Calcifer by E. R. F. Jordan

Calcifer by E. R. F. Jordan

Author:E. R. F. Jordan [Jordan, E. R. F.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-07-09T18:30:00+00:00

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

THE WAITING GAME. LAYERS OF PAINT, PT. II.

When the soldier led Mel to a wooden chair and gestured for her to sit, she began to sense a pattern forming. Just one of these times, she thought, I would like to be the one not bound to a chair. She supposed that was what she got for walking around without a sword strapped to her hip. She sat as the soldier tied his end of the rope to the tent’s heavy wooden support strut, securing her to the chair.

“Captain Bolton will want to see you again shortly,” The soldier mumbled through the metal grate of his helmet. Then he walked back to the mouth of the tent and stood guard.

The tent was tall and square, made of a thick canvas that blocked the sun. In the center of the tent’s roof, a patch of fabric was cut away, allowing a shaft of light to illuminate the surroundings. From what Mel saw on her way in, most of the camp was comprised of similar tents––temporary structures. The only remotely permanent fixture was the wooden wall constructed around the camp’s perimeter. Our own Great Wall, Bolton had called from the front of the caravan as they approached. Keeps the mice out. Barring the support beam and a few stacked wooden chairs, the rest of the tent was empty––evidently, she was the only prisoner of the prince’s war.

She began to twist her hands behind her back, getting a better grip on the knotted rope. It was thick, but the knot was relatively simple. Given time, it could be loosened enough to–

“Hello, doctor.” Bolton’s voice interrupted her thoughts. His giant frame blocked the mouth of the tent, leaving him a black tower of bitter metal. He entered the canvas room, followed by two more soldiers. The guard stayed put. “How was the ride in? Comfortable?”

Mel spit on the ground indignantly, but said nothing else. She looked Bolton as square in the eyes as she could––it was hard, given her sitting position and his startling size. A shade of a smile passed over his face, and he nodded to one of his men. The soldier bent over and plunged his fist into Mel’s stomach. It knocked the wind out of her, and a short, pained cry of surprise escaped her lungs. She hunched over, gasping for breath, until Bolton reached down and threw her torso back into the chair.

“We’re going to ask you a few questions,” He continued, “in preparation of Szukin’s arrival. I imagine you’ll be nice and tender by then.” Mel elected to ignore him, still working on catching her breath. “The first one is easy; who sent you to Warden?”

“Who sent you?” She replied. He shrugged and nodded to the soldier again, who slapped her across the face with his knuckles. The chair rocked on its feet, almost tipping over, but she didn’t register the fact through the stinging pain in her cheek. She shut her left eye against the welling tears. “I digress.



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