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The Chronicles of Claudia Labelle -- Part XXIII

The Chronicles of Claudia Labelle -- Part XXIII

Entry XXX –

For once I am left speechless. Unable to find the words to tell you, dearest Reader, what I have just dreamt. I am numb, my heart is void of emotion due to the shock, and my mind is fresh with the images of it. Instead of telling you what I saw (like I planned before even opening this diary), perhaps it would be best to describe what I have witnessed in the dream:

The earth lay flat and bare, no trees, nor boulders, nor streams. The air thick with smoke, blocking out most of the sun and its rays. A sea of dust and ash made up what was left of the soil, as though the world had been raped by a ravenous fire. Everything that once was was now nothing, decimated and kicked away by the wind. All, except for one: A large cross, crafted by wood and seemingly untouched by the wasteland that it lay upon.

There were four men at the horizon of the wasteland a long distance away. Masked in black and armed with swords and axes, each with a satchel at their waist. As they drew near, it became clear that one of the men was dragging a girl through the ash by her dark hair. No more than 17 years of age by the look of her. She was kept bound at her wrists, and ankles, and had been stripped naked. She was alive, thankfully, but just barely, shivering in the desolate air. Her body tattered and bruised, and stained with blood between her legs, so much that red painted a trail in the dust.

The man that pulled the girl released her at their arrival to the cross and then cut the rope that bound her. He grabbed her weak body by the arms, and another man took her legs. They placed her upon the cross, and each man removed a small hammer and a long nail from their satchels.

“Please,” the girl cried, “No, please stop! I can't take anymore!”

The men did not respond as she sobbed, and proceeded to line up the nails; two at her hands spread across the arms of the cross, and two at her feet halfway down the body of the cross. They stuck the nails into her, and she screamed in anguish as she tried to resist with what little strength she had. “No, no, no, no!” she cried, at each bash of the hammers against the nails. Blood quickly soaked the cross. She was pinned, unable to move her hands or feet. The men put away their tools and moved to the head of the cross. They lifted it from the ground until it was vertical against the horizon, and forced the body of it into the ash to make it stand.

Her nude body was relieved as she hung, tears crawling down her dirty cheeks, blood draining from the wounds on her hands and feet. “God, help me . . . please, I beg you,” she moaned within her breath.

Vultures began to circle high above them; and one of the men spoke up in a harsh guttural dialect, “God will not find you here.” The group of men soon left, following the trail of red ash from where they came. Blood seeped down the cross to the dust below her, as she alone wept her remaining tears. Her head fell below her shoulders as her body sagged from the cross, her face shrouded by hair.

She had been left to die.

. . . I do not know who that girl was, nor do I know if what I saw in this dream had taken place, or will ever take place. But what I do know, is that I am so deeply saddened by what I saw. Tortured, molested, mocked, degraded upon the symbol of her faith, abandoned to rot in a field of nothingness.

It is my hope that her soul found rest and everlasting peace.

I will pray for her.


Claudia Labelle

Midnight, 14-15th of December 1097


Postscript – Am I beginning to see what Edda once saw?



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Copyright © 2018 ― Zachary W Mahnke

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