Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#1
A stark scream after the crack of a hammer pierced the darkness of Ariadne's cell. Each proceeding scream lessened a bit as the latest victim of the wheel succumbed to the pain of their crushed and twisted limbs. Perhaps one day soon it would be her turn to die for treason.

The cries of pain had a profound effect on the many denizens the dungeon she was held in. A still silence fell over each of her companions as they all faced the very same fears as she. One young woman suddenly broke down into hysterical tears, burying her head into her knees as she pulled at her hair.

Ariadne had tried to speak with the girl before but there was little she could do to aid the madness that seemed to afflict her. Another being unjustly punished for crimes that she hadn't truly committed, if only her fellow Romans could understand it was no crime to lose one's mind. There were simply not enough hospitals to help and protect those such as this woman in need.

Not that the other women of the cell were any better off, perhaps they would all end up mad before it was their time. True some of them were criminals: petty thieves, con-women, murderers, and adulterers. Still they all faced the same fate that of being broken on the wheel.
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#2
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The scream sent shivers through Ariadne's bones. She huddled in her corner of the dark cell, pulling her knees to her chest. Her usually straight and shiny hair was in disarray, her clothes ragged. Ariadne pulled her knees closer to her body in an effort to get her trembling under control.

Ariadne thought she was prepared for anything that would come, that she was ready to face anything to protect her Anna. She was wrong. Even her experiences in the Constantinople hospital hadn't prepared her for the way her people treated their prisoners. It seemed like they all had that awful fate in store for them regardless of what they did wrong! It was hard to imagine that people could be treated so cruelly in such a uniform way, but it was impossible to deny when the screams and shattered bones were staring you right in the face. It was terrifying.

Watching the poor girl break into hysterical tears, Ariadne couldn't help but wonder if she was mentally stronger or if she just hadn't endured quite so many horrible screams. As she scooted closer to the girl again, cautiously wrapping an arm around her, Ariadne couldn't help but think maybe it was the latter. She'd already tried to talk to the crying girl without much success, but her instinct was still to try to help. Maybe having someone nearby would provide some small amount of comfort. She could only hope and pray. For Ariadne, her only comfort was that Anna wasn't here in her place.
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#3
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl barely reacted as Ariadne's arm slipped around her. It was almost as if the girl was lost in her own world with no one to help her at all. Ariadne almost jumped in shock as her bare arm touched the girl, she was freezing, the poor thing.

Ariadne seemed to give some comfort as the girl at least stopped tearing at her hair, and her sobbing lessened a bit. The girl leaned her head to the side resting her face in Ariadne's neck as she whimpered. Ariadne could feel the tears soaking into the collar of her clothes and running down her neck.

Now that she was closer to the girl she couldn't help but note how pretty the girl was. A Greek much like her by all appearances with soft brown hair and olive skin. She would be beautiful if it weren't for the dirt of the cells and the torn rags they had been given to wear.
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#4
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

"You're so cold..." Ariadne whispered to the poor girl. She pulled her closer and stroked her brown hair softly. "We need to warm you up, so you don't get sick. Okay?"

Ariadne sighed. This girl didn't look so different from her. She wasn't sure what her story was, but it was hard to believe that her crime could be bad enough to deserve this. Was this really how we should treat our fellow man? Ariadne couldn't help but wonder.

"I know it feels hopeless..." Ariadne tried to be soothing but her own fear creeped into her words. "But we have to stay strong. If we stick together, we can survive this mess. Maybe God has other plans for us still..."
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#5
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl seemed to warm a bit as the girl moved her face up deep into Ariadne's neck, smearing the wet tears from her face everywhere. Ariadne couldn't help but to try to wipe away some of them as she comforted the girl. The sounds of the other prisoners had died down by now leaving her and the girl almost alone in the dungeon.

She looked around to see the rest laying down to sleep and rest now that the tortures had finished for the night. As she was turning back she couldn't help but notice that blood covered her hands. It was too dark to see what the fluid was but the scent was unmistakable, she had partaken of the smell too many times in the hospitals.
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#6
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne cringed slightly at the girl's reaction. Just because she wanted to help didn't mean she wanted her clothes all soaked with tears. Still, she was glad that the girl was at least warming up. That made the strangeness of it all worth it.

The sudden silence was a bit odd too, but Ariadne wasn't going to complain. She sighed and looked around, absently wiping away the tears from the girl's face... and herself. The smell of blood, however, quickly broke her reverie.

"Is that..." Ariadne sniffed the air, bringing her hand close to her face. "Blood...? Oh my god, it is!" She suddenly exclaimed. "Are you bleeding sweetie? I can't see properly in this horrible darkness."

Ariadne tried to get a better look, but it was no use. "Does it hurt? If you can tell me where it is, I can try to help you. I used to work at the hospital."
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#7
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne tried to get a better view of where and how the girl might be hurt to cause such an amount of blood. The sight that greeted her as the girl lifted her face to smile at Ariadne left her almost speechless. It poured from the girl's soft brown eyes as though she were crying blood. Worse was the strange manic smile playing across the girl's face as she leaned in as close as possible to whisper.

"It hurt's. No, it will hurt. You will be broken like so many others on the wheel but you won't be dead. You will come back. Like me. I have seen it. You will give much comfort to the world. Beware the magi. Beware the magi. beware the magi."

The girl continued to whisper her closing words over and over for a few minutes. The madness in her eyes and voice lowering to even less than a whisper before her face dropped back into the crook of Ariadne's neck.
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#8
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

When she finally got a glimpse of the mysterious girl's face, Ariadne nearly jumped back in horror. Her caring brown eyes went wide, and her skin as pale as it could be. She just barely managed to stay still, mostly out of shock. The royal adviser had seen her share of nasty wounds and conditions during her time at the Byzantine hospital, but there was nothing quite like this!

"Uhm..." Ariadne stuttered through quivering lips, rapidly trying to think of what she could do to help this poor girl. She tore at the hem of her clothes for a makeshift rag and gently dabbed at the girl's cheeks even as her hands shook softly. Ariadne tried not to pay any mind to the girl's unnerving smile or her even more frightening words. She'd clearly been through quite a lot in this dungeon and probably couldn't help it. Instead, Ariadne focused herself on the task of healing her wounds the best she could.

"Try not to cry sweetie," Ariadne pleaded nervously. "It's hurting your eyes. Don't worry. I'm here to take care of you now. I'm Ariadne. I won't let them hurt you if I can help it."
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#9
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl allowed Ariadne to clean the blood that had flowed from her eyes as well as she was able. Her sobs were now gone and in a short while she looked half-way presentable once more. All this time her strange smile had not faded one bit, even as she kept repeating her statement to beware the magi.

At Ariadne's last statement the girl stopped her litany and she calmly spoke. "I already know who you are. The voices told me I would find you here, but I fear the voices will not be able to help you in time. Being dead only hurts for a little while though, just keep telling yourself it will be better soon."

The girl looked around the room somewhat whimsically and added with her unusual smile. "I don't really need any protection, they can't hurt me anymore. If you want to help though, I am very hungry. The one inside want's to come out but he doesn't play nice and he'll take too much."
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#10
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne smiled at her handiwork, wiping away the last of the blood from the girl's cheeks. She wasn't sure how she did it, but she'd managed to heal the wounds! Once it looked like the girl was okay again, Ariadne sighed and sat back until the darkness obscured that creepy smile that her companion kept giving her.

"Voices...?" Ariadne asked in confusion. Then her voice hushed to a whisper. "Do you mean Anna? She's coming for me? Or is it those magicians?"

There was a twinge of hope along with the dread and fear swirling through Ariadne's chest. She tried not to think of the room where the screams came from, but the girl kept insisting to remind her of it. It was starting to get hard not to think of it and to fear of what lay ahead for her still and easy to hope for a way out.

"You're hungry?" Ariadne sounded genuinely concerned but then sighed. "I'm sorry, but I don't know where to find any food for you. You can have my gruel I guess... if they ever bring any."
 
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Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#11
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl seemed not to entirely understand as she answered Ariadne softly. "The voices come from so many places, but I do not know one named Anna. One of them will definitely come for you though, it's so difficult to hear through all the voices so I'm not sure which it will be."

At the mention of the magicians she quieted once more and refused to speak for a few minutes. Finally she smiled softly again and shook her head at the offer of gruel. The strain of everything must have gotten to Ariadne as she could have just sworn that the girl's teeth looked like fangs. When the girl finally spoke again Ariadne was sure she saw fangs. "I'm afraid I can't eat gruel. The one inside needs blood. It keeps him quiet so that he doesn't come out, you see. Y-y-you just seem so nice to try to help someone like me, that I would rather have permission to take some from you. I-I-I promise it won't hurt, most people seem to like it. Honest."

The girl looked so sincere as she said the last words that Ariadne couldn't help but feel that she was telling the truth. No matter how crazy it all sounded.
 
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Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#12
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne sighed. She thought for a moment that there might be something to hope for, but it was sounding more and more like this girl was just out there. Ariadne tried to ignore some of the weirder ravings, but that was getting harder too. The girl just kept getting more creepy.

When Ariadne first caught a glimpse of the fangs, Ariadne thought it was her imagination. The second time, she was starting to inch backward. A shiver coursed through her body, and she felt her hands starting to tremble. Being asked for her blood made Ariadne stop cold in her tracks, pulling her knees against her chest. The fact that she sounded so sincere made it even more creepy. Was this some kind of weird dream?

"My... blood?" Ariadne stuttered softly, almost at a loss for what to say. "You can't drink people's blood sweetie... i-it's n-not nutritious. I need my blood in me to stay alive just like you. D-don't you want that?"
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#13
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl looked a bit confused by Ariadne's statement at first and slowly started to shake her head yes, before stopping and shaking her head no. She got a bit of a worried look in her eyes as the fangs seemed to get longer in her mouth, making her look altogether frightening. Her voice sounded as though she were struggling to keep something back.

"I'm not alive like you. I-I'm a vampire, I need blood to carry on. I can keep myself from hurting you when I take it, but only if he stays inside of me. He's not very nice, that's why I'm asking like the voices tell me I should. Please won't you just give me a bit. I need it so much."
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#14
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

"You're not... you're a... you're..." Ariadne stuttered over her words, not sure what to say. She didn't want to believe it. Vampires were just fairy tales meant to scare little children. Weren't they?

Ariadne used to read stories about vampires, myths, and fantasy creatures with Anna. The royal family forbade it. It wasn't becoming of a royal lady to read such things, so the pair read them in secret. They used to laugh and giggle about how silly some of the stories were. Ariadne never imagined that they could actually come true.

Yet, here was this girl, looking so sincere with monstrous fangs looming from her lips. She sounded so sincere, that it was hard to argue. It was almost too much for Ariadne to bear. She instinctively reached for her orthodox cross and prayed to God for protection. Her hands shook and her body trembled. Ariadne looked down and stuck out her other trembling arm toward the girl, like a patient trying not to look at a needle.
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#15
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

The girl looked at Ariadne as she held out the cross towards her, though she didn't retreat. She simply stared at the cross before moving a little closer, the feral look was still in her eyes but she seemed to still be fighting it.

"Those don't work on most of us. In fact many of us are just as faithful as the mortals we feed on. Patriarch Michaelis says one day we might even be able to live together like they did in the old city. We protect you and you feed us when we need it, but it seems like such a lofty goal."

The girl sighed though it seemed more forced than a normal human's would as she continued. "The voices say that I must keep my faith, however. They say I'm crazy but who wouldn't be crazy after seeing the thing's I've seen and done to survive."

The girl shrunk down once more into her knees, the sobbing had returned though it was softer than before. The girl or vampire or whatever managed to look so sad and pathetic it stirred Ariadne's feelings once more. She had to help this poor girl somehow and she did say that it wouldn't hurt her. Hadn't she?
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#16
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne felt herself shrinking back against the wall as the vampire girl kept inching closer to her. Her heart thudded in her chest, and her limbs felt like jelly. Eventually, she pulled back her cross and held it against her chest, muttering a soft spoken prayer over and over as she curled up in a ball against the wall of the dark cell.

When she heard the girl sobbing again, Ariadne looked up from her spot and started to cry herself.

"Fine... take it." Ariadne sputtered, coughing and sobbing in her ball. "You're going to do it anyway. Stop tormenting me!"
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#17
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Everything about Ariadne's imprisonment had driven her to the brink of insanity, and now the ranting and raving of this poor girl had started to push her over the edge. She could see no reason to deny the girl from taking her life or whatever it was she wanted. So long as her dearest Anna survived, Ariadne's contented soul would reach the afterlife.

Now it was only Ariadne crying, the girl had stopped her crying to stare at the one she had driven over the edge. Her eyes were sad and still smeared with blood, but she somehow managed to put an endearing look on her face as she murmured.

"Y-you don't really mean it. I can't go to heaven one day, unless you really mean it. The voices say I won't be crazy anymore when I get to heaven. I just want the pain to stop, but I'm not strong enough. Maybe you can still help me, if you're willing to listen to a poor broken minded girl once more."
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#18
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Ariadne kept up her prayers and trembles for a little while. She felt the presence of the strange girl looming above her, but eventually it sunk in that she wasn't going to do anything but plead her case for now. Ariadne didn't know what to make of it. This whole experience felt like some weird dream... a nightmare that she was bound to wake up from any moment now. Yet, it felt so real that Ariadne knew better than to think otherwise. Maybe out of morbid curiousity or just simple stress, Ariadne decided to find out what this girl had to say. What was the worst that could happen? She was already sentenced to death anyway.

"I'm sorry. I...I don't know what to tell you," Ariadne whispered fearfully as she picked herself up to sit on her shaking knees. "Only God and the angels know who will go to heaven. I just know that if you're kind and forgiving, that you're following the right path, but I'll listen to what you have to say."
 
Nov 10, 2008
5,219
#19
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

"It's a lot harder for those like me to get to heaven. Vampires or Cainites as we call ourselves were cursed by god and the angels. They say it's because the first of us sinned so greatly that all his progeny are cursed, someone named Caine."

The girl seemed hopelessly crazy to Ariadne's ears, perhaps some sort of religious mania. Still though the fangs were real and she had cried blood so maybe it was best to just listen and try to understand.

"Anyways one of the curses is that there's a monster inside of us. Or at least it's like a monster, unless you have really good control it makes you do things. Bad things usually like draining people of all their blood just because it's hungry. I think that's why I'm crazy as well. Though I'm not really crazy, I just see the truth in things. At least that's what the rest like me say."

The girl was definitely insane in some fashion, but then maybe if these things did exist. It would go a long way towards explaining so many myths and stories that Ariadne and Anna had heard. Finally the girl looked up with a pleading look on her tired face and said.

"I want you to kill me. So that the monster won't be able to hurt anyone anymore. I'm not going to be able to stay good for longer. Maybe a week at most. I might not get to heaven but at least I won't be down there."
 
Jan 16, 2010
2,031
#20
Re: Sweet Sacrifice (Ariadne)

Just smile and nod, Ariadne felt herself thinking as the strange girl continued her story. It was all so weird, but then everything in this dungeon had been. What did she have to lose for giving this girl the benefit of the doubt? Her sanity maybe, but not much else. Besides, the girl seemed pretty unstable, so Ariadne didn't want to upset her.

The vampire's last request caught Ariadne by surprise. She opened her mouth to say something, closed it, then did it again before quickly shaking her head.

"What? No.. no... I'm not going to kill you. Then I'm a killer and have to live with that forever. No... We all have our inner demons." Ariadne paused and smiled, then continued cautiously. "Maybe not like your's, but something similar inside. The important thing is to have faith and do what you think is right. If you always do that, I don't see why you wouldn't be rewarded in the end. God is merciful. I...I don't think he would curse anyone. Maybe your condition is just a test that you have to overcome. Maybe that's what the others like you haven't realized."