Ministry Resources

Chapter Fourteen: Carcere

Darkness. Alene could see nothing. She felt cold against her skin. Water dripped nearby. She began to move and heard a sound like metal against stone. She sat up and looked around, her eyes suddenly blinked, but the darkness did not change.

After a few moments, the world around became clearer. It was still dark, but she could make out walls, made of black, or dark-gray stone blocks, about two feet long and a foot tall. The wall to her left was not of stone. It was mostly open, but dark metal bars went from the floor to ceiling. In part of the bars, stood a rectangle of bars: a door.

She sat up and tried to stand, but she could not. Chains held her down to the floor. As she tried to call out, her dry throat prevented her from speaking. A moment later, she cried out. “HELP!”

No one answered. She waited, and soon she saw Gryphon coming towards her. “Ah, you are awake.”

“Wh-where am I?”

“You shall see…” He opened the door and knelt down. A moment later, he detached her chains from the hook in the ground, dragging her up and out of the room. They moved down the hallway and up a flight of stairs.

Outside, Alene blinked in the sun, even though it was covered by clouds. She could see they’d just come out of a long rectangular building. In front of them stood a round valley with a big, building of black stone. She saw people, all in chains, like her, being led down to the building.

Gryphon pulled her down towards the building, her shoes tearing on the sharp rocks. “What is this place…?”

“The end of the line, for you and everyone who enters this place.” He grinned, his teeth a deep yellow.

As they approached the building, she could see that it was solid black. There were no windows or doors. Caves dotted valley walls, and this is where the people were led inside.

Gryphon took her into one of these caves. Dim torches lit the walkway, the way itself sloped downwards, leveled and then went steeply upwards. They came out in a room, where all the other prisoners exited their caves as well.

Guards escorted each prisoner away, and up a different stairwell; five stairwells, spiraled upwards around five pillars. Most of the guards took people up four of the pillars. Gryphon took her to the generally unused one and made her climb it.

At the top stood a long hallway of prison cells. A man with deep black hair came towards them. Alene looked at Gryphon, shuddering. “Wh-what is this place…?”

“Child, welcome to Carcere.”

[Next Chapter: What is Carcere and is there any way for her to escape?]

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