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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2268835-Coven
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Dark · #2268835
When creepy girls begin speaking in Latin, it *might* be time to run... ;)
Screams Contest Entry 3/7/22
Prompt: A coven of witches
2,998 words

“Who is she?”

As my lips parted in astonished awe, the words just slipped out.

I felt a nudge to my shoulder, followed by a familiar giggle. I turned to see a look of amusement in Rowena’s twinkling eyes. “You would pick right up on the new girl the moment she walked into class, Medea.”

New girl? I found my eyes returning to the mysterious new classmate. Slender and stunning, the delicate-featured brunette slithered across the room before gliding into an open seat at the back of the lecture hall with a graceful twist of her supple hips.

“I thought this class was just for the honor’s program. You know, the whole elite-college-within-the-larger university thing?” I forced my curious eyes away from the girl and brought up today’s chemistry text on my laptop.

“Apparently, she transferred in from some other school,” said Rowena with a shrug. “I met her yesterday. Room’s filled with all this wiccan stuff. It figures your gaydar scoped her out before I could even give you the what’s what.”

I felt a blush ascending my cheeks. Curse my fair, freckled skin! “It’s not like that. I just didn’t recognize her, that’s all.”

“You’re such a liar, Medea.” Rowena grinned, nudging my shoulder with hers a second time.

“Takes one to know one,” I shot back instinctively.

Rowena rolled her eyes. “You really need to come up with a new comeback. That one doesn’t even make any sense in this situation.”

She was right, but I certainly didn’t feel like admitting it. Already embarrassed and beginning to feel petulant, I kept my mouth shut, attempting to focus on the professor as he walked into the room. As our instructor set down his messenger bag and began to rifle through the papers within, however, I felt a prickle along the back of my neck.

Unable to resist, I snuck a backward glance, finding the new girl’s eyes fixed squarely on me. My head quickly whipped around again until I was facing forward. I stiffened, gaze focused dead ahead, my bob-cut hair tickling my chin as it swayed in the aftermath of my sudden movements.

“What’s her name?” I whispered to Rowena without so much as turning my head.

“Jade.”

“Jade?”

“Jade.”

“Sounds Chinese or something.”

“Pretty sure she’s not Chinese.”

“Do you know where she transferred in from?”

“Nope.”

“Do you know where she went to high school?”

“Nope.”

“Do you know how she became Wicca?”

Rowena sighed. “No.”

“Well, you’re just so much help, Rowena.” I frowned, pounding the keys of my laptop unnecessarily harshly as I took notes.

Rowena shot me a sickly sweet smile, batting her long lashes as I gave her a sidelong glance. “I try,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“And yet, you don’t succeed,” I responded back, mimicking her exact tone.

“Look, Dea. I talked with her for all of about 30 seconds. It’s not exactly like I had time to explore her entire life’s history, alright?” Rowena crossed her arms defiantly.

I pursed my lips, then let out a breath. “I’m sorry.”

“Good,” Rowena responded without looking at me, clearly annoyed. “You should be.”

We lapsed into silence as the lecture began, the professor drawing diagrams of carbon-based molecules on the whiteboard, drawing lines between each atom. As he spoke, I felt the new girl’s⁠—Jade’s⁠—gaze on my back again.

I’d had the feeling of being watched before, but my body’s reaction had never been anywhere near this strong. It was as if my body were somehow attuned to the movements of her dark eyes. Who was this girl?

“Did you feel that?” I whispered in Rowena’s direction.

She tore her eyes from the lecture, furrowing her brows at me. “Feel what?”

I flicked my eyes in Jade’s direction. “That.”

Her eyes twitched to the side, then returned to meet mine. She cocked her head to the side, looking at me as if I were crazy. “Are you alright, Dea?” She placed her head on my forehead as if checking my temperature. “Oh, no! Looks like my girl just boarded the all-hot-and-bothered train yet again…”

I responded with an exasperated sigh, then returned my attention to the lecturer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t properly concentrate on what he was saying with the strange feelings radiating through me.

When the class was over, I rose from my seat, leaving a confused⁠—and possibly amused⁠—Rowena in my wake. As I reached the end of the aisle, I was startled to find a shapely form topped by two intense dark eyes awaiting me.

“Hi there, Medea. I’m Jade,” she said in a sultry voice, shifting her hips sensually as her willowy arm rose gracefully to offer me an exquisite collection of slender fingers.

I swallowed hard, taking her hand. Her skin was milky and soft, her nails polished and perfect.

“I look forward to spending time with you,” she said cryptically before turning on her Jimmy Choo-clad heel and gliding away. I watched her go in a trancelike state. It wasn’t until she disappeared from view that my mind seemed to work properly again. I replayed her words in my brain, a question that I should have asked immediately forming in my mind.

How had she known my freaking name?!

Rowena came up behind me, tone impatient as she said, “Do you plan on just standing there all day?”

“No! I just⁠—” I started, turning to face her as I gathered my scattered thoughts. “Did you tell Jade my name?”

“Of course not! 30 second conversation, remember?” Rowena rolled her eyes, finally pushing past me.

I let her go, lost in thought. How on earth had Jade known who I was?

***

At the end of the day, I arrived in my room. I flung my backpack on my desk, then plopped face-first on my bed. It had been an exhausting day, and I still had a paper to get started on tonight after dinner. Groaning, I rolled over, hair splaying on the covers around my head. As I did so, however, I saw a dark shape silhouetted in the doorway.

Lifting my head, my eyes zeroed in on the unmistakable figure of Jade. Her dark eyes sparkled with interest, crimson lips parting to issue a question. “Would you like to come to my room tonight?” The way she said it gave me goosebumps.

“Y-your room?” I intoned, my voice shakier than I would have liked. Far worse than that, however, was the fact that I was apparently completely incapable of preventing my eyes from making the long, winding journey down her breathtaking body. How was it possible to have a waist that tiny? And legs so long that they could make it to her neck? Don’t ask me how both of those things could be simultaneously possible. Somehow, this girl pulled it off.

“Yes,” she said with a dark smile, her raven-colored tresses shimmering in the hallway light.

“To study?” I inquired further, eager to ferret out what she had in mind.

Jade seemed to consider for a moment before her smile broadened. “I suppose you could call it that…”

Okay, what did that mean? What were we going to be studying? I fought the urge to examine her black-clad form yet again. I sure wouldn’t mind studying that body of hers a little further…

“Sounds nice,” I found myself saying as I bit my lower lip. I knew I was being obvious in my interest, but I simply couldn’t help it. Never had a girl this mind-bendingly attractive been interested in me before. At least, I hoped she was interested. It sure seemed that way.

As she turned to leave, however, I suddenly remembered my question from earlier, blurting it out. “How did you know my name?”

She paused, fixing me with a pointed stare. “Oh, you’ll find I know a great many things about you, Medea…” She flashed me a coy smile, followed by a flirtatious wink, then disappeared down the hall.

I let my head fall to the mattress, intense warmth rippling through me. What was this girl’s deal? Why did she know things about me? Why was she interested in me?

Staring at the ceiling, the questions flitted like butterflies around my blown mind until I finally worked up the motivation to get to my feet. There was only one way to get these answers⁠. I would meet her in her room this evening.

Excitedly, I set about my homework before going to dinner. I didn’t want any distractions from my little “study” session with Jade tonight.

***

As I strode up to Jade’s door, I closed my eyes, sucking in a calming breath. It didn’t do much good. My heart was racing, my fingers plucking at the daring hemline of my shortest skirt⁠.

Gathering my courage, I knocked at her door. With the patter of approaching footsteps, my heart ascended to become firmly lodged in my throat. The door swung open to reveal Jade’s dark, twinkling eyes. “Come in,” she purred, stepping back to allow me entrance.

As I shuffled nervously inside, I saw Rowena perched on the corner of Jade’s bed. Casting a confused glance in my friend’s direction, I let my brows furrow, feeling my lips curl into a frown. Rowena shrugged bashfully in return.

I spun around as I heard the door click shut. Jade chuckled as her delicate fingers slipped from the doorknob to rise before her. She clapped them together, rubbing them as excitement filled her gleaming eyes.

“Thank you for coming, girls,” she said, her slim form flowing toward us. “I’m excited for this first meeting of our little coven.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Coven?” Was this some sort of kinky Wiccan threesome thing? The prospect sent a brief thrill through my fluttering heart.

“Yes,” said Jade matter-of-factly. “I am the head witch, and you two are part of my coven.” She shot Rowena a meaningful look. “Rowena here shows an obvious interest in the art.” She turned to me. “And you, Medea,” she said in a voice that sent shivers down my spine. “Are something very, very special.”

Special? She thought I was special?

My cheeks warmed at her compliment, and I felt another blush coming on. My eyes returned to hers, widening quickly as I felt her smooth fingers slither over my own.

“W-what are you…?” I stammered.

She turned my hand over until my palm faced the ceiling. Her manicured fingertips dug into my flesh, tracing its creases with aggressive precision.

“These lines are the mark of a truly powerful bloodline, Medea. It’s why I took the time to learn your name. I could sense your strength in the craft from the moment I walked onto this campus.”

“C-craft?” I repeated, trying to make sense of her words. What craft was she talking about? Then, it hit me.

Witchcraft.

“But I’ve never…” I said, unsure whether I should withdraw my trembling hand from her probing fingers. “I’m not a…”

“...witch?” she finished for me, her long lashes slowly rising until her dark, piercing gaze seeming to bore into my frightened eyes. “Of course you are, Medea. Born of the most purest of bloodlines.”

I nodded tremulously, feeling my knees weaken. What was wrong with me? Jade was beautiful, but it seemed as if something more were at work here. Had she cast some sort of spell?

Jade stepped forward, closing the distance between us. My breath caught, and before I knew what was happening, my knees buckled completely. I landed with a bounce on the end of her bed, slumping lifelessly to the mattress.

Seeming pleased, Jade smiled. She reached out, hand stroking my ginger tresses several times before she pinched a single strand between her thumb and forefinger. With a swift jerk, she plucked it out of my head.

“Uh,” I breathed sharply, more out of fascination than of pain.

Jade ignored my soft sound, however, reaching her other hand to Rowena’s head to do the same thing to her.

“Ow!” said Rowena, rubbing the side of her head. “What was that for?”

“For the bonding, of course,” said Jade, her voice rising in pitch. Her excitement seemed to be growing.

Rowena and I exchanged an exhausted look. “Bonding?” I finally asked, too curious to withhold the question.

Jade gathered the two strands of hair in a single hand, then placed them carefully into a small cauldron that sat on a hot plate at her desk. Moving methodically, she opened a drawer to extract several cork-stoppered vials of ingredients.

I wasn’t sure whether she had heard me, so I tried again. “Bonding?” My voice was louder this time, but it quavered with trepidation.

Jade turned her head to level me with an annoyed glance, shimmering black hair whipping over her toned shoulder with the movement. “Of course, Medea. I’m surprised you don’t already know this. By bonding with a coven, a witch amplifies her potency, making herself vastly more powerful.”

Rowena and I shared another look. I saw my own fear reflected in her eyes. I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a witch. If that was truly what this was all about…

Steam began to rise from the small pot as the water⁠—or whatever it was⁠—began to bubble within. Jade continued her work, popping the corks of her little vials and pouring the contents of the vials into her strange brew.

As she set the last empty vial beside the bubbling cauldron, Jade’s body seemed to relax. Standing over the steaming liquid, she breathed in its foul scent. Her hands began to gather the fumes that ascended from the odd potion, sweeping upward as if to guide the noxious fumes directly into her flaring nostrils.

Her eyes fluttered shut, and she began to chant in what sounded like Latin.

“Hecate, da has omnes opes mihi puellarum…
Hecate, da has omnes opes mihi puellarum…
Hecate, da has omnes opes mihi puellarum…"


To my shock, a green glow began to emanate from her dark eyes, illuminating her pale skin until it took on a greenish tinge as well. She stiffened, seeming to grow taller even as the light seemed to be sucked out of the room, leaving us in near darkness.

I stared at her in fascination as she turned toward us, eyes wild with exhilaration. Their green glow seemed to grow stronger with each passing second.

She reached one hand toward Rowena and the other toward me, and suddenly I felt it⁠—a strange threadlike sensation snaking around the center of my body. It was as if invisible strings had flown from her palm to lasso my heart. Then, I felt the strings draw tight, beginning to tug something within me toward her.

“What are you…?” I heard Rowen gasp, clutching at her chest. “Is this supposed to feel like… ugh!”

“Aaaahhh!!” I heard myself scream. The sound was strangely distant, however, as if someone else were making it.

Our cries of agony only seemed to encourage Jade, however. Her lips curled upward into a cruel grin. I closed my eyes, feeling my features contort as my body grew taut with bitter pain.

“Give their power to me, Hecate. Gift me with their life force. Make it mine.” She seemed drunk on whatever she was feeling now. Clearly, sharing the power of the coven wasn’t part of her plan.

“Why… are you… doing this…?” I struggled to say, hissing the words from between clenched teeth.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Jade laughed throatily, tossing back her silky black mane. “For the power. You have no idea how strong you truly are. Pity you’ll be dead before you ever have a chance to⁠ wield it.”

As she spoke, I felt anger surge within me. Despite the extreme weakness that seemed to pervade my limbs, my fingers clenched tightly at my sides. That’s when I saw a flow of green energy materialize before me, coming from Rowena’s chest and mine to flow directly into Jade’s outstretched hands. I willed it to stop, and the flow instantly ceased its movement toward the girl’s clawed fingers.

Suddenly, her eyes widened, her iridescent green pupils finding my narrowed gaze with something I had never seen in them until now.

Fear.

“What are you doing?” she snapped, giving her wrist a shake as if wondering why the flow of energy had stopped.

Her beautiful features looked desperate as she shook her hands again, the muscles in her slender arms tightening with effort. I felt the force of her will pulling at my chest even harder. But somehow I knew that I had the ability to resist it. In fact, I could even… pull back.

So I pulled. Not with my hands. Not physically at all. Just through sheer force of will. I was consumed by the sudden, overpowering desire to take back what was mine. How dare she do this to me? To me!

The halted flow of green energy began to move in reverse. It poured into me, giving me new life. As the stream entered my body, I began to feel stronger. As strong as I ever had. I had taken back everything she had stolen…

…but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more.

I pulled again, my eyes fluttering shut as I gasped with pleasure. I heard Jade scream, but I didn’t care. I was lost, my mind spinning with the thrill of acquiring so much potency all at once. Scaldingly intense waves of power rolled down my arms, filling me with delicious heat.

When the feeling finally came to an end, I slowly opened my eyes, panting heavily. Jade stood before me, skin blackened, cheeks hollow, as unmoving as if she were made of stone. Her face wore an expression of horror.

I smiled.

Hearing a soft swallow, I turned to the side to find Rowena staring back at me. “Y-your eyes.” She pointed with a trembling finger. “Th-they’re green.”

I rose, feeling regal as I looked down on the room’s furnishings from a higher vantage point. I glided over to the mirror in the corner to see the truth of Rowena’s words for myself.

As my lips curled upward into a wider smile, I turned. I wanted more.

Stabbing a single finger in Rowena’s direction, I watched in gleeful amazement as strands of incandescent energy materialized between us, and I began to take her life force as well.

Rowena’s eyes turned pleading as she dropped to her knees, peachy vitality draining from her cheeks until she could move no more.

I should have felt guilty, stealing my friend’s life. Awful even. But I didn’t. Because it felt so… right.
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