Revenge

This was originally a prompt on Tumblr. Prompt: With this spell, the more he drinks, the thirstier he will be. Finally, you have your revenge.

Revenge

It happened a long time ago. The world was a brighter place back then and I had been happily ignorant of some of the things people could do. Magic was something that belonged in fairy tales and fantasy; witches and wizards had been poor, unfortunate souls who had been unpopular in an age of misunderstanding.

He had introduced me to something more. At first, it had been exciting. In fact, it had been romantic. We spent decades together, doing nothing more than what we considered right, helping those who needed and deserved good health, money or whatever else we could provide via magical means. Our children received the greatest gift we had to offer: abnormally long lives. They, too, became like us.

I have no idea what changed within him, or exactly when he changed, but I do know one thing: it is tiresome to live for hundreds of years. We had to look after ourselves very well. Neither of us were immortal and we were both fully aware of that. I have to watch my back all the time now, because he’s no longer the man he once was.

I’m thankful that he taught me a lot, but I’ve been suspicious for a while now that he didn’t teach me everything. It may have happened a long time ago, but the death of our eldest son is still clear in my mind. His father had been trying to kill me, but I’d taken to wearing powerful symbols of protection and so he went after someone close to me in the hope that it would draw me out into the open. Our son never wanted us to fight; he had always believed his father would change. He had been wrong.

I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve spent looking for some weakness in his protective symbols and enchantments. We’ve both had those moments when we thought we were victorious – and when we thought we’d been defeated. Now I think, at last, that I’ve found a way to end our feud.

The spell I’m using isn’t a difficult one but it is rather old. I’ve been searching for a way to get my revenge for so long that I know weapons and poison are useless; I know that if I truly want to make him pay for what he’s done, I have to be patient. I’ve been over everything I know. I’ve sought help and advice from those I know I can trust. Using magic in this way is frowned upon, so I’ve had to tread carefully. At last, I’ve found something I believe will work. He won’t know he’s dying until it’s too late.

His protection was the hardest thing to overcome. Perhaps, after all the time I spent with him, loving him, I didn’t want to find a way to harm him; sometimes I wonder if he feels the same. Nonetheless, I know it must be done.

Without first breaking down the strong defences he’s established, any spell would be useless. I searched for many years to find a way to weaken him, but I think I’ve always known what it would cost. I have to sacrifice something dear to me to get my revenge. I’m tired, though. I’m ready.

Which brings me to where I am today. I’ve lost the greatest gift I ever had to offer; I’m dying. It gives me great pleasure to know that none of this is in vain: he, too, is dying now. I’m not sure whether he recognises this yet, but my spell is going to kill him. Every time he drinks, he will become thirstier and thirstier – and by the time that he realises what I’ve done, there will be nothing he can do about it.

Revenge is sweet. The cost is more than worth it.

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Darkest Passions

I must admit, I do not know
Whether it is the eerie glow
That makes your secrets interest me
Or if it’s something I can’t see.
But always, you have filled my mind
With sense of power over mankind:
It helped me through on solemn days
(And in some more erotic ways)
To ponder evil over good;
I feel more curious than I should.
The elusive secrets of your magic
Could turn into something tragic:
Why then, do you lure me in?
Today I count another sin.


A response to Mara Eastern’s Poetry 101 Rehab: Dark.

May 14 – Write What You Don’t Know

Today’s prompt for Story a Day’s May challenge is to spend 15 minutes researching something on Wikipedia then write about it. You can read the full prompt here.

The subject I chose: the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612.


Anne Redferne had originally been one of three, but now she was one of twelve. At first, the accusations of witchcraft that had been thrown her way had seemed insignificant and she had believed that she would be left off without trial or persecution. There were always rumours going around in Lancashire that witches were about, and at least one of the other women had been accused for most of her life.

Then in April, the three of them had been summoned to a meeting. Besides Anne, who was fairly young and able, there were two women both in their eighties: Anne’s mother and a woman of equal fragility whom the family despised. Despite Anne’s beliefs that telling the truth would get them through this false trial, both of the older women confessed to the wild accusations; the nasty Demdike claimed to have sold her soul to the Devil years ago, and Anne’s own mother had also claimed to have given up her soul.

Anne had stayed resolute. She made no confession. Her thoughts had been largely preoccupied with her mother, concerned that the older woman was going to bring great devastation down upon herself with such wild and dangerous words. In the end, the lack of confession had not mattered one bit.

Her fate had been all but sealed by the sneaky witness who had come to shatter her reputation. The witness had claimed that Anne had met with her brother, and after a disagreement (disagreement, Anne had thought, is that what they’re calling putting your hands up a woman’s skirt these days?), the vile man had fallen ill. He had later died. According to the witness, he had blamed his illness on Anne and those present seemed to think that it was perfectly believable for that man to be able to locate the source of his illness so accurately. Anne had denied it, sticking to the truth, but her words had been in vain.

It had not been long before three had turned into four, and the four had been told they would be tried for witchcraft. Later, a further investigation into a meeting that had aroused the suspicions of panicked magistrates led to eight more accused of witchcraft: they too were committed for trial. That made twelve of them.

Anne Redferne was one of twelve, but that soon became eleven. One of them had been destined to die in prison. Another one of them was to be tried in York – and so there were ten.

What they had been accused on varied as time went on. It began with accusations of illness and death until they were believed to have killed ten people by witchcraft. Anne was not the only one who stayed resolute and protested her innocence, but as time went on it the words not guilty became fainter.

Ten of them were tried in August at Pendle Hill. Those two days were the most important days in Anne’s life, as she was well aware that they might be her last. She said what she had to say and listened with growing fear to the protests and the ridiculous confessions alike.

What would be her fate? She awaited a decision that was both too close and too far away at the same time. She needed the trial to be over, but she dreaded what would happen to her once it was.

When the time came, she felt as though a weight had dropped through her stomach. The decision condemned nine of them, with one escaping with their life, but that one was not Anne. She was a witch, guilty of murder, or that was what they told her. Though she knew that was a lie, it was of no comfort to her.

The words death by hanging echoed in her ears. They were not real until she saw the noose.