Little breath left her bloodied lips as she stood amongst the field of bones. All but her lone pedestal was an ocean of billowing crimson and vermillion, a ballet of flames racing to claim her. The woman dared not speak, only shifting her eyes upward to face the pitch black void that whispered her name.
She knew, in her heart, that she was staring into the eyes of the Beast himself.
When she awoke, night had yet to lift its veil that blanketed the winter hills. The last snowflakes of January still danced outside the window – and yet she felt beads of sweat rolling down her forehead. The woman couldn’t help but allow a sigh of relief escape her lips. Still just a servant, she thought.
And yet… every night the dream returned, as did the voices that beckoned her poor soul to join them.
This is the Devil’s work, they had told her. Every village she had set foot on was simply another bear trap, eager for her blood. Maybe they were right, spoke a voice that lay deep within her thoughts. Maybe you are a monster.
The woman looked at her pale hands, tracing every vein that brought her life. She wanted to feel it again, the exhilaration of control, the surge of power that came with every pulse of her heart.
The servant lifted a single arm and faced the window. Below the windowsill lay a glass of water, barely touched since sundown.
Let it out.
Then, she felt it; rising within her from her heart to her lungs to her hands, desperately searching for a destination.
This was wrong, and she knew it. But it was inevitable.
She closed her eyes, visualizing her soul snaking out of her hands like tendrils as it encompassed the glass, filling every groove and fracture upon its surface.
With every breath she drew came a pulse of raw power, lifting the glass against the will of gravity. The air became still. Her heavy eyelids fluttered open.
There she was, standing in the corner of the room. 3 meters away, a single glass of water floated in nothing but thin air. Between them, an unseen force that held the two in balance.
This was what she had longed for. Control. Only then, with gravity reduced to a plaything of her mind, had she felt true freedom.
A foreign voice broke the silence.
“Why is my servant not cleaning the porch?”
The door burst open, and she felt the gaze of a man upon her. For moments, all was still. “You-y-you..you’re a monster.”
She let her eyes wander onto his. Slowly, her soul reached out and surrounded him. “I know.”
With a scream, the man’s body crumpled like a doll and collided with the window. A kaleidoscope of glass and ice left the room with him. The woman let out a cry as she felt her mind ignite. In a few moments, the night ended with sound of cloth, meat and glass against the soft snow.
She left the room, breathless and untethered. With a last glance at her former master, she stepped into the woods.
“I am not your servant anymore.”
I am free.