Aeonian | exhausted
here’s a short piece from Ezra’s time as a slave.
Whumpay 2021 Day 14: Slammed Into Wall / Forced To Their Feet
warnings: vague innuendo, slavery, blood, broken nose, violence, descriptions of choking, character thinking about death in a non-suicidal way, generic derogatory name-calling,
Ezra knelt on the ground, not because he was forced to, but because he was too tired to do much else. The slavers hadn’t given him food in days and the hot sun beat down on his abused skin, still healing from its latest injuries. They were particularly fond of whipping him, seeing as how he wouldn’t die so they didn’t have to worry about counting how many strokes he could take.
He fell forward, propping himself up on his elbows, head bowed low to the ground. The heat beat down on the wounds on his back, deep gashes blaring with pain.
He didn’t have the energy to even hold up his head. His throat burned, his tongue like ash in his mouth, and the dust that stuck to his skin made him feel even more like something that had dried up and been tossed away. They hadn’t given him water today either, but Ezra knew they would. They at least did that, knowing the others couldn’t go more than a day or two without it, and he was luckily included in that categorization.
He focused on breathing. In. out. Panting, the sound loud in his ears.
A harsh voice. Expectant.
Ezra didn’t move.
“Hey, I’m talking to you!”
The owner of the voice, one of Ezra’s masters, grabbed a handful of his crudely shorn hair and wrenched his head up so they were face to face.
Ezra sneered at the man. “You didn’t say my name, how was I supposed to know?”
He was backhanded for that, sending him sprawling over the parched earth. His face hit the dirt and he scratched his cheek, but he merely coughed and sat up, glaring at the slaver.
“Don’t give me that look, mutt!” the man yelled.
Ezra spat at him. The man gave him a kick to the face, hard enough to shatter the fragile bones in his nose. Blood spurted everywhere but Ezra kept his hands splayed on the ground, his posture casual and unaffected. He canted his head to the side, smirking even as blood dripped over his lips.
“You insolent thing,” the slaver muttered, picking up the chain that connected to Ezra’s collar.
He tugged, hard, and Ezra grunted as his neck was wrenched upward. The collar dug into his throat, cutting off his air for a moment before he could adjust himself enough to breathe.
“Mm,” Ezra hummed. Ran his tongue over his bloody lips. “You like it like that?”
Another backhand, this time with the accompanied swearing about how he got blood on his master’s hand. As if the man hadn’t known that would happen in the first place. Idiot.
The man pulled on the chain again, causing Ezra to suck in a breath. For a moment, the room was spinning, his vision out of place, and a fluttering panic went through him. The instinctual fear of being nearly asphyxiated, even while knowing he couldn’t die from it. He just couldn’t get rid of the urge to run away.
Ezra knew his eyes showed that momentary panic, as much as he tried not to let it. The slaver grinned, satisfied at getting through the defiant façade Ezra had spent so long concocting.
And then he tugged on the chain again. The collar wrenched his neck up, his face turning to the sky, the metal digging into his skin and bruising his throat—but it was already healing, it was going to heal, soon, soon, he wouldn’t die here—
“You need to come with me, mutt,” the slaver snarled.
Ezra was too tired to even stand. The injuries on his back stung, he was dizzy from dehydration and hunger, and the sun’s rays sapped away any energy he had left.
His eyes fluttered closed but flew open when his collar was tugged on again, this time hard enough to force him to his feet. His hands went to his collar. Choking, gagging, wretched sounds coming from his mouth.
“There you go, know your place here. At my mercy.”
Ezra snarled at him, spitting blood. The man tugged on the chain again and Ezra almost fell flat on his face.
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