Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vaelina Watched

    Vaelina sat at in her chair by the window watching.  Crying.  Her voice caught in her throat, now hoarse from yelling in vain.


     She had been looking out her window for a while now.  It was a hobby of hers to look out after dinner and watch the sunset.  Before then she would watch whatever caught her fancy and if she felt like it maybe she would draw some smaller things.  She had always been fairly privileged.  Some might even call her spoiled though no one had dared say so to her face.  She watched as an insect skittered across the sheet of glass that helped keep her from getting chilled.  Vaelina's father was the owner of a large portion of land and could afford rare luxuries such as glass for the main house.  The insect stopped moving as it reached the edge blocked by a small ledge.  It was nothing to someone the of her height.  She doubted she could trip on it if she tried.  Of course, she's also have to be able to walk on the window.  As she watched, the insect tried to climb up the comparably imposing ledge but as it struggled to gain traction it lost what it had on the glass and fell.

    Eyes following the small bug, Vaelina caught sight of one of their slaves, Shem, standing up in front of Torim, the manor's current slave keeper.  Shem was a kind man who was often the first to laugh and had told her many stories and fables over the years.  She often recalled his tales of life before working for them and how his eyes sparkled with something she could never place.  Now his eyes were filled with something else.  It was something darker. Something Vaelina had never seen before.  

    Shem spit directly into Torim's face with malice.  Torim reeled back in disgust wiping the saliva from his cheek with the sleeve of his jacket before launching himself forward.  As his fist crashed into Shem's jaw, dropping the large man, Vaelina stepped back from the window.  However, as terrified as she was, she couldn't tear her eyes away from the scene below.


    Shem tried to stand but as his lifted himself Torim's boot crashed into his chin from the side, causing his teeth to slam through some of his cheek.  He coughed, spitting up blood and tried to stand once more.  Torim knelt down next to him and grabbed the back of his hair, lifting his head by it.  He whispered something into his ear and scowled before slamming him back into the ground face first.  Cartilage cracked as his nose broke and his vision swam.  He collapsed to the floor for a moment but pride wouldn't let him stay down any longer.  He put his hand down to push himself up but halfway a boot smashed into the same spot.  Shem let out a howl and his back arched in pain as Torim's heel ground the bones if his fingers into the ground.  His lost all strength and collapsed back down but the horror wasn't over.  The heel lifted but quickly returned, just as hard as the last time, crushing his fingers against the hard ground beneath.  

    Stunned, Shem lay there as Torim circled to his feet.  Nothing happened for a moment but the reprieve was short, broken by a flash of pain even more intense than the feeling in his hand.  Torim pulled back sharply and the claws of his whip, embedded into the top of Shem's back, tore free pulling strips of skin and muscle with it.  Blood arced through the air, following as if reluctant to sever the connection with the now missing flesh.  The skin on his back screamed along and his voice channeled the feeling.  His back felt... looser.  The skin no longer tight across his muscles.  The ends of the whip snapped back into Shem's back hitting his side this time, digging into the area under his ribs.  He had hoped the pain would be less this time but was disappointed.  He would continually be disappointed as the taskmaster's whip continued to tear his back to shreds eliciting screams of pain that reached far into the twilight.  

    After what seemed like hours of pain to Shem, Torim walked around to his front and gestured to two other nearby slaves who cringed instinctually but dutifully, fearfully, came over and picked him up but his arms.  Shem's hung there limply, groaning as blood flowed down his legs.  His shirt was falling off and any skin that remained on his back hung off of him limply.  Torim came up in front of Shem and punched him in the gut causing more blood to leave his mouth.  He didn't even notice as some of it landed on the boot of his assailant.  Whether that would have satisfied anything in him or just filled him with terror no one could say.  Casually, Torim reached up with his hands to the sides of Shem's head, and swiftly twisted.  Shem's pain faded from his eyes and his body somehow slumped even more in the other slaves' arms becoming literal dead weight.  

    In a quick gesture, Torim tilted his head back and to the right toward's the lake.  The slaves carrying Shem quickly complied almost running to go dump yet another mutilated body in the waters.  Torim walked back toward the house where Vaelina's father was sitting in the porch's shade with his wife.  He sighed and lightly shook his head at Torim's actions.  Now he needed to buy a replacement.


    Vaelina sat at in her chair by the window watching.  Crying.  Her voice caught in her throat, now hoarse from yelling in vain.

    Eyes red from her tears shed for the slave, Shem, she managed to shuffle over to her bed before collapsing onto it.  She tried to remember the twinkle of Shem's eyes and the sound of his laughter but it was lost.  All that could come to her mind was his flattened hand, the thunder of the whip's crack, his body's limpness after his neck was broken, and the piercing screams of pain.  She still heard them in her head and they wouldn't stop.  Delirious, uncontrolled screams that drowned out all other thoughts.  Choking on her sobs she cried herself into a fitful sleep.

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