Sacrificed Excerpt

Sacrificed By Jeni Burns

DRAMMELECH DEWSBERRY HAD wandered through every inch of New Jersey for over two hundred years; angry, bitter, tired. Over the years, he’d left a trail of bodies in his wake; pretty young things, all with their veins turned black. That was until he happened upon a witch—a witch who would get herself into all kinds of trouble if she were any more obvious about her magical goings on.

It was her blatant disrespect for the rules that first caught his eye, however. She stood outside a candy shop in the small town of Belvidere, offering samples to anyone who wandered by. That in and of itself wasn’t anything special, but the silent spell she wove with her fingers every time someone took a morsel that compelled them into the store was very special indeed. Anyone who watched from a distance could witness the fingers on her free hand twitching in mesmerizing patterns beneath the silver tray she held.

Her movements had caught his eye on his first day in town, ensnaring him. The next day, he walked around the town square hoping to catch another glimpse of her. By his third time, she had emerged from the store with her tray, fingers dancing. It took stones to pull off magic like that out in the open, and Elech couldn’t resist the draw of a woman with enough gumption to try it. He strode right up to the dark haired beauty and basked in the glow of her aura.

“Would you care to try a nut cluster?” Her voice was soft, breathy, and light. His stomach growled, full of a hunger that food would not satisfy.

“Don’t mind if I do.” He selected a chocolate from her tray, brought it to his nose for a tentative sniff, then popped it into his mouth. He could feel the impact of her spell as it collided with the explosion of chocolate and cashews mixed with a liquor of sorts on his tongue.

“Mmmm.” He flashed her his most wicked smile and savored her offering. He nodded to her with a tip of his hat and began to walk away. “Good day.”

“Sir? Wouldn’t you care to go inside and purchase some more?” she called after him.

He turned back to her. “No. I think I’ve had just enough, witch. Unless you can offer me something a little more compelling to lure me in.” He lifted his left hand and mimicked the motions of her fingers.

Her face paled and the hand holding the tray of chocolates shook. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her voice no longer held the sweet and innocent tone he’d come to identify with her in his short time watching her. Instead, it whipped at him, abrasive and full of accusation.

“Call me Elech. What do I call you?”

The woman made another sweeping gesture with her fingers, narrowed her eyes at him, and responded. “Cecily. Cecily Barren.”

Elech moved to her, withdrew the tray from her hand, and set it on the open window’s ledge.

“Well, Cecily, have I got a deal for you.” He crooked a finger at her, beckoning her to follow him.

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