I blinked, it didn’t help. It was still dark.
I wasn’t outside. The air wasn’t moving, I had the feeling of being enclosed, you know the one. I found myself in a very dark place. I was laying face down on what felt like solid rock, rough and cool. I pulled myself up and took a look around.
I couldn’t see. I activated my reading. Nothing.
Huh, that’s weird, I thought. Then I noticed something else. I couldn’t feel the magic, at all.
I stood up hesitantly, I raised my arms to feel around to make sure I didn’t hit anything. Or I tried.
I was stopped by a pressure around my wrists, I could move my arms, just not far. I brought my hand to my other wrist and felt. Cool metal, thick and what could be…
I had woken up in a cold dark room in chains.
Don’t panic, I thought. Panic never helps. Think. How did I get here? Where is here?
I cocked my head.
I could hear something.
Even better, I could see something.
There was a faint glow of yellow light flickering from the other side of ,what I could now see was, a door of bars. Footsteps. A shadow as the light drew closer, slowly, so slowly.
A figure carrying a torch. Young, about my age. Tall and slim, with short hair. I couldn’t make much else out
“You’re awake, I see,” he said in a deep, deep rumble that was startling, I would never have expected such a voice out of such a slim man. It was familiar, but I couldn’t place it.
I attempted to speak, but my throat was dry. “Who?” I rasped out.
“That doesn’t matter, what matters is what you and your colleagues were doing,” he said as he moved the torch closer to get a better look at me.
I flinched and stepped back, the light from the flames too bright after my time in the dark.
“Look at me, boy!” he said sharply.
I blinked, my eyes watering as I tried to look at him. “Why am I in a cell?” I asked.
“Because I will it so, watch your tongue or I’ll cut it out,” he warned me, his voice harsh.
I recognised it.
“Try it,” I challenged him. I lunged forward snarling my sudden anger in his face, only to be brought up short by the chains.
He stumbled back as step before stopping. I had seen the fear on his face.
“I suggest you mind your manners, I do have your friends,” he said, the rumble absent this time.
I couldn’t talk, I was snarling and growling like a maddened animal. I pulled so hard on my chains I could feel the metal dig into my flesh, I ignored it.I didn’t care. I wanted to tear the bastard’s throat out. I was pulling so hard on my links, that the feedback floored me. there was no magic here, I thought as pain roared through me.
The bastard laughed, it echoed from the stone.
I managed to move into a one knee kneeling position, panting. My hair was loose, it hung down around my face, as I looked at the floor.
“I’m going to kill you, and if you harm my friends, I will make it last a long time,” I said softly, I wasn’t sure he heard, but his shadow seemed to flinch.
“Your friends are in my hands, you are in a cell in chains and you dare to threaten me! You have spirit, boy, but you’re a fool,” the man said with a laugh. “I hold all the cards and you spit in my eye.”
I could hear his footsteps retreating taking the light with them. his laugh stayed echoing in my ears
I stayed where I was, listening, waiting as I racked my brain for clues. How did we get here and why were we locked up. It turned out I didn’t have answers, but I did have the glimmerings of a plan.
I shuffled over the rough floor of my cell, which was set into a very natural cave. on my hands and knees, I crawled, following my chains, to their anchors. They had to be set in something. The floor dug into the tender flesh of my hands and was harsh on my knees. I couldn’t risk standing and making the chains rattle while someone could be so close.
I found the anchor, a simple ring projecting out of what felt like a massive slab of metal sunk into the stone locked to my chains by a very large, heavy lock. So much for my original plan of wiggling the screws out of the stone. I couldn’t lift the metal let alone move with it if I managed.
I scooted round the other side of it gently, so I could keep an eye on the door. I felt the lock, maneuvered it so it was flat on the plate. I did my best to line up my wrist restraints to the edge of lock, but it was dark. I raised my arms. I brought them down with all the strength I had in my body.
The sound of metal striking metal sounded, loud, echoing. Sparks flared, that blinded me. I clenched my teeth to keep from screaming out as my arm caught in the operation. I blinked away the sudden tears that welled. No time for weakness, as I stared towards the door. I looked for light, listened for footsteps. I waited some more, I had no clue how long I had, but they would come for me eventually I needed to be ready. I rose my arms again. I could feel warmth trickling under the cold metal. Blood, I assumed. Down again. Wait again. Three more goes, that felt like forever as time crept along.
My arms were numb, the vibrations throbbed through my bones. Sweat made my scalp itchy and drops ran into my eyes, I blinked quickly to clear them. I rose my arms again, they were so heavy. I blinked. I felt dizzy. I slammed the manacle into the lock. In the light from the sparks I could see the lock had separated.
I felt giddy.
I was free.
I took a deep breath. I wasn’t free. I still had the door to get through and find Fion, Jase, and Avery. But it was progress. I pulled my chains out of lock gently, my hands shook. I gathered up my chains in my arms. I crawled back towards the door, slowly. The clunk of the chains was making it hard to listen for footsteps. I guessed when I was at about the previous limit of the chains. I knelt on one knee again. I grabbed one of the chains and wrapped it around my arm, looped around and around. I did the other arm. I placed the ends in my hands. I left a few hands free, which is hard by feel alone, to dangle from my hands. I hoped that would fool whoever came for me.
I felt weak and woozy.
I tried to keep my mind focused on the plan, but I drifted to thoughts of Sophia in Airis’ arms limp and pale, she is my responsibility. I will make this right, I will do what I have to and get back to her. My tears threatened again, but I held them back.
No. This will not break me.
I focused on where I remembered the door was and I waited.