The following is a short story I wrote a few years ago that I just recovered from the old laptop and had complety frogotten existed till I read it ten minutes ago. Its not the best I have ever written but I don't things its all that bad and hopefully rereading it will inspire me to write more.
"Welcome to the beautiful city of Ankara. Gem of the Empire." Zenia muttered under her breath as the door to the cell slammed shut, the lock loudly clicking in place. She waited a moment before pushing to her feet and surveying the dank cell in the dim light from a small window in the door. She could hear the shuffling steps of the guard retreating up the long flight of stairs. " Spend the night in the exotic Palace Dungeon visited by men and women from around the Empire." Zen continued her monologue her tone dripping with acid.
"We’re going to die here aren’t we?"
" What? What sort of attitude is that? I’ve been in worse scrapes that this, this is nothing."
"Well I was once climbing a mountain in search of my father’s lost sheep. Halfway to the top the path became very steep. I lost my footing and started to slide down the mountain to my death. I held onto an outcrop of rock, the sharp edges biting into my hands. I looked around and found that I was so high up that the clouds were below me. I could hear the sounds of the sheep bleeting somewhere above me, so up I climbed, hand over hand, higher and higher.
"All the sudden I heard a terrible howling, and upon the ledge above me stood a pack of winter starved wolves, saliva dripping from their long yellow fangs. There I was, hanging by one arm on the side of a freezing cold mountain, wondering whether or not I should leave the sheep to the wolves and climb back down to safety. As I contemplated my best route home, a hideous roar shook the mountain. Down below me on a ledge stood a giant bear.
"Imagine that. Hanging from one arm on the side of a mountain. I couldn’t climb up, because of the wolves. I couldn’t go down the mountain as the bear was waiting for me. Now have you ever heard of a worse predicament?"
"No never" Chianna exclaimed waiting patiently for Zen to finish her tail. Zen began to sort through the mouldy, louse infested straw of the dungeon cell. " Uh Zen?"
"Filthy stuff, but some of it seems to be dry. It should be better than sleeping on the cold hard stone." Zen murmured keeping her eyes from alighting on Chianna’s face as she carefully lowered herself to the straw reaching for the small dish of stale slightly mouldy bread "oh good no maggots just a bit of mould".
"It’s not a feast but it should be enough to fill our bellies. The water isn’t too bad either." Zen continued breaking the bread into equal halves and taking a cautious sip of the brackish water in its dented metal pitcher.
"Yes?" Zen looked up, absently brushing a strand of raven hair from her eyes, her face devoid of all expression. "Did you want this side of the cell?"
"The story Zen! Finish the story. What happened next?" blurted Chianna, her cheeks flushing as red as her hair in exasperation.
"Yes that. How did you get down the mountain?" Chianna asked eyes flashing green fire in the dimly lit cell.
"Oh. I didn’t." She replied in a bland tone.
"The bear ate me." Zen finished blue eyes sparkling with merriment as Chianna stared at her mouth agape before bursting into helpless laughter. "That’s better. Now remember, never give up. The only situation that could be worse is if we were dead and then nothing would matter anyway. I have been in worse circumstances than this." Zen finished, the corner of her lips twitching slightly as she bent to adjust the laces of her boot withdrawing from a hidden sheath a small deadly looking dagger. The blade gleamed in the pale yellow light shining from the barred window in the door. Now lets get some sleep. We’ll need it for whatever comes next." Zen slipped the dagger back into her boot settling herself in the straw, a small smile curving her lips as her eyes closed.
copyright 2003ish Meridian Ariel