Jasper’s mangled, flaxen hair fell over her forehead. Her breath came in haggard gasps. She could hear Peridot beside her, groaning in pain. The Chaos demon stood towering over her, his fingers clenching her jaw bone and a maniacal chuckle escaping his lips. His ivory fangs flashed as he spoke. “Pledge your allegiance to me, and I’ll allow your filthy city to stand.”
His voice was like lightning. It was piercing and left a hollow, almost chilled feeling. “Give me your bodies, your minds, your very souls.. it’s a simple gesture.” he chuckled again. Jasper held her stomach, where one of his spells had hit her. Her eyes surveyed the city that sat in the valley below them. Alcina had been her home for many midnights, since she was thirteen years old.
She knew what Peridot would do and wondered if she could find it within herself to do the same. To give her soul to a demon for the welfare of people she didn’t know. She thought of the bakery, where her first friend had greeted her warmly, of the children she made firecrackers for and of the people she provided spells and potions, and of the witches who had come to live with herself and Peridot. All of this would be destroyed.
Jasper tilted her head up and met Peridot’s eyes. They shared a glance that lasted milliseconds at most, and turned her gaze to the demon’s. They both bowed their heads to him, and pledged their entire being for the good of the city.
Three years have passed since Jasper and Peridot pledged their allegiance to the chaos demon, Dominus. A barrier was put up around the city to prevent demons from entering, except in their human-like form, in which they were almost powerless. Dominus moved Jasper and Peridot into a house on the outskirts of town with him, and the other witches followed them.
Rumors spread around the town like wildfire of a young man living with five younger women and everyone believed them to be a harem. Everyone in town began avoiding and shunning them. They became social outcasts and were ignored by the very same people that they had given up their souls to protect.
So they spent most of their time on their part of town, where no one dared to venture because of all the strange rumors that surrounded the grounds. Jasper and Peridot could spend their days happily with the other witches, laughing and playing as they pleased. But their nights, those belonged to Dominus.
Peridot sat in her and Jaspers room buried in a book, when Jasper walked into the room.
“Um Peri, the master wants you tonight.” Jasper said peeking in the door with an apologetic look on her face. “He isn’t too happy.”
Peridot groaned and set her book down. She knew it was not good that she was the one being called for, because while master was kinder to Jasper because she was his plaything, his favorite, he preferred to use Peridot as a punching bag to vent his anger.
She walked quickly to his room for she knew that if she took too long it would only increase his anger. Until a few weeks ago she had not understood why he had hated her so, but once he had gone off on her about how her red hair and flashy green eyes reminded him of a past lover who had left him for another man. And he had never forgiven her, but since she wasn’t around he took the frustration out on Peridot. She took one deep breath in and turned the handle into Dominus’s room.
“How may I serve you tonight master?” She said as she tried to forget her fears.
Jasper sat in her room and worried for Peri. The dark room seemed to close in on her as her thoughts drifted back to the times when the people of Alcina had loved her. Her fingers clutched the quilt on her bed tightly. The house they lived in now looked like something from a horror movie, expressly for the reason of keeping people away.
Her heart ached for the presence of other people and longed for the gentle hand of someone who would love her. She knew Peridot’s paper heart ached far more than hers. Jasper didn’t care if she spent an eternity in Dominus’s clutches. All she wanted was for her lovable, naïve friend to be safe from the harm he inflicted to her pure heart. Jasper slammed her fist against the wood paneling of the wall next to her bed. “God damnit!” she hissed as hot tears spilled over her eyelids. All the fury she kept in check around the other girls seethed out of her in the darkness.
She couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of happiness than Peridot. Her sparkling eyes, her genuine smile. None of Peri was deserving of the glances of hatred the cities people shot her, or of the whispers behind her back. Jasper would save Peri if it was the last thing she did… she would find a way out of their Alliance with Dominus for Peri.
Peridot was counting the seconds till the sunrise, when she would be released from Dominus’s firm grip for the night. Finally the sun appeared over the window seal and she felt his hands leave her body.
“Leave my sight!” he snarled and she ran from the room as fast as her beat up body would allow.
She began heading to her room but had to hide a few times to avoid being seen by the younger witches. Jasper and Peridot had agreed to never let the younger ones know of their arrangement with master for fear that they too would become his servant.
When Peridot finally got to her room she pulled out a tub of ointment that she had hid under her bed. It was a special brew that she put together that would magically repair the damaged skin that Dominus caused. It covered the bruises but unfortunately the pain wouldn’t go away.
Peridot was about done with covering the wounds when Jasper woke up in the bed next to her. Jasper looked from the ointment to Peridot. She got up, crossed the room quickly and wrapped Peridot up in a warm embrace. The tears that Peridot had worked so hard to hold in all night rushed out from her eyes.
Jasper placed her hand on top of Peridot’s head and let her cry on her shoulder until she fell asleep. She didn’t say a word the entire time. No words were needed between the two. Jasper awkwardly placed the taller girl on her bed and stood in the doorway, watching her sleep. Tears still clung to her eyelashes, they glistened in the soft light from the hallway.
Her eyes narrowed down the dark expanse, glaring at the omnipotent red eyes shining from Dominus’s room. In a slow movement his hand extended and his finger curled twice in a “come here” gesture. Jasper walked down the hall silently, unable to deny him. Her eyes burned into his, their cold jasper color hardening with her hatred. She folded into his waiting arms carefully. “How’s my princess?” he asked. She could practically hear the sneer in his voice, and the curling of his lip as he soaked in her deepest emotions.
This was why Dominus kept the girls around. He was a chaos demon, emotions were sustenance to him. They were his air, his water and his food. Emotions were more valuable to Dominus than the girls would ever be. Jasper had tried to make herself unfeeling and apathetic to his use of her for his carnal pleasures. As much as she tried, she knew that trying to be unfeeling was like trying to deny the fact that she belonged in water, her elemental power. Jasper knew that as different as witches were from humans, uncontrollable emotions were something they shared in common.
Dominus tilted her face up harshly. “I asked how my Princess was.” he growled. Jasper averted her eyes from him and mumbled, “I am fine My Master.” She sealed herself behind a wall in her mind as Dominus removed her clothing and did what he wished with her body. When he was done with her, he wouldn’t allow her to leave. She hated the way she clung to the warmth of his body against the chilly air in the house. She hated the way she willingly draped her naked body over his so he would go to sleep. Neither of these hates compared to the way she felt about Dominus.
Jasper fell asleep with no difficulty, thought her slumber was plagued with nightmares.
Writers: Aurelie & Adela