The Story of Our Beginning

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The Incentive

Layla

I walked around the tavern, bringing drinks to different people. I wiped the sweat off my forehead as I headed to the back of the Tavern to take a quick break. For some reason today has been really busy. I can’t pinpoint why. I sat down on one of the buckets that lined the wall. I rested my head against the wood and closed my eyes. It got suddenly quiet inside the Tavern. Too quiet. I opened my eyes and got up off the bucket. I hesitantly opened the door and walked inside. No one’s here. Suddenly, a bag was thrown over my head. Fear flooded my body as I struggled against the person. It felt like two people, maybe more. I can’t see anything. I could feel myself dragging against the floorboards of the Tavern and out on to the road. Where am I going? I repeatedly kicked my foot onto the ground to see where I am. My next kick hit a smooth surface, almost like marble. There’s only one person in the Night kingdom that has that kind of flooring. Next thing I knew I was thrown onto the floor. My shoulder hit the ground first, sending a shock of pain throughout my body. A hand ripped the sheet off my head.

“Hello, Layla Vespera.” A menacing voice said. I looked up and made eye contact with the demon.

“Greetings, my Queen.” I bowed my head. Why does she want to see me?

“I know you’re wondering why I called you here.” She picked at her nails. “Your buddy, Vasper, has not completed his task in his allotted time. He has not contacted me at all.” She looked at me and smiled. She picked herself up off her throne, letting her pure black dress pool away from her like blood. She walked over to me and grabbed my chin. “He must have told you why.”

“I-I don’t know anything, my queen.” I shook my head in fear. I don’t want to die.

“I don’t believe you.” She growled and threw me against the ground. I landed on the same shoulder as before, sending me in another state of pain.

“Tell the truth!” She shouted, kicking me in the stomach. I felt my food from dinner threatening to come out.

“I am! I don’t know where he is!” I grabbed my stomach to shield another kick. She scowled at me and ran to one of her guards. I sighed in relief, thinking the pain she’s giving me would stop. I heard her footsteps come back my way, and I looked up to see her branding a sword. My eyes widened in fear, and I scrambled to get away from her. I didn’t get very far, because I felt a squeeze in my back that turned into burning pain. She stabbed me. My breath seemed to escape me, and it felt like I was about to hyperventilate. I felt her face next to mine, and her breath tickle my neck.

“For now, I’m going to believe you. But I think I’m going to keep you for a while. A little incentive for him.” She pulled away from me, taking the sword with her. I screamed in pain as I felt the blade escape my skin.

“Take her to a healer.” I heard her demand. I continued to try to catch my breath, but my eyes were getting heavier, and I couldn’t see straight. I felt multiple hands pick me up like a dead body and drag me through the palace. My eyes got heavier and heavier. I finally gave up and let them close. I hope Vasper is okay. I felt my pinky finger start to ache.

I don’t know if I’m going to come home.

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