I’m sorry I had to interrupt when I did. No, it wasn’t my delivery, but it’s nice of you to ask. Really, I appreciate it. Hm? It’s just a normal question? Well, maybe to you, but to me it-
Never mind. We will get to my story thus far soon enough. Right now you are here for Lucy, yes? Where was I… Ah, yes. The clever girl had figured out the mad wizard’s routine and had gotten the hang of his habits. It didn’t take her long to figure out when he left the house or how often he did so, and soon Lucy had figured out a pattern.
The next time he left, she rushed up the stairs and – with the help of magic – she opened the door into his small home. She had never seen the inside before – the basement had been the only home she had ever known – and so Lucy had been worried that she might not be able to find her way out in time, but for once, luck was on the side of one of my family. It didn’t last very long, as you will see, but you might also argue that having found any luck at all is worthy of mention.
Desperate to escape her prison Lucy hurried out the only door she could see, and for the first time that she could remember she found herself outside. Can you imagine what that must have been like for her? Can you even begin to envision how all these strange sounds, smells and views must have seemed to her? There had been a whole different world right outside her small basement, and she had never even felt the smallest breeze. No, I know. It isn’t easy for us to really comprehend how this must have made her feel. It was rather overwhelming, I am sure. It’s not difficult to picture the young girl outside the confines of the hut for the first time, breathing in the air and marveling at the sight of trees, flowers, butterflies and whatever else there might have been. Whether she did, in fact, stop to admire any of those things I don’t know, but I would like to think that she could enjoy life for at least a brief moment before she ran for it.
Of course – and I’m sure you have guessed this by now – this was where her short moment of luck ran out. The wizard hadn’t expected Lucy to ever make it this far without his strict consent – which he hadn’t been prepared on giving for a while yet – and hadn’t set up a magical barrier to tell him of her escape as you might have done; however, unfortunately for the poor girl, the mad wizard had not yet gotten far. Of course, Lucy had never known where he went when he left the house, she had only known that he did and believed that those times were her only chance. Right she was, too, but in old Night tradition the wizard spotted her leave his house, and had her pinned down with magic almost instantly.
That night was terrible for Lucy. In his mind, after all, he had treated her so well, and it was beyond his understanding why she would want to escape his clutches. He had given her a home, had provided her with food when he had deemed her too thin, had given her beautiful dresses and – most of all – he had shared himself with her. Why she wanted to leave was not something he could understand in his delusion, but try she had, and for that she had to be punished. He was more violent, more assertive, with her that night than he had ever been, and Lucy soon wondered why she had ever hoped to escape this place. Escape was for other people. Luck was, too. Certainly neither were for someone like her!
It wasn’t until roughly three weeks later that things began to look truly miserable for Lucy. Despite her young age, she had always bled regularly, with hardly any delay at all, but this month the pain would not come and was instead replaced with one she had never felt before. She was pregnant, and the mad wizard would get what he wanted. His dynasty. His private army, to take over a world which had rejected her. She had never felt so sorry for herself, but more than anything she felt sorry for the child. This was, after all, the only world she had known, and it was not a world she wanted another infant to have to grow up in. For the first time in her life, she felt driven by purpose. She could not deny herself to the wizard since he was physically stronger than her, but she could deny him a child.
She was rather well practised in her magical ability by now, and conjured up a poisoned apple for herself which she hoped would be enough to end her young baby’s life, if not her own.
Fate did not allow her to be so lucky. The mad wizard found her before the apple could claim their lives, and gave her an antidote to the weak poison. As you can imagine, he was not pleased to learn that she had tried to kill herself, much less that she was pregnant and had tried to take his baby away from him, too. As our luck would have it, the child survived, and Lucy was in for another terrible night of punishment.
After this incident it took her several weeks before she felt brave enough to as much as think of escape again. She knew now that simply walking out like she had done before wouldn’t work, and she had learned the hard way that suicide was also no way to leave her hell. Slowly, an idea formed in her head. While she was terrified of executing it she knew that this was the only chance she would have, and she spent several days gathering her courage for the grisly feat she was about to perform.
One night, when everything lay still and silent, she opened the door to the shack one more time, praying to whichever god might listen that for once, luck would not betray her.