Water, Earth, Fire, Air and Life. The five elements that mystically make up the universe. We each represented one. I was the last to join the coven we had made. My real name is Melody but for the coven I was named Saol, for life, not a choice I had but that’s what was necessary. It was weird being the only female in the group, especially considering the belief that a woman is only good for the home. I hoped that when I joined it wasn’t just to be mother to the four men. I was right with that hope but my story only starts here.
Garth (the representation of Wind) and Dominus (the leader and representation of Earth) picked me up in a rowboat a few days after they had settled on the isle. I was more than willing to go with them the first time but the boat wasn’t made for a group bigger than three and Garth had stayed behind to help me set up for the trip. He had helped me buy a robe and some supplies we may need and he seemed really nice. If I didn’t want to be an independent woman, I would have happily taken him as my husband. We arrived on the isle hours after leaving the port. It had been night when we left but as we ventured forward it soon became dawn and the sun was ascending into the sky. The men rowed slowly and carefully whilst I caught up with the occult texts they wanted me to read. I did offer to help row but they were determined that I continued to read. Apparently, it had been months searching for a final member and I was a lot further behind than them in the texts. I was determined to catch up, so much so that I had read for three days straight in my parlour and without sleep. I had persuaded my mother and sister that I was studying it for my job as an assistant. That wasn’t entirely false but I knew I had a bigger role.
Dominus led Garth and myself up a steep cliff where the other two members where waiting for me. Farrin (the representation of Watee) was as calm as when I first met him, whilst Trinity (the representation of Fire) was storming around and scratching at his arms. He seemed frustrated and angrier than when I first met him. His impatience became him. Dominus walked over to them with a satchel and held it out to Trinity whilst Garth stayed by my side. Trinity rummaged through the bag and pulled out some form of ointment. He began to rub it on his arms and revealed horrific burn marks along them. I knew better than to say anything, I was a woman. I didn’t have the place but I knew that if I didn’t ask when I got chance the curiosity would kill me. Dominus return to us and walked us to a small campsite that they had built whilst waiting for us. I had my own tent whilst Garth shared his with Dominus. He left us to our own devices and to unpack what little we had brought for the trip. As soon as I knew we were alone, I asked Garth about the burn marks. “We we’re all picked as our elements for various reasons. Trinity was burned as a child in a house fire.” I stared at him in shock. I thought they had picked their identity themselves but I guess I was wrong. I urged him to continue. “Farrin was saved from drowning as a child. Dominus was in a huge earthquake before moving to Ireland. In fact I meant Dominus on the ferry to the country. I had lost everything to a tornado in America and wanted to start fresh with what I could.” There was a deep sorrow in his eyes, I could tell when he meant everything it also meant life. “Saol, you are unique as you aren’t a representation of chaos or disaster but a representation of what we are all seeking. Life, rebirth, a fresh beginning.” I stared at him for a second. I didn’t know whether that was because I was a woman or because I sought out Dominus after having two miscarriages and my once husband leaving me. Dominus was a doctor whom had trained in the states and was highly sought after for his untraditional treatments. By the time I had found him, he had suggested joining the group and gaining a new beginning. There was that word again. Beginning. I hadn’t thought about it much but at the time I didn’t know what that meant.
We had stayed on the Isle for approximately three days. The men helped me study and catch up but during the clearer days we went for strolls and surveyed the isle for anything as Dominus put it unusual. He left us on day two and returned the next day with more supplies. I had no idea how long we planned to be here but the peaceful atmosphere the isle brought was relaxing. On the fourth day, the men took me to a special site. There was four stone pillars surrounding a large stone table. I had read about this in my books. This was used for sacrifice and how they planned to get us what we wanted. Even though I had read the texts I still didn’t fully understand it. All I know is that we were praying to the lost gods to aide us with our future endeavour. Dominus even believed that acknowledging other gods didn’t mean we had to give up on our current beliefs. It would just widen our perception of reality. It was a rather profound way of thinking. As we walked around the table, we could see out onto the horizon and it was beautiful. After a little tour, we had returned to the camp where Dominus explained that the ritual would begin the next day. I should have felt excited but all I felt was nerves creeping on my skin. Somehow I managed to sleep that night regardless.
The next day, as soon as dawn came, we all were tasked with finding five stones that Dominus said he had summoned. He gave sharp knives and told us to engrave the Gaelish word for the element we represent in them. He explained that there was power in words. Written or spoken; no matter the language the meaning and the feeling had an inert sense of power and by creating this focal point for the essence of our element meant that we could personify the essence easier. Luckily he did not expect us to just know where they would be and he gave us a little map with the location of our stones. The only issue was we had to finish the engraving by dusk or else we’d have to start over. As I looked at the map, I realised the points when connected made a perfect star and I was fortunate to see mine was near the cliff were we had decided to set up camp. I did not think about it then but this was more than coincidence. I made my way quickly to the sand and searched. There was a boulder stood out and I felt it call to me. I think this was the first mystical feeling I had received since joining. I stared at the rock and took a deep breath. Gaelish for Life was Saol. My name was more on the nose than the others but I guess that was for time. I had been brought up on English and the common language but thanks to my father belief in an educated woman I had studied a little of the ancient language and knew how to right this. I started to carve my word slowly but heavily into the stone.
It seemed to take hours and as I felt the pain of hunger I was about to take a break when Trinity was stood near me. He asked if I was done yet. I knew it had been a while since I started but I had only managed two full letters and a small indentation for the other two. I shook my head but stayed calm as I opened my pack. He scowled at me as I pulled out some jerky and a water-skin. He watched me take every bite and every sip, his scowl ever growing until I could not take it anymore. I tucked my belongings away and asked him to leave. He grumbled incoherently when Farrin arrived. He dragged Trinity away and seemed to wish me well before I was alone again. This time I was more determined to prove Trinity wrong, even though he had not suggested that I was not capable of doing this. That was a societal expectation I guess.
Not long before dusk came, I had finally finished. I was exhausted but I was proud of myself. I made my way up the cliff with a wide grin and was met by the four men relaxing by a campfire. I thought I would have been hungry but I was more tired than anything. I excused myself for the night and retired to my tent. I fell asleep easy enough.
I awoke in what seemed like the early hours in a cold sweat. I stayed quiet to not wake the others but something felt off. I could hear them whispering outside the tent. It was as if they had not retired for the night at all. I closed my eyes and focused on their voices. They needed a woman for the sacrifice the next evening, a human woman. I held my breath as they discussed their options. Trinity had a wife that he disliked and was seeing a mistress whom he wanted to become his wife. However, Farrin had suggested that. I was shocked but prepared for the suggestion. The sacrifice had to be good so that we only needed to do smaller ones later. I just hadn’t expected it to be someone we knew, maybe an urchin or an orphan whom nobody would miss. I mean that may sound cold hearted but when dealing with darkness the occult believes you have to darken your soul. This was what I signed up for and I had every opportunity to leave after finding out but I never. Then I heard Trinity gruff voice. His suggestion was darker and more horrible than she expected. I held my hands over my mouth and waited for the men to go to bed. I needed a plan for I was expected to be the sacrifice in the ritual.
Before dawn and after they had retired, I snuck out of my tent and made my way to where we had left the boat. I was appalled to find it not there. Was this what Dominus had planned all along? It could not have been. It all seemed a little unplanned and unexpected. Maybe they had got the timing wrong. I shook those thoughts out of my head. I had to think of some form of escape. I had no idea where the boat was, and even if I walked round the entire island to find it, they would be awake and would find me first. I was a smart and educated woman. My father had brought me up that way. I could out think them. I could plan something and out smart them. I had a whole day to plan, maybe I could trick them into telling me where the boat is or maybe I could fight back. At this moment I saw the sun rise and I knew I had to return to the camp. I would think of something.
When I returned to camp, the men still had not woken. I guess they had stayed up later and I decided to return to my tent. I needed to know more about these rituals. More about what was to come and I would listen to everything they would say in a way that I would have a plan for the night.
The day went by quickly, I had studied three books and their sections on rituals. The men had left me alone mostly, apart from eating and I could overhear everything that way. Unfortunately after tea, each of the men decided to separate and do their own activity. I had not even found anything in my texts. Then I realised it. If I could look at Dominus’ text then maybe it would give me a bigger clue at what I was dealing with. I was alone at camp and I snuck into his tent. It was cramped in there and his belongings were thrown all over. I searched for the book, the one his planned to read through at the ritual tonight, hoping to god that he had chosen to leave it. I was in luck. After rummaging for a little while I found it. I knew I didn’t have much longer before we left for the ceremonial site and quickly flicked through the pages. I looked for where the book had been bent a bit too much and turned to it. There were two rituals here and I needed to read them as quick as possible. Immortalis
Ignis, terra, ventus, aqua, vita
I call upon thee. The gods eternal I sacrifice for thee.
Blood of ignis, tempered to touch.
Blood of terra, hardened to heart
Blood of ventus, brisk as breath
Blood of aqua, tranquil as temperament
Blood of vita, the essence of everything
I sacrifice thy, I sacrifice thee.
Accept what I give
Accept what I take.
There was no indications other than the incantation. It was strange that there was not more but I did not have to time to understand it I had to read the next one in case that was it.
Vita, ignis, ventus, aqua, terra.
A drop of each is all I need. I read. The title was Latin, that much I figured but it was less obvious what it translated to. I was about to continue when I heard rustling coming up the dirt trial we had made by being there. I closed the book and slipped out the tent. I stood near my own and stretched. It was nearing night time.
The moon rose as we made our way to the ceremonial site. We each wore the robes we had gotten and the four men stood by a pillar each. I had to stand without. I did not understand that but I was not concentrating on the reasons. I watched as Dominus moved to the table and place a golden Ruby encrusted dagger on it. There was a small bowl surrounded by various herbs some we had seen on the isle, some I did not recognise. He held out a pocket watch and began to hum. One by one, each of the other joined him and waited for me. I joined them and the moon rose to the the apex of the site. After a small time, Dominus announced and brought the group closer to the table. He placed a small goblet and filled it with wine. He crushed some berries and herbs in a mortar and poured them in. Then he held the knife. I froze for a second thinking it was time and I had not realised it but instead he began to chant. Vita, ignis, ventus, aqua, terra. The men continued the Latin and I quickly joined it as I recalled this as the second spell, the one I did not have time to attempt to translate. As we continued the chant, Dominus continued. A drop of each is all I need. Terra. He pricked his finger on the golden knife and let a drop of his blood fall into the goblet. He passed the knife round and joined the chant. Each of us had to follow suit until it returned back to Dominus’ hands. He placed the dagger down. He raised the goblet to his lips and took a large drink. He passed it to each of us and we each drunk it. It was tart but surprisingly nice. I began to calm and although something in me still anticipated harm, I relaxed a little bit as my mind denied it. Dominus continued as we stopped our chant. Selene. The goddess of the moon. I beseech thee, I pray to thee. Aetema iuventa. Artemis. The goddess of the hunt and the huntresses. I beseech thee, I beg of thee. Aetema iuventa. Diana. The goddess of the crossroads. I beseech thee, I plead to thee. Aetema iuventa. Triple Goddess. Of whom where named, bless us. Aetema iuventa. This gift we embrace. He instructed us to grab hands and closed his eyes. The others did and I saw Garth and Farrin closing their palms for my hands. I followed suit and unbelievably I felt the light of the full moon surge around us. I felt a power flow through my body. It was an energy I did not anticipate. Once the energy stopped I opened my eyes as quick as I could. Dominus grinned. He believed that it had worked. I believed it had worked. Whatever the spell had been. I have come to learn this was a spell of eternal youth. For what was planned next I do not know how much good that would bring me.
After a short time, Dominus looked into the sky and explained that it was nearing the witching hour. If I had not seen him glance at his pocket watch I would believe he had done it from astrology alone. He urged us to stand back at our original posts. He quickly explained the spell for Immortality. We each had to go up to the alter we had created, in a specific order and cut our hands over the alter itself. Then we would join me as the last member at the alter and make a sacrifice. I hesitated at this. He was so open. Although he never mentioned what was to be sacrificed and as I was about to ask, he ushered us quickly into our position.
Ignis, terra, ventus, aqua, vita.
I call upon thee. The gods eternal I sacrifice for thee.
Blood of ignis, tempered to touch.
As if on queue, Trinity walked over, a heavy grin on his face. He held out a newly scarred hand and made a quick slice. He held it over the tablet and waited for Dominus to nod, before returning back to his pillar.
Blood of terra, hardened to heart.
Next Dominus walked forward himself. He was calm but seemed tense. Unlike Trinity, he slowly cut his hand and held it over before returning.
Blood of ventus, brisk as breath.
Garth followed next. He had a quick stride and stood at the alter. He held the dagger and hesitated, I caught him glimpsing in my direction and looked down sadly before making the cut.
Blood of aqua, tranquil as temperament.
Farrin was the penultimate person. He walked slowly but with purpose and without a second thought cut his hand.
Blood of vita, the essence of everything.
Finally, it was my turn. I hesitated and stood still frozen in place. Dominus urged me forward and as if I was being puppeteered I moved to the alter. I cut my hand without even thinking and dropped the dagger in pain. The others quickly joined me and Dominus continued.
I sacrifice thy, I sacrifice thee.
Accept what I give
Accept what I take.
I was on edge, and I knew that if it was my time then this was it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Trinity, not Dominus who seemed reluctant, grab the dagger. Before he even had chance, I shoved him and I made my escape.
I had managed to find a bush to hide in, knowing I could not outrun the men. I calmed my breath and remained silent. My heart was racing and I needed to think. As my mind was coming up with possible but unlikely solutions, I saw Farrin and Trinity walk near to my hiding spot. I thought I had been caught. However the two men stood there. I studied their positions and noticed they both had weaponry. Farrin held a musket whilst Trinity held a sword. I guess this was to cover all ranges. Had these two planned her sacrifice the whole time or could it be they were prepared for the chance of any sacrifice to escape? I had to place that thought out of my mind. In doing so, I realised that the only realistic option was to find the rowboat. As my brain made connections, I understood that I had to make my way back to the campsite and find Dominus’ journal. I had to hope that he had written where he had hidden the boat. I knew it was risky and dangerous with these two hunting me, but this was the only hope I had. I watched the two men discussing, I could not hear their whispers from my position and I had to wait and pray.
After a few minutes, they walked into the opposite direction and I thanked any and all gods that were protecting me. I waited a little longer before slowly creeping out and running up to the campsite. I did not dare look back to see if they had seen me. I just prayed that I did not hear or worse feel a gunshot.
My breath was heavy as I returned to the camp and I placed my hands on my knees to catch it. I had to make one final push to Dominus’ tent. I slowed my breathing and calmed my heart before standing up and continuing. I was not expecting what happened next. Garth was there, staring at me. He did not move towards me, nor did he make any action against me. He just smiled and waited. I walked to the tents and was about to make my move when he held up his hand and pointed to a pocket watch. Time! He was insinuating that I could wait out the time. He had helped me study the importance of location and of time before our journey. He ushered me towards the edge of the cliff and I noticed the dagger by his side. As much as my logic was screaming that I was in danger, I felt safe. We stood watching the ocean, it was calm and peaceful. Then Dominus’ voice yelled out. I did not dare turn around and Garth showed me the time. It had not been an hour. I did not know how long I had to wait. Garth turned around first and placed himself between me. I realised then, that he was protecting me but that Farrin with his gun and possibly Trinity was there too. I looked down to the water and thought about the drop. I was not sure but I could survive that. I would not escape them. I had come to that decision. I slowly turned around my arms by my sides and I saw the faces of the three men. Farrin holding the gun high and Trinity contemplating running forward. They both had frustrated and angry eyes staring at Garth. Dominus was focused on me. He still held his calm demeanour but there was a pity there. A pain that I could not understand but I knew was for me. This would be the place that I died. I knew this now. I grabbed Garth’s dagger and plunged it into my abdomen. I pulled it out and threw it over the cliff into the ocean. I attempted to take a step back to ensure my demise. Garth had felt my actions and saw the shocked expression on the trio’s face. He turned quickly and grabbed my arm holding me over the side. I looked up at him, he was leaning over and my weight was pulling him over with me. I pulled myself up a little bit and whispered into his ear. “Words have power. I have to curse them so they cannot hurt anyone else. Find my journal, break the curse when the time is right.” I kissed him on the cheek as dug my nails into his arm.
Time seemed to slow as I fell. I utter the words quickly and loudly. I knew that this would be my end and I knew that once I hit the ocean it would be over. IGNIS! AQUA! TERRA! VENTUS! VITA! I CURSE THEE! IMMORTALIS VICCISM! REVOCA OMNIA! I CURSE THEE! I spoke with power these words, this magic I created with hope that one day it will be broken when those men cannot harm anyone again. But I continued to fall. The force of the ocean swallowed me whole. My last sight in my weakened body was the water turning red.