Walking up to the centre of the plaza Kyran followed the Hands up the steps to the stage, they were rough when they quickly took off his loose, white prison shirt and tied a rope that was attached to the poles to his wrists. He yelped suddenly as someone pulled on the ropes, his arms snapping to stretch and his shoulders suddenly burning as the ropes still pulled him. Kyran gritted his teeth, trying not to scream or let out a cry, he didn’t want to give his father the satisfaction of the thought that he was weak.
The sound of lightening cracked the rumbling crowd, silencing them, Kyran looked up at the sky, it was the middle of summer and storms weren’t even common in the middle of winter. Kyran opened his mouth to scream as the whip tore down his back, it wasn’t lightening, it was the sound of the cracking whip that came before the pain. Kyran though kept the scream tightly in his chest, but he wanted to scream and it took all of his strength to not let that happen.
Forty-four more to go,thought Kyran, his stomach churned sickeningly at the thought and the world spun around him in a blur.
Kyran started as he heard the second whip crack through the air and moments later a burning sensation ripped down his back. He could feel his blood slither down his skin, it was unexpectedly cold and goosebumps ran along his arms and chest.
Fourty two more times this happened and what would have been only an hour and half felt like an eternity to Kyran. He made no sound as each whip broke his skin and made a wound larger, but he shook in fear and the weakening of his body. Kyran passed out twice through the whole ordeal, giving him only a minute of being numb and deaf to the pain and cracking of the whip. However, every time he did pass out a Hand was always there to bring him back to the present, Kyran couldn’t escape it, they wouldn’t let him have even that.
It was the last three cracking of the whips that Kyran screamed, the pain had gotten too much and he just wanted it to end. He was screaming for death to come quickly, but made no request to anyone, he was screaming to the sky and he was screaming at his father who looked on uncaringly. It was now more than ever that Kyran wanted to destroy him, to kill every inch and every cell of his father.
The ropes gave way after the last cracking of the whip and Kyran collapsed to the ground in a heap, he could feel his blood ebbing away from him and the cold touch of death eating inside of him like a worm digging through the earth.
He could hear the scattering of many feet on the floorboards as he lied there, unable to stand or move his entire body. His vision blurred as many gentle hands moved him so he could lie flat on the floor every inch of him was sore and a sharp pain stabbed through his back every time the wounds moved.
They were the Sisters a group of women who devoted their lives to the knowledge and training of the rare power of drawing Circles, with these the Sisters could control the weather, transform stone and metal without tools, turn water into any liquid, destroy anything in just a matter of seconds and heal the most fatal wounds in a manner of minutes. The Sisters were a powerful group and if you marked them as enemies you already signed your death sentence.
Kyran listened to everything the Sisters were doing, he could hear the drawing of the Circle on the floorboards, he could hear them chanting to the powers that gave them their strength and he could hear a distant high-pitched bell that ripped through the muted silence like a war horn. Minute after minute passed, the chanting got louder and the bell seemed to scream louder in his ears, but still he felt nothing except the pain, the cold and desperate willingness to die quickly.
Slowly though Kyran started to feel a change inside of him, at first he felt refreshed as if a cool breeze passed him on a hot day. Then the cooling breeze started to freeze so suddenly it felt as if Kyran had been dunked into ice filled water. The freezing cold filled every inch of him, seeping into his veins and flooding his lungs. Kyran gaped for air like a fish out of water, every part of him in shocking pain. The cold grabbed at his throat killing the violent scream that Kyran tried to release, but all that came out was rasp.
Then it stopped as if the cold had never happened. The Sisters had done their job though; Kyran felt a little better and he knew the wounds were starting to heal. The Sisters could easily heal him and not even leave scars, but he knew that it was on his father’s orders that stopped the Sisters completely healing him.