Thursday, June 5, 2008

Second installment of Darkness Lifting

Note: This is only part of Chapter one. I'll post more later.
Chapter One – Freed
Three months after being captured, Elena had still not escaped. She had tried, oh how she had tried. But after imprisoning her six other times, the people had learned their lesson. They now knew that she could not have windows opening outside within sight, not even if they were beyond her grasp. They knew that her dungeon walls had to be five feet thick and that her door had to be steel, not wood. They knew that she could have no wooden furniture available, and that the keys should be kept out of sight at all times. Their ‘witch’ was the highest security prisoner of all time.
She still had not given up. The first time she had been in a dungeon, when she was four years old, she had been held for five months before breaking out. Eventually, the guards would ease up their watchfulness. They would become careless, she knew. She could wait until then. She was patient. Besides, after a while, her bare dark stone room became homey. It was gloomy and lonely, matching her mood perfectly. The food was free, which was nice, and so far she was alive, also preferable. The only problem, other than her lack of freedom, was the young guard who was assigned to her in the afternoons five days a week.
She had a small looking window in her wall, one foot square, through which she could see the guards and the guards could see her. She ignored it, except to look for a way to escape. At first, she had been delighted to have an opening for her to asses the guard through, but one week after her capture, an annoying, talkitve, large, red-headed youth was assigned to her, and she immediately was wishing for a curtain and earplugs.
He had introduced himself on his first day, cheerfully supplying his name so she knew exactly who she was hating. “My name’s Isaac,” he had told her, smiling, as if she cared. She had simply glared at him, hoping he would go sit and day dream like a normal guard. “Well, aren’t you going to tell me your name?”
“My name is Elena, if you must know,” she had replied, “Now if you please, I was having a pleasant time before you showed up and would appreciate it if you would go off like a normal person and ignore me.” She had then turned back to the dust model she was making, thought for a moment, blinked, and made it into a rabid wolf instead.
“Whoa. How did you do that?” Isaac had asked. She ignored him. “Hello-o? I asked you a question.”
“Please, you are annoying me. Have you perchance heard what I do to people who annoy me?”
He had thought for a moment, then replied, “Nope.” In answer, Elena had glared at his neck, driving him to the wall. “I think I remember now,” he choked out, face drained of all color.
For a week or so, she had peace again. But then he started asking questions, such as, “You are not really a witch, are you?” and, “What are you making?” or, “Hey, is that dust model me?” usually followed by, “Why are there hands around the model’s throat? Wait. Is that my head rolling on the ground next to the headless body?” Sometimes she was lucky and her glares scared him off, leaving her once again in blissful silence. Sometimes she was not, and he kept pestering her.
Yet three months into her stay in the dungeon tower, his presence was beginning to grow on her. As she laid, bored, on the dirty floor of her cell, she found herself wishing he would come annoy her, if only because it was fun to be angry at him. Unlike most of Lord Rozac’s guards, he didn’t believe she was a witch. He seemed to consider her a human being. She might almost… miss him if she managed to escape. Of course, these changes were subconscious. She did not need a friend. She didn’t need companionship. She had got on fine without anyone for twelve years, and would continue to do so when she broke out. She knew better than to hope for a person to love her for who she was. She knew better than to hope for a friendship with someone who knew her unique powers. The few people she trusted had either betrayed her or died. Her heart was bruised enough. She didn’t need to risk further injury.
Besides, loneliness was perfect. She didn’t have to worry about anyone else, and no one had to worry about her. She could sleep when she wanted, eat when she wanted, do anything she wanted without anyone disrupting her routine. She didn’t have to look at someone’s idiotic face. No one peppered her with unnecessary questions. No one spoke when she wanted to rest. Yes, the life alone was the perfect life.
Elena molded her colorless lunch into the shape of a raven, wishing she could fly away from her tower cell. How wonderful it would be to be free like the raven in the sky! It won’t be long now, she told herself, There will be an opening soon. Then they will wish they had left me alone. She had told herself that last week. And the week before that. As she was trapped longer and longer, her anger built. With a glare she squashed her raven. She needed to take out her anger on humans, soon. Though perhaps, given a bit more time, she would have simmered long enough to blow right through those five foot thick walls. They can’t hold me much longer.
There were footsteps, and voices. The guards were switching. Here comes the red-headed blabber mouth, she thought, There goes my beautiful silence. To her surprise, Isaac didn’t speak right away. Rather, he stood quietly – quietly! – as if listening. After a full minute, a looked around, as if making sure he was alone. He then approached Elena’s cell.
“What?” she asked irritably.
“What what?”
She rolled her eyes. “I thought you were being strange, but then I remembered what the object of consideration was, and disregarded my hypothesis.”
She spoke slowly, as if to a small child. “You are strange. You may leave now.”
He shook his head. “Whatever,” he said, jumping in place (was he ever still?). “It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that if you are nice, I might be able to get you out of here.”
“Really?” she stretched out the question. Her attention was grabbed, but she was doubtful, suspicious.
“Yep. There are three guards home sick this shift, and Lord Rozac is at the king’s funeral. I could have you free in a couple hours.”
“And in return?” The few times anyone had helped Elena, they had expected her to repay them some way, usually by ‘taking care of’ their enemies. She never helped them, which resulted with another person to run from.
“I ask nothing in return, though Mother would like it if you would come to our cottage to eat and perhaps rest a night.”
She thought for only a moment. She could always escape him if she wanted to. “Alright. When do you let me out of here?”
He grinned. “Night falls in an hour. We can start off then.”

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