She was trapped in the darkness, unable to move. Her wrists and ankles were chained to the ice-cold surface she found herself sitting on. Her legs were forced apart.
It’s an altar, she knew even though she couldn’t see.
There were red candles along the perimeter of the room, but she couldn’t make out the man standing in front of her. A languid song was being played on the shamisen[mfn]three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument[/mfn]. Each time the string was plucked, a chill ran down her spine.
She could hear her own harsh breathing, feel the violent thumping of her heart.
A pair of hands reached out to touch her. Rough fingertips trailed along the soft, white skin of her cheeks, down her neck and squeezed her thin shoulders.
She struggled even though she knew there was no escape.
Deft fingers untied her obi and kneaded her waist. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. The song of the shamisen continued, unperturbed. She struggled and more large, calloused hands reached out to grab her, forcing her to lie flat on the altar. They tore the rest of her clothes away.
Helpless tears leaked from the corners of her wide ink-black eyes.
Suddenly, there was a gust of cold air and the hands groping her vanished. A pair of soulless, light-grey eyes lit up the suffocating darkness.
Pale lips smiled and a pair of slender hands reached out to wipe away her tears. The smell of osmanthus filled the air and a familiar voice spoke, ‘Ojou-sama, it’s time to wake up.’
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