How is this looking? I incorporated a lot of winkio's ideas in this revision, and though it's not quite caught up to where I left off yet, I think it's looking a lot better as far as having fewer glaring errors.
Being completely sealed off from the outside world made it impossible to track the passing of time. William felt his stomach growl loudly. It was likely around lunch time. He wondered what they were thinking back at the Chapel. They most likely thought that he had gotten lost on the way back from the postal office, he thought gloomily. It wouldn't have been the first time such a thing had happened. The sound of metal grating on stone echoed from somewhere outside his chamber. Perhaps it was the guards, making the rounds between the cells. They could even be bringing food. A small spark of hope sprung in the back of William's mind, but it fizzled out quickly. Food was unlikely. It was probably just a routine check.
A second, identical sound caught his attention. There was definitely something going on outside. He forced his aching body to the door. The window slit was near the very top, above eye level, but by stretching himself to the tallest that he could muster, he could see a glimpse of the ceiling outside. It, too, was made of stone. Very faintly, he heard voices rebounding outside the chamber, followed by a third screeching noise. He experimentally tried hopping, giving himself a few extra inches of height. The grating sounded again, this time closer than ever before. This time, it was accompanied by a rhythmic clanking, almost like hurried footsteps.
The next sound he heard made his heart skip a beat. It was the metallic clink of a key being shoved haphazardly into a lock, followed by the turning of rusted tumblers. The source was incredibly close. If it had been even slightly plausible, he might have guessed that it was coming from within the very iron door against which he now pressed himself....
The door flew open. William fell unceremoniously to the stone floor, narrowly avoiding being crushed as the steel slab swung inward. With its movement came the same grating sound, now loud enough to split the ears. A knight stood in the doorframe, wearing hulking metal armor the shone brilliantly in the torchlight, despite displaying signs of very recent battle.
"Get moving." The order was muffled by the thick metal visor through which it was delivered, but its intent was clear. Before William could retort with any questions of his own, the figure had disappeared, rushing to the next door along the cell block. The other voices were back, now. Echoing wildly, their words were unintelligible, but their meaning was as clear as day. This visitor was far from welcome.
Countless steel doors identical to that of William's own cell lined the stony corridor. Aside from the scarce flickering torch bolted to the rocky wall, it was almost as spartan outside the cell as within it. Not that he had time to admire the scenery in the first place; already, a party of red-robed figures had rounded the far corner. By this time, the knight had already opened two more doors and moved on to a third. There were no signs of any other prisoners emerging. If all prisoners were given the same treatment he had seen, thought William, then this was hardly surprising, although the sheer quantity of cells did seem somewhat foreboding. Why have that many if no prisoner was going to survive more than a few days?
Rather than moving forward to the next door, the knight turned undauntedly towards the approaching robed men. William found himself caught in between the two parties - it was a deadly position. Without a moment to spare, he ducked back inside his cell. Though it was not high on his list of places he wanted to be at the moment, it was above being dead. He didn't dare close the door behind him, fearing that it would lock again. Instead, he crept to the corner of the room behind the door. If he could remain inconspicuous until the skirmish had ended, he might be able to sneak out without being seen.
His foot nudged something on the ground as he moved. The parcel! He had nearly forgotten it. With a whispered prayer of thanks, he snatched it up, running his fingers along the seal to insure that it was still intact. Though he still hadn't the slightest idea what was contained in the thin leather wrappings, it must be incredibly important if it truly was what this red-robed group were after.
The sounds of combat resounded from outside the dark cell. Judging from the tell-tale clash of steel, the robed figures were better armed than their manner of dress suggested. Deep within his stomach, William felt the gnawing sensation of guilt begin to grow. The word 'coward' floated tauntingly in the back of his mind, despite his efforts to force it back down. "Overgod help me," he muttered, pushing the door open and stepping out into the fray.
Blood stains caused the stone walls and floor to shimmer sickeningly. It was impossible to follow all of the movements happening in the flurry of cloth and steel, but two motionless bodies draped in red robes proved that the knight was managing to hold them back so far. William wasn't sure what to do. He was unarmed, though it would hardly have made a significant difference, given his lack of combat experience.
Long ago, the Church had sent battle-clerics to war, each with a sword in one hand and a book of prayers in the other. It had been decades since anyone had received that sort of training. William swallowed and tried to recall the words to a blessing of protection. With hope that the Overgod would forgive his stumbled recitation, he stretched out his hand muttered the final syllable.
The only sign of the holy barrier was a faint shimmering in the air, like water vapor on a sunny day. In the torchlight, it was nearly invisible. This led to unintended consequences - unaware of the barrier's existence, both the knight and the guards slammed into it, and were hurtled pell-mell across the stone floor from their momentum. Unable to handle the force, the barrier dissipated. One by one, the figures pulled themselves back up, as one by one, each pair of eyes turned towards the novice priest standing in the cell doorway. William gulped.
EDIT: I added a few more paragraphs.