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The bathwater was warm, and scented with lavender. I slid back, and let the water wash over me as I stretch out and relax. Stepping out of the tub, reaching for a towel that is warm and soft, I dry off. The floor is cool to the touch as I walk over to the bed. There is a freshly laundered silk chemise on the foot of the bed, and I slip it on, the fabric cool on my skin. I slip onto the bed, stretching out on my tummy, the sheets crisp and fresh. I hear footfalls on the floor, and smell jasmine and cherry blossoms...


The handle of the broom came down on Jed's back again. She hung there, breathing raggedly after the latest series of beatings. The cycle in the basement was very routine, feedings in the morning, the mucking out in the evening, the handlers checking on the living and the dead, the culling, the trying, darkness among the moaning and the gibbering. She could only see on the right side of where she hung, as her left eye was still badly swollen from the initial beating that saw her here. They hung by their wrists, and rested on their knees. The shackles held her feet apart at nearly shoulder width, and at least once a day they were hoisted up onto their feet. She couldn't be sure of how many others hung there, beyond Screaming Girl and The Reverend. The Reverend sounded like a middle aged man, and he was constantly repeating the litany to the Builder, non-stop. Screaming Girl was just that, and Jed reasoned after listening to her last exchange with one of the handlers that begging and screaming was what he wanted out of his girls, so she hung there enduring all his whippings until he moved on to someone else. The room was small, and stunk of sweat, waste, and despair.

The other thought that began to weigh heavily on her mind was how she would get out of this place. There were only 2 ways out, from what she had gathered in the last few days. Alive in chains, and dead....and dead was not the easy way.

Apparently Bump has a reputation for barbecue.


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Jedburgh Dagger

April 2014



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