I can give you what you have wished for so long…
Raspy whispers filled the air as light broke through the darkness. The world once more materialized around her into waves crashing against rocks. Still, Esreiella helplessly fell and a scream rose just above the roar of the ocean.
Pain shot through her body as she felt it twist and crumple, and then nothing…
Salty sea air wafted into her nose, and Esreiella opened her eyes one at a time. The sea stretched out before to meet a grey sky while cool rain pelted her face. It was a stark contrast to the hot tears that streamed down her face, and she knew where and when she had been placed.
How many times have you stood here?
Her toes were at the edge of the cliff. She could have turned back. She wanted to turn back.
A small voice within her head demanded she turn around right then, but control seemed so far out of reach. Anger started to rise, but she turned to the sea; and once more there was nothing beneath but rocks and waves. They splashed and reached for her, greeting her body to feed the life within the depths.
Once more, pain revisited every fiber of her being with crack of her bones before it was batter against the rocks.
Then there was the cliff.
NO! The voice within was growing louder.
And how long have you wanted this? Debated it? Nearly did it?
This isn’t what I want!
I don’t believe you.
It came faster that time. The fall, pain,, and back to the cliff. Then again and again, and when she lost count, she dropped to the soft ground. Delicate fingers dug into her hair as she screamed and curled into a ball upon the grass.
“This isn’t what I want! This isn’t what I want! This isn’t what I want!” Her shrieks echoed off the crag that surrounded the cliff. Despite her position pressed against the earth, she felt herself slide just a little at a time toward the edge.
“This isn’t what I want!” It was a desperate plea to nothing but the forces pushing her toward the sea. Manicured nails gathered dirt beneath them as she plunged her fingers into the ground, trying to stop the forces from pushing her to her death once more. It was in vain, however, as she once more met the icy sea, a hard rock, and a sickening crunch.
RUN! The voice within cried out in desperation as her feet once more stood at the cliff. Oddly, it was not so hard to turn and flee down the path.
The path was worn, and she knew each step well enough to be infuriating. Esreiella felt a sense of disgust at herself welling up inside and with it a rage that propelled her legs into a stride. Across the greenery to the cobbles, along the road until a house stood within view. She did not allow herself to slow nor let the tendrils reach out to grasp her.
There is nothing but despair here. The raspy whisper filled her head as she threw the front door open.
“Fuck you.” The warlock spat the words out while staring down a long corridor. No rooms and certainly no windows to line the left and right of the passage, but a singular door at the far end.
Esreiella took two steps forward and the oak front door slammed shut. Her heart thumped in fright, but anger pushed her feet into flight. The hall carried the scent of her house with dust lingering thick in the air, but it had been altered by the sinister entity that haunted her. It wouldn’t stop her, she promised with teeth clenched.
The next door was thrown open only to be met with the same long corridor with another entry at the end. Again, she chased, throwing open doors and sprinting without hesitation until the halls began to shift. Wooden panels changed from the ones she knew to walls she had known. Rooms opened up in the walls and glass grew from nothing. Statues sprouted and portraits seemed to paint themself into existence.
Esreiella knew these people, but their memory came slowly. At least until her feet came to a halt before a final portrait. Her lips quivered as she touched the canvas and smeared fresh paint. A sound started to emerge from her throat, but it was weak and struggling.
“Mum… Da…” It sounded pathetic, but a sense of vertigo took over as the hall surrounding her warped and twisted. The floor split, fell in place with loud cracks and groans.
“Esreiella Antoinette!” A call came from the other side of a double door with a loud thump to accompany it. “You’re going to be late!”
“Mum?” Esreiella answered back, but louder as she inched closer.
“Everyone’s here, and it’s time. You’ve been waiting for this for so long… We’ve been waiting. You know what this night will mean.”
“I know.” The warlock whispered in the dark as she crossed the floor. “It doesn’t feel real.” The pads of her fingers turned the knob, and with a click it creaked open.