“Have you lost all sense? Do you know how hard it is to curse someone?” Iris said, crossing her arms over her chest.
Will plucked at the bandage wrapped tightly around his hand. “I know it is a difficult feat but I am sure you can do it.”
“Why do you want me to curse him?”
He sighed. “I think he was involved in the death of my father somehow, I know he was and I want him to pay for it.”
“It sounds like a petty reason I need evidence of his involvement.”
“I do not have evidence,” he replied, clenching his teeth. “I just know.”
“Well that is not good enough then.”
He narrowed his eyes and said “I thought you high priestesses will curse whoever they want, I mean you know I am not lying. Why are you stalling?”
“Why not leave her alone and stop pestering her?” Theo said, speaking for the first time. He sounded angry, upset and looked to want to break something. Although he couldn’t hurt a fly even if he tried. “She is tired and I am tired sir, also why did you not tell me I resurrected a high priestess?”
Iris felt hurt by the question like Theo did not like that she was no longer a normal person but someone who should be feared. Her heart felt heavy.
“I knew you would have more doubts about the whole operation. Anyway you know how important this is to me, to you as well. He did save your life.” Will began to pace up and down the room unable to keep still.
“Sir I know that fact very well but now you need to think clearly and I think it is almost time for the… change.” He phrased it carefully.
“I guess so,” Will said tiredly.
Iris was confused by the exchange until she saw Will come closer to the fire, and saw his hands were embedded with long claws instead of short nails.
“Anyway why are you so hesitant at performing a curse?” he asked, changing the topic. She squirmed under his gaze.
“I need time,” she muttered, feeling self-conscious and pulled at the fabric of her dress.
“There is no rush sir,” Theo agreed, but Will wasn’t listening. “I have seen a high priestess perform magic and curses with the click of her fingers so why are you so hesitant? You are hiding something from us.” He moved closer she seemed to be cornered like the prey of a vicious predator. “You have never performed a curse before have you?”
She trembled and whispered “No.” Her eyes dropped to the floor in shame.
“How long were you high priestess before you were supposedly found guilty of those crimes?” he pressed.
Her chest tightened and her eyes blurred with tears. “Only a few days.” She remembered it so well from the ceremony to her first and last visitor who ruined everything, tainted her good name, made the gods turn against her.
“Will stop questioning,” Theo said softly. He turned from Iris in surprise because Theo hardly ever called him by his first name. “I think you need to change tonight Sir, it is making you impatient and frustrated. You are taking it out on Miss Cadance.” He gestured towards her.
Will glanced over at her and saw an emotionally distressed woman.
“I am sorry,” he said guiltily. “Please do not try to contact me tonight.” He went out.
Theo watched after him and turned his gaze to Iris. “I am sorry about him, he is normally more polite than that, but he is going through the change at the moment and it makes him unusually cruel.”
“The change?” Iris said, her eyebrows pulling together.
“You know he is part beast or whatever it is, he changes into a beast and goes roaming every few months for one night. It helps him be better in a weird sense as he gets irritable and more animalistic otherwise, he needs to fulfil those needs.”
“I see that he was part animal, some beast most likely a wolf,” she replied. She was still trembling, still felt humiliated and sick with the dark memories of the past. Theo saw her looking very pale.
“I think you need to sit down, you do not look well.”
She walked slowly to the chair and sat down all strength fled her at that moment.
“I am also sorry for how I reacted to you being a high priestess,” he said.
Iris felt her heart clench suddenly and glanced up at Theo. “He has such pretty eyes,” she thought sadly, yes sadly because she was sure he hated her or disliked her in the very least. “That is okay I guess us high priestesses are not very likable.” She bit her lip to stop revealing more of her feelings.
“Oh I think you high priestesses are fantastic women,” Theo said, which startled her. A small smile played on his lips. “You are powerful, strong and I admire you. When Will kept away that fact about you being a high priestess it was because resurrection comes with a price; a curse some would call it. I was resurrected a long time ago, and I know it is worse when you have used magic for some unknown reason. If he had told me this before the resurrection I would have refused, as I would not have wanted you to be hurt.”
Iris was touched by this and almost laughed for being so afraid of his disapproval. “I did not realise, I thought you did not like me anymore.”
He shook his head. “I could not dislike you Miss Cadance, and anyway do not worry about Will he is rough around the edges but he is kind. You will get to know him and become more comfortable in his presence as he will in yours.”
“I hope that will be the case,” she replied.
Her bare feet silently walked down the cold wooden floorboards. Her nightdress swirled upwards as she moved quickly through the dark hallway, the only light came from the white moon outside through the huge windows which lacked curtains. Making her white skin shimmer like she was a ghost haunting the house.
Iris wandered up higher and higher to the upper levels of the house with no definite reason as to why. She came to a dark wooden door in the far corner where it was swallowed up by shadows, the air was still, she shivered. There was soft whispering behind the door, seductive.It was left partially open and she pushed it to enter the room. It was small with a sloping ceiling there was a window in front of her.
Someone was outside that window tapping on the glass.
She should feel afraid of this spectre but instead she was drawn to the window and opened it. There was a fairly wide stone beam of the roof. The spectre was lingering at the end of it and it wasn’t alone. There were three more, all ghostly and beckoning for her to come to them. Iris smiled at them, they were like beautiful angels.
The wind grew stronger pulling at her clothes and hair as she stepped down onto the hard stone, balancing carefully she made her way slowly to them. Iris glanced down and saw the breath-taking drop yet danger was the last thing on her mind, it did not scare her like it should.
Join us the angels whispered, holding out their arms to embrace her.
The wind began to howl, she took a step, her foot slipped. She screamed in alarm as she stumbled over the edge… hands grabbed hold of her.
“I have you, I will not let you fall,” Will said, pulling her from the edge.
The angels screamed and distorted into horrific demons clawing at the roof. She cried in terror. “Ignore them,” he said calmly. “Step slowly backwards.”
“Can’t I turn around?” she whispered, not wanting to see those demons anymore.
“No you cannot see me like this,” he replied in a small voice. Iris felt his arms tightened round her she glanced down to see long blackened claws.
They stepped backwards slowly with the demons growling and skulking forward.
“We are at the window, step up and push your leg back.”
Iris felt her leg skim the window sill and slowly she pulled her other leg across. She exhaled quickly.
“Close your eyes and do not open them, no matter what happens,” he said.
“Do it now,” was the reply.
Iris squeezed her eyes tightly shut and felt him brush past her. There was the click of the window being locked shut. She felt him move behind her, close and breathing heavily like he was out of breath.
“I will not be scared to see you in this form, I will not disapprove,” Iris said and was answered with a bitter laugh.
“That is very funny Iris, very,” he said in a roughened voice that sounded like he was in pain.
“Are you hurt?” she asked.
“I am fine.”
“You do not sound it, you are unhappy with what you are Will, it is not something to be ashamed of being part wolf.” She felt his hot breath on the back of her neck.
“I am not exactly part wolf really if you see me now you will know, but do not look at me you will die of fright,” he replied in a deadly serious voice. “We are all cursed in this place, Theo and you are cursed by resurrection and immortality, I am cursed by my soul.”
“What do you mean that we are all cursed, that I am cursed by resurrection, I-I don’t understand,” she said starting to panic. She felt Will squeeze her hand comfortingly.
“It will be okay, do not be afraid.”
His hand lets hers go and his presence disappeared.