I woke up slowly feeling the softness of some kind of material against me back so I relaxed letting me body sink into it. The air had a fresh sent kind of like me grandmother’s bedroom, I felt a little relief thinking that I must have been dreaming and I had just woken up in me own damn bed, tthat was until I rolled over and felt a sharp pain in me rib cage. I opened me eyes, the La Diablesse who had given me the speech the other day was sitting in a chair next to the Alter, there was a concerned look on she face as she leaned in. She beauty delayed me panic for a second and I sat up but I had to lie back down as an intense dizziness came over me. I looked up at the clouds whirling round in the sky they twirled like cotton candy in a cotton candy machine. I closed me eyes so as not to make meself sick, but the spinning sensation continued, I opened me eyes and slowly the fuzz that surrounded everything disappeared. I looked over at the La Diablesse and tried to sit up again, man, I hated lying down when I felt sick, the she demon was not smiling like she always was, but she did not seem angry either. She stood up and walked over to me.
“You need not exert yourself lay down.” She said using she hands to gentle push me back onto the Alter. When she was sure I had settled down she turned and walked out of the cave a mild scent of lilac filled the air reminding me of a small perfume store me mother used to work in. I lay down and looked up to the sky and the sun that was hovering over the opening; it was partly covered by a small cloud that was slowly floating by. A seagull flew by its screeching made me think of Sundays on the beach. The splash of a wind surfer as he fell, the laughter of children as they buried each other in the sand, the roar of an outboard engine as it propelled a small boat; I truly missed standing on the beach looking out at the ocean. I closed me eyes trying to will meself there, man I tell you what, the shadows of the clouds running its course on the shell-speckled sand would have been a welcomed sight right then. The seagull circled the opening of the cave as if contemplating on wither or not to explore the interior, it swooped into the opening but was startled by the darkness and flew back out circling bout three more times taunting me with its freedom then disappearing into the blue.
I sat up as the La Diablesse walked back into the cave holding a tray of food. Me belly rumbled and I attacked the food even before she sat it on the Alter next to me.
“You should slow down; you have been unconscious for a couple of days.” She was looking at me with an expression of disgust on she face so I took smaller bites of food all the while looking to see if she approved.
“You have made a bitter enemy in that Christine,” She said as if making an excuse for the warrior La Diablesse’s behaviour. “Now we have to keep her and her little sect away from you because I think she would kill you before we have time to use you.” I stopped eating and looked up at she and she saw the inquiring look in me eyes.
“Don’t worry, you might enjoy the ceremony. It is the aftermath you may not enjoy. Most men relax and enjoy the ceremony knowing their fate so I suggest you do the same thing.” She stopped talking and walked round the alter stopping to look up at the sky.
“Christine was one of the first to defy the Gods and join us. After the curse took effect on us she decided to stay here and not go back to Larilikan. She stayed on to help us with security but she is not allowed to participate in the ceremonies however we let she have her way with the men after. “ I listened as she spoke, then she stopped talking and saw that I had finished eating the food
“You need to get your strength back lay down, rest.” Then she turned and walked out of the cave taking the tray with she leaving me in the pale light. As I lay there I vividly remembered the beating I received at the hands of the warrior La Diablesse I mean that woman beat me ass real good. Small beads of sweat formed on me chest and then trickled down me sides as I sat up trying to stop the flow of thoughts in me head. The Alter was a lot softer because they had covered it with a thick piece of foam, there was a sheet over the foam its whiteness standing out in the dim light from the one torch next to the Alter, damn women had some compassion after all. I used the sheet to wipe off some of the moisture in the palm of me hands then got up and slowly began to walk round the cave pain racking me body as I moved. Me feet sank into the sandy floor as I walked it was real warm, me mind raced with ideas of how I would escape and the more I thought the faster I walked ignoring the frigging pain that coursed through me body.