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Old 07-08-2006, 11:02 PM   #48
Shade of Carn Dm
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.

Azhar had staked out a small plot to call her own, a good distance from her nearest neighbor. The young girl could not stand being hedged in between so many tightly packed bodies. Tired of hearing her neighbors snore, she had gotten up and walked to the edge of camp where very few were sleeping. Finding what looked like a comfortable place, she had lain down again and curled her body into a tiny ball. Yet even here, she could feel the sharp edge of every twig and pebble that lay beneath the grass. Even removed from the snores and grunts of the others, Azhar found it impossible to sleep. She tossed restlessly from one side to the other.

Today had not been easy. Her own life on the plantation had been comparatively soft. Azhar had hauled buckets of water and delivered messages, but she had not been forced to do any backbreaking tasks. Moreover, unlike the mass of field slaves who had only the crudest of shelters, she was allowed to bed down in a pile of soft hay within a sturdy building where the horses were stabled. That way, she was close by when the overseers wanted an errand run. The young slave had managed to beg or steal enough food to keep her belly full and had a decent pair of shoes to wear. A few of the Easterling guards had been fond of her. They had liked her pretty face and been taken with her cheerful chatter. One of them had even gifted her with an agate on a leather thong to string about her neck, making her promise that in a year or two she would come back to visit him in the barracks. Still young and innocent, she had laughed and given her promise.

Out on the trail, things were a lot different. There was no privileged status here. She ate and drank and slept exactly like everyone else. Azhar wasn't used to that. Her body ached from too many miles walked, and her stomach growled incessently with hunger. Once today, during the long and miserable trek, she had even wondered if it might not have been better to stay back on the plantation rather than running off after a wild dream that was unlikely to come true.

But it was too late for second thoughts. Like it or not, she was stuck here. Maybe, if she was lucky, things would get better. She glanced over at her nearest neighbor who lay several feet away. His outline was shadowy and barely visible in the dark. It looked to be Kwell, a boy about her own age, but one who seemed as hard and silent as any rock. Perhaps she just didn't belong here. Sighing and feeling very alone, Azhar gathered the few scraps of her blanket tightly about her body and willed herself to sleep.

Last edited by Tevildo; 07-08-2006 at 11:13 PM.
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