Monday, May 27, 2019

The Shalafae Archives - Harem

I strode into my father's castle, mind still foggy from their trap. I wouldn't speak their name until I avenged myself. Couldn't even think it without my rage boiling over, without wanting to slay everyone around me.

But this wasn't the time for violence. This was a time for reunions, for calming, for recovery. I was home at last, free, and I couldn't wait to see my family.

My senses were still fuzzy, confused, cut off from most of my surroundings. I was aware of Father, El, Aunt Kyra, but I couldn't pinpoint them. I couldn't open a connection or sense what they were feeling, and I didn't even know if they knew I was back.

How long had I been locked up in that mortal hellhole, locked into a life that wasn't mine? Were they out looking for me even now? I'd been trapped so thoroughly, unable to reach them, so they'd surely been unable to reach me. Had one of them freed me? How else had I gotten out?

I stopped in the hall, growling as I attempted to regain control. Thoughts spun wildly, warring with ragin emotions. I wanted to scream or cry or kill or sleep or any number of things I couldn't quite name in my wild state. Flashes of the mortal life I'd just lived danced at the edges of my consciousness, offering me the peace of a weak and normal life.

"Has no one told you The Master prefers his girls to dress nicely?"

My head snapped up and my eyes flew open. I didn't recognize the sultry voice, and none of Father's slaves would address me with such disdain. At least, none of the ones from before my imprisonment. "Who the fuck are you?"

She was a buxom redhead with strong legs and a flimsy dress. Her burgundy eyes glittered as she stared down at me, lids curling into a sneer. We were of a similar height, though she currently towered over me; I was hunched and she wore outrageously high heels.

Our stand-off lasted for several moments. Red continued to stare disdainfully, while I straightened and glared back. Other women gathered behind her, of various races, all as scantily dressed. None of the others were quite as bold, and most preferred to keep their eyes down.

"I am the head of The Master's harem, and you will show me the respect I am due." She pointed a manicured nail at me, narrowing her gaze at me. "Now, you will clean yourself and make yourself presentable for The Master. And you will watch that tongue of yours in his presence."

Anger didn't surge through my system. Instead, it wound its way slowly out of my heart and along my spine, sharpening what senses it could, preparing for a fight. My hair shifted, and would have stood on end if it weren't so long and heavy. My fingers flexed and crooked, preparing to tear her eyes from her pretty face. "You have no idea who I am?"

Red scoffed, planting hands on her full hips. "Another scruffy mixed breed for The Master's pleasures." She glanced over her shoulder at the rest of the harem. "I doubt anyone will wipe your tears away if you keep acting like this."

Light sparkled on the gem nestled in the hollow of her throat, same as all the women. Same as I'd worn as a young woman when I first joined Father. Used to control my ability to change, keeping me locked in a frail form that he could abuse and use and punish.

I smelled it then; Red was a dragon, stuck in this human form. Probably from the hated Shimeii clan. "Who is your master?" I hissed, drawing my shoulders back, wings flaring behind me.

She growled then, lips lifting to reveal sharp teeth. I could tell she wanted to posture and mantle, but the human shape is limited in the forms of display. "Master Shalafae will break you."

Hearing Father's name on her ruby lips was too much.

I leapt forward, talons crooked, snarling incoherently. My vision blurred to anything but her, my thoughts non existent. All I wanted was to kill, to bathe in her blood, to tear her flesh apart and burn her heart.

Red wasn't armed, was a soft harem girl, but she was still a dragon. We all know how to fight, no matter our form, and she met my wild charge with a snarl of her own. She spun, redirecting my momentum, nimble despite her awkward shoes. I sank claws into her wrists, preventing her from throwing me into the other women.

The fight escalated from there, one-sided though it was. She clawed and bit, kicked and punched, and made every attempt to subdue me. We bled and growled, grunted and snarled, but neither of us cried out. neither of us stopped or gave less than our all.

But she couldn't hope to beat me. Even in her natural form, I was a better fighter. Far more ruthless, especially with lingering touch of madness.

I let go of my inhibitions, my control. All the frustration and anger that needed a target found an outlet in the fight. I tore her apart with blind fury, scattering pieces of her body, before turning on the other women of the harem. They screamed and ran, attempting to hide, but I found each of them, ripped them limb from limb.

He could Father fill his house with whores? He should be looking for me, not spending time with these little floosies. There was no excuse for an entire harem to be here, waiting for me, mocking me. Not knowing who I was.

Not only had he filled his bed while I was missing, he'd let everyone forget about me.

I finally ran out of victims, and slowly came back to myself in a sitting room, soaked in blood and gore. The last woman was still warm in my hands, but I couldn't remember her screams. I'm sure they'd all screamed. Some had probably begged for their lives, and a better woman might have shown them mercy.

But I was not a better woman.

Sighing, still frustrated, I returned to my rooms. Maybe Father would be there, would be able to explain the harem I'd just slaughtered. If I didn't like his answers, maybe I'd take them out of his hide.

But at least I was free.

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