The Amulet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   , Clang. The iron-cast door shut, tight. Along with it went the light. Only faint shadows representing men could be seen, only shadows of bars around them. A new shadow, well-defined, walked from the door, an old shadow, well-known, walked behind. The old shadow reached out and opened the iron bar door, and the new shadow walked in, into the shadowy cell. , Clang. The door shut and the key turned in the lock, then was removed.

The prisoner's cell was ten by ten feet, made of solid stone. the bed was located in one corner, and a holefor sanitary needs. There was a single window, with iron bars serving as panes. Next to this window, engraved into the wall, were illegible inscriptions as old as time itself. The prison was ancient, looking more like a heap of rubble than a defined structure.

As the prisoner awoke, the sun's first rays fell on the floor, reminding him of his present situation. The prisoner was here on a truly unfair account. Being a stranger to the kingdom he was oblivious of the law which forbade poaching in the King's forest. The wanderer became hungry one night when he had failed to obtain lodging, so he had killed a deer for food. By coincidence, the King's Royal Guard happened to be marching by at the time, and the ill-fated wanderer was arrested and sent to prison.

The prisoner's dress was very plain, with the exception of a sapphire inscribed in gold on a leather thong that hung about his neck. The prisoner seemed to be normal, except that all his character was concentrated in the sapphire. At that moment, a passing guard noticed this amulet, and commented, "Fine jewel there, worth many a pound, possibly even worth freedom."

With this remark, the prisoner began to talk with the guard about the prospect. Everyday, at about the same time, the guard came and talked to the prisoner. At every visit the prisoner got closer to freedom, the guard closer to wealth. After a fortnight, the plan of escape was formulated. It should be mentioned that one night the prisoner turned over the jewel about his neck and read the inscription on the back, and after reading it, he reacted with a burst of optimism.

The date for the escape was set, but there was something not quite honest in the guard's look. Perhaps the guard was not being cautious enough in the prisoner's eyes. However, it was only natural for one in the prisoner's position to be suspicious, and most likely he was misreading the guard's looks. After all, the guard was the only one who knew the escape passages.

Night. The key turned, the door opened, and the prisoner emerged from the cell. The guard began walking down the hall, with the prisoner stealthily walking behind the light emanating from the guard's torch. The guard turned right, then right again, then left until the prisoner had no idea of the way they had come. The passages, illuminated by the torch, were made of huge granite blocks. As the two went deeper into the tunnels, noises began to be heard; scratching noises, howls, and a constant patting noise. The condition of the passages deteriorated as they continued. Piles of rubble lay on the floor, as if some disturbance periodically affected these tunnels. The two walked for what seemed like hours, but time was of no consequence in the catacombs. Just as they were about to collapse from exhaustion, a faint light appeared. The prisoner, in a fit of energy, ran towards it. A cry of "FREEDOM" echoed throughout the passages. As the prisoner leaped out of the tunnel into the golden daylight, a barrage of arrows whizzed by him, one burying itself in his back, and the prisoner fell limply to the ground.

The prisoner was dead. As he fell, the necklace came off his neck, and the sapphire lay on the ground. The inscription happened to be face up, with its gold emblem glittering in the sun. It read , DEAD OR ALIVE, THE SOUL OF A MAN CANNOT BE CONFINED. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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wolfspeaker said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm
Wow I liked it, it was very good. Well done!
 
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