Perched on the landing outside, she spoke out loud, “ wasn’t even coke..”, and then threw her head back and laughed. “who knew borrowing water from a total stranger could have killed me?” Her laugh now, more a cough than a wild cackle, as she saw it all again.
The details more vivid now, because of the powers she’d gained. She remembered the darkness that clouded her sight, minutes after she’d consumed the water.
She remembered the feel of the hands that carried and un-dressed her. The soft silk of the cloak they’d slipped her into, the coarseness of the earth they placed her on, and more vividly the lightning filled sky, her eyes opened to. It was beautiful..unreal..a dream, she thought.
But the non-sensical loud chants in the background, she knew, should have been sufficient to wake her up, if that had been a dream.
She wasn’t bound, but move, she could not. Immobilized by the ground and the strange markings on it, her eyes strained to see beyond but all she saw were hooded figures.
One among them, advanced until his shrouded figure loomed above her. His hands, she noted, held up a strangely shaped dagger as he knelt before the tree.
The dagger ..was it a dragon or a serpent engraved on it, she briefly wondered, before focusing on the tree.
The tree seemed like any regular old one, but the moment her wrists were slit open, she could swear, that she felt it branching through her veins, slowly filling her with something heavier,
something that suffocated her, something that broke free of the restraints, something that spoke through her until she felt her eyes look up and see a lightning bolt strike clean the gnarled old tree. Almost immediately she felt that thing in her cripple.
Its powerlessness sent a ripple of delight through her as she backed it into a corner and regained control of her body.
By the time the inner battle was won and she had crawled out from underneath the branches of the tree, the field was already cleared out. The hooded figures where nowhere to be seen. But trails of their scent, she could see. She walked the streets in her disheveled silk cloak, stared at and leered at by everyone.
But as she walked past them, she left them weak at their knees. One by one hit the tar, their knee sockets popping. She found it strangely revitalizing, as if their strength was now hers.
As if their darkness, now made her stronger. The high from it drove her into delirium. The desire to soar through the skies filled her and she shot up the sky.