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Living Hell

After what seemed like forever to Elissa, the tingling in her legs and feet finally eased and she managed to stretch and move until she popped her back. Glancing around for a few moments for her loin cloth, she finally gave up the task as helpless and wandered outside without it.

Looking around, the scene before her hadn’t changed any from how it was yesterday – she was still in the middle of nothing more than what was ruins, and there wasn’t anyone around besides her and The Darkness. Even if she was willing to wench to fulfill her duty, there wasn’t anyone to wench too. The area was walled off, and they were trapped inside those walls alone.

“I wonder if it even knows things have gone to hell,” she mused to herself. To be honest, she didn’t know anything about The Darkness. With those eyes, could it even see? It seemed to somehow be watching her, but was that perhaps in her imagination? No, she assured herself, it could see somehow. It knew that she was a female and not a male when she first walked into its lair. Or den. Or sitting room – whatever the hell you call where it was she’d met it!

Apparently The Darkness could see, or had some means of identifying what was around it, but that didn’t mean it had any knowledge of the state of the city they were trapped within. From the overall size of the walled off area, this had to be a bustling metropolis sometime in the past, with thousands of people and businesses all here together. Surely, somewhere within all this ruin, there had to have been taverns or general stores, or some other place, that sold drinks to customers. Maybe even a whorehouse, since The Darkness had suggested she wench for it.

Not having anything else to go on, Elissa slowly worked her way through the overgrown grass and weeds, avoiding the dangerous trash and garbage concealed by it. Making her way to the street, she took her time and slowly walked up and down the various overgrown roads and alleys to try and get a better understanding of the place she was in.

Elissa expected to find normal divisions inside the town – an area for the rich and fancy, another area for government businesses, a section for the average, and a section for the poor – but instead all she found was the same old same old. The way one street looked varied very little over the way another looked. The houses – or ruins of houses to be precise – were all about the same size and shape.

The only time Elissa had ever seen anything even remotely like it, was when she once visited an army barracks. If that was the case, and this was once an area where soldiers lived with their families, it was by far the largest base she’d ever heard of! The was enough room for tens of thousands of soldiers – and their families – to live inside the encasing walls. If it was just soldiers, and they didn’t have families with them, perhaps a hundred thousand would have been living here in the past!

Oh, how she longed for a look outside the walls!

Perhaps in the future, there might be a way to get on top of them, or even go over them, but now wasn’t the time to worry about such things, she reminded herself. One thing she was certain of; if this was some sort of giant military base or barracks, beer shouldn’t be too hard to find – even if it was against their rules and regulations. Somewhere, one of these buildings would have a basement with a hidden room where the soldiers hid their stash. Honestly, Elissa thought to herself, there was probably a whole network of buildings where the soldiers worked together to move and store contraband which was against regulations.

The only real problem was finding them, and hoping that someone else hadn’t come along and looted those stashes already. Sighing deeply, Elissa slowly worked her way back to the front of the house that contained The Darkness, and then went into the nearest shack beside it. Since the outside of the buildings all looked the same, the only thing to do was to do a careful inspection of their contents one at a time. She was lucky in the fact that she didn’t have a time limit set on her first task, because it might take her days or even weeks before she could find and scavenge what she was looking for out of the ruins – if it even existed.

The troublesome thought that the ruins had already been looted and picked clean over the years kept drifting into her thoughts. What if there wasn’t any beer to find? What if she only found wine or whiskey instead? Could she honestly swear that there was even beer here somewhere to be found? The more she rummaged and carefully searched the nearby ruins, the more she worried.

Finally, as the sun was starting to reach its zenith in the sky, she decided that she’d rummaged around enough for one morning. Since time wasn’t an issue, Elissa decided to break the problem down into two possible solutions. One, she could search the ruins and find what was needed to complete her task, or two, she’d simply have to make her own.

She’d never brewed beer in the past, and really didn’t know what was required to make it, but Elissa knew that it’d require growing crops and that there currently wasn’t any place suitable for such an endeavor that she’d seen. Besides, if she was honest with herself, she simply had to admit that she didn’t like all the trash and garbage lying about. The front of the yard was overgrown and dangerous to try and walk through. All it’d take is one mistake and she could end up seriously hurting herself with some danger hidden in the weeds.

So, to work on both problems and both solutions at the same time, Elissa decided to devote herself to two separate tasks. Mornings she’d go out and search the ruins in the off chance that she could beer as she’d been requested to, or, barring that, find anything useful or helpful at all. In the evenings, she could work on clearing and cleaning the yard out front of where The Darkness resided – she was loath to call it her own home for now – and eventually prepare the ground for tilling and planting.

Just because she didn’t know anything about brewing beer, that didn’t mean she couldn’t learn through trial and error. Ten years is a long time and a person can learn all sorts of things in that period, she told herself, but if the town had been looted, it’d be impossible to find something which might not exist at all in it anymore. The only way she could be certain that she’d eventually have beer, is if she produced it herself.

The first step to that was clearing the yard and fixing a field suitable for growing things, and to that end, Elissa devoted her afternoon to the grilling labor of pulling weeds and clearing a path from the broken gate leading in from the street, to the broken door which led out of the house.

The sun was hot and merciless, relentlessly radiating down on her bare skin, and the weeds were tall and deep rooted. Progress was painfully slow and there was nothing to eat or drink to help keep her hydrated and her strength up. By the time the sun began to settle behind the wall that evening, Elissa was tired, sun burnt almost to the point of feeling blistered, dehydrated, and with what felt like a hole in her stomach from where she was so hungry.

And for her troubles, all she had to show was a line of pulled weeds too narrow to even be called a real path from the door to the gate. She’d thought she’d did more, that she’d have more to show for all her effort than that! Looking at what she’d accomplished, and what was still left to accomplish, Elissa felt her heart shrink back in despair. Even with ten years, could she even manage to clear the yard by then? It all felt so hopeless. Feeling bleak and overwhelmed, Elissa wearily shambled back into the house before the sun set.

Inside, The Darkness was waiting, and uncaring of her physical or mental state, it grabbed her almost before she’d even fully gotten into the room and ravished her again for several long hours. Held, tugged, positioned, and used like nothing more than a doll built solely for pleasure, Elissa couldn’t help but feel like she was in hell.

In all honesty, it was a blessed relief when exhaustion and weariness took over and she passed out while her knees were being pushed up towards her head and she was being rode mercilessly. The dark oblivion of unconsciousness was the only relief which she could look forward to. She truly was in her own personal hell.

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