I miss the night sky. I close my eyes and picture the stars above me. How I long to see something other than these cinderblocks and metal poles that confine me. Rats scurry across the floor, feeding on the death that plagued this hell-like place. It’s as if they mocked us as they scurried around going from place to place as they choose.
This place was unlike anything that I could have imagined. They always told us stories as kids, about the people of the caves. I always thought it was an urban legend. I now know that I was way wrong. Maybe it’s what I get for mocking and playing it off like a joke.
The wounds on my back itched from their healing and from the dried blood that I couldn’t reach to clean off. My once white-blonde hair was now a mangy brownish-red color. The amount of dirt and blood that coats it, is disgusting. The only time we get showers is when the warden wanted us for what he liked to call “Special Time”. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of that disgrace of a male.
If we had been in my tribe, that man would have had his penis cut off and hanged from the doorway of the victim. As it is their right to choose the punishment of their attacker.
My tribe. Oh, how I miss them. I miss the smell of the lakes, the rain in the forest, the wildflowers in the valley. I looked down at my clan tattoos, tracing them ever so gently with my fingers. A reminder not to give up, to keep fighting to get home.
I was a warrior. A warrior of the Roriera Tribe. My people are known for their magical abilities and healing powers. We train from the time we can walk to the day we die. When you hit the age of maturity, they grant you your clan marks, or as we call them, Wantru. Everyone’s Wantru is different, down to the design, to the location. On the eve of adulthood, the wantru are granted to the wearer. Usually, the parents get to take part in designing it. It’s a sign of faith and loyalty. Since my mother died when I was young, my Aunt Kallah got the honor of choosing my marks. Normally, it would go to my father, but he died in the great battle of the storms.
“Witch, get up.” The guard’s voice rang through as his keys jingled and unlock my cell.
I grit my teeth and stood up. Ignoring the temptation of obliterating his face. I learned that lesson. He placed the shackles upon my wrists and escorted me down the hall to the bathing room.
“You are to get cleaned. We have visitors tonight.” The guard said as he shoved me towards the vat of water.
I stripped the orange outfit off my body, putting it in the bin that laid next to the wall. The collar around my neck itched. It was the only thing preventing my magic from demolishing these men. Another guard that waited in the corner gave me the eye, telling me I better get a move on. I walked over to the bath and sank my body into the chilly water that makes my body shiver. The soap that laid next to the bathing tub came in contact with my hand and I followed through with the usual routine of cleansing. The once clean water turned an awful brown color. The dirt and blood drip down my body and into the water. My matted hair began turning to its usual white color.
“Get out, you’re clean enough.” The guard spoke.
The water dripped off my body as I climbed out of the bath. I walked over and dried and dressed in a skimpy dress that was waiting for me.
“Who are the visitors?” I asked. Trying to get as much intelligence as I could before walking into the lion’s den. I tied my wet hair in a bun on top of my head.
“They are none of your fucking business. Get moving.” He said as he shoved me back out of the room and towards my original guard. He licked his lips and bit his lip. His arousal was clear.
“If Master Kane didn’t want you for himself tonight, I bet we could have all kinds of fun. Too bad, I suppose, I’ll just have to wait for another time.” His snake-like voice said.
I contained my anger. I must conserve my energy, that way my plan would work. I set my escape plan for a few days from now. The moon would be full enough that my magic would be just there, even with this god forsaken collar. Even with all the magic blocks here, the moon magic was stronger. I didn’t even need my full power, just a sliver....
The corridors that led to Master Kane’s wing were long. Evening out my breath and listened for any indicators of who was here or what was about to happen. I was never selected for Special Time, because of my combative nature. Already having killed 11 of his men.
They covered the room in fabric and other interior items that made it feel like sprucing up a cheap room. Master Kane laid across a red velvet couch eating grapes. Girls laid next to him, fawning over him. His harem, filled with the prisoners who came in and were pretty. They got to stay in a big open bay instead of a tiny cell.
“Ah, you are here. I am having some honored guests from the Basor lands tonight. You are to be on your best behavior. You will do whatever they ask or I will kill your sister. Are we clear?” Master Kane starred at me.
“Crystal clear,” I said as I snuck a look at my little sister Lexa. She looked fine, with no bruises or contusions.
The doors opened and a group of 10 men came in. They wore the Basor armor. However, not all of their skin matched that of the Death Valley people. My eyebrow shrugged in curiosity. They have an olive complexion, but the Basor people were very pale. These men were not.
“Welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you, General Rivera.” Master Kane said as he stood up and walked over to the General.
“Thank you for the invite.” The General spoke. His voice was husky and rough.
“Please help yourself to anything you see. Then tomorrow we will get down to business.” Master Kane waved his hand across the room.
The General must have felt my stare because he turned his head and looked straight at me with his forest green eyes. His black hair was combed back in a handsome style. The gears were turning in my brain, trying to compute how an olive-toned man could be a General for the Basor Army. The title was passed down from Father to Son.
He walked over to me and put his hand on my lower back and guiding me to a chair. He set me on his muscular lap and undid my bun to play with my hair. The Long blonde waves fell in tumbles to my lower back. I tried to calm myself. I had to stay calm for Lexa’s sake. Master Kane looked our way and then towards Lexa. I nodded my head, showing that I understood the meaning.
“Where do you hail from?” The General asked.
“I could ask the same. I know you are not of the Basor people.” I whispered. My voice is scratchy from the lack of use.
“Hmm, and how would you know this little one?” He asked as he twirled one of my white-blonde locks around his big finger. I ground my teeth.
“Because I do. Sorry not all of us can be the size of a mountain.” My accent was prominent.
“Do you know much about this place?” He asked.
“As much as you do. I don’t get the opportunity to adventure much. I long for the night sky though.”
“Ah General, I see you have taken a liking to our dear Milena. It’s a shame I will execute her in a week.” Master Kane said. My heart sunk. This was news to me. My sister’s eyes flew to mine. Tears seeped from her blue eyes.
“Shall we have a pre-show?” Master Kane asked as he signaled for 2 guards to grab me.
They pulled me to the middle of the room and kicked my knees to make me kneel on the floor. Master Kane got up with a knife in hand and cut the back of my already exposing dress open. He then sat back at his chair, pulling a hysterical Lexa on to his lap. They shackled my arms to metal posts that were cemented on the floor.
“Why is she to be executed?” General Rivera asked as he rubbed his beard.
“Well, this little bitch killed 11 of my men. I have been waiting for the moment to get justice.” He said as he signaled his men to begin.
The whip struck my back. I could feel the old scabs rip open, allowing the blood to fall against my back. The whip struck again. I grit my teeth, refusing to give them the pleasure of hearing my pain. I am a warrior, and if I die, I will die like a warrior. Lexa’s crying became louder.
“If you don’t shut up, I will have her stricken harder, and then you will join.” His breathy voice said.
“Lexa, mistana pel va fonda shul.” I said in our native tongue. She nodded her head and covered her mouth.
“What did you say, you little bitch?” The guard not holding the whip said as he struck me across the face with his fist.
“In pain, we survive, for pain makes the witch strong.” I gritted out. Blood seeped out of my mouth from being hit. The General locked eyes with me. His face full of disgust.
Lash after Lash, they kept coming, I moaned in pain and tried to keep my eyes open. I couldn’t hold myself up any longer. The world started fading. Then it was black.
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