D is for Dungeon
The smell of mold and stale urine stung Godwin’s nose as he slowly came around. Cool, moist air passed over his cheeks.
Godwin shifted, and realized he was strapped back into a chair. A moan came from nearby, and the quiet shuffling of feet. His eyes fluttered open. Flickering points of light surrounded him. Flames. He couldn’t quiet focus his eyes on them. Were they torches.
Someone sniffed nearby. The shuffling came closer. Another moan.
“Ayy shut up,” snarled a male voice. There was a slapping sound and a tiny whimper. Godwin flinched.
“Oy,” the male voice said closer. “You awake for us boy?” The man gripped Godwin by the chin and shook his head. Godwin cried out.
The man let him go and stepped away, chuckling. “Oy!” he shouted to some other distant person. “Get Grant. This bloke’s awake!”
Godwin slumped uncomfortably in the chair. There was sniffling all around him, some cries. He looked around again and saw men in small cages, or chained to the walls.
Loud footfalls preceded a small entourage of men. Godwin squinted. The man Grant led them and behind him was…
“Well, my boy,” said Aldred. “So lovely to see you.”
Godwin gaped and sighed.
“You missed out on the special wine that I brought for the court,” continued Aldred. “Now where could you have been?”
“Does it matter?” mumbled Godwin.
“Well you are Bertram’s son.”
“As if he cares.”
“Oh?” Aldred, raising an eyebrow. “How interesting. Is this why you were not invited to court last night?”
“Those things are so dull,” muttered Godwin rolling his head back and closing his eyes.
“But the wine was special,” smiled Aldred. “Flavored with belladonna.”
Godwin focused his eyes on Aldred. “Then I’m glad I wasn’t there.”
“Perhaps we both will be.” Aldred stepped forward, stroking Godwin’s hair. “The crown is yours, you know. Or it will be, soon.”
“Hardly,” said Godwin. “I’m barely on the line.”
“But everyone drank,” frowned Aldred. “And who will step up?” Aldred straightened and smiled down on Godwin. “I think you would do well.”
“You think I would do what you want me to do.”
“Or you could die.” Aldred clicked his tongue. “You choose.”
“Are you mad?” said Godwin.
Aldred chuckled and turned away. “Your choice, boy. Think on it.”