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The first drop of hot wax on her soft belly caused her to stifle a scream, the sharp reflexive movement from the shock of it causing a ribbon of burning paraffin to trickle from the spot where it had finally broken through its cohesiveness.

Mara had burned herself before, in the fire and against cooking pots, but always her hands, hardened and callused from hard work.  A quick “ouch” and reflexive pull back from the source, the pain had never been this bad before.  Perhaps it was the anticipation and the defeat that intensified it.  Maybe it was the softness of skin that had always been protected.  Likely, Jalon had put a spell on it.

Mara took a shallow breath, fear clogging her mind.  Another drop fell, another crack in the soft crust that had started to cool over the pool of hot wax and another small rivulet.  By the time a ring of wax formed around the base of the candlestick, despair had replaced the fear Mara felt.  Silent tears were falling from the corners of her eyes.

Bemoaning the fact that her hands and legs were bound to the bedposts, Mara resigned herself to the idea that she must do something, and must do so quickly or suffer further pain.  Forcing herself to focus, she glared at the flame topping the candle.  Staring, contorting her face and attempting to send a message of some sort to the flickering plasma accomplished nothing.  The candle continued to burn, eventually becoming a two inch stub.  The ring of melted wax had begun to harden, forming its own cohesive crust.

The mage entered and replaced the candle, as she had been told would happen.  He offered her encouragement, but no instruction and she instinctively knew that he did not know how she was to accomplish moving the inanimate object of torture.  She was left to her own devices.

She must have dozed off at some point because there was yet again a new candle burning.  She no longer felt the heat of the wax as it built upon itself around the candlestick.  It wasn’t until the wax broke through its seal yet again and pooled in her navel that anger replaced her despair and defeat.

If its own volition, her mind seemed to focus to a laser point and she had a clear understanding of what to do.  It wasn’t the flame, nor the candle itself that she must instruct, but the air around it.  She laid her head back on the pillow, closed her eyes and visualized the pocket of air around the candle.  Pursing her lips together, she softly blew in the air.  When she looked at the candle, the flame was extinguished.  Her torment was finished, but she was still a prisoner.  Focusing her energy, she flicked her fingers and the candlestick flew from her midriff and smashed against the wall.  The bond holding her arms and legs in place were a little more difficult to free, but with additional concentration and stronger focus, she was able to stretch them enough to slip her wrists out and untie her feet.

Putting on her shift, she began to practice her new found gift on other objects around the room where she had been held prisoner.  The small objects, such as the wine decanter and dishes, were easy.  The larger ones took more.  She moved the table, the chair and the bedclothes.  It was as she was levitating the bed that the mage came in again, dropping the new candle on the floor.

Mara had moved objects.  She had moved them to a large, organized pile in the center of the room.  The mage took a step back, watching in horror and fear as she moved the new candle toward the pile.  Blowing softly, she lit the candle and let it drop.  Wine soaked, the debris caught quickly.

She knew she no longer had need of the mage.  He had taught her all he knew.  She flung her arm in dismissal and tossed him across the room, trapping him behind the blaze.  Turning toward the door, she made the staircase reappear and ran down it.  At the bottom, she did not make it disappear again, rather shifted it so there was a ten foot gap between the door and the top stair.

Jalon had gotten what he wanted.  Mara's powers were awakened.

This is my entry for therealljidol Season 9, Week 15.  The topic was Checkhov's gun.  Thanks to an extended deadline I was able to get it done in time.  This is part of my serial featuring Jalon and Mara.  It jumps backward a bit and follows this entry.  Please read the other fine entries posted here.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2014 06:54 am (UTC)
*claps* Go Mara, GO!
Jul. 29th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
Thank you.

It gratifyingly surprising that so many people are rooting for Mara.
Jul. 28th, 2014 07:27 am (UTC)
Love your use of imagery, really liked this story.
Jul. 29th, 2014 03:53 am (UTC)
Thank you. I took the topic as a challenge to see if I could be descriptive enough without unnecessary imagery. Your comment makes my day. :)
Jul. 28th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
So well-written! AW
Jul. 29th, 2014 03:53 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 29th, 2014 12:46 pm (UTC)
A good, action-filled installment.
Jul. 30th, 2014 01:28 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jul. 30th, 2014 05:16 am (UTC)
Glad to see more of Mara! She's got such strength, even if she doesn't always know it. :)
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
She on the road to discovering that. Thanks for reading. :)
Jul. 30th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
Great imagery! Now I want to read the other installments. Good job.
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you liked it. :)
Jul. 31st, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
Awwww... I feel bad for the mage, who I'm sure did not like Jalon any better than Mara did.

Burning the contents of the room before escaping, though? Well deserved. :)
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
I feel bad for him too, but he was never meant to survive. That's probably why I never named him in my sub-consciousness. You're right, he didn't like Jalon either. I imagine the circumstances of his service to Jalon were similar to Mara's in origin.

I think that as I go on, the burning of the room will have additional significance. I'm not sure how much of it will make it into the story though.
Jul. 31st, 2014 01:48 am (UTC)
Yay Mara. I knew she'd gotten out so it's good to have the backstory on how she figured it out.
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
She's just awakening to the idea that she is special. As she figures it out, her strength will increase.
Jul. 31st, 2014 04:20 am (UTC)
just loving this whole story
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Jul. 31st, 2014 06:51 am (UTC)
Yippie!! Good to see Mara in action..:D..Good Job! well written!
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad people are liking Mara.
Aug. 1st, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
I feel like I've said this before, but sucks for you, Jalon. :P
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jalon has no idea what he's in for.
Aug. 8th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC)
I was crazy busy last week, and didn't get to this, but glad I caught up to it... I had been wanting to see this prequel. It did not disappoint, and, as always, leaves me wanting more of this castle.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you for coming back to read. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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