Sacrifice or Stupidity?
Adiscordia ran further from her sister, it was for her own safety. Running through the forest, she had given in, and had no idea what would happen. Currently all she felt was an intense amount of energy, anger, rage, and a bit of hate. It was uncontrolled, without a specific target. It could be described as a violent child’s tantrum without limits. If her parents had never left her this wouldn’t happen. Adiscordia was only six years old, and they left her with a life to take care of with no choices and no explanation as to how. They hadn’t even explained why! She had never asked to be born into this world with this curse, to this family. She had no choice but to disobey them! Both when she had stolen and now, as she raced through the darkness of the forest. She looked for places where the moon didn’t shine.
Her legs didn’t’ stop running. She loved it, this rush, void of weakness. She didn’t fear every step being her last, she didn’t even have to focus on her feet, they were just running without her thinking about it. She laughed, taking a break from her journey to jump on a tree and climb. Barefooted, no child would have been able to climb up the straight pine without branches. Yet, Adiscordia found her toes gripping at the bark just fine, leaving marks. Her nails no longer fragile but gripping swiftly through the bark and wood. Reaching the top she gripped the top of the tree, she could see the forest.
Adiscordia was free of the worry of her sister. Free of the rules and expectations from her parents. Free of the desperation. She could see the forest, and it was hers. All of it, each tree, each noise, the dark sky, even all the way that they blurred together into only colors near the horizon it was hers. For once she felt normal. She was a normal child, without a care in the world.
There was still one issue. The rage and anger, it was still keeping her from breathing properly. All this desperation had always preyed on her, without her having any control. Now it was the other way around, she needed something to prey on. She needed a target. Adiscordia gripped at a branch just after racing and jumping, causing her to fall on the floor harshly but safely. There it was again, that rush! It had been her choice to jump off that tree. She ran again, looking for things to inflict damage on. At that moment she heard a crackling of leaves and an animal scurrying. Her head turned to listen for less than a second before she pounced. She tumbled on the floor, the rodent in hand.
The young animal whimpered with large eyes. It reminded her of sister. Weak! The whimpering stopped as Adiscordia gripped it, stopping its breath. It wasn’t enough. Adiscordia raced further, a den- that would be enough. A den of wolves, a family, with strong animals that liked to fight. That would be a victory. Adiscordia raced further into the woods. The forest soon became utter darkness, as branches covered the sky. She was loosing track of the moonlight and the tracks of where she came.
“Adiscordia.” Came a whisper that sent chills down Adiscordia’s spine. Despite the energy it made her jolt in place, freezing. She was supposed to be alone! Looking around she saw no one. “Addy” A name only from family. She turned around, no one.
“Who’s there?” She growled.
“What have you done?” it was a familiar voice.
“Mamma?” Adiscordia looked above her, there was nothing but darkness.
“Did you leave your sister?” came a gruff male voice. Panic. Adiscordia looked up, down, left, right, turning around. Where were they? No. She couldn’t, she wasn’t going back to them. She then started running again. “Adiscordia…” She couldn’t help but run faster as the voices continued. Closer and closer they began to jumble together. What was happening? Why wouldn’t they go away! Adiscordia’s feet ran faster and faster, with a force that blew leaves away. “Adiscordia! You can’t leave us! Take care of your sister! Addy-“ Adiscordia looked behind her, nothing. Then in front, a fence she hadn’t seen and she then tumbled past it. Nearly falling and stopping next to a pile of stones in a clearing. The voices had stopped. She paused to catch her breath, and surroundings in confusion. There was a fence all around her, made of – it was hard to see in the darkness. She jumped back as the pile of stones in front of her lit themselves in fire. It revealed the fence to be made of bones. Looking up at the sky Adiscordia realized that there was no moon.
Adiscordia’s rage quickly became fear. She rushed to get out of the fence but was blown back inside with a wind. She rushed to try another exit, but nothing. There was a laugh of pity, as Adiscordia tried again. With all the strength she had, she fought through the wind, she ran past the fence and rushed. She laughed. She did it! She looked behind her to see the fence far from her, but when she turned back to her front it was right there. She was inside it again.
“Welcome to the family Adiscordia Hex.” Adiscordia didn’t respond. She was pushed into a sitting position to look up at seemingly nothing. “you don’t need to be afraid of anything anymore. What happened happened. People will fear you now. You will no longer need anything, it’ll come to you! Silly girl. Your parents didn’t teach you much on how the world works did they?” Adiscordia saw an opening, racing towards it. She tripped on a rock causing her to fall, but continue running on her hands and feet before being picked up by an invisible force and put back in her seat. “You don’t listen do you? You’re like a wild animal.”
Adiscordia shook in fear. There was no getting out. “I-I’m not evil! I just wanted to save my sister! I had to! My parents left and! And!” Adiscordia began to stutter. what else could she say? She closed her eyes tight. She had to be someone else. She couldn’t be helpless Adiscordia any longer. “My parents came by here!” she yelled with a hint of confidence. “They’re Hexes too! You’ll be sorry!” There was a silence. After a period Adiscordia stood up once again, hoping to leave.
“Sit down.” She knew better. Adiscordia did as she was told. “I have them.” Adiscordia sat there, ears now fully opening to listen. “I know what you want. You’re torn. You want your sister to survive and live well. You don’t want to hurt her or others. You want to please your parents. At the same time you want to be free of the burden that has been placed upon you. You’re sick of being at the bottom by everyone, and trampled over. You want freedom and control.”
Adiscordia couldn’t help but nod. She knew exactly where this was going. Everyone knew the song and rhyme. “This is when you offer it to me. I know what you can do.” Adiscordia confessed. “What’s your price?”
Quietness came again. Wherever Coraline was, she was surprised. “and here I thought you were nothing but a naïve desperate child. Yet you have intelligence and boldness, I like it.” With that a jar of cookies appeared on Adiscordia’s lap. She looked at the nothingness softly. “It’s safe. Go ahead.” Adiscordia was careful at first taking a small bite. True to her words it had no affect, better so it seemed just like those from the bakery. Adiscordia gladly gave in.
“I’ll give you your father, still cursed in bird form. You wont be alone, but neither will you be told what or how to do things. I will send your mother to watch over your sister and be assured, I will make sure she remains with a wealthy family, earning her keep and given enough to live. You will be able to prey on the innocent rules and wealthier children that mocked you, with all the delicacies you could ever want. A jar of cookies won’t compare. After you’re gone your sister will succeed, and even thrive, becoming known by everyone. She will look with gratitude at your sacrifice. In return I ask for one thing, your eyesight.
Adiscordia was confused. “My eyes?”
“No, not your eyes. Your eye sight. Slowly in the next years I will take away your eyesight from one eye, then the other. You’ll live six more years just fine until you lose your sight completely. Then after that it’ll slowly return.”
Adiscordia thought it over as she munched on her treats. Did she trust Coraline? Absolutely not, but what other choice and assurance did she have? “other than helping you wont harm my sister?”
Coraline came into view in a shocking revelation. She wasn’t human. Rather a humanoid cloud of whispers and darkness. “I will not. Other than providing her with safety, I won't intervene. I will only take your vision.”
Adiscordia nodded quietly. “okay, so be it. It’s a deal…” With that the bones and rocks were broken off the clearing and wind swept them away. It created a clearing, and almost a path to where Adiscordia was left standing. A raven was perched on a branch nearby watching her.
Most notably, Adiscordia was free. She had given away her burden. She gave in, and even gave her sight to protect her sister. What else could they have expected her to do? Her father was there without a mouth to tell her what to do. What rules could he now give her? Feelings of pain, desperation, worry, and guilt were gone. There was nothing left but a desire for control and release. Not even the wild animals stood against her now. This forest was hers, but even so the blood of the forest creatures would soon not be enough.