“The Golden City” Chapter One, Prison Bonds
Bobby sat back clutching the gourd bowl drinking down the fatty slop that the lone guard passed through the wooden lashed bars of his dirty prison. The hard stone wall felt cold on his bare back, but the chill helped soothe the burn of his untreated injuries even as the gruel turned his stomach. Two days of drinking grease was paying a toll on the little man’s digestive system, but sheer hunger drove the poor one to relish the single meal afforded the lonely prisoner.
Bobby awoke in his corner cell two days earlier to the stench of rotting flesh and human waste, unaware of why or how he came to be in the underground cage. His sentry appeared to be mute and his L—shaped cellblock revealed little signs of life as he looked up the long corridor lit by oil lamps set strategically on the walls of the narrow passageway. From his current vantage point against the back of his wall he couldn’t see down the corridor his row faced.
Bobby leaned forward and cleared his throat. “Could I have some water please?”
If the guard heard the plea, he made no motion and showed no intention of giving succor.
A strange jumble of syllables sounded to his right. Bobby pushed off the wall and crawled to the wooden poles lashed tightly with leather thongs,— the bars to his cell. “Is someone there?” He pushed his face through the thin partition with considerable effort and looked down to his right. “Hello?”
A woman’s head popped out into the passage and seeing Bobby let out a flurry of garbled speech. Bobby listened carefully to the dialect as he studied the smooth contours of her features. Her strong, high cheekbones and her dark eyebrows magnified the hazel of ...