Charlotte and Cooper are stuck in a cell with a bunch of other people and a power hungry jailer who abuses his power over them. What will become of them
The musty smells of rot and decay slunk through and filled every space in the cell. Heavy breathing echoed achingly off dirty stone walls. The fetid air clogged Sangyr’s nostrils and he scowled as he slumped down the stairwell. The group of prisoners stirred and cringed as his footsteps reverberated harshly against their ears. They knew what was coming. Sangyr was going to have some fun.
Cooper flinched as the scraping clang of the door opening resounded across the walls and steps sounded on the stairwell. He knew what was coming. Sangyr was going to have some fun. He glanced nervously around. His gaze came to rest on Charlotte. He hoped against hope that she would escape again. She was already too weak to move very much, he wasn’t sure she would survive if Sangyr decided she would be his entertainment for the day.
The footsteps halted in front of the ironclad wooden door that separated the crowded cell from the hall. The rattle of keys echoed for a minute and then the scratch of a key in the lock as the door creaked open. Sangyr’s broken, pug-like face poked through the gap followed by the rest of his shrunken body. A wicked sneer spread across his face like a disease as he surveyed the cringing people crowded against the walls. At last his gaze alighted on the slim frame of a girl lying against the wall near Cooper. Charlotte whimpered softly as she realized she was to be today’s target.
Anger flared up in Cooper’s chest. How dare he! Who did he think he was! The gleam in Sangyr’s eye revealed his complete knowledge of just how excruciatingly what he wanted to do would affect Charlotte. No. It was not going to happen; not to Charlotte. He wouldn’t let it. With a low growl Cooper heaved himself up onto unsteady and aching feet. He let out a feral snarl at Sangyr.
Sangyr betrayed only the smallest hint of surprise as he turned to face off with Cooper. He raised his whip threateningly. “You stay out of this boy,” he sneered, “and maybe I’ll not beat you as well.”
Cooper didn’t so much as flinch, his only reaction was to show his teeth in a sneer. Sangyr raised his whip and lashed out but Cooper simply raised his hand and caught the it out of the air. “Take…take me in…instead,” he growled.
Time seemed to freeze as Sangyr considered his offer. Finally Sangyr grinned wickedly and nodded. “So be it, follow me.”
Five hours later Copper’s limp carcass was heaved back into the cell and the door once again was slammed shut. Nothing moved the silence was so complete that the soft splashes in the pool of blood quickly forming around the flaccid body. Finally, a low whimper emanated from the corner where Charlotte lay. She couldn’t pull herself up to move to him but her face made it obvious to those around her that she wished she could. Another prisoner wheezed with effort as he dragged himself to his feet and shuffled over to the prone body. A gentle hand was laid on the neck and the man’s face smoothed with concentration.
“He’s alive,” his voice cracked. Charlotte burst into relieved tears. She started to lean into the girl next to her before realizing that Cooper was still on the floor and not beside her. With a scowl of determination she pulled herself onto her hands and knees and crawled into the puddle of blood and sat near Cooper. She grunted as she rolled him over to face her and winced heavily at his broken face. She reached down to her dress and began to tear pieces from the hem to bandage the worst of Cooper’s wounds. Silent tears slipped down pale cheeks as she labored all the while scared that there would not be enough dress to go around, or that she might not be fast enough and Cooper would lose too much blood.
As it turned out her fears were apt. She had used all the cloth she could spare from her dress and it had not been enough. She closed her eyes and took a deep breathfor Coopershe thought and brought her hand up to tear off another, much more revealing peace. As she did however a hand stopped hers before she could pull. A loud rip filled the thick air of the prison cell and the same old man who had checked Cooper’s pulse offered up a piece of his pants to Charlotte with a wry smile. Charlotte smiled gratefully and relievedly released the remains of her dress to take the strip of cloth from the man. Soon all of Cooper’s most urgent wounds had been bandaged and Charlotte let a sigh escape her lips before sagging down against Cooper. She was cold, wet, and very weak, but at least both she and Cooper were alive for now. Darkness enveloped her as she sunk to the ground against Cooper.
A heavy commotion snapped Charlotte back into immediate wakefulness. She had slept past the feeding time! Now there was no hope for her to get through the fight to the center, where the food and water was! She growled with frustration. Sleep had restored enough strength that she felt she could at least crawl to the food. She began the arduous trek to the center of the fray. An arm jabbed her in the face as she entered the knot of struggling bodies and she was thrown back against the floor. She winced at the pain and brought a hand to her nose. A trickle of dark red stained her finger. She shook off the pain and tried again to enter the throbbing mass and was repulsed again and again. She had to get in!For Cooper, he needs food and water!She thought back over her stay so far in this hell. Cooper had always been strong enough to go and bring back food and drink for them…he had been one of the strongest in the cell. Most people didn’t even bother challenging him as he made a move for the stale bread and water first. Now he was almost dead though, and nobody cared about him anymore, he wasn’t a threat. Now he needed food more than ever though! And he couldn’t get it!
Frustratedly Charlotte somehow managed to pull herself onto unsteady feet and throw herself against the wall of bodies. She was violently thrown back and landed on the hard stone across the small cell. By the time she had pulled herself back the fight had people had disbursed and there were was nothing left. Not even crumbs were left, though the floor there was thick with mud from spilt water, the grime on the ground rendered it completely useless though. Charlotte slumped to the ground and curled up. She had failed Cooper when he needed her most. She felt like dirt. Worse. She was the reason Cooper couldn’t fend for himself anymore and she couldn’t even take care of him. She hated herself for it.