Callista is one of my characters that I’m working to develop, and I thought I might write her backstory. Try not to cry as much as I did.
They left me chained to the wall of the nursery.
How cruel it was, to imprison me in my childhood home? A score of years after it had been razed and my family murdered, as soon as they captured me to return me here. It made me remember things. Being awakened in the middle of the night by a pounding on the door. Mother running into the nursery- I was there, even though I was too old. They wanted a story, and I fell asleep curled around Enda, my littlest sister. She was only four years old. She liked stories about animals- the foxes that lived under the hill, the crickets in the grass. She liked butterflies with purple and blue wings. That’s what that night’s story had been about.
Mother had gone first to my room. I’d heard the banging and I used the rope to lower myself to the ground, carrying Enda. The others were supposed to follow, and they tried. I was going to catch them if they fell. But no one came. I heard Mother open the door of the nursery, and caught a glimpse of her at the window before they hauled her back. I think Hadren tried to run downstairs and escape that way, but he never came out the door.
And that began our attempts to live outside. They couldn’t find us in the grass, it was too tall and hard to navigate without growing up in it. We did all right, those first few days. It was summer, and we could find food pretty easily. I’d tell my sister stories when she was scared, or whenever she asked about Mother and Father and the others. Saints knew I didn’t want to think about it yet. I had to keep watch always, so the sleep I got was few and far between. I realized that they knew what I was when they set a torch to the field.
It burned that day. I had fallen asleep, and she must have wandered off. When I woke, the world was on fire and Enda was nowhere to be seen. I escaped. She didn’t.
They chained me to the wall of the nursery, where I could see their beds and the toys, all covered with a thick layer of dust. I could see the books I’d read to them, the painting Hadren had done for Enda when she was born. I could see Enda’s dolls, Fedir and Hadren’s wooden swords. Father had carved those for them. I could see where Mother had tried to protect Fedir. It obviously hadn’t been successful.
What would I find if I could walk the rest of the house? Everything was intact, as far as I could tell. Everything but our family. But they’d put me in here, where they knew I’d think. And here, where Mother and Father had tried to hide my power, the enchantments remained untouched- I couldn’t See anything. When I slept I dreamed awful things. More memories. More things to think about. One day I tried to escape- the enchantments only restricted Seer’s magic- but when I reached the door, the Spirits blocked me. I could see the downstairs, the balcony, the railing we all used to slide down, but I was stuck in here. Uncuffed, maybe, but stuck. Stuck with my memories.