Time Spent Writing: 35 minutes
Untitled challenge. Click on cut to read.
Her eyes gazed at the moonlit night longingly, wishing that she could just touch it for just a brief moment. Saeah never knew why, but the moon seemed to be an attractive thing for her. At night, she would lie awake for hours just watching it from her window.
Tonight was not an exception, but she reveled in the full moonlight.
Saeah slowly sat up in bed, feeling the cool night breeze carress her skin as the blanket fell to her lap. Luminous brown eyes had glanced out the window once again as she removed the sheet, noting that it was not that chilly and slipped her slippers on her feet. Moving to the door, she touched the doorknob and opened it, making sure to grab her glasses before walking out the door.
Her steps were light as she advanced outside, standing in front of the mansion. A wonderous view this was, she had started to think, as her long wisps of raven hair flew around her. She took a seat on one of the stairs that led up to the building so she could watch.
The light had started to grow brighter, Saeah noted, as she watched a bit longer.
Her peaceful reviere was broken as she heard footsteps come up behind her. Her head turned, a glare was given to the man that was standing there as she began to rise. “Sir Otuan,” she addressed him gruffly. “What brings a man like you out here on a night like this?”
Otuan’s dark eyes were hard as he grabbed her arm roughly and shoved her back into the house, slamming the door. “I told you to stay in your quarters, girl!” he hissed. “Damn you, you always seem to get away with doing whatever you want. Perhaps your mother reared that into you, but I will not allow such selfishness in my home!” Now pinning her to the wall, he asked, “What was it you thought you would do at ungodly hours of the night, girl?”
“I have a name,” she whispered, barely audiable. Tears stung her eyes as she heard him yell. Yelling always made her frightened, as it reminded her of her parents back home before she was sold into service.
Otuan let up on his grip and stepped back a moment, noting the fear in her eyes. “Very well, then. Tell me your name.”
Her eyes looked away. “Saeah, M’Lord.”
“Now, Saeah—“ He paused to test her name and was rewarded with her eyes looking to him. “What did you think, to be out there at this ungodly hour?”
Saeah glanced toward the door again, reminded of why she hated serving this man. She had always gone out at night to look at the moonlight before going to sleep, or to feel the cool night breeze. Sometimes, she had even gone out to stand in the rain. Now, there were none of those things. Just her duty to serve and do what was asked.
Saeah hated the fact that she was only property now, and no longer a person.
“I was looking at the moonlight,” she told him.
Otuan snorted and laughed softly. “You sound like a child. Only children do things like that.”
“Children are more insightful then adults, sir,” she retorted. “And while I do sound like a child, I wanted to look at the sky.” She turned to start walking toward the door again, but he pulled her back once more, a vice like grip on her wrist.
“I did not say you could go, child,” Otuan said. “Now I will have to punish you for your disobedience.” He began walking, pulling her wrist.
Saeah winced in pain as she followed, trying to break her hand free of his grip. She wanted her mother to do something, but she remembered it was her own mother who had sold her so she could take care of her younger siblings. She tried to push against his movement, but he only tugged harder and made her trip.
“Move, child,” he ordered, watching her stand again. “I won’t let you catch your footing next time.” Then he started walking again.
Her eyes met in fear as she saw that they were going down a stairway. She hated going down these stairs, even for just a short time. “Don’t,” she whispered. “I don’t want to be in the dark.”
Otuan glanced back at her. “You should have thought about that before disobeying my direct orders, girl.” Moving behind her, he pushed her to go down the stairs.
Seeing that she had no other choice, Saeah moved down, going slowly so she could put off her ‘punishment’ a bit longer. Another push down the stairs and she lost her footing, tumbling down. She ended up landing on her side. It was only a few stairs left, but her ribs smarted as she gingerly tried to stand up.
It was stopped by someone pulling on her long black hair and she shrieked at how hard he pulled it. “Stop!!”
“So you pride yourself on your long hair, do you?” Otuan smirked as he pulled out a knife from his free hand. “Well, we can fix that, girl. Move.” Holding the knife to her throat, she had no choice as she stood up and moved where he directed.
Eventually this led to a wall where there were some chains and he directed her into putting two on her feet so she could stay put. Saeah loathed Otuan as she did as she was ordered, wanting to rebel with all her being. However, the knife at her throat stopped her of that, as well as fear.
Taking down the knife, he started putting the chain on her wrist when she slapped him in the face. It was the only futile thing Saeah could do, as she had no use of her feet or her one hand. When he stumbled back, clutching his face, Saeah gasped.
“You bitch!” he screamed. “I’ll deal with you if it’s the last thing I do tonight.” Moving back toward her, he pocketed the knife as he slapped her a few times in the face.
Saeah’s ears rang as she felt her now heavy arms lift at his movements, putting the chains on her slender wrists. Now, she was totally helpless. Now, she was left in the dark.
And now, she was at his mercy.
The knife came out again and he pulled her hair once more. “As I said, I’ll fix you on your pride, girl.” The knife made a clean sweep through her once thigh length black hair. Strands of it fell freely on the floor and she cried openly as his fist dropped her hair in a pile in front of her. “It shined too. You must have really taken care of it.”
The tears would not stop as he pocketed the knife and gazed at her tortured face.
“And such a pretty morsel, too. Perhaps I should take good care of punishing you. But a simple punishment should do.”
“W-w-www-what kind?” Saeah was too scared to ask anything else as she stuttered.
Otuan smiled wolfishly as he ran a hand through his short brown hair. “Just one that will make a lasting impression, child.” Thinking for a moment, he then sighed. “Yes, perhaps that one would be best. Hang on, girl.” He walked toward a dying fireplace that was only a few feet away.
“Hang on,” she muttered. “As if it’s a choice.”
“You disobeyed,” he started, putting some logs on the fire, “and now you must pay the price. You will know obedience and you will know your place.” He laughed as the flames kissed the logs again. “And surely, this painful memory will teach you that. You have no name. You are only property to me.”
Her eyes went wide as she saw him grab a poker meant for the fire.
“You expected me to actually call you, a mere serving girl, by her real name?” He sneered as he made a deep noise, watching the poker starting to turn red. “I could care less about any of you. I can just purchase more.”
“But that’s wrong!” she screamed, now truly frightened. “What about those that had families?! What about—“
“Most of their families sold them into slavery, just like you!” he yelled. “Most of them didn’t care about their kids, like your mother! All they care about is how much gold I put in their starving little pockets. And it looks like your mother was the same.” Now sastisfied that the poker was bright red, Otuan took it out of the fire. “Now, you will learn the price of disobedience.”
The tears came from her brown eyes once again as she watched him advance with the poker. “Please, don’t do this. I won’t disobey again, sir!”
Otuan did not seem to hear her cries as he shoved the poker on her forearm, watching the flesh burn.
Her screams filled the basement, her tears staining her face and her nightgown that she had wore. The smell of her own flesh being branded was enough to make her sick, but she was too frightened to even do anything else other then cry.
“Now, I’m sure you will never disobey me again, girl,” he whispered in her ear as he took the hot poker off her arm. “If you disobey again, I shall make certain to entertain you with your newly aquanted friend. Do you understand?”
All she could make out was a nod as he walked back to the fire, putting the poker back in its place. “You will stay like that for the night, until the morning. Someone will unchain you and you will report directly to me. If you do not, we will have a repeat of this incident. Understand?”
As she saw him turn around, she nodded.
“Address me properly, bitch,” he growled.
“Yes . . . yes, Sir Otuan.”
He smiled. “Very good. Enjoy your nap, then.” He took care to gaze at her as he walked off and up the stairs.
When he was gone, Saeah cried softly, her body shivering. Tonight had been a rather sad night. Saeah knew that her childhood was gone and that all her dreams had been destroyed.
And yet, the moon hovered above her, its light shining on her teary face through the window of the basement.