Christina Mayer: Rose Tint My World

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A steady breeze picked up within the room. Christina looked around, seeing nothing but wall, blood and bone – there were no windows, and worst of all, no doors.

'How do we leave?' Christina asked. She dreaded the answer.

'Same way we came in,' Bridget informed her.

'I have to kiss you again?'

Bridget smiled. 'You must be able to use witchcraft to exit and enter. Until you learn, you cannot leave.'

'But what if I don't learn in time and Eric is shot?' Christina asked frantically. Crouched on her knees on the opposite side of the alter to Bridget, she pleaded to her for help.

'I have faith that you will learn in time.'

'What do I have to do?'

'Calm down,' Bridget said, almost scolding her. 'Sit properly. Cross your legs. Lean your arms against your legs with your palms to the sky. Focus on the altar; never allow your eyes to stray from it. Feel the blood pour through your veins, and into the air of this room. Connect with everything.'

Christina listened intently and did everything she said. Her breath quickened when she felt as though her body was draining of blood. A sickening feeling stirred in her stomach, but the voice of Bridget soothed her enough to feel calm.

'Hold your breath, and don't breathe until I tell you to.'

Christina drew in a large breath – then held it. She attempted to restrain her chest from moving, but she could slowly start to feel the breath leave her body. She hoped that the attention she gave the altar would distract her from the light-headedness she felt. It didn't, and slowly she could feel herself start to slip out of consciousness.

'Breathe,' Bridget commanded.

Christina instantly obliged. The drawing of her breath was loud and ugly. She almost choked on the very little saliva that was in her mouth.

'Drink,' Bridget told her, passing her a goblet. It was made of wood with a jaunty outline. The rim looked sharp.

Christina peered inside of it. 'I'm not drinking blood. I've had enough of blood for one day.'

'It is the blood of a bull, for power and fertility. It is connected to the natural energy of the earth, and you need to be one with nature in order to harness your natural magic.'

'You slaughtered a bull so I could drink its blood?' Christina asked, appalled. 'That goes against everything I believe in.'

'Forget what your mortal body believes in. Those beliefs mean nothing to the power that is working within you. What you must believe in is the sacrificial blessing of the animal and the blood that is offered. You need it for your birth into witchcraft.' Bridget could see that Christina was feeling more and more repulsed. 'It's better than bathing in the blood, and believe me, my sisters wanted you to. It's quicker, and the blood would enter every pore on your body and seep through to your veins. But I wanted a safer approach. I need you to believe that what I'm asking you to do is for your own benefit.'

Christina inhaled deeply and downed the red liquid in no more than three hearty gulps. A need to vomit the blood back up was stopped by the force that ploughed down her throat. She could feel it bleed into her lungs, her heart. She felt the need to cough, but her body wouldn't allow it.

'Oh God,' Christina cried.

'No, no,' Bridget told her. 'Leave him out of it.'

Christina wiped her brow. She was soaked in sweat from the sudden burning she felt in her body, as if an inferno had flared up in her stomach. She prayed that she would not live to regret drinking the blood of the bull.

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