Mists of Kel Doran
Season 1 - Dragon-Touched
Episode 1 - The Weave of Fate
Chapter 14 - Broken
Chapter XIV - Broken
Approximate read time ~ 8 minutes
Ava stood within Varin Wray’s chambers…naked and afraid. Her master and his business partner positioned themselves before her, armed with a gnarled cane, a stiletto dagger, and a wrought iron candlestick. She stood before them, armed with toast. They wore long, silken robes, belts, leather gloves, and metal boots. She…wore nothing. Ava was tall and fit, an athletic build boasting feminine features. They were fat, ugly, and reprehensible…and eyed the lovely blonde as a lion would a crippled lamb.
Varin Wray approached with a look of hatred. In all their time together, Ava never stood up to him, not even a whimper when a client was present, and her punishment was always swift and decisive. It was not until this moment that Varin noticed she had grown into a strong, beautiful woman. He would have none of it.
Mr. Aerent, on the other hand, was in it for the sport. This type of ‘entertainment’ was not available in Cambridge and he was in it for the adventure. He was no more concerned with the young girl’s demeanor than with the direction of the wind, but there was something exciting about the idea of striking her supple flesh with the gnarled cane. Something sinister urged him onward, a curiosity that he was anxious to explore. The oversized businessman looked to Varin for guidance, clenching his cane as Ava’s master crept toward the young girl.
“You…you don’t have to,” Ava began as she backed away from the advancing men. Her master, however, was quick to correct her.
“You do not presume to tell us ANYTHING!” he fired back. The anger in his voice complemented the redness in his face and the pulsing veins on his forehead. The young woman had seen her master angry before, but this combination of rage and indifference chilled her to her core.
“Ti…time to play little girl,” said Mr. Aerent in a childlike voice.
Ava studied the men as they regripped their weapons. When Varin was angry, history had proven it was always better to clench her teeth and take her punishment. She knew it was better not to run, but in this moment of survival, her instincts took over. As they got within striking range, she turned to flee.
The double doors, so close only moments ago, now seemed so far away. She took several fleeting steps toward safety, but her quickness was not enough. As she approached the doors, a sharp pain pierced her shoulder. In an instant, her right side went numb and she fell to the floor in shock. She tried to regain her footing, but she could not pull herself up, her right arm rendered unusable.
As Ava collapsed back to the floor, she reached with her left hand to determine to source of her agony, and felt the ornamental hilt of the purple lotus dagger. Knowing he stood no chance of catching the athletic woman once she got around the corner, Varin had hurled the sleek weapon before she made her way to safety.
Blood covered her hand as the sensation took hold in her mind. The same weapon used to murder her friend was buried several inches into her shoulder. She twisted her torso to see the men approaching, a look of shock on her face.
“Why?” She whispered as she turned toward Varin, but he had already planted his large boot, the other one hurling its way toward the beautiful teen’s face. As the question fell from her mouth, his brutal, steel-toed boot landed. Its full force caught Ava in her jaw.
Blood spewed from her mouth, along with several teeth, as her body spun end over end. She landed with a thud, facing the opposite direction, the hallway…her one portal to safety. Her world spun and her vision blurred. She reached her hand toward the doors, hoping they would pull her free, hoping there was some magical release from her maniacal owner and his grinning, fat partner.
There was not.
Varin took another giant step forward, planted his bloodied foot and kicked the defenseless girl again, his attack landing against her side. Several small cracks and pops echoed through the large room as several ribs broke, splintered inside her small frame. Blood poured from her mouth as her fragile body flew closer to the empty hallway.
Ava tried to breathe, but she could not. She tried to see, but she could not. She tried to imagine herself outside of this awful room, away from the horror…but she could not. The hallway was no longer a corridor to safety, it was a tomb.
Mr. Aerent’s grin faded as the color bled from his chubby face. While he still gripped the gnarled cane in his hands, he had stopped moving forward. His feet glued to the floor the moment Varin landed his first kick. He had thought this would be some sort of game, the spirited hunt of a weaker prey. Now, however, he stood frozen, the look of a sickened, repulsed man in a world he did not belong.
Ava gasped for air. In a moment of self-preservation, she rolled to face her punishers. She witnessed Varin advancing on her prone body, as angry as ever. Mr. Aerent, however, had stopped. His eyes strayed to the floor, seeking escape from the madness.
Varin stepped again and planted his foot into Ava’s stomach, his metal boot sunk into the pit of her abdomen. A sick, guttural sound emerged as blood and vomit spewed forth, coating his foot and the hem of his silken robe.
The enraged man stopped for a moment to look down at his ruined robe and soiled boot. His anger grew! As Ava laid there, she wheezed and emitted noises barely audible as human. Her senses were gone and her life was nearing an end. Her mind retracted as thoughts of her miserable life came to the forefront. While she held onto the last threads of life, Varin raised his boot high over her head.
He clenched his teeth, snarled, and brought the metal framed weapon down upon her face.
The young woman’s breathing had stopped, but the flow of blood had not. Varin was in a fit of rage, indifferent to his slave’s ultimate demise. Thibold choked back the urge to vomit. In all his dreams, he never imagined things would come to this. His memories fluttered to last night when he shared a bed with the reluctant young blonde. The desire to play Varin’s game was gone, his humanity returned.
“Umm, sir,” said Mr. Aerent. It was clear he wanted to avoid the same fate as the naked girl before him. “M…Mr. Wray,” he continued.
Varin’s breathing slowed and his eyes opened, the nervous words of Mr. Aerent ending the enraged trance. Like a lit candle in a darkened cave, Varin could see again. He looked at the bloodied, nude slave girl at his feet, and a content smile came over his face.
“Stupid bitch,” he snarled. “That’s where they belong, Thibold,” she said as he puffed out his chest. Varin glanced to find his prospective business partner standing several feet behind him.
Mr. Aerent did not share in Varin’s amusement. Despite being a callous man, the sight of Ava’s limp, bloodied body brought about something more human. “I’m sorry to say,” Thibold began. “The Crimson Merchant Guild of Crossroads will not be doing business today, Mr. Wray,” he said with a nervous tone. He tried to straighten himself up and show strength, but his anxiety was palpable.
Varin stared at Thibold, soaking in the words. Ava coughed and a gurgle of blood trickled from her mouth. Varin heard, but chose to focus his attention on the business deal that had just fallen apart.
“It takes a certain strength,” Varin began, through his clinched teeth. He knelt down before Ava’s helpless body and grabbed the purple lotus hilt. “To do business in a city like Wyvern’s Rest,” he said as he yanked. The blade slipped out with a sickened ‘slurch’, followed by a stream of blood and a pathetic whimper.
Mr. Aerent swallowed as Varin gripped the dagger in his hand…and advanced. “Bu, but I don't think this is the type of,” he stuttered as he backed away. His foot knocked against something on the floor. The body of Di’Jor lay stretched across the rug, a pool of blood from his mouth and his eyes widened in fright. He looked again back to Ava, beaten and gurgling as she tried to breathe.
“Relationship,” he continued while his eyes met those of the maniacal slave master. He stepped over Di’jor’s body as Varin continued to advance, eyes focused on the stuttering businessman. “Mis…Mr. Wray, I just think we,” Mr. Aerent mumbled as his pace quickened to match that of Varin.
His retreat halted when he backed into the familiar large chair. He spun to see the obstacle, then spun back as he lifted his hands in defense. “Now wait…listen to m,” he begged as he knew his way out had been cut short. Varin closed and swung the candlestick with all his might. A loud ‘GONG!’ echoed through the chamber as the metal holder struck Mr. Aerent’s skull. The left side of his head gave way, the candlestick landing just behind his jaw. As the portly man’s legs buckled, Varin leaned in with the stiletto dagger.
The blade slipped in to the hilt just beneath Mr. Aerent’s chin. As the man slumped against the edge of the chair, Varin saw the slender blade through the back of Thibold’s neck. He held the weapon in place, stared into the startled eyes, then released. The buinessman’s body collapsed to the floor with a thud as blood pooled from the wounds to his head and neck.
Varin knelt next to the rotund body while it twitched. He composed himself, then uttered “no deal” to the bloodied lump before him. He spit upon the Thibold’s body as his nose and lips curled upward in disgust, then reached into the pockets of Mr. Aerent’s robes. His calm turned to panic as his hand jumped from pocket to pocket. He felt his own robe in a moment of uncertainty, then looked back to the oversized chair.
Varin’s frenzied search continued as he scoured the table and chair for the old satchel, but it was gone. He screamed in agony and thrashed into the chair, slicing into the upholstery. He launched his arms across the table, sending most of its contents crashing to the floor. Varin’s chest heaved as his mind played tricks. It was gone!
He then looked at the bloody blade and candlestick before turning his attention toward the battered nude body in the doorway, still gasping for air.
“Do you have any idea what you just cost me, bitch,” he scowled. With deadly intent, he advanced upon Ava and reached for her limp body. He grabbed her by the throat with one hand, and reached between her legs with the other. With the strength of a raging animal, he picked her up and hurled her back toward the center of the room. She tumbled through the air, crashed onto the old table, then slid off with the rest of its contents.
Wine glasses, books, candles, and papers all slid with her as she flew off the far side of the table. Her body crashed against the wall, covered in debris, broken glass, and wine.
Varin took in a long, steady breath. He turned around and shut both doors, then locked them to prevent unwanted entry. After testing the lock, he turned and retrieved his bloodied weapons. He surveyed the elaborate, purple lotus on the hilt of the dagger while his mind drifted to another time and place. Varin then twisted the dagger in his hand and approached Ava. The young girl fought for life. No, she fought for death. Her broken body lay in the corner, covered in glass, lying in a pool of her own blood. Brilliant gems of every shape and color were strewn nearby, reflecting the light from the morning sun.
She cracked open her eye and caught a glimpse of her windowsill. She thought about the cloud of dust beyond the city walls. She thought about the people and the lives that were not hers. She thought about the vessel of hopes and dreams. She was alone, and there was no one left to save her.
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Mists of Kel Doran