THE PAUSE BETWEEN BREATHS [TOMAS] Dec 18, 2014 0:07:07 GMT -5
Post by ROMA|RED on Dec 18, 2014 0:07:07 GMT -5
Every step was agony. Ghosted fingers still held a vice-like grip around her neck, making it difficult to breathe and it felt as though a bat had been taken her head. A few times, she had seen Grey in the distance … as if he stalked her and she would instantly fall to the ground with a whimper, hiding behind anything be it rock or scraggly bush. Each time took longer and longer for her to summon the nerve to look up through her one good eye, and took even more courage to get up and continue on. Blood had crept around her irises from trauma, and her wheezy gasps for breath were almost too much for her cracked ribs. Her finger throbbed so badly she thought of cutting it off more than once.
Steadily she made her way across the burning sand from the oasis, where she had slept over a day away in the shade and drank so much water her stomach had swelled painfully. Zombie-like she walked, step by step toward the Fallen Ring.
Trust came with a price, and in the entirety of the Menagerie there was only one person left Red felt safe with – Tomas. She had to stop hand to stomach as she fought to breathe through her swollen throat, and remembered the clear consistency in his blue eyes as he spoke the resounding assurance: There’s nothing here that will hurt you, and sealed it with, I promise. For Roma though she did not know it, those few words were all it took for her to run away. For Red, it was the strength behind his eyes, the kindness in his hands as he said those words that made her run back.
As the sun set, Red’s steps became slower and slower until her legs would no longer hold her and her knees dropped to the ground. Without permission her body collapsed and her world went black.
“Easy, she’s had a rough go of it,” said a male voice far away. Hurt exploded everywhere as careful pressure lifted her and a noise between a moan and a whimper escaped her. Nausea overwhelmed her but there was nothing in her stomach to retch. “It’s okay lil’ Roma we gotchya,” consoled the same voice. He sounded familiar, but her mind was too hazed in pain. The association was not a bad one, which kept Red from panicking. Her eye slit open, but the brightness was harsh and when a pair of hands gingerly touched her middle the agony was too much and she collapsed against the arms that carried her in a dead faint.
“…come from? She’s been out for three days now,” said the voice from before.
“How about her finger, it looked pretty brutal, almost like they were going to skin it,” said a new male voice quietly.
“I don’t know. I stitched it up and it’s healing but her injuries are extensive. This wasn’t a fight … this was torture. The suffering she endured - let’s just say it was one sided,” said the medic. Red recognized his voice from her rare bouts of consciousness.
“Why the hell … who would do that to her?” asked a female voice.
“I don’t know. We don’t know much about her aside from that Tomas brought her through on a field trip a couple months back,” that was Sooty again.
“Where did you say you found her, Sooty?” Medic.
“I didn’t. Cara did … had Husher here help me bring her in. With this bum leg I couldn’t carry the poor thing. Though she’s more skin an’ bones now than she were when she was here last,” he answered.
“She was about a mile or so out. I had Cole follow her trail back to the oasis, and from there the border. She found blood just inside the border and signs of a struggle. Whoever it was wasn’t worried about us finding out they were Carna – apparently Cole says it was a single male who headed back to the Carna border immediately,” Husher’s voice was the new one she’d not heard before then.
“Bless that girl, she’s all craft. Cole say anything else?” the medic asked reflectively.
“That from the looks of it, Roma was walking about a day an’ half to get here. Says the tracks give her a pace barely past a crawl and she stopped a lot though she’s not sure why,” that was Husher again.
“Well do me a favor and don’t tell Tomas about the Carna bit for a while. He’s already on thin ice and despite this lil’ uns disappearing act on him you know he’s going to take it personally,” said Sooty.
“………I’m going to take what personally,” said a soft voice that might have awoken Red from the dead. The conversation thus far (that she barely followed) seemed far away, but Tomas had emanated from close by - his approach had been deliberate and casual, catching more than the tail end of the conversation. Red might have been in a world of hurt but her ears still worked, her body didn’t though and that scared her. Her eyes wouldn’t open, and she felt bound and confined … and the pain. The unrelenting pain that ache bone deep and would not quell. It wasn’t long before she mercifully slipped unconscious once more.