The Abduction of Baby Ezra
Before anyone could say, “Horse drawn carriage,” Acacia had disappeared with baby Ezra. Cassandra’s husband, John Charlton, made a feeble attempt to try and get Cassandra to reveal where Acacia may have taken the baby, but he was to absorbed with his sorrow at the loss of baby Edmund. Sadly, he often numbed the disappointments of life by swilling alcoholic beverages. Also, like many men of that time, he left the care of children to the women and Cassandra had convinced him that Acacia was going to raise Ezra away from the house, like at a boarding school. Cassandra also knew how to make her man miserable and she allowed John to feel the full heat of her displeasure if he interfered with her decisions. This was the beginning of a series of decisions to ignore or pretend that all was well. Cassandra of course knew better, but such was the persuasive power of Acacia over Cassandra that it became very grim for the little infant Ezra. The young boy was thought by Cassandra to be a cursed child who may have the power to steal the breath of any additional babies that might be born to her and John, so in her heart she did not care to see him at all. Dreadful, I know.
As the years passed slowly in the little village of Gladstone, Ezra did the best he could to survive the cold care of the possessed and paranoid Acacia. She would only feed him roots from the forest plants, water, and she forced him to drink a nasty concoction that she brewed up from fish scales, pond water, and old potatoes. This was hardly survival food so when he knew that Acacia would be gone for a bit, he would use his handy fashioned extension arm to knock Acacia’s bread from the table, gobble it up and pretend to be none the wiser when she returned. Oh, by the way, Acacia kept him locked in a twig and twine cage that she had made with her hands. This was indeed the stark reality of Ezra’s young life. It was as if an evil spirit had so warped the mind of Acacia and his birth mother that he was trapped. Trapped in a sick and twisted figment of someone else’s imagination.
Please note that until Ezra was four, he had never even met his real mother! His father seemed to have forgotten him too. By the time Ezra was six years old, his real parents had welcomed three more children into the family. Sheridan, Eliza, and Maribeth Charlton. After the visit that Cassandra paid to Acacia’s home when Ezra was 4, Acacia told Ezra that Cassandra was his birth mother, but that she had given him to her in order to consecrate him for a higher purpose. He was to be a sort of medicine man raised in her tutelage. She began to include Ezra in her rituals when he was only three. She would bring live critters such as frogs, snails, and salamanders to the table. She would encourage Ezra to bite these creatures. When he would not cooperate she would chant strange, guttural things and then she would grab a knife, chop the poor creature in half and smear the blood of the slain all over him. Ezra hated these rituals and tried his best to fabricate wonderful reasons to dismiss himself when he felt that she was working herself into one of her frenzies.
Years passed and Ezra grew healthy and tall by seeking every possible means of nourishment. Berries, birds, insects. By the time Ezra was about eight he became aware that Acacia had somewhere to go where she would speak to and enjoy other people. He became extremely curious about these people, the village that she occasionally described. You see, Acacia thought she had sufficiently tamped down his human spirit and independent reasoning. Wicked people always seek to isolate those that they mistreat because deep inside they know they must hide their works from others. They prefer that nosy meddlers do not interfere with their plans so they try to brainwash the person that they wish to keep control of. Acacia did not figure into her schemes that a plan and a purpose had been laid for Ezra long before his mother and father chose to abandon him to her wickedness. Just as Acacia kept her deeds shielded from the world, Ezra also had an internal compass that told him that things were not right.