My arms ached from the multiple needles they had stuck in me that day. They never stopped testing to see if each batch worked. It burned through my bloodstream when it was injected, making me grit my teeth and crack my jaw. It made my vision go white in pain. It was worse than the burns on my back and legs when I had first gotten them.
I struggled when they came to inject me with the serum, kicked and punched and bit; until they tied me to a chair, securing my legs and arms and torso, muzzled me so I couldn’t bite. It made my jaw ache and made me struggle for air.
And this serum they kept injecting me with played tricks on my mind, made me see things that weren’t real. Made me see my family suffering, my family leaving me, my family coming to save me only to die.
Each day they brought me three meals. Three liquid meals, as Solanna stated she wanted me well enough to fight once the serum broke through. Sometimes they were solid if I was lucky. And it was humiliating to not be able to fight as they fed me through my muzzle. But I also knew that fighting the ability to eat was a stupid decision. I knew my muscles were deteriorating from being stuck in a cell, but the rest of my body was as well as it could be.
The room they kept me in was surprisingly luxurious. I had a bed, and a bathroom, and water. I also had extravagant clothes and books, and any number of things. Like she was keeping me as a trophy.
And I was kept in that routine, brought between the experiments and the luxurious room they kept me in, until a few weeks later I was brought into the throne room after being forced into an extravagant dress, the muzzle still stopped me from talking or biting.
Solanna was sitting on her throne, extravagant clothes, and her boy toy at her side. There were several creatures and people dressed in similar clothes, although none of them wore the deep red that Solanna wore or the vibrant red my guards had forced me into. But I did see a multitude of blues, blacks, greens, greys, all dark, and none vibrant like mine.
I was marched to the foot of the dais that led to the throne, where I was forced to my knees with my arms still held tightly behind my back. Solanna gestured, and the guards let go of me and dissolved into the crowd.
“I hope you haven’t been treated too badly, my dear,” she said, her voice was deceptive in its motherly concern.
I just glared at her, biting down hard on the mouthpiece of the muzzle. I couldn’t talk but that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t be defiant until my last breath.
“It’s too bad we had to use the muzzle. I was really hoping we wouldn’t have to, but I had a feeling you were going to be defiant. You are my daughter after all. Guards, take off the muzzle, please. But leave the restraints.”
The guards approached me, reached for the clasp behind my head that secured the muzzle to my face. It fell away, and the guard took it away as I worked the soreness out of my jaw. Solanna reached to caress my face, which I let her do before I snapped my jaws toward her hand.
She quickly retracted her hand as she tsked me. “Not so fast, Blaze. I’ve heard how feral you can be without the muzzle. Now, I’m sure your curious as to why you’re here. Today I am holding a celebration. A celebration of my daughter being reunited with me.”
I scoffed, my throat grating. “Sure. Being reunited with my biological mother was just a dream for me, especially with the serum that you injected into me and the muzzle that you keep on me.” I looked right into her eyes. “I would have rather died than ever know you were my mother.”
At my statement, her face turned from arrogance to fury as she stepped forward and hit me. My head whipped to the side, and I felt the sting on my cheek from the slap. I turned back to Solanna, a manic smile on my face.
“Now, I brought you down here to enjoy this celebration with me.” She looked back at the guards. “Put her muzzle back on, and bring her up the dais.”
The guards went to put the muzzle back on, while I struggled against the several hands holding me down. Soon enough they had my neck bent at an unnatural angle, stuffed the muzzle onto my face, and locking my jaw into place. They secured the muzzle and lifted me up to my feet, dragging me up beside the throne, on display for those in the throne room.
Music started up as I was pushed to my knees beside the throne, made a spectacle as Solanna slowly made her way up after me. She caressed my face, before she sat back onto her throne, crossing her legs, and lounging back. Her boy toy hands her a drink, which she raises.
“To being reunited with my daughter and tot his revolution being that much closer to success.”
The crowd cheered. I narrowed my eyes at the display. Whatever revolution this was, it had to stop there was going to be no world left for them to stand against if they destroyed it.
But I watched, and I absorbed all of the information I could get. I listened and I watched as people approached Solanna, and planned. Right in front of me, like I would never escape. They were too arrogant.
When the ‘celebration’ was over, I was dragged back to my room. I struggled the whole way over, stomping on toes, elbowing whatever I could, and making myself dead weight. They threw me back into my room, making me stumble and fall, muzzle first into the floor, which made the muzzle dig into my nose, jaw, and mouth.
I leveraged myself back up onto my knees, taking deep breaths to keep the pain at bay. This is where they would leave me until they wanted me for another experiment.
I dragged myself over to the edge of the bed to lean against it. I could feel the dread climbing up my throat, the panic. I took a few more deeps breaths and prepared myself for their next experiment.
Soon, I would get out of here. And hopefully, they would be there to catch me when I fell.
Hello, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter, and thank you for being patient with me. The updates for Soulfire will probably be spaced out quite a bit, about a month in between, maybe more. If you haven't already, go and check out the excerpt of my short story, Call Me Empress. If you're interested in buying it, check out the 'support me' button.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and wear a mask.