The soul-stealer

No everyday witch was she. Her hands were longer, her fingers thinner – and underneath nails like the sharp beaks of crows lay spooled maleficent silk thread. A soul-stealer, her kind was called. She tracked the unfortunate souls of children expiring in the nighttime, ensnaring them in her immediate nets of poison string. First toxic fibers stunned. Then roiling dark matter net-within condensed the gaseous spirit down to a thin grey liquid, down to powdery solid. Both were rare and potion-versatile. Both fetched fat prices on the alchemical market. So the sorcerer did well for herself. But the transformed child-souls, unable to pass into the realm of the Dead, suffered enormously.

Centuries passed. Over time, strangely and inexplicably: children began dying more and more during the day, less and less in the bowels of night. The thin-fingered lady was losing her prey and livelihood. She started taking chances, creeping into the sunlight. One Sunday, skulking amongst the winding alleys of some tiny town on the road to Glasgow, she sensed a young soul readying itself for release. It belonged to a boy in a nearby house…a miserable little boy coughing his remaining blood into pillows. Tuberculosis, that antiquated disease, clutched him wholly. As the lad breathed his last, and his essence lifted from his body, the soul-stealer was there. She spun her net. It snatched its intended. And yet, turning to escape – she, in turn, was caught. One of the day-policing supernaturals, a magic maître of family-oriented bent, had traced telltale tufts of dark matter left in the wake of the witch’s skulk. He snapped crystal cuffs on her wrists, and threw her into a windowless room in the Middle World.

There she was forced to unravel all currently-carried potions, while her recipe memories were simultaneously wiped. She was forced to evaporate all relevant solids and liquids back into their true soul-forms. Soon the room pullulated with vengeful child spirits. Before passing into the realm of the Dead, they enacted their myriad reprisals: taunting, pinching, tweaking, yanking hair, poking eyes, permeating the sorcerer’s body and kicking her from the inside. So demoralized was the woman by the time the last conscience converted, that she foreswore ever stealing another soul. She became a midnight gardener, tending moon blooms until her own soul and body parted ways.

~ by kingzoko on September 22, 2014.

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