As Maria was meddling with food, I nonchalantly went outside on the terrace. Cold breeze symbolizes the beginning of fall. Farms and hills that I’m overlooking have that majestic glow, glow only the end of summer can display. In the distance, I can see the ocean shimmering. It’s a full moon tonight. For the first time in a very long time, my mind is free. I’m not thinking about anyone and anything. I just wanna focus on the vast landscape that I’m being presented with and enjoy. I’m not questioning anything anymore. I can feel the freedom. I can feel my soul breathing, figuratively not literally. I don’t remember how breathing feels like anymore. Ever since I was turned, my entire body changed entirely. Here we go again Ella, overthinking. At least I managed to set my mind free for a little while. I guess you can’t get rid of something that is a big part of you and who you are.
‘Ella?’ I turned around to see Jack, shivering.
‘What are you doing here? Go inside, it’s freezing for you to be out here.’
‘I wanted to talk to you about something.’
‘Sure, go ahead. Just don’t blame me if you wake up with a headache in the morning.’
‘It’s about Challan.’ Here we go again. Reliving the past. Something that isn’t relevant anymore.
‘Sure.’ I say hesitantly.
‘It isn’t true.’
‘It isn’t true what?’
‘That you didn’t like him.’
‘I mean I did like him a little bit, but the feeling is gone now.’
‘So, you would choose William over him?’
‘Did Nick tell you that?’
‘Ella! Don’t change the subject!’
‘Jack! I’m not changing anything I’m just linking two and two together!’
‘Why are you so angry all of a sudden!’
‘Because! You’re asking me about someone who isn’t with us anymore! How would you feel if I asked you about Trinity!’
‘Low hit, Ella. I expected better from you.’
‘Look… I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you in any way but you need to understand that a lot of stuff happened while you were away.’
‘William was a shapeshifter.’
‘One of his reincarnations was you.’
‘What does that supposed to mean?’
‘We had sex.’
’I mean, we didn’t have sex but we did. If you get what I mean.’
‘So, what are you trying to say is that William had sex with you while he was using my form?’
‘Yes…’ I feel embarrassed. Ashamed that I’m telling him this. But he needs to know. Maybe then he’ll understand better why I am angry.
‘Is that why you’re angry with me?’
‘Well, then it’s a stupid reason to be angry!’ He cuts me off. ‘You should grow up, Ella! You don’t live in a fairytale! And for you to be blaming me for something that I didn’t even do is truly and honestly pathetic! I thought that you would have at least some common sense to distinguish between the reality and illusion. I guess I was wrong after all…’ He starts making his way into the castle.
‘Leave her out of it!’ He turns around swiftly pointing his finger at me. His face is red, filled with anger.
‘I remember her telling me how much you missed hanging out with me when you were away. How much you missed my company.’
‘Yeah, I did, so?’
‘Well, it makes me wonder... have you ever felt anything for me?’
‘I can’t believe you, Ella.’ He turns around and enters the castle.
‘Wait! What did I do wrong? I WAS JUST ASKING YOU A SIMPLE QUESTION!’
‘Challan’s body didn’t even start decaying yet and you are already finding another one.’ He yells out from inside of the castle.
I turn around, placing my hands on the terrace fence, looking at the ocean in the distance. My mind is full of anger and annoyance. I was just asking him a simple question. Why did he have to react so violently?
As I glance down I see Maria running towards the castle. Weird. I thought that she was in the kitchen preparing food. As I wanted to yell out to see if everything’s okay I see a figure in a cloak drifting away in the opposite direction.
‘Your majesty.’ I turn around and see Nick.
‘Dinner is ready.’
‘I’ll be there in a second.’ Nick leaves and I look down again but this time I see no one. What on Earth is Maria up to?
We all gathered around the table. All looking worn out and drowsy. I manage to flash a smile, even though it didn’t make any impact whatsoever. I guess everyone is being angry at me on how easily I got over Challan’s death.
‘Shall we begin?’ I propose and they all nod in agreement.
As I begin to eat I can’t help but look at Maria. Every single time when she catches me looking at her she looks away. But I don’t move my gaze. I want her to feel embarrassed.
‘Can I help you with anything, your majesty?’ She finally responds to my psychological harassment that I was doing on her.
‘Very well.’ She smiles curtly and then continues eating.
‘Your majesty,’ Layla adds from a right side of the table, ‘are you enjoying your meal?’
‘Yes, Layla, very much. It’s the best meal I tasted so far, even though it doesn’t feel like a proper meal, since I’m a vampire, it still tastes pretty good.’ I can feel the judgment in everyone’s eyes. But again. I don’t blame them. I would judge myself too. But my narcissistic nature stops me.
‘Your majesty, is anything bothering you?’ Nick asks. I look at him and then look at the people, testing to see if it is safe to talk to Nick, I see that they’re all eating and not paying attention to me whatsoever. Should I tell him? Should I tell him what I felt in that damned cave? No. I mustn’t. But I must! I need to tell someone! To easy off my brain, at least.
‘I felt Ana’s presence. When I was in the cave.’
‘What?’ He asks shocked, but I shush him before he could draw anyone’s attention.
‘I could feel her energy. I bet she was hiding behind one of the rocks, observing everything that was happening.’
I can feel the sudden change in mood occur in everyone and one by one they all fall into a deep slumber. Myself included. Everyone, but Maria. I can’t feel my body anymore. My eyes are closing on me. I feel poisoned.
I get up. Feeling terrified. What’ve I done? To my colleagues and to my queen?
‘I did it!’ I yell out, ‘I’ve done what you’ve told me to do!’ There’s still no response.
‘You can come out now!’ I keep yelling, ‘It’s safe for you to come out now.’
In an instant, all lights start to flicker and windows open abruptly, letting a cold breeze to come inside. I can hear the main door open rapidly, my muscles tense. I leave the table and start running upstairs. As I look back form the stairs I can feel the dark smoke billowing around the table. She’s coming.
I go all the way up, to Gabriella’s bedroom. I shut the door firmly behind me and I wait. Wait for it to pass.
It seems like I’m sitting on her bed for a while now. I get up carefully examining the room which I had so little privilege to be in. I open the drawers and start rummaging through her stuff. I find the tiara and I place it on my head. I laugh vigorously while I do it. I go to her wardrobe and I open it. I gasp in amazement.
‘Oh, my my! What should a queen wear today?’ I pick a lavender dress and I put it on me.
‘I’m the most beautiful queen this island has ever laid their eyes on.’ I titter. Feeling reborn.
I go to her vanity table. To my vanity table now and I open to choose the makeup I would like to put on my precious face.
‘Hmmm, lilac or ruby? I’ll choose ruby cause everybody knows that the boys like it red.’ I laugh uncontrollably while I’m putting my lipstick on.
I stare at my reflection. Looking beautiful. I touch my hair and I pinch my cheeks.
‘I can’t believe that that bitch of a queen deserves this much jewelries and clothes. I was the one who deserved it the most! ME! AND NO ONE ELSE! Haha, I’m the most beautiful and most gorgeous QUEEN of this cursed island. The queen of Nittara, the ruler of kryptics and the destroyer of light. I! The one who sacrificed so much of her time, cleaning, cooking, serving… well, now IT’S ENOUGH! I DESERVE TO BE SEEN! I DESERVE TO BE PRAISED! I DESERVED TO BE FEARED OF!’ I can sense the smoke surrounding me. I reach my hand to it.
‘COME MY QUEEN! JOIN ME! LET’S BRING THE CHAOS TO THIS PATHETIC LITTLE ISLAND!’
The door swings open and there she is. The ruler I was waiting for. The goddess, the queen! I get up and fall to my knees.
’Obey.’ She points her finger at me.
‘Forever and always my queen!’ I say it graciously.
’Now let me feed off you.’
‘What?’ I choke out. What does she mean by that?
’You heard me! LET ME FEED OFF YOU!’
‘My queen…’ but before I could manage to finish my sentence she grabs me by my throat and lifts me up in the air.
’Thanks, puppet.’ I can see her blazing blue eyes disappearing into the vast blackness. Her mouth opening in a wolf-like manner. I can feel her hands turning into claws. Her true form is appearing.
She’s gonna devour me at any moment. I tell myself.
‘No! Please! Please, my queen, let me live and serve you for a little longer!’
’You’ve done enough. NOW SHUT UP!’ I unintentionally punch her in the stomach and she falls backward sending me flying onto the bed. But before I manage to get up she jumps on the bed and stands above me. Her legs not letting me escape.
I wake up. I knew that replacing the food with a sleeping tablet instead of the poison won’t change the smell of it and it will create the same effect. I tricked her into believing that she successfully managed to poison us. Now, where is that little bitch?
‘HELP ME!’ A deafening scream comes from upstairs. I look around only to find everyone still sleeping.
I run upstairs to the best of my abilities, even though I just woke up I feel energized and ready for action.
When I reach my bedroom what I see makes me wanna throw up. I can see Maria’s beheaded, body jerking vigorously and blood sprinkling from her neck. I also see a werewolf-like creature standing over her. As it turns around in a grotesque-like manner to face me, I’m presented by a dark-greyed hair wolf.
It looks at me. I can see it’s breathing rapidly. It flashes a demonic smile. It sends the shivers down my spine.
‘Who are you?’ I ask, fear overflowing my entire body.
The wolf starts to shake vigorously, changing into a person from what I’m seeing. The long, elongated mouth is the last thing that changes to a human form. After the transition is completed my body feels numb. It’s her.
’Have you missed me? My dear sister?’