The first time I saw a witch, she burned. Father took me to the town square to see it. "Look," he said. "That is the face of evil." But she looked like any other woman, and burned like anything else. Then the flames engulfed her, her eyes found mine, and she laughed.
My father could never understand. He was born into privilege and wealth, and he spent every moment of his life trying to protect it. I was his flesh and blood, but he cared more about the names in books and the faces of the paintings on the walls than his living daughter.
Do you know what fear is? The fear of who you are, the fear of what your own blood would do if they knew what you were. No, you could never understand it. People look to you as a savior. Have you ever thought about the lives you've taken? They were fathers, lovers... daughters.
They asked me what I see when I look into the fire. I see a burning man. I see a burning witch. I see terror and a hunger that will consume everything. What hope do the works of men have against such all-consuming hunger? I gave myself to the flames.
My father burned. He screamed as the flames consumed him, and the smell was...sickly sweet. He had found me -- for once in his life, he had noticed me -- and when he saw that the flames did not touch me, he breathed one word. It was his last.
"Witch," they called me. But I turned it against them. When their daughter had a child that needed to disappear, when there was a sickness that none of the healers could cure, who was it they pleaded with? When they needed me, the morality they flaunted in the daylight disappeared. As it always does.
The first time I heard him, his voice pierced my skull. It reminded me of the cold and haughty sound of my father, but it was more, a crush of thousands of voices. When I heard him, I saw the flames, and I knew fear.
It was a man who came to my bed that night, but when I looked into his eyes, I saw the other, though even he did not know at the time. I did not hear the man's voice, no. I heard the other, the one that has been with me for all these years. I gave myself to him.
Leah was never my daughter. She was Diablo's daughter in truth. I felt blessed to have given the product of my body to my master. He had no interest in me, but in the product of my womb, he found life again. I never flinched when I knew her purpose. Daughters are a cheap thing.