All right, I guess I'll post something here...although I'll admit I'm a little wary. I'm working on a new file right now, so I still have a long way to go before it's anything beyond rough (and, you know, good
); on the other hand, it'd be nice to get a little feedback before I get too set in my ways, or if I should change course before I drive this story off a cliff.
So here you go. Read on, and I hope you enjoy.
The prisoner slid his finger through the dirt, humming as the dried grains clumped onto his nails. “Name. Name, name, name,” he sang to himself, plastering a smile across his face. “What would be a good name? My, my, this is a bit more difficult than I thought it would be…”
His voice echoed through his cell — through darkness that blanketed him, his dirty nails, and his inevitable grave. And as his pleasant tones faded, he listened to the typical ambiance: his stone chains, rattling against one another with even the slightest twitch. The rustle of the earth as his nails swept through it — a minute sound, of course, but he’d always had those sensitive ears. His calm, measured breaths, unfazed by his virtual blindness. He’d actually started to grow fonder of his breathing in recent years; the motions of his chest and the swirl of air reminded him, day after day, he was still alive. Still an animal punished by his masters.
He let out a heavy sigh and rolled onto his back, his chained wrists acting as a makeshift headrest. “I’m actually a bit embarrassed,” he told the darkness, wearing the same lazy grin he had for years. “All this time trapped in here, and I still can’t come up with a name. It’s enough to make me think I’m losing my touch.” His heel slid across one of the grooves he’d left on the floor. “Well, I suppose it’s pointless to think something so depressing without a point of comparison.” The prisoner laughed curtly. “Knowing that I only have them
to compare myself to…now that’s
And then, a new sound. Something in the darkness shifted — one slow, grinding motion after another, casting dirt specks from the ceiling to the ground. The motions nearly shook the entire cell; with each rumble, the prisoner’s ears twitched and twitched again, almost as if electrified by such a rare resonation.
The prisoner stumbled to his feet. “My, oh my. My first guests in ages.” He and walked toward the sound’s source, his cuffed arms swaying and bouncing with each step. “Rather rude of them to keep me waiting for so long; so many preparations wasted, all because of a little tardiness. I’ll be sure to give them a stern talking-to.”
The ceiling rumbled one last time — and with that final motion, the light shone down. A white column, warm and translucent, drew the prisoner’s eyes. Of course, the mere sight of it made his eyes ache; out of sheer reflex, he pulled a forearm over his face. “Mind covering that up?” he called out. “I have my cell looking just the way I want it, and I’d rather not have any guests — late
guests, I might add — mucking up my designs.”
“Come into the light.”
“Come on now…you expect me to start following orders now, of all times?” He turned his back on the light — or rather, the deep voice that had beckoned him. “Maybe I’ll just stay here, then. It’s so quiet and quaint, and I don’t have to look at or listen to any of you. Paradise, if there ever was one. You follow?”
“The Circle awaits you.”
“Fantastic. But I think I’d rather dig through the dirt.”
“Your brother and sister would like to see you.”
The prisoner stopped. He turned his head a few degrees, just enough to catch a glimpse of the light from the edge of his vision. “Is that right?” he asked, smirking. “And I suppose judgment is awaiting me as well? Hardly a delightful prospect — I head out to see my family, only to have my skull smashed into paste a moment later.”
A long pause — plenty of time for the prisoner to listen to his breathing again. Plenty of time to hear a few muddled voices converse with the deep one. “There will be…a trial.”
“’We’? I think you’d best rephrase that. It makes you sound like you’re more than just The Circle’s stooge…bit of an oversight, if you ask me.” The prisoner sighed. “But enough of that. My brother, and my sister — are they here? Have they been well? Just the thought of them going without their beloved brother for so long…ah, it brings a tear to my eye.”
“You wish to see them?”
“I wish for a lot of things. I wish for peace and quiet, which I had before you came along…to say nothing of that smell. I wish for fun unimpeded, as well. And since you were so kind to bring up the possibility, I suppose it would do me well to venture out and see my family.” He chuckled to himself, but loud enough for his visitors to hear. “Especially since — as you would have it — it’ll likely be the last thing I do. Am I right?”
More muddled conversing. And then, after a full minute, the deep voice spoke again. “A fair assumption.”
“Heh. As I surmised.” The prisoner’s smile thinned, his fangs alight with malice. “You lock me up for over four billion years, and when it’s finally time for me to leave, you plan to usher me to my execution. If you were going to kill me, I’d have preferred you just do it from the outset. So much wasted time
“Regardless, you will comply. If you refuse the call of The Circle —”
“You’ll have to use force. I know how it works…and I suppose you’re all too eager to wrap your hands around my neck.”
“We will abstain from force — but only if you act as we direct. Now, prisoner. Come into the light.”
With chains rattling, he stepped toward the light. While the sight of it made his hair bristle, he could at least stare at the column without fear of blindness — and of course, he wouldn’t have minded seeing his handsome form for the first time in billions of years. Enticed by such vanity, he moved forward without fear; piece by piece, his body revealed itself.
And there you go. The first thousand (or so) words. I'm surprised I could find such a good cutoff point, given my usual pedigree
At any rate, I hope you enjoyed it...and I hope it doesn't impel a sound thrashing. Because that would suck.