Cage of Glass – Chapter 8

This chapter contains suggestive language.

The new slavegirl looked a little stiff, trying to dance atop the glass carriage. She kept looking at the crowd, as if they were the ones judging her, as if they were the ones she had to please. 

The Zalethi leaned back, savouring the moment. The sway of this former-baker svelte hips, the embarrassment growing to her cheeks as she tried to put on the mask of a dancer, become someone she had never been before, someone she just couldn’t be unless she was trained for a long time… but at the same time, she had to try, and to change what she was in order to please her-

Ah, no spice or wine, no drug or pleasure could compare to what the Zalethi felt each and every time one of these girls put her first step down the road that would lead them to their ultimate destiny. 

She too, would learn. Her eyes would grow hooded and lustful – she could almost see it, like a superimposed mirage over the raw material of the former baker – she would reach for her plump breasts and lean forward, trying to be enticing, as if she could be swayed by something as simple as that. 

She would never know that what she craved was the freedom she had thrown out of the window, the same freedom she could almost see falling off her body in flakes. One by one, they would reveal the wanton slut and the mindless servant that just begged to be revealed beneath that embarrassed, ungraceful exterior. 

The girl tripped over her own feet and stumbled to the side, managing not to fall out of the very mercy of the Twelve.

“Ah. Ah… my apologies,” she said, already out of breath from just a little bit of dancing. 

Even from a few steps away, she could clearly feel her heartbeat, her ragged breath, the slumbering fear that animated her movements. She was yet another sheepish girl who would do nothing but accept her rule, and slowly be moulded into the figure of perfection. 

She would be admired for the time of a blink – and then put with the others in the dusty corners of her memory, reaching all the way to the dawn of time. 

Such was the nature of her world. 

“No need to apologise. Here, let me lend you a bit of help.”

The Zalethi moved her hand – from the carriage’s floor thin blades of the sharpest glass rose with an audible and sharp rasp, their tips reaching for the girl’s wrists, ankles, shoulders and hips. 

The teased her skin, drawing just the promise of pain, but a steadfast promise indeed. They guided her to move her right arm with enough grace to pass as a shadow of a true entertainer. 

“Very good,” the Zalethi nodded with an encouraging smile. “Just let your body feel where it should be. Once again, please.” She leaned back. “I am most confident there will be no stumbling this time.”

The girl gulped and something warm and ferocious settled inside the Zalethi’s chest. Every drop of this girl’s youth, her precious moments in time, syphoned onto her eternity. 

This was the true meaning of pleasure. 

In the early afternoon, Eteri had decided she would indeed take a break. 

Thanks to her renewed confidence, the stand had run out of apa’s works and she had managed to sell a few of her own as well. It seemed it would still take a bit of time before she grew into a household name, but her father was right.

Half the sale went off in her mind.

“It feels like all the silver in the world,” she said looking at the pile of coins she had earned through her hard work. “That’s going to help with Tatia’s expenses a lot. Can we-”

“Nonsense,” apa stopped her. “That is your money. You have earned it through your own craft and it belongs to you. Artesan’s first rule.”

“He makes a new first rule every other week,” ati grinned passing her hands through her father’s hair. “But he’s right. That is your money, dear. What are you going to do with it?”

“I…” she was not sure. The possibility to finally spend it coursed through her body like lightning, but she did not want to waste it. She could splurge a little. But even though her family was supporting her, her honed instincts reined her in. She was used to saving up and even on this day – she would let cool heads prevail. “I think I will put down a saving fund. Some of it for Tatia’s wedding. Some unforeseen expense may always happen and I can’t find a better way to spend my money than to make my sister happy!”

Her parents shared a look. 

“You fault,” ati said at last shaking her head.

“No, it yours for raising her right,” he replied setting a kiss over her brow. “But that does it! You should enjoy your money or it will start to lord you over. How about you two girls go find Tatia and Barnabas? It’s almost the time for his fight and you will want to enjoy it. Leave your old man here at the helm.”

“He just doesn’t want to see you earn more money than him again,” ati chuckled. She stood up with the help of her cane and offered her arm to Eteri, who took it with a smile. Yes, she felt like spending a bit of time with her mother, and a bit of money as well. 

“Say hi to Barnabas as well. I would like to watch his fight, but a man has to work.”

“I can tell you how it went!” Eteri offered. “And maybe we can all watch the parade together!”

“If you can convince your sister to keep her eyes off her future husband for half an hour…” ati muttered. 

“If I can sell my plates at ten times the cost, I think I can!” Eteri grinned, sure that her suggestion would only bring good consequences.

Above her, the sundials crept ever so slightly to the right, as the shadow of the sun lengthened, and the time conceded to her before the arrival of the Zalethi grew ever thinner and thinner. 

Author’s Notes:

Thanks for reading.


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