Drip, drip, drip. The Continuous sound of water leaking from the ceiling of the room was all that could be heard. The room was little and could barely fit three people sitting abreast of each other. The walls were peeling from years of dampness and cracked in numerous places. The one window, not so high above shoulder length was the only source of pale moonlight. The floor was sticky with grime and other things better left unknown. A hole was situated in the centre of the room for relief. And to top it all, the place stank like Merda’s own mouth, foul and rotten.
Selie sat in the corner, shivering. Her dirty, grimey hands wrapped about her.
Water continued to drip from the hole in the roof. Her skin so pale it seemed transparent, was brown in various places. She could hear the thunder outside. Another storm.
Occasionally, flashes of light lit the full room and showed it’s other occupant. A skeletal figure sprawled opposite her.
The thing could barely be called living, with skin stretched so thin as to be parchment, hung over bones. A wheeze was all that escaped its lips. It’s chest barely moved.
Selie was watching the figure with slanted eyes. She knew it was waiting, biding it’s time till she fell asleep, then it would pounce on her like it did the first day she was thrown into the cell. She’d barely registered it’s presence, she hadn’t even been aware there was someone or something else in the room with her. It’d been so dark she couldn’t see her own hands in front of her face. She’d lain in the corner she lay now and after resigning herself to being here had cried herself to sleep, only to feel teeth biting into her arms. She’d woken with a scream and had shoved the thing away from her, but not before it took a bite of her flesh. Since that day two weeks ago, she’d barely slept.
The thing was weak, so it could only attack when she was asleep. She pretended to be asleep many times and watched it with one eye as it slowly crawled its way to her before she let it know she was alert and aware. It would then crawl back to its corner and sprawl itself there, waiting.
As the two watched each other, a key turned in the steel door of the room, it was opened and the room was bathed with light. Selie had to cover her eyes, then open them slowly to adjust to the light. When she looked up, she saw a brown-haired woman holding a torch. She was new.
“Ready for today’s lesson Miss Viper?”
Selie could only shake her head and struggle as she was lifted by the woman and taken from the room. She had the lost the strength to scream long ago.
“Open this door in the name of the empire!” The voice shouted as Zak opened the door. A large, brutish man stood on the other side. A scar ran down his left cheek, from below his eye to his mouth. He wore a blue suit striped with white, the army’s colours.
“Mandatory search” he said, peering his head into the room. His breath smelled of alcohol and he was dripping wet. Zak moved to the side and let him enter. The room was small with no place for a person to hide. The bed situated in the centre of the room took up most of the space. It lay on a wooden platform only inches off the floor. Beside the bed was a small sink and mirror, for washing. The window was opposite the bed and on the wall beside it hung a lantern that illuminated the room.
The officer peered about, then turned to Zak who was leaning on the wall by the door watching him. “Have you seen any suspicious person?” He grunted. Zak eyed the man before replying, “I don’t know? You look pretty suspicious yourself” he said, gesturing with his hands at the officer. The man’s face went red. “What did you say?”
“Oh nothing officer, as you can see, no escapee here. It’s just me and the four corners of this wall”.
Zak was tired he needed to sleep, the earlier the man left, the sooner he could get to it. But the officer turned away from Zak and matched straight to the corner, where Zak’s bag lay. He picked it up and began ransacking it.
Zak’s eyes widened. ” Uh sir, I wouldn’t do that if I were you ” he said as he approached the man. The officer chose that moment to empty the contents of the bag to the floor. Then he turned to Zak and smirked, ” Are you threatening an officer of the empire? Boy?” He then stepped on the scattered clothes he’d dumped on the floor, with his wet muddy boots. Zak had to physically restrain himself from lunging for the man.
“As you can see, there’s no one here, you’ve had your search, so I’d appreciate it, sir, if you kindly left ” Zak said. The officer looked up, his face split in a grin. ” You just spoke to an officer with malicious intent, I’ll teach you the proper way to speak to an officer boy!” Then he threw a punch at Zak’s face.
Ordinarily, Zak would let the officer punch him, they were usually satisfied when their victims showed no resistance after the first hit and left. But he was angry and tired and sleepy. He’d had a run in with assassins and now his clothes and belongings were soiled with mud. So instead of letting the man’s punch hit him, Zak sidestepped the punch, as if he’d known it was coming and was waiting for it. At that moment, his irises changed colour, from brown to black and he backhanded the officer, almost shattering his jaw. The man lost a few teeth as he fell to the bed unconscious.
As Zak got a hold of himself, his irises returned to normal. He took one look at the man and knew he’d made a mistake. Blessed Enkor!!! What have I done?
He’d let his anger take control, now an officer was unconscious in his room. The last thing he wanted was attention, now he’d gone and lit a huge fire. He grabbed his bag and bent to pick his belongings, the earlier he got out of here, the better.
Just as he was getting ready to leave, he felt the sensation that he was being watched and turned to see two more officers at the door, their mouths agape in shock. They must have come back to check up on their comrade. Shit!. As Zak stood, one of the officers pulled a pistol from his side and shot. Zak reacted without thinking, the moment the man pulled the pistol, his irises shone black and he vanished. By the time the man fired, Zak was no longer beside the bed in the room. Instead, all the two officers saw was a fist that engulfed their vision before everything faded to black.
Zak was panting. Two more officers lay on the floor. The gunshot would have alerted the other officers. He’d done it now. He hung his bag on his shoulder and took off down the stairs. So much for a good night’s sleep.