She didn't remember a time without the bars. The glint of silver under the moon. The light pouring into the darkness. The ever-present guards, their faces contorted with fear.
She didn't know who they feared more - her, or the one they protected her from.
The Father came in. She was used to this by now. The prayers. The exorcisms. Nothing had come, anyway. Not yet, at least. But again, she was reminded.
"Look at me," Father Kelton cupped her small chin in his hand.
She didn't know why he said that. She had been looking at him the entire time. He brought out the Cross. A polished silver.
Suddenly, she felt it again. The quiver. The fear. As if some dark, ancient instinct was responding within her.
"Say it." Kelton's voice was quiet, but demanding. She knew to obey.
"Pure am I now, and Pure will I be. Never will the devil come within me." Her child's voice was a high-pitched whisper. Kelton poured his bottle of holy water over her head.
"You are freed, Lucy." She bowed her head. Her short black hair curled around her face and chin, and her blue eyes seemed to smirk. She wasn't free. No, these empty practices would never do it.
Father Kelton turned to leave.
"Where are my parents?"
"They were not worthy of this world."
"What does that mean?"
"You are a child of darkness."
"I want to be with them." The girl's voice was pleading. Must children be denied the little rights they had?
"No!" Lucy jumped at Kelton's sudden outburst. "Devil child, you must be cured. Think no more of them, and you will be freed."
"Where are they?" Lucy cried.
"Rest, child. We will continue tomorrow."
Father Kelton left and locked the cell behind him.
"Where are they?!" Her screams carried, unanswered, through the stone underground. Her silver shackles clicked into place on her wrists, and the silver door with it.
No, she wasn't free. Not her body, not her soul.