Make Belief Studios ~

March 22, 2008

chapter 07

Filed under: 02, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , , — Saturday @ 12:20 pm

Cold. It’s very cold in dungeons. Damp as well. I bet the dampness contributes to the cold. They wouldn’t care enough to heat dungeons, would they? Criminals don’t deserve any humane luxuries, right? It’s not like it’d get cold enough to cause any harm. Winters were pretty light in that part of the kingdom. Was I even a criminal?

I rested my forehead against the bars as I stood by the steel gate of my stone cell. I was trying to think of what exactly was so serious that Prince had threatened to execute me for. Once the guards dragged me to where my cell was insight, I became aware that what was happening, was really happening and so I began to attempt to resist. However, Maraulen, who had walked down with us, assured me that I wouldn’t be executed but I would have to be held briefly while she and “the council” decided what was to be done about the situation. She then confiscated my vial of Royal Honey. Bother.

So apparently I was in jail because of something to do with the Royal Honey. Maraulen had warned me before, but why was it so serious? Something had to have been going on that I didn’t understand. Why were the Indians so concerned about the bees and why was everyone concerned with Royal Honey?

Tremarch said he collected honey for the king, yet everyone seems to want nothing to do with Royal Honey. Was there some kind of conspiracy going on? Was I unwittingly involved in it? But then why am I being punished by other people who are involved in the same conspiracy? Because I was revealing the secret Royal Honey! Of Course! But wait, this is about honey, isn’t it? It’s just honey! This is all far too ridiculous!

Gah! I beat my head against the bars of the gate, slowly inhaled a breathe of the heavy, musty air, then turned around to face the wall. A small block cut out of its top allowed a pale blue light to flow into the cell. It was barely large enough to look through, so there was no chance of anybody escaping through it. An old wooden bench was spread along the same wall.

On the other side of the cell, a man sat spread out on the bench. He was asleep with his long hair covering his face, but he was obviously snoring. He rested with his head set back against the wall and he’d chew on his hair in between breaths.

He was probably just some homeless drunk. I didn’t know why we had to share a cell, there were a couple more available and I was pretty sure we were the only two inmates there. I would expect there to be more of a crowd here, but maybe this isn’t the only prison in the city.

Although I felt relieved to hear I wasn’t going to be executed, the uncertainty of my fate was a feeling that was creeping eerily upon me. Maybe this castle really was too crazy of a place to stay. Heck, I doubted they would let me stay, since I’d been to prison. Royalty usually doesn’t want to associate with criminals, “keeping appearances” and all that. However from what I’d seen of the royalty around there, appearances didn’t seem to be a top concern.

I bet Tremarch’s offer still stood, if I could get out of there by noon the next day I could go and live with him! Would that happen? They weren’t going to execute me, but no one said anything about letting me go!

I should figure out how to get out of here.

I scanned the room. Bars, walls, micro-window, bench, drunk… not much to work with. The prison looked like a typical old dungeon, maybe there was a hole in one of the walls I could open up, or maybe the hinges on the gate would be rusted. I looked around but nothing was popping up in my favor. The gate was strong and the walls were secure. I guessed I’d just have to wait for someone to bring me food or something and break out then. The guy on the bench looked like he’d been there for a while and he didn’t seem to be starving.

Uh-oh. He was waking up. The man arched his back and rubbed the back of his head, yawning his own wake up call. I slunk against the cell’s bars wearily while the man pulled the strands of hair out of his mouth and glanced around the cell.

I didn’t like the sound of that.
“That is you, Mindy! I didn’t think I’d see you again!” The man sat up attentively and shone a toothy smile at me.
My goodness. It was him.
“Hi there… Kal. Fancy meeting you here.”

Unbelievably, it was that annoying soldier boy I traveled with before getting lost in Tremarch’s forest, Kalipherous Mennus. It takes a special kind of person to force you to remember a name like that and Kal was that person. I had learned to recognize him chiefly by his ridiculously bright orange hair, but in the dungeon, the faint light had painted his hair more of a dark blue and I didn’t recognize him.

“Certainly! What are you doing in a dungeon?! I’m very surprised, I wouldn’t expect you to turn up in a place like this!” Kal exclaimed chipperly.
“It’s more surprising that you’re here!” I snapped at him. Though I’m sure few people wouldn’t be surprised in this situation.
“I suppose it is!” he hummed through his smile. “I came to the castle to inform the king that I was going to end the war but apparently some of the townsfolk had already put in complaints about me, so they put me in here!”

I’m sure he told every person he came across that he was “going to end the war”. He’s been saying that since I first met him. Those were the first words he even said to me! Seeing how there hadn’t been a real war in decades, I’m sure the comment would have confused quite a few people. Not that I understood what he meant, either. Kal was a soldier, he had the armour and sword, obviously they had been confiscated while he was in prison, but hearing him say that there was a war going on in the kingdom, it would probably be a bit alarming.

“So, why are you here?” Kal asked again.
“I’m not exactly sure,” I replied, turning back to look through the bars of the gate. “Something to do with the king being a maniac, most likely.”
“Ahhh,” he moaned affirmatively. With my hands stretched through gaps between the bars, attempting to reach out and grab a piece of familiar freedom, I looked back at him,
“You know of the king?”
“Of course!” Kal suddenly turned serious and tilted his head down. “He’s the reason for this terrible war! He’s the one I’ve got to put a stop to!”
“What do you mean ‘put a stop to’?” I questioned.
“Beheading, probably.”

Let me out of here! This guy really is a maniac!
I flailed my arms and one of my legs on the other side of the bars.

“We should probably get out of here, hey?” He stated casually, glancing around the room as though he was preparing to say goodbye to a house he had been visiting.
“Huh? Do you know how to get out of here, Kal?” I pulled myself back through the bars and turned towards him. Kal stood up, stretched some more, then joined me at the cell gate.
“Nope.” I sighed disappointed. Admittedly I had some dwindling hopes that he might know how to escape. “But they usually let us out by dinner time!”
“What? How long have you been here, Kal?”
“A week probably.”
“And they let you out every day?”
“And you keep getting locked in here every day?!” I jumped towards Kal and wedged him between me and the gate. Kal was more than a head taller than me, so I’m sure I wasn’t much of a threat, but I had to express how much he annoyed me some how!
“Well, there’s a lot of guards to go through to get to the king!” Kal defended himself while gesturing innocently.

What’s wrong with this place?!
Someone comes to kill the king, so they just take away his sword and stick him in the corner for the day? Maybe they secretly wanted him to do away with the king, so they could get some stability back in their lives. That almost made me feel sorry for Prince.

Kal chuckled nervously as I sighed and stepped back for some thinking room. Kal really was a doofus, but he really did help me out when I was out on my own. I had spent as much time with Kal as I had with Tremarch, however his personality and one track mind had kept us from developing much of a relationship. Which, in retrospect, I’m grateful for. He’s a real handsome guy and all, but obviously someone who’s attempting assassination to end an imaginary war has to be bad company.


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