What am I so afraid of? Here I sit in a dark dungeon cell that smells of must so heavily I feel like gagging. It’s the scent of the dead, and the sweat and fear of the living. Mostly it’s the scent of the dead that’s clouding my thoughts, bringing back the edges of memories that tease me; they are memories I don’t want to know anyway. Filled with ghost knives, men in armor, the scent of the dead, thick and pungent, blood, and a horror that causes me to go into blackouts whenever I am near things such as these and do not concentrate so hard to ignore them.
Even now, as I sort through my thoughts, I have to concentrate on simply that, while fighting to keep the images I speak of out of mind, out of memory. I know it has to do with the war, but I just don’t remember, and when I try, I go into hysterics, always followed by a black out. I’ve been told my black outs are scary to witness, I go crazy, I wail like the souls of the dead, and growl with the thirsty vengeance my people’s dead warriors have for our enslavers.
This time was much worse. At first I didn’t know why I was in the dungeon, but the rumors reached my ears soon enough. In my last black out, I’d killed a soldier, scorched him “with the fires of Hel” so they’ve been whispering. Only cinders were left they say, and only because he layed a hand on me. Possessed by demons are the words lurking in the shadows. The hair on the back of my neck rises and the hand of death tickles my back, making me sweat in the chill air of my cell.
The clanking of the key guard moves down the aisle between the cells and I see a light in the distance. And the rod. The jingle of the rings at its top, clinking away the hours, the minutes before my death. I have to swallow to fight down the unreasonable fear at the site of this man in his fancy white robes. They stop at my cell and unlock it. Only the “Holy man” enters, his blue eyes, hold enough pity and emotion in them for all his people. His features are soft and he encourages trust, but trust is an emotion I have never been able to feel around men–especially theirs.
“By the Father” He raises his staff and taps an invisible spot above my head. He moves the staff to another spot at my left, tapping it he says, “By the son.” The staff taps to my right “And by the Holy Spirit.”
I begin to cry with the stress of what’s going to happen to me.
“In Jesus’ name I command all ye evil spirits to depart from this girl!” He braces the staff against his left shoulder and pours water into his right hand from a little vial and then splashes it on me. I sit on my hard, stone bench, just looking at him.
He shakes his head. “What is your name child?”
“Kyla…” I manage, stammering.
“What are the names of your demons?”
The tears of fear flow freely now and my skin is so cold they’d likely pronounce me dead at its touch. “Demons?” I can barely whisper the word. I shake my head and a whimper escapes my lips involuntarily.
“I see,” he says. “I wish to speak with the demons of Lucifer who possess this innocent!” He commands handing his staff to the guard behind him and putting both hands on my shoulders. Like the breaking of the dam I’d been working so hard to reinforce, the images come pouring in. The pain in my lower opening, surrounded by dead bodies, hands everywhere, men pulling and beating at me.
I black out.