The noise surrounds me like a whirlwind. Colors blend together like a smeared painting. My nose is overwhelmed with the smell of unwashed bodies, and my wrists ache where my chains had chafed them. I inwardly curse my step-father for doing this to me. How could I help that I was a girl? It wasn't like I chose this. I blink tears away and look around me. I'm pushed up against the rail of the slave pen. A huge woman who stinks up to high heaven is pushing me against the Gallic girl on my right, whose hair would be bright red if it was clean. My attention shifts to myself, and I realize I'm not much better. My golden brown hair is almost black with grime, and my tunic is dark brown with stains and dirt. I had to wear it, since it was the only clothes provided to me. On my chest is a wooden sign. I make out that it says "Jewess from Antioch, seamstress and handmaid, good tempered and compliant. READS." My lip curled in disgust. It was my tituli, my advertisement placard. My eyes scanned the crowd surrounding me reading others' placards idly. I'm lucky I can read, few women can. My father taught me before his death. After he died, mother married my step-father, but once she died during childbirth, there was nothing to protect me from Gaius, who promptly sold me to Rome. My mother grew up here, so thankfully I know enough Latin to understand my surroundings. I wonder if she'd ever come here… Probably not. She and her family despise slavery. So do I, but I'm a slave, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
The slave driver opens the pen and drags a woman out. The auction is about to begin.