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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

TITLE: A Thief Set Free
By Bryan Coomes


Galidor awoke to the putrid combination of dank mustiness coupled with human excrement. The bitter taste in his mouth and his inability to recollect the events that brought him to this cell confirmed his suspicion that he had been given an opiate. In the dim light it was difficult for him to distinguish any specifics about his place of captivity, but he was certain that he was not alone. Several dark mounds lay upon the room’s dirt floor and the sounds of slow, heavy breathing interlaced with the clink of chain reverberated off the stone walls.

Attempting to rise, Galidor felt his stomach turn. In his weakness he fell to the floor, the force of the metal cuffs slamming into the ground, reopening the wounds upon his wrists. Quickly stifling the yelp and scanning the room, his eyes rested on the door at the far end of the cell from where the only source of light filtered through. He gritted his teeth in frustration as the door swung open to reveal the silhouette of a rather corpulent individual who just barely fit through the doorway as he waddled in. Following him were two massive men of muscular build, each wielding a large sword.

While Galidor could not see them clearly, he knew it was Gareth and his bodyguards Deryck and Deswyn. Many a man had met his end at the twin’s blades, but Gareth was the most brutal of the lot. He was notorious for his cruelty, especially to those within his organization who did not conform to his rule of law.

The grim silence was shattered by blood-curdling screams as the twins methodically worked their way around the room. During their butchery, Gareth trudged over to where Galidor lay.

Although the light remained dim, Galidor was finally able to see the face of the man who had remained recluse for so long. He was a loathsome individual to look upon with his hair and beard unkempt, and his teeth rotted to blackened stumps. Gareth’s eyes were but small, dark circles hid within the mounds of flesh that served as his cheeks.

"I never expected to see someone of your rank brought here," Gareth rasped, motioning about the room. "You’ve been with us a long time, and I simply cannot figure it out."

As Galidor opened his mouth to respond, Gareth kicked him square in the face, slamming his head against the dirt floor.

Spreading his mammoth arms, Gareth continued, "What drives a man of your position to risk it all? We have given you security, prosperity and notoriety. You aren’t like these others in here. They are nothing. You are one of the Brotherhood."

Galidor lay motionless; a slight trickle of blood escaping his lips as he mouthed inaudible words.

Gareth let out a deep, slow rumbling laugh before deridingly stating, "Your prayers won’t save you Galidor."

Upon hearing his name uttered, Galidor received the strength and courage to rise and boldly respond, "The Creator has already saved me."

"Are you mad?" Gareth gawked. "You and I both know you are a thief and a murderer."

Galidor countered, " I was a thief. And I was a murderer. But through The Creator’s power I have been changed and by His Grace, I am now free."

"Look around you fool!" Gareth seethed. "You are not free. Your life is in my hands. At my word their swords swing and kill you. Or if I so choose, I will just leave you here to rot."

Galidor smiled, extending his hands outward, and replied, "It doesn’t matter what you do to this body Gareth. I am beyond you and your brotherhood now."

"We shall see about that, Galidor. We shall see," Gareth replied, turning to face the twins who anxiously stood behind him. "Have your fun, but leave him alive."

Gareth turned his head back to Galidor and mockingly stated, "I’ll check in with you a little later on to see how you are faring." With that he proceeded to laugh while he moved past Deryck and Deswyn who had sheathed their swords and armed themselves with daggers.

It was some time later that night when Gareth alone returned to the cell. Torch in hand, he walked with eager anticipation towards Galidor. Upon arriving, he dropped the torch and cried out in anguish.

Galidor’s corpse contained none of the cuts and bruises inflicted by Gareth and his men. Scrawled within the dirt next to him were the words “I am free”.

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This article has been read 1058 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon06/01/07
This is very well written -- I could see everything happening. Personally, I don't like to read about savagery and blood. This was hard for me to get through because you painted such a realistic picture.
Jennifer Wetter06/02/07
Beautiful imagery and detail.
Julie Arduini06/04/07
That was one strong amazing opening and you never let up, excellent. This read like master's work to me!
joe hodson06/05/07
Very vivid detail. I could picture it all. It read smoothly. Also loved your message about redemption and being set free. Good job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/06/07
I like how everything in your story pointed to your message.
Joanne Sher 06/06/07
Absolutely vivid and scary. You had me shaking.
Sherrie Jackson06/06/07
Another story where the description and immediacy lend to great adventure. I'm glad you didn't shy away from the more painful aspects; in that way, I think, a story such as this gets inside the reader and really takes effect (whether they wish it to or not, I suppose).

Excellent writing, excellent job!
Sara Harricharan 06/06/07
This is amazingly vivid. The kind of adventure that you read and stick with you, whether you really want it to or not. your descriptions were great and I especially liked the end with the message in the dirt. "I am free" Aren't we all? ^_^ Great writing, great job!
Kristen Hester06/06/07
Wow! The description of Gareth was so vivid. I cringed at times because the pain was so real. Very powerful.
Benjamin Graber06/06/07
Excellent job; I especially loved the ending. Thank God for the freedom he gives us!
Jacquelyn Horne06/06/07
Deep, emotional story with a great pov.
Sara Harricharan 06/07/07
Sheri Gordon06/12/07
Congratulations on your second place. I still don't like blood & guts stories -- see my comment above. :) But this is very well written, and a great adventure story.