Piece of flash fiction inspired by the prompt in this week's Action/Adventure newsletter.
|A tall, skinny man with silver hair was standing in the hallway of a big mansion, shivering all over. The silky blue shirt he was wearing had become wet from his sweat, but who could blame him for being in a cold sweat in this ghastly trial? He attempted to bend down, exhausted to his very bones. Yet again the violent pang of pain that hit his back so unmercifully stopped him from accomplishing his goal.
Now he panted and now he was in tears of frustration. It was a horrible, accursed place! If only he had not made that dreadful decision to come here, especially not alone. The seconds had long since become minutes, the minutes had become hours, and for James Curling, those hours might as well have been years. An old man such as himself should have a better time of life than this! Not only was it plain physical torture, but the disgrace, the shame! If someone from the village saw him now... trapped like a pathetic kitten in a dog house. And all the time they seemed to be watching him, those big, cocky dark figures. They even appeared to be smiling, mocking and taunting him.
James decided to take another shot at it. He stepped forwards slowly, without a sound, and started to crouch. This time he was struck so abruptly that he lost his balance and before he could regain it, he found himself on the floor. That was the end, he thought. There was no way he could get out of this place now, lying defenseless on the cold, threatening stone floor. But then, alas, finally, after such agony, he was able to pull his knees up towards himself and tie the laces of his boots. When they were neatly tied, he made a huge effort and managed to get back on his feet. He made a mental note to request doctor Hamington for a stronger painkiller against the lumbago.