The Messenger moaned, blood dripping from her temples, her head lolling forward – eyes dropping from pain and fatigue. The steel bindings holding her in place cut into her wrists and her ankles, gore caked along the metal.
“I never thought it would be so hard to subdue one of such… minor importance,” muttered the Witch-Queen, “I wonder, are humans superior to elves in this respect? Your will seems much stronger than that other fellow who was under my curse.”
The Messenger mumbled a curse word, but couldn’t put flame behind it. Not as she could have just moments ago.
“Oh-o, such an ugly word for one so dainty as yourself,” the Witch-Queen grinned.
A swirling blackness played around the fingers of her right hand, flickering and dancing along the tips, sewing in and out of her palm.
“I feel I can try one more time. Then, I should probably let up – you might die, otherwise,” the Witch-Queen ducked down to look into the Messenger’s face, “It’s not a nice thing, to betray your allies – trust me, I know – but sometimes, it’s necessary.”
“You won’t…” mumbled the Messenger, “You won’t succeed. She’ll find you… She’ll kill you.”
The Witch-Queen let out a light laugh, “Only if you don’t kill her first,” her dark right hand darted beneath the Messenger’s jaw and pinning it in place. The Witch-Queen held on as the Messenger screamed and tried to rip through the bindings – kicking and clawing at the air.
The Messenger began to glow with light.
“At last…” said the Witch-Queen, calmly, “Your Ide makes an appearance.”
The light began to shrink, collecting itself and concentrating in the Messenger’s jaw. The blackness spread through the Messenger’s face, pushing at the light, coercing the Ide into the Witch-Queen’s hand. The Witch-Queen withdrew, smiling as the light ran along her arm and faded inside her. She looked back at the Messenger, a writhing black stain caught under her chin.
“Pity,” she said to the Messenger, “that this curse cannot be broken without killing you.”