One would never guess what went on behind the walls, behind the doors, behind the windows which remained closed. When folks in the town of Nebelheim saw Koldunya in the market or in the town square there was never any reason to suspect anything foul. In fact, many people enjoyed her company. She had long alluring black hair that never seemed out of place and she wore fine clothing that revealed her pleasant form. He smile drew others to her and her laughter was like a song that lifted spirits. She always seemed agreeable and joyful. When she came out that is.
Most in the town heard her story. She was a widow, or so she claimed, who’s husband was abusive, jealous and cruel to her. She was always a little vague about what happened to him, but she said he died “Because he was broken and filled with pain and darkness.” No one knew exactly what that meant but she never gave more information than that. At any rate, no one had reason to question further and no one knew her husband.
She lived at the edge of town where she seemed included but also isolated. It was almost as though she had one foot in and one out of town. That’s exactly how she wanted it because underneath the pleasant image she carefully crafted was a very dark and dangerous monster.
From her cottage came some low groans of throbbing pain that woke the sleeping enchantress before she was ready to rouse on this particular morning. The sun was already fairly high but Koldunya tended to stay up till early morning hours with various debaucherous activities and hated being woke before she was ready.
“What is all that racket?” Koldunya screeched, kicking her legs and flailing her arms.
The groans only continued until Koldunya kicked off a blanket from her feather bed and rushed to a room next to hers. She kicked open the door and glared in to see a man writhing on the ground.
His name was Marti and he was married to Koldunya when they were younger. In fact they were probably still technically married but after you’ve been through the things they have those distinctions tend to matter less.
“Can’t you be quiet?” The woman taunted.
The man tried to focus his blurred vision and could only make out the shape of the enchantress. “Koldunya? Is that you?” He mumbled. “Where am I?”
“What do you mean where are you? You are in our home don’t you remember you idiot?”
“What? Our home? But, I thought I killed you years ago?”
“Killed me? You could never kill me you imbecile. And why would you want to? I’m your wife and no one loves you like I do.” Her voice shifted from one that spat venom to a soft sweetness that was intoxicating.
“But, I thought I tried to escape after I found out what you were doing?”
“What on earth are you talking about sweetie? You must have had a bad dream is all.” Koldunya kneeled by the man who was sunken and bruised. His face gaunt and unshaven for many months. “None of those things happened darling. You love me and I love you and we are happy together.”
As she spoke her voice became almost song like and the words were more like music that lulled the confusion and rage that threatened to rise in the man’s soul.
“Really?” Marti groaned.
“Yes dear, of course, now rest. Apparently you had a very bad dream and you are very confused. There’s no need to worry yourself. I will take care of you. I want you to get better. Clearly you are sick. Feels like you even have a fever.”
“Oh, ok,” Marti stuttered. “Thank you for taking care of me. I must have been confused. When I woke up I thought for sure that you had killed and eaten several children, but that doesn’t make sense.”
“Oh my! What a thing to say! How dare you even speak such a thing to me!” Koldunya hissed backing away after slapping Marti across his face which made his eyes bulge and spit fly from his mouth. “Don’t you even speak such terrible things to me again or I’ll have to punish you!”
Marti coughed and choked for a few seconds and then rolled onto his side and groaned some more.
“I’m sorry, I was just confused,” Marti murmured.
“Well sorry isn’t good enough,” Koldunya declared as she stood over him and gave his side a quick kick. “And since you decided to accuse me of such horrible things, now you are on your own. When will you learn you cannot treat me so poorly? It only causes you to not get what you want. Didn’t you want me to take care of you?”
Marti didn’t answer.
“Well? Didn’t you?”
“Yes,” he groaned.
“Now you won’t get any help from me and it’s all your fault for being so rude and inconsiderate. Maybe someday you’ll learn but today you are on your own.”
With that Koldunya turned and slammed the door behind her and stomped into the main room of the house to plan more punishment for her broken and bruised husband. She heard him crying softly to himself in the next room and froze him her steps to listen carefully. The cries were soothing to her rage and she smiled wide sensing the agony he was in.
“That’s all you deserve,” she chuckled. “Have a nice day huddled on the floor like the pathetic pile of dirt you are.”
With that she closed her eyes, chanted for a few minutes in a language that few understood until her appearance shifted to a beautiful maiden. She grabbed a long purple cloak from a hook near the door and pushed into the warm midday sun.
“It’s going to be a lovely day, I can tell.”