Damask and Dark by Zdenka

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Story Notes:

Written for this meme is HAUNTED!, for the prompt: “Any, any, My cage has many rooms / Damask and dark.” Contains horror elements.

Tree and Flower Awards, Resident of Doriath, Second Place


Her rooms are well-lit and spacious, with damask hangings on the walls. She is brought the best of food and drink, though she has little appetite. Her hands and feet are not bound; even her captors do not inflict their presence upon her often. She has naught to complain of, save that she is in a cage. She can feel the bars pressing in until she is nearly frantic.

And when she lies down to rest, she is in another place, still a captive. It does not make a difference whether she douses the golden lamp or keeps it lit. She is in the dark – a watchful, hungry dark that gloats over her with malice. She is bound hand and foot and around her body by chains that sting and burn. Her mouth is dry and she longs for water; she has ceased to feel hunger, though she is dizzy and sick from lack of food. The cold stone leaches the warmth from her body. And from time to time, the malice takes solid form: a dark shape against the darkness, with burning eyes and dagger-sharp teeth, rending and tearing the helpless flesh.

She wakes in the room with damask hangings, in the dark or in the light of the golden lamp, choking back her scream in her throat. It was not him. He is alive; she would know if he were dead. But someone is dead, she thinks. It was not only a dream. She grieves for the unknown captive and whatever cruelty of the Enemy’s servants has brought it to pass, and her fear for Beren grows.

She knows she will not sleep again tonight. She has naught to do but count the minutes until dawn, one thought beating over and over in her mind: I must escape.




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