Painting with Brooms

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The Painting

By the time I had gotten done telling her about different security protocols it was late afternoon. I was wincing in pain from hunger at this point... it had been almost three days since I had a proper meal. “You must be hungry.” She commented as if concerned tilting her head slightly.

“And a bit queezy.” I admitted playing with a lock of my hair- it was actually getting worse by the moment to the point where my head felt dizzy.

“It’s my proximity apologies. We likely shouldn’t meet again until you meet your fated one.”

“I thought you promised to help me!” I protested in anger reaching for her hand- I had told her everything! She purposely avoided my touch her body flinching away. Then I remembered the stories- touching her was certain death. I snatched my hands back quickly tucking them behind my back but my face no less upset than before. She had promised! I told her everything I knew from Monica to where Nicodemus stayed most of the night.

“The only one that can help you is yourself- but in order to find who you’re looking for look in this fountain after I leave. I promise you’ll find the answers you’re looking for. I also ask that you remove the barrier around this place once you’re finished.”

My eyes widen in fear- take it down? “I can’t do that- they’d kill me for-”

She shook my head making the words die on my lips- did she know i was lying? It was the only protection they had it was bad enough I sold myself to the bringer of death. “I will be putting up my own, yours is not nearly strong enough and this place will need a better one with what is to come.”

“The Fey will be here to see the bride of Nicodemus in two days.” I said nodding after I thought about it for a moment, clearly she was still here and he probably went to confront her himself and she had to be the strongest witch I ever knew of. Maybe she really was the one he had been looking for- or at least that's the part of me that wanted to believe I hadn't betrayed the only people to ever take care of me. This was life or death though... “Perhaps it is best if they see your magic at work.”

She smiled tightly, the smile almost cruel but it seemed forced. “You do realize I have no intentions of marrying him and I was sent here to kill him.”

“That was what I was told to do as well..." I said trailing off- another lie. All the others had been sent to do that. "You should really rethink it though. Nicodemus is a good man, he could help you.” I said in earnest- perhaps I could change her mind.

“Nicodemus is not a man, he is a vampire. You would do well to remember that.” She stiffly before she stood up and lifted a hand pointing to the fountain. “Find what you seek we will speak again once you find your fated one. I will care for this place until I over see it’s destruction.”

I opened my mouth to say that she hadn't even uttered a spell but she quickly turned and started walking off towards the castle. That's when I felt the magic start to stir- my eyes being drawn to the water. For all I knew she could have spelled the water to drown me. Instead as I looked down I felt the connection inside of me.
The surface rippled a few times and then I saw it- the painting that sat in Nicodemus' meeting room- or at least the main one he used that over looked these gardens. My brows furrowed in confusion- why was it showing me a painting? I had seen it a million times before and always thought it was much prettier than even the garden outside- in all rights it put it to shame. It looked real- as if I could reach through the water and grab it off the wall. Without thought I dipped my hand down to touch it and a pull of a vision washed over me.
Instead of dying like any other clear vision I had ever had I was being... touched? Held. We sat under the trees hearing the wind blow through them; a field of flowers of all colors below us- a waterfall in the distance. I felt like the world had melt away and I was safe and warm. Content. Happy.
The tears slipped down my face without a thought as the vision faded. I felt so lost now that it was gone, broken, incomplete- worse even than the ache I felt every morning. Was that what it felt like? Finding your fated one?
Why that painting?
My feet where under me before I even realized I was running, going as fast as I could to find the painting. I skidded to a halt the moment I found it falling to my knees. The curse growing on my skin making me cry out. I didn't even need to take down the barrier I had cast that my body had been fueling. As I felt it fall I curled into a ball in the conference room under the painting crying and panting and I felt it dig into my skin growing up my throat, down my legs wrapping around the back of my thighs.
I felt as if I was suspended in time- as if it would never end before I was finally laying there covered in sweat panting utterly spent. All excitement I had felt vanished as I gritted my teeth replaced only by sheer determination.
"Not today." I muttered to myself as my body shook lifting myself up off the floor. Normally I'd lay there in pain- and my muscles screamed in protest as I lifted myself using the wall trying to reach up to the painting. Maybe the answers where on the back of it? Or another vision might come touching the real thing instead of an image.
Slowly I reached up my fingers running over the gold trim, but the moment the tips touched the paint I felt my feet fall out from under me.
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