– 1st Chapter –
She lived isolated. She hid herself from the world behind claws, weapons she didn’t even know she had. When she was initially infected, she thought it was a cure. This witch had been blind in life and still blind in her afterlife.
She had no idea what she had become, what had become of her world, her family… and she had long since forgotten what happened to her thoughts. She had a few words that ran like ticker tape around her empty and pain-filled skull.
Pain. Yes, she knew that word. She felt it every day.
Sorrow. That one took longer to remember, but yes, this was one she most often associated with her pain.
Alone. This one left an empty pit in her stomach.
Dark. This one made her body run cold. She openly began to sob, regardless of whom or what heard. She needed to let the words out. She needed quiet. Her mind was always so loud.
There she remained. She cursed her fate, if she remembered what fate meant. If not, then she simply cried and moaned for no reason at all – only because that was all she knew to do.
Then, she saw a light. She had never seen light in life, and it scared her in death. Her pink, glazed eyes shifted toward the light, instinctively, but all she could muster was a hiss. The being that had opened the door slipped inside, dripping wet and in just as much pain as the witch.
The witch sat silently as the light disappeared, and the slam of a door locked it away. She listened. Her home had always been filled with her own voice, her sobs, her screams, and the terrible words that always seemed to claw through her mind, but now that she listened, she could hear soft and constant beats on the roof.
Rain. Yes, she remembered it. Though she couldn’t say what it looked like, she remembered how it felt. Wet.
She heard shuffling around her, and instinctively she crushed herself as far into a corner as possible, protecting her back. She couldn’t see the intruder, but she could at least attempt to protect herself.
She sat quietly, and so did whoever had made their way in. They remained this way for a long time, the intruder knowing good and well what was capable of this witch and where she was. The witch, however, had no idea where or what she was dealing with. She had never had to fight in life, and that certainly didn’t change in death.
“W… wh-… who is th-… there?”
Her voice was rough, and painful even to her own ears. It was more suited for growling or shrieking, which she was most accustomed to. However, when her memory served her well, she could use it to speak. She spoke a language even she couldn’t remember learning, and simply knew it out of habit.
The intruder didn’t respond. The witch could hear the intruder’s feet shifting and getting closer. She folded in on herself, hissing and doing her best to hide every part of her behind her claws, though little good it would do against something with the clear advantage of sight.
She froze. Another being who could talk? She gazed out in front of her, squinting her eyes in the hope that she could possibly see who had spoken to her, but she found nothing. The voice had been rough, animalistic, and essentially sounded much like her own. He was another… witch? This word stumped her. She assumed that was her name since it was directed at her, and she had no memory of any other title.
What this other being was, she had no clue, but she had never heard of anything like her before. With her curiosity peaked, she musted the strength to speak.
“Wi-… witch, yes… you?”
Hunter. This word she remembered vaguely, something with guns, killing, and stealth.
She bared her claws. She didn’t trust this word and the connotations associated with it.
The hunter shook his head, a movement the witch was unable to see. The witch took the silence as confirmation and proceeded to huddle in on herself and sob. Then, she felt hands on her face, cold, rough hands. She hissed and unfurled her claws, obviously missing her mark when the hands did not retract. After a few more futile swings, she settled with crying into the creature’s hands as he lifted her face up.
“E-… eyes… pain?”
She nodded – an impulsive reflex to the question. He had found her weakness. She was positive that he was going to kill her, knowing that she was more vulnerable than he might have initially perceived.
The hunter dropped his hands, allowing her head to droop back to its protected position. Then, she heard him shuffle, and hands and arms were under her, lifting her off the ground. She struggled reflexively, but in the end all she could do was relax into the arms of the hunter.
She felt him move with her across her residence, and with a loud bang, the light flashed back into her impaired vision. As a result, she screeched and cinched her eyes, afraid the light would harm her. The hunter continued to move with her, and it wasn’t long before she felt the rain on her skin. Cold. Soothing.
Those were good words. Despite the comfort of the rain, the light was still too foreign for her to trust. She held her eyes shut.
The hunter stopped and jostled her. She refused to comply. He tried once more, and this time added, “Eyes.”
Finally, she opened her eyes. The world was even more blinding than before – this time painful. The light soon cleared and was replaced with a soft and comfortable view, one she had never seen in life.
She looked around frantically, having never had this ability before. She saw colors she couldn’t put names to, ones she had failed to learn in life. It was beautiful and ugly all at the same time. Then, she took a moment to look at herself, the claws scaring her the most when she held them up, and they flashed like razor blades in the sun. Had this always been part of her?
She was scantily clad with a tattered top and shredded pants. She could only assume it was from her careless use of her talons, and her skin was an odd shade.
Then, she looked at the hunter. His skin was the same odd tone as hers and he wore a dark hoodie with long pants. She had never pictured a hunter looking like him, but then again she had never seen anything before this day. He looked at her, his face partially hidden by the hood, and his clothes already drenched.
Happy. The Witch couldn’t quite place this word, but it felt warm.
She nodded – though she still wasn’t sure what that meant, either. Her hunter’s lips turned up, it was slight, but the witch remembered a word that described that little movement: smile. She tried the action out herself, but wasn’t sure it was as nice as his.
The hunter headed back toward her house, but the moment he opened the door and took a step in, the witch had to squint in order to make out even a shape. The farther he went in, the harder it became to see. She shrieked and fought with him, now able to land a few blows with her new ability of sight. However, the hunter held fast, shaking his head.
She stopped fighting, but remained stiff in his grasp, ready to pounce. He placed her on the floor and she scuttled as close to the opening of the door as possible, taking in what little light was filtering in from around the seams. She noted that the longer she sat in darkness, the more her sight became impaired. Even as this creature, the blindness never fully went away.
Soon, the room was lit with a haze. She blinked past the initial blinding light and let her gaze rest on the hunter, who was standing under some kind of illuminated bulb. He looked at her, or rather faced her. She couldn’t be sure if he was looking at her or not with his face covered.
She blinked. Was witch not her name? She silently stared at him, not sure how to go about asking if he had one or not.
He let out a loud sigh and dropped to the floor. She watched as he wrapped his arms around himself and curled up. She crawled across the floor to him, watching the slight shivering of his form.
Cold. Painful, shivering, and in need of warmth.
She nodded and pressed herself beside him. She carried no body heat, and neither did he, but the idea of warming each other was better than nothing. It made them feel somewhat human, though the witch had never known what being a human felt or looked like.
To Be Continued…
– 1st Chapter –