It was dark. There was silence. It was crushing. All around her.
Could she move?
Letting out a pained moan, she stretched her limbs and they popped. She must have been laying here for a long time. Her eyes were open but nothing came into view. The young woman pushed herself into a sitting position, legs crossed, eyes closed, her back against a hard wall.
She inhaled and exhaled deeply just like Bastian taught her. She knew where she might be, where he might have taken her. She had to prepare herself for whatever came next. The last thing she remembered was seeing his face, of being happy he came, him holding her, him attacking her. She made a note to kick his butt when she saw him next.
“Comfortable?” An accented voice questioned. His deep voice entered her cocoon of darkness and silence but she did not open her eyes.
“No.” She snapped, refusing to physically acknowledge his presence.
“Aldric, what is she doing?” Another voice, demanding, feminine and airy. Even with her eyes closed, she recognized when the lights flickered to life. “Is she trying to reach out to the others?”
“She can’t. At least not from this room. Not until Wednesday. She’s powerful but not enough. She’s probably just meditating. Trying to not be afraid. Aren’t you Essence? Or should I call you by your true name? Aria?”
At the sound of her name, both of them, she opened her eyes releasing her final calming breath. Her emerald eyes, stood out against her brown skin as she stared at her two visitors. So, she was in a locked cell, rock and stone all around her. She sat on a small bed and they stood on the outside looking in. It was just the two of them.
“Where’s Antonio?” Her voice never wavered but she was angry, and if she was honest, terrified. They came for her earlier than the agreement stated. With defiance in her eyes, she held their gaze. “He broke the deal. He wasn’t supposed to come.”
The woman, Cassandra, moved to speak but Aldric lifted a hand to silence her. His dark eyes narrowed at their prisoner and he moved closer to the smooth iron bars. Essence willed herself not to shrink away from him. He stared for a long moment, it caused her to shift uncomfortably. His eyes roamed over her form, the brown skin, the thick tight curl of her hair and those eyes… those emerald eyes that showed the power she contained within her. For someone so young, so naive of this world, it was a shame of what was to become of her. Of her magic.
“I can imagine this is difficult for you Aria.”
“My name is Essence.” Cassandra only scoffed at her admonishment. Aldric continued as if he was never interrupted.
“My brother suggested this arrangement to stall until your eighteenth birthday, but surely he couldn’t have been ignorant to think we would follow all the way through. We allowed him and Tess to teach you but that time has come to an end. You will remain here for the next two days.” He folded his arms behind his back and turned to leave. Cassandra’s bright stare burned as she moved ahead to leave. “Besides, it’s better this way. You can’t reach them from here and I would rather not have to come for you again.”
“Again?” He heard shuffling behind him as the girl stood in the middle of her cage. “What do you mean? I thought Antonio…”
“Heh, I made you see what I wanted you to see. It was an illusion, a dream if you will.” He turned towards her a grin on his face. “It was easy. Due to his ridiculous infatuation with you, he would never do anything to harm you, and you truly believe in him. Which left me the opportunity to use that to my advantage.”
“You bastard! What did you do to him?”
Essence stormed to the bars and gripped them tight, fury burning in her emerald eyes. The bars would hold, he wasn’t worried about that. In fact, he would love to see all that she learned. Aldric grinned at the magic surging through her, he could feel it in the air, like electricity, burning through his skin. He snapped forward, his large tanned hands closing around hers. She tried to pull away, but he held tight. His eyes wide with glee.
“I’ve done nothing to him yet. Believe me Aria, the immortal will wish he could die when I am finished with him. I do not take kindly to traitors and while he has been useful, this cannot continue. No one will help you now.”
Essence pulled once more but he held fast. “You’re wrong, they will come for me before my birthday and if they can’t, I’ll wait. You already know the magic I have, imagine what it’ll be when I turn eighteen!”
“You will stay here until your birthday. This dream you have of being rescued, of overpowering us, of surviving is folly. You will serve your purpose…” His eyes flashed with his own magic. “… and it will be the end.”
He pulled away from her and swept away. Essence continued to grip the bars, anger pulsed through her body. When she finally yanked away to throw herself onto the bed, she did not notice the new cracks in the iron bars.
**This is kind of sort of an excerpt from a novel I’ve worked on, on and off for years. I haven’t actually written this part yet but it’s always been in my mind so yay for this prompt allowing me to write it down.