There are two men standing.
They are both dirty, their clothes and their skin and their hair, and have bruises on their arms and knuckles. One of them is short, thin-sheared hair and an ugly scowl contorting the fat in his cheeks. The other man is taller, with brown hair and angry, sunken eyes and a great deal of hair masking his face. He holds a body in his arms, though he's holding her away from him in a grip that could slip at any time.
Footsteps echo on the stone, steadily getting closer. From the shadows, another man approaches them. This one is dressed in iron armor,
"Oi! The boss told us to take her in now!! Did you two drug 'er?"
"Yeah. She's out. Won't be able to move for hours."
"Heh, good. Take 'er in."
The men move away from the firelit torches on the walls, and are enveloped by the shadows. A little after their footsteps have faded away, there's a loud echo, of an iron door opening.
"Here ya go, boss."
The body is dropped on a large stone block. Dropped - more like thrown. I wince slightly, thinking of the scraped skin. She's only wearing a few rags.
There is a pedestal behind her. A man stands there, in a huge cape and a dark mask. Surrounding them are chairs, chairs with men and women in them, all wearing the same masks. Guards stand behind them.
It is dark, save for the few torches lit around the room and on the walls. The light is red, and it casts over the people and the body.
Somebody scoffs. "At last."
"Of course. Thank you, my friends, for patiently waiting!" The man on the pedestal announces. I tense.
"Hearken to me, my devout friars and nuns! Tonight marks the arrival of the new moon! The time has come for our king to rise up in another level of power! There isn't a night more fitting than this one, for the rise of the lord we've been waiting for! And thanks to one of our very own comrades, we have a wonderful little lamb ready for the ritual." Baron Moss bowed as the crowd applauded.
"Now, let us begin!"
"We must defile the pure and innocent soul, for our master craves only the most tainted of souls as an offering!"
In one fluid movement, the crowd rose to their feet. Eerily. I watched, horrified, transfixed, as they began approaching the stone table. Anxiety was building up in me.
There was madness in their eyes.
They reached the girl. Hands grabbed at her rags, and were torn off her. They closed in. Realisation dawned in me, but I could only averted my head in shame and close my eyes, grimacing, as her body was clawed at by men with twisted smiles, and broken by the crazy women who stepped on her.
The cracking was drowned out by the sound of insane laughter.
I didn't know how long it went on for. Did it matter? Her skin was bloodied and grimy. Her limbs were snapped to unnatural angles. And the monsters around her were cackling.
"You lucky little lamb! You get to be the sacrifice for our lord!" A woman screeched. The leader made a gesture, and a cauldron was brought forth. The people backed away, their eyes sparkling in anticipation, as the vat of coal came closer. There was a metal rod sticking out of it.
The leader grabbed the pole, and pulled it out. Embers scattered everywhere as the symbol was yanked on, and the hot sparks flew and died at his feet. Somebody turned the girl onto her back, and the man shoved the iron down, down onto her skin. I could hear the sizzling, I could hear the screams of approval. I couldn't drown them out. The iron rod was dropped to the ground, and it rattled. I looked up as he bent down to the little girl.
Please, I thought, please let her be unconscious.
The crowd fell silent. I heard his whisper.
"Don't fret little lamb, we're not done with you yet. We shall pump you to the brim with dirt before the Day Of Summoning." The leader was wearing a maniacal smile. There was a detached look in his eyes.
Among the crowing, I think I was the only one to see a tear slip out from the corner of her eye.
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