Outcast Falls, 1859
Melody ran through the woods, something was chasing her; her skirts flew around her in billowy clouds of fabric. It wrapped around her legs, causing her to fall to the ground. In a frantic frenzy Melody tried to crawl away.
"Monsieur? Please do not hurt me. I am but a farmer's maid. Please I have family back in France!" There came no answer to her pleas for mercy. Instead the creature no more man than the rock that had cut her hand loomed over her. Its eyes shone a bloody red, horns sprouted from its already grotesque forehead. Its teeth glistened in green saliva that hung in slimy tendrils on its lips. Its claws were long and sharp, attached to ginormous gnarled hands covered in warts and hair. The creature loomed over her, its eyes held the intent of tasting her flesh. The creature swung a giant clawed hand and tore her skin; bright red oozed from the wound, her screams echoed off the trees, the water fall drowning out the rest of the horrible sounds of murder. Melody was devoured alive that night.
The creature returned to its master and back to its cage. The hour glass with the claws. The master of the creature smiled, knowing one more enemy of her's was dead. Elisabeth Hyden smiled, put aside the incantation spell book and placed a cloth over the hour glass.
"Goodnight Sanduhr. You did well tonight." Elisabeth exited the attic and went to her chambers; which in actuality was a small bedroom she shared with her adulterer of a husband. She climbed under the covers, awaiting the morning when the people of the town of Outcast Falls would find the body; or what was left of it of Melody. Melody messed around with the wrong husband. Elisabeth didn't face her husband, as she normally would; instead she faced the window. She thought of her hourglass demon upstairs; and the thought of Sanduhr let her drift off to dream land.
Elisabeth woke the next morning to find her husband holding Sanduhr's cage. His eyes held the truth; he knew his wife was practicing Witch Craft and for that she would die. She knew this would happen, and somehow she just smiled at the prospect of dying.
"Yes husband? That is a beautiful hourglass; where did you find it?" Elisabeth asked coyly.
"You know damn well where I found it witch!" Faking the hurt she did not feel Elisabeth produced tears of anger.
"How dare you accuse me of such a crime!"
"This hourglass has the markings of the devil! If I find the book I will personally send you to your pyre!"
"If you believe me to be a witch then you do not need the book. Force me then to show you my power!" Her husband placed the hourglass on the table He took up his Bible and Elisabeth froze. She could not fake anything now. If he said anything from the Holy Book, she'd have to show him something. She looked to the hourglass and whispered,
"Stop with the Devil's Tongue!"
"It is not the Devil's Tongue, its German." Elisabeth said.
"I call on the son, the ghost, and the Holy Father. Help me prove my wife a witch!" Elisabeth looked up and saw to her delight Sanduhr standing to his full height behind her husband.
"Goodbye Thomas." Sanduhr wrapped his gnarled clawed hands around Thomas Hyden's neck and twisted. The sickening crack of the farmer's neck brought an evil smile to Elisabeth's face. "Thank you Sanduhr. You may sleep now." The demon dissolved into black smoke before returning back into the hourglass. Elisabeth prepared her voice to scream for help, knowing that the farm hands had just woken up. Her scream broke the window, and down below she heard the shouts of the men before they ran up her stairs to her bedroom. They saw the body of Thomas Hyden and understood the reason for her screams.
"Elisabeth, what happened?"
"I do not know. I woke up to an empty bed and I saw on the ground Thomas with his neck broken. Oh the horror!"
"Come now Elisabeth. We must get the children out of the house. They do not need to see their father this way. Elisabeth followed the farm hand named Nathan. She entered her daughter's bedroom, Shannon was still asleep, she had not heard her mother's screams and for that Elisabeth was thankful.
"Shannon, darling can you go outside and fetch some eggs?"
"Of course Mama." Shannon moved groggily and slipped her slippers on and grabbed her shawl. Elisabeth went into her son's room. Jacob Hyden sat up in bed, his eyes followed his mother's movements and he noticed a small shadow that was not her own follow her closely.
"Oh good Jacob you're awake already."
"What do you need Mama?" Jacob asked
"I need you to let the cows out."
"Alright Mama. Are you well Mama, I heard you scream."
"I'm fine my darling. Your father though is not. The Father is coming to give him his Last Rites. Now please go do as I asked."
"Yes Mama." Jacob was surprised more at how calm his mother was after finding his father dead. He passed it off as shock and went to do his chores. The shadow that followed his mother worried him more and more. He realized it was possible that his mother was a witch. As he was entering the barn he heard a scream come from the forest. He ran towards it, hoping it wasn't his sister. He saw to his absolute horror that it was his sister, but she was screaming because of the sight in front of her. The mangled corpse of a woman laid against the old oak tree. Jacob recognized the hair and the remnants of the dress of the maiden, it was Melody. The woman he loved. Tears sprouted in his eyes and he grabbed Shannon and pulled her away from the carnage.
"Shannon go home. Tell no one you saw this understand?"
"Yes brother." Shannon fled from the bloody scene. Jacob walked towards the shed no more than a few yards away and produced a shovel. He started to dig a grave for the woman he loved.
"Melody what happened to you?" He gingerly picked up her torn body. "I loved you. What did you do to deserve this?" He placed her into the grave, and buried her. He placed a heavy rock at the base of the grave and carved the words, 'Melody Campbell.' He left the grave side and returned to his chores. He realized too late that he was covered in her blood. He thought of an excuse and couldn't find one. None of the cows were pregnant or injured and unless he was going to murder a cow he'd have to sneak back into the house and change. He let the cows out as he had been instructed and heard someone in the barn when he was about to leave. It sounded like his mother.
"Oh Sanduhr, I have killed my husband, and his mistress to. What do I tell my children?" He listened and heard the deep growl that had haunted his dreams for years.
"Mistress Elisabeth you have acted rashly but you are smart and you will find a way. Mistress someone is near."
"You may rest now Sanduhr. Who is there?" Jacob ran. He knew now that his mother was a witch and she controlled a demon named Sanduhr. He ran to the Father who was leaving the home.
"Father, my mother she's been practicing the Devil's Play!"
"My dear boy, are you certain?"
"I am sir, I saw her in the barn talking to a demon named Sanduhr."
"Son, I will help you. Go to the attic and find whatever you can."
"Why the attic?"
"Its hidden, and no one goes up there; now do they?"
"Shannon plays up there sometimes. I will go," Jacob ran to the attic and found in the cabinet a book, its pages were stained and black and the cover had a pentagram sewn into the leather. Jacob wrapped the thing in cloth and returned to the Father. "Here, this is the Devil's writings is it not?"
"Yes, it most certainly is. Gather the men and have them get your mother. We will burn her tonight."
"Yes sir. Nathan, Malcolm, Justin, help me get my mother. She killed Melody and my father using witch craft. She's in the barn with an hourglass. Its not just an hourglass it contains a very dangerous demon named Sanduhr."
"Alright Jacob." Jacob led the three men into the barn where he saw his mother nursing a goat. He was quiet and took the hourglass and put it in a box and locked it. He brushed holy water around the rim and placed a crucifix on the top of the box. He then hid the box in a stall. He rejoined Nathan, Malcolm and Justin and the four of them cornered his mother.
"Hello boys." Elisabeth said looking up. "Jacob, what's wrong?"
"Nothing mother." He signaled to the men next to him and they jumped at her, Jacob pulled a burlap sack over her head while Nathan bound her wrists and ankles in Holy Water soaked rope. He heard her scream as the rope touched her skin. The four men carried the thrashing woman towards town. Jacob saw the smoke and he felt his heart drop. He was killing his mother. But his mother had killed those he loved. The witch was pulled from his grasp and tied to the pyre. Her screams were deafening and the Father held a torch in his hand.
"Goodbye mother." he threw the book onto the fire and he saw his sister carrying the box. He took it from her and told her to go home again. He threw the box onto the fire as well. He didn't stay to watch his mother die, instead he followed his sister home.