Read part #1 of Adric’s story HERE first.
Writing Prompt – “Brick by brick we built the pit,”
“Brick by brick we built the pit,” Adric sung into the dark, “Stone by stone, we weigh them down.” Adric shuddered at the awful tune that became stuck in his head. It was a well know verse the masters used to sing when punishing their less… promising recruits.
A low groan reached his ears, stirring Adric from his restless sleep. He turned his head and his neck cracked as he attempted to work the stiffness from his body. Sitting chained in a cold cell was not his idea if a good time. When he got out of here, and there was no doubt he would, he would be needing several cold ales and a willing woman.
His cell mate groaned again and Adric heard the man shift to sitting. As his sight adjusted to the pitch blackness he could just make out the other man’s silhouette.
“Shit!” He heard the man curse as he rattled the iron cuffs at his wrists.
“What are you in for?” Adric drawled, leaning his back against the icy wall.
The man hesitated before answering, and Adric swore he saw the man’s eyes flicker, much like a felines would in the darkness. He really had been in here too long.
“Theft.” The man answered after a long silence, his voice was foreign, cultured, and full of lies.
“Well, what a pair we make eh? An assassin and a thief rotting away together in a cell. Failures at our professions.” Adric couldn’t help but smirk.
Oh how disappointed the masters would be, their most promising commodity, captured.
“I have no intentions of ‘rotting away’ as you put it.” Adric saw the glow of teeth as the man grinned widely into the dark. He laughed.
“You have a plan, thief?”
“In a manner of speaking.” With his words, the iron cuffs that had bound his wrists came skidding to a halt at Adric’s feet.
“Oh, I like you.” He held out his manacled wrists.
“And why should I help you escape?” The thief’s eyes glowed defiantly, Adric was certain of it.
Adric lowered his speech a notch “When I escape this hell hole, I’ll track you down and murder you in your sleep.”
“Do you always go straight to threats when asked a question?” The thief knelt before him, and the man’s fingers brushed against his wrist as he sought the lock in the darkness, jamming the lock pick into the key hole and giving it a wiggle. The cuffs sprang open. He tossed them aside and moved for the door.
“What? I’m leaving this place, you coming.”
“Yes, but I had a more, stealthy approach in mind.”
Adric laughed, “Yes, I definitely like you, thief.” The man’s teeth shone through the dark, “What did you have in mind?”
“Did you have to kill him?”
“Fine. Strip him and don his clothes.
Moments later, Adric led the thief out of the cell, iron cuffs hanging loosely from his wrists, his cowl pulled low over his head as Adric walked him down the corridor in the guard’s ill-fitting clothing. The cell keys threaded through his knuckles, the scar across his palm still itching where his flesh had once been impaled with a slim dagger.
It had been over a year since his run in with a party of elves.
Joining a band of mercenaries who turned out to be slavers had not exactly been his ideal job.
Adric strode with confidence, his companion keeping his head bowed low. They passed, rows upon, rows of cells, the occasional rough stone staircase leading upward to what he could only assume were more cells.
They came to a halt before the jailor, a well-built young man, leisurely leafing through the latest edition of the city’s newsletter. Finally Adric glanced up, cleared his throat and grinned widely at the guard.
“This one’s being transferred to the Prison Isles.”
The guard put aside his reading, narrowed his eyes and placed his hands on the table before rising slowly to his feet.
Adric felt his companion tense beside him, and a prickle of unease ran down his spine.
“You!” The guard glared at him and shouted, launching across the table between them.
“Run!” Adric, shouted and sprinted back down the hall, the thief hot on his heels, the guard not far behind, weapon drawn shouting for reinforcements.
Lungs burning Adric took a sharp turn and raced up the stairs.
“Are you crazy,” the other man panted.
“Trust me!” Adric had lived in the fair city of Cil-Gariah during those years with the Princess, and he knew a little something about the building.
He gained another set of stairs, praying to the gods of his people that it lead where he thought. He yanked hard on the closed door, releasing a stream of curses when the door stuck. The fates must be laughing today.
“Well, thief, I believe this is your territory.” Adric stepped back with a grin and a flourish, extending his hand toward the door as he had seen the lords of the court do. Teeth flashed beneath the thief’s hood as he produced his lock-pick and set to work.
It took no more than a moment for the lock to break, but still the guard’s voices echoed up the stairs. Pushing through the door Adric was blinded by the brightness of the sun. His eyes taking a moment to adjust after being locked in pitch darkness for what seemed an eternity.
“The roof? This was your great escape plan.” The other man complained.
Adric rounded on his fellow escapee and grinned widely. “Can you swim?”
“What? Yes, but…” the thief never finished the thought, as half a dozen guards burst through the narrow door.
“Then I suggest you jump.” Adric ran for the edge of the building, he gave a great leap into the air…
Crawling from the water Adric noted the thief was tall and lean, like most of his race. Shaggy black hair fell across his brow and to his shoulders, several piercings adorning pointed ears which poked through wet hair, and he stared straight at Adric with narrowed turquoise eyes.
“You’re an elf?” He laughed, causing the elf’s eyes to narrow further, his hands balling into fists.
“Are you mocking my kind, human?”
“No, no, of course not. You are not the first elf I have discovered in these lands. And I heard our new king has taken an elf to wife, so I would not dare mock the fair elven folk.”
The elf remained silent, his expression relaxing perceptively.
“So, a thief eh? If you say so. The only thing I see you stealing is a ladies heart.”
The elf stared at him, “I…”
“Your hands. They are too soft, like you haven’t done a day of hard work in your life, a master thief wouldn’t have hands that soft. You are either new to the profession, or you are lying.” The elf scowled, a guarded look finding a home among his fine features.
“It is no business of mine elf, you are free to keep your secrets.”
“Stop calling me ‘elf’, my name is Kinnon.”
“And mine is Adric,” the assassin laughed, clamping a hand of Kinnon’s shoulder.
“Let’s say you and I find an alehouse, preferably in the next village and a pair of ladies to keep us company to celebrate our great escape. Then, we can part ways as friends. You never know when we may need each other again.”