Arroba: The Awakening - Chapter Seventeen.

Fantasy written by Kerri-Emmitt on Friday 24, September 2010

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Chapter Seventeen - If you have been following this story then this chapter is not one to miss; it

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"I see and understand the sorrow within your emerald eyes but I beg of thee, please do not torment yourself over this. As always here in our resting place there are many a thing to consider and like always, things are complicated. If you truly believe he loves you, then trust him and his actions." I search the doctor's wistful blue eyes and feel myself relax instantly. He's right; I have to trust him, have to believe in him and then hopefully I will eventually get the chance to understand. I smile at the doctor and let him see by my eyes how much his reasonable, warm words mean to me. He blushes a little and then sits himself back down in his chair and carries on with his breakfast as if I had never interrupted. There is such a big, good heart within his chest, but I'm not sure he even realises it's there. All it would take is for someone to encourage this empathy in him a little, to help him feel easy about this very rich, human quality and then it would thrive. See this is the problem. Even though I have been captured by these people I still can't help feeling as if I want to rescue them all, good or bad because I can't help feeling that even the less savoury doctors here are not like this out of choice... more through servitude, captivity and infringement. Surely if they were to leave this goddess forsaken place they would be different? Or am I giving them all too much faith? Perhaps they choose to be this way just as the doctor has chosen to break the mould and give me - a useless, feeble human in the eyes of the Sovereign - a chance at survival. But regardless to my questions and uncertainties they will all be rescued... I just haven't figured out how yet. I have just finished my breakfast and placed the plate on the table next to me when a nipping, hot power begins to wave and wither from the corridor, originating from the entrance hallway. I give a little yelp and press myself harder into the gurney. Here is the moment I have been dreading; the Annuss. They're back. Doctor Devero rushes back to me and whispers into my ear, "You must seem without sight and speech Dione," He pauses for a moment and then leans into me further and whispers with the breath of a feather, "I'm so sorry I cannot help more." He steps away from me and I realise for the first time that I'm gripping the sheets around me and cool sweat has broken out across my forehead and upper lip. I have to get myself under better control than this, have to breathe easy, steady my hands and hope, just hope for the next days, weeks, months that nothing terrible is going to happen to me. The power from the corridor grows denser and seems to rebound off of everything in the room as it gets closer. I close my eyes and breathe slowly out of my mouth and in through my nose, grounding myself. I need to take myself to that special little static place that lies deep within my mind; I so desperately need not to care. A few seconds later and I'm relaxed, my body is limp and breathing and heart even. Then the twined monster glides through the door on its own power and I have to fight my own natural instinct to look. I get a glimpse of its outline before I lower my eyes and all I can say is that they really do live up to their reputations; it is a living, grey, shimmering shadow floating a foot off of the ground. Yet their feet still make footsteps echo through the room. "We have come for the witch." Its duo voice rumbles through the room and seems to hit me directly in the chest, speeding my heart. "She is ready." Doctor Devero says from the other side of the room. "We know. Why is the witch not shackled to the metal around her?" The doctor pauses for a moment and for a second I think he has either run out of good excuses or is fumbling but then come his words hot and biting. "She cannot see or talk Annuss. Where would she go?" The twined demon doesn't answer and again I have to fight myself to remain calm. Then suddenly it is so very easy, as if I have dropped that little bit further into my practical, free space in my mind and I simply don't care. My body relaxes back into the gurney further and my head joins it. "Doctor, get the witch to her feet so we are free to leave." The sound and vibration of the twined demon affects me no longer and my heart carries on its quiet, steady rhythm in my chest. I hear the familiar footsteps of the doctor approaching me and still it's okay. His hands lightly take hold of my shoulders and lift my upper body from the mattress below me and I'm calm. I avoid all eye contact and concentrate on one of the opal coloured buttons in the middle of the doctors white overall as he leads me towards the Annuss, very cautiously. The world swirls around me, passing by but never touching. The doctor whispers something too low for me to hear and then all I remember are my feet walking. I'm unbound and walking of my own accord but what is in front of me or indeed if the Annuss are following, doesn't register. This continues for quite an amount of time I'm sure but just how much I can't even guess at. I'm in my own soft, friendly world now and I'm not going to try to breach it whilst the abomination of all mankind walks somewhere next to me - the thought plunges me deeper still into my own mind. Sometime later a small amount of the Annuss' whispering begins to leek through my static. "The witch is not even scared. Can you hear her heart? It is slow and regular." The other one of the two speaks to its mate, "Yes, it is quite surprising and disappointing." "Do you think Pandora would mind if we played with her just a little?" "Brother, surely you recall what happened to us the last time we did something our Sovereign had not sanctioned before us doing so. I do not wish to get banished again, do you my brother?" The other one whines a little; a wheezing, deep sound which I shiver from as the hairs react on the nape of my neck. Little by little I'm leaking back to reality and quickly because the next thing that comes out of one of their so called 'mouths' affects me so much my back cracks from the effort to remain relaxed. "Do not whine brother. We will have millennia to play with this one once her inauguration has been done. You forget this but you must not, she will be as immortal as you and I - millennia of fun with this one my brother, within the walls of her prison." Then they both cackle. A small, lonely tear runs from my eye and that is the moment I know I have failed. This dark reality forces me from my well of quiet and my body reacts just how it should have before. A cold sweat leaks from my forehead, my breathing quickens and so does my heart. I'm close to panicking and I know that this time if I don't control it I won't be able to get it reined in again. I can feel the past two weeks of fear and torture growing into something terrifying, like an unmovable mass of despair and dust; circling, waiting to drag me down to what almost certainly will be to my own personal world of insanity. I have to get myself under control again - I have to. "Oh brother, can you hear the captivating sound of her hurried heart? Can you smell the sweet scent of her fear? We have frightened her without even trying - these humans never fail to surprise and disgust me. So feeble are they in their existence, we could scare their souls from their bodies with little effort and devour them brother!" "Annuss! THAT IS ENOUGH! Bring her to me!" My mind and vision clicks back into focus and I realise they have already led me from the myriad of tunnels into a huge cavern room. I'm only able to see small snippets of the enormous room but what I can see is glorious; if a room, deep within the torture recesses of Arroba can be described as so. The floor is a shiny hard black surface with glinting inclusions of what looks like diamonds embedded into the very fibre of the floor... but surely that is even too grand for the Sovereign? And then I recognize the delicate slippered feet of the woman as she walks in front of me and I instantly know I'm in the private chambers of Pandora herself. Fuck. I keep my eyes to the ground and my mouth securely closed. It would be the worst possible time for me to mess up and look up at the woman that has become the one I fear the most and give away my secret. If I can endure a half an hour walk with the Annuss then I can keep my composure now... right? The ruby red, slippered feet stop several inches from mine. "Poor little Dione. You have been abused haven't you?" She giggles an awful sound and runs a finger across the still fresh scar that runs down the side of my neck and I instantly flinch. "Well perhaps abused is the wrong word. Devero has fixed you well I see." There is slight scorn in her voice and I'm immediately afraid for the doctor, utterly certain despite my best attempts at hiding what he has done for me, that he is going to get punished anyway. Not for helping me because she doesn't know of this but because he mended me. I'm sure he could have helped heal anyone else and she wouldn't have even batted an eye lid, but when it concerns me, well I'm guessing anyone that is to help ease any pain of mine, or stitch any of my wounds is going to get the backlash of this woman regardless to reason - she hates me. It is as simple and as evil as that. "Well there is no time for niceties Dione. I have a plan and one in which needs to be completed tonight. I'm sure if you could see or speak you would ask questions and then protest but I am not in a compassionate mood. I will tell you nothing other than my servants will soon dress you in some, other appropriate attire and then you will cooperate with what will happen after. Do you understand?" I stand very still, well as still as my heavy breathing will allow and hope with everything I have that she'll leave. "Acknowledge me, Witch!" I jump from the boom in her voice and very nearly yelp with surprise. I nod slowly in her direction and I try to seem as cooperative as possible. "Good. Stay still and let my servants dress you." I see her feet turn around and move off; the swish of her many skirts move after her like dancing grey rain and the sound is very close to that also. I do as she asks and remain very still and shortly after, three women walk up to me and begin pulling the robe from my body. You may think I'm mad but standing there and letting three strangers undress me right down to my bare, battered skin, is one of the most awfully degrading things - even stood in the very heart of the Sovereigns empire and surrounded by more evil than I care to think about, it still affects me far more than anything has done in days. I just feel so vulnerable and weak without those precious layers of cotton between me and the air around me. They take the robe off methodically and quickly and instantly begin to strap me into a corset. They tie it on so tight I have to pant for a good ten minutes before I feel like I can breathe deeply again. They then add knickers and stocking, heavy jewellery around my neck, earrings and a simple sparking white gold bangle around my right wrist which looks completely out of place against the white of my bandages. Once they have finished adjusting it all they pull something very soft and heavy over my head. Once my arms are through and they have pulled the dress down to sit perfectly upon my hips they begin to strap me into this as well, until I feel blue and soar from their effort. Either this dress is two sizes too small for me or it is just designed to be this unforgiving and uncomfortable... I'm betting on the latter. A few minutes later the women have finished, walking away out of the only door in the room and not even glancing at my face once. I continue to stand in the centre of the room, my head bowed and feeling completely unsure what to do with myself. My calf's had started to burn half an hour ago and my neck becoming stiff from the odd angle but what if I were to look up into the room? Is anyone else here? Could I pull off a glazed over, nonchalant look well enough to fool anyone that might be there? I haven't a clue but I have to move my cramped muscles so I slowly begin to move from foot to foot, letting the blood soak back into my muscles. I then move my shoulders in circles and then I slowly lift my head to the room. At first I just concentrate on not looking at anything, letting my eyes stay unfocused and confused. Eventually when I gather enough courage I look to my left and see Pandora's bed; four poster which is heavily set with engravings of the Sovereign's motifs. Blood red drapes hang from the frame and the sheets are the exact same shade. There is a wall of blood behind it - well that's how it looks to me - a paint so dark and so matched to that of blood it really does look as if it should be seeping from the walls to run to the floor. Just as I'm about to look to my right I hear the door click shut. I hold myself and my eyes still and prey they haven't noticed my curious wondering expression.

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    A couple of word choices: his folk down onto his plate. - should be fork........soar should be sore.......prey should be pray......boar should be bore......steal should be steel......advice should be advise.

    Now, you are right in your comment, Kerri. You do need to break this up. There are a lot of logical places where you could break it into three, even four chapters. The opening, the confrontation with Pandora, the arrival of the Angels, the goddess possessing Dione, the bonding with get the picture. Good plot.
    (Rubbing my eyes) Yes, you will break this into several chapters now that you have it out of your system and on paper.

    This tale continues to intrigue me, Kerri. Usually I pass on women writers figuring it will be just a chick thing. Not this, though.
    Sorry it's taken me so long to work my way through this.

    It was well worth it though. The plot turns are excellent and the characterisations and dialog are well up to standard.

    I enjoyed this, but I agree; there are at least two chapters here, perhaps three.