Her world was ice. Her world was crystal. Her world was fire, burning through every metaphor until nothing existed of her but the abyssal depths of her dark side.
She felt nothing.
“CRUCIO! CRUCIO! CRUCIO!”
Her breath came in ragged pulls and she poured all of her magic into the pain. Still, nothing.
“YOU FUCKING BITCH!”
She reached for the nearest heavy object, a candlestick on the nightstand. She was still naked. They both were. Normally when she was exerting herself, her hair would come loose, cover her face, obscure her vision. But today, it was slick with sweat and blood, and stuck to her back and chest.
She swung the candlestick, hard.
“This is for my mother!”
She swung again.
“This is for my father!”
“THIS is for Babette!”
The candlestick finally snapped. At this point, what she was swinging at was an unrecognizable, pulpy mess.
“YOU KNEW. This entire time, you KNEW! This entire time you could have done SOMETHING. ANYTHING!”
She choked out a sob. With no convenient weapon, and almost no magic left in her, she resorted to her fists.
“God damn you. GOD DAMN YOU.”
Impossibly, the breaths still came. She knew there was one last thing to be done, and she had held a small part of her magic in reserve. She hoped it was enough. With an angry cry of effort, she plunged her fist, augmented by a small flow of magic, into the chest of her victim. With a wet sucking sound, she pulled out what she sought.
A green, fist-sized chunk of crystal. The Heart of Koschei the Deathless.
She had a speech written in her mind, about the millions of deaths that Koschei was responsible for, and the blood on its hands and the good that it could have done and the choice of inaction and the path of evil and her own grand dreams and ambitions and how she would change and save the world. But she could not form coherent words, only vitriol.
“You… fucking.. BITCH.”
She held up the Heart. It was poetic in a way. She would use its own power to destroy both the Heart and its owner. It would, of course, be diminished. It would be a sacrifice. But it would be more than sufficient for what she hoped to accomplish.
She used the final mote of magic left in her to transfigure the Heart into something lesser. It was smaller, the size of an egg, and it was no longer the brilliant, iridescent green that reflected an infinite multitude of colors while still maintaining its own identity. Now it only reflected what was on her mind: dark, ruddy, sticky blood. She tapped into the power of the Heart.
Its form was Changed. As too, was the God beneath her. An instant before, it was a broken, but living, breathing person. An instant later, it was a corpse. It was over.
And that was the tale of Koschei the Deathless.
One thought on “Orders of Magnitude, Arc 3: Methods. Prologue”
So it was not Baba Yaga, it was Koschei pretending to be Baba Yaga.
And then it will be Perenelle pretending to be Flamel and his wife.
Or more levels 🙂