Two Ghost's Salvation, Book Two - Jude's Tale

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THE LAST I REMEMBERED of my childhood was being trapped in a stone chapel – our way out blocked by a wall of flame.

On the other side of those locked double doors were a mob of villagers with torches – ones I formerly thought of as friends.

Once those doors were broken in, none would enter. But a torch landed inside anyway.

Somehow, a wall of flame erupted at the entrance. Me and my sister looked at each other as if to say "that wasn't mine".

We'd both learned that talent from our spirit-guide mother.

But being burned alive wasn't my worst fear.

Instead, I still had nightmares about how that boy and his father  mistreated me before this all started.

And how I'd responded in kind.

Actions I regretted now and would never forget...


 To begin with, it was a lot rougher than now. Men lived about 40 years at most, and were working full time on their parents farm since they could walk and carry something. Children started out in the garden, but were managing the livestock and responsible for its care usually when they could no longer walk under its belly without ducking.

So they married earlier, and lived shorter. There were so many diseases around and no hospitals or trained doctors anywhere. The quacks usually lived in bigger cities. Villages often went without, and more often used the services of an 'old wise woman' for various ailments.

And the superstitions ran rampant.

Bullies then were a lot more violent than now.

Now, Sal and I were surprised almost daily for the first couple of months there. Just because our forest-upbringing had the law of fang and claw, but it was rather mild compared to tormenting and tortures that went on in “civilized society”.

Both my sister and I counted our blessings daily as we were under the Parish Priest and his wife's care. And we were careful to make sure we didn't do anything to upset them. Even accidentally.

That said, they weren't one to “spare the rod” if it was actually needed. And I got more of that end than did Sal – but then I was more adventurous.

We two might have been born with in minutes of each other, but we were wired completely different. She is and has always been a very kind, understanding, and had a definite set of standards for our behavior. I was always wondering why things were that way and would set up various “test-cases” to prove them one way or another.

And if it were proven wrong, I'd often be sitting carefully for a few days.

But that didn't deter me from working to understand things for what they were.

That's much different from what we had experienced in the forest. If we had a pet fawn, for instance, we had to make sure they weren't tame except to us. More than once, we'd come across what was left of one of our pets after a larger carnivore was done making them a meal.

And if we were lucky, the spirit of that former pet would hang around to say goodbye and cheer us up before they went on.

We couldn't hold the wolf or cougar at fault for it. Da would carefully explain how the law of the forest meant very exact things. And he'd wipe our tears and tell us to quit trying to make a pet out of everything we found. A few lessons like that, and we knew to respect the natural balance.

Humans could be the butt end of that balance, as we also learned.

And our own Ma had taught us a few things to keep us safe. She refereed to them as “talents”, while villager-gossips referred to them as “spells”.

Either way, being able to ward off something with claws and fangs who was four or five times heavier and faster than us – talents or spells kept us safe.

It took being around humans to find out what I really needed to survive...

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Two Ghost's Salvation, Book Two - Jude's Tale

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