Week two I *rolled* a one! Rules, must use prompt, under 1k words. Here’s my prompt from Lady Antimony…
1- “Sometimes its easier just to let them die…”
The rain came down in big wet sheets. It splashed across the window endlessly washing the landscape into a impressionistic vision. Meredity was bored beyond belief trapped by nature in the big, dark house on the hill. She leaned her head in her hand watching the sky rivers pour down, tracing symbols in the thick dust of the window ledge, listening to the mechanical tick leading the hands of the clock in dance. If only they would let her join.
But she was already past twelve and had nothing to show for it.
Nothing but a small spark from her fingertips when she was actually able to make a snap. It wasn’t her fault her mother -Goddess rest her soul- bred her off a Normal. It wasn’t her fault either, that her mother died and left her to the tender mercies of Aunt Gretched. And it surely wasn’t her fault that Aunt Gretched hated her for taking after her father, whoever he was.
She could feel the chanting through the floorboards even up here in the tower room. She could feel the thick beat of power through her stockinged feet. It called to her, quietly, softly but every time she tried to answer disaster struck, and struck as hard as the lightening out her window.
The moon was hidden but that too, fat and ripe behind the angry clouds called down to her. Tonight was special. Tonight was the Equinox. Tonight was the night for invoking the Goddess, she could feel it pulse around her with the beat of chanting. It was the pulse of power.
Quietly, she made her way down the bare wood staircase, careful to skip the fifteenth step, the one that creaked. It was nearly black in the hallways leading to the deep basement. She had seen it only once, a large cavernous space dug out from beneath the old mansion’s foundation. It made her feel as though she was wrapped in a cocoon, embraced in the Goddess’s womb. And she had been beaten soundly for her curiosity. Meredity was afraid, she was sure even her black curls trembled, but she was being pulled and pushed by the Earth and the Sky and there was nothing for it.
The chanting grew louder, thickening the air. The cloying scent of a smudge stick coated her throat; rosemary, sage, lavender. She knew the smell, knew the symbols, the words, the motions but without the magic it meant nothing. Why did the Goddess refuse her offerings? Why, out of the entire line of Witchers that went back so far as before the Egyptians, went back to Mesopotamia where they traveled in tribes wearing animal pelts and spoke in grunts and gestures, was Meredity the very first female to be born without the gift?
Light broke through the basement door, a thick firey outline that stunk of tallow. And that too, called to her. By the time her hands touched the worn, cold wood of the entrance door, her cells were screaming, with what she did not know. The chanting continued, rose, crested, flew on the wind that swirled around her weaving through her curls and whipped her nightdress against her legs. She stood there lost in time, lost in the rhythm, filled with something too amazing to put into words. She felt a stab of pain in her stomach, then a thick hot gush between her legs. Blood stained her clothes. The chanting abruptly stopped. The viscious feel of the air became empty, the pushing and pulling stopped but she remained full. Something new was inside her now. Something different, changing.
The door moved beneath her hands, opened to reveal the firelight contorted face of her aunt and the four fellow witches of Gretched’s coven. They pulled her inside the cavelike room, tossing her to the floor.
“Punish her Lady Gretched. Teach her the glory of the Goddess she dares spy upon.” Tall and spindly, Veronica hissed.
“She’s bleeding, if ever there was a time to kill her it is now. She is past Reconning. There is no use for her.” Voiced Melissa, sliding up next to Veronica.
“Sometimes its easier just to let them die in the cradle.” Gretched’s growl carried over the chatter of the others. She raised her hand to cast.
“Yes,” Meredity replied easily getting to her feet, still so filled to the brim she was spilling over. “Sometimes it is.” She snapped her fingers and Veronica was set ablaze.
“Oh Goddess, why? Why choose this retched beast?” Gretched cried out, never sparing a glance for her coven sister now writhing on the dirt floor the blue flames eating her alive.
“Merciful Meredity, that’s what they’ll call you.” Melissa fell to her knees at Meredity’s feet, the blood still flowed into the ground, absorbed by the dirt. My offering, finally She accepts it. “You are our queen. Please, oh powerful one, Daughter of Blood, spare me my ignorance.”
“The Goddess shall spare you if she deems it so.” Meredity snapped her fingers again and this time, like acid etching a tin-type Melissa melted into a globulous puddle of screams. “She deems it not.”
The other witch had slunk into the shadows but a snap sent her violently to her death leaving only Melissa and her Aunt Gretched eye to eye. Gretched wildly signaled for the Goddess but each of her spells was refused. The magic seeped from her, no, was pulled from her across the floor and into her niece.
“Well played little Goddess.” The flames engulfed her but she did not scream.
“I wouldn’t have had it so, Aunt.” Meridity said somberly as the last ember died.