Monday, August 12, 2019

Drabble No. 2 Where We Were Pt 2

Where We Were Pt2

Pitiful. Levine looked over their latest catch with a critical eye. Whining women, crying children and a broken man. They had a rule, no men, because men liked to think they were brave and bravery begets stupidity, but it was getting harder to find good help amid all the thin emaciated women and children. 

One woman caught his eye. She wasn't sitting with the others, and she appeared strong. She saw him looking, and her chin went up. Not pretty in a human or a Jengu fashion, but she had strong features and wide brown eyes. He saw defiance mingling with fear. She stared back, taking in his appearance as critically as he did hers. He was human once, most Jengu were these days. In the time of the Roman Empire he'd been a soldier. A husband. A father. Those days were murky in his memory now, but they lingered. 

"Not much to look at," Bernhardt said gruffly. "The King won't be pleased."

"Is he ever?" Levine waved to the brown eyed woman, the broken man, and a woman and child near them. "These are mine."

Bernhardt shrugged. It was Levine's command and therefore his right to choose slaves first. "Not sure what good those will be," he muttered. 

Levine wasn't certain, either. The Jengu captured their slaves from the surface world and sometimes they proved themselves worthy of the transformation, like Levine and Bernhardt had. Perhaps some of these were worthy under the dirt and the smell of feces that lingered around them. The brown-eyed woman, especially, seemed strong enough to survive the trials. 

"Bring them," he ordered his men. They would board the Jengu ship and dive, deep below the ocean to the palace of the Jengu king, where they all lived. These humans were sad now, crying for their lost men and with fear for what lay ahead. Levine didn't blame them. He, too, had been scared. Life below wasn't easy, and the lives of the slaves was one of hard work, but the Jengu were as equitable a master as any Levine had ever served. When slaves worked they ate and lived well. No one mistreated them, because they were too hard to come by these days. Perhaps these people would even come to realize that their lives below were as good, if not better, than the ones they were leaving behind.

The woman paused as she passed him, surprising him. 

"Are you going to harm these people?" she asked. He recognized the language, some form of French with a slight accent. 

One of his slaves was French, so he responded in kind, "Why do you care?"

"Because they've done nothing wrong."

"That rarely matters."

She agreed, he could tell. She had a small scar on the side of her face, near her eye. He wondered how she got it. 

"I know the stories of the Jengu. We're to be slaves."

"All are slaves to one master or another." He waved her away, and saw anger tighten her lips. 

"Don't hurt them."

He watched her follow the limping, scarred man, and his curiosity about her grew. A protector, then. It would be interesting to see what the King made of her. Perhaps she was worthy after all.

**Please enjoy this drabble with my compliments. Share and spread the word to others if you enjoyed it. If you want free weekly short stories please join The Fabulous FanPage for AR DeClerck on Facebook.**

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