Bewitched: Chapter 2

Lyssa let out a shaky breath as the horse’s hooves crunched through the autumn leaves. She was sitting in a carriage that Matthias had forced her into, heading who-knows-where.

Matthias had abandoned her after explaining all the details he thought she ought to know—which consisted of his name and his clearly impossible belief that he was her husband and they were both more than 500 years old. Lyssa had been too intrigued to protest as he called for a carriage and vanished into thin air, leaving her, shuddering in the cold, outside her house.

The carriage led her away from the mansion, from her house, out of her small town, the stoney pathways slowly turning into crunching leaves. She suddenly felt the carriage go cold—she knew, somehow, that they were heading up north, towards the Lonely Rise, the mountain range that had always risen in the horizon, and yet that she had never dared approach.

She felt herself slide back in her seat as they began to ascend the mountain, bouncing up and down on the uneven ground. It was oddly soothing for some reason and Lyssa found herself drifting in and out of sleep as they continued to rise higher and higher, the air around them getting colder and colder as they did so. She hadn’t slept yet that night and was so exhausted by the time they reached the Rise that she could barely stand to keep her eyes open any longer.

It wasn’t long before the frigid air and looming sense of catastrophe lured her, finally, into a fitful and frightening sleep.

She was at home.

The weather was the same—dark and chilled—and yet she could not remember a time when it had been any different.

She was standing on her porch, looking over a man who had sat down, apparently devastated, on the one bench decorating the area, and placed his head in his hands.

She heard herself speak as if she were underwater—muffled, but the despair was plain in her voice.

“I don’t think you understand,” the woman was saying, her voice achingly familiar, “what you’re doing. Do you not realise how dangerous this is? You could die!” The woman’s voice was cracking. 

“Honey, do not fret for my safety. I know you care but I’ll be fine.”

“No, you—you don’t understand!  It’s your life that’s on the line!” She was sobbing now. She could feel the man’s panic begin to rise. 

“You have no right to claim my life!”  he yelled. She laughed halfheartedly. 

“So my love for you isn’t enough, is it?” 

“No it’s not!” His voice pitched lower, into a more threatening tone. “If you try to stop me, the consequences will be severe.” Her eyes widened, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks.

“I thought you loved me,” she whispered, almost too quiet to hear. She felt the defeat wash over her face.

“I do, it’s just… you know this experiment is my life’s work. Love, you’ve got to understand.” 

“I know, I—I just don’t want to end up like Augustine. You’ve seen what happened to her after Rhys’ death.” Her eyes were cast down. A flicker of hopelessness crossed her face at her sister’s heartbreak. 

“Is this what this is about?!” The man reeled. 

She could barely nod. Something changed in his demeanour. Before she could open her mouth he roared with anger. She was blasted with pain and her forehead and it felt like her forehead was cracking in two. She clutched her temples and gasped in pain. She was backing away from him, or more like stumbling backwards. 

“Please! Stop!” she said through gritted teeth, tears building up behind her eyelids. 

No! I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he rasped, reaching for her. She continued to back away. 


“Lyssa! Wake up!” 

“LYSSA!” Lyssa jerked up at the sound of her name and blinked, nearly falling backward at the sight of Matthias right in front of her. Before she could stop herself, she found herself crawling toward him, felt his arms wrap protectively around her. It was an ancient instinct to just let herself be held by this man. This felt so normal, so comforting, so easy that she felt she must have done it before. She pressed her face into his chest, inhaling his intoxicating scent. Cigars, syrup and smoke, but all Lyssa could think about was how familiar the man in the dream was with his wheat blonde hair and broad shoulders. She could not place him, but he was painstakingly familiar and so was his voice.

“We have arrived.” Matthias’ hushed voice lulled in her ear. When she sighed and closed her eyes she missed the sadistic grin spreading across his face.