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And You Will Pay for What You Done

The tale of Betty Leise

There are those who are simply unlikable, the kinds of people who without fail will irritate those around them in some fashion. It happens. Betty Leise was one of them. She had a nasty temperament, and was not ashamed of it. From since she was a young child, she was rude, nasty and sometimes downright cruel. It was not long until people figured for their sake, it was better to leave Betty alone. When Betty turned 18, her mother quickly married her off to a young man in order to gain some peace away from her. After her marriage, her husband suddenly without notice died in his sleep after a delicious dinner Betty offered him. The town was suspicious but with no proof, Betty was left alone in her Victorian home surrounded by her many cats. She had no friends. No relatives to visit her. She was all alone and she liked it that way.

At that time, children did not hop on yellow buses nor did anyone had cars. It did not exist at the time. Instead, children would walk to the schoolhouse on top of the hill to get their education. Occasionally, a father would pack his children into his wagon and drop them off at the schoolhouse. However, for most of the children, walking was the best way to the schoolhouse. From Monday morning to Friday morning, the children walked the grassy hill covered with brightly covered wildflowers in the spring, soft grass in the summer and the cold, crunchy snow in the winter, their laughter free in the air, unhindered by the drudgery of school.

Early afternoon, on a beautiful spring day, a group of children walked down the hill back to their homes. The group walked past Betty’s home, a young boy picked up a rock and said, “Bet I could hit the witch'scat.” Before any other could protest, he threw the rock at an old cat, it missed and struck a kitten’s head instead, killing the cat instantly. The others gasped, including the boy who did not expect the young cat to die. The poor boy never had a chance to apologize because Old Betty came of her home, on her wobbly legs, leaning on her walking stick.

“You Devil! You killed my cat! Come here!” She rasped in hot anger. The little boy stood paralyzed by his shocked and fear stood firmly on the ground while the others ran away. “You killed my cat! You devil!” Betty yelled as she raised her cane and struck the young boy with it. She beat him repeatedly with such fury and strength, over and over, until finally, she gave him such a powerful blow to his head, it knocked his very soul right out of his body and he died at that very spot.

The other children ran to the town, screaming to the adults and their parents to help save the poor boy. In a half hours’ time, the town surrounded Betty’s home and they demanded to see the boy but there was no sign of him. The old woman wobbled on her cane, shaking her fists, “That bastard killed my cat! He should pay for what he has done but he left here and went home,” she insisted to the people. With no sign of him, the town returned to their respective home but the boy did not return home. He was never seen again. When the next day arrived, the townspeople became more convinced that Betty did something to the boy and arrested her promptly. The town tried her in court and she was sentenced to be hanged publicly in the town’s square.

Minutes before Betty was to be hanged, the boy’s mother pleaded with her to tell her what she did with her son. “Betty, please tell us where did you hid his body? He was just a boy. He needs a proper burial. Even you will be buried and given your rites. Please, look in your heart and tell me what you did with him,” She pleaded through tear soaked tears.

The bitter woman stared into the grieving mother’s eye said, “Why are you so sure that I buried him? You poor wench, to my cats! Ground him up and feed him to my cats!” She screeched like a banshee to the crowd. “That devil child deserved it for what he did to my cat! He paid for what he has done and you will pay for what you done! You will pay! You will-” The executioner tired of her screeching and disgusted by what she did with the boy pushed the lever and the door under Betty’s feet open. Betty fell in and the forced of the fall and the pull of the rope, snapped her neck in two. The crowd was stunned and all stared at her frozen dead face of rage. The executioner cut the rope and her body dropped to the ground like a potato sack.

“Good riddance,” the man said under his black hood. Betty was buried without rites in an unmarked grave in the woods.

While the town attempted to move on, the angry soul of Betty Leise could not. It left her cold, dirt grave and returned to town. Under the veil of night, while stars twinkled and crickets sang their songs, a little girl slept in her bed, clutching in her hands, a cloth doll her mother made for her while her old dog slept at her feet. A shadow crept into her bedroom and stood at the foot of her bed, watching her sleep, it was a long, distorted shadow of a woman with a disfigured face as if she was in a permanent scream. Since her neck had been snapped in two, her head drooped over her shoulders. Her presence woke the dog and the shadow quickly moved under the bed as if it was sucked in by a vacuum. The dog growled waking up the girl from her sleep. She yawned and realized she was thirsty. On her nightstand, her mother had left a candle lit for her so she could sleep. She picked it up and began to head to her door but before she could make another step, a hand grabbed her and pulled her under the bed. The girl dropped her candle and fire erupted in her room, eating all in its way, the blankets on the bed, her slippers on the floor, the paintings on her wall. Her dog barked loudly, scratching at the wall and pacing back and forth.

Her parents busted into her room. “Emily?” her father called. “Emily! Her mother screamed from fright, “Where is Emily?” The bed flipped revealing a screaming Emily being held by a distorted thin Betty. Her head dangled loosely around her shoulders because in life, her neck was snapped in two. She floated in the air, clinching the screaming child and flew out the glass window above the crowd outside. Emily’s mother ran outside their homes, pointing at the sky. “Betty has our Emily! Save her! Save her! Forget the house!” A group separated from the crowd as they chased Betty and the screaming child to her grave. Betty screeched loudly in the air as she slammed into the ground, burying herself and the screaming girl, creating a cloud of dust.

“DIG! DIG! DIG!” the men of the crowd shouted. They took their shovels and slammed it against the ground but no matter how deep they dug, they could not find the girl. All they could hear was her screams of help and begging to be free until her screams lessened, became faint and disappeared altogether. All night long, the townsmen dug and dig deep into the grave but they could find nothing. Emily was gone, buried alive in the cold, airless earth. The frighten town men returned to their homes in defeat.

The next night, Betty’s soul left her grave again and returned to the town. She flew into a room of three brothers, all sleeping together in a single bed. Betty distorted body floated over them and she touched the boy in sleeping in the middle, her long black fingers touching his face before she could take him. She did not notice their father standing in the corner with his musket rifle. The man gritted his teeth and pulled the trigger, striking the ghost and leaving a massive hole in their thin walls.

The ghost screamed loudly, her loose head rolling in circles, waking up everyone in the home and alarming those outside. The father yelled for his boys to leave the room and run to their mother while he kept unloading shots at the ghost. The ghost screeched loudly, dodging the fast moving bullets, grabbed the last two boys and flew out the window. Everyone including the father chased after Betty, back to her grave where Betty flew high into the air and fell in high speed to her grave with the frighten boys. Once in the dirt, the ground became hard and frozen. The townsmen could only stand by helpless as they listen to the children’s dying screams in the ground.

The next day, the town’s streets were bare. Instead, everyone huddled in the town’s church. No one went outside. No child went to school. All businesses were closed. The town was paralyzed. In the church, the Pastor helped pass food and blankets around. He saw the fear in their eyes. He saw the way father were clutching their sons, the way mothers were clutching their daughters and he decided that he was not going to stand for this anymore.

When night fell, the Pastor took his bible, his son, his musket and filled it with bullets he prayed over, and left the safety of the church. When the full moon reached its highest height in the sky, the Pastor and his son were sitting at the church steps when they heard a faint scream in the distance. The Pastor glanced around him but it was his son’s whisper that directed him to a terrifying sight. A few feet away from them stood a distorted Betty with long dirty arms and legs, moving in unnatural ways, her head dangled over her shoulder, almost drooping over her chest, her mouth in an open but twisted manner as if she was ready to scream.

“Papa, there she is,” the son whispered. He picked up his iron box next to him and opened it.

“Take heed, boy and tread with care,” the Pastor said clutching his bible. His son, a boy no older than perhaps 12 years of age, nodded and he straightened his back, soaking in his father’s confidence.

“Terrifying thing but remember evil does not stand a chance when good decides to confront it,” The Pastor said standing on his feet.

The Pastor confronted the ghost and in a clear loud voice he said, “Betty Leise, it is time to return to your world and face-” Before he could even finish his statement, the soul of Betty quickly ran, attacking him, screaming so loudly that it shook the windows of all the nearby buildings. Before Betty could tear him to pieces, he shot at her, throwing her away from him. “Son, get the box,” the Pastor commanded. The boy laid the open box on the ground. His father shot hot, silver bullets into the ghost and with each shot, he recited a line from the Lord’s Prayer as Betty’s soul drew closer and closer to the iron box.

“Our father who art in heaven”

BANG!

“Hallowed be thy name”

BANG!

“Thy kingdom come”

BANG!

“Thy will be done”

BANG!

“On earth as it is in heaven”

BANG!

“Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us,”

BANG!

“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”

BANG!

Betty’s soul laid in the ground, screeching at the Pastor, her soul smothering and smoking under the hot bullets. The Pastor loaded a few more bullets that he prayed over and his son stood solemnly next to him, staring down at the ghost.

“For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever,” the boy said.

BANG!

Her soul was pulled into the iron box and the box shut itself. The boy stood over the box and spit at the ground. “Amen,” he said.

“Amen,” the Pastor repeated.

The church door swung open and the townspeople slowly poured out through the church doors. The Pastor turned to them and said, “Get firewood, It is time to send a soul back to hell,” The town walked back to Betty’s grave, dug it up, revealing the bodies of the three children killed the previous nights. They pulled those bodies out to bury them in the town’s cemetery. They dug deeper until they found Bettys’ rotting body, the Pastor recited a prayer of mercy and they set the coffin and the rotting flesh on fire. It burned brightly in the night like a yellow, red bon-fire. As the flames grew, the Pastor’s son threw the iron box in the flames and Betty’s soul bawled, erupting the fire into a fiery explosion. The towns’ people huddled in fear but not the Pastor and his son who stood tall like a pillar, unafraid.

They watched it burn until the flames died, by that time, the sun has awoken from its sleep and begun to shine its warm light, hugging the earth. They buried Betty’s victims and reburied Betty’s old charred bones. On her grave, they placed a nameless tombstone with only the lone words, “GOOD RIDDANCE”

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