With her clothes torn and body bloodied, Miranda stood by the lake. Morning mist spilled onto the shore and into the woods. Her thoughts traveled south with the mist into the village. She would regret the children, but the beast would spare no one.
The village named this place Onheil because they believed something evil lived there. Miranda became their fixed point of fear. Every illness. Every accident.
She could forgive their ignorance. A beautiful young maiden alone in the woods. Her dark skin contrasted against their pale. How could they know she protected them?
Fear turned to violence last night. A young child died from fever. The men took Miranda and broke their fear on her body. They left her in the woods to die.
“The guardian becomes the monster they fear.” Miranda closed her eyes. “I release you.”
The lake bubbled and frothed. A giant, dark monster broke the surface with a roar that shook the ground. It glared at Miranda with yellow eyes.
An image filled Miranda’s mind. Margaret. A girl that glowed with joy whenever Miranda visited. She would dance with laughter and life.
Fear squeezed Miranda’s throat. “No! No matter what they have done. For her sake, I do not release you!”
The monster bent low and roared with anger. It rushed toward the lake’s shore.
“I said no! By the one who gave me dominion, no!”
The mist rushed back toward the lake and wrapped around the beast. The monster roared and struggled, but could not break free. The mist pulled it beneath the surface. Miranda watched and fell to her knees when the lake calmed. She shook and wailed.
Sunlight broke through the canopy of the woods and touched her. Miranda closed her eyes and let the warmth heal her.
I first wrote this for a flash fiction contest – I didn’t win. Still, I like this. I’m sure it has many flaws, but I like the story. Would love to know what you think. I apologize for being so sporadic lately. Many things going on and stealing my thoughts and time. I won’t make promises of being on here more frequently, just know that I will try. Hope you all are well. Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.
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