The Bait:

Simone’s Notes:

Suffering is a negative basic feeling or emotion that involves unpleasantness, aversion, harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be called physical or mental, depending on whether it is linked primarily to a body process or a mind process. Examples of physical suffering are pain as a sensation, nausea, breathlessness, and itching. Examples of mental suffering are anxiety, grief, hatred, and boredom. The intensity of suffering comes in all degrees, from the triflingly mild to the unspeakably insufferable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence are often considered along with that of intensity. People's attitudes toward a suffering may vary hugely according to how much they deem it as light or severe, avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, of little or of great consequence, deserved or undeserved, chosen or unwanted, acceptable or unacceptable. The words pain and suffering can be confusing and may require careful handling. (1) Sometimes they are synonyms and interchangeable. (2) Sometimes they are used in contradistinction to one another: e.g. "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional", or "pain is physical, suffering is mental". (3) Sometimes one word refers to a variety of that to which the other refers: e.g. "pain is physical suffering", or "suffering is severe physical or mental pain". (4) Sometimes yet, people use them in another fashion. All sentient beings suffer during their lives, in diverse manners, and often dramatically. No field of human activity deals with the whole subject of suffering, but many are concerned with its nature and processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal, social, and cultural behaviors, its remedies, management, and uses.

“I’m heading to Ginny’s house now, mom!” Kate called as she was heading out the door. “Okay, dear!” her mother replied from the kitchen. Then, the five-month pregnant girl headed out the door. She had no idea what she was going to get into today. Envy was stalking her today. He was planning to capture Kate and hold her hostage for a while. The plan was a simple one. “Aw, don’t worry little Kate,” the homunculus thought evilly. “I’m here for you!” Then, he followed the vessel down the street. Kate came to a stop light before she crossed the street. So much was on her mind. She still had no idea what she was going to do with the baby. Now that everyone knew her secret, she was trapped. Her parents still questioned her about who the baby’s father was and how she got pregnant. Everyone she knew was on a hunt to find the baby’s father and how she got pregnant. Her head ached from all of those questions. She just wanted to get away and disappear. But where could she go? Everyone knew her problem now. She dreaded the thought of going back to school in the fall. She just wished her “angel” would come and take away her misery and suffering. Kate just sighed to herself. “Could things get any worse for me right now?” she thought. Sadly, the answer was yes.

Envy leapt down from the tree silently and walked up behind Kate. “This is too easy!” the homunculus thought. “She’s just defenseless and desperate for her life to be normal again!” He drew out a small heated cloth covered in knock-out dust. Envy grabbed the mother-to-be from behind and pressed the cloth over her mouth and nose. Kate struggled to get away but it was no use. She fainted in seconds. Envy smirked to himself. Then, he picked up the out cold mother to be and carried her away into the woods.

Meanwhile, Ginny waited at her house for Kate. Her friend said that she would come over today. So far, she hadn’t shown up. After an hour, Gin started to get worried. Sure, it didn’t take Kate a long time to get to her friend’s house, but she would’ve called if she was running late. Ginny was really worried now. “I need to call her!” she thought. Then, the girl picked up her cell phone and began to dial her friend. Ginny waited for a few seconds. When all she got was a voice mail, Ginny was rightfully worried. That was a dead giveaway to her. Something wasn’t right. Kate always answered her cell phone, no matter what. “I have to find her!” Gin thought in worry. Then, the girl put on her shoes and headed out the door.

In the woods, a light cool drop of water fell onto Kate’s soft cheek. The girl slowly fluttered her eyes open. Kate looked all around her quickly. Dark and tall trees were all around. She was lying on the spongy wet moss. Fear consumed her fast. She felt cold all of a sudden. The mother-to-be slowly sat up. “W-Where am I?” she thought in terror. “In the Dark Witch Woods!” a voice hissed at her. Kate looked up quickly. A gypsy woman was standing over her. She was close to dark mud. The woman was dressed as a sorceress in black and dark purple robes. She looked coldly at the mother-to-be. Kate felt scared again. “Who are you? And why am I here?” she asked nervously. The woman walked closer. “I am Soles!” she answered. “I am sent here to watch over you until the baby is born! We can’t have you roaming free when your little child is in grave danger! Can we?” The mother-to-be was confused. “How do you know about my child?” she asked in terror. “What do you mean my child is grave danger?” Soles tried not to laugh at the hostage. “You truly don’t know?” she asked. Kate shook her head slowly. Soles just couldn’t help but to laugh at the mother-to-be. “I swear,” she went on. “They got a stupid and useless little girl to carry the baby!” Soles laughed even louder. “That’s enough Soles!” another voice snapped out. Both girls turned up to see Envy. He was frowning at the gypsy woman. “You’re supposed to keep the girl here until Ai-Oni or Nyious comes for her!” he barked. “So shut up!” Soles rolled her eyes. “Fine!” she snapped. “Now go keep a watch out!” the homunculus barked. “I’m goin’! I’m goin’!” the gypsy barked. Then, she walked away mumbling to herself.

Envy turned back to the hostage. Kate was really freaked out. The homunculus looked at her as if she was a scared little child. “Aw,” he cooed. “What’s wrong? You act like I’m going to bite you or something. I’m really nice once you get to know me!” “What does she mean by my child is in danger?” she asked. “Who are you people? What do you want with me?” The homunculus walked closer to her and smiled. The mother-to-be began backing up the nearest tree behind her. Envy leaned in and lightly took Kate by her cheeks. “All you need to know is,” he replied. “That you are a key importance to us!” Then, he put the cloth over her mouth and nose again. Kate knocked out almost instantly. Envy let her slowly fall to the ground. He smirked at his work. “That ought to keep you quiet for a while!” Envy thought to her. The homunculus dragged the pregnant girl into an abandoned cabin and put her on the bed. He pulled the sheets over her and left.

“Bollocks!” Syd shouted out. “They have taken the vessel!” “So now what?” Ella asked. Her bloke thought about that for a moment. Then, an idea came to him fast. “I’ll just bend Soles to our way of thinking.” he concluded. Ella smiled at him wickedly. “Oh you wouldn’t!” she called trying not to laugh. Syd nodded as he smiled coldly. “Care to join me?” he asked. “With pleasure!” his bird replied. Syd grinned as he drew a fresh transmutation circle with black ink on the floor. Then, they joined hands and they began focusing their energy into the circle below them. A blood red light rose up between them.

Soles awoke feeling possessed. Syd and Ella had taken over her mind. “Kill the fallen mother and her child!” Syd ordered her. “Yes master!” the gypsy replied. Then, the woman rose to her feet, picked up the dagger, and walked over to where Kate was lying out cold in bed. She breathed head and cold. The girl slowly woke up again to see Soles standing over her with the dagger over her. Fear consumed the mother-to-be in a heartbeat. Soles tried to stab Kate, but the girl rolled away. She screamed and struggled to get out of bed. Soles pinned Kate down and tried to stab her again. The girl kicked the gypsy and crawled away in. Kate then rose to her feet and tried to run away. Soles chased her with the dagger.

Kate ended up on a cliff. She found herself trapped. Soles was walking towards her slowly. Kate sat down on the ground and put her hands on the ground. She began praying to herself silently. Soles grinned as she kept walking closer. “Nothing personal,” she spoke up. “Really!” Kate shut her eyes even tighter. When nothing came, she slowly looked up. Envy was holding Soles tightly from behind. The gypsy was fighting him off. “Take your hands off of me, you wanker!!!” she yelled out. Envy still held onto her. “F**k that!” he yelled back. The two kept fighting until the dagger flew out of Soles’ hand and down the cliff on the other side. The gypsy broke away at long last and glared at the homunculus and the young mother-to-be. “So be it!” she snapped. Then, Soles turned to Kate. “But you carry this mistake all the way to your grave!” she hissed. Then, the gypsy held up two fingers and began chanting to herself. Her fingers became a bright red glow. Soles put her fingers to her chest. She caught on fire instantly. Kate’s eyes grew big in complete fear. “NOOOO!!!!” she screamed out. The flames ate at the woman’s chest like a virus. When she was completely engulfed, the gypsy ran straight towards them. Envy quickly grabbed Kate and ran out of the way. Soles ran straight off of the cliff. Kate watched in total fear. The gypsy dropped all the way to the ground. She lied there burning to death.

Kate saw the whole thing. She was now trembling in fear. Tears were rolling down her soft cheeks. Envy turned and looked at her coldly. “Now, forget about her!” he snapped. “Get back to your bed now!” Afraid of what he would and could do to her, Kate nodded in fear and said, “Alright. Alright. I’ll go!” Then, the young mother-to-be walked away to bed quickly. Envy watched after her as she did.