An Uncertain Sewing Season for a Heretic

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Summary

In a town that prospers by sacrificing the first and every other child to the gods of the harvest, a father's reservation and doubts splits the townsfolk leading to a clash of ideology. Jack Cavanaugh's son approaches the age to which the first and every other child must be sacrificed to the gods of the harvest to ensure a bountiful harvest. Jack's reservations and doubts eventually lead the town to split on the issue and validity of the sacrifices.

Genre:
Fantasy / Drama
Author:
Ambassador Vader
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
7
Rating:
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter One

A long time ago a decree was written that every first and other child born is to be sacrificed to the gods of the harvest. Ever since that decree, every other child was sacrificed, and almost all harvests was bountiful. Thousands of years of prosperity had passed them by as they obeyed the law. Being tradition did not mean it did not take its toll on the parents. Every child was to be raised to the age of ten then sacrificed on the local towns alter. Ten long years of growing to love a child, siblings forming bonds together, only to have to sacrifice them so that others may continue to prosper. Most parents only had two children, it was hard enough to sacrifice one child let alone two that would accompany having a third.

Jack Cavanaugh sat down with his longtime friend and neighbor Jim Gaulfield. The two of them met occasionally at a local tavern in town to meet for drinks and catch up. Jack’s mind had been weighed on heavily lately, and he looked forward to talking to an old friend. Jim was some years older than jack, but always regarded him as a peer, even though he was already a man by the time jack was born. The two of them caught up on updated of friends and relations, occasionally laughing over drinks, in the corner of the small tavern. Over the course of the conversation Jim started to see the undertones of a pensive expression on jack’s face.

“Something the matter, jack?”

“No, not really.”

“That’s not very convincing. What is it?”

“Well if I am being completely honest, I think the harvest sacrifice is wrong. I think we just do it out of tradition and that it doesn’t actually affect the crops at all. We are just backwards savages slaughtering our young.”

“It might be wrong but that’s just how the world works. The world isn’t right or just, it just is.”

“Have you ever wondered if there is a different way?”

“Sure, but not for long. What is your alternative?”

“I think the crops have nothing to do with the sacrifices. I think we are just following the mad rules of men who died centuries ago.”

“So, what you’re saying the first generation who sacrificed their children, collectively did so just because they were, what? Bored? Because they had nothing better to do then sacrifice their kids, and make their children do the same? They knew the children were tied to the crops. The decree wasn’t from man, it was from the gods. I mean what is more likely, that this is just a hard fact of life, or that we have been following a lie for thousands upon thousands of years.”

“I do think they were wrong. I don’t think there are harvest gods I just think they had some bad years and tried anything they could.”

“And what if your wrong? What if everyone decided not to do the sacrifices and everyone starved? I don’t want to sound insensitive, jack, but I think you’re doing this because your boy is coming up on the harvest age.”

“That’s a part of it I guess. I just don’t think I can do it. I know you’re not supposed to get attached to your first, but I couldn’t help it. Every time I look at that boy I see myself, I see my wife, and I wonder why is it fair that he doesn’t get to experience the rest of his life? Why is it ok that his brother will live the rest of his life without his brother?”

“Well this is exactly why they say not too. When it comes time, you’ll do what you have to. I felt the same things you are feeling. I wondered if I could do it, but I did, and it was the hardest day of my life, and I’ll never do it again.”

“I can’t be the first to feel this way about the sacrifice.”

“You’re not. There have been parents in the past that have refused. The town usually hunts them down and does what the parents can’t. I guess that’s the loop hole for the town, it just says the first born has to be sacrificed, however it never said by the parent specifically. We just do that because it feels like the right thing to do. I didn’t want someone else killing my son. I was going to do that, and it broke a part of me. But hey everyone’s broken right?”

Jim tried to smile as he looked down into his drink.

“How many times has that happened?”

“Oh, I don’t know you could probably count them on one hand. They were long before your time though. People kind of took it as a lesson.”

“But again, what if we are wrong about all of this?”

“It’s not wrong. That’s a burden of knowledge I can’t bear, if it was all for nothing.”

“If everyone stood together they wouldn’t be able to hunt them all down.”

“Why are we still talking about this? There is nothing to change. I know how hard it is to face reality, believe me, but you have to accept this.”

“No. I’m not going to accept that.”

“Well you have to jack.”

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