Chapter 49: Backed Into a Corner
Plum left for the meeting with her new coven in tow and the house fell silent. The peace and quiet was nice at first. But with no one to distract me, flashbacks of the previous night began to niggle me. It might have been my overactive imagination, but there seemed to be an air of doom and gloom lingering in the house. The murky sky outside only intensified the bleak atmosphere inside.
With no lights on in the house and windows only providing feeble illumination, there were dark corners all around me. I couldn’t stop thinking about those shadowy spirits rising from the bodies of the slain witches and the way they seemingly dissolved into the darkness around us.
Where some of them still there? What if the vengeful ones had been watching me, just waiting for Plum to leave? I shivered involuntarily and busied myself with clearing Flame’s clothes out of Plum’s closet, piling everything on the bed. The repetitive, mindlessness of it relaxed me. My thoughts eventually wandered on to more pleasant musings.
After clearing the racks, I started on the shelves, at one point standing on tiptoe to reach a hatbox at the rear of a high shelf. Off balance, I yanked it down sideways. The lid popped off, prompting me to juggle the box and lid while trying to avoid falling or dropping them. As the lid slipped out of my grasp, I lunged for it and almost collided with Delilah.
Where the hell did she come from? I let out a startled gasp and dropped everything. My heartbeat leapt into overdrive. She seemed to have just materialized in the doorway. For a fleeting moment of confusion, I thought she was the spirit of her dead mother returning.
“Delilah, you scared the bejesus out of me! I thought you went with Plum.”
“Nah, apparently your buddy is having too much fun coming up new forms of humiliation. She made me stay behind with a list of chores to finish, before they get back.”
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. She’s not your mother.”
“That’s awfully big talk from someone who has to clean out Plum’s closets.”
“I volunteered to do it.”
“Yeah right Patricia. When are you going to accept the fact that Plum doesn’t give a damn about you? She’s just using you.”
“Are you done Delilah? I’m kind of in the middle of something here.”
Figuring that would be the end of it, I attempted to brush past her. Delilah pushed me back into the closet. Startled, I looked into eyes which were suddenly ablaze with hared.
“Don’t walk away, when I’m talking to you,” Delilah snarled.
“We already had this conversation last night. I have nothing more to say. Now, get out of my way Delilah.”
I tried going around her and she stepped in front of me. Again, I attempt to push past her. Delilah shoved me to the floor, moving in to stand over me.
“You talk a good game Patricia, but we both know you’ve got no powers to back it up, so watch your mouth! Or else, I’ll come for you after I finish off Plum!”
My eyes reflexively closed when a concussive force suddenly struck me in the forehead. I was momentarily dazed. It felt like a kick in the forehead. The pain was almost paralyzing, in its intensity. Then, I felt her inside of my head. I tried to force her back out, but she only laughed and pushed harder. I frantically attempted to block her out of my thoughts, to no avail. Delilah smashed through all of my mental barriers. One minute, she was reveling in my pain, fear and panicked thoughts. The next, she dove further into my mind.
Delilah went so deep that I couldn’t sense where she had gone, until traumatic memories began bubbling up into my consciousness. I felt helpless and violated. It was humiliating to have her rifling through such painful private memories. I was powerless to stop her. She was ransacking my mind and enjoying the anguish that it caused!
The realization Delilah could unearth my deepest, darkest thoughts and memories enraged me. A violent image formed in my mind. I wanted to punish her. To savagely batter my way into her mind and wreck it. Instinctively, I focused all the energy of my emotion on that and gave it the hardest mental shove that I could muster. All at once, the pressure was gone from my head.
My psychic attack struck Delilah with such force that her head snapped back. Delilah’s eyes widened with fear as I bore into her brain. Caught completely off guard, her pushback was weak and ineffectual. I plowed right through her hastily erected mental barriers and tunneled into her memories.
The strain of trying to fight off my relentless attack was taking physical toll. She trembled with exhaustion, having already exerted a tremendous amount of energy burrowing into my mind. A telling drop of blood rolled lazily from Delilah’s left nostril. I shouted at her.
“You think you’re stronger than me? Okay then witch, make me stop! What’s wrong Delilah? Aren’t you going to weave a spell and banish me? You can’t do it can you? I’m telling you one last time to back the fuck off, or I will end you! Got it?”
Her eyes were beginning to roll up into her head, but she managed a weak nod.