By: Elizabeth Baseley
Art by Madison Mesa
She drifted past the rotting fields, back to the place she had always called hers, regret making home in her intestine. She did not belong there now, there was no doubt about it, but that was not enough to stop her aching feet from their march. They fell into line as she once had. They fell into line as she longed to again. The town where she was raised was growing nearer. It was preserved in her memory, the yellow-dressed lady who gave her sweets, the priest who told mother that she would never learn to walk, and him, Satan’s inspiration.
She was in the marketplace now. The scent of blood hit her first; it made her mouth water. Where orange-hazed vendors once stood now housed red drenched wood and decaying dreams. She spotted the yellow-dressed woman; no longer so sweet, she now wore a cross to bury the scorn she felt. For the first time since her change, the girl began to laugh. It was a horrible thing, hoarse and beastly; there could be no joy found in it, only catharsis. Snakes descended from villager’s mouths, promising to poison her if she did not leave. Only despair remained here, and she didn’t wish to have any more.
So she followed her past warpath. She walked by the school she wasn’t allowed to attend, by the church where she begged for help, by the fields that spit at her. Each step held all her weight, causing her violated heart to recoil. She was no longer a child. He had taken that from her. She was now at the tree where he proposed the idea. She was now at the porch where she agreed. She was now in the room where he offered her everything she ever wanted in exchange for her humanity. She was now in the room where he took more than he had promised. She fell to her knees and stared at her bloodied hands. The farm was silent, and it was her fault. Everyone was dead, and it was her fault. She could smell the fact the sun was setting. She knew yesterday would be her tomorrow and that the silver of the moon would make her filthy blood boil again.
Somewhere deep down, she knew that she could control her barbaric rampage. She also knew that she did not want to.