Tears You Apart

(Aubri & Hadrian's Story)

By Shannon A Hiner

Little soul, roamer and charmer

Body's guest and companion

Who soon will depart to places

Darkish, chilly and misty

An end to all your jokes…

-P. Aelius Hadrianus Imp.


Dark. Wet. Hard. Cold. Unbelievably cold.

Have you ever noticed that all dungeons follow a specific formula? It's as if no one ever thought of making one semi-comfortable. No one seems to have any originality. Why must it always be a stone dungeon with a leaky roof, not enough light, and absolutely no heater? I could live with just a couple of those at a time, but put them all together and I have a problem.

I could actually hear the wind howling outside. Whipping through the trees like it was the King. And for tonight, it was. How I wished I could be out there. A wind that strong would carry me hundreds of miles away. It would take me home.

Home…I looked down at the tattered remains of my dress. Not so long ago, the dark green velvet had the most beautiful luster to it. The soft folds had lain against my pale skin and created the illusion that I was transparent. The pearls I had worn could steal the breath of the richest woman. The shoes…I looked down, imagining them on my bare and dirty feet. The shoes were dancing slippers of the same velvet.

A ghost of a smile filled my expression as I remembered dancing. Arms around my waist, occasionally slipping of course. Smiling eyes staring so deeply into mine, warming me inside and out. The feeling of being wanted, even needed. A tear slipped down my cheek as my vision clouded over with the dungeon instead of the ballroom. God, how I wanted to be back there. To do everything over, only right this time.

This whole predicament was my fault anyway. I wouldn't blame him if he didn't rescue me after all this. I wasn't worth it. I would never make a proper partner for him. In any way. I had failed. Miserably. And now he must be laughing at his mistake and saying to his friends 'She's only human after all, what could I have expected?' It's not as if he would be wrong. I would never know why he hadn't chosen someone else anyway. He wouldn't care what happened to me now. Dead or alive, I had never really meant anything to him anyway. And I knew I was dead anyway. Even if he had decided to try and rescue me, it wouldn't work.

I was dead meat. I chuckled darkly, literally. I wouldn't be surprised if my captors enjoyed human flesh. They seemed to eat everything else. Except vampires of course. Oh no, they just killed the leeches. Poisonous blood I suppose…stupid bloodsuckers. I never should have trusted them with my life. Look where it got all of us. Who knew where he was, but I was in a cold, wet, dark dungeon.

I hate dungeons. I really, really do. A lot. More than a lot. I hate dungeons to such an extremity that I was likely to tear out my hair and bash my brains against the wall before anyone actually came for me.

Footsteps in the hall.

I froze in place. Despite whatever my thoughts had been, I was hoping. I was hoping harder than I ever hoped before. I wanted so badly just to see his face. Even if he was just going to smirk at me, give me the finger, and walk back out. Maybe then I could believe properly that he actually didn't care about me.

The footsteps drew closer. They came closer still. They stopped right outside my cell. I looked up. And died.

Well, at least it felt like I did. He wasn't here. Instead, my beloved executioner was. I looked up into the blue eyes of the man in front of my cell, and I knew my time had come. After only 19 years, my luck had finally run out. Instead of leaking out of the cup a little at the time, it was as if someone had shattered it and suddenly my luck cup no longer existed. He shook his head grimly at me, almost making me believe he regretted what was going on. I sneered at him, still managing to muster my pride after everything else had been taken.

I kept thinking of the horrible things I would do to him if I had a chance of seeing him again. I would kill him anyway I could. Perhaps the old fashioned 'stake through the heart' routine, or else I could cut out his heart and feed it to the wolves. If I had enough time before my death, perhaps I could get really creative.

The man unlocked my cell and motioned at me. I still sneered at him without budging. It wasn't actually an act of defiance, I couldn't honestly move. My legs were sore under the numb freeze of the chilly air. I was completely helpless. He took it as an act of defiance though and wrenched me off the seat, dragging me down the hallway towards an unknown destination. I was sure this would be last trip anywhere…there was no escaping. I didn't know if I would fight if I could.

From what I had been told, home was destroyed, and from what I knew-there was no where else to go.

So, I let him drag me along, stumbling quite often. In a matter of not enough minutes I was thrown before a crowd of hundreds. I was on some sort of stage or platform before the crowd. There were only two others near me; my executioner and the being who had organized all of this. I reserved my nastiest glare for him. I'm sure if a look would do any good, he may have been filleted. He didn't even seem to notice my look, matter of fact, he may have even been ignoring me. I would like to say the sound coming from the crowd was remotely human, but it would be a lie. The howls, growls, and barks of wolves rose from their midst. Not just ordinary wolves either. Werewolves, to be exact.

There wasn't much ceremony to what they did. One moment I was walking in. The next I felt a knife on my neck. The next, everything became very painful. And last, came darkness. Sweet relief from the pain, not just pain of the knife, but of life as well. As my life was drained away, I found myself remembering all the events that had brought me to this moment…