O N E
Darkness, the world was covered in it now. All the monsters, the things that go bump in the night, have slithered out of hiding. They destroyed and consumed everything in their path. The human race didn’t stand a chance. Within a matter of months, they had taken over every part of the world, killing, capturing, and enslaving humans.
I never understood what made them come out of the shadows; maybe they were tired of lurking. The werewolves were first, vicious colossal beasts that could tear out your throat with one bite. Demons were next, but they didn’t stay to fight. They just wanted to drag people back to the depths of hell with them. Then the vampires, who had been watching all along, came. It was their idea to enslave us and treat us like pets. We were objects now. All our hope was gone, no one was left to fight, and we had nowhere to go.
I let my head hit the wall behind me, not caring that I was pressing my ginger hair and head on dried blood and dirt. I would be dead soon anyway. I ran away from him, from my master, Thane. This would be the third time, and I smiled as I thought about the look on his face. The laws were clear, and I would be disposed of. I should be scared, but I wasn’t. I would welcome death and wrap my arms around him if it meant I wouldn’t be Thane’s property.
I was in a dungeon of some kind. Iron shackles and chains were attached to my ankles and wrists. The rough metal was cutting into my skin. This was all just a momentary issue; soon, I would meet my family in the afterlife, no longer would I have to live in this cruel and dark world. I closed my eyes and just wanted to live my last moments in peace. However, I couldn’t do that with the girls around me, sobbing. Tears would not grant them mercy. If anything, it would make the monsters want you more. Your fear and tears were like a drug that they couldn’t get enough of.
“Hush! Someone is coming!” One of them hissed. The girl didn’t stop her loud sobbing. If anything, it just grew louder.
“I-I c-can’t,” she stuttered out, hiccupping.
I reached out and touched her back, rubbing her up and down along her spine. My mother would do this when I was little, and it would calm me down. It was pitch black, but I could hear her sobbing getting quieter. We heard the heavy footsteps get louder; the monsters were getting close now.
The click of a key opening our cage, then his rough voice, “Get up!” he shouted.
I used the wall to slide my body to my shaky legs; they tingled from sitting down for so long. The footsteps were fading as they pulled the first person, the rest of us being dragged behind them.
It seemed to go on forever, and maybe it was because our ankles were shackled, and I could only step so far. It was still pitched black, the sobbing started, but they didn’t speak to us. Were we all going to die? Where were they taking us? My questions were eventually answered once they opened a door and light poured in the dark hall. I squinted my eyes, attempting to adjust to the sudden brightness. Once each person stepped through, they would release the shackles. The cuffs and chains fell to the floor in a thud. I rubbed my wrists, my skin was raw and burning, but it was just a momentary issue.
Next, they started to strip us out of our dirty and torn clothing. Some of the others tried to fight, sobbing and slapping the claws away. They were desperately trying to hang on to whatever dignity they still possessed, but the monsters were stronger. So we stood there, all of us in our underwear. I came into this world bare, might as well leave it bare. I glanced around, men and women, some shivering or with their heads bowed down. The monsters looked like us, but they were not like the rest of us. They carried malice in their hearts and held sinister smiles on their faces.
They walked around and inspected us, slapping a different color bracelet on everyone. I never knew what they meant. I assumed it was about the typical race, gender, and age. However, it meant what the intended use, slavery, pet, food was.
“You look familiar” I glanced up and noticed the monster with blond hair.
He was always here.
“I’ve been here before. Twice” I replied, which caused a few gasps from the other human captives.
He opened his mouth to say something but instead wrapped the bracelet around my arm. Black. I looked around and soon found out I was the only one wearing a black bracelet, the death bracelet.
Soon. Soon I would find the sweet release from this world, from these monsters. I watched as they would drag a different person, roars and growls erupting. Werewolves typically only took human slaves, using them for labor if you’re a man. Women, of course, had it much worse. I heard stories of the wolves wanting women to fuck. It was disgusting. Vampires would buy you for a food source or keep you as a pet. Thane just wanted something to play with, torment and abuse. He luckily never tried to fuck me. Instead, he would mock me and tell me how hideous I was. Escaping him was easy. I think he just enjoyed hunting me down, but I would let another monster find and bring me here. Each escape brought me close to what I desperately longed for, death. A deep part of me longed for survival, to find my way in this new world, which is why I couldn’t bring myself to an end it myself. I hated myself for that.
The bodies started to dwindle, my legs felt sore, and my muscles ached from waiting for so long. Then, just when I thought I would fall over from exhaustion, the monster who slapped the black bracelet on my wrist came for me.
“It’s time,” he said with a sympathetic smile.
I decided to ignore his obviously false kindness and nodded at him. I walked behind him, the crowd of creatures roaring once I walked across the floor. We walked over to a man standing at a podium. He didn’t even glance my way.
“And now we have this rare ginger beauty, let’s start at,” he started to say, and I felt my heart drop to my stomach.
I watched as the blond-haired monster whispered something in his ear.
“I’ll take her” a deep growl came from the crowd. However, I didn’t need to look to know he was here, Thane.
I looked down at my dirty and cut feet, letting my hair cover my face. He was making his way to where we were. I shifted towards the blond monster, seeking any distance and protection from Thane.
“Apologizes, sir, but she is not to be sold.” The man at the podium said, finally looking up. He glanced at Thane and then at the book sitting in front of him.
“Thane, you know the laws. She escaped three times.” He said.
I glanced around, a weapon, I need a weapon. I shuffled closer to the podium. The letter opener was sitting there, ready for me to take it.
“She’ll be punished. I assure you,” Thane growled out, his fangs popped out, and I shrieked in response.
He didn’t wait for an answer before roughly grabbing me by my upper arm. As he pulled me, I reached out and snatched the letter opener off the podium.
“Are you going to kill me, Isadora?” he chuckled.
I took the weapon in my hand and held it to my neck. The crowd of creatures who had been shouting and growling at the spectacle had quieted down.
“No, I’m going to kill myself,” I spat back, pressing the metal into my skin, piercing it slightly and allowing warm blood to trickle down my neck.
“Now why you do such a thing,” a smooth voice rumbled behind us, causing Thane to spin us around to meet the voice.
“Elias,” Thane hissed out.
The creature known as Elias stalked toward me, ignoring Thane completely. I held my weapon in place, ready to plunge it into my neck. But, once he was so close he could touch me, he took a piece of my hair in his hand and threw it behind my shoulder.
“I asked you a question, and I expect an answer,” he demanded.
“Fuck. You.” I seethed, pressing the letter opener further in.
“Why are you doing this?” he said again, his ice-blue eyes swirling and turning darker. “I want to die. I refuse to go back,” I replied, no control over the words leaving my mouth.
“Let her go, Thane,” Elias said, still staring at me.
Thane just tightened his grip and jerked me back, the meatal dragging across my neck.
“Let. Her. Go.” Elias growled, and I felt his hand leave my arm.
My whole body stiffened, and I felt the grip I had on the weapon loosened
“What are you doing to me?” I whimpered out.
“Shhh, just sleep, my brave kitten,” he whispered into my ear.
My eyelids became heavy. The letter opener was the last thing I heard as it clanked against the floor, and I fell into darkness. Maybe this is it. Maybe death has finally taken me.