I heard the clang of the metal gate outside the prison and knew that Corin was returning. I sighed and pulled myself away from the small slot which acted as a window; my only contact with the outside world. It had been days and still no rescue. I was beginning to wonder whether anyone was coming for me.
When he appeared I was leaning casually against the bars, smirking.
"You look happy." He commented, sitting on the chair with his legs either side, leaning on the back. "I am flattered that you look forward to my visits."
"Not your visits. Your departures."
"You wound me." He replied sarcastically. "I look forward to my visits."
"Only because you can crow over your one victory." I snapped back and turned away.
There was a moments silence behind me before the reply.
"It looks like I'm finally getting to you. The Sheriff will be so pleased."
"Why don't you go shove your head up the Sheriff's-"
The clang of the door interrupted us and I span round to find the Sheriff standing next to Corin.
"Marshall Twynam. I came to enjoy the sounds of a hawk screaming, but all I find is her insulting me. Surely this should be rectified?"
"I will stop her food-"
"No. I want to see you hurt her. The jailer tells me all you've done so far is talk. Talking may be how to work some political agreements, but it is not how to find out what savages think."
"My lord Sheriff-"
"Silence. Prepare her for torture. I will watch."
I was tied to the table; it had taken three soldiers and Corin to strap me down.
"She's an animal." One of them had exclaimed as I bit and scratched at their faces.
"Well Marshall, begin." The Sheriff said. He sat on a chair, one leg resting over the other and his hands steepled in front of his face. His eyes glinted at me and I glared at him. Then I caught Corin's movements out of the corner of my eye. He was running his hands over various instruments built for pain. How foolish I had been to think I could escape without some torture. Everything had been pretty easy till now. Till the Sheriff got involved.
"Tell me Hawk," Corin said as he hovered over me, a poker in his hand. He turned and placed it in the fire, "Where is your camp?" I glared at him and looked away. "It would be better for you to talk before the pain."
"I'm not talking before or after you hurt me." I rolled my eyes. His fists slammed on the side of the table and his angry face appeared over mine.
"You can do what you like with that poker, I'll tell you nothing about us."
"You will tell me. I can make you scream, I can make your body ache and writhe-"
"-You over-estimate your skills in the bedroom and you underestimate me if you think any of that impresses me."
I saw him almost chuckle, but his eyes darted to the Sheriff and they turned hard.
"Oh, you'll see what I mean in a moment. Now, your last chance. Tell me where you camp."
"Go fuck yourself."
He struck my face and I reeled from the blow. My vision blurred momentarily and then I blinked and returned to full awareness. He had gone to the fire and removed the poker, and now he advanced.
"Tell me." He hissed as he made his way over me. I could feel the biting heat of the poker as it passed over my body, sizzling away, ready to scorch my flesh.
"I'd rather kiss the Sheriff."
"Just get on with it Marshall!" The Sheriff snapped.
Corin hesitated and then slapped the ball of my foot with the burning poker. I yelped, but fought the scream.
The poker landed on my other foot, and he held it there for a few moments.
"Go... fuck... yourself."
The poker landed on the first foot and stayed there. I struggled, feeling the burning sensation take over everything, and before long I was screaming. He took the poker from my skin but I barely noticed, the pain was still so intense.
"Where are you camped?" I said nothing but focused on my breathing until I felt the pain hit me again, on the other foot, where he had just placed the poker. I screamed again and the poker was taken away. This happened many times over until my throat was hoarse, tears streamed from my eyes and I now felt like my feet had been stuck in to a fire.
"I'm bored. Hurt her somewhere else. Burn her pretty little face." The Sheriff sneered.
"I think the poker has done its work. I shall try another method." Corin said, putting the poker down and reaching for pliers.
"Your reputation has been over exaggerated Twynam. I am disappointed. Let me know when she speaks." The Sheriff stood and left the room, slamming the door behind him. Corin stood with his back to me as I tried to blink away the tears that were still welling in my eyes.
"Are you alright?" He muttered quietly.
Rage boiled inside of me. This man dared ask that question after he had slapped that firey poker upon my feet time after time after time...
"Bastard!" I spat at him, pulling at the bindings in an urge to rip him to pieces. "Heartless, cruel bastard!"
He turned to face me with his face blank and began to untie my bindings. I waited until I was completely free and had sat up before punching him square in the jaw and jumping from the table to make a run for it.
I screamed as my feet hit the floor and crumpled, lying in the dust with my feet on fire once more. I could not walk, let alone run.
"Kate..." I felt him try to help me up.
"Don't touch me!" I heard myself shriek, and writhed away from him. His firm hands stopped me and he pulled me from the floor. Then he stood and carried me from the room. I hit him, hit him as much as I could, but he never dropped me. Then he lay me on my cot and drew away.
"I will find someone to see to your feet." Then he turned away and marched from the room, not even glancing at me when he locked the door.
"I hate you." I hissed after him. He paused and then continued on his way, leaving me in agony on my cot with no food, no water and no hope.
My friends had abandoned me and now I was incapable of escaping myself. Everything seemed lost.