Ceremony (Fiction)

Two men in ceremonial robes and wearing the traditional paints ran down the hallway. Between them, they dragged a naked girl. She bit and fought with every ounce of strength to be let go, but they overpowered her, faith giving them power.

At the end of the hallway, there was a railing, her last chance to be free. She jumped forward and kicked backwards off of it, throwing the three of them backwards by a few feet. They stumbled and one let his grip slip from her arm.

She punched the other in the face, and he lost his grip. By this time the other had recovered, grabbing her arm before it could throw another punch. She tried to punch him with her other arm, but he snatched it out of the air and shoved her forward and to the ground.

The other man spat blood and stood back up, reaching for an arm again as the girl went limp. They dragged her back to the railing, a crowd below and spread out into the distance cheered. Beneath them was a large vat of turbulent liquid, orange yellow and red, the colors and consistency of lava.

Heat rose in waves while several other men and women in ceremonial robes tended the fires under and around the vat. Sparks flew as the sacrifice’s body drew near, as if the liquid was alive, as if it were waiting for her to fall in.

The men took a breath, she took another chance, suddenly struggling again. They tightened their grip, a grim expression of determination on their faces. She spit at those below, but a fireball rose from the vat, vaporizing it before it could hit any of the faithful.

They grabbed her legs from under her, lifting her over the rail. She flailed one last time, making them slightly lose their balance. She managed to grab the rail, but they were quick to regain their footing and throw her over.

She banged against the side of the walkway and held on, fire rose beneath her. One of the men pried her hands from the metal bar, and she grabbed back on a different spot, slipping lower, but not falling.

She held on for a few more seconds, staring into the eyes of one of her killers. He held a grim determination, the look of an indoctrinated priest. Her atrophied muscles failed her, and she finally fell. A look of surprise and fear showed on her face for the first time, replacing the anger that kept her fighting this long.

He snapped out of it and reached for her at the last second, but it was too late, and she plunged into the vat, a flash of pain showing on her face before she became invisible in a puff of steam.


Originally written Sep 18, 2012. Edited, today. Hope you enjoyed.

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