- Aurora's Capture -

By Mara S. and Krista A.

Clink. The cuffs that chafed her wrists were metal prisons.  Growling in agitation, Aurora bashed the backside of her head against the cylindrical column to which she was chained. Her arms were shackled above her, her wrists locked in place against the cold steel of the column by some sort of magnetic force.

The column stood in the exact center of a large, disturbingly empty cell. She glowered into the darkened room, as helpless as an animal caught in a trap, a dog held fast on a leash. His dog. It was disgusting to think about.

She strained her ears for some kind of sound. Any kind of sound. The silence was so deep that it played tricks on the mind. There was nothing but blackness and the pressure of her backside against the cold, unforgiving surface of the cylindrical column. The room was designed to enhance the fear of its occupant; alone in the darkness, the prisoner would begin to feel that there never was and never had been anything except the eternal, mind-numbing nothingness which now surrounded them.

Aurora’s position meant that her entire body was exposed, and part of the room was outside of her range of vision. It was an illusion of uncertainty, an illusion where even the smallest movement - real or imagined - could signify an unknown presence there in the dark.

Something caught Aurora's attention, and her ears perked up. She already knew who it was just by the pattern of slow footsteps as they echoed heavily from the hallway outside. Clunk, clunk, clunk. She dreaded the inevitable confrontation. Seconds turned to hours as the steel door in front of her creaked open ominously. Artificial light streamed into the room, and Aurora hissed as she shut her eyes tight against the sudden brightness.

Dictator Neutron stood in the entryway, watching calmly as she fought against the light. Even though she could not see his eyes, Aurora could feel his stare boring into her. She squirmed backwards, pushing her spine further into the uncaring surface behind her.

The door slammed shut behind him, plunging the room once again into a complete eclipse. Her eyes were no longer adjusted, but Aurora could hear his footsteps, slow and precise, as they crossed the distance between. Their frigid echo seemed to sing a disturbed lullaby. Sweat collected at her brow and her heart pummeled inside of her chest.

The echoing ceased. She could feel his presence, so chilling and mind-numbing. Gloved fingertips captured her chin and roughly pulled her head upwards. She flinched. An icy blue fire issued from the Dictator's other clenched hand, bathing his face in an eerie glow.

She pushed her eyes shut. He took his time, choosing to make her as uncomfortable and distressed as possible. Tears brimmed at the peak of her eyelashes, and she squeezed her eyelids harder. Why wouldn't the tears just drain back into her head? She could feel them, ready to break free.

Pinning each of Aurora's shackled hands harder against the metallic surface, his rough cheek grazed against hers, his touch foreign and cold. Jimmy's lips, bitter and frozen as death, slowly brushed along her jawbone and lingered at her ear. A lump gathered in her throat, and she croaked out a meek response of fear.

His words came out in a whisper. "I’m going to make you suffer."

Aurora shuddered under his grip. She could hear his breathing in the darkness.

Aurora forced herself to sneer in defiance. “Suffer?” she spat out the words. “What else could you possibly take away from me? What could you possibly do to me that you haven’t done already?” She strained at her bonds as she spoke. “You’ve taken EVERYTHING from me!”

He pulled back and studied her for a moment. Then he turned and began a slow procession around the room.

Aurora’s voiced trembled. “You killed my family, took away my best friend. You plunged me into seven long years of hell.”

Clunk, clunk, clunk. His footsteps seemed to keep time, like the ticking of a clock.

“Would you like me to kill you?” His voice was calm and steady, almost alluring in its composure. His slow circle came to a stop when he was just outside of her sight.

She laughed scornfully at the darkness. “Go ahead. Kill me. It won’t matter. There’s nothing left of me anyway. I have nothing. I feel nothing. Do you understand? Nothing.” Her words were unnatural and strained.

He entered back into her field of vision. Their eyes met and he smiled; she could see his teeth.

She looked up at him from under eyebrows curved harshly in anger. “There’s nothing you can do that’ll make me suffer more than I already have.”

"No?" He was suddenly very close. She could feel his hot breath on her face, and a not entirely unpleasant shiver ran up her spine. She struggled to say something, anything, but her voice caught in her throat.

“You feel nothing.” He murmured the words right against her lips.

“…Nothing,” she breathed, eyes shut tight.

There was a moment of silence. He reached up and gently pulled off her hair-tie, and her long blonde ponytail tumbled free over her shoulders. He entwined his fingers in her hair, and his gaze traversed her face in fascination.

“I control whether you live or die. It’s intoxicating.”

Aurora stood paralyzed, the room spinning in a dizzy arc before her eyes. His mouth was only centimeters from hers. Her mind screamed in protest as her knees threatened to give out beneath her.

“Please…” her lips moved in a silent entreaty.

His right arm snaked around the small of her back, and he pulled her into his kiss with the other.

Up and down, front and back and light and dark seemed to collide in the back of her head. Vision blurred and senses reeling, she was dimly aware of her own arms as they came free from their cuffs and twined around his neck. Her lungs cried out for air, but she didn’t dare breathe.

Tick, tock, eternity passed. He may have whispered something; she couldn’t tell. Every fiber of her body seemed to have gone limp as his hand wandered from the wisps of her hair up to her throat. His fingers clamped around her neck like a vice, and he suddenly jerked away and shoved her hard against the column. In an instant he had roughly clamped the cuffs back around her wrists, and she was trapped again.

It only took a moment for the enormity of her weakness, her stupidity, her utter helplessness to hit home. She had been free. Why hadn’t she tried to escape?

She gasped for air as the hot tears bubbled down her cheeks. She gritted her teeth, her face burning in shame. God, how could anything hurt this badly? She doubled over in a deeper kind of pain than she ever had thought possible. 

She could hear him laughing quietly in the gloom, and her disgust and despair turned to rage. She fought against her bonds like a madwoman.


He leered down at her triumphantly, his intense blue eyes holding her captivated against her will. Retreating from the cell, the Dictator clashed the door shut behind him. Aurora’s body quivered as she took in deep, raspy breaths, but her scream was lost in the darkness.

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