Murdson jams the key into the keyhole of the door to the basement and shifts his weight to his shoulder as he pushes the door open. The massive wooden door gives in and slams against the concrete wall as too much force is exerted on it. A long and dark staircase leads him into the damp and silent basement, but he fears not for he has a dagger hidden on his boots in case the witch tries to rebel. He starts descending the stairs, one at a time, creating echo around him which accelerates his heart beat.
At the base of the stairs, his eyes search for the witch and find her huddle against the mast with the chain wrapped tightly around her neck. His eyebrows shot upward and incredulity washes over him. Hastily, he hurries forward to find the pulse of the unconscious witch. His stubby fingers reach past the chain on her neck and press them against Leila’s cold skin. The soft beat from the running blood underneath her white skin gives him the signs of life and unsuccessful suicide attempt.
He curses, “Stupid witch, do you want to get both of us killed?” he lifts her body from the floor and unwinds the chain from her neck. “I’ve got to get you to my master, midnight waits for nobody.” After finishing with her neck, he sets her head on the floor and unlocks the shackles on her wrist. “Now, come on, stand up!” He urged, shaking her by the shoulders. Leila stirs and rolls to her side, slowly, she pushes herself up with her freed arms.
Murdson stands and beckons her to follow him; he bends down and takes his short-handle dagger out, shaking it menacingly at her. “I don’t want to slice your pretty face with my blade,” he warns, “I promise you it will hurt just a little bit…”
The movement is fast and swift. In a split of a second, Murdson is on his knees with both his massive hands covering his deformed face, screaming in agony. Leila scrambles to her feet and throws the chains aside, the same chains which she used to struck Murdson in the face. She rushes past him and clambers up the stone stairs toward the opening at the top. Fingers close around her ankle and unbalance her. Her aching body hits the stair. Instinctively, she tries to crawl up and at the same time free her foot from Murdson grasp. Her free foot kicks him in the chin and she is set free. She pushes her body up and run the rest of the steps, behind her, Murdson screams at the top of his lungs for his Master’s aid.
Upon reaching the top, she quickly pulls the round handle of the wooden door to close the door behind her and trap Murdson in her former captivity. She looks around the darkened hallways and closed doors around her, desperately looking for the exit.
“Calm down, Leila,” she repeats to herself, “getting edgy and nervous will do you no good.” She breathes in dusts which makes her cough. Hurried footsteps are coming her way, Drey most probably. Quickly, she rushes to the stairs leading to a second floor and silently runs up the carpeted steps. Once at the top, she rests and watched as Drey makes his entrance to the room and sprints to the wooden door, concealing his agonizing servant and muffling the repetitive screams of his master’s name.
Leila carefully examines the room below her. The windows are erected tall, from floor to ceiling and heavily draped. Several paintings and busts adorn the room crowded with unused furniture; the glass-covered cabinets hold antiquity treasures such as ancient papyrus paper and manuscripts, yellowed due to the age and accumulation of dust. Hanging from the intricate designs of the ceiling, is a colossal chandelier with untouched candles and dusty gold.
“Murdson, what is going on?!” Drey demands, his fist collides with the wooden door, “what is this rampant behavior?” He pushes the door open and disappears inside. Leila silently, yet hastily, creeps down the stairs and walks toward the wooden door. Her hands wrap around the round handle and pull the door shut. She looks around her for something to block the door, finally her eyes settle upon a black wood chair. She lifts the chair and places the edge of the back of the chair underneath the knock to bolt the door from opening.
Everything seems to weave in her mind with perfect understanding. Yanira has deceived her into her plot. She is able to condone Drey’s atrocities if he stops creating demons, in exchange of that she will give him a body for Zahira to dwell in, Leila’s body.
“That is not going to happen,” Leila says out loud and runs through the labyrinthine house in search of the way out.