“What am I doing here?” A low, thunderous boom of a voice breaks through the silence, shattering it like a pane of glass. “I don’t understand–why am I here?” His only answer is the skittering of the rats. He feels the unfamiliar sensation of a panicked scream building in his throat, but he bites down on it. He is a king, and he will not cower in this tiny cell, never mind that it’s covered in slime and decades-old filth, only flies and his own jumbled memory for companionship. He vaguely remembers being taken from his bed, roughly blindfolded and gagged, and he’d awoken to find himself here, cold and alone. “Guards! Someone!” His voice climbs to a yell, and though he tries his best to sound commanding, in control, he fails. His cheeks heat with embarrassment, though there is no one to witness it.
Footsteps resound, drawing closer to the cell in painfully slow increments. The king has to resist the urge to throw himself up against the wrought iron bars, demand that he be freed. Surely these charges, whatever they were, were false, doctored up by some unhappy noble with designs against him. All he’d done last night was retire to bed with his beloved wife after dinner, and after fulfilling their royal duties, they’d both fallen asleep. What could he have done wrong? He’d tried his best to rake his memory, but it was all a broken puzzle in his mind. The footsteps loom ever closer, and all the king can hear was his own ragged, heavy breathing. Gods, it stinks to the heavens in this place. He misses his bed, his wife, his children. His warm chambers with a fire always roaring in the grate, his books. He is pulled back to himself when a shadowed, hooded figure stands in front of his cell, its eyes glowing in the faint torchlight.
“Who are you? What do you want from me? Why am I locked up in here?” His voice sounds hoarse, raspy, and suddenly he is all too aware of his throat tightening, desperate for water. “I demand to see who locked me up, and why! I am your king, and I need answers! Or I’ll have you beheaded!”
“You have no power anymore, I’m afraid, Romulus.” The quiet, toneless replies, though the fallen king can detect the faintest chuckle from his mysterious visitor. A chill races up and down the royal’s spine, and he grits his teeth, trying his best to hide his fear. But it is pointless, for the being that stands in front of him exudes an aura of antiquity, of age beyond his comprehension, and it is all he can do not to scuttle like a mouse back to its burrow.
Who had done this, and why?