Please, I can’t take any more.
I try to voice the words but know they’ll fall on deaf ears. It won’t stop. The pain won’t go away, I’ll die here.
I’ll die in this desolate, ghastly, room.
And no one will ever find me.
No one will ever find the body of the dead queen.
Refusing to give in to the despair, I try to fill my lungs with air but the pain in my side tears through me. Eyes burning with no tears left to cry, I clench my teeth.
“Please,” I whisper, desperate, yet knowing full well there’s nothing I can do to stop the agony. My head swims and dots form in my field of vision. I close my eyes against threatening nausea.
Blood trickles down my face and off my chin. My clothes are coated in the sticky substance, clinging to my fragile frame.
“Oh, go ahead and beg. There’s no one to help you.” The voice slices through the gloom; my kidnapper yanks me by the hair and pulls my neck back for better access. I gasp as he holds a sharp blade to my throat. The probability of that also slicing something is very high, “Now, I won’t ask again. Give me your powers or tell me how you got them.” The ire in his voice sends fear shooting through my body, causing me to tremble.
“I don’t k-know—I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I try to steady my shaky voice but fail as tears stream from my eyes. The torment is too much. I can’t handle it.
There’s a movement to my left and I make out a second figure in the darkness, leaning against the wall. Shadows consume them, but my head’s splitting pain prevents me from latching onto a face.
He steps in front of me and sends a slap across my face before I can process it. My cheek stings before dulling to an agonizing throb.
The figure in the corner rushes over and kicks the metal chair I’m tied to. It topples over, sending me onto my side with a pounding thud.
“Stop it! Stop lying!”
The little air I had in my lungs is knocked out, and I struggle to stay conscious. My whole body aches. Blood falls like a tear across my face.
“If you won’t tell me anything, I might have to resort to more drastic measures.” This is the first time the second man has spoken, and the sound is electronic and garbled.
What more could he do to me? What else could he possibly do?
Those thoughts echo in my mind before the darkness overtakes me. I’ll come up with a plan to escape—eventually.
The slamming of a door wakes me, and I pry my eyes open. Dread curls through me as I realize none of it was a dream. It was all real, and it will be the end of the story if I don’t get out of here… or die trying.
I’m right-side-up again in the uncomfortable chair. Light filters in from a small window in the corner of the room I had no idea was there and I make the bad decision to look at it. My head pounds and the room spins. I squeeze my eyes shut against the pain and try to think of anything I can do. With the little light the window gives, I see a worn wooden door on one side of the small, cement room, but that’s it.
Good thing I’m not claustrophobic. I think, examining the room to be about ten feet on each side.
I realize I’m alone. I don’t know how long, but it at least allows me to find a way to escape. But I don’t have much hope in my position, bound and beat.
My tormentor kept asking about the powers I had. I’m unaware of any mystical abilities I might obtain, let alone how to use them to my benefit.
I sigh. For the time being, I will relish the peace that will soon be banished once the man returns. Although even that’s hard to manage given the fear and misery still coursing through me. I have no idea how long I’ve been in this room. A day? Two? I don’t know, but I won’t be able to withstand any additional suffering.
Startling me, the door flies open, and the tall man stalks in, anger pronounced in each step he takes.
I recoil as he stops in front of me, pulling out a silver blade. It glints in the single ray of light from the window. Gulping past my fear, I harden my gaze and clench my teeth. I will save myself.
“Getting a little more courageous, are we?” He asked, his deep-throated chuckle holding no humor.
“I don’t know who you are or what mystical powers you think I have, but what I do know is that you will pay for this.”
The second man stands in the corner and laughs darkly, “Oh, darling, no one will find us unless I want them to.” He must be using some kind of device to change his voice.
I shudder at the implication and ire in his voice but hold my ground, “If you’re just going to kill me anyway, at least tell me what these ‘powers’ you’re talking about are.”
“See, I still don’t believe your incredulity.” The man in front of me sneers, “Now it’s time for you to do the talking.” He takes the knife and presses it against my cheek, hard enough to draw blood. I gasp but refuse to let the tears fall.
“For the last time—I. Don’t. Know. Anything!” I sob, “I don’t even know what the devil you’re talking about!”
He looks at me, considering my remark. “How naïve can someone be?”
I growl, “I am not naïve.”
“Really? Then how come you don’t know about the powers that are passed down in your family’s matrilineal line? A very powerful kind of magic. I wonder, how come I know about this yet you, the soon-to-be Queen, since your parents are now dead, doesn’t?”
I shudder at the reminder of them and pause, “What?” Is this true? If so… he’s right. How could I not know?
“Wow. Maybe you don’t know. Maybe I’ll just kill you then. There’s no more use of you to me.”
I’m still shocked, and at a loss for words.
“Nothing to say?” He waits a moment before continuing. He paces the short length of the room as he speaks, “Maybe no one will miss you. You’re not Queen yet. Just the princess. And we both know you won’t be anything but appearance anyway. That’s all women are. All you are. Just for looks.”
I look at him with fury. How. Dare. He. “Excuse me?”
He looks at me but kept talking, “Plus, given the fact your parents are dead, the only one to miss you is your brother but, well… he’s quite pathetic. Irresponsible, cowardly… None are good traits for royalty.”
Anger courses through me, and I barely contain the urge to explode. I let out a growl, “Do not speak of my brother that way.”
“It’s the truth. Your parents were similar. Your mother was all looks, no brains. And your father! Don’t get me started, he was a cowardly oaf.”
Ire slices through me, “SHUT UP!” I stomp my feet and all at once an explosion of red bursts from my body and into the small room. Both men fly into the cement wall and slump to the floor. Obsidian tendrils float in the air all around me, mixing with hints of red. A charred mark on the floor signifies where I stomped my feet. The anger flees; followed by confusion.
What just happened? Do I have powers?
I look at their unconscious form and back at the mystery surrounding me. The magic shimmers a bit and I watch it in fascination. It snakes around my body, and I realize the restraints around my hand and feet have eroded.
Black and maroon tendrils wrap around my fingers, a strange tingle sweeping through my whole body.
I have no time to ponder any of this. I must leave before the vile man regains consciousness. I stand too fast, my head spinning, my vision turning black. Grasping the chair as my field of vision clears, I notice all the ‘magic’, for lack of a better word, has disappeared.
I stumble to the oak door, pry it open, and step outside into a menacing forest filled with tall, crowded trees. I’m in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea where I am, only the moonlight filtering through the leaves. I sprint off into the daunting forest, trying not to let the anxiety consume me.
I have only one mission in mind—Get. Away.