New readers might like to catch up on the previous dungeon dialogues between Kheir and Maciste. When Kheir poured out his vicious visions of his stepbrother nailed to a cross. The passages from “Stepbrothers” have been extracted.
He gave another sharp shiver. The cold. Not surprising. He’d spent a seeming eternity in this dank cold blackness. How many hours since that crippling session before Kheir’s guffawing court? Mocking him as unspeakable pains took him in their grip? It seemed like days. It seemed like he hadn’t slept.
Not surprising. He’d barely eaten in days. And what scraps he’d been thrown .. no nourishment in that. Even the water in this bowl .. it stank.
And the cold. This evil bitter cold. A cold that had eaten into his bones and refused him sleep. Like he’d been incarcerated down here for endless days? Yet Maciste knew that was not true. With the dawn his stepbrother wanted him executed. And Kheir couldn’t wait for that.
And in that the shiver there was perhaps a tinge of fear. Fear of the death promised him. Kheir had laid it out. Gloating. His visions of the most vicious crucifixion Kheir could dream up. Wallowing in Maciste’s suffering. Exacting screaming revenge.
Little wonder Maciste shivered. Now alone – no prying eyes – he could give way to his fears. Kheir was sick. In his head unhinged. Twisted by envy. Warped by jealousy of his stepbrother, the warrior-prince. Hero-worshipped. And for THAT he had schemed .. imagined. Plotting Maciste’s undying agony on a cross.