The Stuff Of Nightmares



Scene Title The Stuff of Nightmares
Synopsis February Lancaster discovers the specifics of Eve Mas' premonition.
Date December 14, 2011

Pollepel Island, Graveyard

It's not the first time Rue's helped to dig graves on the island. With any luck, though, it will be the last time. If she's honest, she's grateful for the distraction provided to her by physical labor, even if the setting is macabre, and the occasion somber.

A man stands across from her, muscular with skin tanned from time spent in the sun, a few inches shorter than her, but older by ten years. She recognizes him from patrols. Roberts? No, that's not it… He's been quiet as they work, but it's quiet sort of work. Every so often, he lifts his head of shaggy blonde curls and looks past her, back toward the castle, worry on his face. His little sister is sick, and he doesn't know if she'll survive.

She's startled when he breaks the silence. "Why don't you take a break? You've been at this a while and… you look like you need it, no offense."

Rue grimaces. She hasn't been sleeping well, not since she's been concerned that someone might be out to get her. She looks like hell, and she knows it. But she made an effort today. She bathed and detangled her curly hair which is still drying into a slightly frizzy ginger mop that falls to the middle of her back. "Okay," she sighs with a little resignation. "I'll do that."

She lays a hand on his shoulder as she passes by, giving it a reassuring squeeze, and he smiles back to her, sadly.

As she walks ahead, she looks up at the barren tree branches overhead, not letting her eyes focus past that to the dome above that leaves her worried. She traces one broad limb with her eyes, following the curve of it to the great trunk of the tree, her pace slowing until she comes to a stop. The tree looks so much like the one she'd seen in Eve's premonition.

Thin arms wrap around her thin body and she shudders just once, taking in a deep breath, and then letting it go again. Trying to let go of her fear.

"Hey, Rue!" The man calls to her, his voice nearer than she thinks it should be. She expects he's moving to catch up to her, either to express more of his concern, or maybe to just rest under the tree.

Rue fits a smile into place that she doesn't really feel, but hopes will bring the worried man more comfort than she can grasp right now, then turns around. "Ye—"

The shovel collides with her face before she ever saw it coming. Blood seemingly explodes from her broken nose, and she hits the ground with enough force to knock the wind out of her. But she's been knocked down plenty, and she's taught her brain to move quickly when it happens, even in spite of the horrific pain in her face. She rolls hard to the side just as the shovel comes down, striking where she had just laid. The spade sinks into the dirt and he has to take a moment to pull it up.

This is what Eve had seen. Rue walked right into this herself.

Wiping her hand down her face to try and clear some of the blood away, she shakes her head furiously. "Not today!" The knife Eve pressed into her hands now slides out of her boot and she holds it out in front of her. But he has range with the shovel, and that's the advantage.

She charges forward with a scream, head low, aiming to strike his center of mass and send him to the ground, away from his weapon. If she succeeds, she'll run for help.

She does not succeed.

The man is more powerful than she is and he only staggers back a step before he shoves her roughly to the ground. Her head is swimming now from the shock and probably from loss of blood. "Why?!" she cries out, terrified as he approaches. The knife is still clutched in her hand.

"Fucking traitor!" is all he says before he descends upon her, his fists flying. Her left arm comes up to block the worst of it, and her right lashes out to sink the knife into his shoulder. She didn't want to have to do that, but she also doesn't want to die here.

He lets out a howl of pain and pulls back enough to escape her long-armed reach. Her fingers slip on the blood that pours from the wound she made, and she loses grip of the handle. He pulls out the knife and throws it aside to land in the grass and resumes his attack.

Rue shrieks at the stop of her voice and claws at the face of the man on top of her, but his fists slam against her cheekbone and her jaw. Then her temple and the world goes black for a few long moments. He hauls her up over his shoulder and starts them back toward the castle.

She plays unconscious, her heart slamming in her chest and her ears ringing, stars still in her vision. When she feels him start to relax under her weight, she strikes back, turning her head and chomping down on his ear.

Again, he howls and she goes dropping to the ground.

Rue staggers back up and takes off in a dead run toward the castle, stumbling gracelessly with her long red hair streaming behind her as she goes. For a moment, she thinks she's going to break away from him.

His fingers finds her hair and he drags her back. She lets out a terrified shriek as he winds her curls around his fist and uses it guide her like the reins of a horse.

She doesn't have enough fight or enough skill to know what to do next, but they're headed to the castle. Surely someone will help her there.

How wrong she is.

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