The wind was cool in the night as the mist around the lake clung to her cloak. Her breath came out as a fog, and the dirt rustled under her bare feet.
The lake was a mysterious place at night, said to bring one to their most powerful state if they were ready. She believed she was ready, however nothing could truly prepare her for the test that awaited her.
She knelt by the lakeside, dipping two fingers into the water and watching the ripples fade out across the still surface. As it reached the centre of the lake, the water began to swirl into a vortex. It shifted and moved upwards, shaping itself into a human-like form.
“You dare disturb me?” the creature in the water hissed.
“I come for power.”
The creature laughed, swirling around the lake and moving closer to loom over her.
“Power?” it asked, long thin fingers extending from the water to reach for her. “I do not feel a desire of power from you. I feel-”
“Enough! Can you give me what I ask for or not?”
The creature shrieked at being interrupted, the water swirling into a whirlpool as its anger grew.
“You do not want power, you want love.” She froze, her breath leaving in a short exhale. “I’m right aren’t I?”
“You know nothing of me.”
“I know everything about you.” The creature hissed, moving closer to her and towering over her figure.
“You’re a runaway. Lost to the world. You turned to witchcraft to try and heal your wounds, but inside you’re empty. You’re alone.”
She stepped away, glaring at the creature who smirked and swirled back to the centre of the lake.
“If you can’t help me, I’ll find another demon to help me.”
“Well…wait just a moment…no mortal has come to me for some time.”
She smirked to herself, walking back to the edge of the water. The water parted, letting her walk across the lakebed towards the creature.
“Let’s strike a deal.”
“Let’s…” the demon hissed, “now please. Tell me what you need.”
“I’ve told you already, I need power.”
“But what kind of power my dear wanderer? The power to harm? To heal? To love?”
She paused, remembering why she came here.
The bloody white dress, her mother screaming, the soldiers dragging her away.
“To harm it is,” the creature swirled above her, small droplets of water falling on her cloak, “now my end of the bargin.”
“What do you want?” she asked bitterly.
“Once you have your revenge, return to me. I will take my power back, unless by that time you have something more powerful to offer.”
“What could be more powerful?”
“I guess you have to find out.” The creature grinned before dropping down and soaking her, shoving her up through the surface of the water and tossing her on the lakeside. “The deal is struck, now go from here.”
She stood, stripping her drenched cloak from her shoulders before storming out of the woods. She would get her revenge, and she would strike as many deals as needed to get there.