In certain circumstances, you must choose a side.....
“Magic exists on a spectrum from light to dark; white to black. In between the two lies many shades of grey. The rules are quite simple: choose a side and choose wisely. If you’re bred of malevolence and possess an innate lust for darkness, then by all means dabble in what your little black heart desires. That is IF, of course, you’re able to endure the reciprocity of your vile acts times three.”
Murmurs rise from the small gathering of girls huddled together like a murder of crows beneath the star strewn night. Eager eyes grow wide, painted with a mixture of fear and awe.
“Judging from the looks on your faces, I don’t believe any of you are ready to have your own demons come hunting you down demanding reparations. When you call upon negative energies to do your bidding they oblige for that is the nature of their wickedness. But it is also the reason why every deal will come attached with a hefty, hefty price to pay.”
The girls exchange nervous glances. A mousy haired girl with speckled frames and a high-pitched squeal to match waves her hand in the air erratically.
“Lady Kaida?” she pleads for the mentor’s attention.
“Why would anyone in their right mind want to practice black magic?” Giggles erupt from the gaggle. She shoots them all reprimanding glares before continuing on, “I mean… if there are so many consequences to using it then why does it exist? Why do people even bother?”
“Settle down ladies. That’s a perfectly fair question Damiana. Black magic is said to be of immense power to its beholder, granting them unlimited access to the world’s darkest secrets. Some people are willing to suffer for what they want rather than achieve it nobly. Driven by an insatiable thirst for conquest. Others are simply so far gone in their evil that they cannot dwell in the light; outcasted by the darkness of their own shadows.”
“So why don’t they just do white magic instead? Then no one would get hurt…right?” A hint of hesitation in her voice as she asked.
Someone sucks their teeth loudly. A lanky girl with a fiery red pixie cut saunters up from the back of the crowd. Its clear that she’s not new by the way she is dressed. Her long flowy gown dances in the moonlight reflecting off the opalescent gems embedded in the dangling pentacle necklace. She glides to the front gracefully, feet as light as air as nimble legs carry her forward.
“Oh yes Kaida, do tell.” She plops down onto the soft grass cross-legged in front of the mentor like an excited child. Chin on her fists in a mock display of undivided attention.
Lady Kaida’s temple pulses ever so slightly, the muscles in her jaw flex as she bites down on her teeth. She clears her throat before answering Damiana’s question, completely ignoring the interruption. “Because magic is a purposeful and deliberate practice. It can only be manifested by faith, in the sense that the person calling upon it must whole heartedly believe in its power. A truly wicked mind does not see the value in good, therefore; they are not able to create light energy. So, what some may view as powerful can actually be a sign of great weakness”. With that, she locks eyes with the pixie girl in front; subliminal daggers slicing at lily-white skin.
The girl stares back at her seemingly unphased. A rabbit emerges from behind a bush, cautiously curious about the source of the commotion. It keeps it distance wriggling its pink nose in the air before turning to run back where it came from. Only the rabbit doesn’t run off. It turns its head abruptly, eyes wide in a trance-like state. It trembles a bit before it starts its slow crawl towards the girl, compelled to her by some unseen force.
“Maeve don’t!” Lady Kaida pleads but its too late. The bunny reaches her lap and Maeve’s bony fingers are wrapped around its fuzzy little neck in an instant. She smirks as the girls gasp in shock. A sharp snap and the bunny’s body twitches violently before going limp.
Horrified shrieks erupt as the circle disperses, most running off through the trees. Some stand around dumbfounded, looking to Lady Kaida for direction. Maeve doesn’t let the rabbit go. She’s laughing out loud now, apparently tickled by their fright. “Such a pathetic lot you’ve gathered here Kaida. I’m highly disappointed, I must say.” She strokes her victims fur affectionately uttering incantations in its lifeless ear. The animal springs back to life kicking frantically until it manages to wiggle free from her grip, hitting the forest floor with a heavy thud before sprinting off into the surrounding foliage.
“Now ladies, did that look like weakness to you?” She addresses the remaining girls, hints of sarcasm in her tone.
“That was completely unnecessary Maeve! Such a foul soul you have, how dare you interrupt my meeting and taint this most holy circle with your filth!?”
“Oh, relax Kaida. You know its not against the rules for me to practice what I preach. You said it yourself dear. Freedom of choice”. She smiles smugly and shrugs.
“The treaty is bullshit and you know it. Had it been my way you bitches would be burning at the stake by now. Every last one of you”. Her voice quavers with anger.
“Tisk tisk. And you call yourself a white witch? Such distasteful statements coming from such a bright light”. She ends her statement in air quotes which only adds fuel to Kaida’s fury.
“Trust me, there would have been no magic needed to accomplish it. I’d have hung you with my bare hands and watched as the same devil you worship engulfed you in flames”.
“Watch your mouth, you should know better than to use the lords name in vain”.
“You know what…” Kaida begins, reminded of her audience who are now watching intently at the heated exchange. “…you can keep trying all you want, no one wants to follow you. No one wants to sacrifice their humanity to be a part of the losing team. Am I right girls?” Shell shocked the girls nod their heads in agreement, too scared to even look in Maeve’s direction.
“There’s a fine line between white and black, remember that.” Maeve spits.
Kaida rolls her eyes, fed up with the turn of events. “Let’s go! Everyone after me! We’ve seen enough of what not to do for one night.” She stomps off with a trail of terrified girls following obediently behind her.
Shrugging, Maeve seizes the moment of negative energy and begins her own ritual, calling upon shady spirits to revel in the disturbance and join in on her malice. Candles flicker to life on the alter. She kisses the salt before spreading it around, ready to close the circle behind her. Something catches her attention before she can finish. A light rustling is heard in the distance. She tenses at the sound, ready for a fight. The power welling up in her body as the spirits fill her with their darkness.
“Show yourself before I go looking and lord knows I love me a good hunt!” She growls gutturally.
Hands up in the air as a symbol of surrender, a nervous figure emerges from the shadows.
“I- I mean no harm, I swear.” Squeaks as her high-pitched voice cracks from the pressure. “I just want to know…” She hesitates, “…how can I – how can I be like you?”
Maeve gives the girl a wide toothed grin. She motions for the girl to come closer. “You think you got what it takes?” A knife is conjured from her pocket and held out in front of her as an offering.
Brown curls bounce excitedly as the girl shakes her head in agreement. Shaky hands reach for the razor-edged blade. The tip meets the girls wrist and without a moment’s hesitation slides along her soft flesh, splitting open to unleash a crimson waterfall. Maeve moves to the side and allows the girl to enter before closing the circle behind them.
“You have chosen wisely” Maeve acknowledges her, pride swelling in her chest. “Welcome home Damiana”.