The Cost of Freedom. Chapter 3.

Fiction By Arya Animarus // 7/30/2010

Jacob gritted his teeth as a whip slashed across his back.

"No lagging, slave!'

He bent and pulled another rock from the pile in front of him. Straightening up, he walked as fast as he could with it to an ever-growing rock wall. He placed his stone carefully into a space in the wall and plastered it in with clay. He paused for a moment to wipe sweat from his eyes, and was rewarded by another whip slash on his back.

"No stoppin'! Back to work!"

After two hours, he was released to his hut for a break. As always, the two girls were there, tending to the boy. Jacob walked over to his mat and watched for a moment.

"How old is he?" he asked quietly.

The girl who had answered him last time looked up.

"Fifteen. You wouldn't think that by looking at him, would you?"

Jacob shook his head.

"No. I thought he was seventeen when I first saw him last week."

"Hmm."

Just then an overseer burst in and grabbed the two girls by their arms.

"Time for your shift girls! You're late again! You'll feel my whip across your backs for this one!"

Jacob tugged the overseer's whip out of his grasp.

"Why you liddle upstart!"

The overseer let go of the girls and grabbed for Jacob

Jacob dodged out of the way and pulled the two girls outside with him.

"Under the hut!" he whispered urgently. "I'll distract him! You have to tend to Alan. Go!"

Just then the overseer charged out of the hut. The two girls scuttled under the porch in front of the hut. Thanfully the overseer didn't notice them. Instead, he charged at Jacob, roaring for some of the others to help him. Jacob was soon overpowered and brought to the ground. He was gagged and bound. The guards marched him away to the prison shack at the back of the compound and locked him inside. It was very dark in the hut. Jacob rolled over and tried to find a wall. He kept rolling until he hit a wall. He struggled into an upright position with his back against the wall and felt around. He soon located a protruding nail and began sawing away at the ropes. They soon fell away and he brought his hands to his face. He rubbed his wrists and untied the gag. He stood to his feet and bonked his head on the low ceiling. He ducked his head and felt his way to the door. He tried the knob, but of course it was locked. He found a tiny crack and peeped out.  He saw slaves toiling and overseers cracking their whips over the slaves' heads. He remebered the nail and went back to find it. And he did find it.

"Yow!"

He wiped his hand on his shirt and tried to tug the nail out of the wall. He pulled until his face was red and his lungs were working like a bellows, but that nail was firmly lodged in there. It was a sturdy hut, built for keeping slaves where they were wanted. There was no way for Jacob to break out. He wondered what was to become of him. He stood up again, and;

*Bonk!*

"Yowch!"

He rubbed his head and sat down. He felt dizzy from hitting his head, and tired from fight all those tough overseers. So he sat down and closed his eyes to rest. Before he knew it, he'd fallen asleep.

 

"You say he attacked you?"

The overseer nodded.

"So you, together with some others, overpowered him and locked him in the prison hut?"

Nod.

"And you me to dish out a punishment?"

Nod.

"Well alright. I do love to deal with slaves. Bring him here."

 

 

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