Printed from WriteWords -

Witch Hunter

by  skyblue2

Posted: Friday, March 7, 2003
Word Count: 1352
Summary: This is an idea worked around ESP and tele-kenesis.

There! Thatís another one done. Another mark scratched into the surface of the plaster. There are 398 of them now. I canít see them of course, itís dark as space in here, but I run my fingers across them and count.
It takes about half an hour of scraping to make each one, I think, and then sometimes I count them all, or take a nap. Either way thatís another half- hour, so I know how long Iíve been in here this time. Just over sixteen and a half days.
By my reckoning they will come for me on 400. This time they will have to kill me. Thatís why I never sleep, only taking catnaps. I want to be alert when they come.
The tool I use for making the marks is a piece of metal from the mattress. Part of a spring. I dug through the fabric at one side, the side nearest the wall, and twisted out a piece of wire. I was very careful. Though they canít see in, maybe they have infra red cameras or something.
At the last place, they had a two-way mirror in my room. They think I didnít know, but Iím twelve, not stupid. After the fire there were no more mirrors. There are no mirrors in this cell. Apart from the bed thereís a table against one wall and a wooden chair. I suppose Iím expected to use that for eating but I just put the plate on the lino. Nothing has been said, so either they donít know or donít care. Why should they care when I am to be terminated anyway. They are going to take my life away. Plotting at this very moment. Last time Steiner was against it. Not this time.
On the table is a book. Itís a Holy Bible. Maybe it has always been there, long before I came. The others wouldnít have read it, but I do.
Itís surprising what you can do if you concentrate. I run my fingers across the page and feel the ink of the words. It takes time but what else have I got? Not clothes, thatís for sure. Iíve not been given any since the accident. But it doesnít matter, not in the dark.
Another thing that doesnít matter in the dark is the size of the cell. I paced it on the first day. Twelve foot lenths by ten. I take size five shoes, so my feet are say 25 centimetres long.
Aha, here comes the food. They push it through a slot in the wall. Thereís a hatch door on the outside, which they always ensure is closed before they release the inner door. That way they donít let any light in. Itís usually something hot, well warm at least.
At mealtimes I think of Hansel and the witch. She was fattening him up to eat. Is that why they are feeding me? I kept a bone once to use if they asked to feel my finger. Someone must have checked through the scraps because I was forced to give it up. In the story the witch is blind and stupid. In real life witches are much more cunning.
I havenít come across any reference to witches in this book. It says things like Sarah knew Isaiah and Rachel knew Peter. Is that news? Is knowing someone important enough to write it down in a book? I canít think of anyone I know. I once knew a boy at the institution. He and I used to hide the crappy food in our socks. He was killed in the fire.
Do you know it is almost impossible to tell what you are eating if you canít see it? I take my time chewing to get the texture. I hate mashed stuff. It tastes of nothing and thereís no texture either.
Time to make another mark.
Of course, it hasnít always been dark. There was some light. At the last meeting everyone wanted me dead, apart from Steiner. Steiner is strong. Stronger than the rest anyway so they let him do what he wanted.
His voice came from nowhere. And everywhere. Outside or inside, I wasnít sure. Inside my head I think.
ĎFor good behaviour,í he said, Ďwe will allow a little light.í
I knew better than to answer. Usually silence is best. If you say anything they can twist your words to mean anything they like.
After a while I noticed it was a little less dark in the room. I couldnít tell where the light was coming from, emanating as Steiner said. It was as though the walls and ceiling glowed faintly. I could just make out the outline of the bed. Thatís when I became aware of the book. It stood out against the white table.
They increased the light gradually and after a few days there was enough of a glow to see the scratches on the wall. I was disappointed because they werenít all level. In my minds eye I had made them even and straight like regiments of soldiers. One for each hour. In reality they didnít line up but slanted across the wall. Falling, falling. I can never do anything right.
Really though I never did anything wrong. I mean, never meant to.
It says in the book Ė repent thy sins. I guess they wanted me to read that. Would that make them feel better when they finally do me in. I wonder how theyíll do it. Will it be short or long? Short I hope.
But Iím going to defend myself. I twisted the mattress spring into the shape of a stiletto with a handle at one end. Gouging marks in the wall helps to put a sharper point on the end.
They used to test for witches with a stiletto. The witch-finder used to shove it into the girlís inner thigh right at the top by her mimi and if it didnít bleed it proved she was a witch. You donít bleed from a stiletto wound. The skin closes back up.
The witch hunters came in the night.
Theyíll come for me in the dark. That will help. The dark is my territory.
Steiner said, ĎMichael. I shall enter your room. Stand away from the door.í
It was relatively bright in the room by then, like dawn on a spring day, so I grabbed the blanket from the bed to cover my nakedness.
I had used that blanket once already that day. I licked my dinner plate clean and then polished it with the bedding until I could see my reflection. It was a real let down. I had expected horns sticking out of my head. Or hooked nose and warts at the very least. I am just an ordinary boy.
Years and years ago one of my guardians said I took after my biological father, but I didnít know what she meant.
In the book, The father lives in heaven. Is He a biological father? If He was He could be mine. Is that why they left the book here?
In the beginning was the word and God said ĎLet there be light.í Steiner said there would be light in my cell, but heís not a god. A witch maybe, or is it a warlock?
He hid behind the warder when he finally came in. Somehow the blanket caught light and I threw it away from me. It covered the warderís head, she screamed and ran out. Steinerís eyes rolled like a cow being milked. He slammed the door shut and the room was sucked into blackness again.
There, another one done. 399. This is my last hour.
Aoah. Oh Iím sleepy. I canít sleep now, theyíre coming soon. I can feel it. Must stay awake. Iíll keep one eye open. I can do that. And I hold my stiletto in my armpit so they wonít find it if they sneak in. I intend to do a lot of damage before they finish me off.
Steiner said Iím a psycho-pyro-kinetic and I canít be taught to control it.
Iím so tired. Hey, thereís something wrong with the air. Itís too thick. I canít swallow it. Cough. Cough. Iím choking. IímÖ.