When Aria was told that one day, her world would be turned upside-down, she had assumed it would be rather pleasant experience. Maybe her soulmate would turn it upside-down by being an incredibly rich CEO with enough stacked overseas bank accounts to buy Tijuana. Perhaps, she mused, her divine, world-flipping experience would come in the form of magical brownies that could actually manage to have an effect on a werewolf. However, hanging from the ceiling of a claustrophobic basement by a chain attached to her feet with her hands tied behind her back was the least appealing way in which she could attain a life-changing experience.
If being damned to die could even be considered ‘life-changing.’
The blood rushing to Aria’s head produced a throbbing that could compete with the static of a box television. It was as if there was a constant heartbeat all the while there being an unending pressure that kept building, building, building. She knew that any normal person would have started bleeding and probably passed out forty-five minutes prior. However, blame the resilience of a werewolf or the stubborn nature of a lifelong rogue, it was going to take a lot more than an hour and a half of hanging upside-down to make Aria lose consciousness.
The basement was disgustingly cluttered. Aside from the exposed dripping plumbing pipes, the two lightbulbs that were hanging on for dear fucking life, the unfinished walls with an exposed frame, and the dirt-covered floor that sat around a foot below her head, there was also just stuff laying around. Random boxes, a work bench covered by tools and nails, a small table with a chair at each end: it wasn’t what Aria expected when she thought of ‘torture chamber.’
Nevertheless, she’d been electrocuted, cut, beaten, and spit upon enough in the tiny room to know otherwise.
As Aria sneezed and began thinking about whether the musty smell was coming from mold in a corner or shit in the pipes, she her the familiar heavy steps of the people who’d brought her to this place.
“Okay, sweetheart,” said Irma, the woman that Aria had gotten to know as a sadistic, cold-hearted bitch that took enjoyment out of seeing how electricity made a werewolf twitch. Her light blonde hair glowed in the yellow light of the basement, as if there was a halo on her head - as if she was an angel of death. The machete attached to her belt spoke to that vibe as well. “I’ve grown bored of this little ‘ask-and-don’t-answer’ game we have been playing. Haven’t you?”
Aria narrowed her eyes at Irma, who’d told her her name when they’d first become acquainted, and kept her mouth shut.
Irma sighed and tutted, shaking her had back and forth as she squatted down to be face to face with Aria.
“Now, now,” she started with an amused smile, stroking Aria’s cheek with the back of her knuckles and causing the suspended girl to move her head away sharply. “We both know that this silence gets you nowhere, sweetheart. I’ll ask again, and you can think about whether you want to tell me or get friendly with the jumper cables again. Where is the Darkwoods pack?”
As much as Aria would love to give them an answer to stop the torture, there were two thing standing in the way of that. First of all, she was a rogue. There was no pack that she knew of in this area, and if she had known of it, she would have never come here in the first place. However, if Aria said that, they would kill her in an instant, as it was her supposed ‘secrets’ that had kept her alive the past three days. Secondly, she was too damn stubborn to ever give a hunter anything that would make them happy. That meant helping the people who were responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives every year. It also meant doing something nice for Irma.
Fuck that, she thought in disgust.
Mustering up whatever voice she could from her dry throat, Aria forced out a pained grin.
“I think I saw them,” she whispered, which caused Irma to lean closer as her light blue eyes lit up in what only could be described as victorious, power-hungry, glee. “I think I saw them on my way to fuck your mo-”
The knee to the face was expected, yes, but it still hurt like a bitch.
Aria coughed and groaned as her eyebrow started bleeding, and she could only be internally grateful that her eye was still able to see.
“I see how its going to be,” Irma said in a final tone, walking away from Aria as she swung back and forth from the force of the hit.
“Aww, did I disappoint you?” Aria retorted, smiling at Irma with bloody teeth.
Irma ignored her, however, and turned towards the staircase on the opposite side of the room from where Aria hung.
“Bryce! Leon! Get that wolfsbane ready, we can’t use her,” she called out, causing Aria’s heart to skip a beat.
Holy Shit, Aria thought, spitting out some blood as she heaved heavy breaths. Her vision was starting to blur at the edges as the sudden head injury combined with her hanging position did little to allow a chance to heal. However, the promise of death - the promise of wolfsbane running through her blood and leaving this world feeling like Satan cursed your veins with hellfire - gave her the courage to keep kicking.
Perhaps it was the adrenaline, or perhaps it was the unending will to survive, but no matter what, Aria was not letting herself fall into unconsciousness.
At least when I am awake, I can still try something to stop them.
The two guys Irma had called earlier stomped down the stairs, and Irma looked down at Aria to meet her gaze, tilting her head to the side.
“You know,” she commented. “I have to give you props, sweetheart. Most beasts start crying and begging for mercy, willing to do anything to prevent this shit from entering their system.” She held up the syringe that one of the men handed her, the needle seeming to glint threateningly as she squeezed some purple liquid out of the end.
“Yea, well, my therapist tells me that I’m bad at expressing myself,” Aria responded, coughing at the end as some of her own blood got caught in her throat.
Irma smirked at the answer, but said nothing, as she made her way over to Aria. At this point, Aria was jerking her body back and forth, ripping at the iron on her wrists, trying everything she could to free herself from the restraints.
It was fruitless, however, as Irma placed her sharp grip on Aria’s arm and steadied the struggling girl.
“You’ve tasted this before, sweetheart. You know the way it sears your veins, makes you sweat, eats away at your lifeforce; but you’ve never had this much at one time. In small doses, you lose your strength. But one like this?” She waved the syringe in front of Aria’s face tauntingly. The men in the room stood there, like to pathetic RPG characters waiting to be commanded, with their arms crossed. “This one will be so painful you’ll wish that I was sawing your head off as a mercy kill. I’ve seen it so many times, and every time they cry, and cry, and cry. Be tough as you want now, because you’ll break anyways.”
Aria wanted to snap back. She wanted to tell her that she was so long-winded the three little pigs were still waiting for her to blow their houses down. However, she could do nothing but press her lips together and bite back the tears prickling her eyes.
I guess this is it, she thought regrettably, shutting her eyes as she felt the needle touch the skin on her neck.
Just as Aria was expecting the burning feeling to erupt, a loud ”Shit!" interrupted.
The suspended girl opened her eyes and Irma turned to look at the staircase, pulling the needle away with her. Aria breathed out a heavy sigh and turned her gaze in the same direction, watching in complete confusion as a large guy tumbled down the staircase, followed by what appeared to be a long silver stick.
I’m sorry, what?
The seconds after the man had completely stopped falling were filled with a humming silence that could have been comedic had Aria not felt the incessant need to throw up.
That’s the first chapter of The Eve of Darkness! I hope that you liked it! Make sure to vote and comment what you thought!
See you all in the next chapter!
- Kai <3