They circled around her, leering, jeering, laughing, taunting. They had her caught. They had her in their trap and she would soon taste the consequences of their fear and prejudices.
She could feel their loathing as it radiated off them to prick at her skin. A thousand tiny daggers danced against her flesh. Brands of magic, turned red-orange from the flames of their souls, pressed into her being. Under different circumstances she might have cringed and screamed away from the sensation.
She could smell their terror of who she was and what she was capable of. It filled her nostrils with the stench of refuse and mildew and under different circumstances she might have balked and squirmed away from the scent.
But the sorceress did not balk or scream. She had faced bullies before and had learned to stand up to them. As they circled around her, she was briefly transported back in time to when her first tormentors had behaved in the very same manner. She had just arrived at school, hadn’t even attended a class, hadn’t made it to her room, hadn’t met her roommate, and already the other students had singled her out because she was different. They were male. She was not. That day, all those years ago, she had called out for help and tried to run. No one had come to save her though, and she still bore scars from where the children had forever marked their fear upon her.
She had avenged herself upon them, first by graduating from school and becoming a master sorceress, and second by stripping them of their powers and sending them to early graves. Those bullies had paid the price for their actions.
The bullies that surrounded her again would receive their due as well.
They thought they had her in a trap, but she had cast a larger one. She was still in control. She was no longer a scared student unsure of herself or her powers. A spark deep within her eyes caught and ignited the flames of vengeance she’d left simmering below the surface. She let fly with the curses and enchantments she’d kept close at hand. Her words turned into a flurry of death that swiftly cleared the room of those who would have harmed her.
Some managed to sense the trap and flee unharmed. Most did not.