The son of an Anglican Pastor, as a young man, Carlisle witnessed countless hunts led by his father. Innocent victims condemned to death for being supernatural. Experiences that will haunt him for eternity.
Just something I thought would be interesting to explore.
1. The Hunt
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The murky village glowed with dim torch light as the shuffle of hundreds of feet echoed through the dingy old streets. The torches crackled and flew around wildly as a light wind picked up and carried the monotonous, hoarse chants of the hooded priests into the black heavens above.
Hidden in the shadows cast by the surrounding trees a young man of nineteen stood watching, appalled as the ceremony unfolded in front of his eyes.
“Please…let me go!” A wailing voice cried out and broke the rhythmic chants of the ghost-like priests. The shuffling stopped. An eerie silence covered the valley and hundreds of dark heavy eyes glared down on the weeping girl. She shook violently as her wild eyes raced around the crowd.
“I don’t practice witchcraft, I……I’m not Satan’s messenger.” She whispered hoarsely as her eyes filled with tears, her long hair whipping around her face as the wind blew in a furry. But her pleas fell on deaf ears.
“Pick her up.” The booming voice snapped in the icy air. In a flash the frantic girl was thrown to her bare feet and pushed and shoved along to the front of the line. The shuffling feet commenced and in the distance a small flame ignited and swallowed up the ever lasting darkness that surrounded the echoing valley.
The young girl wept silently as the procession of villagers moved slowly up the muddy hill. She fingered a large pendant that was tied with a long leather strap around her porcelain neck. It glinted in the moonlight as the rays caught its glowing beauty.
“Goodbye my love,” she whispered softly and a single tear fell upon it, shattering its radiant glow. She pulled her tresses of lush black hair over her tiny shoulders and gently untied the small leather knot. She brought the pendant up to her full red lips and brushed a soft kiss against it. Then, with all the strength she possessed, she cast it among the undergrowth of the thick, virgin forest surrounding them.
The procession grinded to a halt in front of the flickering bonfire. Two beefy giants seized the screaming girl’s weak arms and swung her around and crashed her back into a thick wooden stake. A priest clenched her wrists and immobilised them tightly behind the bronzed oak stake. The stake was then ceremoniously hurled upon the bonfire. As the flames licked up the girl’s legs, an eerie white mist settled over the valley and the ghostly chants echoes throughout the mystical night.
Unnoticed by the crowd he remained transfixed, watching as the girl was consumed by the raging flames, their reflection flickering, dancing in his dark eyes. Averting his gaze down to the twig laden earth below his feet, he shook his head in despair, his blonde locks shimmering as they caught in the light of the moon. He had seen the hunts conducted countless times, forced by his father, the priest who now stood watching without the slightest burden of remorse upon his conscience. “You will follow in my footsteps” he had instructed him.
How many innocent victims had he condemned to such a fate? “Witch!” “Vampire!” “Werewolf!” He had accused, assuring their demise, never seeing reason, he was adamant irrefutable in his decisions and never, never regretting them.
The smell of smoke overwhelmed the young man's senses as he looked back to the horrific scene before him. No, he wouldn’t accuse the way his father did. No matter what. When he was in charge of the raids he would be sure before he sent anyone to the fiery depths.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered to the girl who’d had her life stolen away, “May you rest in peace.”
Carlisle Cullen turned, facing further into the dense forest and walked silently in the direction the girl had thrown her pendant. He would bury it for her; for her and the other innocent souls whose lives his father had stolen.
And when his time came, he would pray for the strength to judge and not see demons where they did not exist.