“But...but...” stammered Kallista. “Your Valkyrie...not Darquesse!”
Darquesse examined her nails in a not caring sort of way. “Oh, Valkyrie is long gone.” She told them. “Dare I admit it but I used to be that snivelling wreck of a girl.....but just look at me now!” she said lifting her arms up into the air. “I’m queen of the world!” she said chuckling to herself.
“Ah!” she said standing and turning to Skulduggery. “Skulduggery, how you have done well, my loyalist of servants.”
“For you my queen, I would do anything.” Skulduggery said bowing once again.
Dragona turned to Israel and Kallista and mock gagged making them chuckle slightly.
“Ah! What have we here?” Darquesse asked curiously walking over to the three of them. “Visitors from an alternate dimension? How delightful! And what timing! I was just beginning to get bored!”
“What do you want with us?” snarled Israel glaring down at her.
“Well, I can’t have little trouble-makers like you wandering about my kingdom can I? And also I’m getting a little bored and when I’m bored I’m angry and when I’m angry....well, let’s just say you don’t want to see me angry.” she said, talking to Israel as you would do a child. It was really starting to bug Kallista. She was just about to say something when a high pitched whine came from her left. Skylara had awoken and she was scrambling about on the marble floor, trying to find her footing but whining in pain with her swollen paw.
“Oh...what have we here?” asked Darkquesse.
“It’s the alternate Skylara Wolfbane my lady. She won’t change back into human form, my guess is that she is too greatly wounded and distressed.”
“Aww! Poor little puppy!” Darkquesse said in a sickly sweet voice as she wandered over to Skylara. Skylara looked up and her eyes glistened with happiness as she recognised whom she thought to be Valkyrie. But then she as she sniffed the air she started to growl angrily, like no one had heard her before. Suddenly she lunged forward, her eyes manic. She had a muzzle on but Skylara didn’t care. All that she knew is that this woman was dangerous. Far too dangerous and utterly insane. She could smell the power in the air around her yet the smell of the woman’s passion for suffering was so much stronger.
Darquesse sighed and lifted her hand in the air, making Skylara freeze. Slowly, Darquesse began to curl her hand into a fist and Skylara wailed in pain as the sound of cracking bones could be heard.
“STOP IT!” sobbed Kallista, unable to see her friend in such pain. “JUST STOP IT! YOU’RE KILLING HER!”
Darquesse relaxed her hand and Skylara fell to the floor in a grey heap. “Oh Kallista.” laughed Darquesse. “Where would be the fun in that?”
Three hours later the sound of curdling screams could still be heard echoing through the castle. Dragona and Israel lay in their cells, trying to block out not just the pain they felt, but the pain that could be heard within Kallista’s screams.
“We’ve got to do something!” exclaimed Dragona, cradling his broken arm and trying to drown out Kallista’s screams of torture. “It’s bad enough when she’s torturing me but...I just can’t listen to any more...”
“I know.” growled Israel, the anger in his voice unmistakeable. “But at least we know she’s not going to kill any of us...yet anyway. She wants to have her fun first...” he said, feeling queasy at just the thought of how someone could be so evil.
“How’s Sky?” he asked Dragona.
“Still unconscious.” Dragona mumbled unhappily. “How do you think she’ll ever turn back?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Israel replied, wincing slightly as he tried to stand up and put some weight upon his broken foot. “First of all...we need to figure out how to escape...”
“And just how are we gonna do that? Hmm? Skulduggery and the cleavers are constantly on alert and they’re all completely focused on serving their beloved queen and making her happy! They’re gonna watch us like hawks coz we’re her ‘new toys’ and the worst we can do is throw a few snarky comments in their direction!” Dragona shouted angrily.
Israel’s eyes sparkled with realisation. “That’s it...” he murmured. “Dragona! You’re a genius!”