There was a hard, wet thud as my body was thrown against the cold cobbles of my dim cell. I hardly wince; almost numb to the pain at this point. There’s a dull, stinging in both of my arms where armoured figures had gripped them harshly. “Another escape attempt, elf?” the Warden hisses, his angular face twisting in disgust at the mention of my race. Still on the ground, I prop myself up on my elbows, not giving him the satisfaction of eye contact. “Be thankful it’s me who caught you this time,” he spits. I draw my legs up to my chest, my prison trousers worn and dirtied at the knees. “I don’t think I need to tell you that the other guards aren’t nearly as forgiving.” He points to my face with a chain-mail finger. I cover my black eye with the pale palm of my hand. I don’t have it in me to cry anymore and certainly not in front of him. I turn away into the corner until I hear my cell door shut. 

Just then, I hear the heavy wood door of the dungeons entrance creak open. I stand and rush over to peer out through the bars of my cell. Being pushed up through the narrow corridor, to my utter disbelief, is an elf! His pointed ears stick up through his pitch black hair, his golden eyes gleaming with mischief. I could tell he was much younger, maybe 25 years or so, than myself. I watch helpless as he’s stuffed into the cell just across from me. His eyes widen at the sight of me.

He opens his mouth to speak but waits until a guard passes. “You’re General Kira of the Elven Inquisition!” he whispers-yells over to me. I nod in acknowledgement; but the title means nothing to me anymore. I’d been captured nearly a decade ago now. The months tallied in scratches on the wall. “Gods” he says in amazement, “Everyone back home thinks that you’re dead but I didn’t!”

‘Home’. The word rang almost hollow to me. ‘Home’ was an island of the coast of Dublin where us elves were banished to once the Human King deemed Dublin “too pure an area” for our kind. “This is amazing!”. I blink at him in confusion, stunned at his words. “Every elf on the island has lost hope of taking our home back, but now you ca be a sort of symbol to them!” I tried to think back to a time when I was just as hopeful as this boy. Before my son and husband were killed in the first Battle for Ireland.