The Ravening

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True Vandiel Awakens

I woke panting for air. Still bound with my wrists pinning my legs to my chest. I struggled to breathe.

Vandiel was collapsed next to me. Slumped limply. Covered in sweat and dirt.

I screeched around the gag. Pushing at it with my tongue. I managed to roll to the opposite side of him. Desperately trying to get loose before he awoke.

“Zira?”

I looked over my shoulder and saw him positioned in a crawl. His face written with horror.

“What have you done!” He tossed leaves and twigs as he crawled to me and slid on his knees around me. His hands hovering over me. “Zira! I told you!”

Catching the bindings, his hands passed through them. Unable to get a fistful.

“Dammit!” He turned me onto my back. “I need you to listen. Go to sleep. Try to sleep. Relax. I won’t hurt you I vow it. I’m not the same thing you called out last night.”

Too weak to do anything other then hope this wasn’t a cruel game, I closed my eyes and slumped into hopeless exhaustion.

Immediately the binding at my wrists was shredded.

He reached in my mouth and used a finger to hook the hunk of crumpled fabric, dragging it out of my mouth. He carefully folded my legs down. Seeing the bruising up and down them. The cuts running up my back.

I followed his gaze and realized there was almost no spot on my body not covered in bluish bruising.

He caught my face. “I tried to tell you!”

“Why didn’t you?” I rasped. Staring at him weakly.

“I can’t. We can’t tell you anything directly that would help you be rid of us. Or weaken our power I’m bound by the laws of my kind.”

His hands were shaking.

I looked at him and realized it was fear written over his face. “Afraid your plaything will die?”

“Afraid you will die!” He cried in argument.

I’d never seen him as anything but coolly composed. Where’s this frantic creature coming from?

“I’d never have done this to you. Not as me. Not like this.”

“Can’t you heal me?”

He looked at all my wounds and hurt. “You’re not moving.”

“I can’t feel, my legs, my back is burning and inside me...”

“Oh, Zira...” A tear slid down his cheek.

“Sleep. Please sleep.”

It wasn’t hard to comply with. The moment I closed my eyes I subsided into peace. Whether I trusted him or not, I was too tired to fight anymore.

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