When the soldiers threw him into the cell, he broke his forehead on the low ceiling and scraped his knees on the harsh stone of the floor. Having little option he crawled forwards. Suddenly the ceiling opened up and he found himself in a room filled with light. There was not enough headroom for him to stand, but he was sure he could sit in comfort without hitting himself on the roof.
He blinked, unused to sunlight as he had been kept in total darkness for however long they had held him. Except for his time in the hands of the divulgers, but their place was lit only by the flames from the forge in which they heated their instruments of torture. He looked down at his, now nailless, hands and wondered what they would with him now.
As his eyes grew accustomed to the light he saw he was not alone. An old man sat in a bench in front of the barred window. With his face raised to the sunlight.
As if he felt the weight of the newcomer’s glance the old man spoke. “Be welcome, if such could ever be appropriate in this place.”
The young man struggled to find a reply then he asked the thing that was at the top of his mind. “Why is it light here? I have not seen light for many days.”
The old man turned his face so the black holes that had once been his eyes were visible.
“Refined torture,” he said gently. “When you can no longer see the sun or the sky, what is more painful than knowing it is there before you.”
“So why have they thrown me in here with you? What benefits them to give us companionship?”
The old man sighed. “Who are you that you are in the hands of the divulgers and their cohorts?”
“They say I am the masiach. On the day of my birth a star burned in the east…”
The old man chuckled. “It has been a long time since I had eyes to see, but are there not always stars in the sky?”
“Aye father, there are, but a new star?”
The two men were silent for a long time. Then the younger spoke. “How came you here?”
“Somebody thought I could see the future, so they brought me here and took my eyes just in case.”
The young man stared at him. “And when was that?”
“I think, as the days are numbered outside this place, it was thirty or so years since.”
The young man fell back against the rough-hewn wall of their shared prison. “Do you tell me I am fated to spend the next thirty years within these walls?”
“Oh no, child, not you. They will crucify you tomorrow.”