10 Uninvited Guests
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
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Into Darkness


By: Kiri

Chapter  10 of Uninvited Guests 




  Richenda awoke to find herself in a cell like chamber. It only had a pallet and a few stools. Briony was asleep next to her. Richenda knew the sedative hadn't worn off yet for her daughter. She sat up carefully examining her surroundings. The air was warm, even without a fireplace. She could see her cloak lying across one of the stools. Running a mental check she decided that everything was ok, and there had been no tampering with her mind.

The room was spartan, almost monastic in design. There were grates up near the ceiling in the center of the side walls. Other than the door, there were no other obvious features to the room.

Moving over to her cloak, she heard a sound. Stopping she listened. There was someone in the next room. Cautiously she moved over against the wall.

"Hello? Can you hear me?" she heard someone whisper.

The voice seemed familiar to her although she couldn't place it right away.

"Yes I can hear you" she responded also in a whisper.

Extending her senses she tried to get an impression of the person who was whispering.

"Can you help us?" she heard the voice say.

She was now certain she knew that voice, but its' owners identity eluded her. She couldn't detect them through the wall - it was too thick.

"Can you reach the grate to touch my fingers?" she queried.

"Yes, why?" the voice came
"Just do it, it will be faster for us to communicate" Richenda uttered.

Reaching up she thrust her fingers through the grate. She could barely reach it standing up on her toes. She felt the other person's fingers touch hers. With a rush she finally knew who it was and why the voice was familiar yet hard to identify.

"Rory?!" She said out loud.

Stopping herself she continued to read him. He was not alone. He was sharing his cell with a young boy. A very frightened young boy who'd been taken from his home in the night. Rory had tried to over power his guards and escape with the boy, but he was not strong enough to do so. All it had gotten him was an ankle chained to the wall.

He'd been out hunting and had been taken captive, his companions' memories altered. That was all he knew, he'd woken up in the cell with the young boy, named Crispal, already there. He was certain his disappearance had been noted by now. Surely rescue would come soon?

Richenda filed all of this information away for later. She briefly informed Rory of what had happened and that Briony was with her. As she finished they heard footsteps pacing up the corridor. They parted and Richenda laid back down on the bed next to Briony, hoping to make them believe she was only just now rousing.

The door to her cell banged open. Alekseyevich entering with a different man in tow.

"Welcome to my headquarters Duchess." he smiled. "This gentleman is here to make certain you don't cause any trouble during your stay."

Richenda looked at the other man sharply, unsure of Alekseyevich's meaning.

"Oh you needn't worry your pretty head my dear," Alekseyevich continued "He's a very talented healer. One I wouldn't part with for all the world. I've found his services utterly invaluable."

Richenda relaxed a bit. A healer wouldn't harm her or Briony. Their very oaths upon becoming a healer forbade deliberate causing harm to a person. Healers were rare, she'd only met one or two in her entire life. She looked upon the man with interest, studying him.

Alekseyevich grinned in anticipation, a grin Richenda missed in her study of the healer.

"Get on with it"

said Alekseyevich as he motioned the healer forward.

The healer moved towards Richenda. She thought that perhaps he was going to put her to sleep, or perhaps provide another sedative. He reached out and touched her forehead with the lightest of brushes. It took a moment for the result to register for Richenda. She screamed in terror. Alekseyevich began to chuckle with pleasure. He ushered the healer out of the room and turned back to Richenda.

"I told you he was talented my dear"

he said with a sneer. He grasped her chin and moved her face to she could see him clearly.

"You're very privileged to be able to enjoy his talent."

Alekseyevich continued to chuckle as he left the room. The guards shot the bolt as Richenda began to shake with reaction. She could hear Rory yelling - demanding to know what had happened to her. She wasn't able to reply, the shock was too great.

She couldn't believe it. It wasn't possible.

She was........




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