Pit And The Pendulum

Decent Essays
The Pit and the Pendulum is a short story narrative told by a condemned prisoner during the period of the Spanish Inquisitions. The story takes place in Toledo, Spain and begins with the prisoner describing a delirious state in which he sees robed judges presiding over his sentencing. Prior to the pronounced judgment, he is overtaken by fear and faints. The story continues in vivid detail, as the prisoner describes over a period of days, through lingering periods of consciousness, his torturous entrapment.
As the narrative moves forward, the prisoner assumes he’s been sentenced to death. He awakens alone, in absolute blackness, for which he questions whether he is dead or alive. His thoughts pirouette between abject terror and self-imagined
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While examining the tight quarters of his cold and damp surroundings, he feels piercing eyes fixed upon him. Horror fills his body as he gazes upon large rats entering and exiting the pit of death. He realizes he is in the same dungeon, but it is much smaller than he had envisioned. As his eyes slowly adjust to the brightness of the lights, he becomes aware of a noise above him. Almost immediately, his eyes catch glimpse of the movement of a pendulum. Entranced and enthralled by its animated rhythm, he watches in both terror and delight as it swings backwards and forwards. This fascination soon turns to fear as the prisoner realizes a scimitar is attached to the bottom of the pendulum. A maniacal terror slowly creeps into his thoughts as he imagines the sounds of the blade first slicing into his robe and then tearing apart his flesh. Time drags by. He and the rats feast on pungently seasoned meat. The scimitar swings closer and closer, his death certain, when an idea occurs to him. With only seconds to spare before the sharp blade devours him, he quickly rubs the meat on the bandages binding his hands and feet. The smell attracts the rats who rush in and chew the bandages lose. He slides off the wood plank only seconds before his skin is perforated. Euphoria fills him at his victory over the pendulum of
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