Valla trudged through the forest. Her task was to cry, to shatter glass, so that the family in the woods would know that death was coming. By crying the family would have time to prepare for the death of a loved one. But she couldn’t cry. Glass didn’t shatter when she screamed, cried, or made any noise. As a Banshee, Valla was worthless.

Valla trudged toward the farmhouse exploring ways to notify the family. She scrapped her nails on the door, but that scared the children inside. When Valla peeked inside, the grandmother saw her and fainted. Was Valla the cause of the death she was supposed to announce?

Valla tried beating on the glass, but even that didn’t make it shatter. It didn’t even crack. She opened her mouth and screamed. Nope. The glass didn’t budge and the sound was barely a whisper. Turning to leave, a failure once more, Valla nearly tripped over a young child. The child was curious when she should have been afraid. Valla couldn’t even scare a little girl.

The little girl asked, “Are you a banshee? You look like a banshee, what with the tattered clothes and the black makeup.”

Valla nodded, too embarrassed to speak. The black wasn’t makeup. It was the tattooed markings of her rank as a banshee. Valle was a very low ranking banshee so her tattoos were only around her eyes. It probably did look like makeup to the child.

“Shouldn’t you yell to announce death?”

Valla nodded once again.

“Would you like me to yell for you? I yell real good.” To prove her point, the girl screamed.

The glass shattered.

Valla looked at the little girl and smiled. She had found a new banshee. That would get her promoted faster than a scream.

More posts by N. R. Tucker.