My tale is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It is a story of love and woe. A tale of romance and betrayal. This is the story of a woman and a monster.
Delilah Dixon was the perfect lady. She was polite, calm, poise, and gentle. To add to her manners and well-breeding, she was beautiful. With her golden locks in perfect ringlets and her clear blue eyes matching the Seine in more ways than one, she had many suitors at her beck and call. Every other night was a night of dances and dinners and socializing. It was a grand life.
“A toast!” Derrick Dixon announced from the head of the table. “To my daughter, Delilah. The most beautiful Englishwoman in all of France.” Everyone gave their agreements and toasted as Delilah watched, grinning her thanks. She glanced over at her most recent favorite, Thomas. He was grinning wide at her, proud to have her attention. He was certain they would soon be wed, for they loved each other dearly and her parents quite liked him. When he returned his attention to his food, Delilah turned hers toward Alexander. He, too, was certain she was soon going to be his. He grinned at her as the thought about how he fed her more compliments than any woman could ever ask for. Even if he wasn’t the family favorite, he knew he was hers.
But it was the servant serving Alexander his wine that kept Delilah’s gaze the longest. He was well-built, with dark hair and eyes. The way his lips curved up just a little on his left side made her knees weak. Elizabeth Turner forced her attention away from the men, asking her about the next ball her parents were planning.
It was past midnight when Delilah finally made it to her bedroom. She collapsed on to the bed, Hamma mewing her complaint at the disturbance. Delilah reached over and stroked the soft, white fur. “I’m sorry, Hamma,” she said breathlessly. “I had a long night.” The cat purred at Delilah’s touch, not really caring about the young woman’s distress. But Delilah was her pet and she decided she might as well pretend to listen as she went on about the dinner.
“…And then Father did a toast! To me! It was enough to make me laugh. If he really thought me so wonderful, would he not spend more time smiling at me rather than scolding me for speaking in French, even when I’m alone with you?” Delilah sighed. “And naturally, my mother spent an hour telling me about how my hair was not laying right and must be fixed before dinner. Oh, Hamma, sometimes I just can’t stand it.”
“I know what you mean.” Delilah jumped at the voice, looking to her door to see the servant from dinner, a tray with a glass of milk in his hand. His lips curled into a grin was enough to make Delilah faint. But she gathered her courage and sat up.
“You should not be here,” she said, trying to sound noble and assertive.
“Forgive me, Miss,” he said. “But I felt the need to bring you something soothing to drink before bed. It was a long night you had.”
“Oh, thank you,” she said, straightening herself up. The servant made his way into the room, placing the drink on her bedside table. “You’re new, aren’t you?” she asked. “What was your name again?”
“Pierre, Miss.” he told her. “Pierre DePrez.”
“Pierre. Pleasure to meet you.”
“And I, you. I hope you have a good night.” He turned and left, leaving Delilah feeling somehow empty and lost. With a shake of her head, she took the drink and sipped from it. It tasted…unusual. She pulled the glass away to look at it. The liquid was thick and as white as Hamma’s paws. What, then, was that sweet taste that lingered on her tongue? After a few minutes, she decided to stop worrying about it. She changed and went to bed, taking another drink from the glass before leaving the rest.
The first person Delilah saw the next morning was Pierre DePrez, taking the liberty of bringing her some toast to fill her until breakfast with her parents.
“Thank you,” Delilah said, gazing at him with a new admiration. Something about him had changed since last night. But she couldn’t figure out what it was.
“You’re welcome, Miss. Have a great day.” With that, he turned and left, grinning to himself. His plan was going perfectly.
The next few days were uneventful. Cold breakfasts, empty seats, balls, dinners. The only thing worthy of note was Pierre. Each day, he was getting more and more wonderful. It wasn’t long until Delilah decided she had fallen in love with him. And she had to tell him. She cornered him in the stables.
“Pierre,” she said. “I love you.”
“And I, you,” he said, taking her in his arms. The two shared a long kiss. A kiss that decided their fate. The Dixon’s would never approve of this. They had to run away.
Pierre knew of a small plot of land on the other side of the country that he could buy. He saved up his wages for months. Each day was longer and longer as Delilah waited and pretended that she was not in love with a servant and planned on marrying some rich suitor soon. Finally, in June, the night came to leave.
Delilah covered herself in an old, brown cloak. She gently placed Hamma in her bag—she could not leave her only friend of so many years behind. Man and woman shared a kiss in the barn before mounting the horse. They rode and rode, not daring to look back. Not daring to think if they were caught.
But they never were. In a few weeks’ time, they made it to the house. In the middle of a field, where no one could bother them. They wed at the chapel, and lived happily together.
But the happiness did not last. Every other night, Pierre came home from wherever he went to during the day, carrying flowers or little gifts for Delilah. Sometimes he even brought something for Hamma. Everything was wonderful, until that late August night.
He was drunk. This was not strange, he’d been getting drunk at least once or twice a week lately. Delilah knew to just calm his raging and put him to bed. But this night, things went differently.
Pierre stormed into the house.
“Hello, Dear,” Delilah called, going to greet him.
“You!” he raged, grabbing her and throwing her against the wall. “You unfaithful whore!”
Delilah gazed up at him in fear and alarm. “What?” she asked, trying to inch away from him.
“You’re unfaithful, aren’t you!? You little whore! You and that nasty butcher! He told me all about it!”
“Sweetheart, I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”
“Of course you do!” He caught her again and balled his hand into a fist, slamming it against the side of her face. All night, this went on. He could not be stopped. Delilah was left a mess on the floor, bleeding and covered in bruises. Pierre passed out on the couch, and Hamma came over to Delilah, licking her wounds.
This was how things went for next few days. Finally, Delilah had had enough. Pierre had to be punished. She sat fuming in the bedroom. How to do it? How to destroy the man that had worked so hard to destroy her? From the milk so many months ago to last night. There was no doubt of his game. There was never any real love there, not from either side. She turned her gaze to the mewing Hamma. They shared the same thought. Make him burn.
He was lost in his alcohol-induced coma in the middle of the night. The rain outside pelted against the glass. Delilah stood in the kitchen, preparing the spell. Hamma paced the counter, watching the woman closely. Both witches smirked as the droplets of rain turned into embers. Relished the heat as the flames enveloped the house.
Delilah wandered through the flames, her gaze intense. Her eyes were shrouded in flame by the time she reached the bedroom. His screams rang through her ears. He called her name. She just stared at his suffering form, watching him burn.
Delilah and Hamma walked out of the house, their backs to the flames. Neither looked back as the wind blew Delilah’s yellow hair and snowy nightgown around her. Never again, the promised each other. Never.
Over three hundred years later, and we are still here. The witch of Dixon Mansion, they call me. But I no longer live there. We travel the world, Hamma and me. Waiting patiently for our next victims.