“I am a powerful wizard, yes?” Jem asked, not expecting an answer. “Well, I intend to become the most powerful–and to do that, I need to eat you.” He knelt in front of Sapphire’s ice cage while she gripped the bars tight, not bothered by the cold. “Something else has been bothering me too, Sapphire. Look at you.” Jem formed a mirror in his left hand and held it out to Sapphire. She could see her reflection–frightened, startled, pure, beautiful. The mirror vaporized. “So beautiful I wish I could be naturally good-looking too, without wizardry. If I ate you, maybe I could have some of that.”
“But you–” she began to tell him he wasn’t ugly, just not perfect.
“You very nearly convinced me looks don’t matter. Little witch, I even changed my mind about eating you. This is unfortunate, but I’ll have to starve you for five days.” Jem got back on his feet and flashed a smile at her–much like the first smile she’d received from him, seemingly formal…but then again, it WAS business. For Jem, it was probably no different from calf-slaughtering in the village. “I could eat other people, of course. But you’re the next most perfect thing.”
He was gone.
She took notice, again, of his businessman outlook. Was this what the people in the city talked about–swallowing other people’s business to build up his own? Sapphire wasn’t sure she understood.
What would happen to Felix? Felix, her only companion, while the villagers feared her for her witchcraft–all of which meant nothing now. Sapphire used to be an orphan, until she was adopted by Felix’s family at age two. How she’d survived on her own for two years, nobody remembered. Nobody even cared. Felix had been attacked a couple of years ago, and Sapphire searched, together with their family, for a way to save him.
That brought her to the city. Seeking and being sought after, sucking a little bit of life from every man she encountered, bringing it back to Felix. When Jem taught her what she now knew, she’d thought she could repeat her routine, only this time, the power would come from herself.
Now, as she stood in her cage, she tried in vain to escape–melting the ice, turning into an insect to crawl out–but indeed, the cage was witchcraft-proof.
Of all consequences to her actions and choices, Sapphire never thought she’d be eaten.