Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Steve Waldrop would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Dungeon

By Steve Waldrop All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Horror

The Dungeon

“My, my, my, little one, how far you have fallen.” The voice was somewhere between a croak and a hiss, but there was more than a hint of pain in the sibilant sound, as the owner of said voice, the old man who rested his arms on the bars of his cell, gazed out at the now-pitiful woman before him . He did not glance even for a second toward the unbolted door. He knew that the brute standing there wore a leer as he awaited his time with the girl.

How far indeed, he thought, his rheumy eyes traveling slowly up from her bare feet, toes caked with mud from her flight which peeked shyly out from the ragged hem of her gown, past the supple legs, so athletic and strong at which the thin fabric hinted, and on upward. His surprise fought with pity as he took in the tattered remains of the once-fine clothing, filthy yet still clinging to her figure like a serpent. That figure had once tantalized hundreds in the court so far above, but no longer. Never more would she move so gracefully to the sound of harps and lutes as the courtesans stared, some enviously and others leering. No more.

Her hair hung limp, devoid now of the ringlets that had danced in the light of the oil lamps to the delight of the men who stomped and whistled their approval. No more was it adorned and coiffed to perfection in order to arouse the imagination and jealousy of the young women that served the queen. Never more.

He turned silently away as she lifted her chin. They both knew what would happen next, and he had no desire to witness the final stages of her debasement at the hands of the burly guard whose few remaining brown teeth jutted out from the wide rictus that split his face. How far she had fallen, and all because of him.

A single tear seeped from each eye and rolled tracks down his grimy cheeks. It was his fault. Delving into the dark arts was forbidden, as they both knew well. Forbidden and punishable by death; a long, slow, horrible death of the greatest agony that could be devised by the twisted imagination of the guards. The old man felt the pain of regret that it had been him who taught her, now she would pay for his folly.

Her chin lifted in silent defiance as she turned to face the brute who had approached to within a pace, knowing that there were seven more waiting in the hallway outside the chamber. He would not hear her scream nor cry. She was ready to pay the price of her choice, the price of seeking the ancient knowledge, but would not give the men a moment’s satisfaction. Her own mouth, make-up smeared in her desperate flight, opened in a hushed chant as she clutched her last remaining artifact, carefully secreted inside a hidden pocket of the skirt. She uttered words that many thought long forgotten; words that caused the guard to hesitate, then take a step back, sudden fear painting his features.

Mist rose from the cold stone of the floor, swirling upward to her knees, then to her waist as the eyes of the man, whose back now pressed the rough wall, felt his eyes widen in terror. She did not unleash the mist on him, though. Instead she turned it to the bars on her former mentor’s cell, which melted like wax, dripping down the dark wood of the door. He had abandoned her once, frightened of the power growing within her, and so deserved her scorn. She could not find it in her. Instead, as her form was swallowed by the mist, disappearing from the dungeon, she freed him. At the last, when hate should have consumed her, she found that she pitied him instead, and granted him life. His freedom would up to him, but she at least gave him a chance. 


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Steve Waldrop
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

ElNachoWOTC: The grammar is tight and easy too read while packing a great vocabulary and you use a lot of vivid imagery with your words. One of the biggest things I noticed right away is the gritty realism you managed to cram into this book while going into a lot of exotic fantasy material. Including issue...

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......

Usagi Kita: This story is emotional from beginning to end. You get to watch the characters struggle and grow, maturing in different ways so that they come to be the people they are meant to be. Inea is insanely adorable, and his antics made me laugh more than once, and Kaedon is perfect for him in so many wa...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

dragonswilleise: I loved this book, it was nearly impossible to put down from start to finish. It was fast passed without being overwhelming and slowed down where needed. Overall this was an amazing novel that I will definitely recommend to others.

More Recommendations

Charlie_8472: Recommended to me by a friend, I thought I'd give this a read. As a hobbyist blacksmith, the blurb certainly caught my attention. I found the sentence about them drinking, dancing and fighting a strange combination of activities, perhaps a reflection of the writer’s personality and humour. Howeve...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."