Maitri May

As every summer, her and her sister went to the girls´ summer camp of the church and her two elder brothers to the camp for boys, and afterwards their parents went on holidays to Madrid in august. They took the three
younger children with them but also Joaquin because the mother felt better when he was around her. Lourdes, although the favourite of her father, didn´t go with them because, without telling the real reason, she preferred
to stay at home to enjoy the company of Richard.

During two weeks Lourdes, Michael and Martha stayed alone at home.
Lourdes and Michael spent the days drinking, smoking joints and partying all day long with their friends coming into the house. Martha didn´t join them because she already stopped smoking and drinking alcohol and
preferred to spend her time with Prin or going to the meadow to be alone and in peace, listening to nothing.

In the bookshelf of their father was a very old book belonging to some old aunt who passed away one year before, a book about witchery, and Michael had a great idea one evening.
They all agreed and were excited about doing something different.

They put a vinyl disc, one of those old black LP disc, in a lower rpm, to make it sound as a ghostly voice coming out of the grave, just to create the atmosphere.
They turned off the lights and turned on a candle in the middle of a small round table where they put an empty cup. On the edge of that cup was a ten centimetres long and three centimetres wide thin metal sheet, with a
small fluffy ball on one side that was inside the book to be used in the witchcrafts and it should be kept in balance on the edge of the cup.
They all sat around that table with Michael sitting in the middle of the couch, as he will read the witcheries. On his right were Lourdes and Richard, sitting one next to the other on the same armchair and behind them was
the entrance door. In front of Michael was Frank, on his left were two other friends Martha did not know and she was as an observer, sitting next to the glass door going to the backyard, in the opposite side from where
Lourdes and Richard were sitting.

All were quiet and listening to the hexes that Michael started to read, with a slow mysterious voice.
- To all our colleagues witches, wizards and sorcerers, we pray to you all to please grant us our wishes to reach the most richness that life can give us and power to control people. And for you to grant us our wishes, we
promise that we will take a four years old child to a crossing of roads, cut his throat out and spill the blood on top of a raven to which previously…-
- Stop, stop! - shouted Martha – I really don´t like that!. It is bad enough to play with Witchcraft but to talk about killing somebody that is too much. I don´t want even to hear it because I think that is too dangerous, don´t
continue – Martha was feeling terribly awkward with that prayer.
- That´s true Michael, I also don´t feel good with that prayer, it´s better if we stop it – agreed Lourdes.
The boys looked at each other and ended up agreeing with the girls.
- Ok – said Michael and slammed the book shut.

In that very moment, Richard and Lourdes looked at each other fast and suddenly, with terrified faces.
- Did you hear that? – asked Richard almost shouting.
- Oh, God, yes, you also? – answered Lourdes.
They stood up very fast screaming, ran to turn on the lights and were very nervous.
- What´s up, guys? – asked all the others.
Richard went into the opposite direction of where they were sitting, where Martha was.
- I heard a breath, a deep inhalation, as if somebody has died! It was loud and it sounded in between Lourdes and me! – he was very nervous and terrified, as if he heard the devil himself.
- Yes, that´s right, it was horrible! – said Lourdes, hugging Richard shaking of fear.
Someone ran to stop the vinyl disc. They were all scared and talking about assumptions of what that could have been but Martha was not impressed and she thought it was only a group of frightened hens and decided to
play them a trick to have some fun. And as she had no fear, she sat down on the armchair where Lourdes and Michael heard the devil´s like sound.

She knew that when someone looks at the fire of a candle without blinking after some seconds the eyes start watering and she decided to play as if she would be hypnotized, as if she would be possessed. While
everybody was shouting around she kept quiet, waiting for someone to notice that she was “hypnotized”.
Frank noticed it,
- Fuck, guys, look, Martha… she is possessed! - he shouted.
Suddenly, out of the blue and without Martha´s intention or thoughts, she started crying completely out of control, as if she was crazy.
Everybody got paralyzed and more scared.
- Is she possessed? – asked one of the teenagers.

In the moment that question was made, suddenly she stopped crying also without her intention and started laughing loud and like a real possessed witch, it was no her.
All the boys hugged each other with fear but Lourdes seemed to be the only one with courage enough to face the witch.
Lourdes, who had long nails, started pinching hard Martha´s ear, who stopped laughing and was quiet and serious, staring at her sister.
- God, she is bleeding… and still she is not reacting! – said Lourdes, who started to believe that something out of natural was happening.
Martha saw Lourdes´ face doing a big effort in piercing her and heard what she said because she was conscious of everything happening around, as she recovered the consciousness in the head, but not in her body
because she felt nothing.

Richard threw her on the armchair while holding in one hand a small statue of Saint Martin which he took from her mothers´ catholic altar.
- Vade retro, satanas! ...get thee behind me, Satan! – he shouted while trying to put the little statue over her forehead, which Martha avoided with one arm.
The other boys looked for anything religious around to bring it to Martha to exorcise her and spell the demons from inside her.

Martha saw everything, was conscious of it, but she felt the deep fear they had towards her and she was really enjoying it.
- “I don´t know what is happening to me, but I love that they are afraid of me. I don´t know if there is any being inside of me or not, but I will let it be and enjoy this moment” – she thought to herself.
That moment was felt as if the house was filled up with frightened hens with a fox inside. The boys started looking for a way out of the house and she followed them as if really hypnotized, not walking in a normal way.
Lourdes stopped her and forced her to take an aspirin, as if that would help to get rid of the demons because she might have had a strong belief in the power of that medicament.

Martha put the aspirin inside her mouth but when Lourdes gave her a glass of water, she took the aspirin out of the mouth with her hand, put it inside the glass and put the glass away on top of a table next to her. She did
not throw it away because still she thought, that when “whatever” will be gone, she will have to clean it up and she did not want to give herself more work.

The eldest brother of one of the boys came to pick him up and rang the bell of outside and all the rest ran outside shouting it was a devil in the house. Richard and Lourdes also went outside and Martha followed them but
Lourdes stopped her with her hand over her chest.
- No, you don´t go outside, you stay here - said stopping her.
Martha felt that in that moment Lourdes had no power over her and she gave one step forward. Lourdes stopped her again and slapped her on her face.
Martha saw the hand of Lourdes going towards and crossing her face, but she did not feel anything, nor her face made any movement, as if she was a stone.
Martha thought,
- “Oh, yes? you slap my face? then you also get one” – and Martha moved her hand without any effort, not feeling her hand moving nor feeling the contact of her hand touching her sister´s face, but Lourdes flew away
towards Richard´s arm, who caught her just before she touched the ground.
Lourdes touched her own face not believing that her sister had the guts to slap her.

Martha continued her way in the garden to go outside.
Richard followed her and tried to stop her but Martha grabbed his arm and pushed him away without any effort, nor feeling that physical contact.
But in that moment she heard Prin barking. She looked at him and saw that he was not barking to anybody but to her and he was scared with his hair bristly, his tail between his legs and he was furiously barking showing
his piercing fangs while walking backwards and scared to look at her, as his eyes were looking from side to side.
- “Oh, oh… that is not normal… something is weird here. Prin, by no way would ever bark at me nor he would have fear of me, but he is very scared. Animals are very sensitive and they can sense things humans are
unable to. If he feels there is something strange here, I better believe him” – thought Martha while coming closer to Prin, but the closer she was coming, the more scared and backwards was the dog walking.
- “Ok, I think that I´m in possession of my faculties because I can think, hear and see, but what Prin is doing is showing me that something is not right. Maybe an entity is inside me, making me believe now that I´m under
control of myself but in the moment I go outside, the entity could take over me and who knows what I might end up doing. So better I stay here and not risk it outside” – Martha looked at her sister, who did not have the nerve
anymore to face her wicked witchy sister.
- Tonight we both are going to sleep together in our parent´s bed and you will be reading the Bible – said finally Martha for the first time, with a deep serious voice.
- Ok – said Lourdes, who already accepted that she might not be her sister, but a being who possessed her.
All the boys left the place with the relief of having survived it. Michael, coward as he always was, got inside his room within seconds to block the door and windows with beds and cupboards, letting his sister Lourdes alone
with “the dangerous” being.

Martha and Lourdes got inside the bed and Lourdes took the Bible.
- Do you mean that I have to read this book? – asked Lourdes, scared and obeying to whatever her sister would say in that moment.
Martha nodded her head and lay down, while Lourdes sat on the bed, reading the Bible. She slept but in the moment she did not hear her sister because she was falling asleep, she hit her on her leg and Lourdes would
continue reading.
Lourdes did not sleep that night because she was reading the Bible.

Next morning Martha woke up as just any other normal day. Nothing was different and her sister, finally, could sleep.
Martha went outside to see how Prin reacts, but Prin was happy to see her like every day and did not react differently, as if nothing happened. Very soon all the boys of the night before came cautiously over to see her with
some religious amulets with them.
- Are you ok now? are you back to normal? – asked Richard.
Martha looked at them and smiled thinking that maybe from now on they will respect her more. And so it was. She won the nickname of “Witch” and as such she was known from that moment on.

During the whole day more boys of the group came to the house because they all heard about the witch and wanted to see her. Martha got tired and left the house to have some peace, leaving to the meadow to enjoy the
wind on her face.
- Hi witch – she heard and sat down quickly, being annoyed of hearing that in the meadow, as it was her place of peace.
- Ah, it´s you Matthew. Oh, God, don´t tell me that you already heard the story? -
- Of course, I think already everybody heard it – he said laughing.
- It was fun! – she said also laughing - but it was very strange also – said changing her voice as she became serious.
- What was fun and what was strange? –

- Was fun, that they all were very scared of me and I think that from today they will not take me so lightly and will respect me more, as they might fear that the “demon” inside me might come out again – said laughing,
thinking that it would be stupid to think such a thing but also that those guys were not especially intelligent – And it was strange because I could think by myself, could hear, could see, could move to my own volition… I
would say, I had almost all the senses with me except the sense of touch, because I had no physical feelings -
- But also you cried and laughed suddenly, and it was not your volition there, isn´t it? – corrected her Matthew.
- Yeah, right. It was at the very beginning and it took me completely by surprise, but once I stopped laughing like a witch, I could control all my movements and thoughts –

- To be honest, if you are planning to ask me what do I think that was, I have no idea. Because I could say that the power of your mind took over and you became powerful because our mind is able to do incredible things to
our conscious level. We could lift a lot of weight when needed, as we could run to incredible speed also. Because what we set our minds for, we create, we do, and that is the point we talked about having desire. If you
desire something, which is the same as to say, if you mind thinks of something, it creates it, because our minds are powerful magnets attracting what we think of and creates anything we want… Of course, with limits – he
continued after a short pause – but let´s not talk about that now because what I want to point at, is that maybe, certainly by looking at the candlelight, you got hypnotized yourself and you created another reality, putting
yourself in the point of having… let´s say… “powers” – Matthew looked at Martha waiting for some response, but got none - Somewhere in your subconscious level you want something, you want the others to be scared of
you, to respect you. In another hand, you don´t want to have physical feelings, so that you can endure any hitting and you will be strong enough to hit others without feeling it, so that you would not feel guilty of having done it
yourself – continued Matthew.
- Hihi… - laughed Martha – actually… it sounds good –

- BUT… - said Matthew – what about Prin? That´s the point which does not agree with this theory –
- Ups… that´s true!… so? What´s then? – asked Martha.
- No idea – said Matthew and kept quiet, just thinking.
- It´s ok if you have no idea but give me one of your theories… who knows, maybe it sounds good and I take it – said Martha.
- A theory… humm… ok, let´s see how this one works – said Matthew laughing and sitting down - let´s go back to the past lives theory –
- Oh, oh – said Martha, kneeling down.
- Till now we said that you might have been a nun or somebody spiritual, and maybe even a hermit. Also that you might have been an insurgent, as you don´t accept orders –
Martha laughed – but that is normal, who likes to get orders? –
- I continue. But you were not such a nice person in all of your lives –
said Matthew laughing - The Earth exist since millions of years and we had the chance to have been thousands of different kind of beings and humans. Sometimes you were a person with morals and spiritual but other
times no -
- Ok, ok, give me your theory please and what kind of relationship it has with what happened to me last night – said Martha.

- Maybe… you were a witch also –
- Whaat? Me? A witch? – said Martha a bit disturbed.
- Witches are also spiritual people and not all the witches were bad as they want to put them. Many of them helped other people. Not all, but many-
- Eeehhh – doubted Martha.
- Come on, in any case it’s completely impossible to have been a good person in all of your lives. You’ve also been a bad person, a very bad person, a demonic person... -
- Okay, okay, I get it and of course I accept it. Continue - Marta said cutting him short.

- In any case this is only a theory. That´s true that you did not harm anybody last night and you were basically in control because you wanted your sister to read the Bible for you. If you really would have had a demon inside, I
don´t think he would wanted that –
- Yeah… and Prin? –
- Maybe he felt you were different because you hypnotized yourself wanting to believe you were somebody different, more powerful. Prin loves the little Martha, not a powerful woman – said Matthew - What about that theory?-
- I think I will take it, basically because I don´t have any other. And I will ask you in another time to explain me a bit more about the power of the mind. Because if I accept this theory, I have to accept that the mind has power,
and as I felt it last night it could have limitless power. I can say that I was stupid not to let myself to go deeper into that power but it has been a very interesting experience, I have learnt more about myself – said Martha.
- Ok, but I can see also that there is a potential there in you – said Matthew.

- What kind of potential? –
- You look like you are a good person but care must be taken with what is inside of you –
- What? Do you mean that in truth I´m dangerous? – said Martha a bit scared of herself.
- No, not that you are dangerous. But till now the “good girl” part of you has been dominating but little by little…slowly… the “witchy” part of you might take over when it will get too much of dealing with abuses, and I think…
and this is only my theory, that you might be a person who sends curses if somebody does something to you which you don´t like. Or you might be able to “hypnotized” yourself again sometimes and to come into trance -

- Sorry, sorry, I think I start to lose it again. What is trance? – said Martha.
- I´m not going deeper into this point now, but as I know you I think you have tendency, not only to do good and to help many people, but also to do bad when you don´t want certain things to happen, and you might… I keep
quiet now. You know that every time I have told you something to happen, has happened. But this time, I will let you know by your own experience –
- Do you think this is fair? – said Martha standing up annoyed – it´s like you put a piece of cake on my lips and when I´m going to bite it, you take it away! Why you do that? Please, tell me clear! Because it´s said that God is
inside of us and if we play with the theory that a devil could have been inside of me last night, how they could both of them stay in the same place at the same time? –

- Because they are both the two sides of the same coin. God is your mind, as it is the devil. It depends in what you think, in what your feelings are in each moment, that we could say who is in that moment driving you, but
they are both the same aspects of yourself. I would even risk it to say, that it is not possible for a demon to possess you and, in the case of last night it was a light dark side of yourself who showed up. One can´t
understand one thing unless understanding its opposite. Light exists because darkness exists also. If always will be light, darkness would not exist nor the concept of light – said Matthew standing up - Everything is mind,
everything is thought… - he said making his way out – About this point, I will let you experience it all by yourself. See you another day -
- Wait, Matthew! –

But he was gone. Martha stayed in the meadow for a while more and decided not to think any more. She sat down under a tree supporting her back on the trunk, closing her eyes to let go of her thoughts and feel the nature.
Chapter Thirteen
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