The stones are offensively solid beneath my sore head, and pain gently ebbs and flows through my body. I stretch my sore limbs to see where I lie, and the familiar cracks in the stone are there to greet me with numbness.
I have hardly moved from my position in the cell. The bars are solid and forbidding, the stones just as defensive. The air that drafts down to these depths is abused and raw, and it carries the odour of rot. My mind, dizzy and slow, begins to piece together the senses.
I am in pain, but there are no breaks. I am cold, but I shiver not. My mouth tastes old and dry, no food has it seen for a long while. My stomach is ignored, hurt yet muffled.
One more sense begins to grow in strength. It feels as if my ears have been within a void for a long while, no feedback and no sound lending the comfort of the world to their sensitive perception. But then I hear it.
There is a steady drip, drip, drip.
And beyond that, I can hear cries and shouts in the night. Perhaps Death has been waylayed. Perhaps the deadline has gone crooked.
And then I hear another sound that quickens my heartbeat. It is the hungry devouring of fire. It crackles with delicious pride. It conquers and consumes the weapons that bear down upon it.
And I know in this instant that it is coming for me. It will free me from this cell. It will free me by way of Escape or by way of Death, but either way, I am grateful.