In the busy market place a crowd gathered around the central square. The crowd was encircled in a chaotic rage, as things were thrown and curse words were spat. The scapegoat of all of this pandemonium was a man tied to a stock. He was bound by chains, and silenced by a gag. He lay there broken, while the crowd around him yelled and hissed. His arms were stained with dried blood, his eyes red with tears. He made no attempt to escape, for he knew it was useless. His short black hair was drenched in nervous sweat. His sky blue eyes faded gently as his strength began to fale. His shirtless back was covered with lash marks from a whip.

Sarafina walked through the cobblestone streets with her baguettes. She hummed to herself as she strode the somewhat empty streets. Strange it was that the streets at this time of afternoon would be so empty. Usually the walls echoed with the sound of buying and selling. Yet the only crowd she heard was the one at the end of the street and in the square. She quickened her pace, this surely intrigued her curiosity.

"Tell me sir. Where did you hide the money you stole? You thief!" A voice screamed at the bound figure in the square.

"I have stolen nothing." Was all he could muster to say. It was obvious his strength was failing him.

"You are lying you filthy bastard." The stranger struck the bruised and battered man on the back with a whip. The man cried out in pain.

Sarafina pushed her way through the crowd to see if she could catch a glimpse of what was drawing so much attention. She pried through the crowd, darting in and out of people. Finally she made it to the front. As she sighed a sigh of relief, her eyes fell upon the ghastly site of the bound and broken man before her. She traced ever feature of his face. Her gaze stopped at his eyes. His eyes were blue like the sky. The man looked up at her with those eyes. His gaze looked right through her. She looked away as if not to notice. His head fell back down, only to stare at the ground before him.

"Tell me! You scoundrel!" The stranger hit the man even harder this time. The whip left a bloody mark on his back. Then again, and again, and again.

Sarafina couldn't take this any longer. "Stop this foolishness!" She cried out at the man with the whip. The man slowly turned his evil eyes toward the crowd, searching for the face of the voice. Then he spoke, "Who dare speaks up for this filthy beast of a man!"

Sarafina gulped, "I do." She said confidently.

The man scanned the crowd. Finally his evil gaze fell upon her. His face went pale, and he dropped the whip.

"Ms. Sarafina. I am terribly sorry! I didn't notice you were standing there!"

"What has this man done?" She asked ignoring his ignorance.

"Someone said that he stole their purse."

"And does he have it?"

"well we haven't found it yet, and he won't tell us..."

"So you decided to beat it out of him!" She snapped at the man with the whip. "Haven't you ever stopped to think that it wasn't him. Or maybe he is telling the truth?"

"I don't think...."

"Thats right, you don't think at all! Unbind his chains you fools. Release this man at once." Sarafina's voice rang out in the square. Almost instantly, the bound man was freed of his hellish chains. He rubbed his wrists, wiping away the old and dried blood. Then he looked at her once again. He had no expression on his face. He just stared. Sarafina looked away from him.

"You are free my good sir. Repay the debt to someone else one day ." she said without looking at him. She gathered her things and walked back through the crowds. Disappearing into the marketplace.