James sat curled up in a small cage he had come to call his home for the past few days. He normally stood at six foot three, but in his huddled position his full height could not be determined. He wore no clothes since his former ones were stripped from his back to better show his lean muscle. Scars were lined on his skin from his former master. She had always found a reason for a beating or two for her pleasure. Now that his master was dead, he was bound to be given off to another family like a dog. They had no regard that he too was human. He wasn't 'normal' so he was destined to serve them. He had no rights and no family.
James's short raven black hair was a mess around his face, obscuring his eyes from view. He hugged himself in his little corner and waited. He knew what would be coming for him. More pain, more scorn, more of that hated whip upon his cold and wet flesh. He could only hope that his next master would be a little kinder than the former had been. It was useless to wish for such a fate. Most of them were cruel. He was alive, but he wished he were among the dead. They didn't have to deal with the anxiety of living day to day.
As of yet, he was still new to being a slave. His now deceased master had only held him for a few months and before that, James had been a free little rogue until the slave market had captured him and thrown him into a steal cage with his shame. He looked through his hair with deep forest green pools for eyes at the store around him. Other 'oddities' like himself were locked in cages beside him. Five, including himself, remained behind the bars. The traders would soon have to go scouting for more by the end of the week no doubt. There had been thirteen of them. Half of them had died in their cages from lack of food or had been bought by a human. The room was filled with the scent of bodies and waste and the random candle scents that had been lit to try and cover the filth. Often people entered and had to cover their noses from the stench. The candles just weren't strong enough.
Besides their strange merchandise books, collars, and accessories littered the shelves beside the sales counter where a plump little woman sat on her chair. Candles were lit around her and she kept a plastic smile on her cherry lips as she watched the door, waiting for more customers to enter her little shop. James hated her. Behind that smile, she was just as bad as any owner if not worse. She made it her duty to cackle at them or hit them as they cowered in their cages unable to run or hide from the whip she carried at her side. It was a surprise anyone wanted to purchase the merchandise that had been damaged by her own hands.
James curled up once more and hid his face in his hands. He wished he were running free again. Why were they slaves? What wrong did he do? So what if he looked more like a reptile? Was that really something so wrong? Why were humans prized over Drylons? It was just a different race. He wanted to go home, away from the pain, away from the stench, and away from humiliation. He had yet a life to live but it seemed as if his old way of life had just been a dream. James brought his tail closer to his body and tried to hide his thin membranous wings from sight. Maybe if he looked sickly and weak, no one would want to take him away and just let him die.
Fate just wasn't on his side. No sooner did the little bell ring when a female entered the shop. She looked impassively over all of the Drylons in their cages and crossed her arms. She didn't look pleased. She wrinkled her nose and occasionally made a move to cover her nose. The old woman's smile brightened and she hurried over on her stumpy legs.
"Good evening. What can I help you with today?" she asked in a raspy voice that let on she had one too many cigarettes in her lifetime.
"I am looking for a Drylon. One that has a bit of stamina. A male preferably since they are stronger. I have things around the house I want it to do," replied the woman as her eyes scanned the cages again. James tried to slink farther into his cage and hide from her view. His efforts only gave her the opportunity she needed to actually look his way. A small spark of interested lit her dark eyes.
"All the Drylons here have pretty good backs. Some of them have a dark tint to their skin, which would protect them from the sun if you have any garden work to do. I do advise that forcing them to carry heavy loads could break their stamina. They weren't made for the labor of a horse unfortunately," the clerk informed. "There are two of them here that have yet to be broken completely. They may retaliate a little. You'd have to teach them the whip." She brought the woman to a cage in front of James's and pointed to another male Drylon. He was a dark brown shade and had yet to have a single master. He actually lunged at the bars and hissed at them. He barred his fangs but that was short lived. The clerk was quick to crack the whip on him.
"Not interested in him," the woman said abruptly. "I have no need of having such a young Drylon. Breaking them is one thing, teaching them the things the older Drylons know would be a waste of my time. I am very busy and have no time to sit around."
"Yes, yes ma'am. We have another one. This one's been under a master for a few months. He has been broken for the most part. His understanding may be a little off at first." James stiffened. They were talking about him now. There was not much else he could do now. He had nothing to hide under. He peeked through his hair at the two women that had approached his cage. He did not move from his spot.
"See? He knows not to attack. He understands consequence well enough. And he has such a nice gray tint to his skin. His wings have fully grown to. The membranes almost look silver."
"I don't care about the coloring or design of his wings. Can he work?"
"Yes. He can do anything you want him to do. Come on you!" the clerk retorted to him. She grabbed a cane from beside the cage and poked and prodded him to move about in the cage. He winced but didn't comply. To his surprise, the cane didn't come again across his leg. He peeked at them to find the woman had grabbed the cane from the clerk with a glare. She pulled it out of her hands and dropped it on the floor beside them. Why had she stopped her?
"You don't need to act that way," she retorted to the woman. "You'll just scare him more." The woman turned her attention back to James and for a moment her face softened. She reached out gently towards him. "Come here. Come on," she said sweetly. James looked up at her face and down at her hands. Why was she being so nice? He knew curiosity was a dangerous thing, but this woman was strange. If she was really a gentle human, why should he get her angry and bring out her rage? He slowly unraveled himself and edges closer to her. She smiled and caressed his face. "See? He came just fine without a beating," she retorted to the clerk. "I'll take him. He seems gentle enough and he has broad shoulders. His tail is long enough to support the weight. How much?"
"Er- two million rolians."
"That's a high price."
"Yes, but Drylons are a rare thing now. Much goes in to finding one let alone capturing one. Besides, never seen a silver one."
"Whatever. I'll require the collar, the leash, and the moisture spray."
"Yes Ma'am!" The clerk hurried over to grab all the things that had been asked of her. "Do you want the silver color or the blue? I think those two colors look wonderful against his skin tone. Same price, so do not worry."
"Whichever you like," she answered absentmindedly. She ran her hands through James's hair and lifted his face and turned it this way and that in her inspection. She had an irritated look about her face and James pulled back a little and flattened his elf like ears against his head. "All these scars, are they from his last master?"
"Yes. She had quite a time breaking him. He had a wild spirit, that one."
"Such a shame…" she muttered and caressed his cheek again in reassurance. Then she turned away and paid the money and completed the transaction. She grabbed the blue collar that the clerk had picked and placed it around his throat. James pulled at it slightly until she swatted his hand away. "No," she said simply. She clicked the leash in place and stood up. James followed her motion and stood with her. She waved a farewell to the clerk and pulled James out of the shop with her. She said not a word to him until they reached a mansion James could only assume was the new house he would be living at and working in.
They entered the mansion and James's new owner put her things down and turned back to him. "What is your name, Drylon?" she asked slowly.
"It isss Jamess'sss Massster," he answered. His forked tongue slid between the words and flickered from his mouth.
"James. Is that the name you were given or the name you were born with?"
"The name I wasss given."
"Give me your real name."
"Let's get you cleaned up, Caindero. There are a lot of things that need to be done."
Well, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Fatal Attraction. This was actually my English final, and one of the better pieces that I have written and I have decided to continue it. Please comment on it and tell me if you like it or what I could do to fix it and make it better. I take suggestions and any thing you guys might want to see in the future. Questions are also welcome. I will respond to any critique given through a private message so I don't cluster up the pages unless it is something everyone should know. If no one reviews, I won't update since I'll take it as no one liked it. So I hope you enjoyed it and I will stop my talking now. Thanks for reading!