betrayed

The sorceress stalked the dark corridor and the enormity of her anger created a pulsing field of energy that radiated from wall to wall.  The veiled torches, casting thin traces of pale orange light, trembled and scrambled for distance even as their shadow siblings reached out to comfort her.  The cool dark embrace did little to soothe the crimson fire burning in her veins, though, and quickly retreated to cling desperately to the corners.  She passed into her study as a beacon shreds the fog of a bitter morning; a brief moment of crystal brilliance parting the gloom that is then swallowed and forgotten, its very existence questioned.

The door rushed to shut behind her but she controlled her emotions enough to keep it from slamming.  She may have been physically alone, but that didn’t mean secret eyes weren’t watching her for signs of weakness.  Being betrayed, as she had, by her apprentice was sign enough of potential weakness and her enemies would already be positioning themselves to take advantage of the situation.  She didn’t need to draw their attention to any additional gaps in her armor that could be exploited.

She was greeted in her study by the comforting black blanket and warm kiss of a southern breeze meandering through a starless night, and she paused to allow the hot rage coursing along her magical nodes the chance to tamper from inferno to coals.  She desperately wanted to unleash her justified fury and obliterate something beautiful, but she hadn’t become a master in the realms of spells and curses by giving in to her base emotions and impulses.  Her eyes remained open, glittering with internal flames of their own, a parting enchantment gift from the only teacher who had ever believed in her, as she waited to regain full control.

It didn’t take long.  Her ability to control herself in the direst of circumstances had been key to her success in school.  And, later, it had also been key to the patience and timing of seeking revenge on all those who had bullied her, tortured her, and abused her in their attempts to keep her from learning magic and graduating.  With a snap of the thumb and forefinger of her right hand, the candles in her study hummed quietly for a moment before yellow slivers of flame rose from the vibrating wicks.  With a second snap the spell ended and the room resumed its silence.  The shadows remained leery of drawing too close.

While the sorceress had managed to calm the urgent desire for violence, her temper remained.  To be on the receiving end of her wrath when in hold of a quick outburst of rage meant a quick, though violent, death.  To be on the receiving end of her wrath when she had time to plan and let her anger smolder before lashing out meant death too, but slower, and involving pain best left undescribed.

The wicked hint of a sinister smile touched her lips and sparked from her eyes as she took her seat and carefully selected one of the tomes that graced the smooth surface of her oaken desk.  Enchantments she had placed on the book recognized her touch and allowed her to open to the pages she sought.  Her apprentice, her ex-apprentice, would pay for his crimes, in time.  She knew that to be a truth just as she had never doubted that she would one day become a mighty sorceress.

Feeding off her gleeful energy, the candles around the room were released from the stoic grip of fear and danced freely.  The shadows crept forward to peer over her shoulders and marvel at the workings of her brilliant mind.

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15 thoughts on “betrayed

    • I’ve been haunted by shadows my whole life. They are always there, in the good and the bad. Sometimes they lend me comfort in their quiet solitude. Sometimes they speed shivers up my spine.

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