A Real Partnership
Helena glowered at the three switches on the wall by the door. Her complaints about the need to use the bathroom went unanswered. So, in the end, she sat on the bed, gently rocking back and forth.
There was no logical explanation for all three. In the room, there was only one large light bulb in the middle of the ceiling and nothing else. There was a possibility that one of them made the bed vibrate, too. Helena’s frown deepened as she mentally prepared to test what the switches did.
Once she stood, she bit her lip. Her full bladder complained from excess movement. The plastic cup was her last resort. There was no way she was going to pee in a cup with someone watching on the other end of that camera. It was degrading.
Helena flicked the first switch, and the light in the room dimmed but didn’t turn off. The red light from the camera eerily blinked on and off, irradiating the area around it, so she flicked it back to its original position. She moved onto the second switch and something in the wall on her left unlocked. A meter-wide large chunk of it sunk inside and slid left.
Lost for words, she stared at the small bathroom with longing and love. Why couldn’t Nora label the damn switches? She rushed into the room and the wall closed behind her. Helena checked the switch above the bin, opening and closing the door before she relieved herself.
After she took a long shower, Helena returned to the room where clean underwear, a pair of black jeans, and a rose-coloured shirt awaited her on the bed. She eyed the items and changed in the bathroom. She was sick and tired of wearing the same dress.
Once she was done, she returned to sitting on the bed. How long am I going to remain here? She balled her hands in her lap. There wasn’t a way to tell if it was day or night from her room.
As she chose to stand, the door unlocked, and Kali flew in on her six excited wings.
“Mistress wisheseth to see you, Miss.”
The pixie patiently hovered in the air, and Helena shuddered. Memories of the pain from their last encounter surfaced. She hugged her sides. Perhaps remaining in the room was not such a bad idea.
“Do you know what she wants from me?”
Kali shook her head and flew towards the door.
Left with no choice, Helena trailed behind her. On the way, she scrutinised the long corridor, searching for a way out.
They passed the tea room and proceeded to walk through two more, lavishly decorated, windowless lounges until they came to an unfurnished room.
In the middle, Nora and Nico stood side by side. Helena noted four other men. Vampires, she assumed. The one closest to her shut the door after she passed through.
Helena’s heart pumped blood fast enough to echo in her head. “You wanted to see me?”
Nora’s displeased expression did not help Helena conjure any fantasy that everything would end well.
“Do you take me for an idiot?” Nora yelled. “When my men finally got to Dublin, the saint was no longer there. Has she moved? Should I check your mind again?”
Helena winced at the loud screech from the siren. She was glad Lucious, and the others managed to warn Nadine of the danger. “I don’t know where she could have gone.”
Nora glared at the vampires lined up against the wall. They caught Helena under her arms. One of them covered her mouth, preventing her from speaking altogether.
Through muffled screams of protest, she was carried to the table behind Nora and Nico. The vampires tied Helena’s arms and legs with rope, stretching her over the smooth surface.
“Do you know why I’ve kept you alive?” Nora didn’t wait for a reply. “It is because you are the only other option to get what I want.” She nodded to Nico. “Begin the ritual.”
Nico pressed his lips together. “We don’t know what’ll come of it.”
“This is what Papa would have wanted.”
Nico sighed and lifted the hem of Helena’s shirt. He took out a phial of inky liquid from his back pocket and opened it. Strong scent of herbs mingled with the air, and Helena fought hard in her restraints.
“Let me go! Why are you doing this?” Helena cried out.
Nora gazed into her eyes and combed her fingers through Helena’s damp locks. “I am just going to hasten the process.”
Nico dripped the liquid onto his index finger and drew something on her stomach that she couldn’t see.
“Nora, this isn’t right,” Helena begged.
The siren gave her a ghost of a smile. Then, she and Nico voiced an enchantment in unison.
Their energy surged and concentrated above Helena. The vampires in the room edged backwards, and Helena wished she could do the same.
Their voices grew louder. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing this to be some kind of nightmare. The accumulated power above her forcefully pushed its way in, summoning a scream from her.
Once her vision was swimming and fogginess pushed her conscience aside, she heard a familiar voice in her head saying, “Witches never know their place.”