4: Thunder - Visitation

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The bolts of the door ran smooth, as they always did. They slid easily in the hands of his captors to lock or unlock as was required. The hinges swung soundlessly, as if to make a sound would be too startling a contradiction against the silence of the hooded figures that had kidnapped the prince. The two figures entered, with the smaller of the pair, as ever, holding the tray of food.

The larger one stood by the door, arms folder and head bowed enough to allow the shadows beneath the hood to disguise his face. The smaller brought the tray forward to replace the one from which Rick had eaten that morning. The prince remained on his bed, as was his habit when they entered. He knew any attempt at interaction would prove fruitless, unlike his tray with was always overflowing with grapes and slices of citrus delight.

Rick was tired of fruit. As much as he could appreciate them feeding him a healthy diet - feeding him at all, in fact - he would have liked something more. They did include meats and bread, but those things were almost an afterthought in comparison.

He nodded briefly in thanks as the tray was set down and the old one retrieved. He didn't speak and, of course, neither did the guards. Rick felt he could chew on the silence if they would only supply him with some condiments to season it and stop it tasting so bitter. The was no response, but he expected nothing less. He didn't mind, not any more. The guards were not threatening, they were just... imposing. Even the little one. A sense of tense fluidity, as if an oiled spring was coiled tightly and could snap open at any second, flowed through his movements.

Although, of course, he could be a she. Rick had no way of knowing. The robes and the hoods cloaked any semblance of identity or gender.

The light in the room dipped unexpectedly as something large flew past the window. All three occupants of the room looked towards the movement. There was a gasp from the mountain by the door with another echoed by the tray bearer. They looked at each other, though neither would be able to see the others' eyes or expression.

"Is something wrong?" Rick asked, pushing himself up.

The guards were ignoring their prisoner. They looked to be waiting. Listening. Suddenly, a rumble vibrated through the stone floor, strong enough to shake the fruit laden tray to the floor. It clattered and the noise was answered. A roar, a booming thunder of sound that seemed to resonate through Rick's bones, tumbled through the structure Rick's cell was contained within. A crack carved its way through one of the panes of glass in the window, splitting it into two distinct parts, each doing its best not to be ejected from the frame.

Then there was a scream.

The guards broke whatever invisible bindings had held them in place and ran from the room. The food, strewn across the floor was forgotten about. The prince was forgotten about. The still open door was forgotten about.

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