I could feel them…they weren’t far away now. I quietly watched Kieran sleeping and waited. He was not happy with what had transpired above ground. The Dark One had commited two serious transgressions in his search for Prey that would have to be dealt with but not now. The ritual came first. I had lost one child already, so long ago it seems now…I could not bear it if I lost another. The demon had taken so much strength out of her. I still couldn’t understand exactly what was going on but He had tried to explain it to me as best He could. She had been here for many years, grown into a beautiful young woman, but she was still mortal and the spell He put on the vial was wearing thin due to that fact. If the demon escaped he would kill her and she would then wander here forever as one of the damned. I could not allow that to happen.
I sensed my lover’s call and gently woke Kieran up. She had been so tired lately but knew what lay ahead and got out of bed quickly. We met Him as we walked out of her room and I saw the concern & anger on His face. We were to meet in the main torture room and they had already arrived as we walked through the entrance. I smiled as I greeted my beloved’s Sister but got a feeling of trepidation from the Dark One…he had a right to feel anxious. My betrothed was not happy with him and His rage was evident as He put Scythe to his throat demanding an explanation for attacking His Sister and then slaying one of the witches kindred. Making amends to Rowan for that would not be easy but as he had been under His orders we would have to see that was taken care of. I could tell this one was not someone usually afraid of anything but he stuttered out an apology I knew would not help his fate. As I listened to their confrontation I noticed the Prey that had been brought as offering. There were six fine specimens standing close to the wall, bound and in evident fear. The three closest to me stood out as they were hovering together…a man and two women. The woman in the front…yes…that one…the Unbeliever. She would be the perfect Sacrifice. Smiling at her I looked to my beloved who had momentarily freed the Dark One and informed Him of my choice. The demons gathered near as we brought them to the central altar that had been constructed specially for this event. They salivated at the sight of Prey so near and as we only needed three we handed the others over and they fell upon them with ravenous delight. The others stood frozen in fear as they watched the scene unfold before them, but what was in store for them would be much worse…for them anyway.
The altar was a large piece of hewn stone from the nearby caves. Shackles at each end had been embedded in the rock to make sure Prey did not escape. He stood at my left with Kieran on my right side…the demons brought the three to the other side of the altar and pulled the chosen one out from them and laid her across the stone. Her friends stood to the side, held back by the demons & then bound tightly to a post. The demons were still hungry and scratched deeply into their skin as they trembled watching Kieran moved forward. She smiled down at the woman as she fastened the cuffs then stripped her naked, running the tip of her own Scythe down her chest to her stomach leaving a bright red mark. I watched her look to her friends, saw the pleading look in her eyes as they watched Him stand in front of her with His hand on her head. He was weaving His magic so that she would be awake during the procedure & survive until the time was right for the Sacrifice to be made. He handed a large knife to Kieran and instructed her where to make the cut.
She held the blade to her lips, kissing it lightly before plunging it into the woman’s hip. She screamed in pain, pulling at her bonds trying to free herself but it was to no avail. He was telling her exactly where to move the blade to open the skin in the proper place. She slowly peeled back the layers, slicing through the muscle & tendons exposing the pelvic bone as the woman’s cries echoed through the cavernous space. My devoted Sister stepped forward, her Scythe humming loudly at the sight of Prey, and handed her a small hammer. She held the knife over the bone joint as Kieran brought the hammer down and broke it. The woman gurgled & convulsed wildly as the demons tried to hold her still. A few more well-placed hits and the largest section, the ilium, broke free. It was perfect enough to serve for the bowl required. She had begun to slip into unconciousness but due to the spell she was brought back quickly. Her breathing was coming rapidly and her eyes were glazed over as the Dark One stepped forward and handed Kieran a smaller knife. Listening to his instructions she removed the cuff from one of the woman’s arms as he held it straight and she slowly made a cut along the largest vein, all the blood flowing into the bone bowl she held beneath. Once the flow stopped she placed the bowl on the woman’s stomach as we all gathered around the altar. Kieran brought the bowl slowly to her lips & took a long drink, then brought the knife swiftly across the woman’s throat, draining the rest of her life force.
The demons brought her friends over as she passed the bowl around…we all must take a drink to complete the ritual. Her friends were also forced to take part, their mouths held open as the blood dripped down their chins. When the last drop was drained they were thrown on the altar as Kieran slit their throats and bathed in the viscous fluid. I watched in wonder as she staggered backwards and fell onto the ground at my feet. Clutching my hands she pulled herself up, looked directly into my eyes and said “I love you mother”, the first words she’d ever spoken since coming to live with us. She clung to me as her body shook, completing the change and then she stood before us, immortal and completely free from the hold of the demon in the bottle. She ripped the vial from her neck and threw it on the ground, releasing the demon that had been imprisoned for so long. He cowered at her feet, pleading forgiveness for his actions as he was now her eternal slave. She glared at him and said “You will suffer” and with a swift motion of her hand flung him in to the fiery pit that raged beside us, listening to his cries and smiling. She walked back to us slowly, the demons cowering & scattering away quickly at her malevolent stare. He placed his hand on her cheek and glanced at me…I was overcome with emotion knowing now that she was mine forever. My Sister and I embraced her as we watched Him walk away with the Dark One who looked at us over his shoulder with a hint of anxiety. I would not let those thoughts ruin this moment for me but I would not even consider to think what was in store for him.
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