Friday, January 25, 2013

Persephone Grief/Adamantha/Arsenic: Depends on Your Definition of Successful

Arsenic woke to a cheerful voice somewhere outside his cell. He recognized it immediately. "Manth-" he cut himself off. She was on Mevolent's side. He heard her retreating footsteps, and couldn't help feeling a little betrayed. 
You asked for it, he told himself, you weren't particularly nice to her on the drive, and she was just trying to help. He winced.
His head hurt, and he remembered foolishly challenging Mevolent. That had been unwise, to say the least. He groaned, and slipped back into the darkness.

"Rat poison! Wake up!" A voice hissed in his ear.
Arsenic opened one eye. "If you've come to kill me, get it over with."
Mantha gave him a look that was a cross between exasperation and hurt. "Do you really think I'd do something like that?"
"Why not? I deserve it."
"Don't you dare talk like that. Get up this instant! We're getting out of here."
Arsenic frowned. "Why are you helping me? I've done nothing but hurt you since we first met."
Mantha looked away. "I don't have that many friends to lose," she said. "Now, are you coming or not?"
"Mantha, if you're going to do this, at least rescue someone who's worth the trouble. Gustav Halt, cell 37..." he trailed off, winced and put his hand to his head. "His sister...blackmailed...same as me. Don't let it happen...again." His breath was raspy now.
"Don't you dare die, Arsenic, or I'll--"
"Or you'll kill me?"
"I'll dance on your grave!"
He laughed hollowly, then it turned into a cough. "I wouldn't put it past you, Mantha. I'm just sorry I..." The coughing grew worse. Mevolent's sword had done a lot of damage.
Persephone ran into the room. "Someone's coming!" she hissed. She yanked Arsenic to his feet, and Adamantha steadied him. "Where is he?"
     Arsenic winced. Being pulled up so suddenly hurt like fire. "Cell thirty sev-" He coughed, his whole body shaking.
"Thirty seven," Adamantha supplied, using her finger extensions to give Persephone the keys.
Persephone glanced at Arsenic. That cough didn't sound good. She heard footsteps outside in the hallway, and hurried out of the cell. Hurrying unseen, she went to Cell 37 and swung the door open. Gustav lay there, unconscious. Persephone picked him up and flung him over her shoulder. As she returned to Arsenic and Adamantha, she realized how odd it must look. An unconscious man floating in mid-air. "Can you walk?" she asked Arsenic.
"'Course he can," Adamantha said, drowning out Arsenic's protests. She practically dragged him down the hall, reaching her invisible fingers after her and punching the guard in the nose.
Arsenic had stopped coughing, but he'd also stopped trying to talk.
The three of them hurried out of the prison, Gustav flopping around on her shoulder. Arsenic was silent as they ran, but he was breathing heavily."Adamantha, we need to get him to a healer. Do you know anyone?"
"No," Mantha admitted. "Nobody who would help Mevolent's deserters."
She heard alarm bells, and cursed in gibberish. "Gibhapoily ipswinkling defaurbaors!" Seven armed guards were running straight toward them.

Persephone carefully placed Gustav on the ground. She pulled out her knife and flung it into the chest of the first guard. She ran at the guards who leveled their swords at her chest. She ducked as one swung towards her head, than snatched the sword away. She thrust it up through his heart, then decapitated another guard. She smacked the hilt of the sword into a guard's throat, then slashed across their stomach. The woman's intestines spilled out onto the ground. Kicking one guard backwards, Persephone stabbed another through the eye. Leaving the sword, she turned to face the remaining two guards. 
"Get Gustav and Arsenic out of here!" she yelled.
A blade grazed her back, and she yelped. Persephone punched the guard in the nose, then broke his neck with a quick twist. The last guard almost turned to run, before obviously deciding that Mevolent's wrath was worse than Persephone. He raised his sword and charged. Persephone sidestepped the attack, than tripped him. Snatching away his sword, she slit his throat.
"I can walk by myself," Arsenic insisted. "You have to carry him." He gestured to Gustav.
"I'm fine, why do you think I lift weights every day?" Adamantha snapped, proving that 'adamant' was in her name for a reason.
She was clearly struggling, though. They had made it far enough to be away from the fighting, so Arsenic suggested, "How about we stop here?"
"Ok. You could use the rest."
"I could?"
She laughed, and set Gustav gently at the base of a tree. "You're the one who was hit on the head by Mevolent's sword and locked in a dungeon, and you're worried about me?"
"Well... You have been lugging around two extra people, plus your own weight..."
"I'm fine, okay? Now shut up and rest! You'll need it." She held up her hand to stop his protests. "Rat poison, if you look better after a few hours sleep, then you can take a turn on watch. Soothe your wounded pride a little, and all that. Now, however, you will do what I say, because you are not in a position to do otherwise."
Arsenic finally gave in, and Mantha sat on a rock and watched.
For a while, the woods were silent, then she heard the first rustle in the undergrowth. 


  1. This is great! *nods in agreement to Seph's comment* This ending is a lot more pleasant... Then again, I always encourage torture of readers.
    Anyway- Gustav is finally saved! And I'm really starting to like Mantha!

  2. [Is laughing at Ari's comment]