Saffron threw the bottle as hard as she could into the thrashing waves. She watched as the bottle bobbed along, pulled back and forth with the ebb and flow of the ocean. She made a silent wish that the bottle wouldn’t end up as another piece of flotsam on the same beach below the pier she stood on now, but instead find someone deserving of it.
Saffron turned and ran up the stone steps, worn to satin smoothness by the procession of centuries of feet and along the cliff side, heading further and further inland, away from the sea.
Creak went the door as Saffron gently pushed her way inside an old house. It was once a grand looking house but weather worn and years of neglect had left its doors and window frames dry, exposed wood, paint cracked and peeling.
Once inside Saffron hurried up the stairs to the first bedroom on the right where an old woman lay asleep on a bed. Her hair splayed about her head on the pillow like a white halo. As Saffron approached the old woman’s eyes flickered. “Is it done?” she asked.
“Yes Aunt Mary, it’s gone.”
“Good girl. Perhaps there’s hope yet.”
Mary gently patted the back of Saffron’s hand. Saffron felt a pang of guilt, her aunt had been very specific that she must take the parchment to the end of the pier and burn it. She was then to scatter the ashes in the sea and watch them drift away. Saffron couldn’t bear to let the parchment and its powers go up in smoke and be gone forever. Instead, she placed it inside an empty bottle with a note and hoped that it would fall into the hands of someone deserving, someone who could save them from the curse it had unleased.