This is my entry into the Picture it and Write creative writing challenge hosted by the authors of Ermiliablog.
“Don’t dawdle, girl.”
Lady Aehtia swept into the citadel with barely a glance at the guards standing sentinel, her presence unquestioned. Lytle hurried in her wake. No matter how much she wished to give warning about the monster in their midst, dawdling was not an option.
The ties binding her might be invisible but she felt their presence from the moment she was awakened until she was finally permitted to sleep. Her every action was controlled by the tangled network of coercions and compulsions upon her. She ate, drank and relieved herself only when ordered, her voice forced into silence and her long days filled with whichever tasks Lady Aehtia deemed necessary.
Only her thoughts remained free and they were mired in darkness.
Memories of better times merely heightened the misery of her current existence: her parents’ love, her sweetheart’s caress, laughter, pleasure and happiness – all seemed like a distant dream. Choice was an alien concept. Her mistress’s enchantments made sure of that.
As she followed Lady Aehtia into her chambers, Lytle couldn’t help but imagine the joy she’d feel driving a dagger into the other woman’s back. It was a futile fantasy but one she returned to often. It wouldn’t even be the first blood to stain her hands.
“Tonight you’ll wear the green dress,” her mistress ordered. “Lord Dryhten has a fondness for red-heads. You’ll seduce him.” Her smile was chilling as she looked at her puppet. “And then you’ll kill him.”
Lytle had no option but to obey
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