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The crypt VII [ FINAL]

A strangled scream tore from my throat as I struggled, pinned beneath the creature’s weight. Her hair, as black as night, whipped against my face, and the icy chill of her claws pierced my skin.

“Please, no,” I whimpered, my voice barely a whisper. “Let me go.”

“Aerin,” she whispered, her voice raspy and harsh. “Aerin, Aerin, Aerin.”

The name echoed through the walls of my nightmare, each repetition a cruel blow to my heart. I tried to move, to fight, but it was as if I was trapped in a swamp, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness.

I woke up with a start, my heart pounding frantically in my chest. Cold sweat soaked my tattered dress, and the terror of the dream still hung in the air like a thick fog.

It took me a few minutes to compose myself, to separate reality from fantasy. But the memory of the dream was too vivid, the name echoing in my ears like a sinister omen.

I knew what it meant. I was marked for death.

I let out a shaky breath, trying to quell the rising panic. I had known this day would come, ever since I was captured by my aunt and imprisoned in this dark cell. But I hadn’t expected it to feel so… terrifying. The thought of my own death, of my life being snuffed out like a candle in the wind, filled me with a primal fear.

At that moment, the cell door opened, and a guard walked in. I couldn’t hide my surprise; instead of one of the queen’s monstrous fairies, there stood a human. His brown eyes bulged with fear, and his face was pale as death.

“I heard her screams,” he said, his voice trembling. “The Banshee… she was here.”

He stared at me with a mixture of pity and terror. “I know what it means,” he whispered. “You won’t survive the ritual.”

I blinked, puzzled by his unexpected concern. “But… why would you care?” I stammered. “Aren’t you loyal to the queen?”

He shook his head, a mixture of pity and despair in his eyes. “I serve her against my will,” he confessed, his voice laden with sadness. “I was hoping you’d survive.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat, forcing the words past the fear constricting my chest. “Even if this darkness claims me, I’m glad to know I’ll be helping others,” I murmured. “I would have liked to survive, but I’m ready for whatever fate awaits me.”

The guard nodded solemnly. “The queen is waiting,” he said quietly.

I got up from the cold floor and followed the guard out of the cell. Before we left, he turned to me and said, his voice low and laden with sadness: “I’m sorry.”

I didn’t say anything. There was nothing to say.

As we walked down the dimly lit corridor, my mind raced. I thought about my family, my friends, my life. I thought about all the things I would never get to experience.

A tear rolled down my cheek, and I quickly wiped it away. I took a deep breath and steeled myself for what was to come. I would face my fate with courage, even if it meant my death.

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