Friday, April 1, 2011

The Captive Trilogy: Part 2 - Return to Captivity

Author's Note:  Have you ever "sat on a bed of lies"  or "drowned in your own helplessness, or hopelessness?"-- Perhaps a better question is:  Have you found the One your soul loves in the midst of it?



The outward silence that reigned on the return journey to her prison belied the inner struggle for sanity. It clutched the very breath from her lungs. Drowning on land … that was the overwhelming sensation. Weight … crushing weight. She urged her mind to lose consciousness arguing that it was better than the reality she faced. No cords were needed to bind her by this band of soul-thieves as the occasional smirk on the grotesque lips of her accuser was enough.  Those smug piercing smiles said it all. She needed no verbal reminder that all was lost and her happy ending would never be coming.

“Could you will yourself to cease?” she pondered. For even to die a captive was better than the living failure she’d become. Where were those grand dreams now?  All the hopes for her life and for being known as a friend and a beloved…of reaching out and leaving her mark on the world before she passed into the next?  She’d die alone and unmourned even by her friends and lover.  Forgotten.  Desolate. Alone … always alone.

Then came a knock on the door of her being and she knew she could welcome in new companions. Friends that vowed they wouldn’t leave her in her darkest hour. Something in her opened up and ushered in what seemed to be the only company she would be allowed to keep. A shudder of apathy enveloped her. She received them inwardly and then drank the vile poison of cynicism that was offered to her.  She could vaguely feel the roots of bitterness crowding out desire and hope. Ah, finally the bliss she sought. Her body visibly shrank into its self and then nothingness waltzed across her face. She was no longer that noble lady of the court.  The person she had been was firmly snuffed.

Her enslaver turned with a wicked gleam in his eye. He knew. He’d finally broken her spirit and for that final victory he gloated. A flicker of pain stabbed her conscience that she’d acquiesced to his original plan. But for her it was too late. Somehow she couldn’t muster a care that what she had actually welcomed were his companions into her inner sanctum.

As the riders approached the fortification, the air became bleaker. Vegetation grew sparse until no living thing could be sustained in the vast waste land. Rocks jutted out of the landscape that appeared to have survived a raging fire. No beauty. No color. No sounds of birds or animals scurrying out of their path like she’d heard when she was near that last great barrier and her brief glimpse at freedom.

The very air seemed mixed with a sulfur-like gas that made breathing shallow and raspy and closing her eyes she retreated to the company of her new inner comrades. Then the inevitable, the horses began to ascend and she knew without opening her eyes that they were almost to her prison-home.

In a blink she was yanked from the horse to her unsteady feet as he paused to savor the look of defeat in her eyes. Wisely he forsook a beating, knowing that it could indeed awaken the inner spark of the once fierce warrior woman he had broken.

“Follow,”  he hissed.

Numbly she stumbled along keeping pace, with ripe dankness assaulting her senses, blindly following to the place she knew too well. The stench of human and animal waste, sweat and rot was tangible in the air and acted as beacons directing them deeper into the hold. Minions with lit wooden torches awaited them and a mere glance from their master had them scurrying to open ancient doors in the corridor that led to her final place of rest.

“Father,” they each muttered as they hastily completed their task.

The last door squealed on its hinges and her capturer ordered the plank lowered over the seemingly bottomless pit. Walking across the wooden walkway to the shelf of rock that was hers, she was roughly seized by the chin and forced to look down and saw the reminder of what awaited her if she attempted escape. A single torch was released, sailing downward, spinning and twisting as it made its way to the depths before it was quenched blow with a faint hiss.

“Need I remind you what this place is called?” a falsely cheery voice uttered. 

He waited for no answer.

“The obelisk …  the place of forgetfulness.  Your place.  As you are indeed “The Forgotten.”

Once she was flung onto the rough slab, he fairly danced back across the wooden walk way before it was drawn up again. The crank, which was just on the other side of the deep pit and controlled the plank, was ostentatiously visible. It served as a dangling carrot always out of reach. With that the door slammed covering her in darkness. The only light was an opening in the ceiling some thirty feet above which was presently shrouded by clouds and added a grayish hue to her surroundings.

The convening days and nights existed as a blur. She no longer marked out the days by adding hash marks on the wall with a limestone rock in order to keep her days straight and her mind sharp. The songs she’d composed to keep her spirit soaring no longer formed on her lips. The plays she’d constructed in her mind were no longer thought of to amuse her. Finally, she no longer exercised muscles to maintain strength for the next attempt at escape. Instead she sank into the very depths of the walls that enclosed her.  Blending; entering as one into the darkness.

When the ration of water was brought to add a semblance of dignity to her otherwise ghastly hygiene, she had only the strength to dump the bucket over her head. Efforts to clean her living space had halted with her recapture. Listless, she sat on the throne of her own filth. It was this and her loss of determination that led to the fevers.

Savage fevers rode rough shod over her body and waged war with her senses. Chills hop scotched with branding fire which receded into delirium.  In rare moments of alertness she urged the end to come and shouted out the “Whys” which reverberated on the thick stony walls and remained unanswered. 

“Why did her life turn out this way?  Why did the one who promised rescue break his vow? Why?  Why?  Why? Why? Why?” 

Soon hysterical laughter was her only cell mate, and the sure sign that she’d succumbed to madness. Her prison cell her crypt, the place where her life would end.  No funeral.  No grave.  No epitaph.  Her lover not in attendance.  She a mere pawn in the epic battle between He and her tormentor.  

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