The Town that Time Forgot

There is a street and there is a shop, and they have always been here as long as time can remember. Time fears the street so old and undying she visits here no more. Though centuries have past the streets remain a medieval thing; always constant, never changing. Its ways are cruel and its living simple, it is cut off from the world outside and only few dare venture in or out.

 

In the shadows there is a figure tall and willowy, she paces the streets and keeps herself to its dark side lines. She waits impatiently on the cobbled steps. A stranger here, she brings with her a cruel darkness, so the city remains cold and unwelcoming to her. This only makes the woman laugh. The neighbourhood lights switch off quite abruptly. It is eleven o’clock. She pulls from the inside of her coat a small pocket watch and checks the time, her mouth turns up at its sides; eleven exactly.

Under her coat is a fantastic satin dress, a deep royal purple; the shade of elegance and supremacy. It is a colour not to be trusted and a colour that is verboten here. Mhaex smoothes the material and remains un-thwarted. She is watching a small shop on the opposite side of the street. She has been looking at it for some time now and watches as the sign is flipped to ‘closed’. She stops and her eyes pierce down the long blackened street; there’s something there, though you or I would not sense it yet. She waits for the young boy on the bike to come into view and emerge from the perfect darkness that has consumed him. So young and far away from home and at this time of the night, this will never do. But there is no room to lose sight of her goal now, she is too close. This mortal shell of hers is breaking and she no longer belongs to this world. She curses herself for not having the components already to make it end. She lets the boy pass and smiles somewhat welcomingly at him as he passes by.

This woman has no humanity left since it was stolen from her centuries ago, yet she has learnt to live with the emptiness and it bothers her no more. It is the power however, the power that she refuses to give up and which binds her to this world. Tonight she will get it back and those in her way will be punished like those many centuries before. Even in her weakened state they are no match for her. She looks through the store window at the two young girls inside; the fear in their rushed movements shows they know it too.

 

They would be fools to keep it from her they know this; Mhaex already knows it is here. But they must try. If they cannot stop her from getting the stone they must use all they have to ensure she cannot use it to its full potential. Mhaex is cruel and narcissistic, she would not dwell to think two witches of little experience could even attempt such a curse, but while years are few, their power and purpose is stronger; they place a jinx upon the stone and hide it in the floorboards. As they whisper sweet words onto the stone; in a tongue almost forgotten like the streets, it glows an ember as if its entrapped soul is burning to be free. The doors fly open with great force; a gush of wind knocking them almost off their hinges. They swing back and forth, back and forth.

“Where is it?” It is not a question but a demand; a demand that a sensible person would answer quickly and with truth. But May is not sensible and she will not bend to Mhaex if it costs her her life.

“It is not here!” Young May is feisty and speaks with confidence, but they all know she is not telling the truth. Centuries old Mhaex can feel the power of the stone from worlds away; it is what draws her here into such a quiet neighbourhood in the middle of the night. She has been searching for it, like her mother before her and her ancestors before them.

“You think you can hide the stone from me!” She laughs and the walls tremble as they echo. “You think I cannot see past your lies and into the floorboards where you have hidden it!” Her voice is sharp and her rage twists their insides, yet still they move to block her way. She can hear their heartbeats fasten; she feels their fear and weakness, it is a sweet sensation in her mouth.

“If we return it to you, you must promise to not hurt another living thing. You must…”

“If, you return it to me…Do not mistake me for a fool. MOVE!” She throws her hands forward and flips the boards up from the floor; the fronts peel up as though they are no more solid than skin. The nails claw themselves out from the floor and remain in the boards like jagged teeth allowing the panels to separate themselves from the rafters. The pendant no longer safely hidden has risen ten feet and is hovering in the air, untied from its satin pouch it hangs alone. All eyes are now on the necklace as it holds itself in mid-air.

“You have what you want, now what?”

Mhaex grabs the necklace and puts it around her neck where it glows once again and violently shakes about; she closes her eyes and waits for her strength to return. It can sense its origin. She fiddles with the chain and jumps abruptly, moving her hand away in pain. The stone is a fierce blood red. She rips it from her throat and throws it to the ground.

“What have you done?!” Mhaex stumbles back against the wall. Upon her chest a searing red burn is forming in the shape of the stone. It lies above her heart. It is a gateway to her soul and as the stone violently cracks open it is not her power but her soul that is returned to her. A neglected soul that Mhaex has forgotten, it fits uneasily in her chest as it sees the horrors she’s committed. She screams to take it back as it tears the evil from her fighting limbs, every last horrible violent act of hers burning fiercely in her memory.

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