Beautiful Hell (Draft 1)

For almost one hundred years, a brutal and bloody struggle for dominance between the kingdom of Ra'Ziel and the plains of Torath has torn the world asunder, raining death and destruction upon the earth. But this war is coming to an end. With only a few descendants of both royal lines living, will there finally be peace? Alexandra Ra'Ziel wants nothing more than to end the feud that took her older brothers from her, but Tristan Torath has different plans. He wants - he needs - retribution for the wrongs he has suffered. And so their story begins. Because anyone can find vengeance, but only a rare few achieve true justice.

Ok yeah, so here's the thing. I'm rewriting this story, so anybody who wants to read the new chapters (as I edit and revise them) can find them on my page. The Movella is titled Beautiful Hell (Re-imagined). And yeah, it's way way way better than this one, but also way more graphic too.

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11. Alexandra Maria Ra'Ziel

            It was sunset before anything happened. The hours had all melted together into a jumble. But then Alex saw a nomad walking towards her. He stopped at every prisoner along the line, and swiftly removed their clothing. Alex shivered. He looked like he could be skinning them.

            Then it was her turn. “Please, don’t.” She whispered it, and was rewarded with a backhanded slap across the face. “Captives do not speak unless spoken to.” And then she was naked too. The man didn’t even look at her before moving to the girl beside her, but Alex still blushed. The night air, although it was just into summer, was still cold.

            “What’s going to happen to us?” The girl beside Alex was probably older than her, but looked terrified. Alex just shrugged.

            They found out only a few minutes later what was happening. The first sounds came from the other side of the circle, but they were unmistakable. Human screams.

            Alex realized what was happening when on her other side a boy’s chain rattled. She couldn’t help herself. Alex looked.

            The boy was one of the older ones, probably about eighteen. He was pulling hard against his binding chain, but it didn’t budge. A nomad was walking towards him. Evidently the boy had been here before, because he clearly recognized the man. Alex looked away quickly, but she could still hear it. The boy screamed and fought, but it seemed to do him no good.

            It happened over and over. Down the line, young men and women were raped and abused, but no one touched Alex. Whenever she could bear to look at her neighbors, bruises were starting to appear, mostly on their thighs.

            Then a nomad walked toward her, masked and dressed in flat black. He paused a few feet away, and Alex did her best to look unafraid. She thought she saw something familiar in his green eyes, but he was moving again too soon for her to be sure. He unbuckled his cloak with one swift movement, and tossed it to her before striding away.

            Alex looked at the cloth for a moment, unsure what to do with it. Then she grabbed it and hugged it to herself, covering her body. The girl on the other side of her was crying softly. Alex felt instantly guilty.

            “Here.” She tried to smile as she draped the cloak over the girl – the chains let them reach the prisoners to either side of them, but no further. The girl looked at her thankfully, but then she saw the boy.

            “No. No, I don’t want your pity. He needs it more.”

            “You sure?” When the girl nodded, Alex scooted herself over to the boy. Close up, he looked worse. He was staring into space, his eyes empty. Covering his torso were layer upon layer of bruises, but most were concentrated on the inside of his thighs. On his left leg was the unmistakable print of a human hand.

            Alex fought her overpowering disgust and draped the cloth over him. He didn’t even seem to notice, but after a minute, the boy’s eyes closed. Alex let herself really look at him then. She was right, it was Danny. Her cousin.

            Alex went back to her place and hugged herself, trying to keep warm. It was a long night.

When Alex woke, it was morning. She probably wouldn’t have woken even then, if not for someone yanking on her chain. She looked at them tiredly, but then she was instantly awake. It was a man, dressed all in black, his mask a black crescent-moon covering everything but the bottom right side of his face. His eyes were unmistakably green, his hair the color of sand.

            “Come on, unless you want to stay here?” Alex realized that she was unchained. She stood slowly, her legs cramping. The nomad strode off without even looking at her, and Alex followed. She had recognized his voice, but from where?

            “Thank you.”

            “For what?” The man seemed genuinely puzzled.

            “For the cloak last night.” Alex watched the ground, acutely aware that she was still naked.

            “You didn’t keep it. You gave it to the bugger. You do know he isn’t going to live, don’t you? Buggers only last as long as they fight, but he’s just about given up. Tomorrow, the next day, eventually his owner is going to kill him.” The man’s tone was flat, uncaring. He could be talking about a belt that broke and had to be thrown out, for all the sympathy in his voice.

            “But that’s horrible! You can’t just kill him!”

            They reached a tent and the man ducked inside. Alex hesitated before following him. The tent was spacious, but not large. It seemed larger than it was because there was so little inside. A cot, a table and chair, and two chests. That was all. “I’m not going to kill him. But, if you are asking if I think he should die, then yes. After all, would your people hesitate to kill one of us? Now put these on.” The man handed her a pile of clothes from one of the chests, then sat on the bed to watch her dress. Alex looked at them, unsure what to do. They were like nothing she had ever seen.

            A pair of black pants was the most normal thing in the pile, but even they were odd. Made of black silk, the pants were loose and baggy except for at the waste and ankles. The rest was even stranger. Soft leather boots that reached only to her ankles. A tiny corset that only covered the bottom half of her chest and none of the rest of her. Alex had to admit that they were comfortable clothes, except that she still felt remarkably nude. Her stomach and ribs were bare, as were her arms and shoulders. The corset squeezed her chest up, so the top halves of her breasts were also uncovered.

            “You can stay here or go. It’s your choice. The only thing: if you try anything, you die.”

            If you try anything, you die. Oh Karaena, Goddess of Fate, please no! “Tris.”

            “Who – Jasper. Yeah, it’s me.” Tris ran a hand through his sandy hair in frustration. A lopsided grin matched the mischievous sparkle in his green eyes. For an instant, Alex thought she might be swallowed by the evil shining through that small crack. “Listen Lexie, I’ve got something I have to do, but you can go wherever you want. No one’s going to touch you, I promise.” This time, his smile was real, as if he could sense how little his word meant to her. Still, it was something.

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