The dreaded rattle of metal-on-metal woke me from my shallow sleep. Immediately, my breath hitched and my body curled up into a ball, the thin cloth above me doing nothing to help the frigid temperature of the cell.
"Good morning Della! I hope you slept well!" That woman's cheery voice make me shake. She pushed that trolley to my cell door every single morning, without fail, ready for my captor. He always had a selection of tools picked out for him to use. They changed every day.
Yesterday, it was a pair of pliers, tweezers and a scalpel. The rattles on the trolley sounded heavy and dull today, they echoed in an odd way off the stone walls to meet my overly sensitive ears.
"Quiet today I see." The shutter on my iron door slides open and her beautiful, evil face peers through the gap at me. I glare at her, though the flame of anger inside me dwindled by the day. My wolf had long since retreated into silence, her passion long snuffed out.
"Whatever. As long as you aren't quiet for Alpha. You know he likes his girls loud." She winks, and withdraws from the window. I close my eyes briefly and take a deep breath, preparing myself for the upcoming torment.
"Food for you." She slides a tray under the door and watches as I glance at it hungrily. I can't move. Not while she watches.
"Fine. Suit yourself. Alpha will be down soon, so eat up." She closes the shutter, plunging the cell into near darkness again. It was like this most days. I hadn't seen the sun in months, tormented by the shadows and the noises that came from the nearby places. Ghostly shrieks, muffled talking, howling and the thudding of heavy paws often reached my ears, painful reminders of the normalcy of life outside this room that I would probably never leave.
It was day 72.
Slowly, I push myself up off the cot and try to stand to walk towards the tray, but my shaking legs are too emaciated, and cannot support my weight. Groaning under my breath, I start the short journey crawling across the floor that takes several minutes. I reach the tray, only to find a small jug of water, some stale bread and a tiny morsel of cheese. Food is food, and although it tasted awful, it was probably the only thing I'd get for a while.
I finish my meagre meal and begin to shuffle my way back to the cot, when heavy-booted footsteps begin at the end of the hallway. My heart rate shoots up, and I slide onto the cot, shrinking into myself and making myself as small a target as possible.
"It's your lucky day today Dee." His voice makes me want to vomit. "I've been working on a new formula. It's different to our normal activities... I do hope you don't mind." My blood runs cold.
He'd been working on various fomulas for use on prisoners and enemies, to subdue the wolf, to drive insane, to incapacitate, you name it. His most recent conquest had been ultimate pain, much to Emmalyn's delight.
"It's a beautifully delicate blend of mugwort, foxglove, nightshade, wolfsbane and what is, in essence, liquefied silver. I believe that it's perfect, but of course I need to test it first." The bolt in the door slides back, and the medical tray rattles as his piercing grey eyes meet mine.
Emmalyn enters the cell. I gaze into her face, so twisted from that kind girl that I knew not only a year ago. She holds leather belts, and reaches towards me. I know better than to resist. In a second, she has me fully restrained to the cot, tearing off the arm of my shirt in the process.
"...Lyn?" I whisper to her. I'm greeted with a snarl and a baring of fangs.
"You will address me as Luna." She growls out.
"Yes you will, dearest Della. She may be your sister, but first and foremost, she is my Luna. She chose me over you." He laughs. "She chose me over your entire family. The sooner you accept that she's not of the same weak blood as you any more, the better." I can feel the tears forming already.
"Mom and dad deserved what happened to them. You deserve all of this." Emmalyn whispered into my ear.
"Just because my brother loved a man?"
"Our brother broke the rules. He fell in love with a human, and a man at that."
"My brother loved him, that's all that should have mattered."
"All that matters now is that you tell us where he went." Alpha enters the cell, wrinkling his nose.
"I don't know! How many times do I have to tell you?"
"I think you do know." He places the bare needle of a syringe underneath my throat. "You should really talk with more respect you know, considering who holds your life in their hand." He murmurs, lifting my chin and examining my face. Squeezing my eyes shut, I can feel his breath against my ears.
"I will do whatever it takes to find where he is. Do not doubt my resolve." And I feel the cold needle slide into my arm. Where it enters, my veins turn to ice. The cold fire spreads, enveloping my entire body in blinding pain.
I thrash against my restrains, yet no sound comes out of my mouth, as open in agony that it was. I'm dimly aware of the cell door being slammed shut, but it fades into blackness along with my conciousness.
The freezing fire began to burn with heat as I came back to myself. It burned hotter and brighter, the furious pounding of my heart making my entire body pulse with pain. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't move, I couldn't make noise. I was helpless, and completely numb inside.
The burning resolved to bright flares across my body. Sometimes across my heart, or my stomach, or my legs. It lasted for a few moments then faded away, only to appear elsewhere. It was agony, anticipating the part of me that would be doused in flames next.
I don't know how long this has gone on for. I lost track of time a long while ago.
The pain has finally started to fade. The regular aches and pains of my broken body had returned, and some gracious soul had untied me. My skin is hyper-sensitive, the rough-spun blanket too scratchy and burning me. It was so dark, I couldn't tell if my eyes were open or closed. Life had no meaning, or concept of time passing, until I'm dragged back to my dreadful reality by the rattle of the trolley.