Painting with Brooms

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Refusal

I tried desperately to keep the door closed as the driver came to open it- my knuckles white as I clutched it. After three good yanks though the male driver managed to open the door pulling me out with it. I lost grip of the door and fell flat on my face, the pavement rubbing against it uncomfortably likely giving me a bit of road rash. I could feel my face was on fire and blood start to well up in spots as I lifted my face. “This is the girl?” Sneered a woman as I lifted my head to look at her. I could feel blood now tricking down my face.

She was beautiful in a unique way, her red lips and flashy blond hair didn’t look as if it clashed with her pale vampiric skin in the slightest. In fact for some reason it only seemed to enhance her looks. “As promised Keionna. Tell your new king the covens wish for this to be the end of any dealings with your... kind."

The female vampire crossed her arms; the name Keionna suited her I thought. She was thin and petite but she held an air of confidence that spoke volumes much like our high priestess; only being a vampire she looked eternally youthful. "So you say witch, but until the wedding that remains to be seen."

"Whatever." He muttered pulling out my bag from the trunk and throwing it beside me. I stood up fixing my shirt and tucking stray hairs behind my ears. Keionna stepped forward and lifted my chin moving my face left and right. Her touch was cool and firm- her eyes unpleasant as she looked me over.

"So you're the little bird meant to fix my cousin? The strongest of your little coven that killed our former king?"

I looked up at her wide eyed and shaking. Is that what they had told them? "N-n-" The car started behind me, the driver taking off with a squeal of his wheels leaving me, Keionna and the bag. I felt frozen in place as her lips curved into a small little smile.

"Listen to me and listen closely little witch. You will go into this castle, you will not say a single word, you will get dressed, and you will lay there as my cousin does what he will with you. If you so much as cast one spell under this roof, I will destroy you. Do I make myself clear?"

Keeping a calm face was something I failed to do as her thumb went over the side of my face, licking my blood off her finger like I was a tasty treat. A whimper left my throat as she released me and pushed me back. I nodded over and over moving to clutch my bag to my chest.

She sneered pulling out an ugly looking medallion- something I recognized as something from a dragon's horde; keeping it safe from trust passers. Only dragon kind could enter the area protected- outsiders needed the medallion to pass. It was an ugly bulky item that in many ways was just as outdated as the spell. No one could go in or out- and it didn't protect a dragon's stash from anyone with dragon blood; which knights long ago had carried with them in a small vile for a price.

I read up as much as I could about the underworld to try an understand my gift in the book of shadows we had home... but there really wasn't much. A bit about the underworld gods, how they where dead yet alive, one with the earth and one with the place beyond. It also spoke of Dragons, Styx, Wraiths, Grims, Demons and of all things- tea leaves.

It was enough to leave me hungry- and realize that the mysteries of death and those that reside under it's house keep their secrets. We hardly even had information about vampires... it made me wonder if the knowledge was lost or just not recorded- or maybe they thought other creatures beneath them? It wouldn't have surprised me, anyone that had power tended to not care who they hurt and I knew from experience.

Just like the book described she held it up- and the empty field behind her faded- a giant castle covered in vines and over growth lay behind it. It looked old and beat up- and I didn't understand that old powerful vampires didn't clean everything. Money and power- even where the Priestess lived it was beautiful and modern. I wondered if this place even had working bathrooms it looked like a dump.

Keionna didn't wait for me, instead she yanked on my arm and threw me in before walking in briskly after me, the barrier closing quickly. "I hate that stupid doorway." she muttered lifting up her hands to pat down her hair that had begun to frizz. "Follow me- I don't want to hear a thing out of your mouth."

I clutched my bag struggling to get to my feet "B-but I can't-"

Keionna hissed her face suddenly in mine and her face full of fury as her fangs sprang forth making me fall back once more. "You will do as I tell you to do, I do not tolerate disobedience."

I tried not to whimper again, as I looked at her. The fear was clear in my eyes, enough so that she let out a small puff of air as if satisfied with what she saw. She straightened and without a backwards glance started trudging through the mud in her heels towards the castle. There was no way the mud stains on those white beautiful gleaming heels would ever come out.

Somehow that was all the satisfaction I needed to pull my bag over my shoulder and trudge after her. Unlike her I actually had shoes on that wouldn't stain- and I didn't have to deal with mud between my toes. Now I just had to figure out how to live. I wanted to say something to her- but I had a feeling she wouldn't have any issues with using me as a snack. If I was a quart low it could easily be the difference between life and death.

The first time I could see clearly and it was my death- at least I knew that the future was never set in stone.

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