I hear wind whistling in between rocks and bare tree branches. There’s rough, scratchy fabric beneath my cheek. My head’s pounding and my entire body aches. As I lay there, slowly trying to reclaim any small sense of alertness, I suddenly become aware of another presence in the room. The sound of humming slowly registers in the silence of the wind, and I can smell cigars. With great effort, I slowly open my eyes and blink, waiting for the world to come into focus.
“Glad to see those baby-blues of yours again, Princess,” the man says, taking another long drag on his cigar.
“My eyes are gold,” I manage to say, my tongue thick.
The man laughs. “I’ll guess that this is your first time getting hit with faerie dust. You should be glad that I’m not a woman, it would hurt twice as much as it does now.”
I groan and struggle to sit up. “Who are you?”
“The Reaper,” he replies nonchalantly, casting a glance over my grey robe. “What are you going to ask next? Where you are? What I want? I thought that they would have taught you how to at least act like you’re not getting useful information when you’re interrogating a captor. Or did they neglect that part of your training?”
I press my palm against my forehead and squeeze my eyes close, trying to stop the room from spinning. “What’s your real name?”
He laughs. “That is my real name, Princess. Reaper, Jack Reaper. Anything else you’d like to know?”
I swallow my retort as the taste of bile rushes up onto my tongue.
“Go on, bucket’s right behind you,” Jack says, motioning with a finger toward the bucket.
I hold my breath and count backwards from seven. “I’m fine.”
He exhales a long plume of black smoke. “You’re going to be here for quite some time, Princess. I suggest you adapt to survive on the bare minimum.”
He stands up and walks out, his shiny black shoes squeaking softly against the cold stone floor. He laughs as the door slams shut. I grab the bucket from behind me and throw up the ball from last night.