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|this is another english essay that i did pretty well on. any criticisms then please feel free, oh and do inform of any typo's k thanx ^_^||
The servant boy picked up his pace as he glimpsed the yellow-green eyes glinting with the torchlight yet again. Those beastial eyes had been stalking him for almost half an hour, almost as if they were toying with him. Only Orick would send out one so young through the Black Forest alone, especially when the moon was at its peak, but then Orick couldn’t afford to lose any men. After all those recent disappearances he had to be careful and the boy was in truth, expendable. Eager to get out of the intense darkness that gave the forest its name and away from the haunting presence of those eyes, the boy began to run.
The black beast padded silently on, its hungry eyes never leaving its pitifully small prey. The little creature suddenly began to run unknowingly teasing its hunter into action. The beast sprang into the air, clearing a good ten feet before landing with a passionate roar scant paces behind the now petrified boy. His fear was intoxicating.
The boy made the mistake of looking behind him and what he saw almost stilled his heart. An ebony panther stood behind him, an easy five feet in height. Its massive maw stretched open in a growl exposing its yellow gleaming fangs and scarlet tongue. Decorating its gigantic paws were four-inch long seemingly metallic razor sharp claws. Making a final leap the leap the panther pounced on the boy running its claws across his chest ripping him open and in a single fluid motion it tore out his throat. He died choking on his own blood. Lapping up the steady stream of the boy’s warm sweet blood, it feasted.
Karossa woke up under the canopy of the Black Forest. Her nightmare still fresh in her mind images of a ravaged corpse flashed past her eyes. Shaking off yet another nightmarish memory, she got to her feet and began to search for clothes she couldn’t remember taking off. It had happened again.
Ever since her sixteenth birthday, over a month ago, Karossa had found herself drawn more and more to the outdoors especially at night. As was becoming custom she would spend her nights outside walking by the edge of the Black Forest, its magick and legend enticing her, pulling her in. However, once her daily duties were done, no matter where she would be at night she would awake in the morning in the middle of the forest, naked, with her nightmares overriding her memory.
Cursing herself for letting it happen yet again, she gave up looking for the clothes she knew she’d never find and began to make her way back to her master’s home. As she got closer to the edge of the forest the trees thinned out allowing some sparse rays of light to filter through.
‘Damn it!’ It was well past dawn and Karossa was once again hours behind with her duties, only this time Iza would be sure to have her whipped. Preparing for the worst Karossa ran the rest of the way back.
‘Karossa you filthy mongrel! Where the bloody hell are you, you lazy waste of space?!’ Iza screeched as she stormed out of the kitchens. Karossa made an unsuccessful attempt to dodge out of sight and ended up smacking head first into Lady Rydel, the mistress of the house. Karossa looked up at her mistress, sheer terror written across her face.
Unable for words Karossa got to her knees putting her forehead to the ground, every inch of her flawless form exposed. The Lady Rydel, known for her merciless cruelty to her servants, glared down her nose at Karossa, envy and contempt evident in her hazel eyes.
‘How dare you!’ The Lady growled, ‘Tell me…what pathetic excuse have you today?’ The Lady smirked, knowing that she could at last punish the child her husband favoured so dearly.
‘Milady, my deepest apologies.’ Iza appeared behind Karossa out of breath and red-faced. ‘I….I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She… she suffers –’
‘Oh no Iza, she does not suffer. Not yet at least, but by tonight I’m sure she will have a new understanding of the word.’ The Lady interjected, her malice cutting through Karossa like a knife.
‘Milady please!’ Karossa finally pushed out the words, accompanied by a stream of tears, ‘I won’t make any excuses about my clothes, I just…I just don’t know what happened to them, I swear by the Gods…’ the words just kept pouring out in the vain hope of escaping punishment.
Bending to her knees, the Lady Rydel gently lifted Karossa’s head and holding up her chin with one delicate hand she softly wiped away her tears with the other.
‘Listen to me child, do not cry.’ The Lady’s tone now spoke comfort but her softness was however was even more chilling than her malice. ‘Save those tears for later, for then, and mark my words child, then you shall have something to cry about.’ Brushing back a lock of Karossa’s raven hair the lady got to her feet.
‘Iza you will take this child and you will whip her until she bleeds, until you no longer have any strength left in your arms. I do not want to see an inch of that olive skin ever again. Do you understand me? There is not to be one inch of unmarked flesh on that girl!’
‘Yes, milady.’ Horrified Iza stared at her feet, unable to meet Karossa’s pleading eyes.
‘Perhaps that will teach you to show some respect for the luxuries my husband and I bestow on you. Oh and Iza, if you fail to deliver her punishment, you will be sure to receive one just as severe.’ With those words the Lady turned on her heels and strode back into the house.
‘Iza! Iza please! I’ll be more careful next time. I’ll wear the old mantle to keep covered up. I’ll stay out of her way! She’ll…she’ll never know! Iza!’ Karossa’s pleas fell on deaf ears. Iza had no choice, after all if Karossa escaped her punishment it would fall on her, and she wasn’t willing to endure that for anyone, especially for a bastard child that she had never liked and as the head maid it was her duty to carry out the punishment.
Grabbing Karossa by the arms Iza dragged her kicking and screaming to a blood stained pole in the middle of the back yard. Knowing it was useless to try fighting, Karossa lost her resolve and gave in. Iza tied her wrists to the pole muttering something unintelligible under her breath. With a silent prayer to her patron Goddess, Bast, Karossa braced herself. For a split second she thought Iza would spare her, she believed her Goddess had saved her…. She hadn’t.
Karossa screamed as the silver tipped whip tore across her bare back, slicing through her flesh like a blade. She let out an inhuman if not cat-like wail as the whip cut across her, licking her from her shoulder to her hip. Iza suddenly went wild with the whip, lashing it back and forth until she panted with exertion. Karossa couldn’t stand it any longer, her back was now a raw mass of blood and torn flesh.
With an agonised roar she turned like a creature possessed and with a preternatural strength she never knew she had Karossa tore free of the ropes binding her to the pole and pounced on the stunned Iza.
All the primal ferocity known to her ancestors that had been buried in her heart burst out. Using her nails as a cat would its claws she scratched and ripped at Iza’s face with the viciousness of a trapped animal. Suddenly Karossa stopped as she got a whiff of…something, something sweet. She sniffed around her trying to find the source of the smell, it was so rich and so…intoxicating. Raising her head she realised the smell wasn’t as strong so she dropped back to the ground and there it was, surrounding her, encompassing her senses and it was coming from Iza. Leaning in closer to into Iza, she took in as much of the smell as she could, savoring its flavor. She wanted more, she didn’t care what she had to do, the smell was driving her wild and she had to get at it. Her yellow-green eyes flashing, she began to claw at Iza’s chest, her nails frantically tearing at her flesh. Iza’s screams were enough to shake the foundations of the house, bringing the Lord and Lady Rydel running.
'Karossa!' Lord Rydel called to her gently but it wasn't working, she was incensed. Left with few choices he ordered a servant to fire a pistol into the air in the hope of scaring her. After several close shots it worked and she leapt away from Iza who had by then fallen unconscious out of fear. Now that she was away from Iza her senses began to clear. Horrified by what she had done she turned tail and ran to the forest.
Lord Rydel however had seen the state of her back before she got too far and rounded on his wife. 'That was your doing wasn't it?' He bellowed pointing back at the retreating form of the girl. ' Have you any idea what you have done?!'
'My husband, she needed to be taught a lesson. She had no respect-'
'She was a child of the forest! A child of Bast!' Lord Rydel raged.
'She… no, those legends are nothing but old wives tales' the Lady shook her head disbelieving.
'They are not tales my wife. She was found as a baby in that forest alone and marked by Bast. She is of the Felinae. What did you think was causing those disappearances? Her missing clothes? Damn your foolishness woman!'
'No!' Lady Rydel made barely a whisper. 'She wasn't…isn't human?'
'By the sun she is a girl, by the moon she walks as a Black Panther, and you have just set her loose. She will never return again…not now. She could go anywhere.' Lord Rydel's anger faded as he was overcome by sorrow.
'Surely she will contain herself. Keep herself restrained?' Lady Rydel asked, hoping to salvage some sense of logic and reason.
'By the Gods woman, does your foolishness know no bounds? You know the legend as we all do. She has no memory during or after the transformation. She knows only one life at a time. For the girl the panther does not exist. It is an invisible life.'
|Chapter 1 part 1||
|Glimmer of Hope||The Struggle|