It has been said that if you don’t want something to be public knowledge, then you shouldn’t ever speak of it.  Because even if you’re in the middle of the forest, a huge field, or behind locked doors deep in the catacombs under an abandoned castle, and you only say the words in the quietest of whispers, someone or something might still hear you.  For the spirits that linger in this world need some form of entertainment. The birds will gladly sing your secrets for all the world to hear, and even the trees have ears.

I have always been aware of this, but not everyone is.  There are some who believe that the trees can not hear them, that the birds will keep their secrets, and that the spirits of those who have gone before them are gone.  Never to be heard from again. But they are wrong. I know this for a fact because I have seen these spirits whispering in the ears of the living. I understand the songs of the birds.  And I have conversed with the trees.

Ever since I was a young child I could touch things that no one else could feel.  I heard voices, even though no one spoke. I had friends that no one else saw.

Some people said I was insane, and tried to convince my parents to take me to an asylum.  Others said I was possessed, and brought all types of holy men to heal me. But even after all of this I could still see my friends, hear their voices, and feel their touch against my skin.

My abilities made my families life incredibly difficult, as a result we were forced to move every few months.  By the time I was able to move out on my own, I had lived in seven countries, and thirteen of the fifty United States.

I am now twenty-eight years old, and living in a small village in a small europeon country that is just barely up to date with its technology.  I have lived here for a little over four and a half years. That is the longest I have spent in one place. It’s a very nice village, and quite peaceful, full of friendly people who take care of each other without prying too much into another’s business.  It is a place where I would like to spend the rest of my life.

One day while I was out wandering the fields and talking to the trees, I heard a young girl crying.  I followed the sound of her voice, and found myself in a garden. I had never been here before but I knew the place from the times I’d overheard the women in the village talking about it.  This garden, and the great house with it, acted as the summer house for a millionaire and his family.

They hailed from another country, but came here for the first two months of summer, every year.  I remembered the villagers saying that anyone who wanted was allowed to enter, and seeing an open gate, I did just that.

The garden was large, with many different pathways that were separated with a whitewashed brick wall that easily reached the height of two and a half grown men.

I continued to follow the sounds of the girls sobs further in to the garden.  I was so engrossed in the beauty of the place, and the heartbreaking sounds that I failed to notice the lack of wildlife within the walls.

I rounded one corner after another, my steps growing faster as the crying grew louder.  Three more rights, then a left, a right, two lefts, down a path that wound like a snake, one more left, and I had reached a gate.  This one was closed and bound with a heavy chain. The crying girl was inside, and just out of sight. I pulled on the chain but it held fast, and there was nothing nearby I could use to break it.  I tried climbing the gate but it was impossible. There was no way for me to enter.

The girl’s sobs had quieted by now, and all I could from her was a barely audible whimpering.  I called out to her softly. I asked her what was wrong, and if she was hurt. But her only reply was a shuffling sound, and a slight clinking of metal.  I told her that I was only here because I had heard her crying and that I wanted to help. No reply. I asked her name, and where her parents were. No reply.  I told her once again that I only wanted to help her. Nothing. So I gave her my name, told her that if she needed me, all she needed to do was call to the birds, ask them to fetch me, and I would come immediately.

And then I left.  It took me the rest of the day to make it back to my place.  As I was walking I discussed what to do with the trees, and the birds.  Eventually we decided that, first thing the next morning I should head into town to ask about the girl.  And that if no one had any satisfactory answers I should go to the next town to speak to the police, for the town I lived in was too small to have law enforcement stationed there.

When I made it back home I went into the kitchen, made a sandwich with leftover roast venison, ham, and cheese.  I got myself a mug of warm milk, and ate my dinner in my chair next to the hearth. After my meal, I fell asleep in my chair, still clothed so that I could leave quicker.

The next morning I jumped out of my chair, rushed outside, and ran as fast as I could to the town center.  Once there, I scanned the area for the largest gathering. There were several groups consisting of a few people, and one on the far end of the square of about a dozen people.  As I approached them I caught bits of the conversations going on around me. I heard my name mentioned frequently, and noticed several nervous glances pass my way. The few children who were out playing were quickly rushed inside whatever building was nearest them.

Right as I reached the largest gathering I felt a strong hand on my arm.  Turning, I saw it was the blacksmith. Before I had time to react, the smithy pushed me against a wall and started yelling at me.  My head was ringing from the blow so I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. Through my swimming vision I was the villagers gather around me.  They were also yelling, but like the smithy I couldn’t understand a word.

Everything started shaking, and the throbbing in my head become unbearable.  I tried to cry out, but my voice didn’t work. I felt something warm trickling down the back of my head.  My vision started going dark, and all I could hear was an unintelligible murmuring of voices blending together with the ringing in my head until I thought my ears would bleed.

And suddenly it was gone.  The village. The people. The screaming.  The pain.

Everything was gone.

It was like I got sucked away in a current.

A current that pulled me into the sky?

I looked around.  I was definitely in the sky.

I looked down, and saw that I was directly above the village.  But how was that possible?

I stared at the village, and it started to grow.  I was falling towards it very quickly. I started to panic, when I noticed one of my spirit friends hovering next to me.  I asked him what was going on, but he just put his finger to his lips, grabbed my hand, and pulled me toward the village.

The mob was still screaming, and the smithy was still attacking people.  He held a man by the shoulders and was repeatedly slamming him into the wall of the general store.  The victim’s head was flinging around like it was about to snap off, and there was blood all over his back.

The body was so disfigured it took me a while to recognize it….  As my own. After a moment of confusion I realized that the smithy had killed me.  But he didn’t know that. He was still furiously shaking my body like a rag doll. I was shocked.  To be killed just like that. Why would any of the villagers want that? As far as I knew I hadn’t done anything to anger anyone in this town.  And while we weren’t exactly friends, the smithy and I usually got along really well.

This didn’t make any sense.

A hand gripped my shoulder.  It was a familiar touch, but stronger than usual.  My spirit friend. He calmly pulled me away from the mob and to the edge of the village.  He then explained everything to me.

He told me that the girl in the garden was the daughter of the smithy who went missing five years ago.  The villagers had given up the search, just two months before I moved there. Apparently there was an old legend about a demon in the guise of a human who would lure the children away so he could devour them.  And since the girl had disappeared near the “Demon’s Stone” they thought he had taken her.

But then I found her in the garden.

A mischievous spirit heard me making plans with the trees, and decided to “have some fun.”  She noticed a young shepherd nearby, and lured him close enough to me to hear me talking. When he saw me talking with the trees, and heard the trees respond to me, he remembered the story of the demon.  And when he heard me mention the girl in the garden, he rushed over to see for himself. After he confirmed that there was a girl trapped in the garden, he hurried back to town to gather a group of men to rescue her.

After they busted through the gate they found the smithy’s daughter.  Dead. Something had torn out her throat.

Within a couple hours everyone in the village “knew” that I was the demon.  And so the next day when I went into town everyone had the same thought.

“We must get rid of the demon, so that our children will be safe.”

And so I died.  Just because someone heard something he wasn’t supposed too.

This is why I hate rumors.

And this is why you should always be careful about what you say, and who hears it.

Words are truly the most powerful weapon anyone can wield.

October 24, 2019 07:13

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