Kastapella waited for a feeling of elation to rush through her body.
“I’m a magnificent witch.” she congratulated herself.
The echo of her words from the crystal walls seemed to reply. “No-one ever said you weren’t my dear.”
The voice made Kastapella squirm.
“Just you keep out of my head, you… you… headmistress you!”
“Perhaps I’m still in there because you know that I’ve always been right.”
“You were never right. You know nothing of being a girl. Nothing of how it is to be laughed at. How it is to have no friends. You know nothing of being alone!”
“Really Kastapella. Just because I am in a position of authority now you presume life has always been easy for me.”
“You just shut up. I won’t listen to anything you have to say. I just won’t.” Kastapella placed her hands over her ears.
“What you need my dear…” said the voice calmly, “…is hands inside your head to cover the voice inside your ears.”
You see, for many years Kastapella had been very good at shutting out her conscience. She had developed a special spell of Deniability. And every time she did something awful she had added a new layer of deniability on top of the old one. The spell had been so insulating that she had completely forgotten all sense of right and wrong.
But the powerful spell she had conjured today had taken so much personal energy that the deniability had fallen away. It happened layer by layer while she was busy creating her vengeance spell, like leaves gradually falling off a tree in Autumn.
You hardly notice it happening as you walk past your favourite tree in the park. Suddenly one day, there is a carpet of auburn and russet leaves around your tree. Then you look up and see the tree in all its naked glory.
All the terrible things she had done were now crowding in on her. The memories of her actions bombarded her like thousands of bullets from a machine gun.
It was agonising.
Before too long she was squirming, yelling and crying on the cave floor. But her screams simply bounced off the walls of the cave and hit her once more. Even the echo of her screams hurt her as they collided with her curled up body.
Every scream was like a plaster ripping a scab away when it was pulled off. She couldn’t stop screaming so she had this sensation over and over.
But worst of all, Kastapella knew there was no-one at all to hear her screams or come to her aid.
“Let me die.” a tiny voice in her head begged.