PETRICHOR

Rivka, a young female royal guardsman, is tasked with a daunting mission to assist a species known for brutality against her own.

Caine, a prince of a dying race, seeks aid from those his kind feast upon.

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Author's note

This story will include graphic images and attempt at horror. If gore is not something you are comfortable with, I recommend to not read. Certain themes maybe too much such as infanticide and noncon. While noncon will never be described in this version, it will be mentioned as a fact that it does happen. Please steer away if you might be triggered.
AA

7. Gifted to Misery (To be Moved)

 

Brambles sprouted between two children.

 

Rivka watched him. Ivan was furious.

 

"Come here. Now." His voice steady and yet calm through clenched teeth.

 

She glanced behind her through the large arches, through those arches she could see people running, shadows chasing, smoke rising from multiple homes. 

 

"Ivan, I am scared." Rivka whimpered, he motioned for her to come.

 

Frowning with urgency he came close to the brambles. "Your parents would want you to be safe. I will keep you safe."

 

He looked around nervously, servants were rushing about, some with weapons, some were calling out for help. No one noticed them, the world was spiraling, they were paused in time, their own universe between them.

 

"Rivka....please," Ivan push through the brambles, pearls of blood appeared on his bare legs, his nightwear tore on the thorns. "I need you to come with me, where it is safe."

 

Rivka held herself tightly, she needed to calm down. The brambles spread, they poked her, she could feel a swelling of fear in her, they dug deeper in her arms and legs. Rivka sat there on her knees frozen.

 

There was a hand on her shoulder.

 

"Let's go."

 

Ivan carried Rivka out of the brambles, she shook all over and ashamed of her fear. She couldn't do anything reasonable, her parents needed me, but they also needed her safe. She was frozen with fear and indecision.

 

The fomorians were attacking, and they were going to hide.

 

Ivan had set her back down and they ran down the corridors, down stairs, through passage ways layered with stone until they were at what Rivka thought was the lowest point. They had never played this far below, Ivan's father, King Craedel, never liked the idea of the children being down there. Now they hurried past barrels of wine in the cellar. Ivan dragged Rivka along hoping that he could help her move faster but it was only knocking the air out of the poor girl.

 

He froze at a couple of barrels the proceeded to climb in one motioning for her to come along. There was a secret opening where the inside of the barrel and the floor met.

 

They hid. Twelve feet under the wine cellar, the only sound was their hushed breathing and the pounding of two hearts, It smelled of mold, the walls were damp and made of soil and rock.

 

They sat there on a hay stuffed mattress, two shelves were considerably stocked with dried meats and jars of jellies but one couldn't trust the quality. There was no knowing of how long the two would be there though, hidden away.

 

They huddled together in that room, silence seemed to echo in their ears as they listened, and listened. 

 

In that silence, Rivka wondered about her parents, neighbors, Ivan's father. His dad should be down there with them, but he wasn't. Ivan knew this too, he didn't show it on his face. He had to brave, he had to retain his calm composure. With his silent assurance that they would  be fine, her own emotions becoming stable.

 

For the most part.

 

What was going on above thier heads?  Who was dying and who was surviving. Will they survive? She hugged Ivan tightly, the world was on fire.

 

"Skrrreek.....skrrreek skrrreek" 

 

Rivka whipped her head around at the noise but it was indefinite, it was in no specific place, in fact it seemed as though it was everywhere. Ivan's face seemed to pale at the sound and she began to panic. The sound increased in intensity.

 

Rivka could hear shifting of dirt, almost like digging but not quite. 

 

"Ivan, what is that?" She whispered, Rivka could feel my heart beat even faster and my stomach drop. Ivan stared at her and then around at the walls, then back at her.

 

"Hey, look at me, ignore the noise. Look and listen to me. Everything is fine, we will be fine. You are fine." Rivka started to shake all over, her body shivered in fear and she was terrified.

 

He held her still, stopped the shaking. 

 

"Get it together. Stop it." The harshness in his voice was not normal, shocking. Rivka froze and focused on his voice. He scowled at her, taken aback Rivka scooted away no longer clinging to him. Ivan wasn't Ivan. He was angry.

 

He glared at her, put a finger to his lips to signal for Rivka to be quiet.

 

As if he was an adult, someone Rivka would have to listen to no matter the difference of opinion. Her stubbornness was subdued and she cowered under his newfound authority. Rivka scrambled across from him near the shelves and they sat there, the scratching slowly stopped and it seemed that the atmosphere in the room was awkward but still slightly calmer. Ivan was the adult.

 

Minutes passed, they sat there staring. Silently he mouthed sorry however his face never softened. The silence drew on once again, it was nerve racking but Rivka held herself up, keeping her emotions down.

 

The scratching had stopped but a new sound had gained a presence. The splitting of wood, the straining of bolts and metal. Something has discovered the tunnel, ripping at the wine barrel that marked the entrance. There was no hiding now, no where to go, their place of safety was now a trap.

 

"Rivka," Ivan croaked revealing his fear, "get under the blanket. Control yourself, if they see that you are different they might take you, they might-" banging on the trapdoor ensued and she was buried in blankets. Rivka held her breath as she could hear the small door come tumbling down and a sudden thump in front of them. Ivan was silent, she could imagine a stare down, but her best friend was losing as she could feel him shaking. 

 

"Hello little prince." A voice that couldn't be much older than Ivan spoke directly to them. Rivka tried so hard to be still and be indifferent.

 

The voice spoke again, "Took us a while to find you but after tracking your scent with your bed sheets it was pretty easy. Don't put up a fight, we don't want any milesians to get caught up as well, hmmm?" His tone was mocking and intelligent for the age he seemed to be, whatever he may be, obviously a fomorian but maybe he was weak maybe there was a chance to escape if they overpowered him.

 

Rivka ignored the idea of escaping, she just needed to be silent and be invisible.

 

She heard Ivan clear his throat and the straw mattress shifted as he stood up. 

 

"Why? Leave us be, we are just kids" Ivan was asking the right questions but there would be no answers. 

 

The creature responded, "Why would it matter if you were kids? I just wanted to see how you tasted, the prince of all these morsels..."

 

Rivka heard a whack and the weight on the bed shifted again.

 

Ivan had been flung against the wall. 

 

"Umph!" He fell to the ground behind me at the edge of the bed, Rivka was filled with something, not fear, but determination.

 

"NO" 

 

She stood up and yelled with as much authority a little girl could, out of bed the blankets falling behind her on Ivan. She held herself still and strong but not overwhelmed. Her face was stone and heart was slow. Rivka held back what little fear and pain she felt about anything and everything. She glanced at Ivan behind me, his eyes were filled with terror and his forehead wrinkled with pain. A tiny bead of blood dripped from his nose. Rivka looked back at the monster before them.

 

The fomorian was of high status but like she thought, he was young. Maybe early teens, fifteen or fourteen. His eyes were the most definitive attribute of his face, black, with glowing yellow rings. His skin was covered in black scales, his blonde hair was short and perfectly trimmed with black tips. Small black horns with thin yellow stripes poked out from his skull, he had a stud in each ear and a a toothy grin that went from ear to ear.

 

The fomorian's eyes settled on her, his smile growing wider.

 

"I knew I smelled a female. Is this your protector little Craedel....? Your tiny knight in shining armor?" He advanced towards Rivka and she took a step back.

 

Grabbing her by the arm he pulled her to him, she hissed, spat and scratched, the fomorian stood there unfazed. 

 

By this point two others had joined them. One with long claws, a brown mane and a a gigantic fang-filled under bite, the other a mix between human, fox and an owl. It had a fox tail and a fox color scheme, but its head was a human with feathers for hair, an extended neck and a small protruding beak on its face.

 

Her eyes widened but she didn't let fear get the best of her.

 

Ivan shot up despite being thrown against the wall.

 

"Let her go you bastard!" Rivka had never heard Ivan curse before.

 

The beast pulled her close, one hand holding her still, the other stroking her head. He spoke quietly and menacing,

 

"I was going to have you first but I suppose she will do." Rivka's head was tilted, a pink and black forked tongue snaked across her cheek and around her ear. She looked at Ivan, void of expression. Rivka could feel some sort of terror rise up in her but she forced it down. 

 

Ivan got on his knees, "please I'll do whatever you want, just don't hurt my friend! She is all I got..." His eyes swelled, cheeks puffy, little droplets fell to the floor.

 

"Interesting flavor," The creature's eyes dilated, he was feeding off of Ivan's pain and suffering. He motioned for the two behind him to grab Ivan. In an instant they snapped his neck, he hung limply in their arms.

 

Rivka froze in the creature's grasp, she felt a tiny snap inside her mind. Her lips made a fine line, the liveliness in her eyes draining along withe he blood to her head. She felt cold, as if she was the one to die instead of him.

 

The fomorian threw her back down on the mattress, "you're a lucky one aren't you? How do you sit there blank eyed? Do you not care that we are about to eat your friend?" Ivan was being carried by the ring leader's two cronies out of the safety pit. Rivka tried not to be sad. Tried to not give him any satisfaction.

 

"Why should I?" She glared at the fomorian, challenging him. She wouldn’t satisfy his hunger. She wouldn’t.

 

I refuse.

 

"Piece of work, aren't you sweetheart?" He pulled at her hair making Rivka look at the stone and dirt ceiling, her eyes stared wildly at him as he bent his head below my neck. His tongue slithered up her neck and he pushed himself away almost as if he needed to control himself.

 

He took his clawed thumb and inched it over her right eye.

 

"Now you can live miserably with this mark to remember me by!" He smiled cruelly, "and the next time we meet," he yanked Rivka by the hair again making them eye to eye, his forked tongue at her neck again, "I'll eat you whole."

 

His claw began to dig, searing white pain flooded her entire head, as if he was invading more than just a her visual senses. He wanted her to be mentally torn. Destroyed.

 

She could feel the wetness poor over her cheek and into her gaping maw. No sounded erupted from the pain as Rivka had no strength to spare.

 

He then dropped her on the straw mattress. Just as simple and sudden as Ivan's death.

 

"Sorry I must leave you so soon," he licked his bloody claw, almost as if suckling it, "but I am running behind schedule and I just don't have time for you."

 

He went to make his way up the tunnel, "remember what I said...." He licked his lips and left her there. Left her alone, bleeding from her right eye. He had marked Rivka for the next time they came. She supposed she would be safe for now, but...

 

I'll eat you whole.

 

This echoed in her head, but despite being afraid by that, she couldn't stop thinking about Ivan. Ivan was gone, gone forever. All Rivka was to him was mean and a nuisance, tears fell in a heavy stream now, mixed with blood and the ooze from her bloody eye. 

 

She was in emotional turmoil.

 

I'll eat you whole.

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