The girl sat huddled in a corner of the room, naked and shivering on the damp mildewed carpet that smelt of mouse droppings and earthworms. Her arms were wrapped around her bent legs, hugging her knees tight to her chest: partly to try and keep warm, mainly to conceal her nakedness. Her green eyes were glassy with fear. A deep line of concentration creased her brow as she fought to keep her gaze lowered, keep it focused on the faded pink roses that patterned the carpet, keep it from straying to the body of the dead girl.
The dead girl that was her best friend.
The dead girl that was hanging upside-down, tied by her ankles to the wooden beam overhead.
The dead girl who's throat had been cut.
Dark blood was seeping from the wound, running down the sides of the girl's upside-down cheeks, through the short blonde hair, before soaking into the carpet with a moist splat; turning the roses from pink to red.
A man was standing to one side. A short-limbed, thick-bodied dwarf. His dark hair was long and greasy, streaked at one side with a startling flash of white. In one hand he held a knife, it's blade smeared with blood. In the other hand he held an ornate golden goblet tarnished to a greenish hue. Extending his arm he placed the goblet beneath the head of the dead girl. Catching the drips.
A rustle of movement from the shadows caused the naked girl to look up.
A woman had stepped into view. Even through her fear the girl was stunned by the woman's beauty, for one fleeting second hope bubbled up within her; surely no-one who possessed such beauty was capable of harm. The bubble burst as the woman took the goblet from the dwarf, wrapped her slender pale fingers around the golden vessel and lifted it to her lips. She drank down the contents in one long thirsty gulp. Thin rivulets of blood trickled down her chin.
The woman handed the goblet back to the dwarf. She turned to look at the girl at her feet. When she spoke her words were stilted, thick with an unfamiliar east European accent.
"This one," she said. "This one I will save for later."