LXXVI

His arrest caused an uproar among the people, many accusing the King of putting him there out of spite rather than any criminal behaviour, however the King’s counsel over-ruled anything and anyone and God help anyone who challenged him.

Inana knew that all too well.

The unforgiving nature of the prison had become too much, unbearable and Jack was withering away with each passing moment.

His wife and children had stopped visiting.

Word amongst prisoners was that she had left the village, given up hope and was starting life anew. He couldn’t imagine her giving up on him, it was positively heartbreaking but the uncertainty and demise of his demeanour was agonising for her also.

Imagining his fate a burden too much for her to bare.

Inana walked slowly down the notorious halls. The pungent smell of damp barely recognisable over the foul stench of rot, flesh wounds left unattended and pungent bodily excrement.

She held her scarf tightly to her face trying hard to stop herself from wrenching.

There was a cold stone wall between them, prison rules regarding the town Healer and this unobliging inmate.

Inana, generous in nature, bought Jack fresh bread, enough she thought for a week. She bought berries and produce from her garden, even some wild flowers and feathers she had found along the way to adorn his cell. She bought him books to read to make the days pass more easily.

She knew of his plight and was not pleased Silas could dictate so easily the fate of the innocent, a judicial system null and void under a kings counsel.

She was unable to see his face, the sound of his voice the only point of reference she had.

She could only imagine what he looked like; his stature and build, the colour of his eyes, the shape of his face, the projection of his jawline; a picture of him only existing in her mind.

He was going to be a more challenging patient, but Inana rarely feared defiance these days, her resilience strengthened by her treatment from Beirchardt and her perseverance reinforced by the support of Lilith and the nymphs in the Temple.

Jack Henry was unlike anyone Inana had met.

From their very first meeting she felt something different in him.

It was his voice.

Not so much the tone or temper, there was something underlying.

It took her a while to pin point the feeling.

When he spoke, she felt it.