For ungodly reasons, Elle's excellent memory was so on point and accurate that it was an inescapable curse. She remembered everything, her mind never letting go of things that happened to her and with her, and as such, nightmares were just collateral damage that she was obligated to deal with.
But it wasn't a nightmare this time, it seemed too real to be a nightmare, and she was aware of her burning skin, a fever mayhap?
She decided she was hallucinating. It had to be the only explanation to what was going on in front of her open and itchy eyes. She saw before her the body of her aunt, the one who had raised her after her mother had been assassinated. Aunt Freya as she was known, had been a vampire from her father's side and although she was strict and did not allow poor Elle to make friends or play outside, it was all for Elle's sake.
Elle disliked Freya for a number of reasons. As a kid, Elle wasn't allowed to wander outside or play house with the neighborhood kids, she did not allow Elle to eat too many sweets and Elle's clothes were always old and ragged. But Elle now realized that the sweets and clothes were much of a financial issue than Freya being cruel to Elle.
Elle had wished for Freya to be gone from her life a numerous times, but never for her to be hurt. She remembered herself being a small little fussy brat, on her knees as she stared at the sky making promises to the one above and asking for blessings.
"Dear God, pwease lock aunt Freja in our house for some time so I can play outside. Oh, but pwease leave some water and food for her, she might be hungry."
All Elle had wanted was to be a normal kid, to play with others and come home to a father and a mother who would cuddle and kiss her. Aunt Freya never cuddled or kissed her goodnight, no bedtime stores as well.
Elle had been six years old when it had happened, her aunt had taken her out in the backyard and asked her to run away as fast as she could.
Elle being the smart kid that she was had ran to the forest and then had climbed a tree high enough that her chubby little body was hidden in the leaves completely, not even her shadow had fallen on the ground. Her heart racing a mile a minute, her tiny fingers trembling and with her legs aching and shaking, she had witnessed the first abusive event of her life from up in the high branches.
Her aunt had started running in the eastern direction from where Elle had taken off in, and Elle watched as the men tackled her to the ground. Her aunt had not been a fighter, if anything, from the pictures that hung on the walls of their house, she was of a wealthy family line. And so she was defenseless. They had held her down on the ground, one holding down her wrists as he straddled her and the other held her ankles.
The one holding the ankles started sliding his hands up, but then the weirdest thing happened and the man straddling her aunt stabbed his companion in his throat, cutting at a major vein from how much blood flowed. "You do not touch her!!" he shouted at his ally.
Her aunt was screaming and thrashing to get out from under the man but it only gained her a hard enough slap on her face that her lip split. That silenced her but she glared at her captor.
Elle meanwhile was shocked by everything that was happening to her aunt, the aunt who had come to Elle's rescue when thunder strikes made her cower in fear. Aunt Freya would come and sit beside her, holding her hand, no words spoken but her silent presence had been a reassurance of safety for the child who feared the hail storms and thunders.
"Where's that kid?" The man above her spoke, Elle's sharp ears picked up on the words as tears soaked her shirt and sobs started strangling her throat.
"I don't know." Freya answered in a calm tone, her perpetual glare fixed on the man who shook his head slowly as if disappointed. But he did not hurt Elle's aunt, at least not physically for sure.
"She's an abomination, Marie." The man said in a tone cold enough to freeze hell. "You are saving what should never have been born!!" The man said.
He referred her aunt Freya as Marie.
Elle gulped the ball of fear that tightened her throat and listened to the man as he spoke further.
"You are sinning by protecting that which must be put in the ground. "
"She is a child!" Freya screamed at the man, "An innocent child who did nothing but exist. I've been living with her for four years, does it look like I'm dead or in bad health?"
Freya looked exasperated, tears flowing down her face, her hair messed up on the ground, her dress riding up a little on her legs and no to mention the cut on her lip.
"She means more to me than just my brother's kid. I've raised her as my own, you're not getting to her." Freya was bold with her words, too bold for her own sake because that earned her another slap. Elle realized that she was the topic of this unfortunate conversation, and she was the one who had caused this unfateful event upon her aunt.
The man grabbed her jaw in a hand and leaned to look in her eyes, his stance that of a predator with his eyes set on his prey.
"She is no mortal's offspring, and in no manner your daughter. And do not dare to speak as such before anyone else."
After a few moments of staring down at Freya who was glaring daggers at him, the man leaned down and sucked on her bottom lip that was bleeding. Elle gasped as the man kissed her aunt rather intimately.
After which he received a kick in his crotch and when he howled in pain, Freya took it as her cue to push him off her and took off running again. The man stood up clutching his pelvis and then after taking a few deep breaths and muttering curses that were inappropriate for a six year old to hear, he started running in her direction, with a limp of course.
As Elle rested in the bed where Damien had laid her, that aggressor's words rang in her head. 'No mortal's child'. And not for the first time, Elle wondered who she truly was and people had been hunting her, never allowing her to live in peace.
It was after an hour or so that Damien returned, a servant following him with a cart full of food that Elle would not be able to swallow. He came to her and sat down on the edge of the bed, trailing the knuckles of his large hand on her cheek. She drifted off to sleep sometime after he failed to get her up enough to feed her.