A few hours later I sit down for breakfast with everyone. Chicory woke up shortly after Hazel did. She looks more perky than Hazel did. Once she arrived Hazel calmed down. Now he is sitting quietly on a stool in the corner. There are enough seats for him to sit down, but apparently he's too shy to eat with us. I suppose the fact that we are strangers frightens him. He looks to be twelve to fourteen years old. What I want to know is why he was so rude earlier, but is now frightened.
"How's the breakfast?" Chicory asks.
"Good," I reply to her. "Your son is a decent cook."
"Well of course. It is the job of the boys and men to provide and cook the meals," she says, as if affirming a commonly known truth. That's interesting, I think. I didn't know the male Hobbits cooked and not the females.
"Thank the mines that I don't have to cook food all the time. The only reason I do it is because the two you are always so lazy, trying to get more than your share of sleep."
I roll my eyes, making sure that Chicory doesn't see me.
"Perhaps it's just that some of us need more sleep than you, RP," Wolds says in our defense.
"Bah. Excuses, excuses, excuses!"
"She's probably right," Chicory affirms. "Dwarves are known for having higher levels of stamina than other races, especially Hobbits."
RP merely grunts and mutters something under his breath. I'm glad I didn't pick him up. It was probably an insult.
I suddenly feel tired. It must have to do with everything that has been going on in my life. First I was grieving, then the afternoon with the hobbits, and finally a bad night of sleep. What I really needed was the opposite. I'm not likely to get either of those anytime soon. Still, I really feel like I should go and lie down for a nap. I'm beginning to feel lightheaded. Is that the tramping of feet that I hear?
"Are you okay, Racen?" Wold asks. "Both you and RP look a little weak.
"Yeah. I just feel a little lightheaded. I think I will go down and lie down. A nap would be a lot of help right now."
I get up to go to my room. I barely manage to make it to the post of the door before my feet give way under me. I slowly allow myself to slump onto the floor before letting go. My vision blurs and I begin to see stars. The last thing I remember is slipping out of consciences while rough hands grab me and I hear ponderously slow voices saying things. All I can catch are the words "arrest" and "sleeping potion". I am too weak to be alarmed. I simply embrace the realm of beautiful, wonderful sleep.
The first thing I feel when I when I wake up is a cold damp floor. The room is dark. The walls look like they haven't been washed in years and the floors are full of wet oozing mud. I glance around the concrete room, pausing in the middle of my survey to glare at the bars of the cell in this gloomy dungeon. The room would be completely dark if not for the light of a single torch in the main hallway and a small barred window letting in a few of the sun's red rays. The sun must just be setting.
I pause to think. Where in the world am I? After a minute of trying to orient myself I recall feeling tired and catching a few words from strange voices belonging to my captors. It must be the thane. He must have somehow put a sleep potion in our food. Then he sent soldiers to take us away. So that was the thudding of feet that I heard earlier! One question nags at me though. Who put the potion in our food. It couldn't have been the thane's men, could it? No.
I give up. I still feel quite groggy. It must be the drug they gave me... I sit up and take stock of the prison. I don't see any snakes, thankfully. The only thing of note, other than the muddy floor and wet walls is a spider's web. I'm not afraid of spiders. What get me is the rats! I don't know why those fiendish creatures have to exist.
I suddenly realize that I must be in a dungeon by the river. That would explain the mud and filth of the dungeon. Yes, that's it. I guess I can be thankful that it isn't spring or winter. The prison would be even worse. How can that Hobbit lord be so cruel? I'm sure he doesn't send his subjects down here! If he does, he has a much crueler heart than RP!
I jump back in fright, banging my head on the wall as I notice a dark object in the center of the room move. At first I thought that it was an especially large lump of mud, but now I realize it is alive.
"Racen, is that you?" a familiar voice asks.
"On the name of the Author, Wold, I swear that you almost gave me a heart attack. I didn't realize that you were in here until just now. What happened?"
"I'm sorry," she says. "I tried to wake you earlier, but you wouldn't stir. I'm afraid Hazel might have overdosed on the sleeping potion that he put on your eggs."
"Hazel? I ask, totally befuddled. "Oh, right. You mean that he was the one who poisoned us?"
"Thankfully it wasn't poison, but yes, he did slip the potion into your food. I hope you are all right."
"Oh yes, of course! I am perfectly all right! How could I be otherwise when I have only had a perfect day because of RP being so kind, been given a sleeping potion which makes me feel perfectly alert, and I wake up totally refreshed in a perfect setting on a spotless floor that is softer than my very own bed! Yes, of course! I am absolutely fabulous!"
"No, no, not that. I meant are you unhurt? Do you have any bruises? I am feeling just as bad from you, but I have a couple bruised ribs."
"Hmph. Well, I do have a bothersome headache but other than that I am fine. I suppose I should be glad about not having to put up with RP."
"They took him away for questioning. I'm afraid that he is going to have to endure a good amount of torture while he is at it."
"It serves him right after the way he's been treats me. He is so stubborn too. That's probably what got us here. He should never have argued with the thane
"That doesn't mean that you shouldn't be sad, Racen. He's still is one of us. He's still a Typo."
"I don't care. After what he has made me go through, he deserves to suffer."
"I know it is hard for you to accept this, but I think that RP genuinely didn't want to kill Katya."
"Let's not talk about that right now. I don't feel in the mood for talking."
"You will have to confront your decisions some day, Racen."
"Don't talk about it," I say. "I just woke up and I don't feel like talking at all. I feel terrible."
"Shut up!" the guard outside yells, his voice echoing through the dungeons. "I was ordered not to let you talk at all. You better be glad I am more lenient than the thane.
I sit there for who knows how long without speaking a word. My thoughts become progressively darker and gloomier with the setting sun. I hear little scuffling noises from time to time and I am sure they must belong to rats or mice. In case I haven't already mentioned it, they are my favorite creatures.
I begin to wonder what is happening to RP. Deep down in me there is a part that feels a little sad for him. Off in the distance I can hear the echo of dripping water like a ticking clock. How much time has passed? The world outside, does it care? It seems like we are all alone down here.
The sound of thudding feet carries itself toward our cell, disturbing out perfect paradise. I stand up and walk over to the door of the cell and look to look at who is coming. I see the light of a torch rounding a corner in the hallway. That tells me one thing. The dungeon is relatively small if I can see anything coming right away. We very well might be the only inhabitants of the prison, not counting the guard standing watch at the door.
"Here's the nasty bloke," another guard says, shoving RP into the cell quite roughly. He's as stubborn as an ass."
"Have fun watching them. If they talk too much tell 'em to shut up. Master's orders." The new guard nodded. "I'm out of here now. I'm sick and tired of this new eight hour shift."
"Yeah, I know. We haven't had any prisoners though for a while. I suppose I suppose it makes sense."
"See tomorrow!" the first guard says as he turns to leave the dungeon. I jump as door slams shut, echoing back and forth off the walls several times before it subsides.
"You look horrible, RP!" Wold exclaims in a voice barely above a whisper. "What did they do to you?"
"You don't want to hear about it. Let's just say it isn't very nice to be tortured by these people. I hope they don't make you undergo any of there, 'interrogations'."
"I see," she replies. "I would say we will just have to lick your wounds, but that would only make them feel worse."
"Very funny," he says, letting out a grunt.
"Will you darn prisoners shut up! I'm already drowsy and I was just about to get some sleep."
"You have so little self discipline that you can't even stay awake for five minutes? I might just save you a reprimand, or a beating."
"Shut up, dwarf!" the guard retorts. "I might be able to save you from another interrogation session if you let me get some sleep!"
RP grunts, but doesn't say any more. The gloom of night soon sets in. I softly start crying until I finally exhaust my tears. Such a terrible day. I embrace the sweet touch of sleep which takes me away from this horrid dungeon with its slimy concrete walls and harsh iron bars... and rats.