Long ago, there lived a young woman. She lived alone out in the forest where she can be at peace and can practice her witchcraft. She had her own land that many didn’t know about, she had livestock that she cared for every day, and even grew her crops and other plants to aid her in her spell casting. The woman was happy, but deep down, she was lonely.
Rarely she went into the small village that was a bit far from her home, but when there she loved seeing the young children playing. Unlike the other villagers, the woman had long, bright red hair and dark green eyes, so she stuck out. Many adults in the village didn’t want their child near her, despite their parents’ rules, none of the children listened and loved talking to the young woman. She would share stories about mythical creatures and fairy tales.
The children loved listening to her stories, sometimes the young woman would make small cloth dolls for them, but sadly the adults would burn the dolls after, thinking they were evil. The woman hated going back home, but she couldn’t stay either since she wasn’t welcomed in the village. She would say goodbye to the young children then head home. As she walked, she thought, soon she got an idea!
Taking clothes that were ruined, and clothes her mother and grandmother owned before they passed, the woman got to work cutting the clothes then sewing them together. After an hour of cutting and sewing, she laid the large cloth doll on the floor. It wasn’t yet completed, she took a pair of scissors and grabbed the back of her hair, snip! The long red hair fell to the floor, gathering the pile of hair the woman sewed it on top of the doll’s head afterward she picked the doll up and placed it in the rocking chair. “Now for the hard work,” she said out loud, putting her hands on her hips.
The woman got on her knees, drawing a pentagram with red wax, and at each point of the star, she placed a different colored candle lighting them one by one. She picked the doll back up before she laid it in the middle of the pentagram she hugged it. From outside the woman’s home, it began to storm. The wind howled as the rain beats against the small wooden cottage, the candles were the only light source with the flames dancing in the darkness.
“I call upon thee, to aid me,” the woman started as she put herbs into a black bowl to grind them down, “to bring this doll to life, let her breathe, let her grow, let her live,” she mixed the herbs then put them on the doll’s body parts. The wind howled louder, and the rain was coming down harder!
“I use my blood to help give her life, another part of me, and another sacrifice from me.” The woman picks up a knife to cuts her palm. She held her bleeding hand over the doll’s chest as the blood slowly dripped onto the doll. “GIVE THIS DOLL LIFE!” The woman screamed just as thunder cracked through the sky! The wind forcefully pushed one of the windows open, blowing out the candles. The woman gets up quickly to close it then rushes to light another candle.
She turned, hoping to see if her spell had worked, but the doll still lay on the floor motionless. The woman kneeled and put the candle down lightly beside her. She looked the doll up and down, begging now to see movement. However, when nothing happened, the woman began to sob, her cries and the sound of the storm outside were the only sounds. She covered her eyes, crying, but she felt someone grab her wrist with soft hands. “Mama?” a young girl’s voice spoke from the dark. The woman glanced up.
The doll sat on her knees, one hand on the floor the other on the woman’s wrist, the doll looked exactly like her, bright red hair and dark green eyes that shined a little from the flame of the candle. “Mama, please don’t cry.” The doll spoke again, looking at the woman with sadness in her eyes. The woman smiled before hugging the doll tightly, who held her back and asked if she was okay.
“Yes. Yes, love, I’m fine,” the woman answered and then let go of the doll, running her hand over the doll’s face, pushing some hair out of the way, “I’m just fine.” The spell had worked!
The woman named the doll Ruby, like a healthy child Ruby had lots of energy. She would help her mother with the animals and crops. Ruby loved making small cloth dolls, which she was excellent at, but she wasn’t good at learning spells, but her mother didn’t care. “It can be hard, love, but you’ll get it someday. I know you will, and I know you can do it,” her mother said sweetly, rubbing Ruby’s shoulder, who was staring down at another failed potion.
The woman would read and tell her stories as she has done for the children in the village. When the girl was asleep, the woman would sit there for a moment. “My beautiful girl,” she always said and kissed Ruby’s forehead then blew out the candle. The woman didn’t feel lonely anymore.
One day the woman was out picking herbs, and Ruby sat inside, sewing a new cloth doll humming to herself as she rocked in the chair. The woman hummed too when her wooden basket was full she heard the sounds of people approaching, in confusion, she stood up to see a group of villagers who all held farming tools and torches. “There’s the witch!” a man yelled, the woman’s eyes widen in fear. She dropped the basket before running indoors. Ruby dropped the doll she was making, then started to ask her mother what was wrong as she watched the woman lock the door. Their livestock cried out from outside as the villagers were slaughtering them! Ruby then asked if it was wolves! Both screamed when someone began to kick the door in and yelled for them to come out! The woman grabbed Ruby’s arm as she pulled her to the back of the house.
They heard the door break and the sound of angry voices coming in and breaking anything in their way. The woman pushed Ruby out of an open window. Ruby looked up at her mother, who ordered her to run! The woman was about to jump out as well, except someone grabbed her hair, preventing her from escaping. The woman screamed as she gets dragged out of the room by two men. Another man looked out the window as Ruby hid under it, covering her mouth and watched him, when he went away she ran around the small home. With a horrified gasp, she saw their cow dead on the ground the same with their chickens. Trying not to cry, Ruby heard voices getting further away from their home, stepping over the poor animals’ dead bodies to follow the angry shouts and her mother’s screams. “MAMA!” Ruby hollered as she ran after them.
In an open field, the villagers and the woman stood, two men had a hold of her as another man glares down at her. Ruby couldn’t hear what they were saying because she hid in the trees, but she did hear the man say something about her mother being an abomination to God, soon the villagers started to chant ‘burn the witch loudly!’ Ruby watched in horror as men tied her mother to a wooden pole then put more wood around her. The man that called her mother an abomination was handed a torch, “With this fire, I send the witch back to hell!”
Ruby screamed as the man throws the torch onto the pile of wood, they went up in flames! The woman screamed as the fire crawled up her dress and began to burn her flesh. Ruby dropped to her knees, listening to her mother screams of agony as the villagers cheer. Once her mother’s cries died out, and the smoke swallowed her lifeless body, the villagers left when it started to rain. Ruby treaded and stumbled a bit towards the dying fire that hissed when the raindrops touched it, studying the black and charred body that was once her mother, Ruby’s body started to shake with rage. “They’re all going to burn!” She growled as thunder cracks and lightning flashes in the sky.
The village was quiet. Not a single soul was outside, the man who threw the torch sat on the side of his daughter’s bed, reading her a bedtime story, forgetting what he did earlier. When his daughter was about to go to sleep, one of the villagers ran into the room, informing him that the animals got loose and were running away. The man told his daughter to stay in bed, and that he’ll be back, he and the other men went to go try to get some of the animals back. The man’s daughter lies in her bed just as she started to drift off the door open again. She heard it, and then the sound of someone lightly walking into the house, they stopped outside her door. Thinking it was her father she rolled over as the door slowly open when no one came into the room, the girl sat up.
“Papa?” she called, but no one answered. The girl was about to get out of bed but stopped and held her breath when Ruby stepped into the room as the moonlight shined in from the girl’s bedroom window. Ruby was grinning and chuckling, the girl’s small body fell cold. As Ruby was getting closer, the girl couldn’t run or scream. Her body wouldn’t let her, so she started to pray for help.
When Ruby was close, she leaned down, whispering in the girl’s ear, “I’m going to send you back to hell now.”
The screams of women and children from the village broke the eerie quiet night, the men heard the screams and ran back to see everything up and flames. Ruby stood in front of it with her arms out to her sides, watching it all burn. “BURN THE VILLAGERS! BURN THE VILLAGERS!” she screamed and laughed maniacally. The men ran towards her, but when she turned to look at them, they stopped in their tracks. She was covered in blood and was holding a bloody pair of scissors, and in her other hand was a basket full of scraps of bloody clothes. She slowly put the basket down on the ground and started to walk towards the men, giggling.
The man who killed her mother took a step back but held his pitchfork tightly, yelling, “Kill the demon!” The men run towards her, she just kept walking when the first man got near her she swings the scissors cutting his throat. When another man was about to stab her, she saw him coming, spinning around, she got him in the eye with the scissors he screamed before dropping to his knees. Ruby ripped the scissors out of his eye socket then stared at the other men she smiled widely at them.
One by one, she killed them, their bloody bodies now lie on the ground. The man she truly wanted couldn’t move. Fear had his feet locked in place as she moved towards him slowly. She pulled a body behind her, when she dropped it she licked the blood off her hand, making the man fall back. “God will keep me safe. He will keep me safe from you, demon! You can’t touch me! My lord will keep me safe!” he kept repeating.
Ruby stopped in front of him as he kept praying, she glanced up at the night sky then back to the man, kneeling she spoke slowly in his ear. “God. Isn’t. Here,” she giggled as he started to cry. She punched him in the face knocking him out.
With his head spinning and hurting the smell of smoke and burning flesh was like poison in the air that made him gag, slowly opening his eyes, he looked around. When his eyes found the village, it was still burning. He wanted to run towards it, but he couldn’t move because he was tied to a wooden pole. He began to struggle but stopped when he saw Ruby, who sat in front of the pile of wood that was under him. She was humming and sewing, using bloody clothes to make small dolls. Beside her was a burning torch that stuck out of the ground when she looked at him, she smiled evilly.
Getting up slowly she picked the torch up with her, turning back around her dark eyes locked on the man, she started to skip towards him as he began to scream at her, “MAY GOD STRIKE YOU DOWN! MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOUR SOUL BACK TO HELL!”
Ruby cocked her head to the side, staring at him oddly. “May the Devil rip you apart when you go back to hell,” she mocked before throwing the torch onto the wood they went up in flames just as fast when her mother was burned. Soon the man was screaming. Spinning around and walking away, Ruby picked up the basket. She hummed along with the man’s screams as she went into the forest.
Ruby stood in her old home, running a hand on the broken door. The house itself is falling apart. Moss and vines were growing on the sides of the ancient walls. The glass in the windows were all broken or gone. The fire pit is cold to the touch. The herbs her mother had hanging over the pit were all dried out, becoming dust that’s easily blown away by the wind that came in from the half-fallen in roof, windows, and broken home.
The house has aged over the many years, but Ruby herself still looks young. She went into the small room that once belonged to her beloved mother, sitting on the floor she begins to dig through her basket and takes out a long bloody shirt from a camper that got too close to her mother’s land. Ruby grabs other cloths then gets to work, cutting and sewing to make little dolls out of them. She hums as she works but stopped when she heard the sound of two people talking.
“God, I can’t believe you made me come out here! My phone isn’t even working!” a girl whins. The guy rolls his eyes as he hicks in front of her.
“Come on, Sara! I want to find the old witch’s house!” the guy snaps at her. The girl groaned as she follows behind him but comes to a stop when she hears a twig breaking from behind them, she turned her head, but there was nothing, and everything was quiet.
Swallowing hard, she spoke up, “H… hey, Mike, can we go… I really don’t want to be out here.” She turned to look at him, but he was gone. “Mike?” she calls, nothing, “Mike! This isn’t funny!” Still nothing, there came another twig breaking she turned. Ruby was behind her, holding bloody scissors.
“I’m going to send you back to hell now!” she says as she giggles.