Yanira pulls out a long kitchen knife and hands it to me; I take the handle earnestly and prowl toward the demon, closing my eyes to spare me of this event that will bring me little solace. A loud shrill from the depths of her heart dies steadily with the wind as I dislodge the knife from her chest. From the dirt she was created, she goes back.
“What happened here?” Yanira approaches me and holds my arm for support and demand. “We heard your screams. Where is Leila?”
Leila. To witness her frail body being heave into the drudge’s back had been an unforgivable sight to my heart. I fail, not only her but, myself when I was unable to protect her. A tear of remorse streams down my face, “he took her.”
Yanira and the other witches are confounded with this information and quickly ushers me back to their house. We walk fast, in fear of being denounced by the people who might answer the call of curiosity from the otherwise still night. The shadows of the buildings become a common ground for the witches as they trod through the night. We arrive to the house and open the wooden door to allow us inside.
“Maia, prepare water and bring some herbs, we have to cure the wounds of our guest,” Yanira speaks with such calmness that betrays her agitated spirit.
“There is no time for healing me, we need to find Leila,” I implore, showing strength in spirit and mind, but my body deludes my eagerness for action when I collapse to the couch, weariness invading my last defense. My vision is blurred at times, dazed almost, discerning vague shapes and figures before me. I blink them away, as if the single blinking of my eyes would cast the things into a clearer light. I lost a great amount of blood to the demon’s waiting wrath.
“We cannot go after Drey if one of us is hurt,” Yanira says, “Drey has one of us. We must act fast for we know what he wants with Leila.” This last sentence she addressed to the witches moving about, searching for herbs and probably weapons.
“She won’t give you in,” I whisper somewhat indignant, “Leila is loyal and she’d rather die in torture than of shame for handing her community in.”
“No, my dear,” Yanira places a cold palm in my fiery forehead, “we know she won’t do such thing, we fear he might use her to bring Zahira back. Use her body as a scepter.”
I force my eyes to meet Yanira’s face, not a single trace of deceit in them. Pangs of guilt settles in my heart and rushes of dark images invade my feeble mind. “This can’t be, how is he going to do that?!”
“I am unsure, but the moment you told us that Drey had taken Leila under captivity we knew his intentions. With every demon he creates, his energy lowers, draining life and strength from him. He was bound to die if he continued creating demons. I am certain he chose Leila because of the resemblance she holds to Zahira, I was afraid he might found out this flaw in his energy and would procure a new human body to his beloved.”
“You knew this all along,” I snarl, flashes of understanding flooding my diminishing consciousness, “you knew that Leila was in grave danger if she set foot in Atala!”
“It was only a matter of time before Drey realized his powers were consuming him, to let him continue creating in an uncontrolled manner would be the death of women throughout the face of Earth,” Yanira responds curtly and defensively. She presses me down on the couch, which was steadily soaking my blood, her hands shaking imploringly for understanding. “Sacrifice, we all needs some sort of sacrifice to continue living and I’m sure Leila would be glad to be the means of salvation for the rest of us.”
“She trusted in you, we trusted you. You let her wander through the streets in order to get Drey interested in her, didn’t you!? It was only a matter of time before he set eyes on her…”
“He only wants Zahira, nothing else.”
“He only deserves death for all the misery he has brought to this world, to your community.”
“As leader of the witches I did what was necessary to maintain peace and harmony. We don’t want to fight anymore, we don’t want to see one of our friends and sisters being buried and forgotten in this wasteful land. We refuse to witness more women being burned in the stake for the atrocities of Drey’s demon.”
“Kill him them!” I shouted, “Kill him and eradicate the root of these sufferings!”
“We can’t fight anymore, we won’t fight anymore. We are tired of it; we can’t hold it much longer. If he has Zahira, his desires for demonic creations will cease and peace will ensue. Leila will bring us that.”
Leila, I can’t let him have her through these unjust means. I have to get to her, this isn’t the answer. The sacrifice of an innocent and pure human being to the lust and desires of a heartless and evil man won’t compensate for the hundreds of lives he has taken with utmost indifference. I have to save her.
“Tie him,” Yanira orders, bringing in an herbal emulsion. She forces my mouth open and drains the liquid into my mouth. I almost choke with the thick and strong tea as it trickles down my throat and into my organism. “Everything will end when the sun reaches its summit tomorrow, it would be everyone’s interest if you don’t meddle with the course of the events taking place now. Your wounds will heal tonight and the world will heal tomorrow.”
“Traitor…” I seethe, falling into unconsciousness. My last thoughts are solely on Leila.