Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Situated in a vast sand ocean many thousands of leagues from either the farm girl or the princess, it seemed blasphemously angular and dark amid the flowing, pale sand. Rising up several hundred feet, it was as menacing as it was impregnable. Composed of a bizarre cyclopean construction from an odd, dark-colored stone, it might as well have been a conjuration of fairy magic or a construction of demonic forces. The tower bore no visible entrance nor any identifying insignia. Only seemingly random small windows gave any indication that the structure might be inhabited by beings of this world. Even more surprising was that the beings were actually humans.
A piece of moldy bread and some gruel—more than a feast for the plump rat skulking nearby—was the latest in a long line of neglected prison meals. The guards still had no idea how “it” was still alive. The lump of degenerated humanity dressed only in filthy, waist-length hair mats never moved under its own volition. It never resisted, nor made a noise—even during weekly inquisitor lashings. The leaky bucket-cum-chamber pot was as empty on this day as it was the first day. This was the constant state of the cell.
Except on the nights of the full moon.
On those nights it would stand and stare up at the lone cell window. It would focus on that lone silvery glowing spot. When the moon finished its voyage across the dark gulf of the sky and sank below the horizon the prisoner would once again become a lump of flesh on the floor.
Most of the guards had no idea how long things had been this way nor were they curious to find out. When an entire prison consisted of over two hundred guards and only one prisoner even a fool should have known there were special circumstances. Anyone who asked questions or chatted idly about the prisoner was wordlessly executed by one of the warden’s dozen elite guards. The regulars’ only standing order was to report immediately to the warden if the prisoner spoke. That would turn out to be a dire mistake for the warden
Perhaps it was due to the lack of light in the cell. Perhaps it was due to inattentiveness of the guards. Perhaps it was due to a face half covered in dirty, matted hair. Perhaps it was even the lack of information they received concerning their charge. Whatever the reason, none of the guards noticed the change in the prisoner. While she did not speak, nor make any other sound, she instead did something the warden would be equally interested about. It had only been briefly, it had only been slightly, but for a few moments the prisoner had been smiling.

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