PART TWO: FOR JUSTICE
Tabitha held her father’s hand in her own and tried to console the ailing man as best she could. As the minutes ticked into midnight, she began to beg and plead to the merciless goddesses that fought over Denary like a scrap of meat. She begged at least one of them to take pity on her father and restore his good health.
Her father had come down with a rare magical ailment that was easy to treat in its initial stages with the right medication. However, high quality remedies were a luxury the Tanner household could not afford and so the ailment had progressed and weakened Mr. Tanner to a point where he could no longer perform motor functions unassisted.
The disease had persisted during the year and despite Tabitha’s past knowledge in medicinal herbs and applying that knowledge to helping her father, it had not reduced in the slightest. Tabitha had had to face the grim reality that her father would probably die and she was too poor to stop it.
“Tabitha, my beloved daughter, I have… I have failed as a father… I… am so sorry,” her father wearily told her.
“No, please father… Please hang in there… Fight for me, please… Don’t leave me all alone,”
“Tabitha… I can no longer… I need to say goodbye…”
“No! Don’t… Please… Please father, hold on for me… Please don’t leave me,”
“You are a very special girl. I… knew… when I first held you in… my arms… you were born to do great things… I bless you Tabby… I… love…” he stated wearily before expiring.
Tabitha wailed upon realizing that her father was gone. She was then all alone in the world- an orphan with not a dime to her name. Denary had failed her; the goddess had failed her; all had failed her.
Her neighbors rushed in to see what the commotion was about and it took sedating her to pry her away from her father’s corpse. As she gave into the sedative’s effects, she noticed a mysterious black fog surrounding her father’s corpse.
When she arose, in the decaying remains of a couch at a neighbor’s house, she recalled the ominous black fog surrounding her deceased father and immediately inquired as to where her father’s corpse was.
“We took it to Nana’s Morgue. She agreed to cleanse and prepare the body for burial,” her neighbor explained.
Tabitha immediately got up on her feet and rushed towards the front door.
“Oh and Tabitha dear… Happy Birthday,” her neighbor told her.
Tabitha was taken aback by that. Was it really her birthday? Was she finally 21 years old? It didn’t feel as if much had changed. And yet Tabitha had longed for the day she would turn 21 so she could realize her true power and teach the corrupt government a lesson.
However, a lot had changed in one year. Her father had fallen ill in the same year Denary had drastically changed for the worse. The army had organized and successfully staged a coup backed by the Church of Enlightenment. The Royal Family had been massacred down to the last babe… The peoples of Denary had made the mistake of entertaining hope once more but that had been foolish to say the least.
The state was then run by the Church with the army falling under their command. Denary had backing from the Magical Realm countries where the evil goddess of enlightenment reigned supreme. Anyone who did not bend their knee in worship of the goddess faced her wrath….
Tabitha knew all too well what needed to be done- she needed to destroy all traces of the goddess of enlightenment and her followers down to the last man. She needed to release Denary and the entire Magical Realm from the tyranny of the dark goddess. And Tabitha had eagerly awaited until she turned 21 to fully realize the power to achieve her goals…
And yet she desperately rushed to the morgue and insisted on seeing Nana perform the cleansing ritual and prepare the corpse for burial. She budged into the room even after being denied entry by the clerk she met at the morgue reception.
“What is the meaning of this?” Nana Miller furiously inquired. Tabitha did not fail to notice that the Attendant and Private Funeral Home Services Owner of Adieu Funeral Services, hastily placed something in her pocket. She also noticed the black fog that had covered her father’s lifeless body had thickened.
“I came to assist you in performing the Cleansing Ritual, Nana,” Tabitha responded.
“Oh… oh dear, that is not necessary. I am almost all done here anyway. Why don’t you wait outside for a little while and I will be right with you. I can ask them to prepare a cup of tea for you while you wait, perhaps some chamomile tea shall be soothing for you,”
“Nana, do not pay me any heed. I will not interrupt your ritual. I am afraid I must insist that I need to be present while you do so, unfortunately,”
“Now, now, Tabitha, do not be like this. You can trust me with your father for a little while now can’t you dear?”
“Alright, I will but you have to tell me what you just put into your pocket,”
“I know you’re hiding something in your pocket. What is it?”
“Tabitha, time’s a wasting and I have a long list of clients to serve. Please just let me do my job and I shall answer all questions later and-“
“I sense that it’s a cursed object- in particular, a cursed dagger. Now pray tell, Nana, why would you have such an object on you? And why would such an object be necessary if you truly plan on performing a cleansing ritual for my father?”
“I have had enough of you. I do not take kindly to- to such rudeness. I was performing the cleansing ritual for free as a favor to you because I know of how you have suffered but you are so insolent, I have no choice but to deny you service,”
Tabitha menacingly tilted her head and walked slowly but steadily towards Nana.
“Do not come any closer, Tabitha. Security! Security!” shouted Nana.
Tabitha turned to the door and it snapped itself shut, barring any entry. Although Security agents were upon the scene in mere moments, they were unable to break into the room.
“I said stay back! Security! She wants to kill me! Security! Help! Someone! Anyone!” Nana cried out for help.
Tabitha was mere inches away from Nana’s face before the latter withdrew the cursed dagger from her pocket. Nana tried stabbing Tabitha with the dagger but was unable to due to Tabitha catching the blade between her two hands. Despite Nana’s best efforts, she was unable to pry the dagger away from Tabitha’s hands. Furthermore, a glowing white light soon dissolved the dagger and it melted away as if it was made of ice.
Nana trembled, her skin turning ghost-white in terror. Tabitha’s eyes bore down on hers and Nana felt as if she was burning alive under her gaze.
“Please- I can explain, Tabitha- it was the only way I could- I could escape from this goddess-damned country and feed my family… Please-“
“You have abused the weak and poor for far too long, Nana and today, you shall finally pay for your sins,”
“Please-” Nana began.
“Silence!” Tabitha angrily retorted. Both she and Nana were flabbergasted that her voice had amplified and included several other voices.
Tabitha held Nana in a choke hold with Nana dangling off the ground and staring directly into Tabitha’s eyes. Before long, despite Nana’s difficulty in speaking, she found herself confessing her many sins to Tabitha.
“Nana daughter of Valeria Miller, you have confessed to many hideous acts against the weak and vulnerable and I, a herald of justice, have judged and found you guilty. You will pay for your sins with your life,” Tabitha pronounced.
She let go of the choke-hold she had on Nana who began to crawl towards the door in terror.
“Flailing little insect, today you shall lie with the worms and bugs as you deserve,” Tabitha spoke with many voices amplifying her pronouncement.
Before long, Nana suddenly stopped and began to wail in agony.
“Mercy- Mercy Tabitha- I- I shall do whatever- whatever you please- please make- make it stop!” she begged and pleaded.
“You dare beg for Mercy? Do you think you deserve it? You have sacrificed countless souls for the sake of your own ambitions. You have lied and preyed upon the grieving for the sake of appeasing your goddess. And where is she now? Why can she not save you?”
“I will tell you why, insect. You are not worth saving and are merely a pawn to your false goddess. You shall face justice today and there is not a thing you or she can do to stop me,”
“But… but my children… Tabitha… Think about… please…”
“Your children are better off orphaned than being parented by someone as despicable as you. Now stop your flailing and die!” Tabitha stated.
Nana fought for her life until her last breath.
“Hmm, it appears the old adage is true then- a witch’s warrior spirit does not depart from them until when they take their last breath,” Tabitha stated. She expected to feel guilt or shame for her actions but was surprisingly very clear headed and convinced that she had done the right thing. The end justified the means, after all…
Tabitha realized that for the sake of betterment of Denary and the Magical Realm, she needed to take a strong stance against evil. To become the Savior the Magical Realm needed, she would sacrifice everything even her own soul but justice would prevail…
TO BE CONTINUED.
The Tale of Tabitha Tanner shall resume. Until then, enjoy the previous entry to this tale! See you next chapter!