Tears begin running down my cheeks as the hounds howled their calls of blood and my body started shaking from the force of my silent sobs in the darkness. The cold bite of the steel on my long-since numb wrists pressed into my arms, cutting off more of the blood circulation. Soon, their screams filled the air.
"No!" I moaned, uncurling and jerking against the chains that bound me in the prison of shadows. I tried reaching for my power, that bright spark that had always been within easy reach for me, but it was gone. Not there, but gone. I shrieked for my family as the scent of their blood began to reach my nose. "Ayden! Christyna!" Gods, my brother and sister... "Mother, Father!"
Then slightly different scents reached my nose... My child and husband. Dead numbness entered my being; I knew this had been coming, but somehow I had hoped, had expected that they would be spared the punishment... "Lanna! Eriko!" Agony wrapped the numbness; I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest. Every breath was torture, every second was pain. I could feel their absence as if they were my own missing limbs.
Still, the hounds continued the hungry growls and snarls. I could almost picture, in the total darkness, them standing over my family's bloody, ravaged corpses. Why did they have to pay for my crime? They never broke the rules... Oh why gods... I shuddered and collapsed to the hard, stone floor of the cell.
In my mind, I could see Lanna with her little angel's face, vibrant green eyes, and dark brown hair glistening in the sunlight as she ran through a field of lavender flowers in her new lilac lacy dress. I could see my eight year old daughter twirling around, laughing, then falling down dizzily. Next I could see my daughter, in the same dress, but ripped apart and covered in blood and barely recognizable. I choked on another sob.
Then I could see Ayden in all his pride, striding down the halls of their large house, cloaking flowing out behind him as if he were a king in his castle, his brown hair and glowing blue eyes ever smiling. He might have been prideful, but he was always tender to his sisters and little niece. He had only been twenty.
Christyna walked beside him, her long, curly strawberry red-hair out of place in the family. But she had the same glowing blue eyes as Ayden and a very loving personality. She only rebelled against any kind of abuse. She was the good child. She was eighteen.
Eriko was almost arrogant incarnate, with his dark hair and eyes and demanding nature. But he showed a different side to Lanna and me. A soft side that had won my heart once I'd pierced through the walls that surrounded it.
In my mind's eye, I could see them in an arena trying to fight off the hounds, trying to keep them away from my Lanna and Mother and Father. But they were shackled at the wrists and ankles, much like myself, and weren't having much luck. I couldn't breathe, the weight in my chest was too much, but the vision continued.
The hounds surrounded them. It happened quickly, though it seemed to last forever. The first to go down was Christyna. Grueling pain went through my throat as a hound lunged for her throat and ripped out her jugular, her having not moved fast enough to block it. Next to fall was Ayden. A hound jumped him from behind, clamping its jaws down on the back of his skull and crushing it. Pain burst in my skull and hot tears streamed down my face, adding to the ones I'd already shed. My body trembled and shaky hands rose up to hold my head.
Mother and Father were taken at once when a hound whipped its barbed tail around and slammed it through both of their chests, piercing their hearts. More pain erupted around my already aching heart and I curled up on the ground. Now it was just Lanna and Eriko. The hounds grinned at each other, their animal faces making twisted versions of the expression, and lunged forward at the same time.
One latched onto each of their limbs - one for each leg and arm - and jerked back. With a sickening snapand rip, two identical screams of unbelievable pain pierced the air; Lanna's and Eriko's bodies were torn apart. My stomach lurched and I retched, hollowness filling me. Oh gods. Oh gods. Oh gods. Oh my gods.
My fault. I lay there, not bothering or able to move. My fault. Oh gods. It's my fault. I don't know how long I lay there, but eventually I passed out. I only woke again to the sound of the chamber door being open.
"Well, my dear girl, do you think you learned your lesson?" The voice was smug. I couldn't register who it was through the hollowness.
I think I nodded. There was a chuckle and I felt myself being lifted off the floor and being unshackled. It's my fault. I broke the rules. My fault... I brought them death. I was being carried up the stairs and back to the old life, but it didn't matter. My fault.