everything. The tempest rising and me.
(C) Helen M Valentina 2017