“I did something bad.”, I said with strength from I didn’t know where “but I would do it again.”
The straps on my arms and torso were tight but I knew the Magical Council didn’t want me to be comfortable. They all stood in front of me, they wore their courtroom robes – green satin that dragged on the floor. They were dominant in the room, they encouraged me and every other wizard to fear them. A small balding man read out why I was there as if I didn’t know but the issue was that they saw it differently to me.
“Esther Crowne, do you understand why you are before the Magical Council today?”
“No.”, I yelled back in defiance.
“Let me jog your memory. You betrayed your kind by engaging with a human. On countless occasions, you were spotted with him with no value or care for our invisibility in this world. Let it be known on the record that Ms Crowne continued this at length as she was shielded by family and friends. Also, it is well-known that she intended to tell said human about our kind. A grade one fault, the only outcome is death.”
“I love him.”, I yelled back once more.
“You know the rules, Ms Crowne.”
“You’re burning all the witches even if they aren’t one.”, I said, quoting all those people in my favour.
“You know the rules, no fraternising. It has been illegal for centuries and you were given swift warnings numerous times. Anything you wish to say before the end?”
“I would do it over and over again if I could.”
With that, they turned on their heels and left me in the dark. I stood magically bound to the wall as I awaited my death. They pumped my favourite smells into the room; smells of lavender, summer rain, baked bread, and freshly cut grass. It was meant to calm the likes of me before the end but it made me more anxious. I could feel the solid ground underneath my feet but I couldn’t see anything. I stood in the dark for so long I wasn’t sure if my eyes were open. I could feel the nearing panic attack so I focused on my breathing. Suddenly a spotlight opened above my head which illuminated me.
“My baby,”, I heard echo the room, “my baby, are you okay? You will be okay.”, my mother’s voice rang through the room.
“Mom!”, I yelled out but it fell to silence.
“Sissy, I love you, I love you.”, my sister’s voice reverberated in my mind.
“Cecily! Where are you?”, but that too fell on deaf ears.
“Speak up, one sentence.”, I heard a guard speak but I waited to find out which family member it would be.
“Essie, they are going to kill him, you-“, my younger brother’s voice spoke so fast I was glad I was listening or I would have missed it.
“What do you mean Hugh? Hugh?”, I could hear Hugh struggle over the voice projector then silence.
They can’t kill him, I whispered to myself, they promised me. When I was prosecuted they swore they would wipe his memory and he would be left alone. I was foolish, I shouldn’t have listened. Anger and fear and frustration and hunger and tiredness built up in my body. I started to shout, the only response I was still in control of.
“What did you do with him?”, I screamed at the dark void, “you swore to me! You swore!”, I pulled and pulled the chains but they didn’t budge. Instead, they pinched my skin and bruised my bones. That is when I felt it start from the ground, then it came in waves. I waited for a few seconds for a big wave, a wave that would knock your breath from your lungs. Once I felt it I let it explode from me and wreak havoc like I wanted. For a moment in the explosion I could see the room, it was illuminated by my magic. I was free of the shackles and free of self-preservation. With a palm of light, I found my way out. I needed to find my way to him before they killed him. I had to get there first. Outside the room a woman sat on the ground with her hands up.
“Please don’t hurt me.”, she whimpered.
“Tell me where he is then.”, I picked her off the ground.
“They will kill you. Why would you do that for a human? Why would you voluntarily suffer like that?”, she tried to reason with me but I was filled with hate and love, fear and courage.
“Then tell them to light me up.”