For morning sustenance, we are usually given the same meal for the whole week. Same goes for evening sustenance. I asked the older females once about why we eat the same meal for the whole week. Why don’t we get to choose what we want to eat everyday? The elders said to me we ought to be thankful to the Vetales for providing us with two meals each day. It used to be one meal per day. But that was before the failed uprising of course.
“Vea, you know I’m going to eat yours if you keep on spacing out, right?” said Aexilia while eyeing my morning sustenance. We had a mushy crushed starchy plants with bits of crustacean’s flesh that week. It was Aexilia’s favourite sustenance.
“Yuh canh heeve maine.” I replied while chewing. Aexilia creased her brow, not understanding a single word. Using a fork, I scraped and pushed my leftovers into Aexilia’s plate. She smiled and mouthed me the word thank you before digging into her plate. I often wonder why we have to do the exact same thing everyday. The Vetales said we’re not prisoners of the vElves Empire but my life has been work all summer long.
Wanna know how I know all what the females do is working all day long? I followed a guard once. I swear I was not being deviant. I was merely curious. I followed the guard until he stopped at a drinking establishment. For a brief moment, I got a glimpse of the males drinking and chatting inside the establishment. They were laughing and talking with each other.
There’s also few females wearing clothes that barely cover anything. I could feel my cheeks heating up after seeing such scandalous clothing. “Hey kid! What do you think you’re doing here? You’re not supposed to be here at this hour. Go stand at the pole with your back facing me!” said the guard with a leather whip in his hand. My eyes went wide after seeing the whip. I was so scared. I was on my knees straight away, pleading for mercy. The guard simply did not care whether I was a young kid or not. All he cares for is that he got to use his whip.
He dragged me by my hair to the pole. Scrubbed by the cobblestones, my knees were screaming and bloody from the sudden harsh friction. With a stoic face, the guard bound me to the pole before saying, “You get 5 lashes for straying out of your place. Another 5 for lying straight to my face”. I heard the sound of the whip slapping the air before it made contact with my skin. My whole body shook at the sudden pain.
I tried to angle my body so that the tip of the whip did not curl at the same spot. Every subsequent lash made it hard for me to move my body, so that I grinded my teeth instead to cope with the pain.
Five. Six. Seven lashes. No longer angling my body, my back took the full brunt of the blow. My vision started to darken. My ears deafened by the sound of the whip kissing and leaving my body.
… My next memory was being woken up at the females building. My whole body was swaddled with a white cloth. I couldn’t move. Everything hurts.
Check out the previous parts: