Trapped in a Pit of Darkness
February 23, 2015
Jack figured night had fallen over the land, for everything around him was black save for the smattering of stars he could make out through the bars that spread twenty feet over his head. The pit he’d found himself in was damp, clammy, and cold. Jack was pissed off before he had even gotten to his feet.
In his younger days, he might have started shouting at the Stalwarts of Tezcatlipoca, but with experience comes wisdom. Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly.
Putting the follower of an Earth God into a pit, hmmmm. I guess my only issue will be how I choose to escape. But then he sensed something. Some type of enchantment had been placed on the surrounding earth. He might be able to overcome it, but it wouldn’t be easy and his efforts could very well be detected.
That leaves becoming a serpent, he thought to himself. However, the walls looked rough and didn’t appear to be the type of surface that a snake could climb. Jack listened for a moment, hoping to get some clue as to what might be happening out there.
He could hear voices from time to time and talking in the distance, but no clamor or the sounds of some huge event reached his ears. At least what’s happening to Tynilia seemed to be taking place behind closed doors, but that could be a bad thing too.
Deciding not to malinger any longer, Jack transformed himself into the biggest snake he could. Jack had mostly favored smaller snakes when he made his change, and becoming a giant serpent taxed his skills in ways he hadn’t anticipated. Decreasing one’s mass appeared to be much easier than increasing it. Still he fought to grow as long as possible. After what seemed like eight minutes of discomforting effort, he’d become an anaconda of considerable size.
The task of getting out still loomed before him. Snakes were not meant to balance on their tails and Jack learned this quickly. After several failed attempts to stretch his body toward the bars, he stopped to reassess his position and that was when a group of warriors appeared at the top of the pit.
One of them was the man Tynilia had been promised to, Lithoca. The shaman that had knocked Jack unconscious stood there, as well as a tall man tattooed with dark jaguar spots. As usual, the men of Tezcatlipoca favored darker feathers and patterns on their narrow kilts. Wicked looking weapons filled their fists and if the expressions on their faces were any indication, a few of them appeared anxious to use them.
The shaman and Lithoca flung words down at him, but he couldn’t hear them as a snake so he returned to his human form while those above waited impatiently.
When he had returned to his natural body, the taller warrior spoke down to him in a tongue he understood. “Man of Yig, you have disrespected Lithoca, our village, and now violated more of our laws by seeking to escape.”
Jack brushed his clothes off for a moment and forced them to wait. After clearing his throat he said, “The way I see it, I came here with the best of intentions. You assaulted me, hurt my friend, and then stole my possessions. Then, by withholding my freedom, you have all but declared war on me and mine. I am not from your world, so perhaps I should just return to mine due to this ill treatment and then laugh from afar while the Darken tears your villages apart one by one.”
The others hurled more insults at him, but he might as well have stayed in snake form, for their words remained past his comprehension.
“We obviously perceive our situations differently, man if Yig. Lithoca, here, sees you as a man that has tainted his bride and seeks your death.”
“I think his issues with Tynilia began long before a met her three days ago. What you should be focusing on is why I have risked my safety and freedom to contact all of you.”
The leader spoke again. “Tynilia has communicated your intent and your plan to help use us to protect your village of Yigglings has received poor response, like ants trapped in amber you seek to draw others into a mess that will only kill them as well.”
“Actually, you got it wrong. I was going to ask the village of Yig followers to help protect your walls, for I believe Darken intends on attacking you first.” It might have been a lie, but the leader quickly communicated what Jack said to the others.
The group above him fell into chaos, but this didn’t distract Lithoca’s hatred for him and the man pointed down at Jack while screaming words of anger.
“Perhaps you speak the truth, perhaps not. In cases like this, we let Tezcatlipoca decide. If the dark one favors you, you will live. If not, your situation will no longer be a concern to…anyone.”
Jack looked up at the man. “And how will Tezcatlipoca be decided this outcome?”
“You will be fighting Lithoca to the death and the outcome will prove the strength of your words.”
“I figured it would be something like that. Might as well toss me a rope, it’s going to be another long night. Oh yeah, and tell Lithoca’s family that they should start digging a grave for him.”
To be continued next Monday