Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Village's Fool

For today here's one of my very own stories that still needs a lot of work to even coming close to be good. This is the story of The Village's Fool:

“She’s a weird one, alright,” the women thought at the very moment she was born. She was a girl unlike any other they had ever seen; with big shiny eyes, that scared the shit out of them all, but with a serene face.
As the story usually goes, time passed by in a flash and soon enough she has turned out to be a very beautiful little lady. She’d never speak ill of anyone and they’d all think of her as a very very nice girl.
Evangeline was like a blonde vision that has enchanted the whole village through. She would be invited all the time at all the houses, and she’d never refuse. She was a girl full of joy that every couple wished as their own.
But on a dark spring night, when she was at the age of ten, something really bad happened; something that would change her life forever. The story goes that, as she was walking in the fields she heard a deafening and frightening noise and the sounds of running feet; and there appeared in front of her a frightening creature, which took over her mind and soul. Some say that it was the goblins she had seen, and some others that the spirits of the land were the ones to invade the poor girl’s being. What is the truth, and what is the lie, none of us knew. What we all did know is that since that damned night, Evangeline’s life had changed for good.
That beautiful girl ever since had madness printed in her gaze. Her eyes were like glass marbles, the ones we used to play with when we were kids, and her smile and serenity have faded away. She looked taken over by fury all the time, and whoever tried to touch her would go away bleeding. “A thousand demons, a legion, have taken over her,” the priest would say praying for the evil to depart.
They tried to read the demons out of her through the Holy Book but failed. They even tried to exorcise the devil that has taken over her mind, but did nothing. She scared them all away, when she screamed into their faces: “How can your filthy souls, bring peace in mine?”
As the time went by, she started to move all the more away from her family, as they’d gotten tired of her and they didn’t want her to live in the house anymore. So, they made her sleep in the barn. As for the people of the village, the ones that not long ago adored her, they now talked about Crazy Evangeline, that curse of a girl that disturbed the peace of the place. Following the priest’s advice they decided to drive her to exile. So, they found a long deserted old hut outside the village, and turned it into her house. Her abode. And they prohibited the children from getting close to her. Only her poor mother would visit her every day with a plate of food, feeling sad about the ill fortune of the girl.
That remote place, so close to the village, but actually in the wilderness, is where Evangeline grew up to be an even more beautiful adolescent girl. Every day she would take long walks into the fields and the neighboring woods, trying to put out the flames that burned in her soul. And every now and then when she’d accidentally meet somebody from the village, that person would run away speechless and scared, and praying not to have been touched by the evil that was in the girl. The only ones that after a while dared get close to her were the children, but only to have fun. She didn’t mind them; she smiled at their jokes. More and more often a brave kid would dare talk to her, even though he could feel his soul shivering like a leaf in the wind. At times like that she would feel calm and peaceful, and her inner demon would seem to have fallen asleep. But that happened in such rare occasions that most of the time she simply felt miserable.
As she confessed to her mother one day, strange visions haunted her sleep each and every night. Once she would see an angel pulling her up towards heaven and at the very next moment a demon would bring her back to earth. Once she would feel herself flying and then crashing into hell.
On the 15th of August, Virgin Mary’s day, everyone saw her going into the church, and they were so scared as if they saw the coming of the dead. The priest stopped the sermon and in blinding fury barked an order to the faithful to tie her down, hands and legs, and then carry her to that dirty hut, where she truly belonged. The villagers were fast to obey, since the word of the priest is the word of god, and you can’t go against that. Just a little girl, no more than eight years of age, dared open her mouth and say: “But, good Jesus said that we should love them all,” and then run and caught the shaking right hand of Evangeline. Her mother dragged her away at once and slapped her on the face, but the little one insisted that she loved Evangeline, and that they should let her be. As she started crying, to their horror, they saw the crazy girl smiling at her sweetly and weeping the tears from her eyes with a light touch. Then with an overpowering move she broke free from her captors and started off in a slow pace for the fields. The little girl, Helena, felt at peace from that moment on.
The very next day everyone in the village would talk about the miracle that’s taken place; Helena, who suffered from consumption, was suddenly healed. All would thank the Virgin for the miracle, but not the girl itself; she would say that Evangeline did it all. And from that day, she’d become her one and only friend. Every now and then she would run away from the village to go and meet her. And their meetings were full of laughter and joy; so much joy that the demons residing into the mad girl’s mind would hide away. As for Helena, every time she met Evangeline she felt more and more peaceful and happy; but no one could suspect where all that happiness came from.
Long days and longer days have passed. Helena really loved Evangeline. And she loved her struggle, her fight with the demons, her agony to tame them. Evangeline little by little came to possess some amazing powers. A fantastic blue aura seemed to cover her whole body every night, blessing it with some kind of magic. Every sick animal she’d touch it would heal at once, every little flower she’d smile to would bloom, even out of season. And on a very dark night she crept into the village and healed an old woman that was burning in high fever and everyone thought that she was sure to die. The day after, that lady would say that in her sleep she saw Evangeline coming and caressing her face, but no one would pay attention to her words, thinking that the fever has harmed her mind. As for her, just as she managed to stand again on her own feet, she went out to find her savior and thank her. She offered her some bread and cheese, and a couple of pomegranates; the poor woman had nothing else to give.
Well, after that Evangeline felt her spirits lifting and decided to go to the village once again, just to see how they’d receive her this time. But just as they saw her coming, they started cursing and throwing rocks at her. Only the kids would stand out for her. “Go away from here, you witch, the devil has no place in this village,” the grown ups would scream and hit her. Bleeding on the body, but most importantly in the soul, she started running away to save herself from the wild crowd. And some of the children run away with her too, trying to protect her, unafraid of their parents’ curses and threats.
No matter how much that incident hurt her at the time, afterwards, thinking about it she would feel happy since, because of what happened, she had now found many friends among the children, and her inner demons have started slowly to die away. At nights her sleep would be upset by terrible nightmares, but feeling at last serene and happy, she could drive them away.
Little by little her face and soul began to shine with the glow of goodness, and the villagers started hearing rumors about a weird calm light that came out from the crazy girl’s hut every night. The children, who knew better, would listen to them and smile. “Little mother” or “Big sister” is how all of them now called Evangeline, who every day offered them joy and serenity, that the grown ups would never cherish.
On a sunny hot afternoon the teacher noticed that all the children of the village were gone, and no one knew where. The same happened the next day, and the one after. So, he decided to spy on them, to see where they were spending those hot and windless days. As he followed them, the road and the kids led him to the crazy girl’s hut, and he almost had a stroke from the shock. All of the young ones were there, sitting around her, listening attentively to -no doubt about that- her blasphemous words. Their faces seemed really peaceful, as they sat there together in a sweet embrace, while the demon in the middle was trying to lure them into the path of evil.
“This witch is very powerful,” he thought, as he rushed to break the news to the priest. They had to find a way to get rid of that little demon, because if they didn’t she could take over the village and lead them all to destruction. It’s not easy to find a solution to a problem that big. They thought hard and thought long, but reached no decision. At last the priest breathed out loud and said: “Teacher, for the benefit of the village and the sake of the good Christians, we’ll have to commit murder, and may the Lord forgive us.”
A bit after midnight they started off for Evangeline’s hut, intending to burn it and her out. As they approached the place they moved more slowly and quietly, so she wouldn’t hear the footsteps. They looked inside through the only window and there she was, sitting on the floor with her eyes closed, as a blue aura surrounded her whole being. “The color of Satan,” said the priest, and quietly, along with the teacher, he started pouring gasoline all around the wooden hut. When everything was ready he made the sign of the crucifix and prayed to the Lord for forgiveness, and lighted up the match. The hut was on fire at no time at all, and in a few moments nothing but ash remained. Right then, they felt the earth trembling, and saw with their very own eyes a sandy blue light rocketing from the ashes of the hut into the sky, flying all over the village and then disappearing into the depths of heaven.
They left for the village speechless, scared to death from the terrible miracle they’d just witnessed. But, as they arrived there they met the real face of terror. A terror that had spread its wings almost in every house, as all of the children in the village had suddenly and all at once died. The dreadful mourning shook the whole valley, and people from the neighboring villages came to see what had happened. And in a single moment they were panic stricken too.
At the first light of day they started off for the church to continue with their mourning and to complain to god, about the big and unjustified evil that had befallen them. But, as they entered the temple and headed for the icon of the Virgin to pay their respects, a new uproar arose. The eyes of the Virgin were wet with tears, and as they rolled down they watered a blonde hair braid. In a single moment every single man and woman was left speechless, struggling for words, stoned by pure terror. Only the old woman that the crazy girl had once healed dared to speak out loud: “This braid belongs to the girl, Evangeline. You’d be damned; you’ve killed your children with your bare hands and empty heads.”

No comments: