Leaving the tunnel behind them to enter the first room they saw seemed to dwarf any apartment she had ever owned. The space was filled with a few tables, bookshelves, hanging lanterns with a glow that was not natural, and stacks of books either too big to fit on the bookshelves or not been put back. The angle of the hole bothered her as it was almost flat and they had climbed down the stairs to find this room. Where did all the water go when it rained? As it turned out, she remembered the film of faint light over the hole and turned to Bocnic to ask if that was what helped it stay dry in here. He replied yes, gladly after complimenting her on noticing such a simple oddity.
Murmuring drifted out from the adjacent room as the shaman evoked whatever magic that came with the chant began to glow, flicker, then faded. Loud grumbling came shortly after in a language Sally did not recognize. The Shaman entered through the connecting door with his hands to his face and dropped them as Bo cleared his throat to draw attention to their appearance.
Shock masked the underlying understanding sketched over the shaman’s face with a defensive stance as if she was going to attack. Trying to ward off what the shaman might try to do, he quickly tried to make introductions, “Larry, this is Sally Mer…,” as Larry’s hands swished the air almost too fast to see and Sally’s arms were pinned to her sides.
Larry started yelling at the top of his lungs about bringing such evil into his home. Another wave of his hand brought a chair to and under Sally while straps came from nowhere to secure her to it. All the while Bocnic steadily tried to calm Larry down from his rantings about apocalypse coming. Convinced that she was not going anywhere Larry turned to Bo asking him to stop babbling.
Larry explained that she had the same skill blaring from her aura as did the slaver from back in the day. Because it was a natural skill in magic it could not be stifled the same way learned skills could. Learned skills could be nullified by countering it, but this was a different problem to contend with. The only way to handle this would be to set her in a graveyard; buried and forgotten.
Bo got Larry to settle down only after the shaman had made sure she could not get up by adding gold handcuffs to her restraints. Sally missed what was said next distracted by the affect the cuff were having on her. A draining feeling came over her body in small increments until she felt mundane to the point of never having had the magic at all and at the same time memories from other people started filtering in from the ones that had worn the cuffs from times past mingling with her own. Trials and tribulations from past experiences were stored in the cuffs continually buffeted her brain. Knowledge unbound with the contact to the skin coiling around the base of her spine preparing for the express route to the brain. The sudden burst of memories and thought traveling along her back shot her upright, head outstretched to the ceiling above mouth open in a silent scream.
The emotions from the onslaught knowledge subsided as slowly as the draining of magic did all the while the two men in the room did not notice anything that transpired since the cuff were put on her. She fought to regain her senses as if recovering from a blow to the head and focus on something other than what the cuff might do next. Listening to Bocnic and Larry squabble over a girl and what should be done next… did they say a girl?
‘She was going to be forever 26 years old and they called her a girl? I don’t care what age they were born from, women like myself get pissed about being called a child’, she thought, anger stirring her in to action.
Struggling with the golden cuffs had not crossed her mind until now and it did not make any difference when the thought had come to her they were not going to budge; even attempts to tip the chair failed most likely due to some of the magic the shaman used. Giving up prematurely on how to escape forced her to notice another change coming over her the deep emptiness within her.
The magic had not been with her for very long, however, the emptiness it made in her showed her how much it was going to be part of her life from here out. Longing grew faster for the missing magic the gold stripped her of and sitting in the chair bound made her think of being naked, bared to these men until the need for her magic to come back became unbearable. The room seemed darker and the old pains from her car escape began to throb as she realized the gold had drawn out almost all of the magical abilities gained from the rebirth.
Sounds of whimpering started to fill the room with a haunting high to low pitch rebounding off the dirt walls before she become aware of the sound actually coming from her own throat. Motion and sound in the room stopped around her as she wailed from the top of her lungs from the anguish her body was being put through. Concern etched across Larry’s face when he heard her and brought him out of his triad of arguments about binding her and to her side. Placing his right hand to forehead, eyes closed, he began to chat something foreign while she watched him. The other hand between her shoulder and left breast which brought a protest from her, but Bo stopped her with a look that said Larry was not to feel her up and she kept quite. Larry rotated his hand from forehead to leg grimacing as if it was painful each time a hand moved to a different location.
She had not noticed until now that what was going on distracted her enough to not worry herself over the empty feeling that a moment ago had consumed her before. The chanting ceased and Larry stood up again from his inspection. “Maybe she could be released for the time being,” he said to no one in particular, “since she poses no real threat – yet.”
Going to a desk to open a drawer the cuffs must have been kept in, he removed a set of keys and came back over to unlock her. It was like the flood gates were let open the way the magic came rushing back. Her vision blurred as faint streaks of light surrounded her body a few feet away and slowly closed that space. The shaman stepped back from Sally and away from the light, fear about releasing her becoming evident by his reaction. A vortex of magical energy swirled to its center that was Sally like a planet collapsing in on itself. The dirt room grew dark then pitch black as the light from the candles were taken in with the magical vortex then snapped back to normal when it finished.
“Holy crap, that was a ride,” Sally squeaked out sitting back up in her chair.