A young woman is forcefully shown her dark heritage by her dead mother's coven at 13 years old. Now, six years later, the most powerful witch of her generation, she is back in their arms... For another purpose.
Sarah screamed from where she was bound and held down, her red eyes glittering with tears of fright, the hot salt-water trickling down her cheeks, the frigid air nearly freezing the skin where the liquid touched her. The jaws of terror held her fast, despite her struggle against her physical bonds.
Her own thoughts were being drowned out by the low humming of the chanting witches around her, a coven of thirteen. Sarah had been taken from her bus stop for school and dragged into the ancient wood known as Devil's Hollow, to participate in a rite 'tailor made' to her. She had never met these witches... but then, she recognized them as influential people in her community, the small, off-the-grid town known as Darkwood.
Sarah stared up at the high priestess and her mouth opened to speak. "Why... Why me? What did I do?!" The High priestess smiled softly. "You are the child of Lucifer, child of the Light-bringer. This is your initiation, dear child."
Sarah came back to the present, opening her eyes slowly, sitting in the circle she had erected to prepare for her homecoming. After her initiation she had been sent to the furthest woods, known among her coven as the Reflection Circle, to commune with her father for six years. Now was the time. She was ready; ready to return to the arms of her coven and become the Harbinger prophesied for centuries. She opened the circle and she blew the candles out.
Her red eyes seemed to glitter with a new light, a light that had left her since her foster parents nearly killed her as a young child. A flame was burning bright in her, one that would be very difficult to extinguish. I suppose I have them to thank for bringing me into my power, Thought she, moving along the leaf-filled path, crunching noises ringing throughout the night under her feet. Her red lips curled into a smile, humming a soft chant to herself.
The cries of ravens and crows filled the air around her, and even vultures. The wind caressed her face, and she lifted her face to the sky, the full moon lighting her path through the arms of the dead trees in the wood. The chittering of rodents reached Sarah's ears in the underbrush, and soon her voice rose into a song. Soon animals slithered, crawled, and flew close by her, following her as companions.
Soon the scent of flame and incense reached her nose, and the sounds of chanting and speaking to her ears. Light began to flood through the forest as she drew nearer to her mark. Through this entire trek, Sarah never once stopped the movement of her lips, never fell silent- not even for a moment, never took her eyes off the path before her.
The wind began to howl, the rain began to fall. Thunder crackled across the skies, but the merriment of the dark witches in the Hollow never ceased, for their bonfire was protected. Creatures of mud and earth slowly rose from beside the path, following their mistress as she gave them life to do. All at once, on the strike of midnight, Sarah Grimstone entered the clearing.
All fell silent. No one was seen to move, none heard to speak.
The first to recover was the high priestess, who smiled at her. "Sarah, you've grown well." Sarah inclined her head to the woman who had initiated her and brought her into her power six years ago. "You look well, My Lady." The woman smiled. "Come, join our circle... Tell us of your reflection in the woods." Sarah stepped to the circle, but did not enter.
"I was visited by my father, taught by him." Her voice broke the deadly silence. Not even the animals hidden in the trees made a sound any longer. "I am here to become the Harbinger prophesied for so long, My Lady. I am prepared to become what I am needed to be."
The crone smiled. "I am proud to hear it. Your mother would be so proud of you." At the mention of her mother, Sarah's face darkened ever so slightly. Then she smiled. "Yes, I hope so. Perhaps she will smile upon me when I destroy every last trace of the coven who murdered my mother, who tried to sacrifice me to my own father, and begin a new coven, one who will truly embody our code." Her smile, benign before these words, became far more twisted and sadistic.
Fear twisted the old hag's face as the rest of the coven turned to run, but Sarah raised her arms. She began to call forth the power she had been building during her trek through the woods. Every creature she had gathered sprang from the trees, their lithe bodies carrying them to fall upon every last man and woman of that coven. Screams rang through the air, screams of terror and pain similar to Sarah's own exactly six years prior.
When the cries finally died down, Sarah smiled at the waste laid to the men and women who destroyed her line. Her eyes glowed of hell-fire, her sharp smile glinting in the firelight. The soft clap of applause filled the air, and Sarah turned. Her mentor, her father, stood, surveying the carnage. His red eyes, so like her own, glowed just as brightly as her own. He smiled at her, his wings outstretched. He held his hand to his fallen angelic child and spoke.
"Amazing work. Now we have much to do, and time is of the essence... Azrael."