[Part One]

Violent winds shook the waters against a small boat, racked with swelling and knots along the sides. The rocking mast that hung well above their heads uprooted itself, and slowly cracked downward.

The middle of the Sea of Ice was never a good place to risk in the midst of a long winded summer, when the light shower or two spring had summoned turned into torrents and abrupt calamity against a jet-black slate of sky. Here and there, among the fallen timber and brushed bottle caps, the splintered remnants of boats slapped against the side of the one still floating.

Aboard were several groups of slaves, scrunched together in order of potential profit, on their way to the summer auctions in Kal-kesh. Prized fettish slaves clustered toward the fore, gaunt and haughty among the unruly crowd beneath decks. Just after, the rather small crowd of students pressed together miserably; their lives now belonged to tutors, and they would spend years learning a trade to repay the debt of passage. Toward the middle of the lower deck crowded the loudest group, bronzed and burly workers whose presence was easily acknowledged from the cursing and slander that bellowed around them. Several of the more spirited were engaged already in brawls that groaned against the bows of the ship.

Near the aft were three or four prisoners, silent bunch of stragglers chained for various crimes. One or two were easily marked for Mancers; that alone was a punishable offense. Another, brownish hair burnt backward and pressed against the ship he leant against, sat rocking gently. Wiry fingers clasped around a strange, metallic device, which he shot up and down in a most jerky manner; whatever was inside went clickety-clickety-click. The monotony of silence from the criminals broke with that metallic echo, though above the roar of several fighters now, it was barely heard.

There she sat, silent as always, huddled against the wooden side of the boat. Milky eyes glassed over with fear and dread as she watched the others around her. Her whimpers died softly as a few fleshy slaves pressed against her. They hadn't given her much to wear; lime and violet veil-thin silk hung from slumped shoulders, twisting around ivory arms and drizzling to the floor in puddles of soft color. Something regally clasped against her belied she shouldn't be here, but nobody minded grabbing a piece of skin as they bumped against her.

Several men struggled toward the fore section, arms locked in a furious quarrel for strength. The mottled crowd around them thickened and the noise erupted in bright firecracker rhythm. Grunts and battle cries grew even harsher, grating against the ears.

She scrunched against two other fetish slaves, locked with a common chain against the far wall; robes and light scarves graced them unwittingly as the chains themselves, shackling them to darker purposes. Some had grown to relish the role; she could see it in their eyes. They were taken better care of than the common slaves. They were royalty among them. She squirmed farther away; royalty or not, she could still feel the chains chaffing her wrists.

[Archiver's note: The rest of this piece has been lost.]

+ Back to Menu

Sitemap: Contact: About:
Inqy.com index
Artwork index
Poetry index
Muted Faith
Wicked Alchemy
Onna Chance
Jessica "Cherie" West