There was no scream to accompany Jasmine’s soul to the afterlife. Mica’s spirit cried out in pain but it produced no sound, only a gut-wrenching sorrow.
Mica’s jaw pressed up into her skull by the ground as she was roughly man-handled and tied up. She was still groggy from the blow that had knocked her down but it wasn’t the shock of a concussion that made the world wobble and waver, it was the steady stream of tears that ran down her cheeks and soaked the ground beneath her. She had opened her eyes only in time to see her life-long friend die in front of her and she couldn’t even scream.
Mica squeezed her eyes shut as hard as she could but the vision replayed itself across the back of her lids. Jasmine outlined in the moonlight for a moment, the twang of a crossbow and the soft glow of moonlight became a thin sliver, another and her friend was dead. Gone in the blink of an eye. No, she needed to focus on the now, there would be a time for grieving later, and a time for vengeance.
It was almost a relief to be flipped over and dragged away by her feet. Mica remained loose, her body a rag-doll in her captors’ hands. She needed to keep them convinced she was unconscious while she gathered information and formed a plan. Their whispered grunts back and forth sounded almost like the language she spoke but without the music that made it so sweet. It was a sad parody, like the music of deaf apes. The situation was maddening, Mica needed to know what they said to each other but their language was just beyond her comprehension.
Instead she focused on where they were taking her. The many twisting turns inside the temple were meant to be difficult for outsiders to navigate but her captors seemed to know where they were going and they dragged her along at a fair pace. The few times she dared risk opening her eyes they were in complete darkness, or seemed to be. There might have been a scant glow filtering in from somewhere that made a strange, almost not-there kind of light that only served to hurt the eyes.
She had no idea where they were in the temple but her captors seemed to have some preternatural ability to not only navigate in the dark but know exactly where they were going when they shouldn’t. It was baffling and the implications were more than a little terrifying. How in all the hells could you defeat demons that can do all that? And they must be demons, no human could do the things they were doing.
No wonder the tribe had been all but wiped out in that first assault.