Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS or LotR.Grave Daughter
A drum beats in the dark.Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
These are the first things she knows – darkness and drumbeats – even before she knows she is a she, and that there is an opposite of dark. She knew other things, once, but her thoughts are slipping in and out of focus as the sound grows louder, welling up in her chest like the frenzy of war drums. War. She knew that, too.Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
It is the sound of her own heart beating in her chest. This realization brings with it the knowledge that she has lungs, too, and a need to breathe; but one gasping breath sucks in all the air there is and it is not enough. She tries to move, her limbs like disconnected parts wakening in the dark, but there is no space, no air, no light. She cannot remember what that is. She claws frantically at the walls confining her. Silky cloth tears beneath her ragged nails, and then there is wood, but it splinters easily in the face of her desperation. She understands herself to be lying down only when moist earth pours in around her, heavy and suffocating. She chokes –
– and falters. How easy would it be to slip back into the deep-dark and close her eyes? Thump-thump.
Unseeing eyes snap open and a feeling she cannot name overtakes her. She presses up against the cold blanket of mud, flailing and kicking and fighting with everything she has. One hand breaks the surface and she surges upwards, exploding out of the tortured earth.
She coughs and splutters and inhales all at the same time, and staggers to her feet. Strength coils tensely under her skin, but there is a leaden ache in her soul and already this world is too harsh, too strange. The wind’s voice echoes singsong in her ears, nonsense words she cannot comprehend. The swollen moon hangs like a beacon light over her head, clarifying nothing.
There is grave dirt in her mouth and she cannot remember her name.