A deafening thump follows each heavily drawn step. My black combat boots are gavels, rising then falling, colliding against the wooden floor with a sonorous reverberation – the gut-wrenching noise produced by a judge to bring imminent death closer. It bounces off the walls, echoing throughout the empty corridor of which I stagger down. The noise abruptly returns to me, sharply striking my ears and increasing the decibels of the current shrill rings.
I make an attempt to take powerful inhalations, but my body does not accept such an act. My chest heaves with every forced breath. Oxygen works against me, as though it is thick plumes of smoke. And I could feel my lungs fill with the cumbersome substance. Instead of every attempt to breathe guiding me towards life, I am shoved ten steps back in the direction of a reaper’s open arms.
Gazing straight ahead, my sorrowful gray eyes lock onto light that filters in from a doorway. Shadows are forced to recede from the golden rays, pushed back to envelope me. There must not be enough room around my shaking frame as darkness starts to seep into my mind. A pressure derives within my skull, pressing against the backs of my eyes. For a moment, my vision quivers. The world does a hasty tilt to the side, and then my sense of sight disperses, pinpricks of luminance dancing away from view. All too quickly, I’m surrounded by a veil of agonizing black.
Frantic and confused, I stumble to the right. My side smashes into frigid bricks, chill against my numb and broken skin. What little energy remained seemed to escape me the second I made contact with the wall. And I remain completely still within the obscurity as thoughts attempt to break the surface and make themselves known.
Need to keep moving.
Need to escape.
Need to be freed. Unable.
“And where do you think you’re going?” A gruff male voices booms towards me. They didn’t sound the least bit pleased, a bitter edge to every word. The man is close, at least ten feet away. The distance may even be less than that.
I’m still blind and much too exhausted to run. Even walking seems impossible at this point. My muscles scream at me to collapse, to stop trying to move. There was no way I would give up. And with more effort than originally anticipated, I yank my body around, to face the direction of the voice. As I heave for air, flecks of white eat away at the blackness, enabling me to see once more.
“Kirian.” I hiss between my clenched teeth, his name rancid in my mouth. My eyes narrow, and a menacing smirk forms on his thin lips. For a moment, I thought his pale skin would crack with such an expression. His lean face was one meant for solemn visages and somber eyes; not those onyx orbs that are restless, darting about in rapid and almost unnoticeable motions.
He chuckles at me, “It would be best if you just dropped to your knees now little missy. Clearly you’re already on the brink of death, Cabella Rose.” Despite how much I wished to deny that statement, it was true. But I still refused to listen.
My glare sharpens and my eyes light up, two shimmering silver blades that pierce the soul. Yet, he only feels satisfaction from this, and that mocking smile twists and skews into a pleasured grin. It was a look that screamed bloodlust, one that could easily be found within the cells of an asylum. The only noise between us is my labored breathing and dripping water, most likely from a ceiling leak. But, he then produces a sound that imitated both a snort and a laugh.
“I won’t even allow you the chance to grovel at my feet. I’d much rather have you in pieces at the bottoms of my heels.” Kirian remarks, trying his hardest to intimidate and frighten. “Abraham said he wanted you kept alive. . . but I REALLY enjoy the sound of my plans.”
“I’ve kicked your ass once already.” I am quick to respond, slouching lower against the wall as my knees started to give in. But my scowl remains strong.
“But I’ve been upgraded you see~ And you’re so very weak right now. A pathetic little flower whose thorns have been removed.” His voice starts off low, but quickly rises into a strident and joy-filled screech: “Oh I can’t wait! Oh boy this is going to be so. . . so. . . so. . .” For a second I consider that he may explode. When Kirian enters his little psychotic phases, it’s clear that his brain becomes mush inside his thick skull. His thoughts are much too lost within the mess.
He suddenly thrusts his arms forward, palms out and facing me. Aimed at me. And finally, he finds the word he had been so desperately searching for: “DELIGHTFUL!”
And I watch as the skin of his arms begins to separate by intricate lines. . .