When two strangers meet on top of a hill other the remains of a burning village, everything they knew begins to change. Katherien, a secretive traveller, now has to look after Caila, a village girl with a rare gift. But there is more to their partnership than they ever realised.
"Bring her in," a voice commanded.
It was a harsh voice, a cruel voice. A voice belonging to someone who was definitely not about to do any good.
The person to whom it belonged was not anything remotely near good. In fact, he was evil, dedicated to dark matters. His heart was nothing. It had no feeling, no mercy, no forgiveness and no love.
He turned to look at a large wooden door, the only entrance into his lair. Two shady figures entered. Between them, a prisoner hovered in the air, hanging limply. The two were horrible demons by the name of whisperer. They were ugly, repulsive creatures, wearing long cloaks to shield them from the world who hated them. Their eyes gleamed from deep within their hoods, a bright fiery red. Their weak form of magic held the girl up. He was not one of them. Oh no. He was much, much stronger.
The prisoner was a young woman. Her pale skin was cut and bruised in many places. Her hair was lank and dirty. Her eyes however showed a determination above all other. Though dark marks circled them, they retained their bright beauty. They shone in her small face, but the hope in them was fading. She had been brave, of sorts, not faltering throughout all her days of imprisonment. Unfortunately for her, that meant she was no longer of use to him.
The demons threw the girl onto the ground. She inhaled sharply, probably from the many broken ribs she had received during her torture. He could see her pain but didn't care. In fact he enjoyed the whole affair. He almost considered keeping her alive longer, just so he could torture her more but there needed to be a subject for his test. And if he killed the whisperers, they may rebel before he was ready.
"I suppose you may know why you are here," he said. The girl made no effort to reply.
"No? Well soon it won't matter whether you do or not."
This time a definite flicker of fear passed his prisoners eyes. He smiled. She could hear him well enough but was either too scared or too brave to answer.
"I thought," he continued," that you might be of some use to us. I can see now I was wrong."
"You'll never get away with this," she spoke at last. Her voice was broken and hoarse.
“Actually, as you are about to demonstrate, I am," he replied.
"You can't kill us all," she spoke a little louder. It made him smile to hear the note of defiancy in her voice.
He chuckled and knelt in front of her. She shrank back, disgusted by him and his cruelty. “Do you doubt me? Of course you do. And everyone shall until the last moment.” She glared at him with those bright eyes.
He got up and turned to a table in the centre of the room. On it lay a slender silver wand, beautiful and deadly in its presence.
"Prepare to die," he laughed maniacally and a bolt of lightning shot from the wand to the girl. She screamed a high-pitched, piercing wail. Her body contorted. Then silence.
She collapsed on the floor, her body lifeless, her hair spread over her delicate face. He felt nothing. He walked to her body and examined the dead woman’s face. Her eyes had that familiar glass look. He tipped her face from side to side. The paleness spread over her face. That would never happen to him.
“Dispose of it.” He did not like having waste left on the floor.
The body was removed from the hall and the door slammed shut behind it. He turned back to the parchment he had been studying. The time had come to choose his next victim.