School was killing me. Or rather, trying to do all the things I needed to do for school and learning the craft was killing me. And I thought it was such a good idea at the time. After Amy left Mareana, two years ago, I knew that at some point my holidays would be over and school would begin again. However, I easily underestimated how much I'd been drawn into witchery and the like. It concerned a whole world without parallel. Well.. Not quite without. As I started to go into biology and chemistry, my knowledge expanded in two different lines that were almost in the exact same direction as witchcraft, but with a completely different view.
Strangely enough, I never found discrepancies in either.
Perhaps a book of alchemy would have been more contradictory with science (or more easily understood) but the things, the changes I had tried were of a more ethereal nature. Changes in people rather than molecules. Changes that had no easily explainable biological or chemical cause. It's like it was two different worlds altogether. One of molecules, one of... will? I had no clear word for it, but it was one that, just like science, adhered to rules and laws. Rules that, at times, asked to be broken. Which I had tried, just a little bit.
I was nothing, if not a rebel. But one with a cause and reason. Still, I always looked for the edges of reality, the borderlines of possibility. Without going all out, usually. In this case, that meant not dealing with demons or the like. Because if there was any power in calling them, it was not with the caller. No, instead an act of slight revenge was the spark of my small adventure. Every cause has an effect and a cost. The trick lies in balancing them and understanding the power of that. Trying to achieve an effect without supplying the needed cost was asking for trouble.
Guess what I did.
What had happened is that one of the more popular girls had a thing for guy rebels and, not surprisingly, an aversion for female rebels. As we tended to group together, this caused some friction. She'd tried to play a very nasty trick on me, involving yogurt, an accomplice and my bag. One that she'd gotten very close to succeeding. And it hadn't been the first attempt either. As I often kept a notebook in my bag about my 'other' studies, I rarely left it behind anywhere. So her chances were fairly limited, but not for a lack of trying. I had to do something back, something that would ridicule her in a way that was not directly linked to me for anyone but her. While I was very tempted to use witchcraft to make her dance naked in the courtyard, this seemed a little too blunt. I had a reputation as a lesbian vampire witch, or so I heard. Where the vampire rumor came from was anyone's guess. Ahem.
I chose something more subtle and evil. What I did was curse her to make her feel as if her crotch was on fire every time she spoke to me. Not just hot, but like a scalding fire. After some minor preparations and obtaining some of her hair (which was surprisingly easy) I was all set. The cost, for a fairly strong curse like this, in this case was a drop of pure blood. I used my own. I knew that with pure blood they meant an unspoilt virgin. But as drawing blood from a ten year old is not easily done and frowned upon, I took the easy way. Saying the plan backfired in an interesting way is both apt and descriptive, but not entirely correct. The intended effect of her feeling as if her crotch was on fire when she next approached me was a full success. The expression on her face, joined with a scream, while it happened was priceless There was just one minor hitch.
I felt it too.
It took all the willpower I had not to copy her expressions as I felt my own back fired. The joy of knowing that she felt what I did (though probably worse) was enough satisfaction not to scream out in pain, surprise and rage. She ran away after that and only tried to talk to me once after. An attempt that was not very long. To my own joy, the pain was purely mental, no blisters or other nastiness remained. Harmless, in a way. Having peace from her was reward enough though and, even after I lifted the curse, she never spoke to me again.
But, yes, cost. I learned that some things, some curses, ask for difficult things because you're asking for a difficult feat. Cause and effect, cost and payoff. I'm sorry I got a little side-tracked. The studies were a lot of fun, both of them so to speak. One thing had me slightly worried though. The book spoke of other types of monsters that had been around for centuries. Fortunately it told of how to deal with them or avoid them, but even that made me nervous. The book was obviously hundreds of years old and vampires were still around. There was no guarantee that other monsters had all died out. Most of them I knew in one shape or form, from movies or fantasies. Funnily enough they were all afflictions that practically any person could get given the right circumstances. All monsters were, originally, men. There was a gentle humor in that I could appreciate.
One type of monster scared me more than anything. A type of monster that had great power of it's own but was never seen directly. The church had called it possession, however it went much deeper than that. Some... things could start to live in a person, completely overtaking their personality and make them practically immortal. They would look like normal people, always, but had silent powers that were on a plane of existence that witchcraft only glanced at. What made them so scary was that they could walk the world unnoticed and the difficulty with which they let go. Like most monsters, they needed to be killed to be 'cured' but the things never died. They just moved to another body, in a way that was not defined. The only good thing was that the next host had to be, in some way, willing to receive such a thing. So it didn't just happen without reason, there were rules.
Still, it scared the hell out of me.
An appropriate word probably.
The weird thing is, I had the feeling that I knew such a creature somehow. That a possessed person was not far away. Of course I initially considered this to be perfectly normal and understandable paranoia. Still, something bothered me. Something was amiss not too far from my world. If only I knew what it was...