Everything save a small bedside candle was dark when Lucy entered the only room in the house besides her basement. From a nearby corner she heard the wizard snore, and made her way over to the small kitchen on her tiptoes. Careful not to wake him from his sleep, she quietly searched his drawers until she found what she had been looking for. An old, rusty knife with a jagged blade was waiting for her among his few pieces of cutlery, and with her heart in her throat Lucy picked up the weapon.
She had never thought of herself as someone who would resort to something as terrible as murder, but she knew the mad wizard well enough to know that things would only get worse for her if she stayed. Not only that, but soon enough he would have their child as well, and Lucy would not allow it. As silent as any other shadow she took the weapon into her hands and walked over to the sleeping man where she slid his throat. Nothing but a gurgled outcry escaped his lips as he threw all obscenities he could think of at her – none of them Lucy could understand as his throat rapidly filled with thick blood.
Too terrified of the massacre before her, Lucy could not move. The mad wizard had beaten her before, yes, but she had never bled like this! Eventually, long after his body had stopped convulsing and all sound had stopped, Lucy tested her movement. It seemed too good to be true, finally being free from this sick madman she had loathed all her life, but there it was. She was no longer a prisoner. After all these years, Lucy had freed herself from everything he had done and would have done to her, and the smallest hint of hope began to spread in her chest.
And what do you think, honestly, knowing how she had made her escape? I know you had been hoping that she would get out, that she would be able to free herself of a father who only wanted to rape her and rule the world with her, but had you thought that she would manage it like this? Hm? How do I feel about it? No, you’re right, it is a fair question. Lucy was my relative, after all, and knowing that she had murdered someone in this fashion should have some kind of impact on me. And again, you are completely right. It did have an impact on me. In fact, it’s what first made me think of the possibility of breaking this curse. You might have expected me to be appalled by her actions, but the opposite is the case. I was proud, knowing that someone in my family had the courage to stand up to the injustice done to us.
But let’s move on, shall we?
Lucy found herself at a loss of where to go. She had never seen the outside save that one day when she had tried to escape, and- Sorry, what? Oh, right, you want to know how exactly I think I can end this curse. I understand you want to know now – trust me, I know how the mere possibility makes you feel – but we’re not at my story just yet. There are other things that have happened before today, too, which make me think that it’s possible. And yes, it has been attempted before, but we haven’t arrived at my Grandparent’s part in all this yet. See? It’s closer than you thought, isn’t it? Just bare in mind when we get there that they failed. We wouldn’t be here with me still under the same old curse if they hadn’t. For now, simply know that it was Lucy’s actions and defiance that first made me wonder if maybe, there was something I could do. We will get to all that later, I promise.
As I was saying, Lucy didn’t really know where to go. She had no idea how far away from other people they were, she just knew that they must have been somewhere. This somewhere, however, could either have been a relaxed thirty minute walk away or it could have been several days until she would reach civilization – Lucy simply didn’t know. She thought that for now, it was best to just start walking and see where it took her.
You might have guessed it by now, but she wasn’t so lucky as to come across the next town. In fact, the poor girl began walking into the opposite direction, further away from any real help she could have gotten. I know. You’re all wondering if she hasn’t been through enough, but I don’t have an answer for that other than that the curse does what the curse wants. For some reason unbeknownst to me, it really had it in for Lucy.
There was one thing, at least, that was on her side, and that was the weather. She had made her escape during early summer, when it was warm in the forest but not too warm that she would have died of thirst before she could have found water. As it was she had no survival skills suited for this kind of environment, but she came across a lake and drank eagerly. She also didn’t know which berries were safe to eat and which ones were poisonous, but somehow she managed to avoid anything that could have killed her. And being underweight as she was, she wasn’t picky! My only explanation is that the curse wanted to keep her alive for long enough for her baby to be born, at which point its focus could leave Lucy and find her infant instead. Whichever reason there was for her unexpected luck, it kept her alive for long enough for her to give birth, though I don’t know any specifics. I only know that the baby was born, that someone found it, and that-
A fire? Motivated by the unexpected sight, Lucy picked up her pace. Her feet were dirty – all of her was covered in mud and filth – and ached terribly from the last however-many days she had spent wandering through the forest. Her stomach hurt, too, from the lack of food she’d had. She had never been well nourished since the Mad Wizard had barely fed her enough to keep her alive, and now that she was on her own without the occasional slice of bread her body fought back. Still, she had been through worse, far worse, and now that there was fire in sight…
The terrible thought crossed her mind that the wizard lay waiting for her, or that one of his accomplices was laying in wait, but Lucy knew that neither could be true. The wizard was dead, and he had no friends that she knew off. His voice had been the only voice she had heard throughout her imprisonment, there was no one else.
Lucy stopped dead in her tracks when she was close enough to the fire to confirm what she had suspected. The fire was not unattended, but it was not the wizard warming himself by it. It was a woman – if a filthy one – but she wasn’t him and that was good enough for Lucy. Carefully, scared of acting too quickly, Lucy peeked through the thick cover of leaves hanging from the many trees around her, the dark of night cloaking her just as effectively. The woman gave no sign that she knew that Lucy was there. Hidden as she was she would have been surprised if anyone had seen her.
Slowly, hoping that just this once luck would be on her side, Lucy stepped out of the cover of the dark forest.
“Erm… Excuse me?” She had no practice at all in talking to other people. The only person she had known had done unspeakable things to her, and now he lay dead in his own bed, soaked in red. What if he hadn’t been an exception? What if they were all like him?
The woman turned around as fast as a rabbit once it had sensed the wolf waiting behind the bush. Her eyes wide, she stared at Lucy. She was visibly shaking, but Lucy suspected it was from the cold and the rain. “You- How are you-“
Gathering all her courage in one deep breath, Lucy asked the one question that was troubling her the most. “Do you have any food? Please? I’ve been out here for- I don’t know, but I’m hungry! Please, if you’ve got anything-”
The woman slowly stepped away from her, but her movements were hesitant. Lucy thought the woman looked like she wanted to run as much as she wanted to hug her. The sudden idea occurred to her that everything the wizard had done to her had been justified. What if she was some dangerous criminal? Silently, to herself, she shook her head. No, he had been the criminal. And now he was dead.
“I-” Lucy thought she had never seen anyone look so uncertain about anything. Then again, the wizard had always seemed very sure of himself, and she hadn’t been allowed a mirror. Finally, the woman sighed, and stepped closer. “I have some fox and some berries roasting on the fire. Do you want any?” Very eager and motivated by the delicious smells invading her senses, Lucy nodded, reaching out for the fire. “You’ll burn yourself. Here, try this.” The woman skewered some of the food on a small branch, handing it to Lucy. She did the most wondrous, oddest thing. She smiled. Hastily, Lucy tore into the meat and into the hot berries.
After their meal, the woman asked Lucy what she was doing out there, all alone, and Lucy told her everything. The woman’s eyes went wide in confirmation, shock and deep sympathy. Lucy told her she was pregnant. The woman didn’t think Lucy would survive the birth, but she wanted to try and help the girl through it.
They were a rough seven months, and at the end – one month early – Lucy gave birth to a tiny baby girl. Her own body, weakened from a life filled with torture and malnourishment, didn’t survive the painful ordeal.
“Hello, little one.” A tear ran down the cheek of the woman, as she gently embraced the infant. “Your mother wanted your name to be Ella. It’s nice to meet you, Ella. My name is Sosost-
No. No no no no no no! How could it-
It can’t be! Sosostra was dead! Sosostra is dead! She couldn’t- She can’t-
I’m sorry. I realise this is the last thing you want to hear, but I need some time to myself. Ha, I never thought I’d ever say this. Just give me a minute, please? I promise I will explain what I’ve just seen. I’ll explain everything, I just-
Oh God. I’ve been so wrong.