By Samuel Sebbowa Bunnya, Uganda
She felt no pain; she felt nothing. She had not felt a thing since the night she had slain her tormentor. Scheptor’s lifeless body aboard her prison stared at her as the whispers started once again. She did not know where that memory had come from. He is dead. Something glimmered over the demon’s faces. They could not see it but she could. She wanted to reach for it, but she was too scared to do so with the six devils circling and taunting her. She retreated back into the depths of her solitude and let them taunt her as she listened to the whispers. Will I hear you again mother?
Again they had grown louder. She could make little sense of their words but she heard them as if they were being spoken to her. Ryta hoped to hear her mother’s whisper, but the longing desire was but a dream in Ryta’s death. They sneered as she realized she had imagined her mother’s voice. She did not hear it among the strong whispers, as the horrors blocked out the light she saw glimpses of. The whispers were around her; swirling the same way that the demons did. She looked at the demon faces afraid of them but at least the whispers helped.
One demon dared her with a grim smile. You’re dead. Scheptor taunted her. His ugly black form slithered its formlessness around her. The walls had crumbled because of him. He and his allies had besieged her and taken them away from her. They had stripped her of the walls. They tumbled down and continued to tumble leaving her bare to all her fears and horrors. They had left her poisoned. They had left her all alone and as powerless as the last time the three men had raped her. Ora felt the tears sliding down the face of her heart. The shattered pieces were being broken into millions of pieces.
“Look.” She heard the voice through the darkness of the demons. The whisper was louder and reminded her of the little strength she could muster.
“Are those tears?” Another voice spoke through the clouds of her demons. “She is crying.”
Please, help me. Ryta could not control her voice. She was alone and lost. The darkness about her increased as she stared at the demons that realized that she could hear the voices. It was then that the bright flame that she had seen long ago flickered above the dark horrors. She stretched her hand towards it. There was a strange familiarity and bond with the flame. It called to something else in her but she could not let out what the flame called out. Paintings of her rescue flashed as she struggled to not let the demons grasp her and hound back to her pit.
She had not known her rescuers and had only recognized them the moment her tormentor stood over one of them. It was then that she wanted nothing more than to kill him. She hated him and had flung herself over her rescuer just so she would not pay for her crimes. When his blade had hissed through the air, she had known it was poisoned. She was the one that told him to put the poison on it years ago. She never knew that one day it would be used on her. Am I really dead? That was the only thing she could come up with.
The flame flickered again. It was bright and she saw something inside of it that she thought she would never see again. It was only in a flash and she knew she had to reach for the flame. She was weak but she could reach the flame. The flame was her way of having something other than strange voices fighting against the demons. Ryta flinched away as the six devils coated her. She tried to scream and it was at that point that the flame burst into a brilliant and blazing white fire that sent her out of the grasp of the demons. The fire died as the demons finally let her go.
You will never be rid of us.
We own you.
You are nothing but a weak being.
A shame to the greatness.
And powerless against us.
Their taunts faded as she felt herself being drawn into a deep chasm. She knew that the demons were still there and would remain there as long as she lived. They would taunt her to her grave. Ryta could feel them in her soul blocking any walls she could have mustered to keep them away. They had shattered whatever will and strength she had mustered. She was a young helpless girl who had been tricked once. She was that girl as the demons slithered into her once more. I am nothing. They were right. She could feel the horror smile as she did not sink into the pit she was accustomed to.
“Leave her. The worst over.” The strange powerful voice broke through the deep endless darkness.
“Are you sure?”
The voices disappeared leaving her alone and without distraction. The demons returned but not as powerful as they had been. She thought of the pit but she did not find it. She crawled away from them and they made no effort to chase her. Ryta shook with great fear as she looked at them. The further she crawled the closer she got to them. Out of the blue, she found herself slipping into something she had no seen. It was just as dark and horrifying as the pit but it gave her peace as it blocked the devils out.
For the first time she did not see the demons although she could feel them on the edges of the chasm she was in. Ryta was afraid. It had just begun for her. She was alone and lost. There was no more Dragon Maid; no more will; nothing to hold them at bay. Three of them had taken it from her and had used it to burn her walls down. Ryta was alone but finally at peace. I am weak but I do not see you here, she thought as she continued to fall.
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