"She has the Devil's Touch."
Not many parents wanted to hear those words after having their first child.
"No, that can't be right. She's just a baby, the signs of Touch don't show until adolescence." Her eyes were wide, tears threatening to fall from her face.
"I am just as surprised as you are, but I can assure you that she has Devil Touch. All the signs are present: no heartbeat, Heterochromia Iridum, and black hair." The doctors face was calm, but it was clear he was doing his best not to kill the child then and there.
"That can't be right! Our child couldn't be cursed, she's our first born!" The woman on the bed was sobbing now, cradling her child gently in her arms.
"The fact that she is your first born changes nothing, but there's really no need to worry. You'll be allowed to live with her for eight more years, only then will we dispose of her, by usual means of course."
"You can't possibly mean that! You would let us raise our child for eight years only to have her burned at the stake? What kind of heartless person are you? She's not the one who's Devil Touched, you are!" The woman cried.
"Dear," a new voice interjected, his voice quivering as he spoke, "stop. Please. It's painful to watch you like this." These words struck the woman, so much so that all she could do was nod.
"Good, now that this matter is settled would you please get that, 'thing' out of here? It's contaminating the air."
Cerys watched the blue and white flames lick at the stars, the light of the fire dancing within her blue and green irises. She hated her eyes. They were a constant reminder of the monster she was, never letting her forget what had happened seven years ago. It was the night of her eleventh birthday when her parents were burned at the stake. Seven years ago when she had lost her home along with everything she knew. Seven years ago when she found out she was Devil Touched.
Now that she knew, it was pretty obvious why people treated her the way they did. The people of her village always avoiding her eyes, and never talking to her directly. Even her parents seemed distant to her. They never held her close like other parents did with their children. They didn't even get mad when something happened, all they did was say, "It's okay, it wasn't like you meant to do it, right Cerys?"
Eventually she fell into depression, trying to get the people of her village to accept her. She spent her days outside bathing in the sun, hoping the black pigment would bleach from her hair and that her pale skin would tan up a bit. Nothing worked. It took a year for her to finally crawl up from the emotional ditch she had created for herself. Her attitude changed almost completely. She snapped at every little thing that didn't seem right or people who looked at her strangely.
It was ten years ago when the third and largest sun had finally begun to set. The shadows appeared long and menacing, like a forewarning of events to come. Outside of her family's small, rundown, cottage a crowd had gathered, chanting and holding protective charms above their heads. A large figure towered over her. A white sun, the symbol of purity, adorned his enormous tunic and beads of prayer hung from his fat neck.
"It's okay Cerys, all you need to do is stay put while I go get things ready. You're going to meet your creator soon." The priest's voice seemed kind, but something bothered her. Was it the frightened look on her parents' faces, or the growing crowd outside? Whatever the reason she knew something bad was about to take place.
"Mom, there's something wrong with that man. Why should he bother acting nice if he doesn't like me?" To her astonishment, tears fell from her mother's eyes.
"Not to worry little one, I must go prepare your ceremony to meet your creator. Stay right here, make sure you don't move a single step." Okay, now the priest was just mocking her.
Who said I had to do whatever you told me to? Cerys thought, making the most evil faces she could manage at his back. It wasn't until the priest disappeared into the crowd that her father gripped her firmly by the shoulders and shook her violently.
"You little bitch! You're a curse you know! You're mother and I never wanted you in the first place." Cerys' eyes widened. What was happening? First the priest and now her father? "Just get out of here Cerys!" She didn't move. No. She couldn't move. Her father had just rejected her completely. But something stumped her, why did he look like he was about to cry?
SMACK! Her cheek burned where her father's hand made contact. She didn't think, no, she couldn't, all she could do was run, so she ran. Running far away, afraid that the anger would burst, along with other negative emotions. As she left the shelter of her small home elbows of villagers jabbed her and people bumped into her. It was a wonder that the crowd hadn't noticed her fleeing the cottage. Maybe it was because a small eight year old wasn't very noticeable in a riot. Maybe it was because no one even cared to remember what she looked like. Whatever it was, it didn't really matter anymore.
Hours passed, or so it seemed, and Cerys remained trapped in the neverending crowd. It's a bloody village, how many people can it possibly hold? Cerys thought. No matter how hard she tried to remain straight, there would always be something to turn her around. Numerous times she found herself jostled by elbows and run into by clumsy people. So help me the next person who hits me is going to get it!
Angrily she ground her teeth and hoped that someone would hit her, just so she could get her anger out. She was so busy hoping for some unsuspecting villager to bump into her that when a cold hand gently settled upon her shoulder she jumped.
"Don't make a scene." The voice whispered in her ear. It seemed strangely familiar to Cerys, but for some reason she couldn't quite put her finger on who it belonged to. Silently she allowed the hand to move her through the crowd, dodging people as best she could. She never understood why she followed the voice's instructions, it wasn't like her, but for some strange reason she decided to trust it.
The next thing Cerys knew she was just outside the village boundaries. She was just about to thank her savior when an orange glow caught her eye. Near the center of the village, a single pyre blazed, engulfing everything within its reach.
Her vision seemed to zoom in on the gruesome scene before her, clarifying each and every detail down to the hairs on the villagers' heads. She wanted to run, but there was a strange nagging feeling in the back of her mind telling her to stay, to watch, to enjoy.
Nailed to a single crucifix, her parents cried out in agony as they were slowly consumed by the inferno. She wanted to turn away just to prove that she did care, but her eyes remained transfixed on their burning corpses. She couldn't explain it, but her vision seemed to have changed. Suddenly the night wasn't so dark anymore, and the pyre wasn't so far away. It seemed to zoom in on the blistered, festering skin of her parent's. She could see the steam rise from their eyeballs until they dried, and crumbled to ash.
"Those two were always naive, but to think they would end up caring for a Devil Touched." A voice spat. Cerys froze. "We even told them that when she came of age she would be cleansed of sin." Devil Touched? The phrase sparked her curiosity, tempting her to find out more.
"Thank you Night." Cerys muttered under her breath, glad that she was cloaked in the darkness as she inched closer.
"What really surprised me was the fact that the girl didn't even know what she was. I mean, wasn't the little brat even the slightest bit curious as to why people hated her so?" Another voice questioned. It was nasally and grated on her nerves, but Cerys remained silent.
I couldn't possibly have Devil Touch. This is all just someone's bad idea of a joke. Any second someone's going to come out and say "Gotcha!". That's it. But no matter how hard she tried to believe what she thought, no one came. She was in denial, and she knew it, but the worst part about denial, was that you denied it.
Cerys clenched her jaw, trying desperately to grab and put together the fragments of her memories. She remembered a sharp sound, like bone snapping, she remembered the burning, and then she remembered the bodies. Suddenly the memories came flooding back to her, like a switch had been flipped. The cracking sound of the nasally man's neck, the priest's blood burning her skin like acid just because he had God Touch.
Cerys shook her head violently as if trying to shake out her sin. Not the sin of taking the lives of those two men, but the sin of enjoying it. She was a curse to everyone living around her. People would die if she got too close to them. She was an illness that could not be cleansed, not without bloodshed. She was a monster.
The sharp snapping of a twig brought Cerys back to reality. Hurriedly she scrambled to put out the fire. Someone was coming.