At the strike of midnight, I lit a tall, white candle. Standing in the kitchen, I braced myself to meet this dark entity. The kitchen is the safest place to confront evil spirits because the culinary herbs and spices provide great protection.
The rest of the kitchen was dimly lit with small candles. In the center, I stood with my right hand grasping the white candle and holding it high.
I repeated the spell, “dark entity, come to me. You cannot hide in the night, as I cast you upon the light.”
My heart was racing as I scanned the room for glowing eyes, a ghost, a shadow, anything…
Half relieved yet half frustrated, I repeated the spell again. But nothing appeared.
I’ve been taught that spirits respond better to the dead language of Latin, especially the ancient ones, so I called out, “salve? Hello!?”
“Pulchra,” said a deep voice. “Beautiful.”
I swiped my head to the left, and then the right, but I couldn’t see anyone.
“Ubi tu sunt?” I asked in Latin, and then repeated myself, “where are you?”
“Salve, femina. Tu non puella est, sed femina est.”
I furrowed my eyebrows, still trying to figure out where the voice was coming from.
“You’re a beautiful woman now, not a pretty, little girl anymore.”
“Revelare te!” I demanded in anger, “reveal yourself!”
“Minime,” he refused.
“Esne vir?” I asked, “are you a man… or something else?”
“Ego non vir est, ego non puer est, ego non frater est, ego non pater est… I am not a man, nor a boy, nor a brother or father…”
“Quid tu?” I asked, “then what, what are you?”
“Ego sum deus… I am a god.”
“Ego sum dominus tenebris.”
“You are the dark lord?”
“I am the dark lord. I have been asleep for thousands of years and only woke up shortly before you were born.”
“Can I please see you?”
“Minime!” He shouted, “no!”
“I’m sure you’re very handsome…” I persuaded.
“Minime, non ego sum — no, I’m not.”
“Vos habitatis?” I questioned, “where do you live?”
“Caverna habito; I live in a cave.”
“But you’ve been watching me, haven’t you?”
“Ita… yes, I have.”
“Did you put a curse on my friend?”
“Ita,” he admitted without hesitation, “yes, I did.”
“Quare!?” I shouted, “why!?”
“To keep him away from you.”
“Are you trying to kill him!?”
“Minime! No! I’m only trying to send a message.”
“Sed, quare!?” I whimpered, “but, why? Because you’re jealous?”
“Ita, ego sum, angelus; yes, I am, angel. He can’t have you.”
I instantly shuddered at him calling me ‘angel.’
“You have to let me go,” I attempted to reason with him, “whether you really are a god, deus… or some type of demon, daemonium… we can’t be together, okay? And you have to accept that.” I spoke to him firmly, “suscipe et proficiscantur; accept it and move on.”
“I won’t accept it.”
“Quid mihi vis? What do you want from me?” I pled, “please, reverse this curse that you casted upon my friend. Do you want my blood, my soul, what is it?”
“Tantum volo te. I only want you.”
“Why are you threatened of Arthur, anyway? I’m not going to ever marry him, no matter what.”
“Non minati,” he practically chuckled, “I’m not threatened.”
“Then why did you curse him?”
“As I stated, to send a message. He did get a little too close to you, after all. It’s only to remind him of his place.”
“So, let me get this straight. Any man I get ‘too close’ to — or ever decide to marry — you’re going to curse them all?”
“Fortasse,” he flatly admitted, “perhaps.”
“Quod non aequum est!” I threw my arms up, “that’s not fair!”
“You want me to be alone forever, then?”
“I want you to be with me.”
“Ego, ego… I… I…” he stuttered, “nescio. I don’t know.”
I pulled out a chair and sat myself down at the kitchen table. This conversation was going to take much longer than planned.
I took a deep breath, and began, “quam dio? How long have you been watching me?”
“Since you were a young child. I know you better than anyone else.”
“You know, I always had this peculiar feeling my whole life, that I was being watched — but I always assumed it was all in my head.”
“It’s not that you’re the only person I’m watching. I’m watching all of humanity — like a bad stage play with a pitiful script.”
“Quare mihi? Then, why me?”
“Tu diversum est. You are different.”
“How can you be so arrogant to say that you know me best?”
“I saw you on your first day of school when you were four-years old.”
“I didn’t start school until I was eight! So, ha!” I cheered at his defeat.
“Your parents tried sending you to school just like everyone else. You must have blocked the memory out of your head. Of course, it was very traumatic.”
“What are you even talking about?”
“They sent you to school for about a few weeks. You would spend the entire class crying. Out of nowhere, you’d burst into tears. And when you weren’t crying, you’d hide in a corner with your ears covered, shouting to yourself, ‘too loud! Too loud!’”
“I was merely a toddler. It’s normal to have temper tantrum’s at that age.”
The frightening part was, as he described it to me, the memories came back into my head like the sudden recall of a vivid dream. Yet I was questioning if these were false memories, if he was successfully invading himself into my head for manipulation.
“It was far more than that. Every time your parents took you into town, you’d burst into tears and run into the woods with your hands over your ears. It was all too much for you; you had to be alone.”
I took a deep breath. More memories were coming back, but again, I felt that he was twisting with my head. I mean, who remembers anything before the age of seven, anyway? How easy is it to mix up a memory with a biased narrative?
He went on, “your aunt Lilac never should have sent you to school. She only did it so that she wouldn’t have to watch you all the time.”
“How dare you say that!?” Alright — now I knew for sure that he was trying to hurt me.
“And yet, she still let you go out all of those nights to meet up with boys, with total strangers, and misbehave. She knew what was happening but she turned a blind eye because it was too much work for her to deal with.”
“Stop it!” I banged my first against the table, “subsisto!”
“Paenitet, I’m sorry.”
“You’re a demon, aren’t you? You’re feeding me dark and intrusive thoughts — for what?”
“I only speak the truth — to protect you.”
“To protect me from what?”
“You should know about your friends, too, angel.”
“Mihi amicis? My friends — what about them?”
“They take advantage of you. They don’t even know who you really are.”
“Oh, please,” I rolled my eyes.
“Olivia is the worst. The only reason she befriended you in the coven, after your schoolhouse years, was in order to get revenge against Annabella — for ditching her to get married to Jacob. Annabella ditched her for Jacob, just as she ditched you for Olivia — it was her karma.”
My eyes widened. He truly did know more than I thought — he knew the name of not only my aunt, but my friends — he knew the whole background story. He knew.
The dark lord continued, “Olivia did not befriend you because she forgave you for ignoring her all of those years — but because she still had not forgiven Annabella. She only wanted to make Annabella jealous with your friendship.”
“Minime,” I shook my head in denial, “that’s not true.”
“Olivia shames you for holding a grudge for all of those years — what a hypocrite she is for holding a grudge herself.”
I continued shaking my head, refusing to believe him.
“The things she says about you behind your back is horrendous. She is no true friend of yours.”
My face turned red. I couldn’t imagine her talking smack about me while my back was turned… but what if she did? After all, she talked smack about plenty of people behind their backs… why not me?
“She’s jealous, she’s always been jealous of you. She’s the low-grade version of you and she knows it.”
I pressed my lips together. His voice was making me so tense.
“But that’s enough about her. Let’s get back to you, angel. Mihi angelus, my angel.”
“I’m not your angel,” I shook my head, “I have seen many angels, talked to many of them, and I am certainly not one of them.”
“You’re my fallen angel — the angel of darkness.”
“Ego non tenebris sum,” I shook my head and let out a chuckle, “I am not darkness.”
“You were meant to live a secluded life. You knew who you were as a child, yet you grew up and changed, you let the world change you. No one could accept your darkness, so you learned how to disguise yourself as the light — a role you play so well that you have even tricked yourself to believe that the mask is your true face.”
“You think that I’m meant to be alone — a loner, an outcast, a woman invisible to society?”
“Ita,” he plainly agreed.
“Let me see you!” I bursted out. Talking to myself in the dark was only worsening the madness.
Dissolving from thin air, was a figure hiding underneath a black cloak. He was sitting at the table right across from me.
“Can I… see?” I hesitated, leaning towards him, my heart racing.
Silently, I watched him nod.
So, I cautiously stood up from my seat and tiptoed towards him stealthily. I was fearful, but mainly I was curious.
He did not flinch as I reached up to touch the black cloak. It felt as smooth as silk. I brushed my fingertips against it lightly before pinching them together to lift the veil.
And then… underneath… I ripped off the cloak to see… nothing. He was invisible.
“Ugh!” I let out a frustrated groan.
“Someday, you’ll see me,” he promised.
“Seriously, what do you want? How can I make you leave me alone, stay away from my friends and take back your curse!?”
He placed the cloak back over himself and reached out his hand — I could see his hand — it was like any other man’s hand — I gasped to catch my breath. He reached out like he was about to touch me, but he didn’t. Instead, he dropped his hand right back.
He wouldn’t answer me, but he didn’t have to. It was obvious. I knew what he wanted. He wanted to have me, whatever that meant to him — to kidnap me, to own me, to control me. How was I to say no? He was a god and I was merely a human. He had far more power than me. If I were to push him away, he’d just continue watching me in the background, cursing any man who came too close. Either way, my life was over. I would never know freedom ever again.
“What happens if I deny you?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“Then that’s your choice.”
“Will you leave Arthur alone?” I pled.
“Tell him you’ll never see him again.”
I felt the blood rush to my face. I was absolutely infuriated. I was ready to scream at him. I was moments away from pouncing on top of him and slapping his face, clawing his skin, and kicking him in the groin. What a monster. What a demon. What a creep.
Instead, I held myself together. I clenched my teeth, and asked, “or else?”
“I won’t kill him,” he said plainly, as if he was granting me a favor. “But I’ll have my fun scaring him.”
Your fun!? I ground my teeth even harder. I squeezed my lips together. I regretted even asking him. I was already his prisoner, he had already made up his mind and there was nothing I could do. Why was I even fooling myself that I could talk him out of it? It was too late, from the moment he had laid eyes upon me, it was already too late.
“And if another man comes along?”
I’m not even sure why I asked. I knew exactly what he’d say. Why bother? At this point, it’s like I was setting myself up for anger. The sooner I’d accept that I was already his prisoner, perhaps the less painful this would be. Nothing would come out of resistance.
“You know,” he replied.
Yes, I did know. Could he read my mind? — Probably.
“You don’t have to do this,” I told him as last resort. “You could find a woman who truly loves you. Don’t you think that you deserve true love?”
He didn’t answer.
Would he take my life if I absolutely refused to submit to him? More than likely, he would torture the lives of the men around me until I was begging him to let me submit to him. If he wanted to kidnap me, he would’ve done that by now. Forcefulness wasn’t his method. He wanted me to willingly submit to him because I didn’t have a choice.
“Can you say something?” I asked.
His silence was really freaking me out now. Too many thoughts were running through my head and I had a feeling that he was hearing all of them.
“My aunt!?” I had to ask, “did you have anything to do with her?”
“Minime! Of course not!” He quickly answered.
“I don’t kill!” He shouted, “I couldn’t, if I wanted.”
“If you wanted?”
“I don’t have the ability to kill.”
“Even I could kill someone,” I furrowed my eyebrows, “not that I ever would,” I had to add.
“I can’t kill,” he reiterated, “and I would never bring harm upon your family.”
His voice sounded so irritated with me now. It’s like he was frustrated, even though I was the only one allowed to be frustrated in this situation. Maybe he truly did not expect me to be this strong. So, I decided to stand my ground. I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
“I won’t submit to you,” I told him.
“That’s fine,” he said.
“Goodnight,” and I watched the figure out his black cloak disappear back into thin air.