A Story by Izabellla

"I halted before the bend. Only a dozen feet was left between me and the freedom: I could almost see the plain behind the mountains of obstacles. The hardest task was still waiting for me, though."


Blood rushed through my veins as I was sneaking through the empty corridors. Light steps of my bare feet made no sound that could give my presence away by echoing from the stone walls. I moved noiselessly, like a field mouse hiding from a hunting cat; from wall to wall, from bend to bend. Silence was my sister and Darkness was my mother; she kindly hid my form under her gown.

I halted before the bend. Only a dozen feet was left between me and the freedom: I could almost see the plain behind the mountains of obstacles. The hardest task was still waiting for me, though.

I sneaked a quick look out of the corner. The door to the stone giant's cavern was open, standing out like hydra's teeth. On the wall, the torches cast shimmering light that brought to mind a dance of wicked demons. I looked around. The cradle of all evil was gaping open but its guard and master didn't watch at his sentinel. This was my chance.

With the speed and agility of a panther hunting down its prey, I leaped forward and rolled across the floor, reaching the entrance. The vast wooden door shielded me from the devilish lair, the flames creaking ominously right next to my ear. I took a deep breath, trying to summon some courage, readying myself for the final move. With my strength gathered, I left my cover, my back hunched, and dashed in front of the cavern's doorway, to hide on the other side.

I made it! I had the urge to jump high with a call of triumph on my lips, but every sound could still lead to my undoing. So I bit the side of my mouth, trying to hold back my glee. I darted straight ahead, taking in two skips the remaining way that separated me from the bend marking my freedom.

Just to be sure, I chanced a look back; it would be really unfortunate if I were to be spotted and caught right now, on the very threshold of liberation. My eyes skimmed through the sinister corridor, seeing no one. I sought refuge behind the protection of the wall. I was safe. Shining with pride, my face turned towards the passage opening before me that was to lead me towards freedom with no more commotion.

What I saw there caused a trickle of cold sweat to slide down my spine.

From the direction of where the happiness was to await me, the Golem paced towards me. His heavy ungainly steps shook the floor. The stocky body blocked out all the light, casting a long shadow on my small form. Grotesque eyes narrowed as they detected me: a prey he wished to hunt. He approached me and I smelled the repulsive odor of his breath. He huffed with approval, opening his jaws, from the depths of his throat releasing a mighty roar…

"Ah, Unikko! Where do you think you are going, you insolent wench?"

Paralyzed with fear, I couldn't react, when he clutched my neck in an iron grasp and dragged me behind him. Straight to his dungeon he took me, where he intended to subject me to malicious tortures. Maybe I should have screamed, maybe I should have begged for help; but my voice didn't want to leave my gullet. At any rate, I was lost. Nothing more remained for me to do, apart from accepting my fate.

The giant lugged me to the very middle of his lair and tossed me like a rag doll on a plain wooden chair. The piece of furniture was nothing like the iron chair; however the fact didn't make the perspective of long hours of tortures any less dreadful. All around me, sitting on chairs just like mine, I saw young boys of different ages: other victims of the monster, waiting for the torments he intended to visit on their poor bodies and souls.

Grotesque eyes took into the sight of his dungeon with contentment, monitoring his preys. With slow steps, panting loudly, the golem shuffled to the very end of his cavern. That was where, by the farthest wall of the cell, on a mighty oak table, he kept his treasures: the instruments of torture. His face showed contemplation, almost unimaginable thing considering his foolish apparition. He assessed the tools, selecting just the right, the perfect one to bring us pain. At last, he raised one of them and, wielding it with an almost devout solemnity, he turned toward us with a baleful smirk.

"Take out your parchments and quills. Today we will be duplicating the thankful hymn 'Oh Father, Thou Hath the Time Moveth'."

I whimpered in my suffering, as the tortures began. I was sure that no later than an hour would pass till I beg for a quick death.

© 2012 Izabellla

Author's Note

This short story is connected with the "A Long Way Home" novel I'm working on with my friend, but it can be also read as a stand-alone piece. It tells about the past of one of the main characters, Unikko (also known as Izabela in the early chapters). At the time when this little story takes place, she's around 14 years old and undergoing dragon slaying training in her own world. And let's just say she's been reading too many adventure books… :P

English is not my native language, so if you spot any mistakes, please, let me know.

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Added on May 17, 2012
Last Updated on May 17, 2012
Tags: fantasy, adventure, torture, girl, warrior, dungeon, danger



Warsaw, Poland

I'm materialistic, selfish feminist with homicidal tendencies, who live with Horacy's life philosophy (stoical-epicurean philosophy). I have music addiction and pink-repugnance. And you wouldn't want .. more..