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Ghalia is a world filled with mysteries shrouded in darkness and magic hidden in the forests. Man divided the world up between three great nations: Marin, Lafelion, Rourik. Although they are in peace now, evil stirs within the dark corners of the world again. Now the race to stay alive is upon them; their only hope left lies in the hands of the Arklings.

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5. Chapter 4

My mind drifted in and out of consciousness as I tottered between pain and oblivion. I was finally pulled from my stupor by a falling sensation. My body was pushed off of the back of the horse. The cold mud soaked through my tattered clothes, as I laid there, unable to summon the energy to do something about it. Rough hands gripped my limp body and hauled me to my feet. My eyes drifted up from the ground, resting on the distant horizon. I could make out the online of buildings and a tall edifice that erupted from the center. From my vantage, it seemed like a large pimple of the face of the world, ready to burst.

            That was the only look I got before a black bag was tied over my head. With my vision gone, the rest of my senses tried to make up for it. The rough, calloused hands pulled my hands forward. I recognized the coarse texture of rope against my skin as it was being looped around my bonds. For a brief moment it felt like life stood still, before kick starting back to life. My hands were tugged sharply in the middle, causing my body to lurch forward in response as we began moving again. I figured, due to the pace, I must have been tethered to the horse. Although I didn’t have to run, the jog still threatened to collapse my legs. I felt frightened and exhilarated running without eyesight. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other but still the cold mud turned my toes numb as it seeped between them. The rocks were the worst; so many times I felt them lodge themselves in my skin. Stones and earth, I was becoming one with nature.

            Eventually, the pain began to feel muted in my feet. All I could feel was the sharp air that sliced my lungs with every breath. Despite not being able to see through the material, it was thin enough to breath through. I focused on the little things, desperate to keep my mind on the menial items than what was really happening. I didn’t want to think of what they had planned for me, if I was lucky I would simply be used for a public execution. The alternative made me shiver, it was said that those who entered the castle in chains left in the bellies of dogs.

            Our pace slowed to a walk as my heart beat sky rocketed. The voices that now surrounded me felt overwhelming. The bag was too close to my head. The chains cut into my wrists. In the distance I swear I heard dogs barking. Fear stole through me and my knees gave way. I dropped to the ground, trying to imprint the memory of it in my senses. Anything was better than the feel of teeth shredding my skin. Hands grabbed at me, igniting a surge of energy within me. I lashed out, kicking, screaming, and doing whatever I could to hold them back. Immediately my legs were caught and I was being lifted off the ground. This only made me fight harder. I screamed as my tears began to choke me inside the bag.

            “Don’t feed me to the dogs,” I cried, “anything but the dogs!” My screams sounded deafening to my ears, only getting louder and more hysterical as they hauled me away. But my body could not keep up the fight for long. No doubt my back was ridden with infection, while exhaustion overwhelmed the rest of me. I couldn’t even recall the last time I had eaten or drank anything. It was no surprise when I found myself unable to move anymore as the noises around me died away. I could barely even manage a whimper after screaming my voice hoarse. Finally, believing that I had finished, I was set down on a hard cold surface.

            I heard the faint ripping of cloth ripping, and felt the sting of a finger probing the wounds upon my now bare back. The confusion didn’t even have enough time to set in before I felt a sharp pinch in my arm. In moments I was swept back into blissful oblivion.

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