Photo in the public domain by Jack Kurzenknabe
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Wolf Slave 2 – Alex Ankarr
He grits his teeth, and closes his eyes and blocks his ears during the bidding, because listening in will do him no earthly good. Still, who can prevent themselves? The auctioneer is a thoroughgoing showman, and makes a proper production of the sale. ‘A handsome fellow, ain’t he, werekin and other peoples? Strong young upper servant, very superior eddication, previous owner taught him – good God, eight languages, would you believe it? Thorough training in table service, haute cheffery, a little science and mathematics up to calculus, quite suitable as a tutor, used at one period for personal intimate services, not a neophyte you’d have to break in. General all-purpose high-quality all-rounder, and we’re asking an understandably high price. Look at the bone and muscle on him, lovely Grecian features, a decoration as well as a highly functional tool. Come on, gentlefolk, let me hear eight hundred guineas to start off the bidding!’
Well, that’s how it goes at these events. He tries to close his ears, and much good it does him. Mostly he hopes not to go to the fat genial-looking fellow with the crafty narrowed eyes and the beard. He knows that face, a customer at the family restaurant his old friend Gina, slave to the Herron household, used to work at. A pervert of many and various kinds, quite versatile in fact, and he hates to thinks of the duties that would land him with. Nor the thin humourless woman who keeps shifting halfway to wolf even as she bids. Her clan are notorious throughout the state: none of their pups properly trained, household utterly disordered, and those family members who can’t control the wolf still suffered to live, every time they kill a new victim. And as long as it’s a human victim, and better yet slave human, who cares?
But in the end it’s not like that, nothing like: he actually goes to a sober fellow in a black suit, in the very far corner, with the collar of an upper servant. So, no indication of what clan or wolf has actually bought him, or none that he can see from this distance anyway. The auctioneer gives no indication: ‘Sold, to agent Parribee Parribee for an unnamed entity, two thousand two hundred guineas. Many thanks, Agent Parribee, and please direct yourself to our operatives with all due speed in order to take care of all relevant paperwork. Congratulations!’
Penn’s sold, he has a new owner, and his future is entirely fluid, right up in the air. He feels the slackness of his knees at the news, but what can he do? He stays upright, and maintains his poker face. He has his pride, still, after all.
Agent Paribee explains little, though he’s pleasant enough. Bearded, middle-aged, sober and abstracted: he says merely that Penn’s been sold out-of-state, to a pack called the Hotstaats, and leaves it at that without much seeming inclination to explain further on their train journey. They have a sleeper, and Paribee bothers barely at all with security or binding him. He knows, and Paribee knows, that a branded slave, without faked documentation, has little enough incentive to run, without a nearby border and a real chance at freedom, allies and information and contacts. He’d have to have some kind of death wish to even consider it.
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2013 All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.