They said that the red was blood.
Thinking back on that old, sleepy village, I’m not sure why they even laughed at me when I came near if they thought I was a witch. Witches were supposed to be scary, right? Anyone who could be mean enough to pluck out crows’ feathers’ had to be scary. To my childish mind at the time, I thought anything that could be mean enough to hurt animals had to be “scary”. That was why I wouldn’t go near my father. He was like the cornerstone of the village at the time, one streaked with blood. He supported the village,-and everyone in it-by bringing back bloody,dead,twitching animals back home. He was the towns hero! I was the towns’ punching bag. I never liked my father. He probably never liked me either. I couldn’t blame him for that. He’d wanted a strong, buff son that would follow in his footsteps, not some weakling witch girl that cried whenever he came near.
My mother, however, was a sweet, kind, loving soul that never wished anyone harm. Of course, she wasn’t my biological mother. My “real” mother died when she gave birth to me. I still remember the day I found out. I was kicking up piles of dust, watching the clouds scudding by as time tick-tocked away. I saw two of my “friends” (I hadn’t figured out that they didn’t want me around yet-I was too little- ) whispering together. Rogerette and Escarlda. Two of the nicer girls in my village. As I walked near, I saw one of them- Escarlda- turn around and look at me. She gazed at me sympathetically- instead of groaning-it was their custom greeting- as I drew closer. “Hi!!”my over energetic younger self yelled dopily. Escarlda looked at me.” So you still don’t know?” she asked.”Know what?” I said, eager to be included in the older girls’ gossip.”What?” I asked again. “You’re to young to know.” said Rogerette snobbishly.
I glared at her. She ducked her head down, admitting defeat. ” What?!” I asked again, my smile starting to fade. Escarlda glanced at Rogerette, as if asking permission.” Tell her” said Rogerette, smirking at me ” I don’t want the witch girl hanging around us.” I ignored her. As usual.” Well..” began Escarlda, trailing of uncertainty.”Well..” she began again. “Well what?” I said carefully. ” Your mothers not your real mother” she gabbled in a rush. Rogerette seized the moment (as well as Escarldas’ arm) and promptly ran away. Mother never knew that I knew. Her secret.
The peace of the village was abruptly shattered that extra sleepy day. The village was always sleepy, but today it was like a magical spell had been cast upon the entire village, making everyone go to sleep, expect for me. That was probably a good thing. As everyone at the village fair (once a month)made excuses to get out of the sun, get home and sleep. My mother, my sweet, fake mother, fell asleep faster then anyone else that day. My father held out the longest. He sharpened his axe, oiled his rifle, and fell asleep with a sharp axe and a dangerously placed gun pointing toward his hairy chest. After liberating my house from a beautiful bow that I had been keeping an eye one for as long as my father made it; a soft leather quiver with a hard, bronze bottom, and a set of carved arrows, glowing like shafts of moonlight. I packed it all, along with some supplies,in my bag that I’d sewed for myself a quite long time ago.
Now, this wasn’t exactly stealing. My dad had said I could have it when I’d killed my first animal (He wouldn’t accept the dried up rotting corpse of a deer that I had found on the riverbank, washed up on the sand). So, I reasoned with myself, it wasn’t exactly stealing. I would have to kill my first animal soon after my supplies ran out, so after all, it seemed fair to me. I snuck out of the house as quietly as I could, barely allowing myself to breath. When my bare feet touched the cool, uneven, grassy ground of the forest, I breathed a loud sigh of relief. I felt tired, like I had swallowed a whole barrel of dynamite and it had destroyed all my insides. I lay down on a tree root nearby. Everything was perfect. I was finally away from the constricting rules of the village. I felt like a bird, escaped from a cramped cage that I had been in for fifteen years. I would miss my mother, though. I imagined her reaction. She would probably feel at ease, knowing that I was as free as a hummingbird. Why wouldn’t she? She was the one who had suggested running away, and now that I was fifteen, I could finally spread my wings and fly away.
Away to a better place.