I woke up the next morning freezing cold and aching. It took a second for me to realize that I had fallen asleep on top of the tower, and that it did not feel very nice.
And then I saw the guy standing there, staring at me. I clambered to my feet, hoping that I could get out of there before I really embarrassed myself.
He looked out of place. His clothes were entirely in shades of grey, and what I could see of his face also looked to be ashen. It was like staring at a black-and-white section in a technicolor movie.
"Um, hi," I muttered, "I'll just be getting out of your way-"
Grey dude reappeared beside me and, before I knew what was happening, he had grabbed me around the neck with freezing cold hands and I was suspended a few feet above the floor.
I clawed at the icy grip, trying to remember what I'd learned in a self-defense class I'd been forced into a few years back.
I drew a complete blank and tried to kick at him, missing horribly before my foot connected with his gut, loosening his hold. I took my opportunity and wrestled out of his grip, trying to run to the safety of the crumbling stone walls.
He tripped me with one swift movement and I felt the wind being knocked out of me.
My lip was bleeding and my jaw hurt, but I still pushed myself up onto my hands in the hopes of throwing a few snide remarks.
"What did I ever do to you anyway?" I asked incredulously, "There are thousands of people more deserving of a beating in this place."
His grey eyes sneered.
"Nice try, Commander." he replied, his gruff voice muffled by the grey bandana over his face, "But we know about the prophecy. And we don't take kindly to it."
I tried to push my aching body up again but was hauled to my feet into another, tighter chokehold.
"Who-who's 'we'?" I spluttered, trying to fatally scratch his fingers.
"The Grey Fist. Consider this our 'welcome to hell' present."
With a surprising amount of strength he swung me over the tower battlements, letting me dangle above the distant courtyard.
"Just...let...me...go." I wheezed, trying to push down the feeling of fear rising in my stomach like bile.
For the second time, I fell from the spiraling tower and towards my doom. Except this time, there was nothing to stop me from hitting the ground.
Time seemed to slow down as I fell. My skirt billowed in the air like a phantom, and my body turned in the air so that I faced the sky, the early sky that seemed to be falling away from me.
Wait...I was falling...was I? I couldn't be sure anymore. All that I could comprehend was that the wind was rather strong, and that my neck was throbbing.
I remembered my mother. My father, and Izzy. That life seemed to be a world away. It took a few moments for me to realize that I was about to die away from them, that I would never see or speak to them again.
I closed my eyes.