Catch up with Part I here.
Steve wasn’t sure how long it had been. Each starved day seemed to blend into the next and he’d lost track of time. Now he just felt disoriented and alone. And hungry. It felt like weeks since he’d been picked up by that prancing nutter and taken to the castle. He was really late for tea now.
No one would tell Steve what was going on. He was visited once a day by a fat, bald simpleton of a jailer, but when he tried to find out why they had locked him up in a dungeon the jailer just laughed at him, drenching Steve in stale spittle. He was absolutely gagging for a kebab, and his shoulder had taken a turn for the worse. The shard of glass had slipped out on the uncomfortable gallop back to the castle and the wound had started to go green and oozy, giving off a putrid smell. It was hard to differentiate between that and the cell though, Steve had been forced to shit in a bucket in the corner and nobody seemed that bothered about emptying it for him.
The sound of a rusty metal door being opened woke him from his thoughts, footsteps echoed down the corridor. They stopped outside his cell. “Take him to the Coin Room,” Steve heard a deep voice tell the jailer. Next thing he knew he had the bag on again and he was being dragged down a winding set of stairs, bumping his head on every step. “Oi ya daft bastard, give up wi’ that, fucking kills,” Steve implored. The jailer just laughed.
Steve was taken into a room and chained to the wall, his arms flayed out like he was mid-star jump. “Remove the bag and leave us,” the voice commanded.
As he looked around the huge dingy room, Steve felt this wasn’t going to go well for him. There were several large medieval-looking torture devices dotted around, a table full of smaller evil looking devices, the floor was saturated with dry blood and there were several other poor sods chained up on the walls just like him. They were dead though.
Steve saw the owner of that deep, malicious voice. He stood six feet tall with long dank, greasy black hair. His face was a sight to behold, he had the look of a slightly melted waxwork, but with a muted dignity. His nose was nondescript but his eyes were brown, and he wore a leather tunic over chainmail made from thousands of coins. The tunic appeared to have mustard stains on it in seven different places, and it even looked like the stains came from several types of mustard: Steve could see wholegrain and Dijon, and what might have been English. Who’s this flash mustard bastard? he thought. The tunic was brown, brown like a cup of filter coffee with only a dash of milk. His shoes were dead pointy, like little fairy slippers, and he had on leather gloves with silver studs on the knuckles, peppered with blood and sinew. His smile was terrifying.
The stranger broke the silence, “My name is The Coin and I hope you are in the mood for being tortured.”
He moved towards the table of small torture devices. “OK, let’s start you with something a bit more basic, then we can move on to the more complex stuff. Now, they call me The Coin as I prefer the flip of a coin to determine what I shall do to my guests. If the coin flip does not go the way I desire I simply jam the coin into my guest’s eye and twist it around until the correct side faces up. So, heads I clasp your hand to the table and sand your fingers down one by one, tails I melt down this silver helmet I acquired on my travels, place it in my Silver Dribbler and sprinkle you with molten silver. I hope it’s tails.”
Steve’s balls slowly shrunk back into himself. “The fuck’s that about, I ain’t done nowt to you, let me outta here!”
“No, I don’t think I’ll do that, I’ve just received some bad news and I feel like relieving some stress.” Reaching for his coin pouch he pulled out a gnarled bronze penny and flipped it, catching it on the back of his hand, “Ahh tails, brilliant.”
The Silver Dribbler was a long metal pole with an orb on the end. The orb could be opened and filled with whatever vile liquid was at hand, on the top were several small holes for dribbling. The Coin favoured molten silver, an expensive preference but the results spoke for themselves. He began to melt down the helmet.
“My last ditched attempt at reason was dismissed and Shantell Eebygum will be marrying that smarmy bastard Jimmeh Bangsister instead of me. This is the final insult and I shall not suffer in silence! Their wedding is soon, at the grand tournament they have planned I shall announce my opposition to this partnership,” The Coin dictated to a confused Steve.
The Coin removed him from the wall and dragged him over to a surgical table of sorts, the surface pockmarked with silver burns. Chaining him down, a malicious smirk crossed his face, “This will be fun.” He scooped up a ladle of molten silver and filled the orb. Steve pleaded to him, “STOP! If you let us go I’ll tell you a great new way ta torture people.”
“Car batteries, wire ‘em up to their balls, fucking kills. Me mate did it to me fa one o’ them Neknominate things, you know, where ya neck booze n that. He didn’t really get it.”
“What is a car battery, sounds like sorcerer’s tricks to me.”
“Nah it’s legit, I’ve got some in me van, that big metal thing I wa with when I wa brought here, if you let us go I’ll show you!”
“Hmm, I think I’ll just dribble silver on you.”
The Coin picked up the Silver Dribbler and started doing a weird, voodoo dance slowly around the table, chanting under his breath. Steve couldn’t quite make out what he was saying but it sounded like some kind of prayer. It went on for a few minutes, the prayer getting louder, the dance more intense, until he finally reached Steve’s head. He stopped suddenly.
Steve closed his eyes and tried to forget about it all. He went to his happy place, a land full of joy, where the football’s on all day everyday, a place where pints are free, and are served by huge walking pairs of tits, where there was no nagging wives, no psychos with silver sticks for dribbling, none of that bloody nonsense. As he started to relax, accepting his fate, the door burst open. He opened his eyes, it was Ser Dayv and another knight. Steve never thought he would be so happy to see that prancing dickhead again.
“Stop this nonsense Lawrie, Shsyster Izzlebad wants to see the prisoner at once. Come, Ser Sahm, unchain him and bring him with me.”
Steve was taken off the wall and helped out of the dungeon. The ordeal has taken its toll on him and he shuffled uncomfortably, his weakened state exacerbated by his freshly soiled pants. His face grimaced as he saw daylight for the first time in weeks.
“How long have I been down there?” Steve whispered, his voice cracking.
“Only eight hours I would say. We found you late in to the night and now it is nearly time for the middle-of-the-day meal. I dare say you are hungry, ser, I insist you join Shyster Izzlebad and I to dine in his quarters. We have much to discuss.”
“I’ve only been down there fa eight bloody hours! Is that it, thought I wa gone for weeks, if I get ‘ome now I can explain ta wife, tell her got proper pissed up n forgot about tea, I’ll be in dog house fa few weeks but she’ll come round eventually. Hang on, where the fuck are we, don’t remember there bein’ a big bastard castle round ‘ere?”
To be continued…
Story by Jamie Roberts – @VincenzoJRezwah
Illustration by Oliver Smith – @oliverlancaster