Her shoulder shivered as the cold water poured down her shoulders, twisting and cascading down her back, stinging as they rolled over her stitches. The cold water soaked into her clothes as they clung to her body, sucking out any warmth she might have had before. Setting her jaw to keep it from chattering, she carefully prodded her arms, wiping off the dirt and trying to be careful not to open any more wounds. Even moving slowly, her finger caught on the jagged, ripped skin. Her eyes snapped shut as small red droplets cascaded down her arm, and she quickly applied pressure to the reopened wound as she tried to ignore the sting.
Four months it had been. Four months felt like all eternity. Four months since… her hand instinctively reached for the small locket around her neck and she ducked her head under water to keep from crying. All that did was make her shiver harder, and bring out the pain in her wounds. Her wounds were healing themselves, but underneath, Lucia Lycan’s heart held more scars than would ever show up.
She heard the old water boarded door creak from behind her and she turned around, backing against the stone. Her time was up then. Her vision fazed as the fog crept into her brain, quickly snapping her eyes shut. No looking, she reminded herself, training her eyes on the floor as calloused hands grabbed her like so many times before. She gasped in pain as more poorly administered stitches came loose under the firm grasp. It was her fault anyway. She could have avoided being so careless. More red lines painted her pale skin joining the blues and blacks on her wrists before sinking into the grooves of her hands, firmly clenched in fists.
She felt herself being tugged out of the tiny shed, nearly crying out in pain as her tender skin scraped the earth. No looking up Lucia. The cold metal of her locket bumped against her chest in time with her heartbeat, rapidly speeding up. She felt herself being dropped, and by the change in the color of the dirt, she knew they’d arrived.
The boat waited on the riverbank just like always, and like always, Lucia climbed in, head down, shaking all over. Cold river spray misted her face as they crossed the wide river, and Lucia was permitted some, if almost no movement. When she was certain they weren’t looking, she bent her head down and opened her locket, carefully guarding it against the spray of the water and any curious eyes. Staring back at her was a tiny picture, of a solemn girl with dark brown eyes and hair, her pale skin smooth and unblemished. Anyone who didn’t know would assume that Lucia carried her own portrait in her locket, but she knew better. Inside her locket was the girl she’d left behind. Her name? Lea Lycan. And now Lucia was paying her price.
She felt the desolate chains reach up and latch onto her heart weighing it down with what felt like the weight of the word. She felt the all too familiar burning behind her eyes as tears pricked in her eyes. No!A metallic taste flooded her mouth as she bit down on her tongue. Anything to keep from letting the flood break, not after everything she's gone through. Not yet. She closed the locket with a snap. She went rigid. Too loud. Dread tore through her stomach like a razor. She pulled her head up just fast enough to see the wooden paddle before it hit her.
Pressing her feet down into the worn wood, she struggled to stay up right as the ringing faded in her ears, replaced with the familiar nausea that came with her concussion. Steadying herself with her hand she pushed herself back into her seat.
She thought, struggling to stop herself from looking back up. She examined the water instead, peering into its churning, silvery depths as the boat shot forward, breaking the waves and trailing ripples. A large silvery fish darted beside the boat, so large that the boat wobbled as it knocked into it. Lucia bent down, her dark hair brushing the top of the water as the wind blew color back into her cheeks.
“This isn’t you Lucia.” She could hear a faraway voice saying. A lump formed in her throat. How many times would she have to listen to that familiar voice, whispering in her head? Time churned by, along with the whirlpools of water, and in front of her, Lucia could see the figure, shrouded in mist. “Run Lucia. Take her and run.”