Days are short while nights are cold and long. Long winter nights? Perfect. The sun sets before 5pm taking with it many colours of the sky. The chaukidaar kaka walks over the garden grass clearing his throat to light the high pole lights and in a split second, all varieties of bugs hover around it as blankets of fog wraps the atmosphere. Dingy lights with layers of fog? Perfect. I lay against the wall beside the netted window in an attempt to catch the last inch of crimson in the sky. Cars with their headlights on pass through the road in front of the white picket fenced gate. I saw them. I wonder if they saw me too, like a dark silhouette staring from a haunted looking bungalow.
I close the curtains and turn off the lights in my white-washed room and instead light a few candles. I then proceed to play WHO DO YOU LOVE by THE BLACK SKIRTS in loop in my cell phone and open my closet to get ready for tonight. Crouching down, from the lowest shelf, I take out the decades old wooden box which undoubtedly has an abstract outline of a cat drawn on its lock which opens itself at my mere touch. While taking out all the elements from inside of that, my instincts tell me to stop and so I listen and quickly put the box inside the closet and close it abruptly.
The door to my room cracks open and my mother enters with Celis, our family dog, at her feet. She lets out a sigh as soon as she steps in and exhales: “Turn on the lights, shouldn’t you?”
“I’m fine,” I grunted.
“You ought to reply nicely to your mother” She demands.
I finally turn to look at her, clearly annoyed. Without waiting for a reply she continues, “It’s because of that dead cat, isn’t it?” I can’t help as a smirk passes my lips. Oh how much I wanted to point out that it wasn’t the dead cat, it was your dead daughter, and I was the dead cat in your poor child’s body. How much I wanted to yell at her that the dead cat who you despised utterly from the moment you caught a glimpse of the black fur but your silly little baby completely adored when her soul was alive only to be fooled and betrayed and be used. Now that she was nothing but a shell only to be occupied by a decades old black witch until it finally gives out and moves onto the original self of a black cat; waiting for another suitable shell to reside and so on. And no, a black witch cannot die, unless of course set on fire alive. Which, sadly, was the worst fate that thousands of them had met during the 18th century in Europe. A great tragedy for our kind. Oh that damned Hopkins. Not to forget all the times, innocent women had been convicted of practising black magic, right here in the North-Eastern hills of India. How idiotic of mortals. They can’t differentiate between cone artists and real spell casters. The fact that now only a few of them are still alive and only a handful are born every ten years, they are a rare sight and only those who are themselves witches can only know. I so wanted to cast a spell to shrug this mother of a woman away but that would mean outing who I really was and I couldn’t let that happen, no.
So I kept quiet and waited for her to leave and so she left muttering things I couldn’t care less about under her breath. I stop her and she turns to me and the slight hope in her eyes didn’t go unnoticed by me. But to her dismay, I only ask her to take Celis with her. Witches cannot stand these fun loving, always jumping and licking their master’s face furry animals. They are completely opposite of cats, disgusting.
“So now you don’t even like Celis anymore?” Mother’s words interrupt my thoughts as she turns to leave before halting once again and turning back to me at lightning speed and questions “A..Are your eyes turning green?!…It looks like that stray cat…”
I quickly brought my hands over my eyes and turned around to look away at the candles. “It’s probably the light from the candles ….can you just leave?….please?” I pleaded.
So she left. With a sign and noting to myself to not let my identity lose and seem suspicious to people around me, I resumed my work and took out my hooded cloak from the box along with a silver hairpin. The cloak has been our signature since time being with its golden outlines over the thick black material. Pulling the curtains slightly, my brows unconsciously curl up. It was getting late. Seeing the clear black sky, I exhaled as an evil grin left my mouth. It was the new moon, night of the sinners.
Putting on black stockings under a straight black skirt, a white blouse with ruffled sleeves, chocolate oxfords and over everything, the black cloak and putting the hairpin with the cat figurine in my hair, I sat down in front of the full length mirror. She was getting pale. It seems the shell will only be usable for a couple more years. Weak human, so weak and oblivious. With a sigh, I attempt to look a little more humanly before anyone thinks “Resa” is ill and being taken to the doctor. Applying the darkest red lipstick I could find in the table in front of my knees, I put on all the silver ornaments I could find. It seems Resa was fond of collecting rings. Human with taste (cause of course she loved me), because I love rings.
Contemplating whether I should go by the front door or sneak out through the window, I settled on crossing through the window. Explaining to my mother why Resa,a seventeen year old girl, needs to go out dressed like a secret assassin from the mediaeval era doesn’t sound pleasing and then I would just need to be back before father returns from his office to his bungalow in the middle of tea gardens and nowhere. Just the perfect place for non-mortals to disguise themselves as humans. Now I just need to look out for the chaukidaar kaka and I could sneak out swiftly as the cold wind blows outside and into the distant teak trees.