Silver has never known hunger. She has been blessed with gifts that could only have come from the gods themselves, and has been worshiped since she was a child. She does not know what victory tastes like, or the strength of her bones. Whenever her temple is overrun by slavers, she finds herself in the possession of the enigmatic and insufferable Imagine. A man who feels nothing but hunger.
Swaddling Cloth Of Silk
I am defeated. My soul lay in a pool of blood, as I pull my remaining pieces together. I try to make something that resembles my former self, but it is nothing but a cruel monstrosity. It disgusts me. I wore my faith in the gods as armor, now my soul lay bare and exposed. I can not hide from the shadows that lick at my wretched mind like some great fire. I feel little but this all consuming anger that overshadows and frightens off any good will I have inside.
I curse the gods and that vile man. For one can forgive a serpent for slithering on its stomach. It is more difficult to forgive a snake who walks on two legs and speaks nothing but words that refresh the spirit like cool water. I curse the gods for putting him in their favor. There is only warm days where this demon haunts. His stomach always full and his path always clear. I have fed the very soil with my blood, and praised the heavens in the gods names. Yet, this man, this man who feasts on the weak is blessed by the gods in every way. How can I keep faith? How can I swallow down this poisonous bile that is treason?
This darkness has purpose though. My heart broken, this anger has revived me. This blind poisonous rage keeps me moving. I am still alive. I feel my heartbeat in my ears, I am still alive.
My decent started a week prior. My life was lazy and sluggish, and my good fortune made me restless and bitter like a bored child. Truthfully, I was nothing but a child. There is not a fate conceivable that would surpass my own. I was raised in the great temple of Lefrastra, sanctuary for the lost and forgotten. I prayed I am defeated. My soul lay in a pool of blood, as I pull my remaining pieces together. I try to make something that resembles my former self, but it is nothing but a cruel monstrosity. It disgusts me. I wore my faith in the gods as armor, now my soul lay bare and exposed. I can not hide from the shadows that lick at my wretched mind like some great fire. I feel little but this all consuming anger that overshadows and frightens off any good will I have inside.
in sacred gardens and was taught to read and write by brilliant scholars. War and hunger never touched me.
I was given an extraordinary gift from the gods: the ability to see into the minds of mortal men. It drew the attention of oracles and speakers of the divine. An old oracle placed her bony hand on my cheek when I was still a small child. She spoke that I would be a grand sacrifice to a powerful god. That I would be reborn in blood and that my god would come for me when I was sightless, deaf, and dumb. That my god would be the one to change everything.
They kept me in silk and exotic oils, clean and untouched past womanhood. We waited for a sign.
The temple was protected by high stone walls, but we still see the suffering of the people. Young men pulled to war, meant less able hands to work the fields, and less food for all. I have never known hunger, but I have heard the sounds through the stone walls. People were crying because they do not have enough bread. With the towns unprotected, slave traders take young girls and march them across tough terrain to be sold to the highest bidder. Bands of men come and take what little food there is. With winter on the horizon, the suffering will only grow. We could only take solace in our high walls and sacred soil that always yielded crops.
Even with all this heartbreak around me, I worried about nothing. I was still bathed in fine oil, wrapped in expensive silk. I awaited my wedding day, and thought little of the suffering people. Maybe this is why I must suffer now? My idleness my downfall, my apathy my sin. Somewhere beneath the pain, the anguish, and the soul decaying hate, I feel as though I deserve this. Now in the dark and the cold, all I can hear is the cries of the hungry. I cannot escape it.
I lived in the temple my whole life. Nile, the god of fertility, watched over our temple. Our lands always produced, and the children were always born healthy and strong. Our stone walls were high and thick. We honored the gods, threw constant festivals and ceremonies, and we sacrificed blood, water, and food. We lived in an oasis. There was pain, and the sound of monsters feasting through the stonework. We were safe and warm, and our humility had left us.
We were once the protectors of the lost. Our temple a sanctuary to the hungry and scared... but the war changed things. The ones outside died because they were unworthy. If they pleased the gods as we had, then maybe they would have been spared. They were being punished for what they have done in lives prior. They were too far gone. I did not think once of the bread we fed to the land as sacrifice. It would have fed many a child. How could the gods not punish us? How could we wall ourselves in and pretend we are the only ones?
This false prophet came into my world, mystical and vibrant. He wore robes of white and walked barefooted in the gardens with the children. He spoke our mother tongue, and translated ancient scripture as though he was raised on it. He spoke of the gods as though they were childhood friends, and there was not a tale he did not know by heart. He was blessed with a tongue that only knew the right words. I'm still dancing to his lingering song.
I must deal with the guilt. If I would have only seen through his smile I could have saved my people. It took him only three days to destroy everything I have built in my life.
When he first appeared at our gates we were cautious. We house the lost and the forgotten, children and widows. Helpless creatures that could not hope to protect our temple. The only thing that guards us is the stone wall around our lands. We have plenty to protect. Our sacred soil yielding crops, the spring we fetch our water from, our healthy children and beautiful women who will fetch more than their fair price in distant lands. We let no one in.
The women who were watching the gate from atop the wall quickly ran to fetch the temple leader and myself as soon as he arrived. I was one of the leaders of our temple. Ever since I reached womanhood I have been involved with everything that happens to my home. The leader of our temple, Mire, and I were the ones who chose to let this viper into our nest. We analyzed him from atop our towering walls, whispering to each other what we noticed.
He pretended to be us so well; he was dressed in sacred robes indicating his holy status, a bridge between the world of the gods and our own. He stood at our gates patiently, feet bare, and eyes gently patient as he looked up at where we stood. His eyes were like none that I have ever seen. I think I could see them from a mile away in the dark, they burned through me. How can I describe this wretched creature, this demon that wears the flesh of a mortal man? You do not know how much I ache to say that he looked like a beast. That his face bore markings for his sins. It reignites the hate in my soul to say he had a handsome face. It once filled me with warmth but now all I have is poisonous bile where my soul should be. His very face was a painful lie.
No matter what I do I cannot get his accursed smile out of my thoughts. He looked through me, smiled at me like he knew everything about me, and I just charmed him to the core. He made me his puppet, and it makes me nauseated to think on how willingly I danced for him. Dark thoughts plague my mind. What am I not willing to do to never see that smile again? I've never had a violent thought in my whole life, and suddenly I am drowning in them.
It was not often that I saw young men, maybe a total of five my entire life when I laid eyes on him. A few dirty men who worked the fields who begged at our gates. The occasional young man who protected elderly speakers when they visited our temple. When our male children reach manhood we send them to the western temple of Nile. There would be nothing but trouble keeping young men in with our young widows. He was by far the most handsome man I had ever laid eyes on. I felt unclean just gazing upon him.
The strangest thing though was that he had a child with him. A small boy no older than four in age. A pale, quiet little creature with eyes the color of the little blue flowers that peppered the hills in the spring. He looked so tired, practically asleep in the man's arms. I sometimes wonder if it wasn't for that child if I wouldn’t have let him in.
I have been blessed with the gift to look inside the minds of mortal men. However as I tried to look in on his thoughts I found that I couldn't. I attributed it to the distance, and ignored the fear that built inside my stomach. I had never been blind to the mind of anyone, and I found myself unable to exist without it. I should have known.
"Did we receive any letters saying that we were going to be visited by another speaker?" I whispered quietly to Mire as we stood there, trying to recall myself if anything like that had came. "I've never even seen this man before, and I have met all of the neighboring speakers except for Juniper, servant of Nile, though he is known for never leaving his temple"
"There is an easy way to figure out who this man is," Mire said with a smirk, almost as though he knew what was going on in my mind.
The temple leader, his servant, and I went to greet him outside of our gates in the warm morning sun. My skin was bare and glistening in the light, shiny with fragrant exotic oils. I was only partially covered in fine white silk and beautiful jewels from distant lands. The only part of me that was cold were my small naked feet soaked in the morning dew. My long pale curls were loose around my shoulders, and small white flowers tied in my locks. There was nothing humble about my appearance.
We had finally received a sign. Mire had received the same dream time and time again. I was to be sacrificed on the next moonless night. I was three days away from the day of my death; it was to be a beautiful ceremony. It was long ago decided that I must be promised to the god of change, Childe, who had been fashioned by the god Agape. It was my second day of fasting, but the hunger in my belly could not compete with the anticipation that consumed me.
Mire stood beside me, a picture of strength and humility. What hair he had on his balding head was as dark as the soil, and his eyes like muddy water. He was a speaker of the gods, the words that he spoke standing in for the god of the lost and the damned. I had spent my whole life listening to his teachings. He was a humble man. He was the only one of us who still wept for the hungry creatures sobbing outside our walls. His servant walked by his side. He was youthful, eager, and tripping over the edges of his robes.
The gates were pulled open for us, and we stepped out of the safety of our temple. We then waited until the gates were closed again. We wouldn't be allowed immediate return, but our temple would be kept out of harms way. No one would dare kill us anyways; we were touched by the gods, to kill us would be forever damning.
"Who goes there?" Mire shouted at a distance, acting a good deal tougher than he could ever hope to be. We recognized the colors of the man’s robes. We knew that he was either a speaker of the divine, or a liar.
I still could not enter the confines of his mind, and it made my heart beat fast in my chest.
"Imagine, speaker of Childe, creation of Agape." He answered with a smile, such confidence that we would eventually open our gates to him. At the time it had comforted us, now it makes me nauseated to think of how egotistical this beast is. "In my arms is Gray, my charge. We are traveling to the western temple of Nile, and seek refuge from the harsh wild for a few nights to regain our strength."
He spoke in the language of the surrounding villages, though he did not speak it like it belonged to him. His voice was too languid, slick; none of the harsh words had the bite they normally did. He was too polished to speak the language of common folk. His voice was far more suited to the soft gentle sound of the language we spoke in the temple. Imagine is not a normal name in our lands, nor is it a name I have ever heard before. The name Gray I altered because the child’s actual name consists of sounds the language I’m translating this to does not contain. When spoken aloud the name almost sounds like soft humming.
"Childe does not have a speaker," I said to Mire. I'm sure it was obvious to him that I was frustrated. Childe, the very enigmatic god of change, normally has had no desire to speak to humans. What little we know of this god comes from stories passed down and ancient texts. This is the God that I was betrothed to, and I had thought I would be joining in the otherworld in only three days. The thought that Childe had chosen to speak to this man yet had not even visited me in my dreams made me immensely jealous.
Mire chose to ignore me and just introduced us to the man. "I am Mire, the speaker of Lefrastra, child of Agony and Nile," Mire said with curiosity in his eyes, "This is my charge Clover, and this is Silver, who is promised to the god you worship.”
I couldn't help the jealousy that flooded my body; you do not understand how special I felt being the only human to be chosen for anything by my god. I wanted desperately for him to be a disgusting liar. "Let us see the blood of your god then," I said calling for him to show the mark on his robes made by a drop of blood. It was the only way to prove that he was what he said he was. It was normally just a small mark in the back on the robes. Just a drop of the blood of a god to prove his legitimacy.
He set the child down to its feet, uncovering a huge stain across his chest. What was normally just a drop of blood was something from a massacre. There was nothing quiet about his mark. Different from the blood of a human, it is thick and black, almost like dark soil except for the way it shined. I felt my shame burn my cheeks. "Subtlety does not suit your betrothed," Imagine said with a smirk on his face, as he reached back down and picked the child up again.
"Very well then," I said with bitterness in my heart. Mire was so filled with joy; it made me almost feel guilty for this darkness that settled in my heart. I was nothing more than a spoiled child. "You can take refuge with us until you regain your energy to travel. Let us go inside before creatures are attracted by the youth of your charge."
I made a motion and the gates began to open for us. The women of our temple crowded the street to see who was being allowed in our sanctuary. I ignored their gaze and pretended to not notice as I walked down the street.
"Forgive Silver's rudeness; this is the second day of her fasting and she is making the sacrifice of her sight this evening," Mire said to the man as they walked a few steps behind me. I saw in the corner of my eye his charge being set to the ground. I was surprised when the small child ran to my side and gripped onto my thumb with its tiny hand. All of the hate I had for the man fell off me as I looked at the pretty blue eyes of his charge staring up at me.
I rarely enter the minds of children, but I found the promise of information too tempting. I let myself seep into his thoughts like smoke, just tasting them rather than letting them overcome me. He was thinking of his aching feet, and the blisters that his brother had healed the night before. My hand was warm to him, and he thought I smelled nice. He wanted to tell me so, but his brother said not to talk to anyone. I left his mind as I had entered it: swiftly.
"-tected, though we still do not grow enough to feed those outside of our walls; the guilt of it steals sleep away from me." I came back to my thoughts in the middle of a thought from Mire. They were conversing about our sacred fields, and how they always grow, and the guilt Mire feels for not being able to help those outside our walls.It irritates me when he speaks of this.. I wish he would refrain from telling our troubles to strangers, even if he does happen to be divine.
"We deserve this," I said shortly, and their silence at my comment made me smile, "We sacrifice our very blood to the gods, we serve tirelessly. The ones outside these walls die because they are unworthy. I have no sympathy for them."
"Do you expect those who do not even have the privilege of learning to read, to be able to decipher ancient text?" Imagine said calmly, no anger in his voice, I think I would have preferred it if it had been aggressive. "I like to think the gods to have more sympathy than that."
"You are speaking from your fear," Mire told me with pain in his voice, "Do not let your humility leave you just yet, your time of pain is almost over."
"My time of pain is almost here," I replied, thinking on the painful ceremony that awaited me, "You are right though, soon I'll be in the safety of the world of the gods”
I instructed Clover to prepare our finest room for them, and then cleansed myself and did my prayers. Even though it was just a few days ago, I can not recall what I said in my prayers. I do not know what the monster did while I was busy, and don't really care to know.
The temple was decorated for a grand ceremony. A fire was built in the middle of the temple; it was as tall as two men and quickly ate what we fed it in wood and scrap. Our tables were around it, covered in beautiful cloth, and full of delicious food. The children danced around the fire laughing, their faces painted in ash to protect them from any dark spirits tempted by their innocence. I sat at the grand table, looking at all of the food that I had provided for my people. I was dressed in ceremonial robes the color of fresh blood, and hair lay naturally in curls around my face. The lack of ornamentation was to show my humility to the gods.
When I decided that everything was perfect, I had Clover go retrieve our guests. A part of me felt like I had to prove that I was better than this man, that I was worthy of the god we both shared. I held my breath until he appeared in our halls, confident steps and a smile like he knew just exactly what I was doing. In his arms was his young charge, asleep, his face with no ash and his feet bare to the world. He sat across from me, after laying the sleeping child in the chair next to him. Now, as I think on the past, it is so difficult for me to understand how he could be so gentle, but do what he did.
"Would you like some ash for his face?" I asked as he gently shook the child awake, whispering quiet words in the boy's ears.
"No, no, I have faith in Gray's ability to protect his soul," Imagine said as he broke off a piece of bread and pressed it to the boy's lips. Gray ate it with his eyes still closed. As he chewed those soft blue eyes, watery with sleep, slowly opened. "Thank you for the offer though; it is most kind of you to worry about him.”
I bit my lip out of anger at his refusal of my offer and his smugness. "Why is it that I can not read your thoughts?"
"What do you mean?" He asked as turned to his own food, which looked so delicious. My stomach growled violently and it made my anger worse, I swear he ate his food mockingly. I took my glass of wine and wet my lips with it, enjoying just the taste on my tongue.
"Our god has given me the ability to explore the minds of men," I said simply, "But I can not touch yours."
"The answer is simple then," Imagine said with his smug smile, "Our god is protecting me"
He did not seem surprised at my gift, though it was rare for people to be blessed by the gods. The gods were known to on occasion bless those who had particularly pleased them or had been given a particularly wretched lot in life. I expected shock or wonder from him. He acted as though I had told him nothing more than the weather.
"I wonder," I said to myself as the anger built inside of me, “You worship so devoutly, Imagine, I wonder, when I am Childe’s bride, will you have to worship me as well?”
He smiled then, and it illuminated his whole face. Even with this poison that I spat at him, none of it seemed to sting him. He just smiled at me, it drove me insane.
“Imagine,” Mire called, getting attention from the young man, “Tell us how long you have been a speaker.”
“Not long I’m afraid, a few seasons at the most.” Imagine said with a soft smile, “I was raised in the temple of Agony, and I have spent most of my youth traveling between the southern temples. I have no real idea what I might have done to get the attention of my god.”
“You must have done something brilliant, to gather the attention of Childe,” Mire said with wonder, “Your god does not stir for just anyone.”
“You have seen Childe, right?” I asked, my anger subsiding as my excitement grew, this stranger could answer my questions. “If so then you must know what the god looks like.”
“Like your most pleasant memories bending and twisting together, it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes. I never thought I would ever be able to look into my mother’s eyes again or touch her blonde curls” Imagine said with a private smile, as if remembering fondly. I couldn’t help but wonder what Childe might look like to me, for my mother and father were gone long before I was old enough to remember them.
“It is almost time for the ceremony, but as I sit here I am wondering if you would not be more suitable to perform this ceremony. It is your god that we are honoring.” Mire said with nothing less than a pleasant smile, he looked over at me as if I should be just as excited about the idea.
“If you think its more suitable, I would consider it my duty as Childe’s speaker.” Imagine said before taking a sip of his wine, he did not seem to desire to but he seemed willing.
Mire was more than pleased with the man’s answer, “I know that this goes against tradition, but Silver is the only one in the temple who knows the ceremonies and rituals well enough to help prepare you for the sacrifice. In such a large temple, like the temple of Agony, I’m sure you are surrounded by dozens who know all the ancient ceremonies.”
“I know them well enough that I do not need any assistance,” Imagine said simply, “Though I do require someone to help bind my hands and paint my face.”
“Please do not take offense from this, but I would rather make sure that you prepare everything perfectly. After all, it is my sight that is being sacrificed”
My worries were for nothing though, because he knew every bit of the ritual. He dressed in the heavy ornate robes easily, as if he had done this a hundred times before. I painted his face in the blood and oil mixture, keeping silent as I did, trying not to be distracted by his heat. It was a mask so the sin of his action could not taint his soul. He looked particularly gruesome when I was finished. We then dipped his hands in blood and covered them in ash, before wrapping them heavily in thick cloth used to bury the dead.
That night they held my arms and poured boiling water into my eyes, sacrificing my sight to the gods. I passed out from the pain and awoke with my eyes bandaged.
I am admittedly a vain selfish little creature, and the very practice of getting ready the next day played to that dark part of me. They soaked me in warm water and sweet perfumes, rubbed me in exotic oils and polished over any exposed flaw. My clothing fashioned from the most precious of metals delicately draped on my body and the finest silk. Most of my pale youthful skin exposed though; after all I was a gift, an appetizer for the gods. I was fashioned to be a temptation. I could appreciate very little of their efforts, after all, I was unable to see myself. I liked the feeling of a brush through my hair though, and the oils on my skin.
Nia and Vita, two young orphans who were both raised in the temple were in charge of my care. Both just reaching womanhood, and aching to leave this temple for the homes of men. Though they both were very gentle and sweet, they were equally bratty and spoiled. They were the undisputed favorites of all the older women, who found it amusing the purchase little trinkets and candies for them. The foolish little girls let it get to their heads.
"Surely I dreamt up what the speaker said about our dear Silver."
Despising my lack of sight, I had spent the majority of the day hiding in their minds. I could see through their eyes, hear through their ears, and had left my body emotionless and compliant to them. Vita sounded different in her head then she did in Nia's. In her own, her voice is soft and gentle, very womanly, and borderline sensual. In Nia's head, Vita sounds young and her voice almost nasally. I preferred to stay in Vita's mentality, because of her few years over Nia definitely shows, even if she doesn't speak with an ounce of maturity.
Through her eyes I could see my long pale hair, and how it curled. I saw how carefully she fixed a flower into it. She was trying very hard to not pull my hair, and I was grateful for that. Though she was jealous of me, in her mind she was nothing but kind to me. She was heart broken about me.
I listened mostly for the sake of being entertained, more than any real curiosity about what some man said about me. I was already promised to the gods; I would be sacrificed in just a few days and would start my life among them. Vita looked over at Nia for a moment. The girl sat, in her plain dress, and with her child like face. She was nothing more than a child, an orphan yes, but she was raised in the safest place in the world. The temples were known for being a sanctuary for all that lived there. Even the hideous creatures that roamed the nearby forests did not chance angering the gods. She was obviously excited about the new gossip.
"He said that the goddesses must look down at her with envy in their hearts."
I left her thoughts quickly, hoping to go hide in my own head, this was more than what I was expecting. I hated this man, but his words melted me.
It was enough for me to request that he be the one to take me to perform my daily blood letting. I held onto his arm tightly as he led me out into the fields, the morning sun on my bare shoulders. The soil was warm beneath my feet and my eyes ached in pain. "Would you like to me to relieve your pain?" He whispered gently in my ear, his breath tickling me. I felt my heart beat fast at his closeness.
"I've already had every medicinal herb and ointment rubbed into me, I doubt you have anything that could help" I said with a sigh, irritable from my hunger and my pain.
He guided me to the ground, and laid me out on the warm soil. I laid there, passive in his arms, my heart beating fast in my chest and he untied the blindfold from my eyes. I felt his warm fingers on the delicate skin of my eyelids. His fingers grew warm though, and then almost hot against my skin. I could hear him whispering gently to himself, but I could not distinguish what he was saying. My head was swimming in this warmth.
I opened my eyes and I gasped when his beautiful eyes were staring down at me, intoxicating green that knew everything I didn't. Tears of pleasure ran down my cheeks as I touched his face to make sure that he was real and that I was not dreaming. "How?" I asked quietly, "Will Childe be angry that you gave me back my sight?”
"Our god has given me gifts as well, and you have showed the gods your dedication. They saw you suffer" He lifted me in his arms and held me up; I sobbed quietly as he did. He held me in one arm, and took the knife with the other one. I wrapped my hand around the blade and pressed down until I felt the sharp pain and my blood began to drip. I held out my hand and watched as the blood fell to the earth, I whispered a prayer to it, hoping that the gods would take my sacrifice and the soil would continue to yield for us.
That night they took my hearing, and the pain and silence kept me up all night. Dressed in nothing but my nightgown I found myself knocking at his door, the pain in my ears so violent that I could not wait anymore. I almost screamed when I felt someone touch my hips from behind. I turned around ready for a fight, when I saw him standing there, laughing soundlessly. God, he was beautiful.
He held his hands over my ears and pressed his forehead against my own. I stared into those beautiful eyes as the warmth of his hands grew to a scorching heat. When he removed his hands I could hear his gentle laughter.
"I'm scared," I whispered to him gently.
"I promise you, tomorrow is full of surprises"
He was mocking me, I laid in his arms sobbing my fears into his robes, and he was mocking me the whole time. Only upon reflection is it obvious to me, I thought his words were to soothe me, but no. I was just a joke to him.
The next night I was dressed in my sacrificial white, and my hands were tied above my head to the limb of a tall tree. The men and women of the temple were on their knees, their faces painted in ash mixed with the blood of animals, they prayed loudly. Their voices making my head dizzy, I almost wished I was still deaf and blind. I found myself searching the crowd for his face, but he was nowhere to be found. I cried out for someone to find him for me, not knowing why, but I needed him there. No one was listening though, they kept chanting louder and louder.
I stopped after a while, deciding not to waste my breath. I tried not to think of the way they were going to drink from me. They were going to cut me and suck the blood from me until nothing was left. I swallowed hard and tried to focus on my life in the otherworld. Just a little while longer.
I heard a scream and I jerked my head up to see what was going on. Men on horses stormed into my temple, fifteen of them at least. They were laughing sick and dark, their swords red with blood. I tried to get out of my binds, jerking and thrashing, I needed to help. In my panic my eyes finally landed on Imagine's figure. He stood on the rooftops of our temple, watching as these men killed the ones I loved. Our eyes locked for a moment, and then he turned away.
The women and children ran screaming, but the men gathered them quickly, herding them against the side of the building with harsh shouts and chasing them down with their horses. Any of the few men that we had that tried to fight were quickly killed, our streets covered in their blood. I choked on bile as Clover was decapitated at my feet. The elders slaughtered mercilessly, Mire included in them; they ran him down like a dog. My hands were bleeding from my struggling, but I couldn't get loose. I could barely see through the tears.
Soon the commotion stopped, all of my people huddled together, and too scared to do anything even though they outnumbered the men. There was a young man on horse back, of somewhere around twenty years, he was giving orders like he was in charge. I entered his mind swiftly, trying to get a hold of his thoughts.
He was thinking on how much he could make per body, a slaver, he intended on selling us. Imagine, was missing, the last time that he had seen him was when he had opened up the gates. He was worried he might have to leave the man behind. He sent four of his men out to go gather anything of worth. His eyes landed on the women, but he didn't think of their sex, he was just figuring how many would survive the traveling. His eyes landed on me for a moment, but he decided he would leave my fate up to Imagine. He was after all the only one who knew anything about the gods. Wait, there he was.
I left his mind and looked over at where Imagine stood. He was not dressed in robes anymore; no he was dressed in thick trousers and a dark shirt, heavy boots on his feet. "Armand, How many alive?" Imagine asked, his voice so much darker now that he wasn't playing pretend. I began to sob harder at the sight of him.
"Thirty seven, if you count the sacrifice." Armand said as he ran a hand through his hair, his cold eyes scanning the area, "Are we taking her?"
"She is no different from the rest," Imagine said as he walked up to where I was hung. I kicked out at him and he grabbed me at the knee and spread my leg out, I blushed with intense shame as he kissed me gently on the thigh. "I told you there would be surprises" He said against my skin mockingly as he released my leg. He pressed his hands against my ears, and I couldn't fight him off, his hands were so cold as the pain in my ears returned. I couldn't hear my own screams as it felt like my ears were being destroyed all over again. He then put his fingers on my eyes, and I begged him, unable to hear the words pouring out of my mouth as I begged him not too. I passed out from the pain as my vision was stolen again.
Then I woke up here, in this tent, my vision and hearing returned. Now, all I can do is mourn my losses while I wait for him to return for me.