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Venova Bend, Massachusetts - 1783
With every ounce of his residual anger, he clenched his fist tightly, ignoring the pain and the blood which emanated as he dug his nails deep into the palm of his hand. Though the thick black smoke which carried the foul stench of burning flesh, darkened his vision, it did not cloud his focus of the evil bound to a wooden post before him. He ignored the satisfying glare which swept across her face as the fire roared around her. With a fierce rage, he plunged his fisted hand through the engulfing flames into her chest, extended his fingers, and ripped out her still beating heart.
She did not scream. She did not cry. She merely smiled at him.
Richard Clay raised his arm above his head as he stepped back from the heat. His hand clenched tightly to the heart whose arteries still pumped the last of her cold blood. Her blood, like ice to the touch, carried her evil over his fingers and down his arm, burning his skin as it flowed.
"You will never return to God's earth Sarafina!" He cried out to her, his voice carrying above the cries, screams, and frenzied horses that encircled them. Victoriously he shook his hand at the woman who would not die, even though her flesh began to melt from her. Filled with his anguish, and the anguish of all those whose lives she and her people had destroyed, he backed up to his horse and mounted it. "Burn in hell!"
Richard Clay road with speed from the small, but now burning town. Never looking back, he road onward, straight to the hills, holding on to the reigns with one hand, and her heart with the other. His mind raced with the vision of his eight year old son Reginald, that was brutally murdered at the hands of Sarafina. The child, whose dismembered body, sprawled out on the dirt road, almost like a trail, led Richard and his band of mercenaries to his tormentors.
The abduction of children in their beds from neighboring towns, the men missing from taverns as they went for their evening ale, all fell victim to Sarafina and her cult. And they all were taken to Venova Bend. Venova Bend laid much too long a safe-haven for Sarafina and her people. Buried deep in the woods, far from a view from any road, Venova would have remained hidden, if not for Reginald. Reginald gave Richard, Sarafina. It was Reginald's last revenge. If he had not led the way, even as gut wrenching as it was, Sarafina would still wreak her evil will and ways.
Richard, and fifty or so men, planned their raid with caution. They had heard of this band of women. Yet, it seemed no more then a folklore when they could not be found. Quietly, in early evening, while they slept, Richard and his men took the town. Never giving a single one of them a chance to speak or run, they slit their throats while they slept, and burned down their cottages. The women who did manage to awaken and tried to bolt for their safety were grabbed, beheaded, and tossed into a pile.
Richard and his men showed no mercy or pity, nor should they. The cottages which these women lived, contained the hearts and heads of all of their victims. The mummified body parts, perched on shelves as if trophies of a great hunt.
Sarafina and her people showed no remorse. Sarafina showed no fear. She emerged from her home during the raid standing tall, sword in hand. She laughed as she swooped it down in her defense, taking even more lives. She did not try to run, she only fought back. Shouting out in her final ravage, "Take me as you must! I will return."
Richard could not have that. With her final words running through his mind he knew what he must do. The heart, he believed, contained the soul, and she could not leave this earth with hers.
Now he stood, on top of the far away hill, the burning flames of Venova Bend glowing below him. Sarafina's heart placed in a box he had brought to the raid with him, set on the ground. Richard fell to his knees and began to dig into the soil with his fingers. His heartache became his strength as his hands stroked away the dirt. Deeper and deeper his hands dug.
For hours he remained on the hill digging. When he had finished, the sounds from Venova Bend had silenced. In the quiet aftermath, he tossed the silver box into the hole, and quickly covered it, pushing the dirt overtop of it with his foot. The heart in the box lay far below him, dirt packed tightly over it. It was over. Richard raised his head to the heavens and closed his eyes, in a begging prayer he shouted. "Please have no mercy on this witch's soul. Let her not return to your earth. Never let her reign again."
With that, Richard brushed off his hands and jumped on his horse. Though his life was still empty without his son, he had saved this type of heartache from happening to anyone else. He could move on now. Sarafina was dead.