Freedom

She was so scared. She wanted to cry. But she knew what her tears would bring. The whip. It hurt so bad... lightning flashed, and she cringed, the tears falling anyway as she curled up in a corner of the wagon, her sobs barely audible. Heard them anyway, despite her efforts to contain them, and the ugly, scared face appeared around the wagon cover, lips curled in a permanent snarl. "Shuddup, ya little whelp." His riding crop descended, tracing a new line of pain and blood across her slender back. Another occupant of the cart, an elderly woman, leaned forward to shield the quaking body with her own.
"Have you no shame? She is but a child, alone in this world, and heading for a worse fate than her young mind is capable of conceiving. Bah, your pardon. I forgot," Her face betrayed the depth of her disgust, "A slaver has no shame. One cannot have shame when one sells ones fellows for gold."
The crop connected solidly with the side of the old woman's head. "Ya look after nothing for no reason, ya witch. The elf is no kin o' mine." He raised the whip again, prepearing to strike, when a hand shot out of the darkness, and strong fingers closed around the mans wrist, grasping it so tightly that the crop dropped from suddenly lifeless fingers.
The slaver trembled in the shadows grasp, his breath coming in short spurts as he gazed at the fearfully imposing thing masked and cloaked in midnight. The voice that issued from deep inside the cowl was low, a chilling whisper of wind in the wet night. "Do not scar the elf. We want as much gold as possible for it, and I went through great pain to acquire that one. Leave the old one be as well. She was a scholar. She will fetch a hefty price since we can auction her off as educated. Let the thing cry, it will get over it. Eventually." With that the darkness melted back into the night from which it had come.
The slaver, still shaken yet determined to keep as much face as possible in front of the slaves, retrieved his whip and growled. "See if you can shut it up." Wheeling his horse around he rode away to check on the rest of the train.
The elderly woman gathered the weeping elf-child in her arms, rocking the young one back and forth as she mummered soothingly. "Hush little one, weeping aids no one. Rest. You will need your strength later."
A rough voice inturrupted. "Why are you even bothering, Wyn[1], she's heading for the same place we all are. The auction block."
The former scholar known as Wyn to her companions sighed as she held the sleeping elf-child in her arms, and looked down at the tearstained features, whispering, "Yes, but we have lived our lives, and we knew what dangers we faced when we volunteered for this. But this child has been pushed into a world where her entire value is measured by how much gold she will fetch. That is no life that any child should have to live."


There is the first chapter. Tell me if you like it. One review and I'll post the next chapter, if anyone is interested. ----------------------- [1] pronounced "Win"