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A Rat's Stomach

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It was a cold and dark night. The rain fell heavy on the man's leather jacket, popping each time it hit. He wasn't going to be here for long, he had come for a single purpose, get in, get what he needed, and get out. Well without being caught, but that's not how it worked out.

He had been seen, shouts were thrown through the air. The man ran through the alley ways, trying to stick to the darkness, and attempting to avoid puddles filled with putrid, inky black water. It was almost becoming the worst day he had ever had. While avoiding one puddle, the man slipped and fell in another puddle, covering himself in the jet black liquid.

Quickly beginning to sink into the unsettled and angrily slurping mud, the man attempted to get up and out, but it was too late. A torch came from the beginning of the alley, and light shone upon him.

At this time, all the man wanted to do was to sink down into the inky black mud, but burly arms and sharp words dragged him out of the mud by his collar. A cold cell greeted the man, along with a young little girl, who often screamed out that anyone in the cell next to her would die in the most miserable way. The girl promised that the people in the cell next to her would die the way they wanted least.

The man quivered as he heard the girl tell that he would die a certain way, soon he spoke, "Child why are you here… What did you do that deserves imprisonment?"

The young girl's black eyes seemed to open wide, and her mouth quivered as she spoke, "You should not question a witch…" Her hands quivered and shook, "You won't like the answer that you get… Especially when you find that you'll die just like I said you would."

Shuddering, the man promptly questioned, "If you're a witch, why do they leave you here?"

The witch spoke quietly, in a frail voice this time, "They couldn't kill me if they tried. But upon the morrow, the city guard will let you go if you can kill me, but if not, then I get your soul."

The man sat there in silence until a guard brought two trays with a grey mush on them. Was that was supposed to be food? The witch ravenously jumped from the far corner of her damp and musty cell to get to the slot where the food slid in. The guard pushed the plate in making sure it fell on the ground and the witch ate it, like she was a feral beast that foamed at the mouth.

When no plate was given to the man, he sat there in silence musing about the ill treatment. It was no use, and he finally fell unconscious, to be awoken by two guards. The guards grabbed the man roughly by the shoulders, and dragged him through the dungeon and to a medieval elevator, which they promptly threw him on. The guards begin turning cranks, lifting the man into an arena. Yet this was no arena, it was a torture chamber for the spectators amusement.

The man quickly began to run from where he had been placed into the crowd filled arena, only to trip and fall, allowing the witch to take a flying rock that would have killed the man. Yet now, those same two guards came and grabbed the man, putting him onto a special stretching rack. They cuffed his wrists and ankles, binding the cuff's loops with rope, rope that was attached to pulleys and cranks.

Four more men came out and they cranked the pulleys until the man's joints were ready to explode out of their sockets. The witch stood up, after she was clearly dead, and pulled out a jagged, dull knife. She floated up to the man, and began to cut ligaments, slowly, and painfully. The man screamed, he could barely contain anything, he began saying things that didn't make sense, until he started laughing maniacally.

The witch was right, because she was the one that was going to kill him. It wasn't a game, it was capital punishment. The man's cuffs were cranked tighter until his joints rocketed out of their sockets, but the man could only laugh hysterically. Another guard came running from the elevator, he had a wicker cage with leather bindings on it and a little door. The witch took the cage from the guard and strapped it to the man's stomach.

The rat crawled out of the young witch's sleeve and tried to scurry away, but it was grasped in an iron grip. Opening the cage quickly, the girl placed the rat into it, shut the cage and locked it. Suddenly the cage had caught on fire and the rat feared this fire. Fleeing from the flames, it burrowed down into the man's stomach eating, scratching, and clawing through everything, but the man could only laugh hysterically.

The same alley that the man had once fallen in was the same alley that his body was placed in, and his carcass would be picked clean by all the scurrying, flesh hungry creatures.

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