- Word count: 650
- Genre: Drama
- Character: An obedient slave
- Material: A ripped-up bank note
- Sentence: “Thanks for nothing.”
- Bonus: The story takes place two-hundred years from now.
“Thanks for nothing.” He growled angry ripping up the bank note his slave had given him. “After all this time, you are still useless. Five notes won’t do a world of good to me in this situation. Stupid slave. You don’t even know how notes work.” His hand came up as if to hit her, but he just let it fall. He turned around disgusted.
She silently watched him leave. Her green eyes dropped to the ripped up note on the floor. It was everything she had saved for years. She had intended to use it for things she needed, but when she had heard of his need. It had been easy to give it to him. Now, she pressed her lips together. The words out of her mouth might earn her a beating. It might not. She never knew. Most of the time, he was easy to work for. His father had been so kind. The stress of his situation was making him almost unbearable sometimes.
“Perhaps.” She spoke causing him to turn staring at her incredulous. “It is you who do not understand.” She didn’t lift her eyes as that would be too much. “For you see, I do not get paid. I being sold into slavery. I do not earn anything besides what I can try to scrounge up. What you saw was everything I had. You who have so much. SO much more.” She took a deep breath reigning her emotions back. Her face was blank as she spoke. “That was all I had.”
Laina dared look up into his face. The anger was ebbing away, so she felt safe enough to lift her head and continue speaking. “I will not leave you if you do not have notes enough. Your family has been good to me when may masters are terrible. I see the scars. I feel blessed to be working for such a kind and loving family.”
A host of emotions were passing over his face as she spoke. Rage that she dare mention his father. Depression at the memory of his kindness and lack now in his heart. Though, as she dared to speak to help him, he couldn’t help but remember how his father had treated her. She was human. It wasn’t her fault she was now in slavery. One thing his father had said rang true more in this moment than before. Laina had chosen slavery. Her family had been nigh nothing. Their children dying, and ill. She walked into slavery willingly to save her family. His eyes fell on the note and felt ashamed. He had forgotten. For a moment.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered. “I acted in haste.” His face turned from her.
“There is no harm, Master Ren.” She bowed once then picked up the notes. “I know it is not much. I…I promise to do more.” Her eyes drifted up to his face. “I’ll work harder. I’ll find a way to help you.”
He turned completely from her. “I’m…I’m sorry, Laina. I shouldn’t have…”
Straightening up, she watched him feeling like he wasn’t talking about the note. Her eyebrows pushed together. She brought her hands together and licked her lips. What was he saying?
“I know I shouldn’t have, but you see. You understand don’t you?” He spun back around meeting her eyes once again. Hopeful. Sorrowful. “You did it once before. You don’t mind. I mean you are used to being a slave.”
Her eyes slowly widened as she realized what she was saying.
“You…you sold me to pay your debt.” She found herself barely able to say it. When he didn’t respond, she knew she was right. Bowing herself, she took a breath. “If…this is what the master wants, there is nothing to be done.” A great weight settled on her heart. “I will go retrieve my things.” She managed to whisper before going back to her room. There wasn’t much she owned.
It wasn’t long after, the servant of her new master came to collect her. She was rushed off, hurried and struck to get her to move faster. Ren watched from the upper window. He convinced himself there had been no other way, and she had just been a slave. Her words sunk into his mind making him turn to his bottle of whiskey. It had been worth it. Hadn’t it?