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The stench of decay filled the cell. In the darkness, it was impossible to tell what surrounded him, but he suspected that there were others chained to the wall as he was. Some of them had probably been there for years. Some had probably died there and, unless the gaoler needed the chains, their bones would be left there until they fell and crumbled. He shifted his foot, thankful for once for his height, and heard the crunch of bones beneath his boot. Yes, the cell was barely one step up from an oubliette.

He grinned. If an oubliette couldn’t hold him, what chance did this cell have?

“What are you smiling about?”

He looked around, but could see only darkness.

“How do you know I’m smiling? I can’t even see where you are.”

“I’m a Nittalfar,” the reply came with a sigh. “Your eyes will adjust to the dark somewhat, given time.”

“Night elf, of course. Why am I not surprised to find one of you lot down here?” Herrin smiled wider, imagining the indignant glare of the elf. “Well, I don’t really plan on waiting around that long. I’ll have to cope with the dark.”

The elf laughed. “Nor did I, my friend. But I have lost count of the day – is it still summer?”

Herrin raised his eyebrows. “Summer and autumn have both come and gone, elf. You must be sore by now. Fancy a stretch and a bit of a wander?”

“Now you are taunting me.”

Herrin slipped free of the chains and groped along the wall towards the elf’s voice.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, old chap,” he said, his fingers dancing across the lock on the elf’s chains and releasing it quickly. He caught the elf with one arm as the chains fell with a loud rattle.

“Now, I suspect that flabby idiot of a gaoler will have heard the racket we just made. Do your night elf eyes happen to see anything I can use to crack him over the head?”

There was a brief pause, then the elf pressed a thick, heavy bone into his hand.

“It’s what he would have wanted.”

Herrin laughed. He could get to like this elf.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week the Three Word Wednesday words are Flabby, Indignant and Stench. This little fantasy vignette may be something I later expand on!)

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