I curled up in the corner, one knee tucked into my chest, the right pressed into the wall beside me. Forcing my back into the hard wood behind me, I tried to make myself invisible. The heavy boom, boom, boom on the low wood ceiling let me know my tormentors were again on their way down into the hull. The noise sent me cowering into my corner angular refuge which provided little protection. My eyes squeezed shut as the clump, clump, clump of large boots came closer, treading down the stairs. I tried to slow my breathing as their footsteps approached.
“What’s wrong with it?” The younger voice whined. It was the voice of a dapper dressed young lord who had greeted me with a brief look that undressed my thin, feminine frame and repulsed me as I came on board. “What did I tell you, Koran, about bringing me ill livestock?” Swallowing past the lump in my throat again and again, I fought the urge to vomit.
“My lord,” The husky, deep voice of Koran the bounty hunter replied, indignant. “It isn’t ill. It is simply adjusting to its new environment.”
I should throw up. I thought, Maybe then they wouldn’t want me- A painful jerk on the back of my head pulled me from my thoughts as the brute grabbed me by the hair and yanked me to my feet. The scream that escaped from my lips was silenced by the barbarian slamming my now upright body against the wall. Winded and gasping for breath and I clawed at the hand pinning me against the wall by my hair.
Koran leered at me as he watched me squirm. “Look, my lord,” He goaded, “one would almost think it was intelligent.” I latched onto his wrists, and the pain seemed to fade as realization hit me. These men were going to kill me, and who knows what else, with no remorse.
Time seemed to slow as determination welled up inside me. My eyes darted from the ugly brute securing me against the wall, to the weasel of a man behind him. Then the twisted, split blade knife hanging from the brutes belt caught my eye. This was my one shot.
I screamed in the man’s face. Koran laughed at the sudden attempt af ferocity and turned to address the man behind him, but he never got the chance. The moment’s distraction was enough. I snatched the knife from the man’s belt. As he spun to me in surprise, I buried the blade into his left eye.
He didn’t even have time to scream before he slumped to the ground, almost taking him with me as he fell. I freed my tangled hair from his gnarled fingers and glanced up to the dapper young man, who was now gaping at me. I couldn’t take any chances.
Pulling the knife free from the carcass of my tormentor, I turned the gored blade on the sheet white lord. He trembled and his eyelids fluttered. Everything else seemed to fade as I stared down the ornate hilt, past the split double blade, to the once arrogant man’s pallid face.
“I’m not livestock. I am not an “it” and you will never treat someone this way again.”