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Twist the knife [story]


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Fair warning: There's going to be child abuse in varying detail.

I'm going to be dumping some short stories/scenes from various points of Cenric's past. The post aren't likely to be chronological. I'll try to leave them somewhat open so if you'd like to have some IC history with Cenric, this thread is also for that!


Abiga's house never fails to amaze Cenric. It isn't a highborn's estate - not by any means, but there are three seperate rooms and two blimmin' floors. He feels tiny when he stands in the hallway of the house, the eyes of Abiga's hired thugs searing into him.

He wasn't allowed here often. Only when he was well behaved and did a good job. If he did a really good job, the woman would give him an extra blanket and whatever leftovers were in the cookpot. If not, well. He'd be out on the piss-stinking streets tucked into a small alcove with naught but the rats for company.


The room is well lit by warm firelight as Abiga looms above him, arms crossed and her worn face a mask of stone. "Pathetic. Again," she commands, her voice cold and sharp like steel. He knows that voice. He's not so young to fail to recognise that dangerous edge of barely-restrained anger.


So he does it again. Just as she showed him. Stick him in the gut, twist the knife, pull it out at an angle. Repeat if the bastard is still standing strong.


He doesn't want to make her angry.


The last time he'd disobeyed her, he'd made plans in secret to leave - run away with another lad his age. To where, they didn't know. They were to steal away in the night and put this cursed city far behind them.

It was a childish notion. He'd known that then and he knows it now, but it was still something to cling to.


When Abiga had found out she'd unleashed a fury to rival Halone's - not because she's ever cared about him, but because he was useful, well-groomed. She'd spend a lot of time picking him apart and putting him back together how she saw fit, and Abiga wasn't one to let her assets get away from her.


As punishment, she'd slashed him across the cheek with the glinting silver letter-opener in her hand. It cut deep, and he remembers the deep shade of his blood as it dripped from the blade. Remembers the dark, damp, clastrophobic walls of the storeroom she'd locked him in. He hasn't seen nor heard from his friend since. Neither has anyone else.


No, he doesn't want to make her angry.


But he doesn't want to do what she's grooming him for.


"Better." The edge to her voice has lessened, but he doesn't dare relax. "Again."


Cenric obeys. In the gut. Twist the knife.

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