“Why must you wake me at this ungodly hour, Mir?” Liza whined as I lead her into the attic atop our abode.
“It has been four days and I fear Cylia is becoming too impatient,” I answered in haste. “I fear if she is not given the proper instructions soon she will do something rather rash.”
“How do you find reason?”
“She remains in her quarters quite longer than I these past few days. I fear she figured how to concoct a projection of that boy’s soul, the first step and the simplest.”
We entered our sacred attic and I lit the candles. All at once our family history sat before us like a museum of ancient wonders. The gowns of generations past sat with poise in and atop out aged and wooden trunks. Crates and boxes of old spell books, diaries, drawings, and documents of our past sat piling dust and spider-webs. And the mirror of out dear grandmother, our oldest artifact, resided in the corner. The silver frame was tarnished with age but the glass was as clear as the day it was moved. It was my greatest inspiration. Grandmother, as I, would look into lost souls and steal them from their wretched world and punish them accordingly through that mirror and with no regret.
But this was no time for reminiscing. We were on a mission. I ordered Liza to pull out the papers as I searched through the other trunks and crates. We were going by luck and faith we would recognize what we searched for. Usually, the tension and frustration of a search such as this was invigorating but there was an unusually unsettling factor that made it unbearable: this was a matter of life and death.
I stood from a collection of books, brushing my long black strands from my eyes. I glanced at the mirror to check my image so I would still appear halfway decent. But the horrid image I had only seen in my mind was now projected on the glass: Diana strolling through a park with Robert Michael…alone. But this was not all. As they stopped they were chatting, staring into the other’s eyes, their hearts, and their souls. But this was still not what I feared. As their intimate conversation closed into physical connection at the lips, the ghastly smoky figure of a silken presence flew around, not Robert Michael’s neck, but Diana’s neck! She reached for her neck and gagged in pain. I hurriedly turned to Liza.
“Quick,” I ordered, “to Cylia’s room and don’t hesitate. Try and stop her. I must go.” Liza looked to me with a look of puzzlement. “No questions; just go!”
I dropped what papers and trinkets I held and charged through a portal just before the mirror to the scene toward my sister in need. I pushed the boy to the ground and took my struggling sister in my arms. I tried to find an exit for her soul before it was killed needlessly. When you are in such pain the likes of which induced by the scarf, a witch cannot find her own exit and so it is up to another to help. I had never had to do this and I was filled with fear. I tried in haste to feel for the scarf just to see if I could not take it off her neck myself here but it was like mist in the cold stale air. I felt her gasp for air. Her skin turned a pasty white. She looked to me helplessly. Her heart was strained. All of her pours were clogged. The cursed scarf was working the wrong way: on Diana.
From the corner of my eye, I could see Robert Michael coming to his feet again. I charged him with a gust of wind concocted on the spot. It pushed him down again throwing his trademarked green hat many feet behind where he himself landed.
“Foolish mortal, you want to be killed?” I sneered bitterly.
I did not wait for any weak retort and turned my attention back to my gasping sister. Her strength was diminishing. I lowered her down holding her head up. If only I could take the pain from her. It would not have mattered had I warned her or not, I still wanted to take her pain, her struggle, and let her live.
“Miriam…” Diana gagged grasping my arm tightly, “you…were…right…”
“Don’t speak, dear,” I said, clinching my teeth. “Liza’s going to stop this. Have faith.”
I felt an unfamiliar sting in my eyes and a trickle of coolness down my face. I held my sister with strength searching for a way to release her soul to freedom, but my mind was too clouded in letting her live. My arm began to bleed with the grip of her long nails. She struggled to sit up as if to talk to me. I leaned my ear forward. I placed it close to her lips as I heard her final words:
“Forgive me, my sister,” she whispered with her last ounce of strength and then I felt her heart no more. Her poor lifeless eyes were left crying for help, pleading, expressing her pain forever. Her grip loosened and her arm fell. The mist about her neck faded. I took my fingers and gently closed her eyes giving her closure. I held her close. Her shirt absorbed the blood from my wrist. I noticed then that she was no longer in her original garbs and was wearing a calmer human wardrobe. As if it mattered now…
“Mir,” a voice whispered behind me. The boy…
“Please, Robert Michael,” I said softly. “Leave us be.”
“What happened? She was fine then…”
“Robert Michael,” I continued, my voice beginning to hitch uncontrollably, “My sister has died. Her soul is lost forever. Have you no heart?”
“Oh,” he said with embarrassment and sympathy. “I just…I didn’t…”
“Go home, Robert Michael. Just go home, boy.” The boy wanted to approach but I gave him no chance. Before he could reach us, I had transported us back into our own house where Cylia and Liza met me, the cursed scarf still in Cylia’s shaking hand.
“Miriam…” Cylia stuttered; she too was crying. “I…”
“Don’t anyone say a word,” I ordered. “Just don’t. I know what must be done.”
| Preceding Part | Rebecca!!'s Solo Works | Proceding Part |