*Warning the content may be disturbing to some people, your warning is given.*
The smell of sweat was in the air, the sun beat down on the naked backs of the men who worked in the sand.
Digging holes that would soon be filled with the corpses of men and women, who had never made it home. The job paid nothing; they were paid nothing. It was considered an honour to be able to bury the fallen, they never questioned what the others told them. To question was to get 20 lashes. To question anything was to be a target to the whip. Nobody was fool enough to ask, they knew what would follow.
Out of all 12 of the workers, 11 knew not to ask. 1 however, was a fool. Lysander was a fool.
A boy with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes looked up to see a scowl on one of his superiors faces. With a whip curled around his arm and a toothpick in his mouth he leaned down close to the boys face and smiled.
His breath was dirty, the smell of alcohol was strong, it took Lysander great strength not to gag.
"I believe that I said 20 lashes, best be finding a wall or dark place where you can serve your punishment if you want retain some of your dignity"
Lysander bit his tongue, he wanted so badly to talk freely.
But like a good little slave he had to obey, he had to accept the consequences that came with raising an owned voice.
The slave keeper kept his eyes focussed on him, his hand uncoiled the whip from his forearm, a sadistic smile stretched across his face as the whip fell lifelessly to the sandy earth.
Lysander stood completely still, he wanted to run, he wanted freedom.
He wanted a great deal of things, maybe it was hopeless to want so much when his very own being was in the hands of others.
Maybe he was just a silly 15 year old boy with a unchecked mouth. His mouth and his foolish wishes had gotten him in this situation.
"Well boy" the ugly man said with a dangerous edge in his voice. "I believe I gave you warning enough, a slave is a slave no matter what age."
If possible his sadistic smile got wider, he would have laughed, if not for his freedom not being his own.
A shiver ran along his spin. " Turn around boy and start walking, I haven't got all day to do this."
No need to delay something that would come whether you want it to or not.
Pulling off his shirt, he felt the heated wind bite at the accumulated scars on his back. He had spoke out of turn one too many times. He looked around the worksite, his fellow brothers had begun to shovel again, their eyes locked toward the empty holes.
Two other slave keepers were circling around them like vultures, when there eyes wandered toward him their eyes filled with amusement. He pulled his eyes away and looked at the ground.
Walking slowly to the slave masters Fort. He heard the thundering footsteps follow behind him as he made his way across to left wall. The slave masters Fort was fairly large. Made with the finest quality bricks on could find on the market.
No slave was ever allowed to enter, to enter was to receive 40 lashes. The outside was plain except for the left wall, the left wall was covered in dry blood and the screams of men begging for the mercy of the heavens, a cry that was never answered unfortunately.
The left wall was out of view to the worksite, but the screams and pleas were always in earshot.
Placing his arms against the wall, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
"20 lashes boy, no more no less. I hope you can keep yourself conscious, I don't need your bastard blood on my clothes."
The whip was extended in the air for only a moment, then he felt the sharp sting across his skin. Pain was the only word he could think of, his back throbbed by the time the fifth strike came. He felt the blood run down his back, he felt the the pain that seemed to ripple through his whole body, he felt the salty tears run down his cheeks, he felt his knees start to shake and turn to jelly, he felt the rawness of his throat from the screams that had escaped his mouth and lastly, he felt the humiliation.
By the fifteenth strike he could no longer support himself, he landed on his knees. His fingers were clenched and were digging hard into the palms of his hands, making tiny droplets of blood come out. He could hear the laughter behind him. He shut his eyes. He wished death, not upon himself, but upon the other.
"Well boy, looks like you kept your mind." His voice had a hint of disappointment. Turning around Lysander looked at the slave keeper, he felt tired and in pain. The heat was no help. But the slave keeper did not put his whip away. Instead he said a word that made his blood run cold.
The man smirked.
"I said nineteen boy."
He tried to cover his face, but it was too late. The whip struck him hard .
On the worksite the slaves paused as a loud scream pierced the air. A scream louder then the rest. A scream of pure agony. The rest of the day passed in absolute silence. In fact, all was too quiet.