The night weighed on her shoulders. Her stress started to pound in her head, the intensity making it hard to think. She toyed with the drawstrings with her eyes downcast. It may be days before she had the chance to escape if any chance would show at all. She ached from the dragging and ropes. Her mind often wavered from deciphering memories and wondering if Mako would care to find her. Sniffing sharply at herself, she shook her head and wallowed in self-pity.
A dripping from somewhere unknown plopped on the stones at a steady pace. Even as a metronome, lulling her into a half-sleep that distracted her from time. She hoped by the time she refocused weeks would pass and she’d have the means to escape. She knew it was a slim chance.
“Saphira, was it? You have an interesting ability.” The angel startled her from her slump. She raised her head and glared misty-eyed at him. She refused to make a sound, but that didn’t phase Sorei. He pulled a small pair of round glasses from his breast pocket and placed them on his face.
“Those fragments, they’re impossible to grasp. They fade off from existence when they leave your radius, but they pile at your feet without end.” Sorei informed her, gesturing to the dirt at her feet. She looked at the place she sat finding nothing interesting like he claimed. She furrowed her brow. Sorei wrote in the pad of paper her carried with him, increasingly intrigued.
“You can’t even see them? Interesting. What are these fragments?” Sorei muttered, scribbling away. Saphira tilted her head and scooted away from the gate. Her discomfort shifted from the prison to the situation. She wasn’t sure which was worse. Sorei pulled a wooden chair from the wall and dropped into it, crossing a leg over and using it to write on. She watched him, her legs tucked up to her chest.
“What the hell are you doing?” She finally asked.
“I’m documenting this strange phenomenon. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it before,” he looked up at her and pushed his glasses on the bridge of his nose, “it must be specific to your kind.”
“My kind this, my kind that. Just say human, dick…” She huffed. Sorei chuckled softly, the pencil scratching grating on her nerves. She tucked her arms and head into her hoodie. There was a faint hope that ignoring him would ease some of her discomforts, but the pencil announced his presence. She didn’t like it, but as a prisoner, she was glad he was just writing things and not the other option.
“I would, but I don’t believe humans do this. Can’t say exactly, I’m not human myself.” Sorei said. Saphira rolled her head back. What exactly is she doing weird? Sitting? Wallowing? Saphira scoffed, she’s pretty sure she’s seen people do all that before. She looped her arms around her legs.
“What am I doing?” She asked.
“One second,” Sorei started, scribbling away before placing his pencil down, “shedding. That’s all I can equate it to, really. You’re shedding something and I’m trying to figure out what,” Sorei flipped the pages over and adjusted it so his work was hidden, “if you cooperate, you won’t have to worry about punishment. I need you alive until I can figure out this phenomenon.”
Saphira placed her chin on her knees and grumbled. Wow, so considerate. Now I’m going to be some guinea pig… She sputtered and poked her head out for some air, fanning out her hoodie. She watched Sorei carefully. He pushed the chair back up against the wall, turned away from Saphira.
She squinted, noticing a weird shape in Sorei’s shirt. Spiny ridges ran along his shoulder blades, dangerously jagged. They twitched and flexed every time he moved his arms, but what they were was unknown.
Saphira stood up and went to the gate, gripping the bars. Sorei was divine, but he didn’t act how she thought divines should. Especially being under the thumb of some mortal queen. Saphira squished her cheeks between the bars. His obliviousness to her curious gaze had to be purposeful.
“Where are your wings?” She asked. Sorei stiffened. He slowly looked over his shoulder, the silver glinted as they caught her smushed face. His gaze was as sharp as daggers.
“That is none of your concern. Don’t ask again.” His voice was stern and frigid. Saphira pulled back and gulped.
“Alright, alright, jeez.” She muttered, trying to avoid his glare. He climbed the stairs without another word. Saphira stood stiff until his shadow was far from sight, the footsteps fading. She clicked her tongue, folding her arms.
“Pretty sure I almost just died.” She scratched her cheek with her pinkie and leaned against the wall. Her fear was somewhat alleviated, not expecting such a reaction from him but certainly enjoying it.
There was a slim chance she’d ever be getting away with that again. It felt nice to have something to savor. She did another round on the bars all around the cell. Gate, window, sewer, still nothing.
A scream sounded down the hall, echoing through her skull causing her to grab her head and buckle. It rattled in her ears before the person was finally silenced. Her head swam, recoiling from the sudden and wrenching sound. She had to put her shoulder back to the damp wall to keep herself on her feet.
Something or someone had just met their fate. Saphira groaned and shuddered, holding her arm and gritting her teeth. She paused. This fight wasn’t going to be worth anything. She laughed softly to herself. Her return from death wasn’t going so well, not that she expected much. Maybe if she had stayed dead it would be better. For everyone involved.
The parcel would be out of her hands and she’d be free of the responsibility she screwed up. Mako wouldn’t have lost his status and be exiled. Whatever family she had, the unknown faces in so many of her memories, they’d be safe.
Saphira laughed again, looking down at her feet and kicking the stones scattered on the floor. She knew she was pathetic. It just had to sink in.