Author Note: This is a short story I wrote for English. I hope you enjoy.
"You have to leave now! Tonight!" She hissed. She shook me, until the full weight of her words settled into my sleepy mind.
I had to leave?
I shook my head at her. There was simply no way I was leaving tonight. I was barely dressed, half awake and besides I was going to meet my suitors tomorrow.
"Elena, you must. The Hunt is on. They have chosen you as their prey. Please, for my sake get up and dressed." I registered my mother's concern, the lines of worry etched into every plane of her beautiful face. Her green eyes, so much like my own tired. She did have cause for worry. Once a month, the Hunt was called and all suspected witches were dragged out of their homes and burned. I shuddered as I remembered the sweet smell of sizzling flesh, and then charred mess that was left behind.
"Why?" I murmured, too shocked to move. The room was suddenly too hot and too cold, too small and too big. I couldn't breathe. My pulse racing loudly in my ear. I wasn't ready, I wasn't prepared to leave. I counted every breath. Every second we were wasting.
11... 12... 13...
Mother flew into action. She threw my riding gear onto the bed and left the room to get supplies. I knew better than she did that there was no 'why', there was only the Hunt and the suspected witches. Wide awake, I knew I had to leave. If I stayed...
I didn't want to imagine what would happen if I stayed.
I dressed as quickly as I could, into the emerald green velvet of my gear. My hands shook as I tied my long dark hair. It seemed so surreal, to leave in the middle of the night. I heard a blood curdling shriek, from across town.
The Hunt had caught their first victim.
I sprinted down the stairs, my heels clicking against the wooden floors. I met mother at the servants exit. Her face was pulled into an emotionless mask, but her eyes betrayed her pain. I wanted to cry for my mother, for myself but there was no time for that. She thrust a bag filled with food, into my arms.
"I've sewn several gold coins into your coat, should you ever need them. Here take this." She passed me a beautiful iron dagger. "Keep it in your boot. God help you should you ever need it, my child." She pressed her hand upon my shoulder, the semblance of her mask cracking. I didn't need to see this.
"Goodbye, mother." She simply nodded and shut the door.
The cold of the night bit into my face. I raised the hood of my cloak. I kept my head down. The moon was dark tonight. It was Witching Hour. I smiled darkly at myself. The Hunt killed witches when they were at their most powerful. I heard another cry in the distance, something inside me cringed. That could've been me.
"Elena, what are you doing?" A voice whispered in the darkness.
"I can see you." I could hear the smile in that voice. I stayed as still as I could, I would catch him at his bluff. It was too dark for anyone to see. A hand touched my waist cautiously and I jumped. I swung my leg and kicked my attacker's shin. The indignant grunt, told me I had hit my mark. I ran as fast and as far as I could.
Footsteps followed me. Fear for my life, fed my stamina. My legs pumped faster and faster until I thought I could fly. I didn't know where I was going. The streets I knew so well by daylight were morphed into a maze during the night. I met a dead end.
"Elena, I swear I mean you no harm. Could you please stop running now?" The darkness spoke as if calming a startled doe, slowly and cautiously. I had no choice but to listen, I had no idea how big my opponent was or how powerful.
"Why are you running?" He had gotten closer as he spoke. I could almost make out his features as my eyes started to adjust to the darkness. He was tall and broad. His eyes shone even in the darkness.
"Why don't you simply eliminate them?" He caressed my cheek, it made me shudder. I didn't dare move back from his touch. He talked as if killing a group of seven men was a simple act. He talked as if he had experience in the matter. Massacre's like that left a stain on the soul.
"Why does it matter?"
"You are one of us." His words rang true deep in my heart. There was a link between us. I could feel it. Something inside me rose to answer this, something completely alien to me. "You're a witch, Elena, one of the first true witches in a decade. And you will prove yourself tonight."
I shiver ran up my spine. How would I prove myself?
I heard heavy footsteps, as a group of men advanced upon us. I looked behind me, and saw that the boy had disappeared. I was completely alone with the members of the Hunt.
"Elena Herondale, you have been accused of witchcraft. You will burn for your sins." The men chant in unison, like a single soul talking from several bodies. Goosebumps erupted all over my skin. The flames of their torches twisting their features, until they looked like demons.
I had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I was trapped like an animal. They advanced upon me. I felt something rise within me, something hot and uncontrollable. It gave me strength. I grabbed it with my mind and pulled.
The first man grabbed me, and he recoiled instantly.
"She's burning." He exclaimed in surprise.
"I told you, she was wicked." Another shouted with authority.
I could no longer control it. I pulled more and more power. An inferno of energy was roaring to escape. Their voices were lost in the crackling of fire. It swirled around me. It twisted like a beast. The flames engulfed me and my predators. Their screams of pain didn't register in my mind, the scent of burning flesh filling my senses.
The boy appeared again, and touched my arm.
The flames rushed back into my body, I could still feel the warmth in the pit of stomach. My senses returned to me.
What had I done? What am I? Was I monster? I leant against the wall, feeling drained. I had just killed men with families and lives, without a single thought. I was a monster.
I was a monster. It echoed hollowly in my mind.
"You have done well, little one." A hand enveloped mine and pulled, drawing me away. I ran from what I was, from my fear and from the place I had once called home.