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Feelings are everything known to humankind. Love, affection, fondness, warmth and much more. All I ever wanted to feel those. But, I forgot there were other feelings too. Like another part of the coin, there were hate, lies, deceit, loss, fear, anger and even sacrifices. So it probably only took one second. One second to relive all the feelings.
And, one second to take all of it away. Cause I am the unfortunate bride who they wanted to sacrifice.
I am the soul mate and beginning of darkness.
“YOU ARE LOOKING GORGEOUS, HONEY.” They were dressing me for my wedding. It was raining all over the town.
“Just wait till midnight. You are going to be perfectly OK.” Told me, my mother, while giving me flowers. Others were preparing the wedding and dressing up.
“If being sacrificed called OK then yes. Why? Why me? Why I’ve to marry a man, oh no wait, a dead man who has been lying in a grave for God knows how many years!? A darkness!” I asked my mother looking at her in the mirror. My brown hair was shoulder length and it was now in a tight bun with flowers, my brown eyes were coated with black eyeshadow and my lips painted red.
“You have a pure soul. Think it as a gift. You are helping us. No one can find this kind of soul. You are the last one. And for your groom...you know only he can give us the power.” My mother explained smiling tightly. She did not need to tell me how important I was. Ever since I was born, everyone wanted my soul but not me.
“This is why you people gave me shelter?" I asked getting angry. I wanted to scream in frustration. Why am I the only unfortunate one left?
“Your father did, not me. I love you as my own. But, even I can’t save you. It’s the matter of our clan. Without your soul, darkness cannot give us his powers. And if the clan does not get the power of immortality and teachings...they will kill you anyway. You do know that, right?” She said tearfully. I looked away from her tearful eyes to my own reflection. It is only a matter of time before I will be gone too.
“Then I die.” I finished. I was suffocating inside. This was my last day. I will die tonight. No...
I will be sacrificed tonight.
“Bring her. It’s time.” My father’s voice echoed through the cemetery and a chill went through my bones. My mother took my hands and stopped near to a grave.
“It’s time to break her pledge from us, from the Red clan, from our God.” My father spoke taking a knife in his hand. He made a cut on his hand and waited for my confirmation. I was going to die anyway so they wanted to break the connection I had with the clan so that no one will feel hurt by the fact that I was gone. I know it was a cruel tradition but before our old members died, we always broke their connection so we didn’t have to feel every member’s pain and the cold feeling in our heart.
“Do you, Keira Deshayes, agree to break this pledge to the clan willingly?” Asked my mother, taking a place beside my father.
“Y-Yes,” I answered shuttering.
Nodding my father held the knife up and handed it to me. I wrapped the knife in my hand and made a small cut on my palm. Mixing my blood with my father’s I broke the pledge.
“In birth, in life, and in death. Now I, Keira Deshayes, willingly break the pledge to honor and be loyal to my afterlife.”
Just then I could feel emptiness engulfing me meaning the deed was done, commanded my father. “Now the prayers. The wedding will be starting soon. Priest, start.”
“Do you the clan’s leader’s daughter Keira Deshayes, take this grave’s owner the strongest, the darkest soul, darkness, for your lawfully wedded husband?” The priest asked me. I was scared what will happen when I say yes. Tonight is the full moon. My life’s last day. Therefore, I looked at the scenery in front of me cherishing it and said, “I do.”
“Now do you, darkness, take Keira Deshayes to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
Then everyone started chanting. I did not know how a dead man was supposed to say his wedding vows. Then it clicked. The knife. They were going to cut my throat and if my blood mixed into the grave that means his yes. By that time, I will be dead and they will take power from my soul. I was shivering. They were coming for me.
“Shh...Just relax and let the process happen.” My father said calmly but his voice was nothing like fatherly, more like a power hungry warlock. And when he just took the knife and brought it to my neck to cut my throat I realized I was going to die.
Blood started to come from my throat as if rain falls. The painful realization that you can no longer breathe was something I did not want to feel. Suddenly the winds went violent. The entire cemetery has gone dark. A loud animistic snarl started to come from the grave. Someone cried out near me. I did not know what was happening. From my blurred vision, I saw my mother came to me and said, “Run Keira. You have to go. Never come back.”
Just then, I started to run. My black satin wedding dress was torn in the process but I did not stop. But after a while, I could feel my blood started to come in full blow and I passed out.
LIFE WAS NEVER FULL OF ROSES AND RAINBOWS. What happens at present is always the result of our past. Our own demons are to be blamed for our sins or our foolishness. When I was a child, I heard marriage was the best thing anyone can ever have. A loving husband, family, children...it’s a beautiful experience. But in my case marriage has become a joke. I have been prepared my whole life to become sacrificed. To what? A grave where someone died thousands of years ago? Who didn’t even know was being rescued by a harmless girl? But I didn’t make the choices. Society made it for me. But for what purpose? So that someone can gain intense powers? Why me? Maybe I will never get the answers. Maybe I was meant for bigger purpose or maybe it was just fate’s game.
I woke up gasping for air. I was still shaken by my self-pitied dream. My lungs were dry, making it hurt to take air. I could not remember lying on a grass. Then it hit me. Last night...the wedding, the weird winds...but I was dying. How could I be alive? My hands immediately went to my throat and it was covered with dry blood. I took the time to look around me. I was pretty far from the town. My ankle was probably broken; I had scratched marks on my arms and shoulder where the priest tried to grab me. My once beautiful gown was torn and barely hanging.
If I had a mirror maybe I will look like I am barely hanging too.
After sobbing for I do not know how much time, I tried to walk only to stumble again on the ground. This time I tried really hard. I can feel my foot hurt but it can walk. I wanted to get the hell out of here. But something kept me going back to the cemetery. I knew I was insane. Then in our culture when people were sane? I have heard people kill themselves for power. I was also a part of sacrificing. I kept walking and when I reached, I let out a high pitch scream. There was bloody dead body everywhere. How did they die? I was supposed to die, they did not. Then what really happened last night?
”Enjoying the view?” Someone asked in a cold voice. I turned to see my mom looking at me as if I am a monster.
“What happened?” I asked calmly trying to keep warm. My dress was half torn and chilly winds were making me freeze.
“As seems you don’t know that! Run away from here, Keira. No one will want you now.” She replied in a cold voice. I did not want to yet I looked at her eyes that were sad and filled with grief.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Yet I asked.
“You are cursed. People die for you.” She grabbed my shoulder and pointed at the mass of bodies that were once our clan or her clan.
“Look at that. There are at least 50 people lying here dead. You did something. Maybe your soul is not as good it should be. Maybe you’re dark, evil.” My mother yelled out and I backed up. I swallowing a gulp looked around. Maybe I really was a monster. My mother never said anything that would hurt me. But since she lost her husband because of me I couldn’t blame her...
“Kill her.” “Burn her. She killed them!” “Don’t let her inside of the house!” “There’s a bounty on her head. Bring her to us and we’ll give you plenty money to live.” There were angry mobs everywhere. Every clan knew. Now they would not let me live. They wanted me to pay.
“I didn’t kill them. Please believe me.” I begged my mother who was laughing and sobbing like a lunatic. Then the same things happened. The winds started to blow violently. This time I ran from there. To my utter surprise, there was something following me in the wind!
“Please. Whatever you want, just let me go.” I ran screaming and begging them to leave me alone only to be stopped in front of a cliff. It was my favorite spot when I was a child. So, ironically this is also going to be the place I die. I could not see my mother’s eyes see me as a monster. My kind’s people saw me as a fear. I did not know what I did wrong. But if my death can get me rid of my guilt, I’m ready...I was just about to jump then someone grabbed my arm and jerked me around only to be crashing something hard. I did not remember any stone here. I closed my eyes instantly from the fear of black shadows. When I heard harsh breaths, I opened my eyes carefully. My eyes met black ones. No, it was not a shadow... Was it a man?
“Miss me...wifey?” He smirked...
“You were jumping. But given the consequences, I didn’t finish the marriage we should do it now, what say?" The deep, sexy voice put me out of my trance and I gulped, closing my eyes. Why is this happening to me?
I opened my eyes to see, he was full on grinning. Am I already insane? But how can my insane mind create this awfully handsome and absolutely swoon-worthy man in front of me?
No...No...No...It’s can’t be happening! I looked at the man in front of me dressing in a black robe, 6′5 height, and black hair. At first glance, he looked like a dark angel. His equally black eyes were making me think sinful things I shouldn’t be thinking about.
“Oh! For devil’s sake! The first time I’ve got to marry someone who turned out to be deaf!” He fake gasped.
He wasn’t there, right? How could this have happened? It does not even make sense!
“Who are you? And what do you want?” In this sense, I am not even sure if I am talking with a thin air.
“Oh. Look at that! You can speak. And here I thought I was talking to a deaf and mute.” His grin now on full and it is hurt to look at so...I am getting off my main topic.
“You didn’t answer my question?” I hissed at him instead.
“Oh! Do I need to? Let’s finish the marriage already.”
Marriage... Why? I could not listen to him anymore. Just a ceremony has left me alone to suffer. Fearful... Dangerous.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. There isn’t any marriage going on.” Gulping I answered. He could only be a trick of my mind or someone from other clans. Now that is something that makes sense.
“You have forgotten it so early! Ouch! That’s hurt Keira. That’s hurt!” He deliberately took a step and I backed away. But before I could really fall off from the cliff, he grabbed my hands and brought it to him tightly embracing me.
“I-I...what are you?” I could not take this. This is too much.
“What do I look like to you? Smart, handsome, sexy...Yes! The last one! But look at you. You don’t even want to give a chance to your future husband.” Looking at from my peripheral vision, I can see he is cocky and demanding. But why me? And why he’s lying?
“You are not that. That was a dead man in a grave. Not a human. You must be someone from our clan or another clan to kill me. I did not do anything. I was going to pay.”
“Deny are we? You are important. This marriage is important. I will not ask you again. It is getting on my damn nerves. I do not want you. I just want your soul. Do you get it?” He was now looking at me as if he was some kind of predator and I am his prey. Long gone that guy who just saved me from jumping. I backed up a little. His eyes are now deep black like a coil and were burning holes in my soul.
“No. It cannot happen, no. Not anymore. I am not pure. People fear me, no.” I said sadly. That was the truth now. I can never be the one I was. It will not be the same. Tears started to flow from my eyes. But to save my dignity I forced them to hide, to not let out a sob. I did not know who was standing beside me and I did not want to break down in front of a complete stranger. Before I can say more, a voice cut me off.
“Who were you talking to? Keira you have to go. Other clans are coming.” It was my best friend’s voice. I turned around to see her running towards me. Maybe if she is here, he will not hurt me. Happily, I turned to look at...nothing. He was not there with me anymore. But what! Where did he go? He was right here, in front of me. Did I really hallucinate?
“There was a man. Did you not see him?” I asked with a hope that I was not going insane. If he was really here then it was beyond impossible not to notice him.
“I didn’t see anyone. You were talking to yourself. Now you have to go.” She ushered me into the back alley and handed me a bag full of clothes and other stuff. I was not running away...no way!
“Did you not believe me? I did not do anything. I do not know what was wrong with the spells. I didn’t kill them.” I tried to explain but she only shook her head.
“I believe you. But if you live in my house or I let you in my house they will burn us all. I am sorry. Leave this place. Go to forests... Cities... I do not know. Start a new life. Just go, please. They have a bounty on your head.” I gave her one last begging look but she without looking at me walked away from me... To my town or not mine anymore.
All was over. Everyone I have ever known wanted me to leave. This was it.
My new scariest future...
My beginning of a nightmare...
I KNEW WHAT I WAS GOING to do people will think me as a maniac. But it was for the best. I could not go to cities, as I have no familiarity with it so I decided to go to the small town near mine. I have to do it if I want to save myself. So changing and showering in a small motel, thankful to have some cash with me which was a courtesy to my friend, my only goal was to find someone who can help me. And thankfully, it looks like I just found it.
“Who are you, dear? What can I do for you?” Asked a woman who was not more than in her late forties and standing behind the counter looking at me impatiently.
“I need to stay for a while. I’m from the nearest Red clan.” I replied politely.
“I knew it. You are one of us. There’s this powerful aura telling me you are quite... dangerous.” She seems to beam with uncertain. Gulping I looked around the herb shop and my eyes found the reason I was here.
“I-I...am not dangerous. I don’t even know a spell.” I shuttered seeing her uncertain face. There was a small notice on the shop counter, that this shop gives learning lessons on witchcraft and I needed it badly. If I can only learn spells...
“How could that be possible? You are one of us. Everyone knows spells.” She seems to be more confused by the minutes passed by. I do not blame her. It was that confusing.
“My parents are dead. They did not want me to learn spells. I really need your help. Please help me.” I almost begged her to take me in. I did not have anywhere to go. This was my last chance at survival.
“That means you don’t even know basic spells. You have to learn eventually. But let me tell you, it will be hard. It will take a long time; will break your walls and eventually your whole personality. You have to be patient and always prepared for the worst.” She told me as if I still had time to back off. Her eyes had a glimpse as if to challenge me to take her offer even if it will break me. But she didn’t know one thing...I was already broken.
“I am ready for anything you have planned.”
She nodded her head and wrote my clan’s name on her register. Clearing my throat, I asked her the one question I was dreading to ask. “And what will be your price?”
“Yes...I-I mean you will teach me and in return, you must want something.” I shuttered when she gave me an amused look. Shaking her head at me, she gestured around the shop.
“I just want you to be my assistant, in return for my teachings. You know the herb’s names and their uses, right?” Well...that was easy. Thankfully, I learned about all the herbs and their uses.
“Yes, of course. Thank you so much, Mrs.-” I ignored the pain that was forming in my head and tried to thank her.
“Call me Hannah. I didn’t catch your name.” She asked me with more respect now.
“It’s K-Kyra.” I almost gave her my real name but in the end, stopped myself. She could not know my name. It was too dangerous.
She smiled and asked me again. “So Kyra, what’s your goal?”
Sighing like I should know what she was talking about she started to explain. “Every witch has a goal before they start to learn. Some want them for healing purposes, some for awakening their hidden purposes in life and some use them for power.” I flinched involuntary hearing about power but she continued like she didn’t notice that.
“So which one is your goal?”
“Freedom.” It just came easily from my mouth. “I want freedom.”
“Wrong.” Widening my eyes I waited for her to add something more so that I can understand what she is talking about. And she didn’t disappoint me.
“You don’t want freedom, Kyra. You need freedom. If you just wanted it you wouldn’t be standing here in front of me, asking for my pledge.”
Grinning I nodded. “You’re right. I need freedom and I’m willing to do whatever it takes me to get it.”
Happy with my answer, she walked back to stand beside me. “Oh dear, you must be tired. There are total eight rooms in the house. It has a kitchen and all the things you will need to stay. There, I will show you.”
She started to walk without my response and I followed her to the staircase. We passed the kitchen and a balcony before coming near the staircase. After climbing down, I thought this will be the basement but I was proved wrong when I noticed another staircase going down. There were three rooms on this floor and all of them looked like from vintage era.
She pointed to the first room. “I live in this room. You can visit whenever you can. The second door leads to the library. You’ll find many rare books on magic that I managed to get my hands on. And, the third door will lead you to the ritual room. Every ritual we’ll practice, we will it do it in here. Now, follow me to the basement.”
Again we climbed down to the basement and I was met with huge space
Publisher: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG Sonnenstraße 23 80331 Munich Germany
Release Date: 09-26-2017
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