An excerpt from a work in progress, a three book serial, THE DARKNESS WITHIN.
Horrific Memory regression of Brie Tyler:
I had momentarily passed out and when I woke, I was being carried over a beefy shoulder. I immediately struggled. One of Markus’ men threw me to the ground and pummeled with fierce kicks and a few punches. When all resistance fled, he tossed my battered body back over his shoulder, ignoring groans at every one of his footfalls.
Markus never uttered a word.
Not a curse.
Not an order.
Markus, who led the way, stopped to watch the beating with the same dispassion with which he had watched his brother fall.
Moonbeams cascaded in eerie patterns over the woodland path. Our path. The one Dask had carried me kicking and laughing just an hour before.
My world shattered so easily. Why?
I cried at the thought of Dask lying there. Was he dead? Was he? No, I said to myself. Stop thinking of that.
But... but...There had been blood. So much blood. It scare me. I just stood and stared. So much blood. He stared back. But those eyes didn't move. Was it a death stare? Was it? Didn’t matter. Why? That horrible look will haunt me forever.
No! Not here! It was where Dask and I were wed.
No! Not my family.
No! Not that! They were on a rampage. So much destruction. They kicked over the banquet table. All the food was on the ground. Dirty. Stomped. Kicked. So many screams.
No! Not fire! That was my family's trailer.
No! Not me! I was dropped. Felt a rib crack. I bit off my scream. He did not deserve that satisfaction
Where’s my family? My call was a cracked tone.
A cold point.
At first toward me. I shook.
Then it happened. I shouted, No! But it was lost in the night.
Was this real? Who could... how could they?
My kumpania was slaughtered.
Mice against feral cats. So unfair.
Machine guns. Burping. Shot after cold shot.
They were forced to their knees and killed.
The blood splattered.
Arms and legs twisted together.
Blood marred my clan's faces, clothes and nearby shrubs and twigs.
So much blood.
More blood darkened the earth. It seeped from the morbid pile of corpses.
I knew them all.
Mama, I whispered, trying to find her beloved face among the dead. Horrified I'd might. Relieved I didn't.
The relief didn’t last as Markus pointed once again.
Reluctantly, I traveled his finger.
No! The sharp claws of the cat of my soul ripped from the inside out. My mother’s grotesque, limp body dangled from her wrists off a tree branch.
Her throat had been slit.
When? After she endured immeasurable pain.
Horror bled my soul. I saw blood still trickling from her mouth. No!
More blood from her eyes. Where were her eyes?
Bastards! They ripped them out.
The thought of, I'll kill you all, covered my fear-pimpled skin.
She was whipped. Cut. Lacerated.
Oh no, they took her pinkies. Why?
I'll kill them all!
The hell with my rib. I crawled crying. Mama! I reached to her dangling flesh. Mama! Gone were her laughs. Gone her smiles. Gone the warmth of her hugs. Mama! I love you.
She was an old woman.
Why torture her?
She wouldn’t tell us where you went, Markus said.
That's your reason? I yelled.
Markus smirked. I remembered the trailer. By then she had eaten all this pain. Shame!
I struggled. Rose. Wrapped my mother's legs in my arms. I love you. I kissed them. Tears gushed. Sobs followed. Mama. Mama. No, you can't be gone.
I'm sorry, Mama.
It's my fault. Forgive me. You have to forgive me. I'm sorry.
Markus yanked me from her. Shouted into my teary face. This is Dask's fault.
What, escaped between sobs.
The Merchant wanted you. I told Dask that. Markus continued. I'm betting you are chaste. That's worth money to me.
You ugly bastard!
He laughed, a rich ugly bastard.
I whipped right, spun and was free. There it was. His blade. I took it.
He shouted. What are you going to do. Hurt me?
An eye for an eye.
That's funny he called out as he took from his pocket my mother's eyes.
Your death. Your blade. My duty.
He knocked the knife from me.
I was weak.
Punched my stomach.
I ate dust trying to rise.
Couldn't. Do it, I kept saying, do it.
Who was so cruel?
Who was so amoral?
Killing doesn't happen to people I know. All this death. For me?
He's a demon.
The devil himself.
Markus tried to explain. All this over a half-bred like you. Dask betrayed you. Betrayed me. He said it was love. Fuck love. You're merchandise.
I am not merchandise, I spat between pain-ridden breaths.
He said, Yes, you are. Valuable, too. In ways I don’t understand. The Merchant wants you. You pure? Be pure. Or... I'll sell you. Maybe experiment on you. Be pure.
I screamed, What kind of monster are you? How could you kill your brother like that?
He’s not dead.
Liar, I yelled.
He will be if he betrays me again.
Then he... knelt... took my wrist... put a gold bracelet on it. You are now mine, Gabriella Margurite, and I will own you until someone buys you or you’re as dead as your family.
I wept and wept.
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