It's in the Blood
Her flowing black hair that had streaks of ruby red blew in the gentle wind, gasps and hushed whispers gathered around her as she walked past. She ignored them and continued her way into town. "Look at her."
"She's scary mama," Came from a small child who huddled against her mother.
"Shhhh now," said the woman as she hurried past, not making eye contact. The sorceress bumped intentionally into her, which made the young woman flinch. She laughed loudly as she watched the mother and daughter run away.
"If only they knew," Amina said as she shook her head. Her reputation always preceded her. The village folk didn't care to have her in their towns; she usually stayed in the woods away from everyone, but even she had to eat. The stares continued and whispers ensued. "That's the blood sorceress," came a quiet voice from behind her. Amina had had enough for one day.
"And what of it, kind sir?" She had whirled around to her terrified commentator. "Am I that different, who is spreading lies about me? I keep to myself for the most part," Amina added on when she remembered a mugger tried to pick pocket her the other week. Without meaning to, she had scratched him in the struggle and her magic pulled on his blood and almost drained him. She had called it back before that though. The balding villager sputtered and stuttered with his answer, nearly soiling himself.
"There's, ther, there's a wanted poster f-for you, by the King's decree." He said, pointing to the said sign. Just what she needed. "Everyone is too, t-oo scared to try to capture you."
"Wonderful." Amina trudged to the barkeep to get a drink and some food before heading out of town. She didn't need any bounty hunters getting any ideas. The young sorceress was exhausted and didn't need anyone else's opinion on her magic. Se went into the inn and sat at a table. Most of the diners stared her way, nothing new. A small wrinkled old woman with a tray came and handed her an ale. She, unlike most people, wasn't phased by Amina's presence and treated her normally.
"What will ya have?"
"You're not gonna shriek in terror or soil yourself?" Amina smirked.
"Honey, don't flatter yourself, I've dealt with scarier fellers than you, blood sorceress." Amina's smirk faded and was almost insulted after all this fuss about how evil she was. "What will ya have, I've got other...." The old woman looked around and saw a bare dining room, "well, looks like I can devote all my service to you right now." She grinned.
"Do you have rabbit stew?" Amina asked almost sheepishly, not knowing how to speak normally to someone. Ever since that fateful night when she was cursed with this so called magic, she retreated from everyone, fearing she'd only hurt them.
"Do you have payment or do you just go around intimidating people to give you free services? If it's the latter then take my blood and let me die." The young sorceress didn't know what to say. She was left speechless and was only able to pull out her satchel to show she had payment. "We'll that's reassuring." The woman let out a long breath as if she was ready to die. Amina wanted to suddenly tell this unfamiliar woman everything. She was drawn to her truthfulness. "I'll go fetch that." She grabbed the shillings laid out for payment and left. Amina sighed and wondered if she should tell her story or let it be. At least she was getting food in her belly before heading to another town. The waitress plopped the bowl of delicious smelling stew in front of her and Amina started shoveling it, her ravenous appetite taking over. She heard a quiet chuckle and noticed the old woman sitting next to her. "So, what do you do that makes you have such a dreadful reputation. I've only heard stories and the rumors, but frankly you seem....normal." Finally, someone saw her for something other than a monster. Amina sighed and pushed the empty bowl aside and took a swig of her ale.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." She said as she brushed her long bangs out of her face.
"Eh, humor an old biddy." Her wrinkled cheeks went upward into another grin. Amina never had told what had happened to her before and she didn't know where to start.
"When I was 16, my abilities made themselves known. My family's bloodline is royalty and littered with powerful mages, all of the magic bestowed wasn't evil or considered bad. Mine however wasn't something to be proud of. One day I had cut myself on a broken piece of glass and my blood attacked the nursemaid that was trying to bandage it up. The young woman died from my blood. My blood is poison if it touches someone. I had no idea what was going on when they rushed me to my room and locked me there for days. The only human interaction I had was someone would come in and leave food and drink. I finally got out of my room to find my mother and when I did she coward in fear from me and would let me touch her. Someone had grabbed me from behind and I fought, scratching them in the process," Amina paused and gauged her audience of one's reaction to her story, then she continued, "my brother, Teryn, screamed in agony as his blood poured from the small scratches I had inflicted. I shrieked in terror and sadness as I watched him die. My mother's howls echoed the room with mine and then I was taken back to my room again, still sticky with some of my brother's blood at the hem of my gown. I wanted to die in that moment. My happy life had changed so suddenly and I didn't understand what was happening. For what seemed like weeks I was locked in my room, not a word spoken to me. Then, one day I was drug out of my room and my hands bound together. My mother was in the hallway and stared at me like I wasn't human anymore. It was the most horrible feeling in the world, so gut wrenching. The guards took me outside and that's when I saw the pile of wood and and pole shooting up in the middle. I knew what was happening and for some reason I was at peace with my death, but my magic had other plans. As the fire curled around my feet and smoke billowed around me, I awoken to such immense power I cried tears of blood and broke free of my bonds. My body wasn't my own as I walked out of the fire, my skin not harmed in the least bit. My mother and father shrunk in fear as I walked to them and in a voice that wasn't completely mine I chanted something that made their skin burst and their blood soaked me, absorbing into my body. Everyone that was around ran in terror at this blood Mage. Once I woke from the trance my magic had put me in I ran and ran and ran until my body couldn't do anymore. And I've wandered ever since trying to figure out why I was cursed with such a horrible magic or curse." The old woman sat there in silence; seemingly thinking about something. "So are you going to say anything or call me a liar?" Amina was worried.
"That's some story, there sorceress. So, I'm assuming you need a bed for a night?" The young woman was taken aback by the lack of worry from this old woman. Her wrinkled face showed no fear even after she heard that awful story.
"You're not scared of me? Like everyone else?"
"It seems like folks only listen to the rumors and stories from other people and don't want to listen to the actual story from the person themselves. I thank you for trusting me with that story of yours and I will correct people and say the truth and maybe someone will find a cure to your awful curse." Once more Amina was confused as to why a complete stranger would do all this for someone like her. Before she could speak again, the woman touched her hand. Amina was startled; this was the first human touch she had since that time so long ago. The woman squeezed her hand tightly and tears streamed from the sorceress's eyes, tears of scarlet. Amina didn't like crying because of the blood that poured whenever it happened. She grabbed a napkin and wiped them away. "What is your true name child?" No one ever asked that, "it can't be the Blood Sorceress."
"Amina, Amina Lorant."