The storie is set in Spain. A poor man is being sentenced to death. The man doesen't even question his innocence. This maybe because the Spanish torchered those who did not to admit to crimes, even if they didn't commit them.
The man is condemed to darkness. Darkness evokes feelings of anxiety, but under these circumstances I would think absolute terror. The tomb is dark and only by an accident does the cictum escape the pit and certain death. He searched for a rock in order to estimate the depths, which he just avoided.
The prisoner wakes only to realize that he is strapped onto a board and bound by a surcingle. Fear and stress caused the prisoner to pass out. Upon wakening he became aware that the pendulum had halted its decent, only to resume after he became conscious of it. Undoubtedly, the pendulum was under the strict control of his tormentors.
His escape from the pendulum was through a variant of Aesop's fable of the mouse and the elephant, where the smallest beast liberated the greatest through the act of gnawing away his shackles. He smeared himself with meat and subjected himself to the horror of having rats crawl all over him gnawing at the surcingle. He was free from the pendulum. Free only to be tortured further.
The smell of heated iron was his initial clue that the iron walls were getting hotter, and he was forced to shield himself from the heat. Not only that, but the room's dimensions shifted to a "lozenge" (diamond) shape, that forced him to the center. The walls pushed closer still forcing him to the brink of the pit. T
It is fortunet that the man escaped but the horror that he was put through will haunt him for the...