There once lived a girl who was living very happily in a small town called Toren. It was a nice, peaceful town, where Anna had many good friends who loved her. She worked hard and loved the friendship she had with everyone. She cared for everyone and because of her knowledge, she often recommended remedies to the sick. She did lots to help where she could and people were very grateful.
One day, someone new moved into town and everything changed. The new family, Laurens, started talking to everyone and all of a sudden Anna was not as loved by everyone. The Laurens family had money and were not very hard working. They loved to gossip and spread rumours about people. What Anna did not know was that the Mother of the family had been jealous of Anna's good and hard working nature, so one day she spread a rumour that turned all her friends against her and alienate her from everyone.
Anna found herself working more and more, and with no one wanting to talk to her or be with her anymore. She started to retreat into herself and start hiding away at home, reading her book and dreaming herself away.
One day, a couple of her remaining friends came to visit her and ask her how she was doing. Anna looked tired and it looked like she had not been sleeping too well, but she still invited them in and pretended like nothing was wrong at all. They tried to ask her over and over, and every time they did, she just denied it, and told them she was doing fine and changed the subject.
Every morning she went to work and every morning people would look and frown at her and whisper. She could clearly hear her name spoken by several people. She worked in the library and the Master Librarian was a kind and humble man. He understood that she needed work and that she was hard working. So he let her continue to work there, even though the library got a lot less visitors because of it.
One morning, Anna did not show up for work. John, the Master Librarian, was worried something might have happened to her and went to look for her friends. Every person he talked to told him that they did not want anything to do with her and he got more and more upset for poor Anna. She was very clearly lacking in friends even though she had such a kind heart. In the end, he found and talked to some of the friends she still had and they went up to her house, just outside of town, up on a little hill.
They found Anna asleep and very weak. She'd clearly not been eating and had large dark circles under her eyes. It looked like she'd been crying a lot as well. Her bed was soaked and her pillow was not much better off. John told them to take care of her and make sure she was fed. He could not stay, though they could see in his eyes that he was very worried.
As soon as he left the house, the two friends that had joined him to the house started to tidy and clean a little while they allowed a very tired Anna to continue sleeping. They made something to eat once they finished cleaning and tried to wake Anna up. She woke up very slowly and could barely move. Her lips her dry, her skin cracking and her hair was a matted mess. They patiently fed her a little bit of warm soup to get her strength up, before slowly helping her up and over to give her a bath.
After the bath, she told them of how lonely she was, now that all her friends had abandoned her and how everywhere she went, people whispered and frowned at her. She had gotten so depressed that she did not feel like eating or taking care of herself or the house. Her friends gently cried for her sorrow when she told them that she could not take it anymore. They tried to console her and say they were going to be there for her as well as talk to their friends.
A few days later, Anna started to get more strength in her, though she still had not left the house. She was scared of the townsfolk and her previous friends. She did not know if she could face them after all that she had been through. The one friend came up to the house and informed them that they had been talking to the people and asked around. It seemed that the Laurens family had spread horrible rumours, that Anna was sleeping around, did not shower and more. The more the friend told, the worse the rumours became. They were devastated that someone could spread such horrible things about her. To someone that used to be so loved and cared about everyone.
Anna slowly started to stand back up on her feet and was getting stronger and stronger everyday. She was not crying or having nightmares that would wake her up screaming at night, anymore. Slowly for each day, she would walk around more and looked more lively again, as her two friends had practically moved in with her to help her recover.
One morning, Jenna, came running in the door. She told them that there was a new rumour going around town that Anna was a witch and was performing rituals and that was why she had not been seen around town anymore. They told Anna that she had to move out and leave town before nightfall. Apparently, there was a mob coming to meet her that night, and they were likely to burn her as a witch.
Anna stood her ground, now feeling a lot stronger and more confident. She told her friends to leave and that she found confront the mob, her family, friends and good townsfolk that she had known. She wanted to meet them head on and talk to them. After eating and talking about the good old days, when everything was nice and people lived peacefully, her two best friends left and told her that they would be there to watch and help if need be. Anna thanked them, but told them not to interfere in case the townsfolk turned on them as well.
That night, the light could be seen from her kitchen window, as the mob slowly moved up to her house. When they were closer to her little house, she went out to greet the mob. They all stood around looking at her nervously with pitchforks and torches in hand. She asked the crowd what it was they wanted. They responded that she was a witch and that they were there to put a stop to the wicked rituals she was performing. She laughed and told them that she was not a witch and what made them think that she was a witch. People looked at each other before someone, she recognised as Louise spoke up. He told her that, when she stopped coming to town, the crops had started to go bad, so she must have done something to them.
Several people could be seen nodding in agreement. A woman spoke up next, saying that her son had fallen ill as well and had only gotten worse since she disappeared. Anna sighed, she asked the woman what he was sick with. She replied that he was burning up and could not keep his food down. Anna then told her what she should do to help her son and what she could use. Some of the people started whispering. Some of the louder ones could be heard calling her a witch again.
Anna looked disapprovingly at everyone. She then asked, why they were calling her a witch, now. Louis spoke up again, and told her that only a witch could know what to do, and that it was clearly her that must have placed the illness on the poor boy. She then sighed again, and asked the townsfolk, why she would ever do such a thing. Why would she do something so bad as to make people ill, and make the crops bad? Why would she hurt the town that she loved and had cared for?
Everyone started whispering and several lowered there pitchforks and had a sad look in their eyes. She could see her two friends off to the side of the crowd, smiling at her, until a loud booming voice could be heard, the voice was moving towards her as he spoke. It was Mr. Laurens himself. He called her a witch, saying that she was deceiving them and trying to charm them all to make her look like a good person. He called her evil and was sprouting off things that she took to be some of the rumours spread about her. He came all the way up until he was face to face with her.
He called out that she had to be dealt with before things got any worse. He looked confident and he certainly sounded very confident, until he looked around at the townsfolk. Everyone was talking among themselves and many shaking their heads. Suddenly they started to loose faith in those rumours and started to apologise to Anna and looking a little angry at Mr. Laurens. His smile started to fade as he looked around. He turned to look back at Anna, who was now smiling and looking happier than she had in a long time. Her two friends started walking up to her.
Before they got to her, Mr. Laurens had taken a knife out and was now threatening Anna. Telling her to stop controlling people. He looked angry and delirious as he waved the thing around. Jenna was already up behind Mr. Laurens as he started waving the knife. unaware, he stabbed Jenna and her eyes went wide as she looked down to the knife lodged between her chest. She looked back up at Anna, and smiled before apologising and fell to the ground. Mr. Laurens looked shocked while Anna and Nora ran to Jenna and held her, crying their hearts out.
The townsfolk looked very upset at what had just happened. They'd seen how he had just stabbed the girl and they were now starting to make their way up to him, pitchforks at the ready. Mr. Laurens looked around furiously at what he could do to escape. He took hold of Anna and held the blade, still dripping of blood, close to Anna's throat. She looked terrified and there was something else. Anger. Anna was furious at Mr. Laurens. He had just killed her friend, that had taken care of her and been there for her when on one else had.
She steeled herself before elbowing Mr. Laurens in the gut and the knife fell to the ground. She pushed, kicked and pushed with all the fury she could muster at him. He kept retreating backwards with every advance that Anna made. After one final kick that connected with is side, he fell over and hit his head on a rock. Finally Anna relaxed and since she still was not fully recovered yet, she fell to the ground as well. Nora came running over and smiled at Anna. She kissed her forehead and tried to help her up, since Anna looked pained. Anna told her to relax and let her be, she'd get herself inside without much help and to go take care of Jenna, though there was something in her eyes. Nora could not tell what it was as she slowly got up and left to take Jenna's bleeding body away. Apparently, Jenna was still alive. The knife had missed her heart by very little. But she was bleeding and needed care straight away.
After Jenna was taken to town and looked after, several people came over to Anna and asked if she was okay, since she was just laying there. She told them she was alright and just needed a rest. She then proceeded to tell them to take Mr. Laurens away. He was likely to have a very bad headache and a large bump on his head. A few of the guys, spat on him before taking him to town and letting Anna lay there alone. Once everyone was gone, Anna shed a tear and sighed before closing her eyes and smiling.
A few hours later, Nora came back to see how Anna was fairing. As she came up to the house, she could she that Anna was still on the ground. She was smiling and looked to be asleep, though she did not seem to be breathing. Nora panicked and ran the last little bit to her and looked her over. She could not seen anything wrong on the front, until she turned Anna over. The knife that had been dropped, was now lodged into her back. Anna had known she would die. The knife was lodged right into the centre of her back, going right through her spine. Nora cried and hugged Anna. She sat there for several hours before people started to gather, looking for her. Everyone around her were crying, both in guilt and in the love they all felt for Anna, for everything she had down for them.
The next morning, the whole town was gathered around Anna's casket. Everyone was crying, some were praying and some where whispering that they were sorry. Everyone felt guilt for how they had treated her. And so, they slowly lowered the casket and said their farewells to the most loved person in town. She would always be remembered and the town learned a valuable lesson about spreading rumours and acting on them.