The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 83

Amida had been tied by Erek-Monte and his men with a long piece of rope wrapped around her torso. Three loops had been made, one about her neck, one about her chest beneath her arms and one about her midsection around her arms just above the elbows. From here, the remainder of the rope extended like a leash, the other end of which was being held by Erek-Monte, who tied it around his wrist. It was done such a way so that the ropes could by be tied fairly loose, without it being possible for her to easily remove them, while at the same time still restricting her arm movements. “We want you to remain comfortable. We Itinerants treat or women well,” Erek-Monte had told her in his language when they were tying her up. Nonetheless, as the second day of Amida’s detention wore on, the ropes were growing uncomfortable—they chafed against her skin. The coarse hemp texture of the neck rope in particular, though it hung loosely like a necklace, scratched her skin all day as she undulated back and forth while she walked, leaving a red ring around the base of her neck.

The tribe had been leading Amida on almost unremittingly since she’d been captured and she still trudged wearily along with them. She’d missed her regular exercise, her regular rest cycles and food and felt tired and cranky.

Finally, near the height of day, Erek-Monte brought them to a stop. He stood before Amida and she had difficulty seeing what was in front of him, such that she had to lean to the side and look around Erek-Monte to see what had brought him to a stop. What she saw was a hole descending steeply down into the ground. Erek-Monte slowly led the way, stepping down a set of grey, cement stairs that were embedded into the ground. After about twelve or so steps he stopped again and pushed hard at a rusty, metal door, which only opened with difficulty.

When the door was opened and Erek-Monte entered, Amida saw a bare, dusty room, with a thin shaft of light peaking in through a window that was near the ceiling of the room. Two hallways led out of the room, but the ceilings of these corridors had both collapsed long ago, creating a ceiling-high barrier of dirt and rubble.

“Your cell,” Erek-Monte said in the itinerant tongue as she entered, “Your jail, your prison, your place of internment.” He untied the rope from his wrist and dropped it to the ground, turning around to leave.

Amida looked around the room, which was empty and dirty. The walls, floor and ceiling were all made of solid cement. The single window in the room was devoid of glass, but too small to crawl through. All that was in the room were a few artifacts that were lined up against a wall. Once she turned around and looked through the room, she asked with surprise in the itinerant language, “What do I do here?”

“You are to wait,” he said, “You are like a salvaged artifact. We find you. We trade you to a buyer for whom you are worth something for food and supplies. Right now we’ll stow you here, so we don't have to drag you around. We must keep moving. But someone will stay here to take care of you. You understand? Please don’t try to leave. We don’t want to have to kill you. We like you.”

Erek-Monte then walked back to the door, and with great effort pulled the heavy metal door shut, leaving Amida in the room alone.

At the cloisters, Noone stood in front of Jule’s door and knocked. When the old weaver opened his door, he saw in the hall Noone’s weak, old body standing at the head of a mass of sages, who flooded into the room as soon as the door was open. Jule hastily tried to run towards the window, but they were quickly upon him. In a moment, eight hands were gripping him from all directions and he was being led out of his room.

Noone walked them through the kitchen and down into the cool dark of an underground storeroom. Sacks of grains, barrels of beer and many rounds of cheese were stacked along the rough-hewn bedrock walls.

Jule was set down on the ground, and Noone stood in front of him and said to him, “It’s going to be a long time down here for you if you don’t help us. We know you destroyed the mill. Or tried to. And we think you may know something about why Amida hasn’t returned so far. And even if you don’t know anything, you can find out. Can’t you? It’s not asking too much, is it?”

<-- Go to Part 82         Go to Part 84 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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