I feel my father’s strong arms wrap around me. He’s carrying me away from this place. I snuggle into his chest knowing I’m safe and no-one can hurt me anymore. He’ll keep me safe, he’s always kept me safe and he’ll rip the throats of those that hurt me. He’s done it before and he’ll do it again to protect his family and his pack.
A noise snaps my eyes open, the moon creating the smallest glow into the dark, soul despairing room. My eyes trail up to the inch-thick crack in the wall. The moon, the tiniest slither of the moon stares back. The chains around my wrists clink against the floor as my raw, sore back scrapes against the ragged stone.
No-one was coming to save me, no-one knew where I was.
Burying my head into my grubby knees, I think of home. It’s been my only solace for the last four months.
Four months ago I was a princess... no, I am a princess, that will never change.
I’m a princess. I’m a princess. I’m a princess... Although I don’t feel like one. With my clothes hanging ragged around my frame, my stomach grumbling and chained to the rough rock. The dirt and grime clinging to my skin as if a reminder I’ve been forced to live in my own filth.
I think back to when my life was normal; my mother fussing that we all eat enough. My older brother usually cramming anything in his mouth to get away. My father eating breakfast like he does every morning before heading to do his duties.
I wish I had looked at him more that morning, wish I’d taken my whole family in more. Father had given me one of his strong bone-crushing hugs... like he did every morning. I was meant to go with him, while I’d never be Queen, Father always deemed we should all know how to run the kingdom to an extent. All be involved with decisions and paperwork.
He’d wanted me to help with paperwork that day… so of course, I hadn’t gone with him, oh I wish I had gone with him. But instead, I offered to help my younger brother with his transformation speed, he wanted to be fast like me, strong like me.
But I wasn’t strong and fast now. I never truly knew what wolfsbane did, well I do now. I’m pumped full of it. I can hardly move my head. They hadn’t thought to use wolfsbane at first. Thought silver would keep me at bay, that may keep them at bay but not our family, not me.
My family are descended from the first werwulf, the first man to transform into a wolf; my ancestor Ashil Hunter. The story goes he was a hunter (as you could probably tell) that was bitten by a cursed wolf. This bite set in motion a new world, a world of secrecy and violence. A world of finery and romance. A world we keep secret from the humans. A world protected by magic and laws.
I must have drifted off for when I cracked open my eyes, the sun was now shining through that tiny crack and I’ve been given another dose of wolfsbane - I hadn’t even noticed. Fuck sake, I’m so weak they didn’t even rouse me! I try to shift against the cement floor, but I can barely move my own weight anymore. I feel so heavy although I’m sure I’ve lost weight. My limbs hurt. My blood boils as the poison wraps around my body, infecting me to be weaker than a pup. I hate it, I hate being weak. I’m not weak! But I am now, my father would be ashamed to see his daughter like this.
Ashamed I hadn’t escaped when I had the chance.
The thought creeps shame into me, a despair clouding my already throbbing muggy mind. Tear sting at the back of my eyes before a sob echoes through the empty cell. “But daddy, I fought so hard, I promise, I fought and fought. I snapped two of their necks. My wolf can’t fight the wolfsbane,” I cry into the empty room, my tears falling, dripping onto my bare legs. “Please daddy,” I weep into my knees.
“Aww little princess calling for her daddy,” a snide, mocking voice comes from the door. I turn my eyes to look at him, not able to do much else. He disgusts me with his brown hair beginning to turn grey. His cold icy blue eyes, and his hands. He makes me want to vomit every time he touches me with those rough clammy fingers.
“Fuck off.” I avert my gaze, anything to avoid the face I used to associate with safety and peace. A face of a man I used to look up to, used to admire.
He used to read me bedtime stories. Bring me milkshakes. Now he just brings me fear.
“That’s no way to talk to your future father in law.” He was closer now, with dulled hearing I couldn’t hear his footsteps, I couldn’t sense his approach. I wince at his proximity.
I wish he smelt bad.
I wished he had bad breath or a disgusting body odor.
Oh I wish he was as evil and ugly on the outside as he was on the inside.
I never thought he was evil. He was kind. He was like a father.
“Please, please let me go, Uncle, please,” I beg without looking towards him. I know my pathetic mew of words would have no effect. He was twisted. Something had twisted him into a being of pure hatred.
I wish I knew why.
He barks a laugh into my ear, “I’m not your uncle!” He grabs the chain that’s attached to the shackle around my neck and gives it a tug, forcing me to do his bidding, “On your feet!” The silver shackle cuts into my chin, sending more pain through my body as he pulls me to make me stand.
Like I’m not in enough pain!
He roughly grabs my chin to look towards my jailer, my father’s best friend; Samual.