Though it was after dusk, Mallory had the need to be around nature, or something to calm her. She was new to the area and under the circumstances she was very timid to be there. She walked through the woods, listening to the sounds of birds and other creatures full of life, taking in the fragrance of vitality. Mallory thought there was something wrong with her. Something wasn’t right. Strange things had always happened around her. But usually it was little things like lifeless neglected plants that would suddenly regain their vitality and bloom in front of her. Small insects like moths and butterflies, flies, that were dead in screens and spider webs would come back, buzzing with life. But she wasn’t about to go to her church that she and her grandmother had been a part of. They weren’t welcome there. Not anymore after the strange incident at her grandmother’s funeral.
Mallory’s grandmother had passed away a several weeks prior, from pancreatic cancer. She had taken it very hard, to a point that she was unconsolable. Death had always troubled her. But this was different. It had been fast, the life draining from her dear grandmother in a matter of weeks. She had done everything she could to make her comfortable. Watching her vitality drift from her eyes, being bed-ridden, had pained her heart. And she felt like a lost little girl the day her grams had passed on.
Everything had been surreal the entire week after it had happened. She hadn’t slept much, and when she did her dreams were filled with how her grandmother had been before she had fallen ill. Oh she longed for those days again, seeing her smiling face, her kind voice, her gentle embrace. She weeped while waking and even in her sleep. Hard sobs had filled her lonely room.
Her long distant cousins had to plan the funeral services because she could hardly function in her grief. But the day came for the services and viewing. When the casket had been opened Mallory lost it seeing the shell of her grandmother laying there as if she were sleeping. She could literally feel the death and lifelessness in her form and it made her weep. Her tears streamed down her pale features as she sobbed holding her grandmother’s hand. She kissed her cheek to say goodbye wishing as hard as she could that things were how they had been before she had fallen ill. She wanted to talk with her again, to say something meaningful one last time, to hold her again. She envisioned when her grandmother had been healthy, at the best moments in her life with her. She was the last one to be with her grandmother until the services began.
The priest was solemn, the entire congregation and her relatives were. Many tears were shed. Her grandmother was respectable in the community as well as their church. The priest finally began. It was the usual sermon about life eternal springing from death. Mallory was sobbing, unable to even comprehend what he was saying. But then she heard her voice! Mallory and everyone turned to see her grandmother appearing to be 10 to 15 years younger, the age that Mallory had been visualizing when she had the happiest times with her. She was spry, vital, and confused as she walked down the aisle wondering what was going on.
"Why am I at church? What happened? Mallory!?" Mallory didn’t understand what had happened and she didn’t care. She ran to her and embraced her tightly, now with tears of joy. The entire chapel was stunned.
"I saw her!!! It was her! Mallory, touched is by the devil!" One of the older women shrieked as her family tried to contain her. But there were more whispers that Mallory had done it, how odd things happened around her. That maybe she really was touched by the devil.
Soon there were threats in letters attached to rocks thrown through windows of her grandmother’s house. They weren’t welcome at their church anymore. She could see her grandmother was fearful they would both be harmed. The tension was thick in the air and the feeling of imminent doom. They ended up having to move to the next town. Mallory began to question herself. Was she evil? She didn’t have a mean bone in her body. She treated everyone with kindness.
"You are a direct descendant of a Salem witch. It doesn’t show up in every generation but when it does, the power is strong. All women that have it have shown a form of bringing and restoring life to certain things naturally. You seem to be able to do it to most things. You have a gift my dear…" Her grandmother seemed proud that she had this so-called gift. But now Mallory only seemed to see the horror in it as they had been driven from a place that she had always known as home. It was her fault her grandmother had been threatened. She felt like horrible inside. She didn’t want this gift and was ashamed of it.
She had been walking through the woods in the twilight, when through the dense trees she saw the tall steeple of a church. Was it a sign? Why would there be a church in the middle of nowhere? It wasn’t the same kind of church she had been a part of before but she needed answers.
She was so unsure of herself but as she began to have hope for some sort of miracle or answer to why her grandmother had been brought back, little white flowers began to grow from her feet. The grass that had been dead from approaching winter had become full of life, and vibrant green within the path she had tread to where she was now, in front of a church in the middle of the woods. She had been thinking hard the entire way there, trying to figure out why everything had happened, that she had not noticed the flowers growing. She wasn’t sure if she should go inside standing outside of the doorway. But while she contemplated, it began to rain. Quickly it was raining in sheets, freezing water that soaked through her black sheer dress and boots. She squeaked and opened up the large doors walking inside.
As she walked inside, what light was inside the church frightened her at first. There were paintings of demons and the apocalypse on a deathly landscape. It sent a shiver down her spine. But then her eyes were drawn to a beautiful stain glass window in the center and back of the church. It was tall and towering of the most lovely angel she had ever seen. She had golden honey hair that went down a little passed her shoulders. She was clothed in white and blue robes and her gaze reached out beyond the pulpit as if looking into ones very soul. When she looked at the demons again, it was as if they were cowering before her or someone else?
"Eep!" She jumped. She heard something scurry across the wooden floor but it had just been a rodent or a squirrel. She walked toward the window and from the glow through the window she saw what appeared to be a dead sparrow. She contemplated whether she should risk using her power. But no one was here.
She kneeled on the floor, putting her hands over the lifeless body of the sparrow just barely over it. She concentrated thinking of a point of time when it had been full of life. She could see it flying in the forest, in the sunlight in spring. She felt a warmth from her feet spreading all the way up to her hands as the little bird twitched, it’s twisted neck moving back to where it had been originally. The sparrow cried out and flew up into the rafters as if to say thank you. Mallory smiled now. But then she began to shiver cold from being drenched by the icy rain.