Photo in the public domain by Jack Kurzenknabe
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Wolf Slave 7 – Alex Ankarr
He arrives back to no ceremony either; he has most of his few possessions in two cases, and the rest is to be sent on. No-one has expected him, nor seems glad to see him, and he has no organised plan of work to occupy himself with. Still, he was bought to make himself useful, and being as it’s the middle of a bright afternoon and no feast day or holiday has been granted, he figures that he’d best show willing and find occupation or the seeming of it, whether there’s anything that clearly needs doing or not.
So he hies himself to the main library in the north wing: and finds that, after all, he can probably keep himself busy enough. For it’s clear enough that no re-organisation nor collation has been going on since he left: and indeed if no-one else gets formally assigned to the duties, it’s probably all on him to get the Hottensat family records into some kind of shape.
Well. No time like the present, he supposes.
He’s deep in a brown study, when the heavy oak door of the library creaks, and he’s too absorbed to take much heed. The Hotstaat family history is labyrinthine, and in many instances scandalous, and really very- He’s not alone, that’s what he suddenly realises, crouched down to some filing cabinets and looking for a family album that’s out of order, in a dusty moted corner. Someone stands over him, behind him, towering over.
He looks back, and knows at least that it’s a Hotstaat, though not one he’s seen before. There’s a strong family resemblance amongst the whole clan, and when a number are gathered together it’s like a loud-voiced handsome quarrel of ravens. For they’re all tan and black-haired and moody of feature, smooth good-looking surly wolves to a wolf-man.
‘You’re new,’ is the curt greeting he gets. ‘I am Renally Hotstaat: identify yourself, man.’ It’s not aggressive, and nothing like the dismissiveness he’s accustomed to from some of the slave-owning class. But still Penn feels about six inches high, and very much a product to be bought and sold: as much something to be classified and catalogued as any of the books and folios he’s been dealing with this afternoon, and for months past.
© 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.