Random images flashed through Rowena’s mind as she slept. The images blurred in and out of one another so it was impossible to tell where one image finished and the other began.
She saw Vincent standing in the doorway, a tray in his hands, then Damia, sitting quietly and sewing, Narcissa’s face, twisted with an expression of sadistic joy as she inflicted pain on her victim. Then Damia again, holding out a cup with an evil glint in her eyes, then sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, Rowena’s dress in her hands, savagely tearing at the fabric. The last image Rowena saw was of a disheveled looking Damia, wearing her ruined dress, walking out of the door, a resounding bang echoing around Rowena’s head as the door closed behind her.
Her eyes opened and all Rowena could see was darkness. At first she panicked, thinking she was going blind. She thrashed around in her bed, her eyes frantically searching for any source of light and the more she thrashed, the darker the room became. When her eyes finally spotted the moonlight coming in faintly through the windows, her pounding heart began to calm and she lay still on the bed, breathing heavily. The reality of what had happened didn’t set in until Rowena realized that if it was dark, it must be nighttime.
‘She said she’d wake me up when the Prince got here,’ Rowena said, carefully sitting up and looking around the room. ‘Why didn’t she wake me? He must be here by now.’ She could hardly see anything as she felt around on her bedside table for a candle and some matches. Her hand finally brushed over a small box and the cold metal of the candlestick and with shaking hands, Rowena managed to light the candle. It didn’t give off much light, but it was enough for her to stand up and make her way across the room towards the door leading into Damia’s separate bedroom.
The door creaked open and Rowena stepped tentatively through the doorframe. This room was also dark; even more so because of the lack of windows, and Rowena’s candle cast spooky, menacing shadows across the floor and walls of the small room. But she could see that the bed was made and Damia was nowhere to be seen.
‘Damia?’ Rowena whispered, fear gripping her, slowly gaining control of her from her stomach and spreading over her entire body until she couldn’t move. ‘Where are you Damia?’ Forcing her legs to move, she staggered backwards out of the room and towards the main door. The first door was unlocked, as always, but the second door was bolted shut. ‘Let me out!’ Rowena pounded her fists on the wood, screaming as loudly as her lungs could manage.
But it was the middle of the night. Narcissa and Vincent wouldn’t respond to her cries for help, even if she’d been thinking clearly enough to use the message system that connected the tower to Narcissa’s cottage. But Rowena was mad with fear and continued to scream, beating at the door until her knuckles bled and tears of anger and frustration were flowing freely down her cheeks.
She had no idea what had happened to leave her in this position, she was so focused on the fact that now the Prince had gone, and Damia too, there was no chance of escape. Narcissa had probably found the Prince before he’d reached the tower and told him there was no Princess Rowena of Fersere locked away behind it’s stone walls. She couldn’t think where Damia was and how she had managed to escape their prison, she only hoped Narcissa wasn’t inflicting some horrible punishment on her for trying to help her escape.
Exhaustion began to set in and Rowena’s hands slid down the door as she fell to her knees. She leant against the door, her shoulders heaving as she sobbed.
‘I want to go home.’