It was deep in the middle ages, at a time where having slaves was well accepted and common among those who were allowed the luxury of wealth and much admired by those lacking. Even many who had no intention of ever buying a slave for their household lingered in the markets, simply there to watch, this being a mildly popular pastime.
The people who were arriving to buy slaves, also known as "buyers", were brought into the market in horse drawn carriages. These were usually followed closely by a similar looking carriage holding the few select servants to collect the desired slave as they were bought.
The majority of people who bought slaves were men; there being a female head of household was quite uncommon. Many of the noble men there to buy slaves were dressed well. They were adorned with things such as leather trousers and large buckled boots, tied and buckled up to the knees, and with long flowing capes tied loosely around their necks, billowing in the wind behind them. The ironic thing is that they almost always appeared as if they were there to hunt the slaves rather then buy them. Every article of clothing was simply placed on them to intimidate the slaves in the market anyway. They wanted the slaves to fear them from the start, typically so that beating them into submission would not be as much of a challenge.
The market itself was never a very enjoyable place to be, causing buyers to enter and exit quickly; never lingering too long at a single slave's cage, nor sitting to chat with the sellers about anything but prices on the slaves that caught their immediate attention. The areas where the slave's cages were often putrid, smelling of dirt and bodily odors, accompanied with the bowel movements of the slaves which were confined to their cages.
Normally the sellers would pull the slaves out of their small 4x4 ft cages to relieve themselves once a day, however with the burning desire to be free. Some would attempt to escape - and never with any luck. They were always rounded back up by the sellers quickly, receiving a brutal beating after which the slave would always return to their cage covered in their own blood and occasionally with fractured or broken bones.
Many of the obedient slaves held no pity for those slaves who would attempt to escape. Yet with the eyes of a child, and the innocence of one whose eyes had never been opened to the real life of a slave, they would hold pity and sympathy towards these hopeful people.
Ivy had been in slave markets several times before and was always bought quickly and never remained in the market for more then a week at a time. In this particular market, in the large French city Marseille she had been for a week thus far.
It was late at night and all of the slaves, including herself, were being brought out of their miniscule cages for their regular relief period (During which they were lined up just outside of the market and were allowed two minutes to either stand there or get on with what had to be done). As they were brought out, the young girl with vibrant red hair was pushed around by the rushing crowd of slaves. Many of their muddied arms and hands were shoving her out of the way in order to get to their assigned spot in the assembly line.
After being easily pushed onto the ground and the throng of slaves passed, Ivy stood. She hurriedly brushed off her legs and ran over to her assigned spot. Her spot was where all the other children around her age, ranging from mere toddlers to young men and women of age 15, stood. She looked straight ahead at the sellers which stood near them; never daring to look anywhere else but them, in fear of the brutal beatings she had heard rumors of upon arrival to this market.
The other younger slaves, but mostly the elder ones who had been in this market longer, had been sure to inform her of the ghost stories of the beatings the sellers gave here upon her arrival. Once the master seller of the market nodded for the slaves to begin, Ivy immediately squatted down in the dirt and began her business. She glanced only momentarily at the other slaves as they began as well, then turned back to her own issues, allowing them what little privacy she believed they should receive.
Once all their functions had been accomplished, the sellers ordered the slaves back to their cages. As the slaves began to trudge back it happened. As if a shot rang out, the teenage boy, by the name of Aaron, on Ivy's immediate left darted away from the crowd and towards the nearby woods, sprinting at full speed towards the wooded haven; away from the sellers, the market, and the town.
All the other slaves had stopped dead in their tracks as two of the more fit sellers dashed after the scrawny boy, the rest of them pulling whips out from their belts at their hips, tossing threatening looks to the remaining slaves. Practically daring them with their eyes to try to escape as the delusional teen had.
Ivy's small young mouth gapped open as she watched one of the sellers in persuit stoop to pick up a large rock, throwing it quickly at Aaron and hitting him in the ankle, maiming him. Once the rock hit him, he stumbled and fell over, grasping his ankle in pain.
The two sellers immediately pounced on him, grabbing a hold of the restraints around his wrists and hauling him to his feet. The boy groaned out in agony as the splintering binds cut into him, making blood trickle down the sides of his hands and drip onto the hard ground. The sellers drug him back to where the slaves were, barking at them to return to their cages before the beating would commence.
A good amount of the slaves were sick minded and always enjoyed this 'entertainment' so they called it. Others hated this time in the market, wishing that the beatings were done in private instead, yet understanding the importance of the sellers wanting the slaves to watch. The slaves all hurried back to their cages, crouching down close to the ground and staring anxiously at the center of the circular market where the beatings normally took place.
Having never been in this situation, Ivy sat back in her cage, a look of awe covering her face as she watched Aaron being drug into the center of the market. Multiple sellers followed in tow of his seller, which took the boy from the seller that had caught him and hauled the struggling human onto a small wooden platform. Many of the slaves sneered at the boy, growling of how stupid a mistake he'd made.
The young man's seller took him by his binds, pulling him to the post that stood erect in the center of the platform, tieing him to it in attempt to keep him semi stationary. Aaron's eyes were wide, tears streaming down his muddied face as seller's face held a grave expression.
He was well aware of what was coming to him, and as his seller moved forward, he inched away, whimpering like a dog. Ivy watched as the seller took the short whip from his hip, running his hand over it menacingly as he neared the boy. He jerked away from his seller, pulling on his binds hastily and heaving his whole body as he yanked from the quickly approaching male.
As the first violent snap of the whip landed on his back, Ivy's innocent eyes turned away with a snap, shutting them tight and covering her eyes with her grimy 7 year old hands. The boy's shrieks, accompanied by the sound of the whip landing down on his back, filled the air in the slave market that day. Many of the female slaves were forced to look away as the beating progressed, the sight getting worse as the beating progressed.
Several minutes and many lashes later, the sounds of pain died down and Ivy finally opened her eyes. Still looking down at the hard earth, she took her time willing herself to lift her head. Once she did, she looked straight ahead at the platform. A gasp came to Ivy's lips instantly and her eyes got wide from the sight. They went quickly to the boy, tears welling up in them as they landed on his slumped figure.
The boy was leaned up against the post, still attached to it at the wrist. Blood was caked all over his wrists from the ropes which had roughly cut into his young, tender flesh. His back was partially to her, making her able to see the many long, thin slices that had been made in his back. Blood trickled down his bare back, the remains of his shredded top lying beside him, soaking up his blood which was on the platform.
His head was hanging loosely, his weight pulling on his wrists which were still tied above his head to the post, cutting off most of his circulation. Slowly he lifted and turned his head, looking straight back at Ivy. Their eyes met, tears now streaming down her face as she saw the pain and agony that filled his own.
Her heart ached for him, feeling her innocence being stripped from her as she saw the pain that he felt in his eyes take over her body. And with that she went limp, her vision going black as she slid to the ground unconsciously.