The rocks beneath her hands were rough and jagged, and the air was heavy, as if trying to drag her down further. It was then that Fue-chan realized she was mountain climbing. The sun was a like a vengeful god that beat down on her and the dry rock that she clung to. She was wearing a sleeve-less, long black dress---she stopped. ....Why am I wearing a /dress/?? On her feet she wore nothing, and she could feel the cuts and blisters that covered them. Miraculously, her dress was not ripped, which gave her the impression she had not been climbing long. Breathing heavy, she winced, her hands gripped the rock tighter, her fear making her heart beat faster and panickedly. I don’t want to look down...I don’t want to look down. Of course she didn’t want to, but like anyone could ever not look down when clinging to a mountain. When she did, the height was astounding. She was hundreds of feet up. Fue-chan almost passed out, her stomach doing about a billion flip-flops, but she just shut her eyes tightly, forcing herself to breath calmly. I have to keep climbing, she knew, but it seemed so helpless to do anything.
No! Just reach up and climb! she yelled at herself, not ready to give up and die. Weakly, she slowly /slowly/ reached up, her hand sore and aching and bleeding, and clamped it down onto a higher rock grip. Cringing and pushing herself hard, she raised her bare foot to set on a higher rock, but she couldn’t even see the rocks beneath her due to the long, full skirt. Damnit! /Why/ the /hell/ am I wearing this?! Her foot slipped, and she let out a terrified shriek, gripping the rocks with her hands tightly, basically dangling from the mountain. She was close to tears and in so much pain...why should I go on?
“Having trouble?”
Slowly, cringing, she turned her head to the source of a soft voice, to see a boy. Well, a man, persay. He floated beside her, flapping his large, beautiful wings behind him, wearing only a loin cloth and sandals. On his sandals were tiny little gold wings that flapped cutely to help keep him up. In his longish purple hair, little gold leaves were woven, and his face glittered of gold sparkles.
Gasping painedly and reminded of the Odyssey, she choked out, “...Hermes?”
The man’s eyes widened a little, then he sneered, which she thought seemed very unfitting to his soft features, “’Hermes?’ Well, I’m not surprised you don’t recognize me.”
At that moment, Fue-chan realized it was Eran, and wondered how she could have possibly not realized that from the start.
“Eran!” she gasped out, gripping the rock weakly, struggling to regain footholds, “please, taskete!”
But Eran simply gazed at her, his arms casually behind his back as he floated, “Why?”
Fue-chan stared at him, “....Why?? Eran! I’m going to fall!”
He glanced down at the long height, then back to her, “Why so you are.”
This....this can’t be happening.... the tears welled up in her eyes, and she winced again, “Eran...”
With a rather bored look, Eran stayed where he was, “I don’t like you much anymore, Fue-chan. I mean, you got married. What the hell is that about?”
Crying now, she tried pleading with him, “It wasn’t my fault, Eran, I didn’t want to...”
“Sure you did. Well, you always did like to use me.”
“Eran, please....”
“Well!” Eran began to float up, “I hope you fall soon, Fue-chan. Ja ne!”
He flew off as she sobbed pleads to him, but they were not heard. What....what have I done...? she thought miserably. It would be so easy to just let go, to just give up. Perhaps is would be nicer....
She jerked her head up, hearing Jerome’s voice. He was above her on the rocks holding onto them like she was. But to her shock, he was coming head down, climbing like a spider. He was right above her, gazing down with a panicked expression.
“Fue-chan, grab my hand!” he exclaimed, reaching out one hand and staying on the rocks miraculously.
“J-Jerome....” she choked out, cringing.
Wincing greatly, she pushed herself and reached up with one shaking hand towards his. Their fingers touched, and he quickly reached down further to grab her hand with a strong, warm grip. But the instant he had her hand, his grip changed, became hard and cold, unmoving. Breathing hard, she jerked her head up and let out a muted, horrified cry.
He was a statue. Still on the mountain, Jerome’s beautiful face was frozen in stone concern, stone eyes gazing at her. The statue of him had her hand tightly, locked in, and frightenedly, she tried to pull her seized hand back, but there was no way. In her fear, she slipped again, but didn’t fall. To her horror, she hung down by her hand only, which was still seized by the statue. Now, even if she wanted to fall, to die, she couldn’t. She was trapped.
A tinkling sound suddenly caught her attention, like tiny bells, and she looked up alarmedly. A new Jerome dropped in front of her, but he was tiny, the size of a fairy, and indeed, he was a fairy. He had tiny butterfly wings that flapped vigorously, and was dressed in attire much like the mischievous Puck. Little sparkles were all around him, and he smiled cheerfully, “Gomen ne, Fue-chan, but I can’t let you die.”
The stone grip around her hand was getting painful. “Please, Jerome...: she cried softly, “help me...”
“I don’t really know how, to be perfectly honest,” Jerome said thoughtfully, scratching his head a little. He smiled again though and flew forward to kiss her cheek softly with his tiny lips, “S’ok. I’ll hang around though.”
With that, he perched over on her shoulder cheerfully. She was trying to breath steadily, the tears streaming down her cheeks. Why....
“There she is SQUACK!”
“Let’s go bite her SQUACK!”
What now? Fue-chan thought wearily, raising her head to see two vultures circling around above her head.
“SQUACK I’m gonna bite her nose!
“Good idea SQUACK!”
Fue-chan stared at them with a repulsed expression, unable to avoid them as they swooped down at her.
“Hey SQUACK! I know you! You’re that Fue-chan girl SQUACK!”
It was then Fue-chan realized one of the vultures had Cojin’s voice. That vulture tilted his head at her, then leaned in and pecked a chunk of meat out of her cheek. Pain seared through her whole face and she sobbed-choked out a cry.
“Mmmn, tasty SQUACK!” the Cojin vulture noted cheerfully. The other vulture flew over and a long tongue emerged from it’s beak, running to lap up the blood on the Cojin vulture’s beak.
“I quite think so SQUACK!” the vulture said in Jaydrian’s voice, the disgusting, black tongue receding back into her beak.
Fue-chan lowered her head, sobbing quietly, when a tiny hand touched her cheek, and she remembered the Jerome fairy resting on her shoulder.
“Don’t worry, kid, I still love you,” he smiled warmly, tiny sparkles emanating from him to her wounded and bloody cheek, which healed slowly, the pain fading.
“Jerome....” she choked out softly, trying to stop weeping, “please...can’t you help me?”
Jerome’s smile turned sad, “No, not today. Maybe tomorrow.”
The Cojin vulture veered on them, “JEEERROOOMEE SQUACK! Oh, SAAAAAVEEE meeee SQUACK!”
Gritting her teeth, Fue-chan decided this Cojin vulture was just as irritating at the real thing, “Oh, would you just shut up?! Vultures don’t say ‘squack’ anyway, you moron!!”
The Cojin vulture turned his beak up in the air snottily, “SQUACK I don’t like your attitude!” With that, he swooped again and in one swift movement, his beak thrust into her eye, gauging it out. She shrieked in pain, the blood pouring down her face, raising her other hand to weakly try and get the vulture off of her, screaming in pain. The vulture flew back, letting the Jaydrian vulture lick the blood on his beak again.
Shuddering, Fue-chan realized the Jerome fairy was gone, vanished. She shuddered again before raising her eye to the vultures and shrieking at them, ‘Why don’t you just kill me?! Why don’t you just peck out my heart?!”
The vultures looked at each other, as if considering, then the Cojin vulture nodded a little, “I like the way you think SQUACK!”
Before she could barely blink, the vulture shot at her, and his beak pierced through her chest, though her head, blood spurting out everywhere.

Fue-chan’s eyes shot open, a terrified scream escaping her lips. She was almost hyperventilating, and her heart pounded like a jack hammer in her chest. All around her was darkness. She could feel the chain around her wrists and the hard bed beneath her. She... it’d been a dream. A nightmare. Relief came, but not much, because she knew she was still trapped in Hell. Gods.
“What’s wrong with you, child?” Jaydrian’s sharp voice came to her in the darkness.
“I...I had a bad dream....” Fue-chan’s voice trembled, sounded small like the child Jaydrian thought she was.
“What about?”
Her voice was quiet, “That you and Cojin were vultures who ate my heart.”
A cold laugh trilled though the darkness, and Fue-chan shut her eyes tightly. It was night, but she didn’t want to sleep again.
“Jerome....” she murmured in a tearful voice, but she knew nothing would happen. She would just die here, dangling from his stone grip, eaten by vultures.