The Pit and the Pendulum - Edgar Allen Poe
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The main character wakes up in a cold, dark dungeon.
He faces a deadly trail by the Inquisitional Judges, knowing his fate is to doom him in the most vile of methods.
After waking up, the man tries to discover the shape of the room. Unable to see in the darkness, he gets up and slowly walks around, with his arms out. While walking, he accidentally trips and falls, only to find that his face did not hit the floor, but landed right over a deep pit. There is no doubt it was intended to bring about his demise.
He was awoken again. The room changed, as he could now see his way around, yet could not move. He found himself bound to a surgical, but for what purpose? Then, a large hiss of iron was heard from above. It appeared that there was some object swinging above, yet it was indiscernible amidst his confusion. Finally, he realized just what horrors the Inquisition had put him in; he was to be put to death by the Pendulum.
Large, voracious rats swarm him. They came from the pit into which his doom was intended, which is located in the center of the room. He uses the little food provided to him to rub onto his bindings, getting the rats to chew away at the rope. With the pendulum just centimeters above his heart, he is able to break free and slip away.
The Pendulum is lifted up. The Inquisition is watching. He notices the room changing slightly; the walls are becoming red, and the shape of the dungeon is morphing into that of a rhombus. He finally realizes what is happening; the walls are to burn him and to compress him into oblivion, or he will have to jump into the pit. He was done fighting. He could no longer suffer. He jumps into the pit, only to be stopped by and outreached hand. It was a French soldier; the French had taken occupation of the Inquisition.
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