(read instalment one here)
I wake with a splitting headache, my third one this week. My head pounds with each step to the door. I’m about to open it when I hear someone calling my name through the open window.
“Claudia, you lazy butt! Open the window, it’s ten-thirty!” yells Tan, who is the gardener of the estate. I met him years ago when I first moved here after the incident. When my first fortune happened. I shudder and a wave of heat comes over me.
“Shut up!” I yell back, “You’re the one who waited this long you…” I trail off as a sweep of deja vu takes over me, just like the incident. I hear the glass break first, then the screams and finally, silence. My feet fly down the stairs before I realise what’s happening. I come out to the scene that made me retch for years. It’s happening. What I’ve been preparing for. To kill the Witch.
“Come, Claudia. We have much to talk about.”
My feet trip forward, following the fortune teller’s command. I sit against my will, struggling to break my invisible bonds.
I take this as an opportunity to look at her. From far away she seems frail, old and hunched, but up close she is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. There was no way that the old voice came from her.
I’ve spoken too soon. Her eyes light up as bright as candles and smoke begins pouring out of her mouth. I try to scream but no sound comes out. As the light in her eyes fades and the smoke becomes a trickle out of her mouth, she leans forward to look at me and laughs. The sound chills me to the bone.
“Well aren’t you unfortunate,” she says as she blows some smoke at my face. Now, the voice is like nothing I’ve heard. It’s feline and brave; strong and beautiful; commanding and fighting. Not a trace of the old woman I saw when I walked in.
“I’m going to make life a living hell for you,” she spits, “You will suffer and bleed in my hands.”
My voice trembles and cracks as a sob makes its way up my throat.
“Oh, my sweet, do not cry. You will be my downfall, so I might as well make life hard for you.”
“Who are you?” I manage through my tears, “Why me?”
“Why, I’m the Witch.”