9. Ch. 8:Reality, Dreams; Death, it seems.
Chapter 8:Reality, Dreams; Death, it seems.
It was the second day.
"Naraca," he whispered hot lusty nothings in her ear as he forced himself in and out of her. It was worse this time. She was not distracted. She could hear herself moan in despite of her own brain schooling her to be unresponsive. She didn't want to be his play thing. He was not Shams-born, but her body acted by itself.
Deciding her mind was wrong and that it would be better to just follow her body, she called out his name loudly as he hit a particularly sweet spot. "Annatar!" He smirked against her neck that he found deliciously tasty. He bit down a few times, but immediately licked his made wounds in apology. Faster, slower, harder, softer. Her lovemaking knew no bounds with him. It was their fourth time that day.
He pulled out and flipped her onto her stomach. Entering her from behind, he had the opportunity to fondle her in different ways. His left hand was on her hip and his right migrated between her breasts and nether area. His fingers were deft and quick. His set pace was faster and harder than she had anticipated and soon she was screaming from pleasure and pain. Tightening around him in a haze of ecstasy, she released and he followed not too long after.
"Onnedhiel says I beget a child soon," was the whisper that came from her mouth.
He smirked and ran a hand down her spine. "Of course, of course. Especially if I ride you more than once a day." Her vertebrae felt the hard pressure of his fingers as he bruised her backbone.
Moaning in pain, she murmured, "It hurts."
"What was that?" He flipped her over and bit the skin around her bellybutton while he began to finger her. Gasping, her hands found his scalp and clawed at it in desperation. The pain, the pain, there was no pleasure.
"Stop! Please," she screamed as he drew blood from her stomach. "Stop it!" The commands were now shrieked in Haradaic. "Khalass! Khalass!"
He pulled up and bared his blood-spattered teeth. The blood dripped from his mouth and it spilled from her stomach, bubbling down onto the bed. He fingers didn't stop though, but went faster. He was pumping in and out at a dizzying pace. She felt herself contract again and screamed his name. As she came down from her second high, he kissed her as she tried to curl around him. "No." He moved away from her, leaving her naked on the bed. Locking a shackle around her wrists, he whispered hotly, "Sweet dreams, love."
"Khalass," she murmured over and over again. Finally sleep claimed her.
It was as if she awoke from a dream, but entered into a nightmare. The room was gray and foggy. The lights were dim and an eerie green light was emitted from them. She was chained, that she knew, but everything else was different. In the corner, across from her, there were three hooded figures also chained up. They were whimpering as if they had been struck only mere minutes before hand.
"Hello," her voice broke.
Their moaning and whimpering increased as if frightened. "Who are you?" The harshness of her voice hurt in ways it shouldn't. "Why are you here?"
"To be judged." The Masked Man entered. "Hello, dear." He ran a hand down her face, which she tried to avoid as if it was poison. His mask was two colors: green and black. It was split down the middle. The right half was black with a green star and the left half was green with the left side of the lips black. From his long tied back black hair hung bones of babies he said he had devoured. He was thin and wore black robes. He called himself Death.
"Oh, Naraca. You loved to be pleasured by Annatar. Why shy away from me? I have done nothing to you." His fingers found her bellybutton and brought forth a waterfall of blood from it. "I did not do this to you."
She had decided that speaking to him was more detestable than looking at him. She just stared and stared.
Searching her face, he made his decision. "So… to my game, oh yes," he spoke to himself. Rising in excitement, he leaned in close to her face, breathing on her. "You pick one, that one dies, the other two live. Here's the catch, though. Always a catch, love. Two have committed a sin, done something to deserve death, but you won't know until you've picked and you cannot re-choose. I will tell you what they've done and which one was innocent. So, pick one."
"What will happen to the one I pick? How will they die?"
"I will release you and give you a weapon, but something fun like a blunt object, and you can just bludgeon them to death." He sighed in delight. "Hurry! Choose!"
She couldn't tell if they were men, women, Haradrim, Orcs, Westerners, Dwarves, Elves, Hobbits. She couldn't tell if they were young or old, married or single, had family or not. She couldn't tell what they did. Any of them could be the innocent one. She couldn't kill them.
"You can and you will. If not, I will torture your lover. What's the little elf prince's name? Elladan. I will take his dreams and force you or him to watch as I torture either of you. What will it be? Do you treasure him over these people? What about your mother or father? Haraduien? Elrond? Bilbo? Glorfindel? Who would you sacrifice to save a stranger's life?"
"No one. I can't, though… I wouldn't have my family… I'll kill," she whispered decisively. Her family, her friends, they were too important to loose in a dream. It was just a dream. These people wouldn't actually die. They would live. This was just a nightmare of hers that was meant to pollute her mind or torture her. Nothing really would happen.
"Your choice, love?"
"The middle one." She was let down and given a small awl. "I don't get to see their face?"
"Why would you want to see?" The Dream Thief's face never changed, but something in his voice told her that he was a little surprised if not disturbed by her question.
"I want to see the faces of the ones I kill. And I want them to see me. This way I can atone later. It is the Way of Honor that the Af'aa practices. Let me do this. Please." She spun the awl around in her hand. They were just figments of a nightmare. Even if I kill them, nothing will happen. It's just another bad dream.
She kneeled and took off the prisoner's cowl. It was a man about forty with light brown hair, dark eyes and a ruddy complexion. His skin suggested years in open fields and his wrinkles dug deep. His face was expressionless. What had he done? Or was he the innocent one?
He stared not at her, but at the Masked Man. Whispering, he said something in a language and accent she couldn't quite understand, but she made the effort to comfort him. He was a Kharoof for slaughter the way she now saw it. A helpless animal. In Quenya she whispered nothings,"Áni apsenë. Nwalyan len. Nai anar caluva tielyanna. Mára estë." Taking his head in her hands, she delicately pushed him into a prone position so that his head was turn to the side. He did not whimper or cry as she put the cold tip of the awl against his temple. Breathing in, she raised her hands above her head. As she brought the awl down, hard, she murmured, "Nai yaryuvalyë estë sambassë Mandosto." Blood exploded over her hands and front. "Just a Kharoof, Eruain. He was just a Kharoof." His death sigh was inaudible but she could feel the last of his breath on her hand that covered his mouth. Shams light that lived within each person's eyes had grown dark in his and she knew the job was finished.
"That came more naturally to you than I had thought. I was hoping I could get off by watching you bludgeon and stab him. Next time I'll just have to give you a book or something like that." The Masked Man stood. He came to her and led her back to her chains. Shackling her again, he went to the other two hooded figures and tore off their hoods. There was a dark haired woman and a blonde elf. He returned to her side and tied a cloth over her eyes before pressing his mouth to hers in a desperate kiss. She was relieved the mask was off, but perturbed by the fact she couldn't see the Dream Thief's face. She wanted to know who to hate.
She tossed her head from side to side, trying to break the kiss. Finally she broke free and hissed, "Tell me which one, bastard. Tell me which on is innocent!"
"Oh," he was surprised again, "I thought you liked kisses, sweetie." He had put on his mask again before he ripped off the blindfold. "So, moment of truth. The woman, incest. So, she's dead." He pointed at her and her head exploded splattering them with brains, blood, and bone. "Delicious, no?" He rolled his eyes at her disgusted face. "The he-elf, hmm? Can you guess?"
"Tell me," she commanded harshly.
"He is innocent."
"What did that man do?"
"Raped his daughter. You did the world a favor, Naraca. He is gone forever." This was the news he loved, the one he knew she couldn't believe.
"They can't be dead to the world like they are in my dream. It's not possible. It's a dream, nothing real happens in a dream," she whispered.
He cackled. "But it's not a dream, sweetheart. Nor a nightmare. More like a Nether world, in which I am god and people die and get hurt and can conceive." He forced himself upon her.
Here in his world, she was a puppet, a game piece. She could do nothing to stop him from killing people. Or was it that she killed them? The pieces of the nightmare swirled and she was awoken to the sound of Onnedhiel's voice. "It's been three weeks since you last awoke and since your bleeding, Naraca. Your cycle has not come. You are with child, milady."
Looking over weakly, she saw Annatar sitting in a chair. Smiling at him, she reached out. He was real. He loved her. Love? No, he did not love her, but he had given her something to love and to receive love in return. And for a moment as she looked at him, he became the Masked Man. And the voice was his and the Dream Thief's, "It has to be a son. If it is not, Alatar dies."
A baby girl, my mother is dead. A baby boy, she lives. How did it come to this? Why was I chosen?