The words were spoken slowly but without hesitation. "Donare attribuo aeternus" She was savouring the taste of them on her tongue. The power was filling the room at an incredible pace and she wanted the moment to last for as long as possible.

Of course she knew that it wouldn't last forever, that soon enough the spell would be over and the rush of adrenaline she got from the magic would be gone. But at the moment it didn't matter, all that mattered was drawing out the sensations for as long as possible.

Her voice reached the end of her crescendo as she screamed the last few words and then her head slammed backwards and she closed her eyes against the blinding light. For a moment there was a stillness in her world, everything was trapped in the confines of the spell, but then it ended and everything was back to normal again. The gems that had been floating around her since the first words of the spell had been spoken clattered to the floor and she opened her eyes with a start.

Had it worked? She felt no different but she knew that didn't been nothing had changed. Usually the biggest changes happened right beneath people's noses and no one noticed a thing until it was too late.

She crouched down on the floor and picked up the gemstone that had been circling closest to her body, a small pale blue piece of amazonite and she gripped it tightly in the palm of her left hand before picking up her athamé with her right hand.

Still clenching the gemstone she stretched out her left arm and sliced it open slowly with the athamé. She watched in fascination as the wound glistened there for a moment with blood running along it and then dripping to the floor. And then she saw it, the wound seemed to knit itself together and within a minute it was gone.

She dropped the athamé to the floor and ran her fingers curiously along the skin that was still slick with blood but besides that unblemished. If the blood hadn't remained there would be no evidence that the skin had ever been cut. The spell had worked.

Slowly she stood up and walked out of the room, not bothering to spare a glance behind her to see the remains of her spell or the body of the girl she had sacrificed to perform it. None of it mattered any more, they were merely remnants of a previous life, a failed life.

Her tinkling laughter echoed on the cold stone walls as she left the basement, still clutching the gemstone.