Everything ends. Even the greatest kingdoms are destined to fall. He knew that all too well. He shifted, trying to find a more comfortable position, which was difficult, considering the fact his hands were chained to the wall, and his arms had since been filled with a heavy numbness. He had been here for days now. He was surprised he was still alive. The screams from outside his prison had fallen quiet just over a day ago. For a brief moment, he had been hopeful. But as more time passed, that hope had begun to fade.
It was bad enough that he was a prisoner, but the complete and utter lack of knowledge from the outside world was slowly driving him insane. Not to mention the isolation. Down here, the darkness was his only companion. He had never taken much notice of the darkness. He had never had reason to fear it. Now, he could see why it fascinated people. It seemed to be fluid, moving like murky water, forming the strangest of shapes that tricked the mind into a fearful trance. It felt like every movement, every breath, every subtle change in expression would provoke the creatures that lay ready in the shadows. His body would tense, and adrenaline would course through him, increasing his heart rate, so that he could feel it thumping in his chest. His mind would pick up traces of voices. Murmurs in the darkness. The screams of battle in the background had not helped his imagination as it spun its web of fear around him. Now, it was silent. And the darkness had developed a new intensity.
His stomach growled at him, the sound echoing in the small cell. He hadn't eaten since his capture. He wondered if he would ever eat again. Surely his enemies would have just killed him, rather than leaving him to starve? He didn't know. His enemies were too unpredictable. He sighed, releasing all the pent up emotions. It was frustrating more than anything. To be so powerless. So weak.
He heard the clatter of footsteps approaching him. He turned his head, staring at the bars of his cells. It was too dark to see. He strained his ears, pinpointing the source of the footsteps. They were approaching him. By now, he would have been able to see the light of the torch. The footsteps came to a stop outside his cell. He could not see who it was. They were hidden by the shadows, but the more he stared at the space he was sure they were at, the more a shape started to form. It was a man. That's all he could tell.
"Well?" He called out, his voice echoing back to him. He was surprised at how strained it sounded, weak, as if it was about to fail him any moment. It probably was. He received no answer. He let his head rest on the wall behind him, realising it was futile to try to see the visitor. He didn't know how long the man stood there. It might have been hours. It may have been seconds. Time had no purpose in this cell. Eventually he heard the sound of footsteps departing.
He stared in the direction of the noise, long after the sound had stopped. He shifted again, although this time in an attempt to get warm. He had quickly learnt that the cells weren't very well insulated, although it had given him a good indicator of how much time had passed. There was always a rapid drop in temperature when night descended. That was the only way he had managed to keep count of the days, although it wasn't very accurate, especially as it was winter.
He wasn't in the mood for sleep, despite the fact that was all there was to do here. That and thinking. But thinking lead to feeling, and feeling lead to endless brooding. At least brooding got rid of the boredom that was slowly leading to the deterioration of his mind. Although it did little to help the nagging feeling of unease. He had no idea what had happened to his kingdom. No idea what had befallen his father. His followers. He didn't even know the full facts of the rebellion. He had been captured too early. No one else had been placed in a cell. His was the only cell that was occupied. Why was he even still alive?
He tried to ignore his thoughts. He knew that the rebellion had succeeded. As much as he hated to admit it, it could be the only thing that was true. Why else would someone come to his cell, and then leave, without saying a word. If it was one of his followers he would have been released instantly. But no, he was still here. Therefore the rebellion had won. Either that or the rebellion wasn't over. But the sounds of battle had died down. He couldn't deny what he knew to be true.
Less then a week ago, the idea of a rebellion was nothing more then fiction. Yes, there had been unrest in the kingdom, but when wasn't that the case? However, their alliance with the Kingdom of Misetes hadn't been readily accepted by the people. He had known that was a bad move. It had shown weakness. They had given almost a quarter of their land to the kingdom to secure the alliance. To many this had been seen as a betrayal. In Misetes slavery was legal, as were a number of other dire acts. Needless to say, the villages that had resided in the land now belonging to Misetes had been ravaged. Still, that did not seem like enough to lead to a full out rebellion. Especially one so well organised. The villages didn't have good contact with one another; his father had made sure of that. All letters that passed between villages were read, and censored by the knights that delivered them. Only those that had sworn an oath of loyalty to the king were allowed to travel outside their birth village. It was unlikely that anyone had even heard about the unfortunate villages within Misetes land.
It had to be someone who had been trusted by the king. He clenched his teeth together. If he ever got out of this alive, and he was still in power, he would take away every right from every single person. He would legalise murder, rape, slavery, stealing. Except against him. Any attack against himself would be rewarded with a life of torture. He would cripple them, making escape impossible, and keep them on the brink of death, until the gods claimed them.
He smiled cruelly, the rage stirring a new breath of life in him. The idea of revenge was compelling, even if part of him was sickened by his lust for his enemy's blood. Although, it would be logical, to show he was still in power, and to quench any further rebellions. If only he knew who was responsible. He had no idea who was the true enemy, trapped as he was. Perhaps it was the man who had come to gloat.
His thoughts filled him with fire, and he longed to move. To lunge at the darkness that evoked a feeling of fear from the illogical part of his mind. He wanted to run, to charge into battle, sword at the ready. He wanted to cut down his enemies where they stood, and take delight in their blood which would paint the battlefield a dark red. He wanted to destroy all who stood in his way, and take control of the world. He wanted the power. He wanted to be feared. He wanted his name to be whispered in fear, as his people stared at him in a mixture of awe and terror.
He must have fallen asleep, for he woke with a start. Momentarily disorientated, he stared at the darkness in confusion, and started to struggle against his bonds, before the events of the last few days returned to his memory. He stopped, his heavy breathing the only thing he could hear. He gave a strangled yell of anger. He could feel warm blood trickling down his arm, where the bonds had cut into his wrists. The feeling was bizarre. It was almost comforting.
The sound of a drum disrupted his thoughts. It was coming from the courtyard. It sounded so far away, although he knew he was only separated by a few inches of wall. He could feel the vibrations the pounding of the drum caused. He knew what that drum meant. A public execution. They were a familiar sight in Piramas; almost everything was punishable by death. More serious crimes were punishable by torture. Even the smallest of crimes would be punished.
Thump. Thump. The vibrations of the drum continued. It would continue until the prisoner was knelt in front of the king. Then, the exact method of death would be revealed. Usually it was death by fire. Occasionally, if the king was in a good mood, it would be a beheading. Nice and quick. He wondered who was being sentenced to death, although part of him already knew. There could only be one person.
The drum ceased. He could picture the scene in his head, even though he did not know the faces. He liked to imagine that it was the rebel leader being sentenced to death. He tried to turn his body towards the courtyard, so that he could hear it better, but his bonds severely restricted his movements. He could hear the king...or whoever was acting as king, speaking. The words were muffled by the walls, and he could not understand them.
There was some cheering from the crowd of onlookers that attended every execution. He strained his ears, trying to pick out some words, but the effort was fruitless. There was no way he would ever hear the fate of the prisoner. The drum had started again, and he knew that the sentence had been given. The prisoner was about to die. The drumming would stop once the prisoner was dead.
The bloodcurdling scream that followed made him freeze. He recognised the voice. His father; the king. The rebels had won. The kingdom had been overthrown. He cried out, thrashing against his bonds once more.
"Father!" He called, his voice cracking at the end. He blinked, surprised at his own weakness. It must have been from the lack of water. His eyes were burning, and something wet was running down his cheek. It fell into his mouth, and the saltiness that greeted him, made it clear what it was. He released an animal cry that merged with the screams of his father, forming some twisted musical note.
He would kill the ones responsible. No, death was too good for them. He would turn them into slaves. He would torture them, humiliate them, crush them. He would burn them, like they were burning his father. He swore to the gods, that was what he would do. He would get his revenge. No matter what.