The one thing she had always noticed about the place was it was so cold, a frigid, torturous chill that had long since eaten its way into the core of her being. It never left, it was as much a part of her now as the nightmares that plagued her, as the creatures that drifted past her cell. Cold and unforgiving, a place where only the lowest were sent to rot in the poison of their own sins. Never to see or feel hope, to feel the warmth of touch and love, only to wallow in unintentionally self inflicted pain that spun on a broken reel in the darkest dredges of their minds. The screams that echoed along the prison were filled with pain, some begging to be taken away, to go any where else-- to escape the nightmares that would always catch them, gnawing slowly at their minds until nothing was left but a shriveled shell of a soul that would never know mercy.
She could feel the rough flooring against her feet, wounds that had never healed stinging with the sudden pressure. Dirt had become a life style she was forced to accept, settling over and under her fingernails, as if trying to blacken her on the outside to represent the stone heart that the guilty conviction had given her. Faint bruises lined the skin of her arms, results of thrashing that often accompanied a failed escape from the nightmares that arose from the brutal corner of her mind. Trapped was the only feeling she could hold onto, any memory of being free, of being clean and able to move about were faded scenes of black and white. Ones before imprisonment always felt much more vivid, real in every sense of the word. The worst moments were all she could remember clearly, the best having long since crumpled to be figuratively discarded by the creatures who swept by with no regret.
Her fists clenched uselessly at her sides, before drawing up to clench her knees tightly against her chest. An ending was closer than she had ever imagined, slowly approaching with each footstep along the halls. And what she wouldn’t have given for more years in the nightmarish hell she had come to know as her own, to remain alive and with the faint chance of escape, of freedom. For something as simple as seeing the sun rise, feeling the gentle warmth of a hand comforting against her cheek. The feel of fabric rubbing against her skin, the sound of laughter twinkling from the mouth of one so young and innocent.
All these things were dead, gone, nonexistent.
The moment she had chosen to seek revenge, she had unknowingly given the simple of pleasures of life, handing her happiness and warm life over on a silver platter that lay rotting at her feet. Invisible and yet she knew it was there, every happy, pleasant memory blackened to a cusp of despair. Every touch, every smell, every warm pleasure had long since been torn away for the chilling, darkening cold that sank deeper with each passing day. The end might have been near, but it wasn’t any sort of end.
It was the beginning of the end, of unawareness, of forever losing her sense of self. She barely felt the tears that ran down her cheeks, leaving snaking trails in a layer of dirt she had long since given up on trying to wipe away. The footsteps were coming closer, an echo among the wind that snaked down the halls. The creaking that accompanied her cell door being opened had her flinch, trying to make herself invisible in the shadowed corner. No voice spoke, not a whispered word of regret from the two who mercilessly grabbed her arms and hoisted her upwards, settling her already shaking feet on the ground.
She was sobbing now, but she had become so detached from emotions it was like listening through a waterfall. Her footsteps were soft thumps in comparison to her sobbing, aching heart. She had known it was coming, she had awaited years for a sentence to have some stone faced, careless enforcement officer inform her that a life was worth her own. She didn’t try to cling to either of them, didn’t try to beg for one last chance. All she could do was sob as she felt the cool metal being placed against her hands, restraining them so they fell limp. The table was upright, cold against her back and the torn striped outfit she had worn the last years.
When the creature entered, her heart quickened, racing to escape her chest and leave her alone to face this fate. Yet none of her could escape the binds, her gaze catching a guards only to receive a sympathetic glance that through her off, as if he understood why she had done it. It didn’t make things any easier, it didn’t erase years of pain and suffering, or what was about to happen, but that one understood was better than none. She closed her eyes as the creature swooped, her sobs no longer coming as her throat was dried and her mind numb.
The last image before her mind was her little girl, the slain figure she had watched fall to her feet at the carpet beside the man who had begun this hell. She had no remorse for the curse that had ended the man. Could never feel a hint of regret for her deed, despite the torment it had brought down upon her. She forced her eyes open, the Dementor a looming presence towards the side.
The man was watching, curiosity and pain in his own eyes. And so she spoke, story leaving her lips in fast, stumbling words.
Someone would know why before they took her soul.
Author's Note: Critique is very welcome, as I haven't written fan fiction in ages and am a bit out of practice. And I just changed the ending to make this a short story, and you might find this poor woman to be a familiar character. =P