So there I was, pinned to the floor with a mortal wound in my back. A fatal amount of blood quickly soaked through my shirt and began pooling on the floor. I felt its sticky warmth oozing between my cheek and the floor.
Before long, I went into shock and my vital organs began shutting down. Fear drove me to struggle harder to free myself. The blood loss brought on lethargy, which robbed me of the will and strength to continue fighting. My vision dimmed, until it winked out. I felt my heart shudder to a halt and everything within me ceased.
Somehow with no vision and no breath, I perceived a blinding light and willed myself to move towards it. There are no words to describe the sensation of being lighter than air and floating, rather than using my hands and feet.
I rose detached from my body and rose above it. Below me were Plum and the others in the coven. I saw them standing over my body. Delilah pulled the dagger out of my back. Plum knelt and poured some bubbling liquid into the wound which glowed and sizzled, when it came into contact with my flesh.
I was so busy watching her, it took me a few minutes to realize that there were more than just the coven members present. There was a man, woman and child standing behind Plum. I could see them as clearly as the others, yet no one else seemed to notice. All at once, they became aware of my presence and looked up at me. Their expressions were blank, but I could feel malice radiating from them.
Plum and her coven joined hands and began chanting, but the sound of their voices did not reach me. I was drifting up and away from them. Then, a golden cone of power blazed up from their circle of power and drew me down into it. Darkness closed in once more.
I have no idea how much time passed, before I opened my eyes in my bed, shocked to be alive. They shouted their excitement, hugging and bumping fists. Everyone except Delilah looked happy. Plum briefly joined the celebration, then held up her hands to quiet the group.
“See what we can achieve, when we put our minds to it ladies? When Patricia gets back on her feet, we’ll paint the town red! But for now, we must let her rest and finish healing. Take the rest of the night off.”
Plum allowed them to visit with me for a few moments, before herding them out. They protested, wanting to stay and bask in the glow of their success with me. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Delilah sullenly hanging back from the group. She didn’t even pretend to be happy. That wasn’t surprising. She’s the one who stabbed me.
When Plum and I were alone, words suddenly escaped me. She had just literally brought me back to life. It felt imperative to explain myself and assure her that despite my actions, it was never my desire to harm her.
“Plum, what you just did for me…..I could never repay.”
“Don’t worry darling, I’ll think of something.”
“I want you to know I didn’t want to…”
“Kill me? I felt the compelling sigil on your arm, when we pinned you down. Fortunately, the spell was broken when you died.”
“So, I did die! I knew it! My soul actually left my body. I watched you and the others bring me back. As horrible as this experience was, it was also amazing. How many people can say they came back to life? Still, I have to say I’m still glad it’s all over. What? Why are you looking at me like that Plum?”
“There’s something I have to tell you and it’s not good news. Did you get a good look at the dagger?”
“No, I was out of it when I left Hiromi. I didn’t even realize it was in my jacket, until I was pulling it out to stab you.”
“Hiromi? Hiromi! I told you to stay away from that sigil witch. Well, now it all makes sense. That bitch hates me! Here, let me show you the dagger. We washed off all the blood and look at what’s on the blade.”
“There’s some strange markings on it.”
“That’s because it is a broken piece of an ancient lead curse tablet. That writing is Latin.”
“What’s a curse tablet?”
“The Roman’s used them to ask gods or spirits or the dead to punish someone who has wronged them. Hiromi tried to use you to hex me with it.”
“But I got hexed instead. Is that what you’re saying?”
“I’m afraid so. Your blood activated the curse.”
“So what kind if curse is it? Am I going to turn into a werewolf, when the moon is full?”
“My Latin is rusty and this is only one narrow section of the tablet. As near as I can tell, the curse either has to do with being hunted or haunted. This chicken scratch writing is hard to make out.”
“Hunted or haunted by what?”
“You’ll have to ask Hiromi.”