by Ruth Davis Hays 2011
As Lauralei waits, locked in a room below, her father Solomen tries to find the perfect punishment for the changeling’s crime against his family…
From the floor in the thinly lit room, ‘Khiall could not see what was going on as his stepfather’s large, broad-shouldered shape moved around behind his examination table. The sounds of muttered oaths and curses were intermingled with the crash of metal implements being thrown onto polished wood. Focusing on breathing without vomiting was the young fae’s only option at the moment. His body protested each movement.
So many things were tumbling around in his mind that he gave up trying to guess what was in store for him. He weakly gave in to the anguish that defined him. Tears stung his bloodshot eyes at the thought of Lauralei and through trembling lips he struggled to speak.
“Please, Stre-Vaero,” he called out, using the faerlin word for Adopted Father. “I didn’t…”
A small ball of flame came hurtling towards him, he averted his face and it struck his shoulder, blistering his skin painfully. Solomen roared for silence and went back to his fevered task. Squeezing down on the hurt, ‘Khiall tried to raise himself, only to be met with another tiny blast from the older human’s staff. This one struck his left arm and chest. He hissed in discomfort and flopped back down onto the stones, his hair splashed over his face like a smothering black web. It smelled charred.
He did not wait long for his stepfather’s attention. Solomen loomed over him, his large knuckled hands gripping his staff tightly, his face screwed up in sustained fury. The light from behind him, outlined the man in a halo of fire.
“Get up,” he commanded in a low hiss.
Instinctively, ‘Khiall tried to obey, but a pinch in his elbow dropped him to the floor again, wincing. Furious at this display of disobedience, Solomen flew down and wrenched the fae’s ear, pulling him up amid a cry of pain. ‘Khiall stumbled along beside the big man, hunched in discomfort. Solomen released his ear with a toss towards the high, stone-topped table. One meaty, sweat-smelling hand clamped onto the back of ‘Khiall’s neck and forced his face against the cold tabletop. The fingers constricted hard; vindictive emotion driving them closed unbearably on his flesh.
The young fae’s blue eyes darted about seeing the glitter of sharp, pointed instruments lying all around. His gut quailed and he tried to wriggle out of Solomen’s grip. “Oh, god’s folch…” he murmured breathlessly. “What the hell are you going to…”
“Shut your foul, ungrateful mouth, you cur!” His stepfather growled as he struck the side of ‘Khiall’s head hard on the stone tabletop.
Seeing stars flare, ‘Khiall’s vision began to swim, his body feeling heavy. He slid out of Solomen’s grip and hit the floor. A brief and sudden blackness took him.
Coming to awareness with a head full of jelly and his body still a mass of throbbing aches, D’harromarrie’khiall found that he was now strapped into a heavy wooden examination chair in another corner of the laboratory. It was slightly reclined and his arms, neck, and legs bound in place.
The air tickled his tenderized flesh unmercifully as his spinning head ran down dark paths of conjecture. He strained against the bands to no avail, which sent his pulse racing at a breakneck pace.
“You dare to touch my daughter?”
The thunder came close to his ear. His long hair was yanked vindictively, gaining a grimace from him.
“I should tear you limb from limb, you vile beast. You need to be put down.”
The fist left his head. Movement traveled down to between his thighs. ‘Khiall’s insides coiled disturbingly. He tensed, trying to ready himself for anything, but it did not help as his scrotum was gripped to a nauseating tautness.
Unable to lift his head, he could not see the surgeon. He did not see the tool.
But such slow, exquisite agony pierced his testes that he shrieked to the heavens for mercy until he was thrown into a wretched pit of dreams.
The tale will continue later this month. Come back to read this and stories from our other authors here on Cereal Authors!