Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! We have quite a selection for you today so let's get right to it!" He motions to the curtain and a woman around 40 comes out with shackles on her wrists and ankles. The chain was kept short so she hobbled to the edge of the stage. Her head was bent down and she stood there without trembling. The auctioneer says, "Slave 436 has been owned only by Mr. Houstis and Mr. Jabcef over her 15 years as a slave. She was trusted enough to care for their children who are now grown and so she doesn't have a purpose anymore." He looks at the paper in his hand, "She can't read or write, but had a wonderful gift with the children." He scans the crowd smiling. "Who needs a caretaker for their children? Good help is very hard to come by."

The bidding began, but only between a few people. I kept looking at the girl, but she didn't seem worried or scared at all. I then turned to look at the people assembled and I was amazed at the different levels of prosperity. Some wore fine clothes, with embroidery, lace trim and beads sewn onto it; others wore rougher clothing, no embroidery, and basic browns and tans. Most of the bidders were male, but there were some women too.

I glanced around the marketplace, and I suddenly saw slaves everywhere; there was one carrying a heavy load and trying to keep up with her owner; another one haggling with a merchant; another one one her knees waiting outside a small building.

"200!" My fathers voice brought me back to the auction. There was a new woman on the block that father had shown interest in before. She was clothed so she was a domestic slave. Again, she stood with her eyes lowered and as far as Adora could tell, was not afraid. A few others bid against my father but he won her for only 350 gold. More domestics were displayed and bid on. Father bought two more domestics before all was done.

"And now," the auctioneer said and the crowd went quiet, "what you all have been waiting for." Once again he waved to the curtain and a naked, red haired woman walked out. She had the same posture as the domestics, but her walk and even the way she stood was enticing. "Now this beauty was owned by Richard. But now he's decided to share his treasure with the rest of us. I'm sure someone can get some use out of her." The bidding began in earnest and the auctioneer almost couldn't keep up. After around 1500 gold, the bidding began to slow until she was finally sold for 2000. The woman was taken off the stage, and the winning bidder was given his claim ticket. Then the process started all over again. Lord Nichoals bought 4 pleasure slaves, so all together he had 7 slaves to bring home.

I wasn't sure what to think of this whole process. On the one hand I knew it was wrong, but the women didn't seem afraid. Have they given up and just accepted their fate, ro is the life of a slave really not as bad as I think?

After the auction broke up, father handed me his claim tickets while he was surrounded by several people to congratulate him.

We walked behind the tent where the slaves were waiting in line. They all wore collars which were either chained to other slave's collars or the chain was being held by a guard. The slaves chained together had all been bought by the same person.

Nicholas, my father, had me give the head guard the claim tickets. The man matched up the numbers on the tickets to the numbers on the girls right arm. Nicholas's group of slaves was the largest. When the man was satisfied, he waved his hands and the numbers disappeard. He approached nicholas who handed him a large sack that gingled nicely when it hit the man's hand. The man then  handed Nicholas the lead chain for the slaves.

Nicholas let them away from the tent to a grassy field, let the end of the chain hang and stood back to look at his new purchases.

"Very nice, my lord," came a voice behind us.

We turned around to see who spoke and a well built man came walking up and bowed slightly to my father. He had blond tossled hair, and an amused smile.

"Kevvin!" My father shook his hand like an old friend. Kevvin turned and looked over the girls carefully.

"Nice selection. Maybe I'll get the chance to hunt one of them down someday."

My father chuckled, "No need for that. You are welcome to sample my wares anytime."

Kevvin smiled, "I know. You keep offering but I never seem to have the time."

Kevvin glanced over Nicholas's shoulder and saw me. "Hello," he said and smiled wider, "who is this?"

My father frowned, "This is my daughter, Adora. She has come to live with me and..."

"You mean you kidnapped me!" I interrupted. "You took me from my home, my planet, and brought me
here!"

My father smiled and reached out his hand to put it on my shoulder. I knocked it away.

His eyes flashed in anger for a moment and he made the hand motions to cast a spell. I cried out in sudden
pain and fell to my knees. I fell forward until I was hunched over with my forehead on the ground. I clutched the grass as waves of pain crashed over me. The pain stopped leaving me panting and blinking my tears away.

"Get up," my father said harshly and I quickly complied. I looked up at my father who was frowing at me, but Kevvin still has his smile. I looked at the girls, but they hadn't moved. No one around us seemed the least concerned either. Surely this kind of treatment can't be legal?

Nicholas saw me looking around and laughed.