Sunday, June 9, 2013

Daemonique: The Darkest Memories (Dark Fantasy Erotica Short)

Today I have something a little different I want to share. I'll start off by being clear; it is dark and does contain a scene of rape, threats and violence. While not overtly graphic or focal, I don't want to upset or offend anyone with that point.

Daemonique has always erred on the darker side of sensuality, but this is something a little separated. I wrote this after publishing the fourth volume of Daemonique for my own ends. I'd felt a bit stifled and wanted to write free of constraints, which this gave me a chance to do.

Having said that, and in retrospect, I do wonder if this might be 'borderline' enough to be publishable. I have a few things to think about and work on, so I'm not going to worry about adding it into volume IV for the moment, but there's a chance when I come around to doing the single novella release, it may be added in. Perhaps if only in part, we'll see.

So, if you're still with me, what is it? This is an extra scene of independant content that slots into a transition of events in Daemonique IV: The Darkest of Things. It's a look at Sylenna Lightstride's history, an expansion of the world outside the island and just how her kind are treated among others. This is the scene that sets her on the path of being able to fend for herself and find reason to live. It's what takes her to the cathedral to find faith and purpose, and ultimately to the Wardens of Sarandin Isle to feel she belongs among people who don't resent her.

If you've read any of the volumes in the series, the events here should ring with some familiarity and sense of connection to who and what she's become. As Sylenna witnesses the events now, they're more a memory of those things that happened playing out before her. To what ends and what becomes of her for it all is entirely another matter.

You can find more information on, and where to find Daemonique with the Daemonique post tag, or at the following:
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The Darkest Memories follows the pagebreak:

*  *  *  *

The Darkest Memories

The stock and chain rattled quietly to the floor, and for a time, the room was silent.

Xianesh lounged back in her seat and hummed a soft groan as the cleaning shadows slipped away into their crevices. With them gone, the seating itself seemed to shift and heave, lurching and raising the Underwarden higher. Resting her arms on its sides for balance, it was not something she did not expect. It was a thing she orchestrated. A thing that was wholly alive.

Under the surface – in that perpetual dark, bled and broken – Sylenna’s mind was unravelling. The congealing darkness was both alive and not. A simple beast of its mistress’ will and formless to a point, it had enough shape and force to invade her every orifice to a point, drowning, suffocating and invading her mind as surely as it stretched out her body.

It was impossible to fight, as the thing surrounded her. Impossible to fight as it seemed to take every last ounce of her strength and smother her in a sense of nothingness. It could twist, squeeze and wring her in every direction it willed, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Consciousness was fading, though little in her mind changed. Only the will to fight burned out, and Sylenna floated. It seemed easier, now that she had surrendered. She no longer hurt or felt it contorting her body as though to wring the life from her. She felt nothingness, somehow asleep and awake at once.

Her feet touched ground, and Sylenna felt weighted again. A cobbled path underfoot, a wall beside her. The place struck her as familiar, but she could not bring herself to think of how. Something was stopping her from touching thought. Her feet moved through the lantern-lit nightscape of the city slowly without thought. There was something she was to see, then, and a feeling in the back of her mind said she knew what it was. She could already hear the raucous slur of men she felt nothing untoward where she knew she should have felt fear and loathing.

She should have turned away.

For a wonder, her footsteps did halt. The air before her shimmered and consolidated into a ghost of a figure that continued onward. A ghost that seemed more real than she herself did. A memory that belonged in this place. A younger, softer image of herself. That little elf, with a light bounce in her step and nape length, sun-lit hair tied high in a single ponytail held a mark of innocence and pride in her step. She had not been paying attention, and Sylenna knew it would be the last mistake of the kind she would ever make.

Sylenna’s feet picked up again, following the ghost – though perhaps she was the spirit, here – around to witness what was to be. The corner was sharp and blind, an issue with the bad design of narrow city streets holding too close to the walls that they might cut costs and offer a better road to the nobility’s carriages. Two men were around that corner, two she had not been listening to hear be so close to the corner. The little elf clashed with the first as soon as she rounded it and summarily shoved against the wall.

“Oi, dirty elf bitch, watch where y’er goin’!” The one she had bumped into slurred in anger, spitting at her feet and sneering. There was a second man behind him, a smaller man who seemed to have more trouble keeping balance. He thought the situation was somehow funny, and slapped his compatriot’s back.

“Ey! May’she was, tryin’ look the innocent lil’ waif an cut ya bloody coin purse, ey? Filthy elves, an’t trust em.” He slurred, hackling and spitting at the ground in kind. The cornered girl shifted forward, eyes on the second man with an intent to defend herself against such an unfounded claim, apologise and be on her way, but the first man’s fist connected with her cheek before she could speak. It was hard enough to make Sylenna wince, even at sight of the memory. It would be the last time she let herself be struck so blindly, but it had been enough to damn her.

“Hah, may’er right, bleedin’ thieves! C’ere, wench, teach ye damn elves yer place. Ye want coin, ye werk fer it!” The man she had collided with spluttered, apparently finding it difficult to talk. Taller and much stronger than the younger image of the elf, his hand fit around her neck quite firmly, choking down on it and so much as dragging her scuffing and kicking feet  into the adjacent alley at the far side of the shop as she struggled to breathe. Sylenna closed her eyes to shelter herself from the memory of the scene before her. She knew how this ended and didn’t care to relive it.

“No. Don’t look away.” The whisper ran through her head like a chill, forcing her eyes open in shock to look around. Not only did she find no one, but the far side of the street was fading and crumbling into nothingness as if decaying, somehow. What was going on? Ahead of her, the men laughed as the girl they dragged gurgled around the grip on her neck, pleading and crying out into the dead of night incoherently.

No one was around. No one would care to intervene in the troubles of an elf in the dead of night, anyway. She probably deserved it, they would say. Easier to turn a blind eye and justify such things as someone else’s problem at this hour when no other would bear witness.

“Confront it. Watch it fall away. It is no longer who you are.” The voice whispered. It seemed a familiar voice, as if one that had been inside her for years, yet also as if one she had never heard. It steeled her to turn the corner, almost walking into the man keeping guard. He did not see her, nor the destruction in the street opposite. He didn’t seem to care that it was crawling across the coble road. Sylenna still made a point of walking around him.

The scene to meet her still made her stomach clench, especially the vacant set of steps under dim lamplight. The years of spite and training had calmed and dulled her emotions, and something outside her mind felt to be comforting her like a soothing hand on her shoulder, but it was still difficult to watch.

The man had strength and size. Sylenna could barely see the girl behind him. She knew if it was to happen now, things would be very different, and those benefits of size and weight would have acted against him, but there was going to be no such twist of fate in this scene. The younger Sylenna – the memory of that turning point in her life – was shoved, and hit the back wall hard enough to wind her. Cornered like a small animal, and holding the countenance of one. Cornered and helpless. Fear and intimidation were powerful tools to weaken the strong with. Tools Sylenna had since learned to make her own.

“Oh yeh, I’ll put ye bloody elf in ye place. Don’t count none in ‘oly Mother’s judgement iffen it’s an elf, do it? Oi, do it, Bert?” The man asked, turning from the elf to glare at his unresponsive companion’s back. Sylenna knew, even know, knowing it was fruitless, she would have still tried to bolt and flee in this moment’s chance. She didn’t resent the younger’s effort in the coming moments.

“Eh, wot? Bloody Mother’s light I don’t know. Don’ she say all that ‘Ye lay hand not ‘pon ye sister skin’ guff?” The other man, watching the mouth of the alley with a quiet indifference to the act mused.

“Oi, are you sayin’ this stab-ear little thief look like my sister?!” The first retorted, storming over to the man. He had only moved four strides away from her when that little elven girl tried to dash past. Fear and adrenaline clouded the mind from better judgement as badly as alcohol, but it had been her only chance. She almost made it out, too, which for some reason made Sylenna’s heart flutter, though she knew it was hopeless to wish for. She had been there. She knew what happened next.

The first man’s lurching grab fell short, only tagging and jerking at the girl’s sleeve enough to shove and knock her into an uneven stagger. That saw her crash into the other man’s chest, before he pushed her away like some foul creature to slide across the hard cobble of the alley. Sylenna could almost feel the impact of the intercepting man’s boot going into her stomach again.

“Get back ‘ere ye slippery little bit.” The man barked, grabbing the elf’s arm from clutching her stomach and dragging her across the ground again. He was tall and broad for human standards without being overly fat or muscular. In retrospect, Sylenna wondered if he had been some disgusting half-bred human. It would have made sense, but suffice to say, he had the strength to drag and force the much more petite elf around.

“Dis ‘ere is where you elves belong.” He declared, hoisting and shoving her onto the block of stone steps that led up in to a building’s side entrance. The door was a thick steel and looked as though it had not seen use in some time. If even sound travelled past such a gate, there was chance no one was inside.

The girl shouted for help and struggled all the same, but Sylenna knew no one was coming. No one would fend off the brute at the entrance to the alley to get themselves involved in some other bruiser’s business with an elf. That the street beyond the entrance was crumbling into nothing should have concerned Sylenna more, but none of this made sense to begin with. Especially not how it seemed to be becoming easier to watch as time went on.

The grunting and sudden tearing of cheap cloth that made up the elf’s leggings barely made Sylenna flinch at the memory of that final, knowing moment, but the assaulted girl screamed, sobbed and kicked with renewed force. With her arm pinned against her spine, it was utterly futile under his weight, but still feet dug in and kicked while her free hand tried to grab and claw.

Her assaulter seemed to find it highly amusing, though the one stood at the entrance was making a concerted effort to watch the street and ignore them. What had been a street. The far-side buildings had all but vanished, now. Sylenna never took her eyes away from the assault, the blue shine in them darkened and seemed to dull just as the world around her collapsed. How strange, that she could feel the thoughtless void without calling it. Usually a great amount of focus and intent was necessary, but now Sylenna simply felt nothing. A flash of metal caught the moonlight, and the girl stopped moving.

“Ah’s better, you know what this is, don’t’cha. Iffen you wan’t ta live to walk out o dis ‘ere alley, you do as yeh told and take it quiet like.” The man over her snarled in a base contempt. A quiver of fear still ran down Sylenna’s spine at those words. A quiver much more easily smothered by hatred and discipline, now. The girl lay limp, but did not cease the quiet sobbing.

“Good.” The man grunted, sheathing his pocketknife and hoisting the elf easily up the set of steps to grab purchase with her pert little milk-toned rear that’d been drawn bare. The laughter as he smacked it hard enough to make her lurch and leave a reddening mark made Sylenna’s skin crawl even now. He never let go of her arm, but the fear for life was far more binding to the girl than physical force, now.

“Mother’s truth she may do look as old as me flamin’ sister, I’ll give ye that, but they don’ age all ‘t same, do they? Bloody freak’s probably older ‘en us!” He spluttered, as though he found talking a challenge, and smacked the quickly bruising peach of elven skin again, making her cry out and shake her head in babbling refutal. Sylenna had been old enough to legally give consent to her body, but consent was of no importance this night.

Even watching it from outside her skin, the next moments came and went in a flash. Perhaps it was because the memory was her own that it still seemed to do so. Somewhere along the way, the brute had unbuckled his trousers, and the rest became history. All it took was hoisting her leg up and shoving forward to make the innocent girl buckle and howl into the night as her hymen tore around his cock.

Sylenna felt her stomach twist again, but beyond that, very little. It was more disturbing that she could watch the scene unfold without wanting to sob as she had done then than it was to see the man raping an elf in the first place, never mind that the victim was herself. His hips shot forward, and the girl Sylenna had been heaved with a wracking sob across the top of that staircase.

“Ngh, light’s truth she’s tight. Ye elves want a real man in ye that bad ye grabbing on me cock, eh? Filthy damn whore, get it!” He taunted, and all she could do for a response was to sob and naturally moan through the convulsing pressure placed on her body rather than any thoughts of pleasure.

His laughter returned to spur his thrusts into sharper and harder lunges that invaded the unmatching, untouched and petite confines of her body. Elves and humans mating were not unheard of, but she had not been ready for it in any respect.

That intense lancing of thrusts did not care. It drove the insides of the elven girl aside as surely as it split the blood-laced lips of her sex, stretching and forcing her into acceptance whether she wanted it or not. There was no passion in this display, just a brutal showing of power.

Perhaps the brute felt a sexual pleasure from the friction of her body, but that was in turn as likely as gratifying as masturbation. Done for long enough, the body would take course regardless of what you were thinking or using. Perhaps the example of ‘power and dominance’ over a ‘lesser race’ was sexually gratifying to him, or maybe he really did have a thing for his sister. Maybe Sylenna had been an outlet that stopped a man’s sibling sharing her fate, that night.

It barely even struck her as odd that she could muse upon such things while watching him drive and smack into her thighs, viscerally reminding her of the assault. It didn’t even register that she’d almost zoned out the sound of her own cries as he rocked and rammed into her. She was feeling less and less for the scene every second.

After several minutes, it certainly seemed as if he felt something, as the defiler pulled out and grabbed his bloody cock, stroking it hard till spats of cum lashed out and marred the girl’s bruised ass cheeks.

Of course. He hadn’t wanted to cum inside and be responsible for some half-elf bastard child. Odd, Sylenna recalled him saying as much, but she heard nothing. Turning around to look up the alley, her eyes widened in shock for the first time since all this had begun. While the man who stood there seemed perfectly at ease, a black flame was consuming him alive. The cobbles of the ground around his feet seemed to be deteriorating as if battered by unerring storms, cracking and falling into dust. Blown away into nothingness.

Sylenna realised she couldn’t even remember what the man who’d simply watched over her assault looked like anymore as his skin and shape seemed to melt into nothing. The world under her feet was cracking and giving way, but she did not move. Sylenna alone was real in this place, if such a thing could even be said to be true. She was sure enough that there was method within the madness, and did not move from the faltering lines.

Sure enough, she did not crumble, burn or fall into an abyss of nothing as the ground gave way beneath her. Turning back to the scene that laid out before her, she saw the same of the other man. Her past self lay limp on the stairwell, viscous white smatterings of his seed scarring the slapped red of her twitching ass cheeks with that trail of red lacing out between her legs and down the steps as a solemn reminder. Yet, his laughter was mute through the flame. He did not seem to be aware of the consuming darkflame, and merely tucked himself in.

The man turned from his victim, his eyes almost seeming to meet with Sylenna’s current, almost dead stare. In those eyes, she saw nothing. She felt nothing, and with every lick of the ebon fire, could recall less. The one face she had kept within her mind all these years was melting away, and she understood nothing of it.

His gaunt skull of a face grinned – though it had little choice in the matter – and turned back to where the elf lay limp on the staircase to throw a single coin. That’s right, ‘a whore earns their coin’, he had said. The disembodied arm the coin flew from seemed to disperse into ash, leaving nothing but the coin spinning through the air and land next to the elf. Everything beyond the lamplight of that staircase was mere darkness, now.

“Why are you doing this?” Sylenna whispered. Her eyes wide with the realisation she could not recall or feel anything of the men who had assaulted her. The solemn, lone elf before her reached out and grasped the coin, pulling it tight to her chest. She had used that coin as the foothold to drag herself up from the low she’d been thrown to. She remembered – she refused to forget – that coin had been the vile reminder, the price and worth of her inability to fight. It had paved the way into a new life for her, but even the elf upon the staircase blurred and faded away.

“No… no! You will not take my past from me!” Sylenna screamed into the darkness, but as well scream to the stars. Her lunging dive to hold the memory of her past self met nothing. Not even those cold stairs greeted her body this time. She was alone, again.

“You may have drawn strength from that life, but it is no longer who you are. Will you truly live in this shadow?” The whisper hissed emotionlessly, caressing and soothing her mind with a sense of reason and calming strength. The darkness lurched, and the scene before her hit Sylenna hard enough that she almost gagged. She had blanked this memory out by choice.

Three bodies lay strewn around her in the nightmare of a room. Nothing lay as it should after the madness had settled. The table splintered, chairs slashed and toppled. Windows and mirrors shattered. Broken lanterns were licking the edges of the room with a bright flame. The bodies were entirely unmoving, and only the memory of Sylenna stood alive between them. She stood, painted in blood as surely as the dashings across the walls. Most of it was not her own, yet it covered her face in a grim mask, matted her clothing and streaked her arms. Sylenna could not bring herself to look away from the memory this time. Not from the girl she had been, hyperventilating on the verge of breaking down in realisation of what she had accomplished.

“Is this who you wish to be?” The voice asked as Sylenna stared into the blank, lost eyes of her past self like a horrifying mirror. The body before her was the largest by far, a bear of a man with gashes left and right across his body. He had been bled out and died slower than the others – a thinner man and a girl with golden locks around her shoulders almost hidden by the slouch that put her head behind the nearby fallen chair. The wound in her chest was clear enough. A quick, merciful death-stroke Sylenna had used often since then. There was nothing glamorous or heroic about dealing death, she had always said. It had started here.

“No… no, I won’t be held to this. This is not fair, not who I am. I have atoned my sin and cast that memory away!” Sylenna whimpered, shaking her head and turning from the girl she had been, the one frozen in spasms of adrenaline and horror that made her body shake. Sylenna remembered it clearly, every nerve in her body wanted to let go of the dagger, but her hands had locked up in paralysis. The flames grew, both red and black alike, and the voice hushed a soothing tone.

“It is always there within you. You may be freed as soon as everything you once were is cast away. Then you will be truly freed from your past, free to become so much more.” It promised, and the faint sobbing of the girl who had sundered the last of her innocence in murder faded into the distance. The flames rose again, the room crackling and heaving with disintegration both physical and corporeal.

The reports had said they had died in the fire. Perhaps trapped, asleep or choked by the smoke before they could escape. No one would had ever known. Nothing remained, and an elf moves nigh invisible when no one gives her the slightest regard. The sin had been hers alone to lock away in the darkest reaches of her mind, but it had remained.

“All of it, all of it gone? I… I want that. I wanted them dead, wanted them gone. Even his light-forsaken sister. Everything gone.” Sylenna growled her words into the fire with the heat of the monster she had locked away that day. The flickering gold of the flames illuminated her unfocused eyes. Everything gone, she would very much like that. Something within the whispering voice changed, and her eyes held to the disorientating flame that sought to consume even her. Words came again, different words, in a sort of chant, and with them, everything faded into nothingness.

Sylenna closed her eyes and felt a peace she had not known in years take over her soul. She would very much like that everything be gone.

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