The Curse of Green City

For weeks, the lone figure stood outside the walls of the city, ignoring the titters and belly laughs from citizens and visitors. As months passed and the weather changed, the figure stood in the rain, the heat, the snow, staring up at the tall tower that housed the person that destroyed everything they ever knew.

Their clothes shrank as they grew taller, seemed bigger as their figure shrank. They endured years of hunger and dehydration, somehow surviving on the rage they felt inside.

A “curious” bard rode up to the figure on horseback, looking down on them with a smug grin.

“Why do you stand so?” the bard asked, looking the figure up and down, a laugh waiting in their throat for the answer they thought they were going to get.

The figure slowly moved their eyes from the tall tower to the bard, the bard’s laugh slinking back into their belly, dying in the acid. The figure stared deep into the bard’s dark eyes. Old, deep scars littered the figure’s face while fresh-looking burn marks danced along the rest of their weather-beaten, umber skin. Their hair that reached towards the sky was littered with snakes that moved up and down the figures body. A broken crown made of woven lapis dangled on their forehead. The bard finally noticed that the whites of the figure’s eyes were actually worms.

The figure held eye contact with the bard as they reached into their baggy clothes, taking their time as they dug around, making sure the bard stayed uncomfortable. As the bard swallowed back bile, the figure pulled out the head of an infant.

The bard turned away and threw up before riding off.

Whispers pitter-pattered around the city like the rain that fell onto their roofs that night, as the bard’s story of the zombie with the baby head flooded the homes of the people that lived there.

The rain didn’t let up, getting violently worse as the days went on.

On the two-year anniversary of that figure showing up, rain poured from the sky in barrels, the wind swayed the stone homes inside the castle walls, the tower that the figure watched for 730 days started to crumble.

Lightning started to dance around the figure, the patterns and pulses breathing life back into the figure. Their frail skin started to soak up the rain, that umber skin shining like gold. The scars started to bleed and the burn marks were ablaze as the figure let out a scream full of desperation and pain, clutching the child’s face to their chest. They fell to their knees, their scream continuing as the lightning seemed to hold hands as it continued to dance around the figure.

The lightning hummed and sang in harmony with the figure’s wailing agony before jumping into the figure’s mouth, a resounding CRACK pushing through the air, shaking the earth beneath the city’s feet.

The city was eerily quiet, the rain now just white noise to the loud boom they all heard. As citizens started to peek out of their windows, a wave of screams started from the gates as fire started to melt the steel bars as well as the stone walls.

The figure still stood outside the walls, their being aglow with a blue-white light, the bodyless infant suckling at their chest, eyes still on the tower. Human-like beings sprang in front of the figure, made from the rage and fire of years of resentment and repression that littered the lands that went into make the city, rushed through the hole in the city walls, jumping on anything and anyone. As the fires made their way through the city, they ended up creating a path for the figure to walk through.

After each step the glowing figure took, nature sprouted, spreading out and choking everything it touched with greenery. As the city burned and turned into jungle, those in the tower struggled to escape, each hidden pathway blocked by wads of vines. As they made their way to the top of the crumbling tower, the figure was already there to greet them.

Flowers and vines poked through the art of the figureheads that ruled this city over the centuries, poked through old uniforms, ruined weaponry.

The figure was no longer a shining beacon of compressed rage. They stood there as an ancient in front of the modern, a judgmental sneer on their lips, eyes throwing daggers at each person, the sharp stare cutting egos and stopping bloodlines. They locked eyes with the bard once more and squinted. They took a deep breath, understood and rushed out of the castle, taking the threat and news with them.

As the modern figureheads tried to leave, they were sandwiched between a wall of leaves and a wall of booming, hysterical laughter. The room started to get bright, the figureheads covering their ears and closing their eyes as the bright and laughter became too much to handle. The laughter drowned out their screams as blood pooled out of their eyes and ears.

The bard raced their horse through the green city, the high-pitched screaming of the banshee in the castle making their ears ring and upset their horse. As the bard tried to sooth the beast as they rode, a loud SNAP rang through the air followed by another large BOOM from what felt like hours ago.

As the tall tower shrank in on itself, a warm rush of wind spread throughout the city before an explosion came from the tower. Bricks and stone rained from the sky, the ripple from the explosion started a domino effect of lesser towers and large homes toppling into one another.

The bard barely escaped the city walls, the watch towers and apartments that stood in front of and near the gates collapsed as they rode out, plugging the hole so no one could ever enter the city again.

The bard didn’t look back, terrified that if they did, they would see the passenger and their child sitting behind them.

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