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 Chapter 18: For Those who are Gone

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 18: For Those who are Gone   Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:24 am


Nathan’s darkened eyes twitched as this voice sailed in and out of his ears, barely registering in his brain. The voices were everywhere. He had long ago managed to filter out the sound of falling boulders and clattering pebbles; the sound of rain, wind, and hail swimming through the air; the death cries of animals. But the voices of humans clung to him like the dust that coated his sweaty body as he hung there, chained and left out to die like a raisin in the sun. It was the sleep that was killing him. He had managed to fall asleep for something like five minutes, only to find his dreams infested with the same voices he heard when he was awake. His eyes had flown open after an especially loud yell, and stayed open ever since, dark patches growing under them and around them.

His mind moved in crawl. With no way out and his strength slowly waning, Nathan savored every thought, desperately attempting to avoid that last sapper of sanity: boredom. He tried to imagine every possible scenario, best and worst and in between, for his future out of this. The best ones were uplifting, but the worst ones were so depressing that Nathan stopped thinking about them, instead opening his ears to the terrifying roar. There must be several hundred decibels in there, trapped in this desert canyon, ever repeating, ever echoing, with no way out and no way to lessen itself. It was as if the shape of the canyon itself was reflecting and concentrating the sound on one focal point, and he was that focal point, chained to a rock where many had been chained before. If a mad scientist had wanted to devise a way that would torture a soul worse than any other method, not in a way that would reveal information or anything, but just for the pure thought of torturing someone for the sakes of torturing, then this was it. Nature couldn’t have provided a better solution. Nathan stopped thinking about that too. He would commit suicide with his thoughts if he kept this up. Instead, he really focused on those voices, trying to listen in.

...Hello? Hello? Is there anyone out there? Can anyone hear me?...
...Please...Please, I will give anything to be out of here, anything...
...What do you want from me? Just ask for it, and I will give it to you!...
...Don’t worry my child...Everything will be all right...
...I’m scared! I’m scared, I don’t know what...
...Everything will be alright my child...
...You want my money? You want my family? You can have them! Take them! Just...
...Please...Please let me go...I never...
...I think I’m dying! I’m scared! I don’t want to die! Not yet!...
...Do not worry...Everything will be alright...
...I’ll give you my soul, just get me out of here!...
...What happens when you die? I’m scared...
...Everything will be alright...
...Hello? Hello? Is there anyone out there? Anyone at all?


Soluna’s eyes flickered open, her body shivering from the cold and the wet. The sea did not stop raging just because the sun had risen. Her dress had been beaten to a thin, faded veil of transparent fabric, her skin faring no better. She could feel the warmth draining away from her limbs, draining downwards, towards her belly. Soluna remembered learning somewhere...when a pregnant woman was starving, everything went to feed the baby first. Now, all her strength went into keeping the baby alive. The other bodily changes that had ensued in order to compensate for the soon-to-be did nothing to help her. What good was it all when she would starve to death here?

Suddenly, a fishing boat, in the distance, coming into view! Soluna opened her mouth to call out, her voice coming out in a broken, cracked stream of sound. Not loud enough. Already, she didn’t have the strength to yell. But the fishing boat came closer, slowly but surely. Her eyes followed its meandering path, bobbing up and down with the movement of the waves. Soon enough, she was able to see the two men on board, white beards frayed and blown sideways by the wind. One of them was busy working on the sails, while the other merely stared at her, mild shock written all over his face. The boat was moored on a rock far below Soluna’s position, and the two men could be seen walking up to her. They eased their way along the ledge with deft footing, suggesting that they came her often. Or at least had been there before. When they were close enough, Soluna opened her mouth to speak, but the first fisherman was there before words could come, and had taken out a small bottle of something with a pungent smell. The bottle was forced in between her teeth, and a strong, alcoholic liquid was poured down her throat, setting her stomach on fire.

“There, that should ‘elp ye lass. ‘Ow’d ye get ‘ere now?” Soluna shook her head slowly, still unable to speak “Arr, ye’ll get ye voice back once we get ye to safety. Come on Bob, ‘elp me move ‘er.” The first fisherman crawled over to the other side of her, getting to work on the chains.

As they struggled, the second fisherman grunted out his thoughts. “’Ey Egbert, ‘ow you think a poor lass like ‘er got chained up ‘ere and all?”

“Well, I...dunno Bob. Me own grandpappie menshunned one or twoo of them prisoners ‘e’d a seen in ‘is own lifetime. Some feller come ‘ere with ‘is own prisoners for ‘is own purposes, and nobody’s to say otherwise. Thought the feller died, but I guess ‘e’s back or something.”

“Yarr...any’ow, it’s no use Egbert, these chains are stuck tight. Don’t you worry lass, we’re just going back to get the blacksmith over, ‘e’ll know what to do about these. Come on Egbert.” The fishermen turned to leave. The first one gave Soluna another pour from his bottle, pushed a few biscuits into her mouth, and then followed his companion down the rocks and into the boat. Soluna watched them mournfully as they hoisted sails and began to head back. But while they were still a good distance off, she could hear yelps from the boat, the two fishermen waving their arms frantically. A second later, a massive fin emerged next to their boat, and the whole fishing boat came apart at the seams, the mast yanked under by some considerable force. There was a great spout of foam, some of it a sickly pink. Then a few bubbles on the surface of the water, and nothing more. Soluna sighed and hung her head. She didn’t know who to feel more sorry for: herself, or the fishermen.

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Chapter 18: For Those who are Gone
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