The Little Things

He’s not a fan of the horrendous-looking torture instruments or the bloody screaming or extracted things like bones or promises or deals. No, he takes no pleasure in any of that, not even when done to his most bitter enemies.

What does taste sweet to him, though, are the forced little reminders that trip a person up and make them eat the dirt he walks on. He’s invested in the little ways of torture, such as cutting off thumbs so their pride and ability to go to war is gone, or severing big toes and suddenly they walk around swaying like drunkards and waifs. Or both. He’s gone for both more often than not, because it encourages them to crawl on the ground.

He’s reduced seventy kings to such a state, but at least he’s kind and lets them live inside his palace; he even lets them eat with him as scraps of food fall off his dining table. He’s as magnanimous as he is small with his torture techniques, and so whenever he makes a toast before dinner, he secretly makes it to himself, because the devil is always in the details.

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