She kept her eyes firmly shut as the whispers beckoned to her for the sixth night leading up to her sixteenth birthday. The first night was met with laughter on her part, chalking it up to one of her brother's pranks he had often played on her in their childhood, but as the voice continued to call her name, she became aware of a more pleasing melody, with just a hint of tenor, so unlike the deep baritone of her brother's voice.
The voice in itself didn't have cause to scare her. If it were under different circumstances, she might think the owner someone regal—handsome, even. But as the whispers became more frequent, the voice became a serpent creeping under the cover of darkness, sending a burning tremor down her spine.
Her eyes flew open, startled by the excitement in his voice, and though she knew it was futile, she screamed. Like each night before, he had taken dominion over her body, and save for her eyes, she was paralyzed. He’d left her without her voice, and she could feel the weight of his power crushing her.
There, there, Adeline. This will all be over soon.
She blinked furiously, willing her body to fight against his overwhelming pressure. Let me go, her thoughts cried. She imagined him smiling as he watched her struggle, and she did all she could to stop the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes. Please, she sighed. It was her first attempt at treating him kindly, and for a moment, she did see a smile.
Tomorrow, you’re mine.
His power over the room faded almost immediately and she jumped from her bed and turned on the lights, aching for an escape from the darkness. His lack of presence left her cold—she welcomed it—and she fought the urge to cry. Her mind was burdened by the thought that she would actually die here, and not once had anyone told her why.
She spent the day wary of every shadow and whisper. She was sure he hid in the shadows of every room—every hallway—keeping an eye on her, and the thought terrified her. Why was she chosen for this sick game?
Oh, my dear, Adeline. This is far from a game.
His voice stopped her in her tracks, and she stood stock still while the echoes of bodies danced their way around her. So he can reach me here. Am I supposed to feel flattered?
His only response was a chuckle, and she pictured him slinking back to whatever dark corner he had risen from. She was certain he could feel her fear of his presence looming in the darkness. Could he take hold of her here?
She waited for a response that never came. His silence spoke volumes to her, and her breathing was forced out in short, sharp gasps. She was grateful no one was left in the hallway to witness her panic. Don’t. Please, don’t.
I have no use for scenes, Adeline.
She didn’t hear from him again until she was safely tucked away from prying eyes. As much as she’d wanted to, she knew it was useless trying to stay away. His reach extended as far as darkness would allow—the light was no exception. Even so, she left the lights on tonight. If she would die here, she wanted to see just who it was that was after her life.
She hummed in an out of sleep before she heard his first call. It set her body ablaze and the deep fear that followed stunned her. She was allowed to move tonight, but under the weight of his crushing pressure, she could do no more than lift her head.
She saw his eyes for just a second before darkness took control of the room once more. Those eyes alone would have been enough to petrify her. The orange and blue flames that smothered them looked like devastating galaxies enticing an awing aria of destruction in their wake.
She knew exactly who he was then. She would live tonight, but death would be a far more appealing melody.
Yes, Adeline, I’ve come for you.
And on the seventh night, he who holds power over darkness, will take one young woman as his bride, and he will lie dormant again for a century.
Thank you Nat for being my inspiration ❤︎