Alice Raven: Prologue

October 16, 2010
By Anonymous

Alice Raven lay on the silk sheets of the four-post bed of Earl Belloc, bare and bruised. Alice was alone in the Earl’s bedroom. The old man had left after satisfying his daily sadistic lust of her. The girl stared at the ceiling, seeing nothing but pitch darkness. It could have been morning, but the heavy curtains that hung over the windows allowed no strand of light.
Alice felt nothing except the pain of the bruises inflicted by the Earl. She thought of nothing. She was hollow. She was nothing. She didn’t care.
Voices sounded. Footsteps approached. Alice turned her head towards the door leading out into the hallway. Through the cracks of the door, Alice saw the yellow flicker of candle light. There were a lot of voices of men and women. Alice recognized the Earl’s voice.
“She’s right through here,” said Earl Belloc. “I hope she has the qualifications.”
“That is if you performed the necessary conditions,” replied another man.
“Of course. I made sure her stay here was torment. Ah, here we are.”
The door opened and a group of dark robed figures entered. Hoods hid their faces. They all carried lit candelabras. Alice recognized them as the same people who destroyed her home and abducted her. They had caged her for months like a rare animal until they finally gave her to the Earl.
Alice watched them as they gathered around the bed, scrutinizing the girl. Alice saw the Earl, wearing one of those dark robes, at the foot of the bed. She felt hatred and only hatred.
One of the dark robed person leaned forward close to Alice’s face, bringing his candelabrum close also. Alice stared into the person’s dark glinting eyes. She wished she could just reach out and strangle him. The person smiled and backed off.
“She’s perfect,” said the person. “She at last has the eyes of a demon. Take her.”
Two persons went to either side of Alice and slipped their hands underneath her and started to lift her. Alice lashed out at one of them. She clawed at her victim’s face. She felt her nails dug into something warm and soft and wet. Her victim screamed and brought his hands to his bloody face, losing his grip on the girl. Alice fell down back onto the bed. She looked at her hands. They were covered in blood. Alice felt cold satisfaction.
The other person slapped Alice’s face. Other hands reached out to restrain the girl who struggled and screamed. Then someone punched into the Alice’s gut. Her breath escaped from her and the pain clouded her mind. Alice’s vision darkened as she fell into unconsciousness.

Alice woke up and found herself being carried—more like dragged—by the arms by two persons. Her legs dragged on cold rough ground. She couldn’t see anything; she was blindfolded. More hands grabbed her and lifted her off the ground. Alice tried to fight but her limbs were weak as if all strength had left her.
Alice was laid on top of a stone altar. The blindfold was untied. Alice saw the night sky, trees and the pale full moon. They were in a clearing in the middle of a forest. She looked around and saw hooded figures surrounded the stone altar. There were probably more than fifty people there. Each held a small lit candle. Alice still can’t see the faces of her spectators, but she could identify some by their familiar figures.

A person in a red robe stepped up to the altar. By the looks of the different colored robe, Alice guessed he was the leader of the group. Like the rest, Alice can’t see the man’s entire face. He gripped her left hand and turned it so her palm was facing upward. Then he raised a dagger and placed the tip on Alice’s palm. She screamed as the blade dug deep into the flesh of her palm. The blade moved. The person carved a pentacle. Once the person was done with her left palm, he moved onto her other hand and then did the same. On top of both her feet, pentacles were carved into also. Lastly, Alice felt the blade on her forehead and hands holding her head still. Alice shut eyes and screamed as the blade did its job.
Alice stopped screaming and was panting. Blood trickled down her forehead. She heard chanting. Each robed figure lent their voice.
They said:
Everto of penitus animus , procedo quod ostendo sum vestri volo
Everto of penitus animus , commodo mihi vestri vires quod vox.
Meus cruor ero vestri.
Exsisto mei quod haud alius insquequo valde terminus.
They repeated the chant over and over again. The words began to meld together and just became a droning noise. The pain became a steady dull kind of pain. The chanting stopped all of the sudden. Alice heard a scuffle of footsteps and grunts of someone struggling.
“No no,” cried a voice. “No! Stop!”
Two black robed persons dragged a young boy in ragged clothes. The urchin pulled and kicked at his holders.
“Insons insontis cruor mos signum pactum. Innocent blood will seal the contract,” said the man in the red robe. He approached the boy.
The boy stopped struggling and looked at the man with scared eyes.
“Please, let me go,” pleaded the boy. “Please—“
The boy didn’t finish his sentence as the man sliced the boy’s throat with the dagger. A follower came forward with a gold goblet. The red robed man exchanged the dagger for the cup. He caught the boy’s blood with the cup. Once the cup was filled to the brim, the red robed man flicked a hand and his followers dragged the corpse away.
The red robed man brought the cup to the altar and raised it over Alice.
“Insons insontis cruor mos signum pactum,” said the red robed man again.
He brought the cup to the girl’s lips. Alice shut her lips together, refusing. The man frowned and pinched her nose. He held on until Alice gave up and gasped for breath and then he poured the blood into her mouth. Most of the blood escaped her mouth and ran all over her face, but despite her gagging and coughing, some blood slid down her throat.
The chanting continued.
Everto of penitus animus , procedo quod ostendo sum vestri volo
Everto of penitus animus , commodo mihi vestri vires quod vox.
Meus cruor ero vestri.
Exsisto mei quod haud alius insquequo valde terminus.
Alice suddenly felt light-headed. She gasped as she felt the pentacle on her forehead, palms and feet began to burn. From the view of the robed people, the girl’s wounds glowed by some unnatural light. Alice gasped again. Something was being pulled out of her chest like someone had reached inside her and was slowly pulling whatever it was out of her. Alice looked down at chest and saw a trail of something black and smoke-like coming out of her chest and forming into an orb above her. The chanting increase and became faster.
The orb continued to grow bigger and bigger. Alice couldn’t breathe. Her vision began to darken. Just as she was going to slip in unconsciousness, the orb finished growing and Alice could breathe again. The chant halted as everyone stared at the orb of swirling black smoke. Then the orb began to glow with crimson light. The light grew until it blinded everyone and then the orb exploded. A burst of wind knocked everyone off their feet. The orb was gone with no signs of it.
Everyone stared at the spot where the orb was. Confused mumbling sounded through. The man in the red robe stared in disbelief.
“That’s it?” said a woman.
“It was a failure!” shouted a man.
“What the h***?!” cried another man. “This was a waste!”
“Lets go,” said the woman.
Slowly, the black robed figures scattered and disappeared into the forest.
The red robed man stood up and leaned over Alice, who was confused of what just happened. The hood of the man had fallen back and Alice could see his face. She would remember him. She burned the image into her mind. The man’s eyes flickered over Alice as if searching for something. Then he realized the girl was staring at him, he frowned and slapped her face. He stomped away.
“Kill the girl—leave everything,” he ordered one of his followers and then left.
The follower nodded and unsheathed a dagger. He came up the altar and raised the dagger over Alice. Alice looked at the man’s face and locked eyes. The man hesitated. He was young and probably wealthy. His hand holding the dagger shook. He looked into the girl’s eyes. The man realized that the girl had eyes the color of deep violet. They shimmered and glowed in the moonlight. It was uncanny.
The man fell deeper into the gaze of the girl. Suddenly, he saw himself dead and bloody with the girl standing over him, smiling, cold and cruel. The man screamed. The trance broke and the man saw the girl once again. She continued to look at him with those cold eyes. The man screamed again and brought down the dagger. Raised it and brought it down again. He stabbed the girl a third time, dropped the dagger and ran away.
Alice laid there on the stone alter. Her body, numb and weak. Blood continued to gush out of her. Coldness washed over her. She looked at the full moon. She looked at its pale brightness. The moon was growing bigger and bigger until it filled her entire vision.
She was going to die. This was the end. She laughed in her mind. How foolish of her to think she could enact revenge by herself. If only she had the power, and then she could kill those fools. If only she wasn’t going to die.
A voice sounded in her mind.
You’re not going to die.
What? She thought.
You’re not going to die. I won’t allow it.
Who are you?
A dark shape blocked the moon. Alice realized it was the silhouette of a man leaning over her. She saw a pair of glowing red eyes and a grin of white fangs.

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