November 22, 2013 10:12 am


(WARNING:  Readers may find some of this language offensive. This is not my intention, any foul language is used only  to develop character.)

Smoke tickled her nostrils, an odour pungent enough to wake the dead.

Pain throbbed in her head, so strong she had to squeeze her hands to her temples. Which she couldn’t. She tried again, jerking and struggling under the binds tightly wrapped around her wrists. Something whipped against her face, leaving a burning sting. She wriggled and thrashed more, quickly discovering that her feet were wrapped as tightly as her wrists.

Ehmber let out an agonised wail of frustration. Everything stung, or bled or was twisted in some way. She tried opening her eyes, before realising that they were already open. The room was a black abyss. She couldn’t see anything, couldn’t feel anything but her hair against her face and the torn fabric of her trousers. But the smell…

Now that she was no longer thrashing, she could smell a hideous stench crawling slowly through the air. It made her want to gag. The reek grew stronger, becoming palpable. Her stomach threw up the pitiful amount of food left and hit the ground with a splat. Unable to clear the foul taste, she spat it out in measly bursts.

Eventually she got most of it out, and stopped moving. Ehmber felt herself swinging gently against a breeze. Slowly she understood, but not before she saw the flickering orange beneath her. As the hungry flames edge higher, she could catch small glimpses of mutilated shapes beneath her. Burning. Burning flesh. She vomited again, but with far more important things to consider than the dreadful concoction of bile in her mouth. She thrust her head, shoulders and body forward and backward, causing her to swing slightly at first, and quickly she found herself arcing by her feet through the air.

The flames were racing to her now. Ehmber swung madly, she had no idea what it’d achieve but it was better than nothing.  The flames licked up at her, unnatural, as if they had a purpose. She wasn’t keen on finding out what the purpose was. She kept swinging, harder, faster. And then it ripped.


Whatever mad idea she’d had of escaping from her binds, it was definitely not this one. She tried slowing down, but inch by sudden inch she dropped and stopped.

Ehmber’s breath caught in her throat.

Then the rope snapped.

She fell headfirst into a smouldering corpse. Screaming and trashing and kicking, tumbling down the mound of bodies, jumping and jerking all the way. Hands and feet scrabbled at her. The binds around her feet tore loose and she tried to stand, only to slip back down amongst the bodies and the flames.

Unnatural, the fingers danced in a manic delight, sadistically leaning backwards and whipping forwards to tickle at her skin. Each time she moved closer they moved further away, almost anxious. Concerned in some weird way, they continued their retreat as she stumbled and tripped her way down the corpses and collapsed onto the pyre. Pulling herself up, she craned her back to look at the mound, hands still awkwardly tied behind her back, chafing horribly against the rough rope.

Finally she could begin to see the cesspit she was trapped in. The dancing flames made the jagged rock walls look like they were moving. The wooden boards beneath her swayed unsteadily as if on a current. Somehow the platform, or whatever she had found herself on, had not caught alight. But as she looked up, she could see what the flames had been after…

Bodies, carelessly draped one atop another piled high into the air, every time the platform rocked the various dangling limbs would swing in unison, making it look like one huge writhing creature. Ehmber was so terrified and disgusted that she could only watch, silently, in abhorrence. She no longer wanted to vomit. There was nothing left to throw up.

The flames continued their feast, forgetting her and focusing on their meal. Her hair started to blow against a gust of wind, yet the flames took no notice of it, still licking at the bodies. This was so messed up. Her head was screaming, telling her she was dreaming, but she knew otherwise. There’s only so much the brain can make up.

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