Sinner or Saint?
Grizelda woke up, groaning again in hunger. Ever since their parents had vanished Adiscordia had taken the role of protector and comforter. Addy wasn’t the best at comforting, she tended to be quiet most of the time, always needing her space. At times Grizelda wondered if she would be better off on her own without the constant pressure of wondering what Adiscordia was thinking. Most times Grizelda would spend time praying or hoping that the curse wasn’t getting to her. She had tried to talk to her sister a few times but had always received a cold response. Regardless, she’d always find herself trying to talk to her to keep her own sanity.
Addy was the only one she had left for now, until her parents would returned.
“Addy?” she whispered, her eyes opening slowly. It was still dark, but she soon woke up as her brain began to register that Adiscordia was gone, and so was her sheet. Grizelda was completely alone. “Adiscordia?” she whimpered a little louder sitting up. There was no response. Her sister had left her. She had taken her belongings and left, without a single explanation. Her parents had done the same thing.
Grizelda held her doll tight in panic, wrapping her sheet around herself. She didn’t know what to do, each second felt like an eternity of uncertainty. Finally she bounced up, adrenaline and fear kicking in as she rushed and looked around. There were no figures, no light, just the moon. There was no sound but the wind and the branches rustling.
“Addy- are you here?” Her voice was broken, but she stayed there. Just watching.
Finally a figure appeared running from the distance. She heard the rushing steps before she saw it. Adiscordia had the sheet tied up like a sack, bouncing against her back with each rushed step. Grizelda stood there, unsure how to feel but she watched her come closer. There was a grin on her sister’s face, an excitement filled rush. Finally she laid the bag on the floor and started chuckling and then laughing as she dragged the bag closer into the darkness so others couldn’t see.
“Gri!” She whispered in between pants. “Gri! That was amazing! They didn’t see me, I thought they would but I did it! I actually did it! Oh my gods! They were everywhere!” Adiscordia’s hands were covered in frosting and jams. Her lips tainted in crumbs and milk.
Grizelda was in shock. She was glad her sister hadn’t left but she hadn’t stolen, had she? She knew the consequences. “What was?” She asked carefully.
“Bread!” Adiscordia explained. “Cookies! Gingerbread!” she moaned in delight. “There were cakes and pies! Fruits and jams! Gri, oh my goodness!” drool nearly dripped from Adiscordia’s mouth in an intense desire. This wasn’t about survival anymore. Grizelda could begin to sense else something past her excited talkative state.
Adiscordia nearly ripped open the sheet, revealing a bit of everything. Treats smashed and scattered from the journey but she didn’t seem to care. She was quick to grab a cookie and devour it in seconds, and then the other. No crumbs could be wasted. Then the bread and cakes. Perfection. “This is the rich food- The food from Maud-“ Grizelda had heard of Maud many times, her sister’s rescuer. Her sister admired her, and often compared their deathly poor state to Maud’s many possessions. She had never met Maud but what Maud did was selfless. Her sister right now was anything but that. Adiscordia immediately stood up, grabbing a chunk of mixed delicacies and bringing it to her sister’s mouth. “Eat Gri! You're so hungry! So skinny, its for you!”
Grizelda took a few quick steps back. “But that’s not mine-“
Adiscordia stared at her sister. No, it wasn’t hers. She had stolen it for her, and now she refused to eat it? She had given up herself so her sister could survive, and her sister refused to live either way? “Eat.” Adiscordia repeated. “You’re starving.” Her voice took on a slightly harsher tone at this.
“I- I am.” Grizelda agreed, her stomach gripping her tighter in anger at how close she was. Her nose assaulting her and betraying her. “but even though I’m hungry, it’s not mine, I cant!” Grizelda felt her heart race. She could barely see Adiscordia, it was all a blur. She was pushed against the brick wall. Her head bouncing against it causing a harsh hit as she felt her sister’s hand pressed against her mouth. Grizelda groaned and shook her head refusing. It wasn’t hers. She couldn’t give in! She would rather die if it meant not giving in to the curse. She remembered her father, the rage in his eyes. The danger to him and himself, she wouldn't end up that way.
“Eat it! It’s yours! I brought it for you! I’m not-“ Grizelda felt her sisters hand hit harshly against her mouth over and over with each word. “Letting. You. Die!” She didn’t know when her sister had gained so much strength. She refused to open her mouth or fight, but her insides were tormenting her. The hits were getting harder and now her skull and face hurt. Finally Adiscordia let her sister go, causing Grizelda to hold her head. She looked back at her sister, that same rage she had seen that night. There it was. It was right In front of her. It was worse than death. “You want to die?” Adiscordia asked her softly. Grizeldas lips were swollen, blood mixed with smashed delicacies. Grizelda shook her head softly. “Then eat something!” Adiscordia yelled.
Grizelda whimpered, her eyes watering as she began to cry. Her deep blue eyes forming an image in her sister’s mind, along with the blood dripping from her lips. Her voice was gone. Her family was torn away from her from the desperation and curse in front of her. She had failed to keep her sister innocent. She had failed to keep the family together. She had failed to keep the villagers safe for what would happen now. She had failed.
“Idiotic! Stupid Sister!” Adiscordia yelled gripping the sheet and throwing it at her before pushing her sister against the wall again. It wasn’t her fault, but Grizelda refused to cooperate. It was a horrible situation and Addy hated it. She hated it with all her being. She wanted to be somewhere else, someone else, alone. She lifted a fist and Grizelda dodged only for Addy to punch at the bricks in frustration, repeatedly.
Grizelda watched in shock from the floor. Her sister punching the wall over and over, blood splattering from her knuckles, yet she didn’t stop. Again and Again in a blinded rage she'd hit. “Addy!” Grizelda finally called out in between a sob.
“What? What do you want?” She snapped looking down at her sister, fists still held together. Adiscordia watched as her sister slowly pointed to her bleeding fists. The flesh had been ripped revealing swollen and scratched up muscle, almost bone. After observing it Adiscordia stood up straighter looking at her sister. “That’s what happens when you steal. I did it for you.” With a final huff from her nostrils Adiscordia pulled up her sleeves and wiped off the remains off her hands and lips. “Your fault. Whatever happens now is your fault! Do you hear me? Its yours.” Grizelda felt her throat well up. She was unable to speak as Adiscordia's words stabbed her heart.
Adiscordia knew she couldn’t stay with her sister anymore, not like this. She'd kill her if she did. “Good night Gri. I hope your purity serves you well.” Grizelda could hardly process what was happening but then her sister started running. “Addy wait!” Step after step further away from her. “Where are you going?” Grizelda croaked receiving no response. She watched Adiscordia, her figure slowly disappearing.
She was frozen, and finally her sister was gone. She remained there. Her head thumping, stomach growling, lips swelling, and arms reaching into the nothingness before grabbing her face. Her fault. Grizelda wailed loudly before grabbing her doll and curling up on the ground with her blanket covering her. She could hardly breathe, nearly drowning in her tears. Her doll almost broke from her tight grip. Alone. She was all alone.
Grizelda could only scream for a few minutes before her voice left her. After that there was nothing. She was void of all emotion, just lying there. Her eyes open staring at the blanket around her as she shivered from the cold night. She heard a door open.
“I can’t sleep!” There were footsteps. “Could you keep it down?” The voice was angry looking around to see no one.
“Quiet down!” said another voice rising.
“Where- There must’ve been somebody-“ Grizelda couldn’t help but shake harder and whimper. She had upset even the villagers. “What happened here?” the voice was softer than earlier. Mixed sweets and food lay on the blanket and scattered in the alley. There was blood on the wall and splattered on the floor, and a shaking figure. The stranger slowly approached Grizelda.
“I didn’t do it! I promise!” She whimpered turning away. She could feel someone kneel besides her.
“Are you hurt?” Blood was beginning to soak through the dull brown fabric. Grizelda didn’t speak. A hand slowly began to uncover the young girl. She was so skinny, bones showing through her skin. Blood now spilling through her hair and swollen lips. There were some sugary dirty hand prints from where her sister had grabbed her. Grizelda continued to sob silently. “Oh my- John! John, wake up!” The panicked woman took Grizelda in her arms and ran to her home leaving the door open.
The neighbor groaned finally coming out to see what all the noise was about. “John get some water and a handkerchief! It’s a girl, she’s so young, she wont stop bleeding! Her head i-“
Grizelda could make out panicked voices, but their words no longer held meaning. Nothing held meaning any longer. Her arm dropped, her doll falling to the ground.