Forbidden Magic
800 AD, Nazarya
Zavier, Part 1 of 2
The summer sky today was quite gloomy in Nazarya for some reason. Completely opposite of what I felt at the moment however. It’s my 12th birthday today! Mother and Father are taking me to a nice place called Rosemary and Thyme for breakfast. It’s a fancy tea place that serves some of the best food, within the rich-middle district. We will walk to the restaurant, instead of by carriage, since it’s only three blocks away. Too bad my brother Atticus could not be here to celebrate with us.
On the way, I speak to my parents about what’s to come today.
“Oh, Father! Have you, will you craft me a sword? Please!” I ask, hopping around him in excitement, and giving him the puppy eyes.
“Now, now son. You’ve no need for a sword at the moment! After the next winter you will get your sword. Perhaps even a shield and some armor to go with it,” Father smiles. I frown at his response. One year is enough to have Firazael taken from me.
“Don’t tell me you’re doing this for a young lady Zavier. You are also far too young to court a lady,” Mother adds. I feel my face burn, so I turn away from them. Darn.
Mother and Father laugh at my frustration. I can’t help but sneak a smile at the blithe mood. If only mother weren’t a psychic.
“So what do you have in surprise for me?” I question.
“You’ll see soon enough after we feast,” Mother and Father smirk. I throw my hands up in the air to further exaggerate my impatience. I am only rewarded with pat on the head.
Our relatively jovial stroll through town is interrupted when we pass by the town square. A woman’s cry of pain reaches my ears, and I turn my head to see what was going on. A monstrous hooded man was dragging a young maiden by the hair towards a metal pole. All the while, she was yelling in distress. Her hands were restrained with strange glowing shackles, and since her hands were behind her back, they were bloodied from being dragged on the rough cement. Then, she was brutally thrown against the pole, and the cracking of bone rang throughout the square. She was tied to the pole, and the large hooded man piled wood at her feet.
“What’s going on over there?” I ask my parents.
“There hasn’t been one of these events in a long time...” Father murmurs.
A crowd quickly amasses around the tortured maiden. I tiptoe to get a better view, and strain my ears to hear what the commotion was about.
“Lynsetta Pamela! You have been accused of performing Witchcraft, with no permission from the Elder Sage, and shall be sentenced to death, by fire!!” a man in priest’s robes shouts, pointing to the young woman who was tied down.
“No! Please! I have done no evil! I only brought the rain to help the failing crops!” Lynsetta sobs.
“So you admit, you ARE a witch! Vile hag! What else will you do next with your magic!? Curse people that happen to step on your precious crops?!” The robed man sneers, prompting the crowd to erupt in whispers and worry.
“No! There are magic-wielders out there that wish you no harm! Just like me! They wish to help, but they could not get...” Lynsetta attempts.
“LIES! Unrestrained power like magic brings corruption! And all these people here know it!” The man interjects.
“No! Please! Don’t do this to me!” Lynsetta begs.
I watch in horror, as they waste no time to use a torch to light the wood at Lynsetta’s feet on fire. The crowd spectates in eerie silence. All the while she cries and begs for mercy. They give her none. I watch, mouth agape, as the flames I once considered beautiful, slowly devour her, searing her pale olive skin a hideous crimson.
A sudden pang of sorrow strikes me, as if this was not the first time I witnessed this. I recall no memory of burnings, yet I feel as if this was not the worst witch hunters have done. When she let out an ear-piercing screech of agony, my strange reflection breaks and I refocus my pitiful gaze up upon the accused woman. People start to scutter away from the scene, as if they were deaf to her pleas and pain. Mother quickly covers my ears and averts my gaze from the burning woman before I could take a step towards her.
“No son. Don’t interfere. It’s too dangerous,” Mother warns.
“But she was a good lady wasn’t she? The city suffered greatly last winter, and the rain helped, lots,”I choke out.
“She was a witch Zavier. She was probably lying, trying to cover up herself with good deeds,” Father says, ushering for us to move on.
Apparently we do not move fast enough, for I could smell the bitter scent of scorched flesh.
I have no words for this inhumane act.
We continue our way to the Rosemary and Thyme in silence, with my parents occasionally casting worried glances at each other.
Even the chocolate souffles and perfectly cooked steaks could not shake the memory of Lynsetta burning at the stake. Mother and Father try to change the subject from witches to hot cakes and blacksmithing, but her screams were all that filled my ears.
Father abruptly adjourns my thoughts with a sincere tone.
“Son, I know you feel bad about what happened back there, but it was probably for the best,” Father soothes. Yet I can still detect some hesitation in his words. He’s uncertain, as if there was a chance that she was innocent.
“How do you tell if someone’s a Witch father? What makes their actions so sinful?” I interrogate.
A few tables around us shift uncomfortably, and go silent when Mother and Father don’t answer.
“We can explain to you all you want to know later Zavier. It is an uncomfortable topic to discuss in public,” mother whispers. I nod my head and finish my now cold honey tart.

Keep Reading

Chapter 2

800 AD, Nazarya Zavier, Part 2 of 2

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