“It is a simple cantrip, but an effective one,” said the Confessor. “Shall I explain?”

“I don’t really have a choice, do I?” said Lukis, holding up his shackled arms.

“One always has a choice,” laughed the Confessor. “Why, not two years ago, I was interrogating another heretic and she refused to speak and howled when I spoke at her. Such is the dire insanity that grips those who have turned away from the Font, is it not? She died in horror, with no idea what had happened.”

“If you’re trying to scare me, remember that I’ve been a soldier, and a prisoner of war,” Lukis replied. “Dying in horror for no reason is something I’ve seen.”

The Confessor pursed her lips. “The cantrip represses your ability to sleep, but not the need your body, mind, and soul have for slumber. Until you confess your heresy and seek the divine forgiveness of the Font, you will know no slumber.”

“Is that all? Try being under enemy attack for five days straight, and see how much sleep you need then.”

“Oh, I’ve no doubt you’ll last five days. On the sixth day the hallucinations will likely start, and after that the seizures. Your body will simply shut down on or around the twelfth day, though occasionally heretics have lasted as long as two and a half weeks.”

Lukis sneered. “And you’re willing to imprison me, to feed me, to water me, during all that rigamarole?”

“Why, my dear heretic,” said the Confessor. “Time, food, water, even the stone that was hoisted into these walls…it all comes from the Font, and to the Font it shall return. We faithful have nothing but time and an abundance of resources.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!
Advertisements