The hum of the wind against my ears was delightful. So many sounds that humans cannot hear. So much beauty that they are blindfolded by it. Not that I blame them for it... even a witch like me can sometimes make mistakes. Mistakes cannot be avoided. It is simply impossible, but you can always be ready...
Sliding down from the edge of the cliff to my little cottage, I listen to the world around me. The forest was quiet today... Too quiet for my liking. I look up at the tallest tower in the kingdom.
The tower, in which as rumor has it, the most beautiful being in all the lands was locked away in it, far away from praying eyes, the kings most beloved spent her years of youth in a dungeon called home.
I snort to myself. Beloved! More like his slave.
Indeed, this girl was not the queen. Because as the king's love for this woman grew every day, she failed to show him or his only son, and only hair to the throne, any affection. So with her actions, the king refuses to free her.
And as for the kingdom... well, witches were banned from the castle grounds and if we were spotted, any citizen would have the rights to kill us.
The reason behind all of this anger and brutality is that the first queen, loved by everyone, was murdered in front of the whole kingdom by the hands of the previous High Priest. Leading to his death and the burden falling on the shoulders of his child, but with her refusal, her mother took the responsibility and acted as the rightful High Priestess.
The kingdom itself was brutal even without the king or us witches wondering around. The people were vicious. Always looking for a reason to tear each other apart.
Do not wonder about such stupid things, child. My mother would always tell me whenever I asked questions. Your future is brighter than any of us. Either within this kingdom or not.
Another empty promise...
I opened the cottage door and allowed the lavender aroma to take over my senses. I place the bag of supplies on the table and look down at the drawing on the table.
It was a true work of art, even though the only color in it was black, but the shades were at the right places, with the right angel.
So perfect! It was a picture of two women sitting next to a camp fire, quite similar to the one that I make every night for heating food and ourselves. "It was meant to be for your birthday." A soft familiar voice speaks from behind me.
My laughter takes over the room as I turn around with the paper still in my hand. Opening my arms for the little girl, I signal her to come give me a hug.
She runs into me making me stumble a little. "Emma, you are like my daughter. I don't want gifts from you. You are all I need." Placing a kiss on top of her head, I rest my chin on her head. "But thank you so much. It means the world to me." I stand up with her in my arms and place her on the table while using my magic to place the artwork on one of the walls.
I adopted Emma when she was two. Her parents had died in a fire and for five years now, we have been living together.
Even at the age of seven, her hand in art is amazing and I tend to send her abroad to art school when she turns eighteen, if she wants to go, that is. We have simply nothing to hide from each other. She knows about my powers and finds them quite interesting. She loves my world and even helps me out sometimes. But she has a power too.
She is a psychic. I figured it out when she was five. It is truly amazing... to have the power to tell the future and other people's lives.
Unlike me, she has silver white hair with golden eyes.
I, on the other hand, have pitch black hair and eyes. Emma likes to call me The Raven Girl, but the coven calls me The Child of Darkness. Both are really nice names.
My mother gifted me with the name Lilith, but I truly don't see the resemblance.
"Have you had any visons today?" I ask, bringing her down from the table.
I turn around to see her eyes gone white.
Prophesy time! "You are happy, child. But something is bothering you. Tonight you will have a visitor and be aware when I say you will not like the news. You will have a chance in regaining your coven. Will you sacrifice what is needed?" her eyes go back to normal. "What does it all mean?"
I sigh, standing up. "It means that we are going to have a visit by your favorite wolf."
I head outside when I hear her shout 'yes!'. With a snap of my fingers the wood lights up, starting to cook tonight's meal.
A soft growl sounds out from the distance and a black wolf emerges from the trees, his emerald eyes glowing in the dark. Emma shoots up from her seat and runs to the wolf.
Giving her a wolfish smile, he purrs as she pets him. I look up from my book for only one second before going back to reading.
'In the arms of you was the warmth I seek,
But alas it truly was the only place for us to sleep,
Though they were as cold as winter night,
It seemed so simple for there to be a place for my night.
And in the arms of others was the warmth of the summer sun,
But if you get too close to it and it may burn you too bright.
And yet even in the arms of you,
Where there is kindness for both me and you,
I can't help my mind from flying around town,
Who hurt me at the first time.
But I know that until the end of this stupid, stupid game,
You'll be there to save me, my stupid, stupid friend,
And let me tell you that my stupid, stupid name,
Has drawn us into this stupid, stupid game.
And I do not worry about your love,
For only you and your love can contain my mind...'
The writers name, I couldn't read... but whoever they are... they are right... at least for me.
After a few minutes I feel the lick of his tongue against my legs under my dress. "Emma, close your eyes please." She obeys like every other night and waits patiently for the werewolf to turn back human.
Handing him his cloths, I put down my book and look at the man in front of me. My betrothed. "Hello, Emma!!" He laughs as she throws herself at him once more.
She loves him with all her heart and hopes more than anyone that my marriage with him will indeed happen. She wouldn't mind having him as her father. I smile as they sit down next to me. "And hello, Lilith."
"Hello, Max." I whisper as he loops his hand around my waist. He places a soft kiss on my lips, but pulls back when Emma huffs in annoyance.
"Oh look who's jealous." He pretends to be biting her neck while he is actually tickling her. I laugh at the two as they continue screaming and laughing and growling.
The wind picks up. Its blasts growing so strong, the campfire went out. Max and Emma had gone quiet. I turn around to tell them to go inside, but find their previous spots empty.
Fear takes over my heart as the wind goes back to normal, leaving me in complete darkness. The full moon shined upon my pail skill, being the only source of light for now.
Hearing whispers, I turn around towards the forest.
Old tricks... As I walk towards the forest, the noises grow louder and louder. 'Lilith...' they call. So alluring, so mesmerizing, I would have fallen for it myself, but what can I say? The coven doesn't surprise me.
A letter lay on the ground with my name written on it in the all too familiar handwriting.
A second later the campfire lights up again, with Max and Emma fallowing suit.
"Lil? What's wrong?" Max asks his voice laced with worry. I shake my head, taking Emma's hand.
"I'll tell you later." Looking down at the little girl next to me I say. "You have school tomorrow."
After pushing her upstairs I wait until she falls asleep and turn to Max.
"The coven has started The Calling." I sigh with frustration and sit down on one of the chairs.
"You aren't going, right?" When I didn't answer he kneels down in front of me. He knew my answer.
"Lilith! Are you listening to yourself?" I look deep into his eyes before answering.
"The king's beloved is ill." I whisper the words. "As one of the coven..." Max cuts me short, standing up.
"No, Lilith! The calling means a sacrifice. Even if you aren't the sacrifice, the king will kill you if you don't heal his love!"
"But if I do this... imagine what it would mean for Emma!" I take his face in my hand. "I love you. I love Emma as much. That is why I must go. Alone..." He leans down and kisses me slowly.
"I wish I could change your mind..." I sigh and move back. "Me too."
A knock at the door draws our attention. Placing me back on the chair, he moves to the door. Moving back into the house, he gives me the black rose. "What does it mean?" He asks sitting next to me.
"A calling for the daughter of darkness." I stand up and move to get my robe. "Please, take care of Emma while I'm gone. Be a good parent."
I turn around to pat his head, but the whole room had gone black. "Help me..." I turn around to see a beautiful woman in front of me. Golden hair so long that took over the floor, blue eyes so bright and her skin... so pure... so even... truly the most beautiful.
"Help me..." Her voice begs me. Before I can answer she is gone and with a blink of an eye, everything is back to normal. "Lilith?" Max calls out.
"Did you see that?" He takes a hold of my shoulders and turns me around.
"See what?" He asks.
I shake my head and go out of his arms. Placing the red hood on my shoulders, I kiss him one last time before moving towards the forest. Towards the Blood Coven.
"Help me..." The woman appears in front of me again, but I don't even stop to look at her.
"You are not real." I say strictly.
"I'm the girl you are needed to save." I turn to her. "That is impossible! Only a ghost can call upon me!" And then the realization hits me. "You are an immortal... but... but how is that possible?"
"I was only sixteen when the king found me." She sits down on the ground. "After his wife's death, he grew desperate for my love. He locked me up not knowing what I truly was..." I sit down in front of her.
"Why me?" She looks at me with her blue eyes.
"The only person who can kill me is the daughter of darkness. You." I shake my head.
"Killing you would be suicide for me." I stand up and move deeper into the woods. "My illness will kill me eventually." I don't turn around to look at her.
"Good for you!" I halt to a stop when she appears in front of me.
"Help me..." I look at her dead in the eye.
"NO!!" And I walk right through her to the opening of the cave.
The woman in black smiles with her black lips. Taking off her hood she allows her red hair to fall around her looking at me with forest green eyes she speaks. "Daughter."
I don't take off my hood or lower my head as I grit out. "High Priestess." She smiles and leads me through the cave.
"I though you and I had gone over this once, mother. You lead the coven in exchange you will leave me be." I seethe out, not paying attention to the eyes watching us.
"Yes, but this is about the freedom of all the covens of the kingdom." She explains. "The prince has made an agreement with us. His coronation is tomorrow and he wishes for his soon-to-be step-mother to be miraculously killed on that very day." She turns to me looking me deep in the eye. "He loves her and hates seeing her in pain. He will speak about the terms of the contract with you when you arrive tonight."
"And if I do not agree to the terms?" She turns around and starts walking again.
"We do not have another choice. Neither do you. That is, if you know what is best for your child and lover." I feel all color fading from my face at her words...
I look at myself one last time in the mirror of the room that I have been given in the castle. The prince was waiting for me in my dining chambers. I fix the white gloves once more before exiting the room. He was facing the window, but turned around at the sound of the door closing. "Your majesty." I greet with a small bow. My floor length hair falling around me, mixing with the white gown I have been given.
I look up at him. Blue eyes like the woman's, and jet black hair like my own. A replica of the former queen.
He bows at the waist. "It is an honor to meet you, Lilith." I smile and sit down on the chair he draws out for me.
He sits down across from me. "At first I was going to refuse your proposal, but now, I think we can work things out." I straighten my back as servants fill the room.
His blue eyes never leaving my face. After the servants left did I have the courage to ask. "How come after all these years and what my father did to your mother you still accepted seeing me?" He takes a sip from his wine. "Forgetting the past isn't so hard Lilith. It is writing the future that is hard." I smile and change the white wine in my glass to blood red, catching his attention. I take a sip and place the glass down.
"Why do you want her dead?" I ask trying to figure out a way out of this. "My father is a dangerous man. And I love her. Her marrying my father will only doom her."
An idea crosses my mind at his words. "How about we change our terms?" He looks at me with a confused look and I explain...
When the town clock struck two in the morning, my eyes snap open. "Lilith..." A male voice whispers from outside my room.
Dad? I get up and move outside towards the voice.
"Come to me Lilith..." The voice continues. A line of green fog decorates the way towards the voice. All my senses have left me.
The voice is pulling me towards it, it is so magnetic, so dangerous, and yet I cannot stop it.
"Lilith?" The crown prince calls from the hallway as I pass his study room, but I cannot answer him. I can only fallow the voice.
"My beautiful daughter... come to me..."
My voice is only a whisper. "Dad... Don't leave me..." I feel the prince fallowing me. I wanted to scream for him to save me. But I couldn't do anything but walk.
Standing before the stairs of the tower, a tear slips out of my eye before I feel someone's hand on my shoulder. Turning me around the prince looks into my void eyes. "Lilith, snap out of it!" I place my head on his shoulder.
"Can't you hear him? My father?" he places his head on top of mine.
"It's magic Lilith. It's a trick." Holding my hand in his, he leads me to my chambers. "Go to sleep Lilith and when you wake up next morning, everything will be fine."
The next morning, I wake up to the sound of laughter of children. I look out of the balcony to see Emma and her classmates running around the town squair.
"They are truly beautiful are they not? The children, I mean." The prince speaks from behind me. "I never had a childhood myself, so I like to see the children of the kingdom before they head into class." He spent the night in my room. After what happened...
Not turning around, I respond. "I didn't have a childhood either." I signal him to stand next to me.
"See the one with silver hair? She's my daughter." He smiles looking at her and Max who has now next to her.
"I was not told you had a husband or daughter." I turn to him.
"I don't. She's adopted and as for the man... we are soon to be married." He turns to look at me as well.
"A fiancé. That sounds like a lovely life." I return back inside, not willing to tell him everything.
"You should go get ready if you want the plan to go as you wish." He nods and leaves, taking the potion I gave him last night with him.
Our plane was simple, but I'm not going to tell you. Where's the fun in that?
I smile at my reflection in the mirror. My red dress fits me perfectly.
As the prince would say, the best way to stand out is to think you are normal while you are the one who is different.
As normal as others.
After the maid leaves my room, it only takes a few minutes before the sound of screaming and shouting comes from the hallway.
I open the door to my chambers and head outside. "What is going on?" I ask one of the butlers passing by.
"The-The king's fiancé was found dead in her tower. The prince found her." He starts running down the hall, leaving me alone in a hallway filled with maids and butlers.
The prince was crowned as king, just as planned. Although the king was in deep mourning, it did nothing to stop his son from taking the kingdom within his own hands. And as promised, he gave all the covens the permission to come and go. He also promised to contain the people... and for some reason, I believe him...
Standing before the prince in front of the forest, Max and Emma standing behind me with the real dead body of the fairest of them all next to them, I give a short curtsy.
"For what is worth, I'm happy you are the new king. At least now I know that my coven can come into town." He laughs at my compliment.
"But remember Lilith, no magic." I smile as well.
"As you wish, your great highness." He kisses the back of my hand. "Until we meet again, Daughter of Darkness." I nod and turn to my family and lead the way towards the river.
When Max places her next to me, it doesn't take long before he leaves us alone.
Whispering in her ear, I chant the spell.
"You have been tricked, you have been lied to, but from now on you shall be no man's prisoner, young fair one awaken from this deep sleep, for you are free... but know this my child, it was the calling that set you free, not the daughter of darkness."
I watch as she gasps awake and looks around, but before she can see me I leave her there.
She can start a new life, a better life.
The same thing I am going to do with my life...
No more coven...
No more magic...
Max takes me into his free arm while the other one holds Emma, and we take our first step towards our new happily ever after, as a family...
Just me and my family...