(There is this thing that runs deep into our thoughts. It always seems sharp, dark and uneasy. Deliya opened the letter in her hands. Behold, It was a letter from her past; with magic imprinted on it.
I am your beloved friend; the reminder of your past! I see your darkest deeds. And the earth is purged of your sinister thoughts. You are a monster and It’s high time you were evicted from this world…
Deliya could not be less aggrieved of the situation at hand. The terrible ghoul of her past has embarked on a journey with shinning torches and forks to hunt her. She could feel the burning sensation of hell in her head. Could she have received a letter from the dead Martha? …She thought. Her life has become the drum of nemesis. She has no other choice than to dance to the beats of the drum. Nemesis is never depraved of his duty. It hit her head so hard that she aired out a cry of pain. And the movement in her stomach didn’t make anything easier. Evil indeed has no gain. She sits on the couch in an old house…with the stench of old memories abandoned by the former residents. She stares at the burning candle in front of her. Albeit, the burning candle is the reflection of herself. Every hour that had passed reminded her of her end that is to come.
Martha was a cheerful girl, full of laughter and joy. Even the old country folks had compared her to the good witch; Adrianna who had died thousand years ago. But Martha’s demise came as a shock to everyone in the quarter. Deliya’s memories travel back in time to Gretina’s quarter; her country and her home town. Many years ago, It was believed that Martha was led out of the quarter to the ancient grave yard where she was brutally murdered. Till now, no one knows who the murderer was. No one had any suspicion whatsover. For Martha seemed to be at peace with everyone. Alas, they were all wrong…
Gora, Deliya’s mother was a good witch in the old country. She had virtually all the spells at her finger tips. She was the greatest witch of her kind. Witches from all quarters came to her for advice, help and above all, teachings of the practice of dark magic. Gora was a guru in ancient magic. But that seemed to have crumbled down the moment she set her eyes on Derek. She fell in love. Her marriage with Derek reduced her practice of magic. She set all her priorities on her husband and her only daughter, Deliya. But she succeeded in teaching her little damsel, witchcraft. Her daughter, Deliya was born a witch. And her mother loved her so dearly. Gora was a good witch. Derek knew how terrible magic could be, so he pleased his wife at all times. It was even rumoured that he feared her more than he loved her. But were the old gossips true? Derek was wealthy and he cared so much for his wife. Apparently, that was not much warranted for, for Gora was a good wife and a patient and tolerant woman. She was every man’s dream and every woman’s nightmare. The women were envious of her beauty that was so ethereal and her charisma that was impeccable! She was one of the most beautiful women in the country. No wonder, she got married at the early age of 21. When Derek lost his job, she became the bread winner of the family. She owned a farm, a bakery and a poultry. She worked so hard and although she became richer than Derek, she remained a loyal and caring wife.
However, there was a turn of the screw. Derek became a drunk. He lavished his wife’s hard earned money on drinks and women. He became so dependent and precauriously lazy! Gora tried to help him but he obviously refused her help. He was clouded with envy and hatred for his wife. He had gone jealous for he could not believe he had to ask money from his wife to eat everyday. Unfortunately, he asked her for money a certain day and she denied his request. He got infuriated at the reason she gave to him. “…I will not give you a dime so you can lavish on drinks and women!…” Derek was sometimes mischievous but no one knew he had a perilous heart.
On that fateful night, Deliya, Gora were preparing their gowns for the upcoming ball. Derek in the mask of a smiling face offered his dear wife a cup of herbal tea. Immediately, Deliya burned up with flames of piercing instincts. She could feel the hands of death and doom lurking in no distance. She tried to stop her mother from drinking the tea.”…Mother, do not drink the tea…It does not look so good!” She retorted. “…And why so, my dear? This is herbal tea and it is for adults only. Not to worry, young lass, It is safe and healthy of course…” Gora ignored her daughter’s warning. Deliya was just a little child. She was not more or less than 10 years. Derek could not stand and watch his wife die in his hands. So he eloped furtively with no one noticing. In not less than half an hour that Gora drank the tea, she collapsed and started vomiting blood. Deliya held her mother in her hands. She was too young to watch her mother die. In the agony of pains, Gora infused her last words in the heart of her little child. “…Help me, Deliya…Your father poisoned me…Your…Your…” Death was so cruel and impatient that he couldn’t give her more time to converse with her daughter. Deliya burned with rage and bitterness. Her mother died a painful death. She bled from her nose, eyes , mouth and her ears. Her magic were of no use to her of course, at the point of her death. She could only tell that she had been poisoned. When she was alive, she helped so many. It is such an irony that in her death she was totally helpless and devoid of help. Wherefore, the last breath of Gora marked the end of Deliya’s innocence.
Derek could deceive the rest country men with the fake doctor’s report . “Gora was too healthy to die of a dark plague.”… People believed that her powerful magic overwhelmed her when she attempted to perform a spell and in turn, invited a dark plague upon her. Deliya tried to expose her father’s crime to the folks in the quarter but no one believed her. They saw her as a little child gravely affected psychologically by her mother’s death. Deliya was so dear to her mother before she died. She used to be a sweet little girl with laughter all over her cheeks. She took after the resemblance of her mother. She was a fair and beautiful girl. The young girls envied her beauty. However, that changed when her father murdered her mother. And everything in her life crumbled down and decayed in the cobwebs of sorrow. Derek grew more wild after his wife’s death. He acquired all her properties and devoured her wealth like the locusts in her farm. He drank a lot of alcohol and flirted with so many women. He even brought some into his home and would have to eject Deliya out of the house till he was through with the women. He suddenly grew to hate his daughter too. He believed she knew something that he didn’t know. And he hated her for her “accusations” .Deliya wasn’t any different after all. She hated her father with all her heart. And that love that was initially at the beginning dried up and earmarked in its way, hatred and fury. Deliya sought to seek revenge for her mother’s death. For this cause, she studied her mother’s magic books and learnt new magic spells. Often times, her mother appeared to her in her dreams to forgive her father and spare his life. But Deliya was adamant and would not change her mind.
Deliya’s memories return and converge at the edges of her smiles. She smiles in spite of her crushing head ache. Her life had changed in the speed of nine years. She was neither better nor worse…She thought. She squeezes Martha’s letter and burns it with the fire she ignited with magic. The little, sweet and angelic Deliya had been lost in the aisle of time. She arches her back against the couch and invites the memories of her past back into her head. For five years after her mother’s death, Deliya lived in melancholy. She was always depressed and was always alone. She was haunted by the thoughts of her father poisoning her like he did to her mother. She lived in fear, doubts and solitude. No one interacted with her, for they feared that she was strange and inauspicious. At fifteen, Deliya finally found a friend.
Martha: What is it that you think you are doing? Why are you killing those chickens?
Deliya: They don’t deserve to live…
Martha: Who are you to judge that? They are your father’s chickens and…
Deliya: They used to be my mother’s! And I will kill every one of them till I am satisfied! I will spill their blood…I will rip off their necks!…I will…
Martha: Enough!…You…You seem like a nice girl to me. You are not the beast that you paint yourself as. You are better than that. You indeed are. I have watched you for a long time now. I have heard stories about you…about how drawn apart you are from this world. But I don’t believe the gossips in the quarter. I believe you are better than that. My mother is your father’s customer, I come here often to buy chickens for my mother. And I see you all the time. I believe that you can be better than this. You are too young to become a sadist!
Deliya: Why do you believe in me? I don’t need your help! I just want to kill all these chickens and burn down this ugly cottage! I want war! I want my father to burn with rage and try to kill me, then I can raise a deathly blow!
Martha: Do not think a thing as evil as that! What did your father do to you? Why are all these scars on your body? Huh? Deliya?
Deliya: Nothing!…I am perfectly alright.
Martha: I am willing to listen to you, Deliya. I am Martha Raulz. And I want to be a friend. (She stretches her hands to Deliya for a handshake)
Deliya and Martha became best friends. Their friendship was as tight as that of sisters. Even if it was short lived. Deliya felt empty no more. But there was still a gap in her heart and it grew into the thirst for blood. Time indeed is specious. Despite the advice Martha had given to Deliya, Deliya could not hold back her thirst for blood; her father’s blood. The memories of her mother’s death tormented her soul for years. Martha thought she could help ease out her pains but she thought wrong. Martha was unaware that Deliya never joked about her intentions. They were all real and she meant them and accomplished them…She killed her father.
Martha: Deliya! Deliya! My mother is out of town. And my father permitted me to pay a visit tonight! And give you these pancakes I just made!
(Deliya is silent) Are you alright? Deliya, you don’t look alright. What is wrong?
Deliya: I just killed my father…I killed him…For so many years I have had no peace! I have burned with rage and hatred. I have sought to put an end to his life for a long time now. And tonight, I achieved it. I casted a control spell on him and led him to the country’s dump site. And…And…I daggered him! I buried his body in the dump site and bound it with a veiling spell. His body would never be found. Every one would think he’s gone missing!
Martha: (shocked) You killed your father? Despite my trying to help you? You still sook after your diabolical thoughts?
Deliya: Yes, I did! You think everything comes easy because you have a mother and a caring father! I was brought up the hard way! I never had the chance to be with my mother like you do, I never had a caring father like you do. My father treated me like a piece of dirt! Ever since my mother died, he beat me at any slight provocation! He inflicted scars on me! And…He…He killed my mother! I can never be who you want me to be. Stop having hope in me. I can never be redeemed. I am cursed! Life has cursed me! I have become a murderer, a beast and a curse. Life has indeed…cursed me. So let me be! Get away from me! I do not deserve to be with you! Your life is too perfect. I know you would want to run away from me now because I have become a murderer. You would become afraid of me! Everyone thinks I am strange. Well, that is the least they know about me. I have avenged my mother’s death. I have killed the bloody murderer who killed my mother! Don’t tell me you wanted me to have hope in my father just like you have hope in me! You are only living in a mirage. My father was a beast with no conscience…And he has turned me into one too. He poisoned my mother and caused her a painful death. He killed my innocent mother; my hero and my teacher. She was too young to die. And now that I have killed him. I have peace!
Martha: If you really have peace, why are you still sad? Why are you still in melancholy? Has his death taken away your sorrow? It has only made you feel more alone…(Cries) Please Deliya, let me help you. I promise never to say a word about your father’s death to anyone. Just give me your hand and I am more than glad to help you.
Deliya: Get away from me! You don’t deserve to have a friend like me. I am a beast! Life has made me so. Even your mother fears me. She thinks I am strange .Just go home. I am a bloody witch! I am not as good as my mother was. I have killed my own father! And never tell anyone what I told you…unless you undermine my witch powers. Ever since my mother died, my powers have increased tremendously and you know…that I get stronger when I am angry! Farewell, my friend!
(Martha could not bear the pain she felt. She loved her friend so much. She couldn’t stand to see her suffer. So she ran off in the dark, with her long blue flowing gown. And disappeared into the night. )
And Martha ceased to live that night. She was murdered. It is such a pity that the murderer still roams about freely in this planet earth. Deliya ran away the next day and never returned to her home town. After hearing the news of her best friend’s death, she eloped into a neigbouring country. She hid in a ship that had sojourned from her country to Anagam’s old country. She was indeed fast enough to avoid the impending accusations. She knew she would be the major suspect. For her father and her friend disappeared the same night. And she could have been killed if she was caught. For it was pronounced by law,a death sentence to any witch that caused harm to anyone; be it death or an injury.
To be continued…