the life of a slave

We wait. The supervisors look at my bed almost suspiciously. I can hear Katya breathing nervously, and Jenna slowing her own breathing. The supervisors leave, inspecting all the other rooms.

We wait until they are well out of earshot, then Jenna opens the door and we tumble out. Katya is gasping for air.

"Why today of all days? You and I have kitchen duty, and Jenna is working for a historian today. We must leave, now, before they come back and find us here." she says in a low voice, knowing very well that words echo around here.

I sigh. "Let's go to the kitchens. Jenna, are you off?" I ask.

She nods. I grab Katya by the hand, and we run through the halls, cutting past four corridors in order to get to the kitchens and avoid the supervisors.


Katya and I duck through a small door and into the kitchens. I wave to the friar, who beckons us over. Katya and I smile at each other. Friar Jon is the kindest man we have ever met.

"No-one saw you two coming in late?" he asks in a low voice.

"No, sir. what are our duties for this morning?" Katya replies.

"Good. You, Katya will help with the cooking. Paige, you will help the subordinates with the morning deliveries. One of them has taken sickness today, and they need all the help they can get."

"Yes, sir!" Katya and I say immediately. Again, we smile at each other.

Katya finds cooking immensely wonderful, and slaves are usually not with subordinates very often. Jenna is the only one I ever speak to. We both run to attend our duties.


As I make my way through the kitchens, I hear the cooks in their divisions singing cooking ditties. I see deputy friars giving orders to cupbearers, barrel-minders, cooks, and servers (these jobs are given to subordinates who do their studies in the evening).

The smells consist of delicious recepies that seem too numerous to mention, and as I look among the servers for one without a partner, the deputy friar in charge of the serving division pushes me in a line next to a boy a little older then myself.

"You replace my partner for today, I assume?" he asks. I nod. He shrugs easily and whispers to me as we are pushed out with a small trolley laden with food.

"Just follow my lead. Don't speak unless you are spoken to, and if you are, act as if you are stupid. Historians can be the worst sometimes, they think most of us to be stupid."

I nod again, helping him with the trolley as we go to parts of the underground that I did not even know of from Jenna.

His work clothes are different from mine, I notice. He has dirty white slacks and a shirt of the same color. He also has a hat with an odd brim, which covers dirty bangs.

I wonder what Jenna looks like with that hat.

The End

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