Start | Previous | Next
Her body felt like it had been buried under a pile of rocks. She couldn't move her arms. They were bound together.
Too tight. It hurt.
She couldn't see. Wherever she'd ended up had no light. Pitch dark, and rough. Unatoly could feel the hard planks underneath her.
Unatoly toyed with the ropes binding her. They had a bit of flex in them, but not enough for her to pull her hands out. Twisting, Unatoly found her left hand almost could come out. She yelped in pain before she could.
To get her left hand out, she'd have to dislocate it, maybe even break it, to get out. She hesitated to do that. Una didn't want to escape yet. She knew the Straw Pastor had been responsible for her capture.
"I need to know why. Why would you kill my grandmother and leave me alive?" Una asked herself. As terrifying as this was, she knew knowledge was her best tool. Una still refused to believe everyone in Selas had joined the Straw Pastor.
The Revolution couldn't turn everyone against her family. She refused to believe that. But she needed to survive to find those answers. She untwisted her left hand.
Una waited for someone, anyone to come and see her.
It didn't take long.
The door opened. Bright sunlight blinded her. She couldn't see who it was. Just the shadow. An outline. A silhouette of a man.
"My, my." The voice sounded gilded. Charming even. The Straw Pastor. "Is our new Comtesse awake?"
"What do you want?" Una asked.
"Don't you want to me to cut your bonds?"
"You killed my grandmother, yet you haven't done anything to me yet. I'm guessing you want me alive."
"And you think you are clever enough to get out of this, then? That your bourgeoisie charms and voice will force your loyal serfs to help you? That I've driven them mad or that maybe a few of them are still loyal to your greedy aristocratic class?" The Straw Pastor snorted.
Her eyes adjusted, seeing the gleam in his blond hair and beard. He smirked. He wore red vestments, their leather looking clean and shining. A tiny pitchfork carved from wood hung from his neck. The symbol of the Revolution. The Pitchfork. A commoner's tool turned into a weapon.
The Straw Pastor loomed over her.
"Do you not have something to say for yourself, little Comtesse?" He asked her.
Una struggled to sit up.
"I hold your life here." The Straw Pastor continued. "I am kind. Merciful. This is a moment for you to prove your worth."
"I am never joining your bloody revolution." Una spat back. "This county and land did fine long before you people and your pitchforks came."
"Your mother said the same thing." The Straw Pastor chuckled. "But you are young. Beautiful. I'd hope you'd be smart enough to start by begging."
He took a step toward her. Unatoly stumbled back away from him. He kept moving forward. His teeth frightened her. She cowered, trying to keep away from him.
"Keep away from me!" She screeched.
The Straw Pastor threw something. His face turned a bright red as a chair shattered against a mirror above her. Wood smashed, the mirror shattered around her. Shards of mirror reflect the raging expression of the Straw Pastor.
"You don't give the orders here!" The Straw Pastor screamed. "No! The PEOPLE have risen! And you will learn to obey!"
Una looked back down to her hands, bound before her. She twisted and worked them. The Straw Pastor kept moving closer. Bones cracked in her left hand. Una closed her eyes.
"I have to do this." Determination crept over her. Una yelped in pain. Her hand twisted. Then her left hand broke. It turned into a flopping chunk of meat. She twisted it past its normal limits.
It hurt horribly. So horrible Una's eyes blurred with tears.
But as her left hand broke, her right hand had been freed.
The Straw Pastor bent down, dragging her out of the corner she'd been cowering in. He pulled her by her legs to the middle of the room. She flailed, trying to find something, anything, to pull to resist against him.
"I will teach you the price of the bourgeoisie!" He cackled, his eyes glowing bright red. Revolutionary magick poured into him.
That was when Una plunged the mirror shard into the demagogue's neck. He tumbled to the ground like a gourd slashed in half by a knife.