January 29, 2015

Friday Free Read: Pet

 This Friday's Free Read is an experimental snippet from my current Work-in-Progress, Master Me.



She was called a 'pet'. Actually, there were many names for her, but 'pet' was most accurate. To Set and the men of his cult, slaves like she were prominent symbols of power. A man could not truly be honored as a master, until he had taken one of his own.


Sadira belonged to the most decorated master of all: the Black Magician himself. As his personal slave she would fulfill any roles he chose for her: she trained as soldier, for physical and mental discipline; as domestic, to serve his needs within the temple; as student, to carry out his work with the dark arts; and finally, as plaything. This was the role Set most enjoyed. His ravenous lusts could awaken at a moment's notice, ruthless and rabid, and wicked as his magic. He trained her, kept her on a leash, set down rules for her behavior in the temple and out of it. Within the walls, though, the key to his pleasure was her subjugation. Any magician's goal in keeping a pet was always that pet's utter, unflinching obedience.


Sadira excelled at obedience. By the time she turned twenty-one, she devoted herself to it. She craved his approval, and feared his displeasure. Most slaves came to this point, and why should she have been any different?


The other pets, though, loved their masters. Or at least, they were made to say so, over and over again, cooing and mewling at the feet of their magicians to have their heads patted or their bodies stroked in praise. Set didn't keep Sadira kneeling at all times, though, and he didn't pet or caress her like a little dog. She stood or knelt, ramrod straight, at his side unless he ordered her otherwise. He sometimes bade her sit on her knees and hold out her arms to balance a tray of food or else a chessboard, and she must hold it without the slightest tremor while he ate his meal or played his game. Other times she would kneel on all fours to support the weight of his feet and the feet of his colleagues as they sat and discussed alchemical and supernatural study. She might be called upon to lie upon a table naked while they ate finger foods from her bare skin.


He kept her as a soldier too, though, and made use of her obedient proximity by claiming her as a bodyguard. She came to learn the sword and carried one with her, though she'd have surrendered it to him at a word. She also trained in the art of chorremacchi—the desert style of dancer's combat—and excelled in its forms. For all this, however, he kept her still helpless and powerless against him. He saw to it she be reminded often, so she might never get ideas above her station, and try to escape him.


She hadn't resisted. How could she? Oh, she did loathe him...deep down, seething and boiling, she hated her master and the cruelty and terror he showed her. She hated his designs for her, and hated the way he directed her.


At the same time, however, she had a seed of her own poison within her. A wicked, blackened thing which took its nurturing before even her earliest indoctrinations with Set, and came to life as her innocence died. Perhaps it even strangled and fed off the stem of her virtue, as the grasping tendrils of the devil's ringlet strangled the host plant. A dark flower bloomed in her heart, a cold thing which thrilled in pain, in torture, and even in her own subjugation. How could she so loathe him and yet so crave him? How could his brutal practice be her greatest pleasure?


The Sands may not have been her native land, but Sadira fit well with their fierce, violent nature.



Time for confession in
The Wages of Sin

Part of the Ravaged Anthology, Volume 2
Sleep is a waking nightmare when an
tentacled incubus makes you his prey.





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