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6

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Prisoners Of Lingmell

Denton moaned as he regained consciousness.
"Oh, you're awake, did you have a nice week's sleep?" said Anges as he watched Denton stir.
"Where are we?" croaked Denton weakly.
"Take a look for yourself," Anges said with a pang of sadness.
Denton took a long blink as if he just woke from a long sleep. A stench hit Denton's nose which made his eyes water as he looked around the dark stone room in shock. They were in a prison cell.
"How did we get here?" Denton questioned as he tried to remember the past events.
Anges took a deep breathe before he answered.
"The baron of Jackdale sent us to scout the mountains of Lingmell to survey our ancient enemies to see if any remain. They're hundreds of them, Denton, minions from the world that’s not ours,"
"But that’s impossible, there were only a couple dozen that slunk back into the mountains. They were thought to have died of hunger long ago," protested Denton as he flashed back to the day they rallied against the demons and took back the kingdom of Jackdale.
"That’s what we once thought, but the demons have learnt a dark power, a power that eats away the souls of anyone with light or happiness putting them in a state of mind control. They've turned many to their side with this new power. They raided our campsite. The only reason we still live is that they're going to want to know why we're here. They're going to torture us and they are going to kill us."
Denton took a while to take it all in. His head was spinning, how could that be true? The demons of Lingmell was only an old tale to scare the young children of Jakdale. The two men stood in silence more many minutes, both deep in thought. It was Anges who broke the silence.
"But I think we can escape," Anges reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of rusted bent wire. "While you were napping I found a way to pick locks," Anges said proudly.
Denton regarded Anges as he looked into his electrified brown eyes.


"So what's the plan?" asked Denton.
Anges brow creased as he concentrated deeply. " We leave tonight, three hours after the minions do the head count of prisoners. We grab the keys to all the cells, free all the prisoners to create a diversion, then sneak past the guards and steal two horses from the stables just outside the prison yard."
Anges was always known for his clever and innovative mind. His parents always wanted him to pursue the career of a diplomat, but he always wanted to be a warrior. A knight that shone in broad metal armor.
Later that evening outside the two men's cell, heavy footsteps thudded along the stone floor. It was a bulky shadowed man with a chainmail tunic but what really frightened Denton was the pure white eyes. They glimmered through the dim halls like torches as he grunted in a low tone while counting in an unknown language.
"What happened to him?" whispered Denton with a hint of fear.
"That was a living man once. The demons took his mind and trapped his freedom and all he is now is a mindless being under the command of the one that captured him," said Anges quietly. Denton shuddered as if he had just jumped into a pool of icy water.
"And now we wait," said Denton as he sat uncomfortably on one of the boulders that was placed in the cell. Anges went to sleep nearly instantly after the head count which left Denton alone with his wild imagination. As the first hour passed Denton started pacing around the cell, weighing the odds and scenarios that they would face in a few hours. As night had closed in on the mountains, Denton fell into a dark dreamless sleep.
"Denton, Denton, it's time," Anges whispered sharply.
Denton rose to his feet and grunted as he stretched awkwardly. Anges's tongue poked out of his mouth as he worked the lock with the rusted wire. After a minute of twisting and turning, the thick brass lock made a soft tick and the lock came free. The door creaked loudly as the two men snuck down the silent halls. Denton suddenly leaped back with surprise. All the men in the cells where awake and leaning against the bars the covered the front of each cell. Anges must have told them of his escape plan, well not all of it, he thought to himself as his seal skin boots faintly rung throughout the halls. Denton and Anges opened a reinforced iron door that lead them into a small, dusty room with a small desk and several wooden chairs. But what Anges was interested in was the large hook that held a set of keys with strange numbers inbedded in them.

"Score!" Anges whispered excitedly. He grabbed the set of keys and passed them to Denton. "Free the prisoners! I need to find us an escape route," Anges quickly hurried to the door on the opposite side of the small room, then he looked back at his companion and said, "meet me here after you let the prisoners free," Anges then opened the door and left the room.
Denton nodded several times to himself as he moved towards the prison halls. Once Denton entered the dark hall, the prisoners whispered amongst themselves as they stared at the skinny figure, they're eyes drawn to the set of keys that Denton held in his hand.
"Alright, listen carefully, I will give you freedom from your wretched cells, however once I let you go you are on your own," as Denton spoke the crowd of prisoners erupted with anger.
"How can we survive when they are armed minions patrolling this fortress?" a shadowed man croaked.
"Well of course you can stay here if you want to, that’s perfectly fine by me," Denton started to turn and slowly pace towards the door.
"No, no, wait!" a loud voice pierced the low murmurs of the frustrated prisoners, "I would rather spend an eternity in hell then spend one more minute behind these bars. Please free me from this cursed cell." Suddenly the cries of anger from the prisoners faded.
"So it looks like we have a deal?"
Denton started unlocking the cells with the small set of keys. The now free prisoners streamed out of the building. When he openned the last cell, the men inside sat still on the rocks.
"Come on you're free," Denton said with urgency.
The man looked into Denton's hopeful eyes and with a grim tone he replied, "We're never going to be free." Denton nodded as he thought to himself. This prison has ruined these men and they have lost all hope. Denton moved away from the prison cells back to the room where he agreed to meet Anges. As Denton entered the room he heard the shout of minions and a clash of blades. Anges was already waiting for him and in his hand he held a large twine of rope.

"Alright I've freed the prisoners, so what now?" asked Denton as he stared at the rope.
"The minions will be guarding the front door to the prison, so we're going to climb down the east side of the prison where we'll end up just outside the stables," Anges lips were cracked with nervousness as he moved towards the window viewing the prison yard. Denton followed Anges and looked out the small window. The ground lay about twenty feet below them and Anges was already tying the rope around one of the iron hooks.
As Anges leaped out the window with the rope in hand Denton let out a cry of warning. There stood across the prison yard a patrolling minion looking directly at Anges who had just finished his decent. The spear-bearing minion charged across the prison yard towards Anges. Denton knew he had to join his companion against the charging creature. Denton held his breathe and leap out the window and grabbed hold of the hanging rope. Denton jumped off the last ten feet of the building, his adrenalin absorbing the ground shock in determination to join his friend. The charging minion launched its spear at Anges only to be deflected by Anges’s iron fist. As Denton joined his friend in battle, Anges attacked the minion with a fierce wave of fists. The minion took the blows and launched another attack at Anges. The speed of the spear was too much for Anges. The spear pierced Anges's lower stomach and he sunk to his knees.
"No!" Denton cried as the minion let out a fierce roar of triumph. Denton knew he had to keep moving. Chances were the minion would doom Denton to the same fate as his companion. Tears fell down Denton's dirt covered face as he fled the site of Anges's death. The minion suddenly turned and pursued Denton as he ran towards the stables.
Denton ran past the open doors that led into the stables. He franticly grabbed a saddle and threw it onto a dark horse. Denton could hear the wild screams of the minion. It was nearly upon him. Denton hauled himself on the horse and kicked its side. The horse suddenly shot off like a arrow. Just before horse escaped the stable, the minion entered and to its horror it was staring into the eyes of the cantering horse. The minion screeched as the horse trampled its broad body.
Denton rode off into the dark night feeling very small and very alone.

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