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In every small town there’s always a rumor that spreads like wild fire through the streets, or that urbin legend that seems like Death’s knocking on your door, or that old house at the edge of the woods, where the floorboards shriek in agony and the staircases cry in anguish. Many people say the house is a sanctum for the dead, or a home for the supernatural, but I have a better word for it: home. You ask why I live alone in a creepy house at the edge of the woods, well I would love to give a whole paragraph on the subject, but I can only give you one reason: Sanguinis Magia (a.k.a. Blood Magic).
I wasn’t a believer until six years ago, until I saw a dead leaf unfurl in life. I wasn’t a believer until I saw the dead bird at my feet fly away. I wasn’t a believer until I felt the power surge through me, like a thousand lightning bolts hitting me at once.
I had wondered why, how the animals, anything came back to life, until I realized that each of those times I had been cut or hurt. The bird, I had fallen near it and a rock had scraped my hand. And when I stood over it, a small drop of blood dripped down my hand, and it jumped up and flew away.
I got in a riding accident, and I stumbled across a dead fox, I leaned over it and it sprinted through the woods at a dead run. Funny how it was really dead a moment ago.
Of course the last time I did it, I knew what I wanted. For a whole day, I went through my hand at who I could try the blood magic on, and I thought about the little boy I saw in the gutter, dead. So that’s where I went. I found the same gutter, and I saw the same dead boy. Maggots in his hair, cockroaches creeping over his body, dirt smeared on his face, and water soaking his clothes. However this happened, he needed to have a life, he was only 9. So I brought out the shard of glass from my pocket, and sliced my hand. I threw the pooled up blood on the boy and watched his body crumble to dust, the maggots leaping up in fire, everything disappearing until there was nothing that I could see.
So my first trick died, at least I tried to save a life, and I knew that there was something in the magic that I was missing. So I thought hard about what happened, and I knew exactly what I was missing. So, I fixed it. I found a leather worn book and I wrote down everything I knew about it. And for the next couple of years I wrote down everything I knew.
I found out about all the different types of magic: protection, death, life, love, and my favorite, projection, stealing, what you need to call it. And each one felt like I was being pierced...pierced with luring.
Then I went to the nearest boutique in the small town and bought a beautiful ruby red pendant, that would open at the slightest touch. I poured drops of blood into it, and struck it with fire, bewitching the blood. I wore the sloshing liquid pendant around my neck.
I did everything to help with my magic. I did every curse I could think of. Every day I felt the blood flow down my hand like a waterfall. I felt the dead numb of life go through my arm. Sometimes I felt shooting pains go up and down my arm, tingling sensations that was a gift in and of itself. The people in town called me a “cutter” because they would see the marks on my arm and automatically assume the worst...no what I wast doing was much, much more loving, and caring.
Some of the spells that I tried brought pain to me, unimaginable, killing, but in the end it was all worth it. Knowing that you did something. My whole house was filled with ripe, delicious food, or little voodoo dolls, that I would have to use when it required it. There were puppets in the cupboards, or charms around the house, hidden: in the walls, underneath floorboards, everywhere.
I practiced day and night, hour after hour, sometimes minute after minute. I was alone, without a man, barely supporting myself, but nothing could compare to the seduction of Blood Magic. I once thought that if I didn’t do Blood Magic I would die, and I never knew how close I was to the truth, close but not accurate, or of perfectness.
It was June 06, 1906 when everything broke apart. I felt thread breaking apart, hinges rusting, cracking apart, like a giant dam bursting with sanity, when it all flowed out one day, when everything fell apart.
I had woken up in the morning, my hair in a mess, when I first felt the tweaking, little did I know that it was my brain adapting to its new insanity. I then went to do my daily magic, when I felt the blood sticky and cold, did I know that I was losing Sanity’s warm touch. But it really fell apart when I was going to sleep, late in the night, when I finally snapped, all the wires of sanity holding me back, just broke and twisted; the thread inside me, unraveling; the hinges rusting and falling; myself falling apart from the inside.
I knew that I got out of bed, I knew that I cut my stomach, trying the spell I never dared, knowing that it was too painful to endure. Blood poured down my stomach, soaking my gown, then I did the next part of the ritual. I cut my upper chest, and had to feel the course pain flow through me, but in the end I was a majestic crow, born through fire and pain, life and death, suffering and love.
My wings carried me through the biting cold, to the cobblestone streets, where I stalked my prey, with beady eyes, and a set mind, an insane one at that.
The girl below me was walking home in a fashioned gown, with sleeves hanging down to her knees; her hair pulled up in a tight bun, curls coming loose; her full, red lips were bright in the moonlight.
I circled down closer where I began the actual hunt. Everything spun in colors and blurs. I vaguely hears CAWS and screams coming from the prey and the predator. Blood slicked back the feather on my head, then I heard a thud, thud, glump, glump, tweeter, tweeter, and then silence. I had a keen awareness to the last precious beats of the now dead girl’s heart. I felt a slight tingling feeling again, and I saw a girl in a ditch. I saw a twirl of the clouds and I was unconscious before my head even hit my pillow.
I knew the day in crisp detail, I still felt every sensation that I felt the day I lost it, and I still have the scar to prove that I left a girl in a ditch-dead; her hair matted with blood; eyes picked out by crows or maybe a ravens claws; the sharp scar sliding over her jawbone. I knew that when I left the girl sinking in the muddy pool, that my mind would keep going and going, until I was nothing but an empty shell. I need to stop this now, before I reveal that maybe the day has already come, or am I dead, I don’t even know anymore, all I know is that my name is Anne and I killed a girl.
Cornish, New Hampshire
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