Chapter 2 He Who Remembers
He Who Remembers
He insisted on being out here in the rain to finish his experiment. It was of great size and quite a complicated and touchy contraption. He had been working on it for years and this would be the greatest of his inventions. It was designed to test the behavior of the atmosphere
and predict the weather by going on the occurrences of temperature change and humidity increase. He would make his own pieces. Draw them out first and then fire them and shape them in his fireplace, which he also built himself. He built it exceptionally large so he could do a
lot with it at once whether it be roasting a fowl or firing and shaping a rod for his great contraption; he knew his habits and character enough to know that when he did something... he would like to utilize his time efficiently so he could spend as many daylight
hours as he could building his machine.
It was wound up and it was done, he was finished setting the last plate of metal in place on this giant and strange looking creation. Now he needed to test it! He could do it now even in the storm if he wanted. It would still tell him what weather outcome lay ahead. He pulled the lever and the thing began to twist and churn making its recording of the weather and its behavior to know what further to expect from mother nature. It was reading funny at first and the
needles on the clock looking devices waved back and forth to each extreme left and right; then there was a pop and a snap and the needles settled. They slowly rose to a reading that said it was raining and to expect more rain a few hours before it would clear!
“It’s working!” He shouted in leaping excitement! “In all my years! It is finally working!”
He would have to continue to keep the mechanism maintained now and spun tight to keep it running. He would pack up for the night and come back to his masterpiece tomorrow! He grabbed his worn leather bag and put away his odd set of tools... which only someone like him would think useful and think up, to work or wedge something here and there. He stood up and walked off into the storm but then turned and stared at the big machine working it’s magic. It was a beautiful sight to watch as his creation was finally successful! He fancied at it and
over it and was giddy and bouncy to his step as he bent down and picked up a stone and pulled a switch there underneath in a protective square box in the earth. A large wooden cage popped up from under the ground and surrounded his invention so it would not be messed with or
disturbed, or worse... stolen!
He was a handy man a jack of all trades. Not the ones that do a whole bunch of different jobs but do them poorly no, he was the type that had developed different skills by working with things and realizing that he would have to learn how to smith different parts for he could
not find them or quite get his vision of what they should weigh and be by length to the simple minded blacksmith in town. Plus he abhorred going to the village unless it was absolutely necessary, so he learned how to do all these things he needed done by himself, for he was an
intelligent man, a genius in fact and he didn’t want to waste his time teaching others, most likely ending up being hated or called the weird old hermit that lived on the outside of the village in the wilderness because the townsfolk rejected him; no, he would rather be called the creepy old man that practices voodoo and other unholy things. He was an inventor that hadn’t any luck with much in his youth for having to learn how to do it all himself. He wasn’t born into wealth, but he was born into health, and being fit and healthy was important to him. He believed a lot of things that others thought strange. He believed in healing with herbs from the earth and growing his own food. The heavens provided water, it would save him time and money of going to the marketplace to purchase food. A long time ago he once knew a wonderful lady. Her name was Liza. He met her back in his traveling days when he roamed the country to see and learn about everything he could get his hands on. She walked down the cobblestone road with a
basket of daisies she had most likely picked in the meadow, and boy was she lovely with her nut-brown hair and carefully dressed head with a crown of those pretty yellow flowers she had in her basket; and how they were twined together so marvelously, told him that she was a
creative soul. You didn’t meet too many of those and if you did, they had their heads filled with ridiculous ideas that they should give up fanciful ideals and start learning how to live in these very hard times and work hard and bring food to the table. Or be a nice maiden who knew how to prepare food and keep a home, even if it was a tiny and wretched inhabitance, they would keep it and keep it well and raise their daughters to do the same. This one was an odd lady for
sure. “Hello father!” She greeted a man with embraces and kisses on both cheeks. Then she smiled. Oh that smile was enchanting. All the while he had been watching her and hadn’t even given it a thought of approaching her, but he did fancy her and her father... he was a man
that had told her to meet him back at the house to help him make a pot of these lovely turnips he had purchased. “I will father, just as soon as I go talk to this fellow down the way.” Fellow down the way? Who could she be speaking of? She had a special man in her life? Well of
course she would have, she was a beauty. Shocked how he’d been when she had come near to him and said. “You’re not from around here, where do you come from?” He didn’t say anything at first, but just looked at her and her daisies. “I am a traveler, an adventurer! Those are some
complimenting flowers to such a beauty as you if it is alright of me to say.” He smiled and realized that this woman had smiled back and wondered a lot about him. The curiosity was richly a-flicker in her eyes. She wanted to know all about him and the places he had been and
things he had seen! “I’ve never been outside this land before, it must be nice and maybe more so a thrill than being just nice! Have you been to the kingdom yet good sir?”
“Nay I have not!”
“Behind the castle walls there are many things to see many wonders among other things, but you must pay a price to see them.”
He heard her sigh after she said this. Something troubled her about this.
“Have you been behind the castle walls?”
“I have once, when I was a child. I haven’t been there since my mother died. I was a wee little thing and father has seemed to never
find another lacey to take her place. He’s raised me himself, yes he has. Do you have a place to stay tonight? I know father would like to meet you, might brighten his spirits a bit to see a new face and hear of your wonderful tales and journeys! We will have soup tonight, yes, and you are welcome to share with us what we have!”
“Oh I would be sure to share with you what I have too!” He pulled out
a loaf of bread and her eyes began to gleam at it, she looked up and smiled. “That would go with our turnip soup tonight!”
“Yes it would be so a thing, but it can’t compare to your loveliness Liza.”
She put her hair behind her ear and gave him a push to his arm. “Race you, just up the path it is!”
She took off running and at first he didn’t expect it, but she was actually a bit of a challenge for him and even though she was in a dress; a murky green garment. As they came up the hill she tired and he passed on by her with ease, stopped quite a ways ahead and turned
and waited, watching her pace towards him out of breath. She was a carefree spirit and a thin petite framed woman, with those gorgeous reptile-green eyes. Then it struck him. He felt a sensation in his loins. He dare not mistaken this for love. It was too soon to know what love was; had he ever been in love before; not like this. He didn’t give it that much thought though, this woman fancied him and he her, and that was that, no more to be gone over or thought of or
bring to mind to confuse things.
Her smile touched his heart and he didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize him from seeing her smiling face. He didn’t want her sad or bothered, he wanted her like this always. What a great tyranny that would be for him to rob her of her smile. She was as wild as the wild
flowers in her basket. Such a raw energy about her, what would become of him if he were to never see her again.
The light from the lantern grew stronger and stronger and then as he came to the porch he took the lamp inside. But before he did so he noticed the fireplace had been lit, he looked in his front window and saw two young woman sitting there at the table warming themselves by
the fire. Lost, and didn’t know where they were no doubt. Who else would be fool’ enough to wander out here to these parts at night. Did they seek out the lantern light as hope for civilization... well he hated to disappoint them, but it was just him out here.
He entered the door and closed it shut behind him. Before he could speak to sort out this mess, the coal-haired raven of a young witch stood up and said desperately. “Witch-Doctor we have been waiting for you, we have come a long way to seek out your wisdom regarding what
you know of a curse, a curse that has been placed upon my sister.”
Well he was way off. Of course the townsfolk thought him to be a crack-pot, being called a Witch-Doctor by this young woman made a lot of sense to him now of what the townsfolk were spreading around about the old man outside the village.
He took off his hat and his coat and put his bag on the floor near them. He veered over and sat down at the table looking at Latonya as she and her sister Annamarie watched his every move. “What sort of curse do you speak of, something the townsfolk have made you believe
to be upon you? What is your name child?” As if by calling her child would change the fact that she looked so much like his dear Liza. “My name is Latonya.” Almost like a ghost from the past... but she had a unique birthmark upon her cheek that gave away that she was not. The
other one had a mark upon her face too; by her ear he noticed it as she sat down and came to be illuminated by the light of the fire. “My name is Annamarie, we are sisters... and this will intrigue you more, we are witches, we use the craft of magic.”
The old man seemed puzzled when he said it and paused for a moment thinking this could be a trick to get him to display his magic if he had any; a trick of the town to condemn him and have him burned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Annamarie stood up and put her hand forth palm out and a blue flame burned from it, dancing up and dripping like water the opposite way of gravity. Then the fire turned into a gem, a large sapphire diamond. She gave the gem to him and he took it.. Remarkable. These women were not lying. This was unbelievable, and he didn’t know why they came to him or how he could help them. They said something about a curse they needed to break. The gem burned up in the blue fire now in his hand and vanished. He gave a tremor of shock and scooted the bench across the floor leaving marks upon it.
“You are really as you say you are...” He looked up, his eyes lodged within his thick brows and face covered in hair. She bent nearer to him not to intimidate, but was doing so. “Don’t fear me, you’ve never come across those like us before have you.” Annamarie shot her eyes at
Latonya across the table in the dim light, the irises were on fire to learn a way to rid her sister of the curse. “She is cursed...bargained with the devil and now she and her soul belongs to him.” She sat down on the bench now. “We need your help to rid her of this curse and save her from this fate.”
“I have never seen magic performed before! This is my first time of actually believing this to be real. For years I’ve heard of this from the members of the believers... the believers in destroying anyone who practices magic and burning them. They had come to me ransacked the
place. I wasn’t around, I was watching them from afar... I was out working on my invention. I am an inventor lassies.. not a Witch-Doctor, I’m sorry. I can not help you when it comes to magic,
and spells and curses; that is far beyond my understanding. But fascinating all the same... I would like a chance to study it; but something tells me time is not what you have, and that is what I would need to do such a thing...”
“Tell us more about these witch hunters, what did they do, did you
notice anything peculiar about them?”
“They had with them a few in chains with a mark like yours and a few that were unbound, but had the mark... I didn’t understand what this meant, that it meant you were a practicer of magic. I thought this a strange thing so I took notice to it. I haven’t understood until now I have seen and witnessed you two to be practicers of magic!”
“The ones with the mark that weren’t chained were the ones that they keep alive in exchange for them seeking out others of their kind. It is a cruel exchange; one’s life for another’s...”
“They had with them a man with a staff with a glowing gem upon it. He looked as to me like someone who would know about a curse of the devil. He was young like you. I don’t understand the arrangement they had made with him, but he seemed to wield that staff in use for
something--” She cut him off. “To amplify throughout the land the witch-sense!”
Annamarie could not believe this! They could be found right now! Be hunted.
“We must go!”
“What? Where do you think you will go in this storm?”
“They could already know where we are! We have to leave doctor.” He tried to stop them, but they were gone out the door and as he chased after them, it was as if they were nothing more than a figment of his imagination; and that they were probably never there to begin with.