Welcome to Chapter 3 of All that I Can Be! <3
If you’ve missed the last chapter or are new to the story, you can catch up here:
Otherwise, read on!
A long time ago, there was a girl who was unhappy. So great was her sorrow that one day, she grew desperate and travelled to the lake close to her home. She had heard that, if one’s suffering was great enough, the devil would come and grant one wish in exchange for her soul.
This girl was terribly lonely. Her neighbours didn’t like her—even the one she loved paid her no mind—and she had no skills to speak off. So, even so she was afraid of the devil, she thought him her only chance.
She went to the lake at midnight, and sat by the water.
“Oh evil beast,” she pleaded, “grant me a boon!”
The devil appeared with a wicked grin on his face, for he knew he had won.
“Anything you wish,” he promised, “for but your soul as payment.”
The girl knew it was wrong, but the thought of living one more day as she had was too much to bear, so she accepted.
The devil granted her beauty and wealth and the envy of all who met her.
And when a year later the farmer’s wife killed the girl out of jealousy, the devil was waiting to claim his prize.
Elena stared at the ceiling above her bed, arms folded behind her head. She’d never understood what had driven the girl from her grandmama’s story to such drastic measures. Her grandmama had always said that desperate times inspired desperate measures, but Elena had never believed it.
She kicked the blanket away from her and sighed when fresh air graced her legs. The weather had warmed up a lot since the market that morning. She couldn’t sleep in the heat.
Her grandmama’s tale wasn’t that different to her own life. Ralu didn’t know her. Her painting skills weren’t great enough for anyone to take her seriously.
It was the same day in, day out. Her misery on repeat.
But unlike the girl in the story, Elena had a family who loved her, even if they seemed preoccupied with other things most days. Her parents had a business to run and her brother was young; it was understandable.
Her neighbours didn’t dislike her, either, they just didn’t really notice her.
Her life wasn’t bad enough to call the devil for help, even if such things were possible. She wasn’t desperate, like the girl in her grandmama’s story had been.
Elena smirked. She’d felt sorry for the girl once, pitied her for not seeing another way. Now she knew life wasn’t that simple.
A warm gust sneaked into her pj trousers and made her shiver. She’d never been able to get comfy in this heat; how her parents and brother managed it was beyond her.
Elena sat up and stifled a yawn. She had no delusions about signing anything a horned beast handed her, but a walk would be nice. The lake outside her village wasn’t far.
She grabbed a woolen jacket from her closet and threw it over her shoulder—to cover her pajamas, not because she was cold. The breeze outside was nice.
Her grandmama’s story echoed in her head as she walked. Elena wasn’t religious and didn’t believe in the devil, but all these stories must have come from somewhere. Was it just people’s fears of the afterlife, or something more?
She shivered under her jacket, and entered the path outside her village to the lake. It was a clear night. The light of a million stars and their moon guided her path and comforted her, reflecting off the still lake like diamonds.
It was quiet out here, just as she liked it. Her mother had told her several times not to visit the lake alone, especially at night, but Elena craved the solitude.
No one judged her here.
No one regarded her paintings only to turn away.
Ralu didn’t kiss her boyfriend.
It was just Elena and silence and starlight.
Even the wind had calmed.
A perfect moment, just for her.
Before her, the water rippled. No breeze, no thrown stone, no fallen leaf. She was so mesmerized by the pretty pattern she didn’t hear the grass break behind her.
“You came. I’ve been waiting, Elena Baciu.”
End of Chapter 3
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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer
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