by Donna L Martin
Jake drew in a ragged breath and looked around the almost empty room with his one good eye. "Softening him up", they had called it when the blows began. After an hour long inquisition, it was getting harder to remain alert. Jake felt his mind drifting as he glanced at the cloaked tribunal sitting on the dais in front of him. A disembodied voice floated across the room to where he sat handcuffed to the chair.
"How do you plead?"
How did he plead? Why, not guilty of course. How could they think he was capable of breaking into the sacred tower and stealing the Book of Secrets? Any fool attempting such a thing risked certain death by the very people he now faced. Only the elders of Mardoon were allowed to read from the sacred book and now it had disappeared. The only thing he was guilty of was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Jake ran his tongue around cracked lips and tasted the saltiness of dried blood as he tried to work up enough saliva to speak.
"Not guilty, your Holiness."
He almost didn't recognize his own voice. Once again words seem to come from out of nowhere to echo throughout the room.
"You have been tried and found guilty by this tribunal of high treason. In one day's time you will be taken deep inside the forest. There the beast will determine your fate."
Jake tried one last time to escape the handcuffs but sharp pain searing through his left arm quickly reminded him it was probably broken. What chance did he have against the beast? Unless a miracle happened before tomorrow, there would only be one outcome in Jake's future...
***Okay, it's your turn! What happens next? Who stole the Book of Secrets? Will someone or something save Jake from the beast? Put your creative cap on and add a sentence or add a paragraph. Continue my story or start one of your own. Join the fun and see where this picture prompt takes us!***