The Blood Witch (The Blood Reign Chronicles Book 1)

Free The Blood Witch (The Blood Reign Chronicles Book 1) by D. S. Nielsen

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Authors: D. S. Nielsen
memory of the deceased as they watched the barge burn, until it had burned out completely and was buried in the waters of the lake. In the end, the life-giving waters of the lake would take back what it had given. That was the proper burial rites.
    Given the circumstances at the moment, Jak didn’t have the means or time to do that with each and all the bodies they had to dispose of now. They would have to just make funeral pyres and burn all the bodies together.
    Well, on second though, they might need two or three pyres to accommodate all the bodies. It would be too difficult and time consuming to drag all the bodies to one location. They would make one fire here, one near Brigette’s parent’s house, and one over near the Kollsvein’s place.
    Jak began gathering some wood and pitch and set out to prepare the pyres. Then one by, one he dragged the bodies of his family and laid them in the flames. It was strange, but moving and handling the bodies was much easier than he thought it would be. Either he was stronger than he remembered or the bodies were lighter than they should be. However, it still didn’t make the task of disposing of his family members any less painful.
    He tried to be as gentle as he could mange with the bodies of his loved ones. Showing as much respect as the circumstances allowed. Once he collected the bodies of all his family and placed them on the fire, he piled more wood, straw, and pitch on to the fire to make it burn hotly, since it needed to consume them completely.
    Jak stood there for a long moment watching the flames dance and reach towards the sky. He felt a profound sense of loneliness as he watched the fire burn. This was it; he and Gin were all alone now. There was no one left alive but them, but he felt an odd sense of relief, of all things as well.
    Gin stepped a little closer to the roaring fire and was holding something in her tiny hands, which Jak noticed was her favorite doll. Mother had made the doll for her when Gin was only three years old. Gin would always carry it with her wherever she went, and couldn’t go to sleep at night without it next to her. She also held a folded piece of paper, which Jak knew was a picture she had drawn for mother just last year. Their mother had been so pleased when Gin had given it to her, and treasured that picture so much she had put it on the wall over her and father’s bed.
    “Mommy,” Gin began to speak softly as tears leaked from her blue eyes, “you made Ali for me when I was a little girl. She has protected me and kept me safe all this time. Whenever I got scared, I would hold her tight and she would make it all better. I know you are probably scared now too because you have to go away. I will send her with you so you won’t be scared.”
    With those words, Gin tossed the doll, and the drawing into the fire to land on top of her mother’s body, to be consumed by the flames. After a moment longer Gin said, “It’s your turn Jak,”
    Jak hesitated, feeling a little more than guilty after what he had done to his mother, he wasn’t sure he could manage with this makeshift ceremony. Instead he decided to say a few words on behalf of his father.
    First Jak needed to get something, so he went inside their house, emerging a few moments later carrying a small box, which he had retrieved from his father’s dresser. Inside this wooden box was the place where his father kept some of the things he treasured most. There was nothing of real value in the box to anyone except his father. The box contained various small items such as, locks of hair from his kids, feathers and stones that Jak had found in the mountains and given to his father, along with various mementos that held sentimental value only to their father.
    Jak stepped forward and tears began to well up in his eyes. “Father,” he said hoarsely choking back tears, “you taught me everything I know. You were always there for me when I needed you. I owe who I am to you.” Jak

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