Secrets of Ravenstone: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book One

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Chapter 18

Coming in from outside, were the other five men with shackles wooden clubs and electric stun-batons held in their rough hands.

“Animal meat? What do you mean, by that? The only animals I see, are you!” Sarah blurted out, digging everyone into a deeper hole than we were already in.

“Exactly how it sounds, little girl.” Elder D replied, “Exactly how it sounds. We have a lycan among us and we’re not about to let him go.”

Suddenly, we were grabbed by our arms, dropping our bags. Our hands were shackled behind our backs. It happened so quickly and unexpectedly that we didn’t have a chance to retaliate. The shackles were made of iron and silver which burned Jonathan and Erik, as well as Anthony for they made contact with their skin. The men surrounded us deciding to show their brutal side; pushing us around the inner circle as if taunting us like prey. They kept this up until Sarah tired, losing her footing, causing her to fall to the ground. She sat there weeping out of fear. I knelt down alongside her, feeling tears welling up in my eyes but managed to hold them back. Leering at mens feet, I cursed under my breath,

“Marxus...you son of a bitch. You said we’d be safe.”

Without warning, two of the tavern men reached down lifting Sarah and I off the ground, holding us firmly by both arms from behind. Elder A walked forward examining Sarah and I up and down but then focused his attention onto me. He ordered the man holding me to release his grip, leaving me standing there vulnerable. He walked around me, examining my appearance.

“Take a picture…it’ll last longer!” I snapped, as I struggled with the iron shackles.

He paused, standing before me. Roughly placing his right hand on my face, holding it under my chin,he turned my head from side to side examining my face.

“Now what are you?” he asked in a stern tone with a hint of curiosity, “You’re pretty for whatever you are. Very exotic.”

“I’m human…you piece of shit.” I replied as I moved my head away from his hand, “Touch me again with your filthy hands, and I’ll burn them off!”

Elder A grew impatient, grabbing me by the back of my hair holding my head upward, facing him. I moaned as I tried pulling away but his grip was too strong. With his other hand, he lifted my upper lip, examining my teeth as if looking for something out of the ordinary when it was then, he saw it. A spark of flame in my dark eyes.

“I won’t ask again.” he ordered, “You’re not a vampire or lycanthrope. What are you and why won’t you reveal your true nature?”

Without thinking and in the spur of the moment, I bit down on his index finger causing him to shriek out in pain.I released my bite, moving my head away, spitting on the ground. Not knowing where the hell his hands had been, I snapped once again as I tried wiping my mouth on my shoulder,

“I don’t even want to know where the hell your hands have been, you f***! And I’ll say it again...I’m human!”

“No you’re not. Now, tell me…or she dies!” as he grabbed Sarah, positioning her in front of him, holding a dagger at her throat.

I squinted, hating these animals more and more. I breathed heavily as I began to steam. Sarah winced, feeling the blade touch her skin. I leered at Elder A, making direct eye contact.

“My, my…” he admired with a smile.

“Look, gents! She’s cooking herself!” the barkeeper rejoiced with a chuckle, “Which means we won’t have to!”

I couldn’t believe the barkeeper’s stupidity. Glaring in his direction behind Elder A, I argued,

“You think I’m what, so you don’t have to what now!? Un-f***ing believable!”

Other voices mumbled the word WITCH under their breath, as they nodded.

Elder A smiled as he stared into my dark eyes. He released Sarah, pushing her toward Anthony, as he approached me once more; hunger and curiosity in his eyes. Sarah stumbled forward but managed her footing. Before Elder A or I could speak, Anthony yelled out as he tried pulling free from his captor’s grip,

“Keep your hands off her! We’re not here to do you any harm! I ask you to release us so we can be on our way! We’re not alone…despite our current circumstances!”

“Yes, we know! They left you all here, so it seems!” a voice shouted.

Elder A turned to Anthony, striking him back handed. Anthony lost his balance but the man holding him, stood him upright. Elder D walked forward standing in front of Anthony holding him by the hair and face. As he stared into Anthony’s eyes, he watched as their dark pigment turned golden yellow.

“My, my...look at this men. He’s in mid-transition...and it’s not even the full moon either. He’s strong. Obviously virile. Our ladies will have their way with him before killing him. A beautiful man like this will make perfect off-springs and he smells good!” as the sick bastard eyed his lower region.

Anthony leered at Elder D with such hate and rage that if he didn’t have the shackles placed on his wrists, he would have torn him apart. Taking no more of this abuse, Erik and Jonathan flashed their pale eyes and canine teeth which had turned into sharp fangs. Sarah and I managed to huddle next to each other watching them reveal their True Selves. Erik and Jonathan hissed in a deep tones as they too tried pulling free from their captor’s grip but were unable due to their weakness from the iron shackles that continued their effect.

“Let us go!”Jonathan said firmly as he bared his teeth, flinching in the process as he felt the iron shackles touch his wrists.

“Well, what do we have here? A vampire.” Elder C approached Jonathan, “I do have to say, that I’ve never seen your kind before. My...you’re very intriguing. We’re going to enjoy you.” he rubbed his hands together then reached for Jonathan’s mouth but withdrew them quickly as Jonathan lashed out, “Such fiery red hair. Perfect trophy. Seems we have quite a selection of beauty here.”

“If you don’t let us go, we’re going to enjoy tearing you apart.” Erik said in a deep threatening voice revealing his inner vampire, that sent chills down my spine but I liked it, “And you’re going to be the first of the bunch. I’ll enjoy ripping your head from those slouching shoulders, you bloody bastard!”

“We’ll see about that, dark and mysterious one won’t we? Let’s have ourselves a bit of fun!” Elder C said not taking Erik’s warning to ear while everyone in the room shouted in a cheerful arrogant yell of victory, “Looks like we have ourselves a real good pick of the litter,men!” he repeated.

Anthony growled as they shifted us around, dragging us toward the door.One of the men growing tired of Anthony’s struggle,held a club with small silver spikes at the tip, hitting Anthony across the head knocking him out. His captor groaned, having to drag his weight. As they dragged us out the door,men carrying our bags quickly sifted through them looking to see what they can steal or keep for themselves. Finding nothing interesting, they followed us outside. Once in the pouring rain, we; except Anthony, tried kicking and screaming but the men grabbed our feet and shoved dirty rags in our mouths.

Seeing Erik and Jonathan presented a problem; kicking with their feet, the elders ordered to have their feet shackled together as well, adding an iron neck brace to their discomfort, limiting their ability to fight back. They were in a weakened state, enabling these strong men to manage and handle them. They were lucky, for if Erik and Jonathan were to regain their full strength, everyone would have been torn apart.

Before they had a chance to gag me, I let out a deafening blood curdling scream that echoed among the pounding rain. As the scream echoed, I released a burst of heat that caused the men to grow cautious as they attempted to silence me. Slapping me across my jaw, that did the job. I moaned, feeling the immediate ache.

“Save your screaming for later. You’re going to need it. Take them to the prisons and leave them there until the slaughter.” Elder D ordered, watching as they dragged us away to the prison cells.

At the mention of SLAUGHTER, we tried screaming more as they dragged us away, but that didn’t get us anywhere but in deeper trouble and frustration because we couldn’t express our moment of sheer terror. We all knew where this situation was going.

Sarah and I were thrown over the shoulders of two of the largest townsmen, while Erik, Jonathan and Anthony were hauled ahead; feet dragging against the stone ground, unable to shuffle their feet., much less move.

The four elders stood in the streets, talking and deciding what to really do with us and in what specific order.

“We have our choices which all result in the same outcome. However we choose to kill them, won’t really matter.” Elder A suggested.

“We have beheading....burned at the stakes....or by firing squad. All depends on which is more appropriate for each one.” Elder D replied.

“The ladies of course we’ll all have fun with for awhile then dispose of them when we’re done.” Elder B added. “They’re both beauties but I’d like to experiment on the raven haired beauty. I want to know what she really is. And then, we can burn her as a witch for that’s what our people think of her.”

“Since we have a lycan and vampires, why not DEATH BY THREE? Beheading, burned and firing squad, all at once. Then we’ll eat what’s left. The vampires we’ll drain their blood which is very useful and dangerous. That could be worth money sold on the black market, then behead them turning them into nothing but a pile of ash. It seems everyone wants vampire blood these days. And of course the lycanthrope, we’ll eat, after we pass him around to the women.” Elder C replied in complete enjoyment.

They all looked at each other, nodding in agreement.

“So, DEATH BY THREE then?” Elder A inquired.

The other elders agreed.

“What of the others they claim to be with? What will we tell them when they come looking for them?” Elder B asked.

“We’ll tell them they grew impatient and tired of waiting, then walked down the street and left. Where they went, we don’t know. Its open terrain out here. I think that will be convincing don’t you think?” Elder D answered, “A lot of folks get lost around here. A story believable enough, if told right.”

“What if they cause trouble as well?”

“Then, we’ll deal with them too and steal their crafts that would cost a lot, if broken down and sold to the right buyer.”

They laughed, taking pleasure in their sinister plans, then walked back inside the tavern to get out of the pouring rain that wasn’t about to let up any time soon.

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