Gabrielle sat on the tall wall of the ancient graveyard, her feet hanging down the side of the weathered stone and iron fence, toes skimming the unkempt and overgrown grass. Her sleeveless, knee length white dress stood out in the darkness, the patches of blood that belonged to her and her family splattered the front right down the tattered edges of the lace trim. The moonlight filtered through the clouds and through her own body and on to the mossy gravestones that belonged to those who had long since passed.
She had died many centuries ago when the majority of people in England still lived in scattered farming towns. Raiders had come to Gabrielle’s house demanding payment for keeping them safe. Her family had refused; there was nothing they could pay off the raiders with for it had been a very hard winter. Her mother knew what the raiders would do when they found out that they had no money to pay them with so she forced Gabrielle into the small crawl space underneath the floor in the store room next to the kitchen. The tracks from the tears she had shed that night could still be seen running down her face, but no one had seen her face since the night she had died.
Closing her eyes she forced herself to replay the events that had led to her current position. The raiders had come and demanded their payment. They had shouted and broken things, that Gabrielle remembered most vividly. The sounds of voices both pleading and demanding, ominous sounds leaking though the cracks in the crawl space. She also remembered the dieing screams of her mother. She remembered sitting quietly in her hidey-hole waiting for the sounds of the raiders to disappear into the night so she could tend to her family. Time passed her by but eventually Gabrielle crept over to the broken and bloody bodies of her family. She had lain down with her family, weeping as the warmth seeped from their corpses and the blood ran across the flagstones of the kitchen floor.
It was then she screamed. She screamed and cursed the raiders for all they had done that night. She swore vengeance for her family and for all those who had gone before who could not protect themselves. She swore to protect those who did not have the power to protect themselves.
A hoarse voice had emanated from the dark shadows of the kitchen. It was a raider who had remained behind to forage and pillage clothes and food from her dead family. He rushed forward and grabbed her and slammed her skull against the rough stonewalls. Her scalp split open spilling her own blood down the tattered and dirty remains of her dress. She had scratched and tore at her captor as he drew the silver blade that would slice through her stomach and spill it to the floor. Her life had ended then as she slid into the dark abyss of death.
Shuddering with the memory of what had transpired after her death and awakening she resumed watching the empty graveyard. Something would be happening here soon. Gabrielle felt it; she felt the call of the innocent. Suddenly a raven-haired boy emerged from behind a cracked tombstone. A man in shadow followed him intently, but quietly. If the boy did not hurry he would suffer by the silent man as she had suffered. But she would save him, as she had saved so many others since her return.
She concentrated and focused her power on creating the distraction necessary to save the life of the boy. When she was ready she rose and stood proud on the top of the stone fence the moonlight filtering through and highlighting her in the gloom. The opened her wraith-like mouth and screamed, pouring in to it all the defiance, fierceness, agony, despair and horror that she could. The boy and his pursuer froze in place before running off in different directions as her scream echoed out into the night. Gabrielle turned, her job here was done for now. But there were so many others to care for, so many of the descendants from her village that were in trouble. But for tonight her task was complete. The boy had heard her plea, her cry. The cry of a banshee.