Out of the Dark

Renny did not know what time of day it was when he awoke.  It was always night in the dark cell where they had thrown him. 

Since he had awoken in the dungeons of the keep time had been one of the many details that had been lost.  He had known only questions and pain. Every time he awoke they would question him anew with creative torments and threats.  He remembered talking and screaming and talking some more. 

He remembered his despair that he did not know enough to satisfy his relentless tormentors. He had run out of answers long before they had run out of questions, and his body had paid the price.

He tried to sit up in his cell but the pain kept him curled on his side like the pathetic creature he was.  He was naked and lying in his own filth and unable or unwilling to do anything about it.  He just managed to curl himself into a tighter ball against the cold.

He heard a grunt and a thump against the door.  The noise seemed sudden and loud in contrast with the previous silence, then he heard the clamour of successive keys being tried in the lock.

No, not again!  He opened his mouth to scream at them to leave him alone but all he could emit was a dry croak.  The door opened suddenly in a brilliant light and he felt his bowels loosen again, his filth escaping wetly behind him.  He had nothing more to tell, couldn't they see he was broken?

A shadow darkened the door way peering in.  "Oh my!  What do we have here."  A voice he didn't recognize exclaimed quietly.

"Derj... bring that bucket.  We have to clean him up a bit."

"We haven't the time."

"Then hurry up, Derj.  Unless you want to carry him as he is."

Somehow Renny had managed to back up against the wall of the cell and held his ruined hands up before him protectively.  He heard a muted whimpering and knew it was coming from his throat.

Another figure crowded into the cell shambling with a heavy bucket which was set down heavily next to Renny.  He flinched away and tried to scramble over. 

The unnamed one from the door spoke as Derj cleaned him hastily with a wet cloth that felt like sandpaper on his sensitive skin.  "Stop that.  Be still... we have come to break you out of here.  I have brought you clothes."

Renny could scarcely believe the words.  What was this, some sort of a trick?  Another torment.  Giving him false hope.  He found he couldn't trust... but also that he didn't care.  He surrendered absolutely to the men, not that he could have caused anything more than a meagre inconvenience.

Once the one named Derj had him cleaned up enough, he helped Renny into clothes and then draped him over his broad shoulders.

Upon their exit he dimly noticed the guards laying in growing pools of blood on the ground.  A part of himself knew he should feel some satisfaction at their demise but he was just too bewildered to care.

Renny felt a queer sense of vertigo as he watched the walls and ground fly by.  He felt the strong body of Derj bearing him through the passageways and felt like a helpless babe, and all he could think about was that he wanted to be laid down so he could rest.  Every step created a jarring impact on his many hurts. 

He absently noted the passage of dank cells became the dry passages of the upper castle and then the wet muck of  the splashing outdoors.  He heard the clamour of raindrops and smacking feet in mud all around him as they went through the streets.  Somewhere in their flight another had joined them, though Renny was unaware of when.

After what seemed like an eternity of splashing steps and raspy breathing and jarring pain, they passed a threshold into a dry interior.  After a few more steps, Derj unceremoniously flopped him onto the ground.

Before passing out Renny heard a wry voice say: "Right on schedule.  Lord Adus, I present you with the afore-mentioned thief."

The End

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