Elf Apprentice Abducted by the Twin Oubliettes,
or Catboy Rape Apologia Epoch
—Morning bells masked the cry of the elf apprentice in the oubliette of Castle Ringer. It howled from the top of the twin towers, pollinating over the pastoral waste bleeding into the river. At that time and place, it was the only choice. Mark feared the epiphany as it came years later.
Death rattles shot from the base of the prisoner's throat, into his intestines, and finally escaped from the bowels. Elf boys were harvested from the fungi hermitage formed at the biohazard waste deposit’s mouth. This was all that remained of the moat. But resources were rich. Twin oubliettes were built on the Ringer prince’s request, constructed at the lowest rung of the east and west wing’s chamber towers. These inverted fissures were meant to act as interchangeable decoys in the capture of political prisoners. However, neither party employed at each respective tower were made aware of any occupancy. The twins were forever opposed in a silent standstill.
Mark knew prisoners lost their vision first. Then their hearing gradually degrades until the cochlear nerve explodes into useless subcutaneous fat. If there was ever a life to live, the oblitarée might see it flash before his eyes, or simply seizure and die without fanfare. No one knew what to do with a dead elf corpse. Mark was not a professional elf-hunter. Castle Ringer only hired young men without parents, raised in the shadows without a sense of life outside. This gave them the privilege of not forgetting what they could never know. It gave them justice.
The elf’s name was Mercy. Supposedly, he had violated the catboy chapel’s sacrosanct garden commissioned by a feudal lord. His eyes were silver, piercing any lowlander’s heart with disgust. At the moment of arrest, he threatened the patrol with bacillus anthracis spores. His alchemist master made him from mercury, raising him to survive in the moat’s climate as a sleeper agent. Beautiful and devastating, the elf boy’s eerie aura still caused public radiation paranoia. So, without much deliberation, Mercy was captured on the spot. He was Mark’s problem now.
—Eternal spirit of the chainless elf boy’s mind! Damn, Mark thought, this fucking sucks.
Nowadays, Castle Ringer’s oubliettes were fueled by the drained humors of eunuchs, creating a potent aluminum amalgam basin. This fluid floods at midnight, raising the corpse to the swollen oubliette’s door. Mercy’s peritoneum was cleansed by Mark, the only catboy employed at Castle Ringer. His duty was not to determine the cause of death, but to make efficient use of the prisoner’s remains. Third shift guards couldn’t curse, even alone at the dead of night. Despite common sense, Mercy was labeled a biological threat, a weapon of mass fantasy destruction.
Mark combed Mercy’s strands of silver hair, peeling the split ends behind the pinched tips of his ears. His master probably thought the reference to “mercury” was clever, unaware he was poisoning the kid for life. Once an elf apprentice, always an elf apprentice. The oubliette supervisor once praised Mark for his commitment to Castle Ringer’s sanitation facilities. Mark occasionally swallowed his own vomit, but always bit his tongue when it came to the truth.
Around midnight, Mark finished the extraction. He exposed Mercy’s still-wet chest, caressed the tips of his nipples. They were not cold. A whimper came from Mercy’s lips, the skin still broken raw from his struggle against the patrol. An oily coat from the oubliette’s cesspit made Mark’s grasp clumsy. As if possessed, he beat down on Mercy’s diagram with his knuckles, repeating the attack until a fountain of the aluminum amalgam spewed from the elf boy’s lips. Mercy coughed violently, rolled to his side, overwhelming Mark as they fell to the floor. No one said a word.
A sharp, quick snap rang into the ceiling. Mark winced, anticipating broken bones, but realized nothing was amiss. Mercy had hit his head against the trapdoor. Blood neatly pooled into the shape of the tiled flooring, forming miniature labyrinths as the elf writhed, then curled up in a corner. Mercy explored the back of his split-open skull. He touched the wet matter of his brain with two fingers. Despite all that he’d been robbed off, Mercy could still feel the warmth —the last thing to vanish were his nerves and sense of smell. Deaf, but not numb. He wiggled into a sitting position like a newborn deer smeared in afterbirth. He closed his eyes, then collapsed.
Mark gagged. The elf smelled earthy, more mammalian than the lowlanders in the barracks. Mercy lost consciousness. The oubliette was sealed shut. A deep gurgle followed the drainage system’s restart, a process that would fill the deep vertical trench with a fresh supply of aluminum amalgam. Between these hours, the oubliette was not to be disturbed.
Mercy deserved this. This world was not his world; this life his life. Mark carried him over his shoulder. But still, Mercy wasn’t the ordained oblitarée. Not anymore. Sad, living-dead thing.
A prisoner’s disappearance could be easily covered by the excuse of venereal disease or septic infection. The lowlander boys, suspicious of Mark’s uncanny ears, the raw diamond slits of his pupil, his fangs, knew better than to harass him. Besides, there was the other twin oubliette — Mark swore he’d heard rumors of another prisoner captured. A mute swordsman-for-hire, he recalled, was gagged, bound, and lowered hours after Mercy’s capture. Mark dug his claws into his own scalp, sliding against the mason wall with Mercy’s weight in frustration. The elf might come back to his senses soon, he feared. Mercy had fulfilled his duty of being forgotten. It didn’t kill him. The trauma only waterlogged the brain, making it slip out into his hair in chunks. The slough accumulated until Mark felt the dampness on his lap. The tissue was throbbing, somehow.
As a child, before being sold to Castle Ringer, Mark vaguely recalled his brother biting ticks off his tail, grooming the swollen spots left with unconditional love. He enjoyed it, when his brother did this to him when they were alone. He taught him everything. Their parents met with the prince’s chaperon who only insisted on Mark, however. The rest was difficult to recall. Mark knew the pleasure of touch, even when he received little to none from within Castle Ringer.
Mark dug deeper into his roots, separating his hair away from Mercy’s so as not to entangle it. A steady stream of aluminum amalgam continued flowing from the corner of the elf boy’s mouth, fading in color from acidic pink to a dry blue. It pooled at his collarbone, then dove into his armpits, dripping from a deliberate, cautious finger stretched across his elbow. Mark would not forget him. His duties for the night were dismissed. Only Mercy remained to be attended to. Ammonium chloride cysts blossom if the oblitarée is abandoned. Exposure to the chemical reaction would cause mass hysteria in the towers. Mark’s hands trembled, frantic to occupy themselves. He combed locks of nerve tissue out of Mercy’s bangs, beginning from the top of his head and ending at the elegant slope of his nape. This was calming. Long strokes, then short.
Bit by bit, Mark assembled the brain matter into shapes filling the gaping hole in Mercy’s skull. The warden taught him how to remove follicles and fat to access the Elf Circle of Willis, the main blood artery. Castle Ringer’s texts implied homunculi — the few that existed — obtained their magical potency due to a genetic subclavian steal phenomenon. The arteries, hot and pulpy under Mark’s thumb, weren’t damaged at all. As he added the finishing touches, Mark propped Mercy into a sitting position, head against the wall as though he was asleep. He was lovely.
For now, he’d bolt the skull shut with a nail and hammer from the supply closet. Later, if escape was feasible, the catboy would politely ask if Mercy would prefer surgical corrections. It made his cock twitch at the thought of having to provide for his every need. A good elf was hard to find. Now, fortune was courting him with a passing high. Mark entertained the thought, wondering how loose the apprentice had become inside the oubliette. He shuddered.
Gently, he guided Mercy’s palm to his erection, exposing himself to massage the fingers around the base. Mark sucked the air through his teeth — Mercy was colder than he realized. If he focused, enough friction would warm up the palms. After a half-hearted jerk from his hips, Mark found a decent pace, almost as good as the real thing. He needed to hold Mercy’s hands in place tightly, cupping them into a perverted prayer. The position was awkward, but functional. Perhaps this was the only fruit the oubliettes provide, this his only chance to ever seize it.
Never had he come so close to an elf before. Mark simply couldn’t let him be alone and forget. If there was an opportunity to put Mercy in his place, Mark convinced himself he’d achieved it. He’d never come so close to an elf before. He wiped Mercy’s face clean, toying with his lips until they twitched to red. Blood flushed the elf boy’s cheek as his eyes fluttered open.
“I forgot—” Mercy moaned. He locked himself into Mark’s petrified gaze. “What that felt like.”