The stars shone bright above Esme's head. The forest was dark and silent with a light chill embracing the air.
The perfect night to die Esme thought to herself. After everything that had happened over the past year, everything she had survived through, it seemed a shame to die like this.
Esme paused for a second and looked inside the cave. The dark tunnel never seemed to end, just a long awaiting darkness. She hesitated slightly, and then shook it off. No, no matter how much I want to live I need to save my daughter. She can not die like this, like me. Esme could sense that one of the daughters she had just birthed was going to play a large part in the future.
Esme closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and said a final goodbye to her daughters hoping that she was not doing all this for nothing. Then she entered the vast cave that lay before her.
The cave was cold. Any normal human would have to touch the wall to see where they were going; but Esme could see where she was going and what was surrounding her, and she certainty did not want to touch what was on these walls.
"So my niece, the great warrior witch is finally come to join me. Something tells me you were not sent by Ara; so tell me, why are you here?" An icy voice whispered into Esme's ear. Then silver light suddenly swayed in front of her eyes; the silhouette turned into the shape of a beautiful woman that danced before Esme's eyes. It was Carlena; the first Dark Witch.
"I have come to take out the last of your kind, Carlena." Esme lied, not wanting to let her plan out.
"You have defeated so many of us that there are hardly any of us left to defeat. So – Warrior Witch – why are you really here?"
"I am on a journey." Esme partially lied then walked on past the Dark Witch to complete her trek to the heart of the cave.
"Ah but why here, Warrior Witch?" more Dark Witches joined now, surrounding Esme. "Only darkness and misery lies here, this place is a prison to all who enter."
Carlena stood centimetres from Esme; her beautiful eyes staring straight into Esme's. She's so beautiful… She thought, and then realized what was happening and snapped herself to it.
"You know your powers do not work on me, Dark Witch. When you still lived you had everyone under your spell, but never me. So you tell me this, why try now?" Esme said with authority in her voice.
"I thought you might like to stay, I sense you are going to die soon. Why not stay here and live forever and ever and never grow old?"
"I cannot." Esme said.
The wind picked up as she said this and Carlena's face went stern.
"Then we shall have to take you then." The beauty of the Dark Witches changed; their angelic faces went dark and evil, their perfect teeth turned long and pointy, their fingers grew long and sharp, dainty brown eyes turned a deep black. Surprisingly the hair was the most intimidating; it flew behind the Witches like snakes waiting to pounce on a long hunted prey. Esme turned back to Carlena, the Witches face fixated in an evil smile. "Run." Carlena said in a dark voice filled with horror and anger, so Esme did.
The Dark Witches pounced like animals, eyes wide with hunger; they bit and scratched her, snarling whenever they missed Esme. She ran faster than any normal human, but the Witches advanced her by appearing and reappearing in every inch of the cave.
Esme closed her eyes and muttered a spell; she heard the shreiks from behind as the Dark Witches were thrown back and hopefully killed. She turned her head quickly enough to see that the majority had been blown down by the air, however a few still remained standing.
"YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT US AGAIN, WARRIOR WITCH! THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF US AND ONLY ONE OF YOU! JOIN US AND LIVE FOREVER, OR DIE ALONE IN THESE CAVES!" a shrill voice yelled from behind her. It was Carlena.
She built up her pace until she was going faster than any animal ever could; the Dark Witches where using the second best power they had against humans – fear. Lucky for Esme, she was not human.
Suddenly one appeared right in front of Esme and she had no choice but to run through her. Inside of a Dark Witch was coldness and screams and darkness in every corner; it was like running through your worst nightmare.
Esme materialized out the other side, covered in bleeding cuts and a head full of disturbing thoughts – but she kept running.
As she ran, Witches jumped out at her and bit her or swiped at her. By the time she saw the little opening in the cave she was already dying from blood loss. Finally! Esme thought as she entered the little clearing.
It was bare apart from a single pedestal in the middle of the circle. There was no way out apart from the way she came so she knew this was the place she was going to die – even if she lived through all the blood loss there was still an army of Dark Witches behind her.
Esme walked limply to the pedestal then collapsed in front of it; laughter was behind her. It wasn't the type of laughter when someone told a joke or did something stupid; it was a cold, hollow laugh with no emotion but self-pride in it.
"You have fallen, Warrior Witch. Although we can not touch you inside this cavern, today is still the day you die." Esme turned around and saw that the Witches had returned to their beautiful form, but with an evil smile on each and every face.
Esme returned her attention back to the pedestal before her. A large glass bowl with a delicate ladle stood proudly on top; she had not been told what to do by her dying priestess but the minute she saw the bowl she knew.
She retrieved the knife from her pocket and held the blade to her wrist. She heisted a second, then grit her teeth and slashed the blade down across her wrist. Esme screamed in pain as the blood trickled down filling the bowl. More laughter came from behind as they realized she was dying.
"Fight for us, my child," Esme said through gritted teeth "Fight for us and destroy her. Do not let me die in vain. The minute the door opens you will have five seconds before the Dark Witches can touch you. Make them count." Then she muttered a spell and the wound on her wrist healed up.
The blood was completely drained from Esme and she was in pain in every part of her body. With every last single bit of strength in her body she pulled herself toward the wall using the hand she hadn't filled the bowl with.
She placed her palm flat on the wall and muttered a language older than the Earth itself. A multi-coloured light spread across the wall, appearing and leaving quickly. The whole cavern shook and Esme screamed in pain, then the shaking stopped and so did Esme's pain.
She lay on the ground proud with what she had achieved. All feeling left her body and she felt a numb sensation spread from her head down to her toes, then she felt nothing and Esme's eyes slowly closed.
Her spirit left her body and transferred into the walls. Her spirit looked down sadly at the hollow shell on the floor; it was covered with cuts and bruises, the jet black hair covering her face.
It was the last sight she saw before going to sleep, for an eternity, waiting for someone living to come.