“Titania.” A sickeningly wistful voice called to me. A hand wrapped around my mouth as I began to scream.
I fought against him, arching my back as I struggled to get out of his grip. He tightened his arm around my waist and whispered in my ear, “Long time, no see.”
“Ow!” He yelped as I bit his hand, causing him to yank it away from my mouth.
“Silen.” I hissed at him, desperately trying to yank my body away from him.
“Did you miss me?” He gave me a repulsive smile as he drew me back in.
I pulled my arms to my chest in defense as he clung to me, craning my neck away from the smell of butterscotch that coated his breath. I still remembered it well, even after all those years.
“I can’t believe how much you’ve grown up.” He murmured softly as he looked me over.
“James!” I screamed helplessly as Silen began running his fingers through my hair.
“Oh,” Silen laughed sadistically, “He’s not coming for you. I’ve made sure of that.”
I felt a sting as the world spun out of control. A flash caught my eye as I saw a needle in his hand, reflecting the light of the moon. Darkness flooded my vision as I tried to scream and get up, but I couldn’t move, fading from consciousness as Silen picked me up and tossed me over his shoulder.
I woke up feeling drugged and numb. Sitting up felt a lot harder than it should have been because of the residual effects of the injection.
As I looked around, I found myself sitting in a clear human cage. There was no way out, though I frantically searched for one anyways. Suddenly a voice pulled my attention towards it.
“So,” I heard Silen’s muffled voice, “You James?”
My heart ached as I saw Silen sitting in a chair with his hands folded in his lap. My eyes followed his gestures and I watched James look up, pulling at the shackles that held him to the wall.
“Who the hell are you?” James growled at Silen, not willing to confirm his identity.
“Oh, I remember now,” Silen spoke, feigning realization as he stood up and walked towards James, “You were that little medic boy, weren’t you?”
I watched surprise register on James’ expression, not knowing how Silen knew that.
“I thought you looked familiar.” Silen nodded at James.
“Anyways,” Silen spoke happily, “I owe you thanks.”
“For what?” James asked irritably.
“For leading me to my Titania.” Silen said simply, “Your little spat with her lead us to her location.”
I punched the wall of my cage in anger as his words sunk in. Disbelief that he even survived the compound collapse filled my mind, followed by insecurity that he’d been looking for me.
James looked confused, not understanding how Silen and I knew each other.
Silen must’ve realized this. He walked up to James, whispering something in his ear before disappearing from the room.
I started shaking the cage and yelling, trying to get James’ attention. His hopeless expression remained unchanged. He couldn’t hear or see me. The cage was sound proof, and there was very little light in the room. I was nothing but a soundless shadow lurking in the corner. As far as James knew, I wasn’t even there.
Silen returned quickly.
“Where is she?” James demanded.
Silen ignored him, asking a question of his own, “Did Titania ever talk about me?”
“Why would she talk about a creep like you?” James spat at him angrily.
“Well…” Silen’s expression held nostalgia as he spoke, “You could say we were…pretty close.”
“I highly doubt that.” James retorted.
Silen ignored James’ repulsed look as he typed on a tablet, similar to the one he’d used before.
“Did she tell you how she got her powers?” Silen asked James, morbid curiosity filled his voice.
James looked up and flatly said, “No.”
“Well, that’s strange.” Silen taunted, “I thought you loved her?”
James looked down, refusing to entertain Silen.
“I guess the feeling wasn’t mutual.” Silen winked at James as he began walking towards him, tablet in hand.
I watched as James clenched his jaw. It was clear that Silen was getting to him.
“Here,” Silen crouched in front of James, “Maybe you’d like to learn what your beloved Titania has kept from you.”
The blood drained from my face as I watched Silen swivel the tablet towards James and turn up the volume. The screams of a child burst through the speaker.
My young cries pierced our ears as the tablet played back everything Silen had done to me. I felt like it was happening all over again and I knew that I had to find a way to tether myself to reality.
I struggled to escape the cage, desperate to make it stop. With no way out, I chose the one thing I knew would bring me back: pain. I dug my nails in my leg and felt myself become sobered as blood came rushing to the surface of my skin.
Silen laughed and moved back as James I lunged forward, stopped just short from crashing into Silen by the shackles.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at his face, unsure what I would find now that he was learning the truth.
Pain filled my body, burning every inch with a mix of emotions. I closed my eyes, unable to handle the reality that I was being faced with.
The video replayed the echoing sound of the belt falling to the floor and I looked down at my hands, watching as sparks danced on top of my palms.
The cage began to melt as I curiously held my hand to the wall. Memories started giving way to a transformation, though it wasn’t as intense as it usually was.
“Stop!” I heard James scream as tears streamed down his face.
Silen raised his hand to slap James, further deepening the pain. If there was one thing Silen was good at, it was inflicting pain.
Anger swelled within me and I felt my wings unfurl. I wondered to myself if I could control this takeover, especially since it hadn’t been directly triggered by an emotionally charged human touch.
James shook with sobs as Silen took out a knife and waved it in front of his face. I decided I was going to do whatever it took to get us out of here. My skin fell to the floor in ashes as I forced my own body to the brink.
Smoke floated freely to the ceiling as I growled and shattered the cage with one strike.
“Titania!” James gasped as he looked up, his eyelashes matted down with tears.
“How did you?…” Silen stood with his mouth open in surprise, dropping the knife.
I flew over to James, slashing the shackles that held him.
Silen backed away, putting his hands up in defense as I spun around to face him.
James took a place at my side and I briefly stole a glance at him.
“Ha!” I heard Silen laugh as he quickly retrieved the knife from the floor and pointed it at us in the moment I had taken to look at James.
I took a step forward, slowly moving towards Silen as my skin began glowing bright red.
Silen panicked and threw the knife at James. I sensed James flinch as I caught the knife in my hand and incinerated it before spilling the ashes in front of Silen’s face.
“How. Dare. You.” I spoke slowly, failing to keep my voice even as I approached Silen.
“You don’t want to do this, Titania.” He pleaded as he fell backwards at my feet, “There is much I haven’t told you.”
“Well then,” James spoke gruffly as he raised one of his throwing stars and aimed it at Silen, “I guess you’d better start talking.”