Lord of Avalon

Lord of Avalon by J.W. McKenna Read Free Book Online

Book: Lord of Avalon by J.W. McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.W. McKenna
Jenya had never seen before. Glynda’s failure was Syminton’s failure,
Jenya supposed.
    A hura later, they gathered the girls into the boxes
overlooking the breeding pens. It was a tight fit, as all forty young virgins
were present.
    Below, the punishment pole had been erected in the empty
room. Glynda was facing the pole, with her hands tied above her head and her
ankles fastened to the bottom. The girls could hear her whimpering already.
    Syminton’s son Mirdar had come in carrying the large
lash. He walked all the way around the pole, swishing it and seeing the effect
it had on her.
    Mirdar spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear. “Glynda,
you are guilty of running away from your master, a master who selected you at
age twelve and paid for you over a period of six rynes. Yet just two moons
after delivery, you ran away. You have brought shame on the house of Syminton
& Son.”
    Glynda’s shoulders shook.
    “For your punishment, you will receive fifteen strokes of
the lash. After you recover, you will become a house breeder for the Laborer
caste.”
    There was an audible gasp from the girls. Laborers! Only
being named a Warrior breeder could have been worse!
    Glynda began to sob. Jenya doubted she even felt the
first stroke, so devastating was her demotion. She was sure if Glynda could
have another chance, she’d endure her life at the Damon’s house with a lot more
grace. But it was too late. The lawyer had already chosen another breeder, as
was his privilege. Syminton guaranteed their breeding slaves.
    Glynda cried out as the second blow fell. Jenya could see
thin lines of blood in the welts that were left on her skin. She knew from her
lessons that the wounds were not deep, but might leave scarring. Not that it
mattered. Laborer breeders didn’t have to look pretty.
    For several long lapars, the blows fell. Glynda passed
out near the end and simply hung from her arms, her knees bent on both sides of
the pole as the final two strikes marked her. Mirdar got a bucket from the
corner and splashed water on her, causing Glynda to come to and gasp in pain
and shock.
    She was left there while the girls filed out silently,
their pale faces reflecting the brutality of the beating. Each of them vowed
never to run away, no matter how bad it got.
    The punishment had had the desired effect.
    Jenya had seen Glynda only once after that. It was nearly a ryne later when she was returning from her exercises outside their living quarters.
She spotted Glynda getting some sun, her belly swollen with the seed of a
Laborer. She looked miserable. Jenya, out of deference to her, did not
acknowledge her presence.
    Jenya shuddered at the memory and hurried into the kitchen.
She looked over her new master’s meager larder. Only a hard crust of bread and
some cheese remained. Sighing, she fixed a meal for her master, then started up
the stairs to the loft.
    She hesitated. Would it be better to stay downstairs and not
to assume that she would be allowed upstairs except for breedings? Would he
grow angry at seeing her? It was hard to know! She decided to risk it—he might
enjoy having breakfast brought to him.
    Jenya sat on her heels by his bed for another twenty lapars until her lord awakened. When he saw her, he smiled, lightening her heart
considerably.
    “Thank you, slave.” He took the bread, covered in cheese and
took a bite. “I don’t have any renda left, do I? It helps me wake up.”
    “No, master, I didn’t see any. Perhaps I should look again?”
She half rose.
    “No, no. I think I used the last of it two suns ago. We need
to go to the market.”
    Jenya was secretly pleased to hear that. Not only would they
get some much-needed supplies, but she could be shown off as the slave of a
Damon! The other slaves, owned by mere Craftsmen and Merchants, would be so
jealous!
    After he ate, he took Jenya outside with him while he
visited the privy. When he used it, he shut the door, of course. She waited
patiently nearby, eager to

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