Sizzle & Burn
Ventille stood atop the spiral staircase with a sly smirk spreading across her porcelain features. Her skyblue cloak billowing around her majestically gave a definite air of authority. Flynn froze still, watching the elder Adept descend the spiral staircase with an elegance he never knew possible. Her gloved hand caressing the banister as she sauntered down the final steps.
Never breaking eye contact, Ventille smiled her sinister smile and gave a taunting little wave of introduction. Her sharp cheekbones and pursed red lips would have been beautiful if it wasn’t for the cold calculation behind her piercing blue eyes.
At the bottom of the spiral staircase, she finally spoke, cutting the silence with her sweet voice, “Hello there little boy.” Flynn knew she couldn’t have been more than a few years older than himself, but he was in no position to point this out.
She looked Flynn up and down, and obviously wasn’t impressed by what she saw. She let out a pitying giggle, “You common folk are so adorably plain.” Looking around the dim chamber she continued, “I can’t believe that people actually live like this – it’s so cute.” Despite her beauty and sweet demeanor, Flynn couldn’t help being terrified by the cruelty in her voice. He unconsciously gathered the satchel closer to his chest, protecting the Relics within.
Tilting her head curiously, Ventille’s calculating eyes studied Flynn deeper, “What are you hiding down here?” As charming as her voice was, her tone was absolutely sinister. Flynn knew that he couldn’t trust a thing that came out of those sweet looking lips.
Gracefully gliding across the chamber, she approached Flynn without concern. Her false smile disappeared and her voice was now laced with venom, “It seems that you have some interesting toys down here.”
Her eyes lit up when she registered what the spilled contents of the bureau actually were. Having no interest in the sharp blades, all of her attention was focused on the Resting Relics. She greedily eyed the looking-glass in Flynn’s hand, along with the burnt torch and the scaly mask scattered on the tiles of the chamber.
“You’re hiding Relics down here, aren’t you?” she asked in disbelief.
The hazy stones embedded in the Relics absorbed all of her interest. Seeming to recognise the Power of the elder Adept, the stones began to shimmer milky white in response to her presence.
Flynn gathered the Relics closer around him, trying his best not to let the fear show in his eyes.
Any false sweetness disappeared from the Adept’s voice as she suddenly became stern and formal, “I represent the Coven of Redcloud and I declare that these Relics are now property of the illustrious Supreme Enchantress Lunasa.”
Never letting her eyes drop she continued officially and full of pride, “If you have any objections, you must address the Coven in due accordance.”
Flynn was frozen with fear but managed to stammer, “Th-th-these aren’t yours,” in a pitiful attempt to sound brave he continued, “They’re m-m-mine.”
Ventille let out a menacing giggle that sent shivers down his spine. “I think you know that’s not true.”
She grasped the jewel hanging from her neck and muttered in concentration as it began to glow crystal-blue. A twirling cyclone rose from the ground in front of her and swept across the room in a menacing display, only to return to spin silently by her side.
With hair whipping around in the breeze, she made the situation quite clear, “Everything here is now mine, and you know there’s nothing you can do to change that.”
Successfully emphasising her point, Ventille returned her focus to the Relics. With her attention on the Relics, Flynn took the opportunity to pick up a weapon to defend himself. He spun around to the fallen cabinet and grabbed one of the jewel encrusted daggers. He lifted it in front of him as menacingly as he could muster – But the only response he got from the Adept was her mocking laughter.
“These are mine!” Flynn managed to say without stuttering – The dagger gave him a vague sense of security.
Ventille’s sly smile quickly turned into an intimidating snarl of her lips. In a fluid motion, she clutched the jewel hanging from her neck. Once again, the amulet glowed crystal-blue. A gust of wind came whipping out of her outstretched hand aimed directly at Flynn.
The gust ripped the dagger from his grip and flung it away. The sharp blade flew across the chamber in a perfect arc, driven by the heavy gust. With a thud, the blade buried itself deep into a wooden cupboard at the far side of the cellar.
Still clutching the jewel around her neck, Ventille muttered more words under her breath. The cyclone twisting by her side swooped towards Flynn and swallowed him up entirely within it’s swirling gusts. Trapped inside the whirlwind, he couldn’t see much through the whipping winds surrounding him. Everything outside his new prison was a blur, until Ventille approached the enclosure to peer inside at her captive.
Up close, her grimace began to fade and was replaced by another fake-friendly smile. Staring into the cyclone she scolded, “Please don’t do that again. I don’t tolerate aggressive behaviour.” Continuing in her sweet voice, she tried to convince Flynn of her good intentions, “Besides, I am simply returning the Relics to their rightful owners – the Coven.”
Flynn knew this was a lie and couldn’t help himself from blurting out, “That’s not true – You want the Power for yourself!”
“Excuse me?” Ventille faked innocence.
“You said it yourself – you want all of the Power just like the Forsaken Enchantress Ivy!”
“So you were spying on us?” She shook her head with disapproval, “Your parents were sneaky snoops too and look what happened to them.”
Flynn was speechless while Ventille continued to taunt, “Well at least I assume that’s who those sad commoners were.” She lowered her head in pity, “But don’t worry, you’ll be joining mommy and daddy very soon.”
Flynn watched the blue-haired Adept turn to collect the Relics from the chamber floor. Suddenly she stopped, turning towards the spiral staircase. Ventille looked quite bothered by the interruption at the top of the stairs.
Flynn couldn’t see anything clearly through the winds, but he could vaguely hear another voice calling from above. It was faint through the roaring gusts of the whirlwind surrounding him, but he heard someone calling out, “Ventille! Are you down here Ventille?”
Ventille turned and screamed, “Go away Bubbles!”
Not discouraged easily, Bubbles continued calling from above, “Are you alright? What’s all that racket?”
“None of your business – Leave me alone!” Flynn knew that Ventille wanted the Relics to herself, “Run away like you wanted to. I don’t need you down here.”
Flynn tried to shout out, but it was useless. His shouts were swallowed up by the heavy gusts swirling about him. He tried to scream louder over the whipping whirlwind, but it was no use. Ventille turned away from Flynn to direct her full attention towards the nuisance at the top of the stairs.
“I said – Go away Bubbles!”
She grabbed her amulet and sent a gust of wind shooting up the spiral staircase. The iron door slammed shut – Only to be opened again, quickly followed by the bothersome voice calling down again, “What’s happening down here Ventille?”
“Nothing Bubbles! Go AWAY!!!”
Clutching her amulet tight, Ventille put all of her concentration towards creating another cyclone. Her piercing blue eyes glowed bright in her efforts. However, her attempt to summon a second cyclone proved too much for her abilities. Wanting to keep Bubbles away from her discovery, she had no choice but to briefly release Flynn from his whirlwind prison.
Flynn fell heavily to the floor as the winds loosened their hold on him. Paying no attention to him, Ventille redirected the cyclone to veer around the chamber towards the door at the top of the staircase. The pleading calls from above went silent again after the thick, iron door slammed shut from the force of the cyclone. Remaining in place, the whirlwind swirled about keeping the door securely shut.
Sprawled on the floor, Flynn shook off the disorientation from his windy prison. Meanwhile, the iron door rattled on it’s hinges as Bubbles tried to get back in, but Ventille was intent on keeping the nosy Adept away.
Now free from the whirlwind, Flynn scrambled to his feet, shakily standing up. He knew that he had little time to act before Ventille turned her attention back to him and seized him within the whirlwind again.
Never taking his eyes off the Adept, he stumbled backwards towards the weaponry scattered across the tiles of the chamber. He groped behind him knowing that his survival depended on finding something to defend himself with. Blindly grasping for one of the blades, he felt the coolness of steel under his fingers.
By this time, Bubbles had given up her futile attempt to open the door. Silence fell throughout the chamber. Only the swirling whirlwind could be heard as it came back down the staircase. Ventille burst into a fit of joyous laughter knowing that she had the Relics all to herself now.
Clutching his new weapon, Flynn swung it around to see what he had chosen from the deadly arsenal. Disappointment crossed his face when he saw that he picked the least threatening object in the entire chamber – the silver net. Even the creepy mask would have been more effective for defense. He had hoped to grab one of the thick blades, but instead he held onto the Queen’s Web, feeling quite vulnerable again.
Flynn knew that he didn’t have time to pick up another weapon, so he prayed that the net would do more than just tangle her up. After all, it had Powers now, so maybe it would transport her to another dimension, maybe it would liquify her, maybe it would make her disappear into a puff of smoke. Maybe it would…
But he had to stop thinking about what the Relic might do – there was no time for that nonsense. He knew that he only had a brief moment to toss the net over the Adept before she turned her binding winds back on him. At the very least the net would stall her while he picked up one of the other deadly weapons behind him.
With her back still turned, Flynn ran towards Ventille and quickly flung the net over her head before he turned back towards the bureau. He lunged for the assortment of blades, only to stop short when he heard the Adept let out a wretched shriek.
Flynn turned towards the screeching Adept just in time to see her collapse onto the floor, writhing in pain. Ventille’s cyclone twirled about, blindly destroying the chamber in response to her agony.
The cyclone scattered anything that wasn’t tied down to the ground – including Flynn. He was flung across the chamber, crashing into the bureau as whirling winds of desperation ravaged the entire chamber. However, no matter how much the Adept struggled, Ventille’s winds could not release herself from the net.
Shielding his face and closing his eyes tight, Flynn turned away from the horrific sight of Ventille thrashing about inside of the net. However there was no avoiding the terrible shrieks that came from behind him nor the intense smell of burning flesh wafting through the air.
Gathering his courage, Flynn peeked through his fingers to see the other Relics in the bureau emitting a dim glow in recognition of the Power surrounding them. It was then that he caught the reflection of the hand mirror Relic.
Within the mirror he could see the Adept still struggling while the binding net burned deeper and deeper. The more she twisted about in agony, the more the net restricted tighter around her.
Flynn covered his eyes again from the revolting sight. Eventually, time silenced the cries of pain and were replaced by the hissing steam of scorched bones. Once again peeking through his fingers, Flynn saw that the Adept had been reduced to a pile of charred bones scattered on the floor.
Standing up, Flynn couldn’t help himself from staring at the gruesome scene in front of him. He suddenly found himself fixated on a singular thought replaying itself in his mind. Something that he could never have imagined would happen in his lifetime. Something that both terrified and thrilled him at the same time – Flynn had killed a Witch!