Chapter 12:

The Boy, The Witch, and The Wasteland of Memories

The Devil, The Witch, and The Wicked World of Delirith


Sometime ago in exiled Delirith, somewhere in the barren lands of Wayfire Wasteland, a witch stood near a cliff's edge, ever so still as the arid wind brushed through her waist-long blonde hair. Under her grey iron crow-mask the witch gazed at the scenery below, arms all crossed and eyes ever moving in search of her target of that day.Bookmark here

The witch's cool silent gaze was interrupted however as panting sounds were suddenly heard from her behind. Moments later, an exhausted little boy arrived at the scene, wearing a bag almost as large as his own body.Bookmark here

"Mama- *pant* *pant* -I'm tired, hungry- *pant* -thirsty-" the boy spoke between pants before he collapsed in exhaustion.Bookmark here

[ MAKO ]
5 year-old boy. Not a witch yetBookmark here

The witch shook her head in disapproval seeing the boy lying on the ground, fainted. Bookmark here

Right at that moment, a lizard crawled by the witch's feet. She instantly stomped the lizard killing it, picked it up, and tossed it to her fainted son. Mako suddenly jumped up and grabbed the dead lizard with his mouth, gobbling down the creature and sipping every last drop of its blood.Bookmark here

"Phuah! Thanks ma! I feel energized now!"Bookmark here

The witch nodded and gestured to her son. Mako quickly attended, pulling out a foldable heavy sniper rifle from the bag and passed it to the witch. He stood in front of the witch who used her son's shoulder as a mounting stand for the sniper rifle. She ordered her son to move a few steps left, until she finally got a clear sight of her target through the scope.Bookmark here

It was an escort for a cargo van; surrounded by bikers, and led by two modified pickups. The partakers of the escort were none other than the wicked Skull Clan themselves.Bookmark here

“Can’t wait to finish delivering this one. I’m getting sick of bumpy roads and this barenned-ass place," the cargo van driver spoke.Bookmark here

"They don't call this place a wasteland for nothing," his partner sitting beside him replied. "But yeah, we could've finished sooner if not for that damned witch always sabotaging our mission."Bookmark here

"Speaking of the witch, haven't seen her around for a while. She's been slacking off or something?"Bookmark here

“I'd be damn grateful if she does. Imagine how screwed up we'd be if this van exploded suddenly cuz she sniped us with an explosive round or something, haha!" the two of them laughed.Bookmark here

Right after, the caravan exploded, sniped by the witch with an "enchanted" bullet shot right at its exhaust. The van went flying across the air. In panic, the skullies stopped and took cover from their hidden adversary. Bookmark here

Moment's later, both modified pickups got sniped and exploded as well. The remaining skullies managed to pinpoint the direction from where the bullets were coming from and opened fire at the hill where the witch and Mako stood. Bookmark here

The witch quickly pulled down her son as they both took cover from the rain of bullets. Some of the skullies rode to the hill to kill the witch up close, but they were intercepted suddenly as the witch charged straight towards them on her rocket-powered silver hoverbike, the Silverbolt. Mako clung on her back throughout the ride.Bookmark here

The skullies opened fire at the mother and son, but they were caught off guard when multiple other Silverbolts and its mother-son riders appeared into the scene as well, speeding straight towards them. Bookmark here

They were holo-clones (hologramic clones) of the witch and her ride. The skullies quickly learnt of this as a single bullet hitting any spot immediately shattered the holo-clones like glass. Despite its fragileness, the holo-clones that did not get shot down in time crashed on the skullies hard. To put into perspective, imagine throwing a glass table with the same weight as a motorbike at 200 miles per hour. Skullies that got hit by this were mostly killed or greatly maimed.Bookmark here

Ramming after ramming, the remaining skullies left standing hid behind the flipped pickup. Right at this moment, the real Silverbolt made its appearance and jumped right above them. A ticking bomb was dropped during the hoverbike's airtime right in the middle of the skullies. Bookmark here

*Pchyoooom!*Bookmark here

Unable to react in time, the skullies were reduced to literal skeletons as the ion-bomb disintegrated their flesh.Bookmark here

The witch stopped her Silverbolt and got down from her bike. She opened her crow-mask revealing her slightly scarred yet beauteous face.Bookmark here

[ MIRIAM, WITCH OF THE WASTELAND ]
Wanderer of the Wicked WorldBookmark here

Miriam approached the cargo van a few feet away with Mako catching up from behind. The locked iron door of the cargo was blasted open with a sticky bomb, and inside awaited a huge wooden crate. The witch pried open the crate with a crowbar revealing the item kept inside it, which turned out to be no bigger than a microwave and WAY smaller than the crate itself. Yet, the item glowed in great power, pulsing electric-like energy in and out of its body. Bookmark here

The item was none other than the powerful Delirnium ore. Bookmark here

Miriam smiled, having found the very thing she hoped to find. She picked it up and stuffed it into Silverbolt's storage before riding off from the scene with her son.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

“You’ve been hunting this kind of stuff all year round, witchy,” a shaman garbed elderly woman commented, inspecting the Delirnium ore brought to her by Miriam. Bookmark here

“Believe me, the world’s better without it,” Miriam replied.Bookmark here

The elderly picked up the ore and placed it inside a lone iron drawer on the iron wall behind her. Closing the drawer shut, she twisted its handle and a light bulb above it glowed red. Bookmark here

“[WARNING:INITIATING CONTROLLED DEMOLITION. DO NOT OPEN DRAWER WHILE DEMOLITION IS IN PROGRESS.]” a robotic voice announced from the speaker beside the red light bulb.Bookmark here

Right after, several muffled booms were heard from behind the iron wall. Silence followed for a few seconds before another announcement was made by the robotic voice:-

Bookmark here

“[CONTROLLED DEMOLITION COMPLETE. THANK YOU AND HAVE A NICE DAY.]”Bookmark here

The elderly woman twisted the drawer handle back and pulled it open. The Delirnium ore was no more and all that’s left were smokey grey ashes.Bookmark here

“That would be 55 scraps-”Bookmark here

[ MERISKA, ARTIFACT DEMOLIONIST ]
Paid to Destroy!Bookmark here

“-and a gun or two for my collection.”Bookmark here

“You can have this whole thing, Ms Meriska. I’m not an SMG fan.” Miriam placed a belt-fed SMG on the counter much to Meriska’s disgust..Bookmark here

“Get that new age crap away from my counter, lass! Y’know how much I hate these modern-looking guns!”Bookmark here

“All power, no aesthetic,” both Meriska and Miriam said at the same time, the latter quoting it in a mocking manner. Bookmark here

“Yeah yeah, I get it. You’re still stuck in the pioneer’s days,” Miriam teased the elderly. “But for real, I ain’t got guns to pay you with so, sorry for that I guess.”Bookmark here

“Naah, I’m joking about the second payment,” Meriska replied. “What am I supposed to do if my customers can’t pay? Recreate the stuff they sent to me to destroy?”Bookmark here

“Or shove them inside the blast room. I don’t know- that’s what you threatened me the first time we met.” Bookmark here

“Hoho! You know me very well, Miriam!”Bookmark here

The two women giggled, enjoying each other’s company. Meanwhile, Mako was seen sitting on a lounge chair not far away from the store counter, reading a thick leather bound book. Great focus and determination was exhibited by the boy in which Meriska found it rather amusing.Bookmark here

“Boy’s hardworking eh? I see him reading that bullet-crafting manual of yours since y’all entered,” Meriska commented.Bookmark here

Miriam turned to Mako and sure enough, the boy’s eyes were still fixed on the book’s pages.Bookmark here

“Seeing me doing all that cool badass shit made him eager to become a witch like me. Though honestly, I’d rather have him be like his father…”Bookmark here

“His father? The Devil of Darkota? The man who got himself killed while his wife’s in labour?-”Bookmark here

“Watch your mouth, Meri! I don’t care how old you are but you don’t get to talk shit about Lucius like that!”Bookmark here

“Woah woah. No offence intended, lass-” Meriska raised both her arms up- “what I’m trying to say is, the boy grew up with his mother throughout his whole life. You can tell any epic stories about his dead father to him, but he’ll always look up to you because he’s there when it happened.”Bookmark here

“He might hear many tales of The Devil, but he’s there to witness the great Witch herself.”Bookmark here

Miriam grew silent after hearing the elderly’s comment. She had never thought about it that way and perhaps Meriska was right. Like it or not, Mako wanted to become a witch like her mother. Bookmark here

Hence, it’s up to her to pass down all the knowledge and teachings of Delirithian Witchcraft to the boy. Knowledge such as bomb-making, basic gunsmithing, shooting, potion brewing, bike riding, and etc.Bookmark here

With that in mind, an idea popped up inside Miriam’s head. Bookmark here

“Hey Mako, we’re leaving now. Say goodbye and thank you to Ms Meriska,” Miriam ordered her son.Bookmark here

Obediently, Mako put back his book into the backpack, bowed and thanked the elderly demolitionist, and left “Meriska’s Destruction: Get Rid of Unwanted Crap Here” store together with his mother.Bookmark here

Outside, the two find themselves inside a typical Delirithian town somewhere in Wayfire Wasteland; a commune known as Burntown. Once ruled by a cruel iron-clawed bandit leader, the town was liberated by “a Devil and a Witch’' , a.k.a Mako’s parents; Lucius the Devil of Darkota, and Miriam the Witch of the Wasteland.Bookmark here

Because of this, Miriam and her family became sort of a celebrity for the place, respected greatly for being the ‘liberators’. But respect as it may, they still have to pay for stuff and be treated like normal dwellers there because by the end of the day, bandit leaders come and go. Bookmark here

“Where are we heading now mama?” Mako asked, walking down the flight of stairs while holding his mother’s hand.Bookmark here

“We can head home later. First, I got a special treat for ya!”Bookmark here

“A treat!? Ooh ooh! Are we getting ice-cream? Or spider-candy!?”Bookmark here

“Oh hell no! We ain’t buying that.” Bookmark here

Mako looked down in disappointment.Bookmark here

“But I guarantee ya, you’re going to love me for this.” Miriam smiled, stopping in front of a gunsmith workshop that had a long history with her family.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

*Bang!* *Ptew!* Bookmark here

-Chu-chuk!-Bookmark here

*Bom!* *Bom!*Bookmark here

Four tin cans flew a few feet back, nearly ripped in half after being fired at skilfully in rapid succession. Mako unloaded the shells from his sawn-off double barrel shotgun before loading a new one.Bookmark here

“I should’ve given you a gun sooner Mako. You’re a natural at this,” Miriam complimented. Mako was greatly delighted to hear that.Bookmark here

A month or two had passed since Miriam bought the shotgun for Mako, deemed as "Boomthorn" by the boy in which he had shown great progress of his shooting skills with it. Mako had already been helping his mother in bomb making and bike fixing since he started walking, thus combining those experiences with his progressing shooting skills meant that he was well on his way in becoming a great witch like his mother.Bookmark here

The mother-son duo ventured the wasteland for the following weeks to come. From winning a small shootout to escaping a whole army of bandits, from hunting a razeling to raiding a whole camp for food, from doing simple fetch quests to liberating a whole commune from a cruel badass leader, Mako's skills of becoming a which grew as he gained more and more experiences with his mother.Bookmark here

Despite all that though, the little apprentice still had a long way to go.Bookmark here

"You've grasped the basics pretty well Mako, but I can't help but feel something's missing from ya…" Miriam rubbed her chin, pondering to herself about her son's issue.Bookmark here

Right at that moment, a herd of camel-eons stampeded right past the mother and son. Clouds of dust kicked to the air much to their displeasure, but an idea struck Miriam’s head.Bookmark here

“Hey Mako, let’s hunt those lizards, whatcha say?”Bookmark here

“Hell yeah!” Mako responded excitedly. Bookmark here

Miriam tossed an object at Mako suddenly as the boy caught it midair. Opening his palm, the object was revealed to be a digital wristwatch. Bookmark here

“You’re driving Silverbolt this time,” Miriam spoke.Bookmark here

“For real?”Bookmark here

“Can’t be a witch if ya can’t fly a broom now, can ya?”Bookmark here

With a huge grin on his face, Mako strapped on the wristwatch, digistructed Silverbolt and got onto the silver-coloured hoverbike. Miriam joined sitting behind him right after. Bookmark here

“Alright Mako, just step on the gas pedal on your right.”Bookmark here

“This one?-” Mako stepped on said pedal and the hoverbike suddenly accelerated onwards at full speed.Bookmark here

“Hell yeah! Now GO! GO! GO!!”Bookmark here

Mako and Miriam chased after the stampede for the whole evening that day. Even though they nearly crashed to a rock, a camel-eon, and even another vehicle dozens of times, the mother-son duo had a blast riding across the sunset and horizon, and even ran over two-three unlucky bandits in the process. Bookmark here

Their hunt ended with a success and they returned to their camp on a cliff with meat in hand. After a hearty dinner of camel-eon steak, all that’s left was a goodnight’s sleep to end the day, or at least for little Mako.Bookmark here

Miriam tucked his son in his sleeping bag and gave him a goodnight’s kiss. With his son fast asleep, Miriam breathed out a sigh of relief and decided to spend the night cleaning their guns and equipment. She started with Mako's shotgun, Boomthorn, and was baffled by its dirtiness upon opening its barrel.Bookmark here

"What the- gatdangit Mako! How many times must I nag you about gun maintenance-" Miriam shook her head in disappointment- "a jammed gun is the last thing you need in battle."Bookmark here

Miriam gave the shotgun a good clean; wiping, lubricating, and all before moving on to other weapons. In the middle of her work though, she felt something tapping her shoulder.Bookmark here

"Mako? Wha'tcha doing still up and running?"Bookmark here

"Can't- *yawn* -I can't sleep mama," Mako replied while rubbing his eyes.Bookmark here

"You say that yet ya look more tired than an undead that wants to die. Come, have a seat on my lap."Bookmark here

Mako sat comfortably on Miriam's lap, resting his neck on his mother's chest. The little boy watched keenly as his mother wiped, screwed and oiled gun after gun under the soothing ambience of the campfire. Bookmark here

"Can I ask mama something?" Mako asked suddenly.Bookmark here

"Hm? Sure, go ahead."Bookmark here

"Pa. How's he like?"Bookmark here

"Really now? All those stories I've told about ya father ain't cutting it?" Miriam responded.Bookmark here

"No I mean- I know he's a strong devil. Like, how he likes to burn his enemies and dance in fire, how he's cunning and charismatic, how ma and pa love to make loud noises every night-"Bookmark here

"Woah there! Where the hell did you get that last part from?"Bookmark here

"Ms Meriska told me! She said ma and pa love to pound each other like two doughs. What does she mean ma? Ma and pa like to wrestle? Who wins when ma and pa wrestle? Can you teach me how to wrestle?-"Bookmark here

"That f***ing hag!" Miriam whispered to herself. "No darling, mama and papa did not wrestle every night and I won't be teaching you that anytime now."Bookmark here

"Aw…." Mako sighed in disappointment. "Anyways, what I wanna ask is, will papa love me- if he's with us right now?"Bookmark here

Mako's question caught Miriam a bit off guard.Bookmark here

"Will he be proud of me for being a witch? Is it okay for me to be one instead of becoming like him…"Bookmark here

"Mako, listen. Your pa loved me with all his heart. When I was labouring you, I got struck by a terrible fever out of nowhere. Because of that, he rode hundreds and hundreds of miles through all kinds of dangers just to find some medicine for me."Bookmark here

"One day came and my fever got worse. I was about to give birth to you at that point just to make things shittier, and if you ask me, I honestly thought I'd die there and then. Your pa found a doctor fortunately and brought me there. The only problem is, we were surrounded by baddies right outside the clinic. So Lucius fought them all off- hundreds of them- all alone while the doctor treated me and assisted my birth."Bookmark here

"Hours passed and we finally got you out and into this world. You were so small back then and your crying's pretty loud it echoed the whole clinic-" Miriam snickered recalling that event- "Perhaps, that was the last thing Lucius heard. When the doctor got out to call pa in, she found him surrounded by piles of dead baddies. Knives, arrows, bullets, all sorts of weapons stuck onto his body, yet pa remained standing- but no longer alive."Bookmark here

Mako grew silent after hearing the story. He knew his father died during his birth, but he never knew how it actually played out.Bookmark here

"Your father died protecting us Mako. Protecting you, so you could come to this world strong and healthy. He won't care if you don't end up like him, cuz he will want you to be better. A better, stronger and braver man. A man that will use all his might to protect those he cares for; his family, his friends, and those he cherishes the most.”Bookmark here

“But most importantly, he’ll want you to be kind and honest. To always help those in need, and not for their gratitude.”Bookmark here

“Hey, isn’t that the same as what you always tell me ma? About being a witch,” Mako pointed out.Bookmark here

“Indeed it is. A witch helps others not for gratitude, but because they need to. It’s this similar ideology that got me and your pa together, Mako. As well as other things..- but yeah, you get my point.”Bookmark here

“I see… Thanks for telling me that ma!” Mako replied, satisfied.Bookmark here

Some time passed and Miriam had finished cleaning all of her weapons. At this point, Mako was slumbering on her lap, resting his head on her chest. Smiling, she tucked Mako back into his sleeping bag and kissed his forehead. The witch lied down beside him and embraced her son as they slumbered throughout the night.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

“Ma..- wak…- up…-” a faint voice was heard by the sleeping witch.Bookmark here

“Ma…- w..- up pleas..-” the faint voice grew louder and louder.Bookmark here

“MAMA! WAKE UP MA! WAKE UP!” Mako shook his mother’s body violently much to her annoyance.Bookmark here

“Yes Mako! I’m up! I’m up!-” With eyes half-opened, Miriam checked the time on her wristwatch and was surprised to see it was still two hours before her usual wake up time.Bookmark here

“The hell- Mako, it’s still too early-”Bookmark here

“I KNOW! BUT BAD GUYS-” it was then Miriam noticed the panicked tone behind his son’s voice- “THEY’RE HERE!”Bookmark here

Miriam quickly got up and got out of their camp on top of a cliff, where she witnessed a convoy of bandits heading their way from the roads below. Bookmark here

The convoy was none other than the wicked Skull Clan, raising their flags and guns up high. The convoy headed straight towards the cliff, and the witch knew immediately that the convoy were going after their heads.Bookmark here

“Pack your things Mako! We’re leaving!” Miriam ordered as her son did as told. Bookmark here

Miriam digistructed Silverbolt and they both quickly got onto it and rode off. Miriam tried to sneak away while there’s still a significant distance between them and the Skull Clan, but she didn’t anticipate being ambushed by scouting skullies who had been waiting under the cliff this whole time. Bookmark here

“THERE SHE IS! DON’T LET HER GET AWAY!” an eyeless-skulled cyborg ordered from his ride beside the leader’s truck. Miriam gunned their way out and the chase was on.Bookmark here

Miriam accelerated the Silverbolt at full speed as dozens of heavily modified vehicles chased right behind. Lighter rides such as hoverbikers and buggies managed to close in on the Silverbolt only to be shot or had acid bombs chugged to their faces.Bookmark here

The vehicles behind opened fire at the Silverbolt with their mounted turrets and armed skullies hanging onto its side and roof. Miriam swerved left and right dodging the bullet but it can’t be helped that one or two grazed right through her skin. At least her son was safe though as Mako was seated in front holding on to the bike’s handles.Bookmark here

Glancing back, Miriam tossed dozens of bombs behind inflicting all kinds of chaos at the pursuing Skull Clan. Some were burnt, others frozen, several few disintegrated and some pulled back and crushed by the intense gravity of a mini-singularity bomb. Bookmark here

Despite all that, the big armoured trucks such as their leader’s- ESPECIALLY their leader’s- rammed through it all and continued the pursuit. Bookmark here

Desperate to escape, Miriam pulled out two mini-thrusters from the backpack strapped on Silverbolt’s side. She leaned and turned to stick a mini-thruster on the hoverbike’s butt and repeated the same for the other side. Synchronizing both thrusters with her watch, a red button displayed on the watch’s screen, ready to activate the thrusters in a single press.Bookmark here

“Hold on tight Mako!” Miriam ordered as the boy complied. Bookmark here

Bracing themselves, Miriam pressed the red button and immediately both thrusters activated. Despite its small size, the mini-thrusters blasted out huge blue flames even bigger than the Silverbolt’s available thruster. Bookmark here

The hoverbike accelerated onwards at incredible speed. Mako and Miriam held on dearly to the handles as they reached near-mach speed. In a blink of an eye, a great distance was made between them and the pursuing Skull Clan.Bookmark here

Seconds passed and the extra acceleration began to subside. The single-use mini thrusters died off and blew away by the wind as it automatically detached itself from the hoverbike. Noticing no skullies anywhere near them, Miriam released a sigh of relief.Bookmark here

“HAH! TAKE THAT SKULLIES!! Maaaan, they really should just give up chasing after us,” Miriam boasted. “There’s no way they could catch up to us!”Bookmark here

“Uhhh… Ma, why aren’t we moving?” Mako asked suddenly.Bookmark here

Just like the boy said, the hoverbike wasn’t moving onwards despite its engine and thruster still running. It was as if something’s dragging them back, which was apparently the case as Miriam noticed a beartrap-like object biting down Silverbolt’s back. The beartrap was attached to meters long chain, and tracking it back led all the way to one of the Skull Clan’s vehicles.Bookmark here

“CRAP! When the hell did it hit us!” Miriam floored the Silverbolt but it refused to budge. The Skull Clan convoy started to close in as sight of them were now seen yards behind the duo. Bookmark here

Desperate, Miriam pulled out a crowbar and pried open the beartrap. The trap released its clench and the Silverbolt immediately took off. Bookmark here

“DON’T LET HER GET AWAY! FIRE MORE CHOMPAS!!” Bookmark here

The skullies shot more of the chained beartrap harpoons from its cannons mounted on their truck. Miriam swiftly dodged all of it, swerving Silverbolt left and right while riding the bike as fast as she could. All of a sudden, a sharp pain struck at the witch’s right shoulder.Bookmark here

“WE GOT HER!!!”Bookmark here

“MA!!!” Mako shouted, horrified to see one of the beartraps biting down his mother’s shoulder. Bookmark here

Miriam tried to pry open the beartrap with her left hand but to no avail. Trying her best to ignore the pain, she reached out her left hand to the bike’s handle only to have it bitten down by yet another chained-beartrap. With the left side of her pulled and nearly facing the skullies behind, Miriam tried to reach for the right handle with her right arm in great pain but to no avail. Bookmark here

The Silverbolt was now stuck in the middle of the road with the Skull Clan convoy approaching them ever closer. Realizing this inevitability, Miriam unstrapped her wristwatch on her right wrist with her mouth.Bookmark here

“Put it on!!” Miriam shouted with the watch held in her mouth. Despite the muffled voice, Mako understood it completely but hesitated at doing it.Bookmark here

“WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR MAKO! PUT IT ON!!!!” Miriam’s muffled shouting grew louder and more desperate. The Skull Clan behind them were ever closer than before. Bookmark here

Mako panically took the watch from Miriam’s mouth and strapped it on his wrist. Immediately after, another chained-beartrap struck the witch’s left shoulder.Bookmark here

“Mama!!” Mako tried to help his mother but was denied quickly.Bookmark here

“Don’t waste your time son! They’ve caught me. Now go! GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HERE!!” Bookmark here

“But I-” Another beartrap struck Miriam’s hips.Bookmark here

“GOOOOO!!!!!” Miriam shouted in great pain.Bookmark here

Panically, Mako floored the gas pedal as Miriam jumped away from the Silverbolt, instantly pulled to the Skull Clan convoy that fired the cruel weapons to her. Bookmark here

Mako was horrified, left helpless to witness her mother literally dragged away from him. He pointlessly reached his arms to his mother who was now yards behind him as the Silverbolt sped onwards. A desperate cry echoed in the wasteland from the little boy, slowly fading away as he disappeared into the horizon. Bookmark here

Seeing her son get away was enough to keep Miriam’s mind in peace. The witch would’ve waved goodbye to him had she not crashed into a truck at who knows how fast, shattering its window before falling face front to the ground below. The whole convoy stopped as everyone got down from their ride and surrounded the witch.Bookmark here

Footsteps after footsteps were heard by Miriam, approaching her ever closer as the witch was too weak to get up. A metallic hand grasped her hair and yanked her upwards, forcing her to face the grabber in great pain.Bookmark here

In that position she witnessed three figures standing near her. All three were cyborg skeletons at the upper half of their bodies, but the one on the left was eyeless, the one on the right had an ‘X’ scar across his face-Bookmark here

But the one in the middle, the one that held her by her hair, stood the tallest among them all. An iron halo was seen on the back of its head. His eyes glowed like a burning purple flame, and his clothing too appeared grander than the rest with its cape and horned shoulder pads. This was the Skull Clan’s highest leader- the one that rules the entirety of the clan.Bookmark here

“There used to be plenty of Delirnium here, but you and your husband had to come and destroy it all…” Bookmark here

The leader’s voice echoed in a most fearsome voice.Bookmark here

“I could’ve ruled everything with all that power! But the Devil and the Witch had to ruin my great ambition… So why witch!? Tell me, what do you gain from blocking my destiny?”Bookmark here

“Heh, can’t help it. We just don’t like the idea of having big bullies ruling shit-” Miriam spat at the leader’s skull-face. The leader wasn’t fazed by it physically but inside, he was certainly pissed off.Bookmark here

The leader threw Miriam to the ground and drew out an empty sword handle, half metal and half bone. With a slight jerk, a wide-long purple energy blade unleashed from the handle, it’s tip split into two like a snake’s tongue. Bookmark here

The leader raised his energy sword up high, and Miriam could do nothing but embrace her death. Closing her eyes, she felt the gush of wind moving downwards right by her side-Bookmark here

*Vyooom!*Bookmark here

Opening her eyes, Miriam witnessed the energy blade struck to the ground beside her instead of the witch herself.Bookmark here

“No… You don’t deserve death. You deserve worse.” Bookmark here

The leader signaled his men as they all circled closer to Miriam.Bookmark here

“Do what you want with her. I’ve got no time dealing with trash…” the leader and the other two cyborg skeletons left the witch to their underlings. Bookmark here

The skullies immediately got their hands to the injured witch, drowning her terrified screams and cries for help as the three leaders walked back to their rides without looking back.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

Two weeks passed since Mako fled the Skull Clan on the Silverbolt. He had been surviving the wasteland alone, hunting and fighting through dangers utilizing everything he had learned throughout his life. Bookmark here

The last scene of his mother greatly haunted the little boy who refused to accept his mother’s parting. Despite what everyone who's heard of the incident said to him, Mako searched for his mother. He held onto every last bit of his hope that his mother was still alive. Bookmark here

To his surprise and delight, Mako spotted a figure from afar lying in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Wayfire Wasteland. He believed it was Miriam.Bookmark here

“MAMA!!!” Mako sped the Silverbolt towards the lying figure. He quickly got down and approached it.Bookmark here

The figure on the ground was a woman alright, lying face front with a huge black sheet covering her naked body. Her hair was waist-long and blonde, and a witch hat was placed right next to her head. Bookmark here

There’s no mistaking it, the figure certainly was Miriam.Bookmark here

“Wake up mama… I miss you so much…” Mako pushed Miriam, flipping her body to face up. The huge sheet covered most of her face so Mako decided to pull it down-Bookmark here

“....”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

Mako covered her face back up with the sheet, horrified by what he had seen. Tears began to flow from Mako’s face, but the boy decided to harden his heart and put a smile on his face.Bookmark here

“Come on mama. I’ll send you to a doctor. He can definitely fix ya!” Mako carried Miriam’s body on his back. Despite the great struggle, he managed to get her on the Silverbolt and immediately rode off.Bookmark here

In the end, Mako did not find any doctors and decided to camp for the night. He cooked some insects and grubs he had collected on the campfire and served it on two bowls: one for him, and the other for his mother, placed on the other side of the campfire in a seating position.Bookmark here

"Come on ma, eat. You always told me to eat more to recover faster," Mako said casually, talking to his mother just like when she's alive.Bookmark here

"I know, my grub cooking is still bad.. But like you once said ma, it's better than nothing, right?-"Bookmark here

‘Miriam’ did not reply.Bookmark here

"Just like you said…. Better than noth…-" Mako smashed his bowl suddenly- "SAY SOMETHING MA! PLEASE!!"Bookmark here

Mako got up and shook Miriam's body. He begged and begged for his mother to speak up, to show him a small sign of life. The boy was in complete denial of his mother's death but eventually, he gave in.Bookmark here

Her wounds, her pale stiff body, the strange smell from her body and her face destroyed beyond recognition proved too much for her to NOT be alive. By the time Mako accepted this, he completely broke down in tears, spending the whole night wailing hysterically under his mother's body.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

Next day passed and Mako just finished giving his mother a proper burial somewhere on a cliff under a lone tree. Staking down a wooden cross marked the end of the burial as a proper grave was enacted for The Witch of The Wasteland. Bookmark here

Facing down the grave, Mako was left with one more conflict. Held dearly in his hand was his mother's black-leather "witch" hat. The boy wasn't sure whether to leave it on the grave or keep it with him. Either way, both decisions will honour his mother.Bookmark here

"I will become the best witch there is! This is for you mama…" Mako whispered to himself, deciding to wear his mother's witch hat proudly. Bookmark here

The hat was a bit too big for the little boy hence it tilted slightly sideways. Mako adjusted the hat only for it to tilt to the other side. Bookmark here

Mako sighed and went back to the Silverbolt wearing the tilted hat. All of a sudden, Mako felt someone adjusting the hat for him which fitted the boy perfectly. He turned around and saw no one behind but his mother's grave and the lone tree. Mako decided to shrug off what just happened and rode off from the scene. Bookmark here

Unseen by the boy, Miriam's soul stood on her grave. She waved goodbye to her son, wishing him all the best as the boy was now on his way to become the greatest witch there is.Bookmark here

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