Dear Diary #30

It’s my birthday today. I’ve just turned fourteen years old. It’s strange, but I would have forgotten entirely, except that Master Noah asked me when my birthday was. He was surprised to find that it was today. I figured that would be the end of it. Then, I was the one who was surprised.

Master Noah got together with the others – Miss Fiona, Master Frank, Master Jim and even Shepherd – and arranged a party for me. There was a cake and gifts. I haven’t had a birthday party since I was little – when I was still with my mother. I don’t think any of them realized how special it was. The gifts were just small things that they’d made quickly or picked up that day. However, that hardly mattered. It meant so much more to me that… they cared enough to give me a party!

Liz and Ben were also invited and we played together after the presents had been opened and the cake had been eaten. We played until their parents came to collect them.

When I first came into the care of Master Noah, I told him that I wouldn’t called him Dad or Pa or any of those terms one uses for their father. After all, he’d only taken me in because he was ordered to do so. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. Now, however, I’m not so sure. Could it possibly be that he took me in because he actually wants to look after me?

Dear Diary #29

Well, today was the moment of truth. I was well enough to be up and about. There was a special service at the church, to celebrate the founding of North Fork. It turns out, this was the day that Shepherd wanted me to sing the song I’ve been practicing.

At first, I was really nervous. I mean, whatever Master Noah might say, it was hard for me to believe that the townsfolk would accept me, knowing what I was. When we arrived at the church, however, Liz ran up to me and hugged me! She called me a hero – her hero! Her parents thanked me for risking my life to save their daughter.

I must admit, it was all quite overwhelming. I’m not used to being the center of attention and I’m certainly not used to that attention being positive. It wasn’t unpleasant, however. On the contrary, it was very nice. After the service was over – after I’d sung my song – one of the ladies told me that the preachers who said we were evil must have been wrong, because I sang like an angel.

So, this little town of North Fork is like a haven for me. These people, at least, accept me for who I am. Who knows what this will mean for other Workers? Who can say? Now, though, I feel like I need to find Grace and my mother. I like living with Master Noah, but… I miss my family.

Dear Diary #28

Well, it was inevitable, I suppose. The mine collapsed and Liz, as well as a couple of the boys – the bullies – were trapped inside. In spite of my insistence that there was nothing interesting in the mine, the boys wanted to explore it. When Liz tried to stop them, they took her bonnet and began teasing her. They were playing keep-away in and around the mine entrance when the roof caved in.

It’s only by sheer luck and God’s blessings that they weren’t killed. I sent Ben and the other youngsters to fetch their parents. Then, I ran to town and raised the alarm. I watched, helplessly, as the townsfolk worked to free them. I was torn. I wanted to help and I knew I could, but I was afraid that it would bring trouble down on me.

Shepherd – somehow he knew. I think he’d always known. He convinced me to try and I did. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to make an opening using my gifts. After the children were freed, I blacked out. It was a week before I woke up. Master Noah was afraid I might die. The question is: what happens now? Will the people still accept me, as they did before?

Dear Diary #27

Seeing as I wanted to keep an eye on the youngsters – the other youngsters, I should say – I went down to the creek near the old mine that seems to be a favorite summer hang out. Liz and Ben were there, as were many of the other youngsters from the town and the farms in the vicinity.

Liz is a nice girl and pretty. I wonder what she would think of my gifts? Would it frighten her if she knew what I was or would she be intrigued by it? I’m fairly sure that Ben would find the whole thing fascinating. He’d probably have all manner of questions for me, asking how it all worked and if I could do the things they say that Accursed can do. Actually, he’d probably react much the same way that Master Jim did.

There are a few boys – bullies, if my new friends are to be believed – who would either react the way Master Frank did at first: with anger and fear, or they’d simply be terrified that I would curse them somehow. A small part of me is tempted to reveal my secret to threaten them into staying away from the mine. I know, though, that it would do very little good in the long run.

Dear Diary #26

Last night – or, perhaps, I should say early this morning – I was dreaming about Grace. I haven’t thought about her in so long. I can’t help but wonder what could have brought her to mind now. Only time can tell, I suppose.

This morning, Master Noah gave me two tasks. The first was to go and visit with Shepherd. He wanted to give me music to practice. He’d like for me to sing in church some time soon. I told him that I would try, but I’m not certain. When I finished there, I had to go out and check the old mine.

Apparently, the young people in the town have taken it into their heads to explore the mine, ignoring the signs declaring how dangerous it is. I spoke with them and, I think, convinced them that it would be the height of foolishness to see if there was any gold remaining for them to help themselves to. Hopefully, the matter will end there. I fear, though, that a few of them will not agree with me. I suppose the only thing to do will be for me to continue visiting with them, until I am certain they are not going to try anything stupid.

Dear Diary #25

Well, just as I should have expected, Master Noah insisted that I attend worship service with him. The new preacher was there. He was sent to replace Father Camden, who is off search for… well, me. In any case, he dragged me off to worship.

I expected to be scolded as the worst sort of sinner. After all, that was my only experience with such services. Instead, we sang hymns praising God. They were filled with words that spoke of a God who loved and cared for all of his children. The reading from the holy word reinforced this idea. Then, the preacher – who insists that he be called only Shepherd – delivered a sermon that was nothing like what I’d come to expect.

Rather than scolding at us – railing at us as terrible sinners and demanding repentance – he said that God loved us and wanted to save us. God didn’t want to cast anyone into the fires of hell. All we needed to do was love God, with all our hearts and souls and minds; love others as we do ourselves, and recognize the Savior’s presence in our lives.

I was stunned and… my heart was strangely warmed. If all of Shepherds sermons are like that one, I might just decide that going to worship isn’t such a terrible thing after all.

Dear Diary #24

I thought I had done rather well in keeping the plant from reacting to my presence. Then again, I didn’t realize that the magistrate already knew who and what I was. Had I realized that, I might have behaved differently. I might have split town the moment Miss Fiona was exhonorated.

In any case, I am now in the position of being Master Noah’s ward. He will be responsible for seeing to it that I am brought up properly. What will that entail? Will it mean sitting though more services where I’m told what a terrible person I am? Will I have to suffer through more tirades about my so-called curse? I dearly hope not.

I have already told Master Noah that he is not my father and should not expect me to call him Dad or Pa or any of those other childish, personal names. No, he will remain Master Noah. Whatever my current position, he is not my father. My father died – right in front of me. I watched him suffer horrible before that death. I don’t want – nor need – for Master Noah to be my father now. The question is, how do I convince him of that without bringing the long arm justice down upon me?

Dear Diary #23

I was able to convince the preacher to hold a trial. Now, I just need to prepare for it while we wait for the magistrate. Master Noah and Master Frank want to know what it will entail. I’ve told them as little as possible. I don’t want them to think there are other options – say, for example: turning me over to Father Camden!

In the meantime, I’ve been helping Master Jim in his garden. He seems curious about my abilities in a way I’ve never encountered. He asks me how this works or how I do that. Master Noah, it seems, asked him about how I convinced Father Camden to have the trial. I’m sure Master Frank thinks I used some form of mind control on the man. Really, all I did was shove his thoughts in the right direction. I couldn’t make someone do something that was out of their natural character. I told as much to Master Jim.

Apparently, there are tales of Accursed driving people to suicide or murder. I told Master Jim that such a thing is simply not possible. Actually, it could happen, but it would only work if the person was already thinking such things. If someone already honestly wanted to take a life – whether their own or that of another – I could push them to commit the crime. However, I would never do something like that. It’s patently wrong, for one. For another, it’s that sort of use of our gifts that gives us the reputation as demons made flesh. Besides, if my father is to be believed, misusing ones gifts in such a way slowly drives you mad. No, thank you!

Dear Diary #22

Things are insane. I went to the hotel, to thank the woman who saved me and the town’s preacher came in. He had already realized there was an Accursed in town, thanks to the eldritch crystal he carried. However, for some reason, he believed that Miss Fiona – the woman who saved me – was that Accursed!

Now, I couldn’t run. That was the first thought that came to mind. However, that would be wrong, especially after she had helped me. I have to find a way to help her in return. Master Frank thinks I should turn myself in, but that’s not an option. Firstly, it would not help. The preacher – I’ve seen his type before – will see that both of us are killed. No, what I need to do is make it clear that she isn’t what the preacher thinks she is. The only thing I can imagine is to see that she is put through a trial. It won’t be pleasant, but it will certainly clear her of the charge.

I need to be there – to see it through. The problem is, some parts of the trial may make it clear to anyone else present that I’m the one they are looking for. I’ve been through only one such trial in my life and I managed to fool the person giving the trail. It wasn’t easy, but it’s possible. I’ll have to be very careful…

Dear Diary #21

Master Noah is a man that I can’t seem to figure. He knows what I am and, unlike Master Jim, he has no reason to protect me. Yet, somehow, he seeks to do just that. The preacher detected my presence through the use of an eldritch crystal. Master Noah could have led him to me. He chose, instead, to warn me of the danger.

I wanted to run away, but Master Jim said I’m not in any shape to do that. I would tend to agree. I’m still mending. Tomorrow, however, I can leave and I won’t have to worry about troubling these people any further. The question is: will they allow it?

For reasons I can’t begin to understand, they want to protect me. So, will they let me leave or will they seek to keep me here. I cannot say and I cannot say that I would mind. I’m tired of running and hiding. They might be the only people since my mother who looked past what I am to see who I am. I dare hope that they are. Maybe – just maybe – I have found a place where I can live and be safe. Provided I am careful of the preacher.

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