The Mad King, Part II

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The Mad King, Part II

Natalie W., Writer

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Cold, frightening darkness surrounded Seth and Ellie, as a sickening feeling emerged from the pit of their stomachs. Old, rusty bars imprisoned them into a small jail cell. They sat in silence trying to think of a reason they were trapped. I mean, it was just a story after all! They had been sentenced to jail because of a fictional story. The jail they were in was Swelden’s one and only prison. It was dark, deserted and old. The building was quite small actually. Then again, everything Swelden was small. The place smelled as if the a sick rat threw up all over the floor. Swelden’s jail was miserable, especially for two bright kids like Ellie and Seth.


“It’s just not fair,” cried Ellie. “We never said King Monak was actually brainwashing people.”

“Yes, but we both know we were trying to persuade them to think that,” replied Seth.

“True, but we don’t deserve to be trapped in this moldy place,” complained Ellie.

“We shouldn’t have done it,” regretted Seth. “No one would’ve believed us anyway,”

“I believe you,” said a bold voice from the depths of the shadows.

Ellie and Seth instantly turned looking for the source of the voice. Slowly, candle light emerged from the shadows revealing a dark hooded figure. Seth stood up, his feet touching the cold, cobblestone floor. The figure lit the room with his small, poorly lit candle. Ellie squinted to see the figure. He wore a cloaked hood with a red symbol on it. He had on old boots that looked as if they been used by someone living in a pigsty. His entire face was hidden except for his two dark, brown eyes, staring straight at the twins.

“Who are you?” Ellie asked standing up.

“My name is Hugh,” he whispered reaching into his back pocket to revealed shiny, tattered looking keys. “I’m the son of the jailer,”

He swung the keys around his hands in a playful manner. The twins stared at the keys.

“Are those for our jail cell?” Seth asked.

“What do you think?” Hugh replied with his raspy voice.

Ellie stared suspiciously. “What do you want?”

Hugh looked around, then focused on Ellie and Seth.

“Here’s the deal: I hate working in this wretched place,” he said. “If you can get this brain washing device, my dad won’t force me to work here anymore. I’ve seen the device myself when my dad and I visited the king. It’s in his bedchamber. Get it, then prove to the town that the king is actually evil, so I can finally get out of here,”

Seth and Ellie looked at each other, still suspicious.

“How did you even know about our story, or what we did?” asked Seth.

“You’re in the news!” Hugh grinned. “There is barely any news around here. You made the top headline!”

“THE NEWS?!” shrieked Ellie. “Great, if we go back, I will be humiliated forever,”

Hugh rolled his eyes while Seth patted Ellie awkwardly on the back.

“So do we have a deal or not?” Hugh asked.

“What do we have to give you in return?” asked Seth.

“Nothing,” smiled Hugh. “Getting out of here and proving the whole town wrong is enough for me!”

Seth turned slowly to Ellie. She nodded in approval. 

“Deal!” Seth agreed, extending his hand for Hugh to shake. Hugh shook it, then found the correct key on the ring. He put the key into the rusty lock, but hesitated before turning it.

“You better not tell anyone I let you out, or else I will come find you and get you,” Hugh said gravely.

Seth and Ellie knew he only said this to scare them, but agreed anyway. Hugh turned the key, then swung open the door. Ellie rushed out smiling. Seth took a deep breath, following Ellie out. Hugh closed the door and then locked it.

“Follow me,” Hugh said parading into the darkness.

Seth and Ellie followed him past the deserted jail cells. The dripping water from the pipes echoed in the silence. They came across a cell with an occupant. A young lady sat in the corner, her prison oranges dirtied into brown. She wore a straight face, muttering words to herself. Seth stared at her through the gloomy bars wondering what she was muttering. Despite the stares of Seth, she didn’t look up.


Finally, Seth, Ellie, and Hugh reached the bottom of the hall towards the eerie, oak doors. Their pale faces turned to Hugh.

“What now?” asked Ellie.

“Here,” he said placing handcuffs on the twins.

“If anyone asks, I’m going to be taking you to my father,”

“What if your father comes?”

“Then we face the consequences,” Hugh opened the giant doors leading to a long hallway of offices.

They walked through, praying nobody would set their eyes on them. Sadly, it didn’t work. Hugh’s father, head of Sweldens prison stepped out of his office to face his petrified son. He squinted at Ellie and Seth who both looked down.

“What are you doing?” questioned Hugh’s father. He was a tall stern looking man, with a giant, bushy mustache. He wore a red suit that was strikingly fancy, especially for a prison.

“I’m leading these prisoners to the medicine hall,” Hugh said shakily.

“Medicine hall? I don’t see anything wrong with them, except for the fact that they disrespected our king! Disgraceful!” he spat.

Seth looked up. “You mean your king that’s brainwashing all the adults in this town, forcing children into child labor!”

Hugh’s father stared in disgust. He looked as if he was a big red balloon about to pop.

“I will not talk to these…” Hugh’s dad paused thinking of the best word he could use to describe the twins, “CONTEMPTIBLE PEASANTS!”

Hugh flinched as his arm shook. 

“YOU!” he bellowed pointing at Hugh. “Take them back at once! Then we will have a talk in my office about following the rules!”

“Yes father,” nodded Hugh, motioning Seth and Ellie to turn back. They stared at him strangely, but obeyed. They inched back and turned every few seconds. Hugh reached into his front pocket revealing a decrepit key. His hood fell in the process, revealing his battered face. He had pale skin. His green hair was slicked back with gel. Realizing his hood fell, he quickly put it back on again. Ellie and Seth looked at each other, then back at Hugh.

Ellie couldn’t help but ask, “Why do you wear that hood all the time?”

“Reasons,” said Hugh. “Give me your hands, both of you,”

Seth and Ellie reached out their cuffed hands. Hugh hastily unlocked their cuffs.

“Now, run out before my dad catches you” he said. “Remember, it’s in King Monak’s bedchamber,”

The twins nodded as they looked down the hallway to find Hugh’s Dad still standing there giving them the evil eye.

“On 3,” Seth whispered. “1… 2… 3!”

Ellie and Seth ran down the hall neck and neck, as usual. They swiftly passed Hugh’s dad, not even daring to look behind. Hugh’s dad chased after them with determination. They pushed open the door, then ran out into Swelden’s main street. Hugh’s dad was feet away, grunting with fury. Ellie and Seth kept running as they tried to ignore the strange looks everyone was giving them. Ellie finally looked back to find Hugh’s dad gone. He probably was too tired to carry on. The twins slowed to a light jog as they rounded a corner leading to a dark alley way. They came to a stop, panting. Ellie and Seth sat there for a while, staring at the wall in silence. The twins were free, but they have an even bigger mission now. They would have to steal from King Monak.

To be continued…