Blood-Shod Witch Can’t Tell The Old Lie

Georgia ran into her sister’s back. She had tried to stay awake, but flesh betrays mind when a tired body has been marching for hours in the dark. 

“Sorry Xiomara; my eyes closed on me. Are we stopping?”

“No.” Xiomara whimpered the word. “My feet are too swollen. I had to slow down.”

“I took my boots off after my fifth blister burst,” Georgia said. “I’m blood-shod. We should take a break.” Her pack was already dragging her down. She surrendered to its weight, and let herself collapse.

“Not here Sis.” Hunger and exhaustion had muffled the sounds of fireballs hitting trees and claiming souls, but a witch’s brain is especially good at prioritizing when survival is at stake. “We are too close to the rebels.” Xiomara looked behind her. “We’ll be slaughtered, if we—”

The putrid greenish mist of a flesh-melting air hex engulfed Xiomara’s body before Georgia could block the killing magic. Her right hand flew to her throat. The other reached for her sister.

Georgia tried a purification spell, but she was energy barren. She had used the last of her energy during a self-healing attempt, three days ago. She watched as her sister drowned in the thick fluid of her melted tongue. The sight and smell of Xiomara’s liquefied innards, oozing out of her nose, ears, eyes... filled Georgia’s mouth with bile. She swallowed it down and tried screaming, but couldn’t.


Casilda hovered above the sleeping form of the Sand Energy Law Enforcement Coven Leader. She stopped chanting; waited until her former boss’ body twitched less violently. She was going to stop the nightmare spell, but Georgia’s words came back to mind. “We’ll get rid of three healers,” she had said. “Most SLEC witches are capable of self-healing, so why waste funds? We need to attract younger and less expensive witches to help us mold the future.”

The words boiled inside Casilda’s heart. The changes did not affect her directly; she was a warrior, not a healer. But she refused to be part of SLEC after the healers were terminated. She tried reasoning with Georgia when the casualty count surpassed the number of names at roll call; nothing worked. Seasoned witches continued to die of wounds; their pay was used to hire ten novices who were ready to give their lives for what they thought they believed in. So many died in Casilda’s arms…

The memory filled her eyes. It squeezed her heart. She bit her lips until she tasted blood. She blinked. She swallowed. She chanted her interpretation of Owen’s words into the other witch’s nightmare:
Xiomara drowns in the thick fluid of her melted tongue.
Brownish red innards ooze out of her nose, ears, and eyes.
Georgia’s mouth fills with bile.
She swallows, but still can’t scream.
She wants to help her sister.
She wants forgiveness;
Tries to say she did it for the greater good,
But chokes on fallacious retch— 
Blood-shod witch can’t tell The old Lie.  

***

Inspired by Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est


Her Heart Was Broken, by SunshineShelle

31 comments:

  1. I like it, darling! A bit of a dark caution.

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  2. Keep those who know what they are doing...

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  3. Wow. That poem just has me....speechless. Exactly the same way I felt reading the last sentence of Slaughterhouse Five. The bird...the silence...It just seems so impossible--what we're capable of doing to each other. You're story inspired by the poem is a keeper, too!

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  4. Oh crap. I mean "your". I hate it when I do that.

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  5. Wow. Now I want to know what happens next!

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  6. Wow Magaly, this is fantastic! Wicked and good! I want more!!!

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  7. This packs a powerful punch!!! Love it!!!!

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  8. Kat - So glad you liked it. I was pretty mad when I wrote it, but it was a pleasure to write.

    Judy - Indeed.

    Dreaming of Jeanie - I love it when art leaves me speechless, then I thank the gods for my keyboard ;-D

    The Traveler - You will know soon, my dear ;-)

    Magic Love Crow - Ask, my luv, and you shall receive!

    Shelle - And a few fireballs and some nasty spells too *hehehe* Can you tell I'm no longer upset? Maybe is because I've been a very good writer (made my word count and a bit more) so my Piano Man and I get some extra fun time tonight!

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  9. Wow, speechless is right! I agree with what Dreaming of Jeanie said , that it seems so impossible what we are capable of doing to each other. Wow, will we never evolve? Magaly you are a very talented writer. I'm glad you have that keyboard handy!!!

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  10. Usually not my thing but I really enjoyed this!

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  11. Geckostone - Thanks my lady, you made me grin a bit. You are right, we are such a strange breed and our instincts seem not to evolve with the rest of us *sigh* And I'm sooo grateful for my keyboard therapy too!

    Mina - You need to stop saying those wonderful things or I'll have to get in a plane just so I can hug you! And to record all those great words of yours, so I can listen to them all the time and go through life with a HUGE grin on my face ;-D

    Cogent - Glad you liked it luv!

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  12. I just need to hear more please!! Fantastic!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  13. I read this last night...I was speechless. What great writing and an amazing story.

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  14. Wonderfully Wicked! Getting situated in our new home is taking SO much of my time that I feel guilty of neglecting my "web" on the 'Net, but I had to see what everyone is up to.

    Mina is right - your writing IS "Magic"!

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  15. Grisly details; I like the turn to the other viewpoint that leaves us questioning our understandings. It captures the horrors of civil wars.

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  16. I read this last night...I was speechless. What great writing and an amazing story.

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  17. Wow, speechless is right! I agree with what Dreaming of Jeanie said , that it seems so impossible what we are capable of doing to each other. Wow, will we never evolve? Magaly you are a very talented writer. I'm glad you have that keyboard handy!!!

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    1. Have you ever read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman? My favorite part of the book is when a character who has been in charge with hurting humanity and sending them to hell, says something like "Humanity is a lot crueler to itself than I can even begin to conceive." Such a sad truth...

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  18. Wow. Now I want to know what happens next!

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    1. I might have to tell you, huh?

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  19. The thick fluid of her melted tongue is what made this story for me.
    That's messed up right?
    I don't know.
    I like when horror shocks me with how horrifying it is.
    I will now spend all day imagining people who irritate me suffering from air hex's.

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    1. Like Stephen King said when comparing terror and horror “I’ll try to terrify you first, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll horrify you, and if I can’t make it there, I’ll try to gross you out. I’m not proud.”

      Unlike Stephen though, I am proud. I think, every now and again, everybody needs to gag a little ;-)

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  20. I know your gonna tell me I'm being greedy, but I want more :-)

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    1. Greedy indeed! But I'm glad for it. ;-D

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  21. You weave such vivid imagery with your words. I can see it, smell it, feel it...

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    1. I hope it didn't hurt too much... the seeing it, smelling it and feeling it...

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  22. Brilliant story telling. The old old story of experience being pushed aside as not important for the short term thinking that youth and less cost is always better. Yet you gave it a fantastic new twist. Casilda seems a witch of principle, I'd like to know more about her, it's not easy to go against those above you in any setting but she's obviously been pushed over the edge by what she sees as incompetence injustices wrought.

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    1. Being pushed aside and replaced by incompetent people indeed... That has to destroy a person in so many ways...

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  23. I hope there is a whole bunch more of this hiding somewhere!

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  24. This is one the ones that has my knees drawing up into my chest .

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  25. Self induced attrition terrifying eh there's always dinnertime else... Until there isn't. Excellent Mags

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