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I had a happy childhood. Mom and dad both loved me. We didn’t have much money, sure, but I was never hungry, never cold, and never felt really “poor”. We were just an ordinary blue-collar family with dad working hard to make ends meet, and mom stayed at home to look after me.
Dad worked in construction – not as an engineer manager or anything, but as a labourer. He’d never gone to college, and so in our high-tech world that was the only type of job he could get. And it didn’t pay all that much, as increasingly that kind of hard, physical work was done by slaves. It was a fine line between what you had to pay a man like dad to work for you, and the expenses of buying and maintaining a slave – I think guys like dad were really only employed as the bosses knew how desperate he was for money, so he’d work his guts out for them, whereas if they bought a slave, they’d need to have an overseer and a whipmaster and all that stuff to keep the man working at his maximum pace. Look, I don’t want you to think dad was stupid or anything – he just hadn’t had the chances. His folks were not well off, and to get to college he’d have needed to work all hours at a job as well, but he met mom at high school, and when she got pregnant he didn’t demand that she aborted or anything, and said he’d look after her. So he went straight into the only work he could get, and sixteen years later, he was still there.
It all changed when I was twelve, and mom died in a hit-and-run. Social services were going to take me into care as they said dad couldn’t look after me properly by himself as he worked such long hours, and in spite of dad arguing and arguing, they went to court to get an order to take me away from him. On the eve of the court hearing dad just threw as much of our stuff as he could into the back of his pickup, and we drove off out of town, and out of the state.
He found us a small apartment, not in the best part of town, and we settled in. Dad talked to me seriously about how important it was not to tell anyone that I was by myself every day after school, and we took it from there. I grew up fast – dad often got home late, as he did all the overtime he could, and so I learned to make my own meals, and to get some for him, too. And even at weekends we didn’t have all that much time together – dad was determined that I’d go to college, and so was saving as hard as he could from his meagre wages, and to supplement this, he did “odd jobs” for rich folks who didn’t like the idea of having one of the slave contracting companies around. You know the kind of stuff that suburban families want done: dig the new patch as we’re going to grow vegetables, extend the patio, mend the broken fence, resurface the driveway… Nothing on a big scale, as it was only dad doing it, and he only had the weekends. Mind you, perhaps it wasn’t that they minded having the slave contractors around – I think that like a lot of the “rich” they were men, and knew that dad’s price for his labour was less than they’d have to pay a “proper” contractor, especially as dad didn’t add in the sales tax and stuff like that.
Actually, compared to a lot of kids with rowing parents who “buy them off” with expensive gifts, I think I had the best of it: dad and I were a real team, looking out for each other, knowing that every penny counted, and loving each other as a father and son should. I wouldn’t want you to think that dad was soft on me, though, even right after mom’s death: he always wanted to see my school assignments, made sure I completed everything on time, and on one famous occasion when I was thirteen, even spanked me when I got a bad grade in math.
I can still remember it – afterwards, there were tears streaking my face not so much from the hurt of it (but it did hurt, as dad was really strong), but from the shame: dad had told me to take down my jeans, and then had put me over his knee and hit me six times on the butt with his bare hand. Then he roughly pushed me off his knees, and I lay three sprawled on the rug looking up at him, my jeans around my knees and an erection tenting the front of my boxers. I’d been “mature” for over a year and had been jerking off two or three times a day, but dad and I had a polite kind of fiction that this wasn’t happening – I guess I though of myself as a man, and to have my dad spank me was a real shock to the system. He looked down at me, and said quietly “It gives me no pleasure to have had to do that, Steve. But it’s for your own good. Young guys like you start to go through a rebellious phase about now, and I think we both know why. And you can’t afford it, Steve. You’ve got to buckle down and keep working, or else you’ll end up like me, and I want more than that for you.”
“Dad, you didn’t have to do that… I’m sorry…”
“Sure, Steve. And let’s hope I never have to do it again. But, mark my words, I will. I want to see straight ‘A’ grades, or else I’ll do it again, however old you are. Now, come on, get up, pull your jeans up, if you can over that wood.” As he said that, he put out his big hand that a moment ago had been hitting me, gave one of the smiles that were never far from his mouth, and pulled me to my feet. As I struggled with my jeans, he put his arm around my shoulder and said “I think we need a treat after that, don’t you? Let’s go out for a steak.”
That was one of the best nights in my life. Although my butt was sore, we went to a proper steak place and had a fantastic piece of meat and baked potato and all the trimmings. Dad even ordered two beers for himself, and when the waitress wasn’t watching, let me have some. “We’re men together, Steve”, he told me, “and never mind about the stupid laws. Men have a beer together with a steak.” Not only was it special because of what had gone on, but because we just didn’t go out to eat all that often – dad’s desire to save meant that he thought it was a waste, when we could do steak and stuff at home. I know some kids have fancy holidays, expensive bikes, all that stuff, but that evening with my dad was worth more than all of that to me.
Although we never talked about my sexual maturity and my jerking off, dad knew I was doing it. I knew dad was having sex occasionally too, of course – from when I was fourteen and he judged that it was safe to leave me in the apartment by myself all night, dad sometimes stayed out all night. He always called and told me he’d be “very late”, and of course I had his cell number. I only realised what he’d been doing – he didn’t boast or brag about it of course – when after one of those nights I saw him in the shower and there were long scratches all up his back, right from his butt almost to his shoulders. I called out to him, and he stood there, towelling himself dry and looking over his shoulder at himself in the mirror.
“I guess I’ll have to tell her to cut her nails if I go with her again, son”, he told me, laughing. “She was really wild, and we had a great time, but her husband’s coming back this weekend, so I don’t suppose there’s much chance.”
As he continued to dry himself, he was smiling, as if he was remembering the previous night, but when he saw me looking slightly disapproving, he said “Oh come on, Steve. You like girls, too. Look, son, I loved your mother, but it’s been a long time now. A man has needs, you know, and I just have to play sometimes… Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. You’re not going to get new step-mom or anything! It’s just a bit of fun: there’s a bar downtown where guys and gals who just want a night’s fun can meet… And sometimes I just drop off in there after work. Mind you, it’s not always very successful – most of them want to fuck with a guy from an office in a nice suit, and when I go there in my jeans, still sweaty after a real day’s work, they mostly look right through me as if I wasn’t there. Still, sometimes, there’s a woman who knows a piece of prime beef when she sees it, and then….” He grinned again, slapped me on the back, and as he rummaged around in the drawer to find some clean boxer shorts, said “Still, you’ve got all this to come, haven’t you?”
“I guess so, dad.”
“Well be careful, OK? I know it’s no good telling you not to fuck around – we’re too alike, and I remember what I was like at your age. You’re almost fifteen, and I bet you’re hanging around some of those girls at school, right, trying to get a feel of their tits and into their pants? Well, as I said – be careful! I’m not going to tell you not to fuck, as that would be pointless. But don’t get caught like me, OK? You’ve got to go to college, not look after a kid. And you know it’s hard enough for me now, but in twenty years time there just won’t be any jobs at all for guys without a college education – the way slave prices are coming down, they’ll be doing all the grunt work, and I just don’t know what unskilled labourers will do!”
He was suddenly so serious, after he’d been smiling, and it was unusual as we didn’t really talk about sex. Well, I mean, most guys don’t, with their dads, do they? That’s what you talk about to your buddies when you’re in your early teens! I tried to make light of it, and said “Sure, dad. I get it.” He stood there for a moment, then pulled his boxer shorts up and looked at me. “Be sure you do! Look, I had a good time with your mother, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I suppose, and I’ve got you to show for it…. But if things had been just a bit different, we might have one of those houses in the ‘burbs with a pool… A nice car…. Money in the bank…. So if there’s ever a problem, you come and tell me straight away, OK? I’ll not be cross if you’ve been fucking around – I’d kind of expect a son of mine to want to, as we’re so alike. But if you even think you’ve got someone pregnant, don’t bottle it up until it’s too late – come and tell me, and we’ll try to fix it, OK?”
“Sure, dad.” Actually, I hadn’t fucked any of the girls in my class yet, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying! I was mature for my age anyway, and I had a good body as there had never been the money to stuff my face with junk food and other rubbish. And, anyway, I was a bit of a jock, just loving track and field in particular, and it was hard to get me out of a swimming pool once I was in. Still, I think most of my build – and my good looks, even though I say so myself – came from dad. He was over six foot and had that kind of wiry musculature that comes from working hard, rather than working out, with a shock of unruly black hair that emphasised his rugged good looks. And I was just the same, although I think that when I finished growing, I’d probably be an inch or so taller than him, as the next generation often is. We both tended to smile a lot, too, and it tended to make us look even better.
At about this time, too, I started to help dad out at the weekends with his little “projects” – at first, there wasn’t all that much I could do, but as my body started to change from a slim, colt-ish one when I was thirteen and put on muscle as I got ready for proper manhood, there was more and more. I could barrow away spoil that dad dug out, help him lay paving, and then, as I got stronger, carry bags of cement, unload paving from the pickup, and all kinds of things. As we worked away some of the “clients” might almost have taken us for brothers, rather than father and son: there was only nineteen years between us, after all, and dad’s work, although physically hard, was stress-free so his face wasn’t lined with worry and it made him look younger.
By the time I was sixteen I had fucked, of course – several times. And I was “going with” one of the girls in the class pretty seriously. Her folks didn’t like it as they were pretty well off, and indeed, to my horror, one Saturday dad and I drove up to their house in his battered pickup to do some work re-laying the paving around their pool. She’d never taken me home before – perhaps she was ashamed of me after all – so when, late in the morning, she came out and found dad and me both just in shorts and work boots as it was so hot, she was all flustered and embarrassed. I put my arm around her and kissed her and introduced her to dad, of course, but she broke away from me saying I was too sweaty – not that that was usually a problem, as we were pretty wild in bed. But I saw her looking at dad’s body and comparing it to mine – I got the impression that she was seeing in dad what I would become. Mind you, dad was looking at her, his eyes raking over her body in its swimsuit. And then, to my horror, he said “Pretty good, Steve! You sure can pick ’em, boy!”
We worked away all that weekend on their paving, and she stayed mostly out of the way. All Sunday night I worried about what I was going to say to her, and even mentioned it to dad. “For fuck’s sake, Steve”, he almost shouted at me. “We’re all the same, you know. They may have more money than us, but we’re all free men., It’s not as if we’re fucking slaves, after all – we’re all equal. you know. She ought to be glad that she’s going with a guy who knows how to work hard…. And who’s got a nice body to go with it, too. She hasn’t complained about your dick, has she?”
I grinned. “No, dad. You know neither of us has got anything to complain about there!”
“Well then, there you are. She’s got a hard worker, nice body, big dick – what more could a woman want? Just be perfectly natural when you see her tomorrow. She’s getting a good deal. Mind you, you’re getting something pretty nice there, too, from what I could see. If she gets tired of you, send her along to your dad…. Age and experience sometimes has advantages over youth and enthusiasm, you know….”
We started to laugh, but just at that moment there was a thunderous knocking at the door, and a shout of “Open up, Police!”.
They sent four big, tough-looking cops to arrest dad. I don’t know if they were expecting trouble, or what, but dad went with them as quiet as a lamb. We’d been sitting around in Ts and boxer shorts a s it was a hot night and we didn’t run the aircon to save money, and they didn’t even allow him to dress. “Are you Joseph Masters”, was all they said, and when dad nodded, they just cuffed him.
“Hey, my dad hasn’t done anything…”, I shouted. “Show me the warrant.”
One of the cops stood menacingly in front of me, and thrust something in my face. There it was, in stark black and white, a warrant authorising the arrest and detention of Joseph Masters, of 34 Magnolia Street, for charges relating to tax evasion and fraud.
“Hey, you’ve got this wrong…. You must have the wrong Joe Masters”, I tried to tell them. “My dad hasn’t done tax evasion and fraud… He just works as a labourer, for fuck’s sake!”
“Keep a civil tongue in your head, boy!”, the cop snapped back, “Or we’ll take you in too, for obstruction! He’ll be in court tomorrow, bright and early, and you can find out all about it then.”
“Shall I call a lawyer, dad?”
“NO, Steve, we can’t afford it!”, dad replied. “I’m sure there’s some mistake. As soon as this mix-up is sorted out, I’ll be set free.”
“I’ll be there…”
“No, Steve, school….”
“Dad….” But I couldn’t argue any more, as the police bundled him out, past the rubbernecking neighbours who wondered why he was just in his underwear, and into the police cruiser.
I wondered what to do. I didn’t know any lawyers, and, anyway, I doubted we could afford one. But dad had said it would all be OK, so I locked the place carefully, and tried to sleep. And, even though I was as worried as hell, I did sleep as soon as I’d finished jerking off – well, think back to what you were like at sixteen, and you were probably the same.
I skipped school the next day, put on my smartest shirt and chinos, and went down to the Court House, getting there long before business was due to begin. A friendly usher showed me the court lists for the day – up front there were a whole lot of drunk driving, speeding, drunkenness and stuff like that, and then, further down, I saw “Joseph Masters. Violation of State and Federal Tax Codes. Docket 3672.” I asked if I could see dad, but they told me that prisoners on remand for trial were only allowed to see their lawyers, and when I said dad didn’t have one, they told me that the court would have appointed one.
I waited around for most of the day, until dad’s case was finally called, and then went into the Court Room and sat down behind where I guessed dad and his lawyers would be – we’re all familiar with court scenes from TV, aren’t we? The prosecutors looked pretty slick – a really hard-looking woman in her late twenties, I thought, in a smartly-cut tailored dark suit, flanked by two “assistants” – older men – who also wore expensively cut clothes and had sombre, but expensive-looking silk ties on. When dad’s counsel appeared, I just felt in my bones that we’d got a bum steer – he looked as if he’d only just graduated, and his suit came from Sears!
There was actually a clanking of chains as they bought dad in! They’d cuffed his hands together in front of him, and manacled his legs together so that he could only take short, shuffling steps. At least he wasn’t in his underwear, though – but the alternative was possibly worse, as he was wearing a bright orange dungarees with “Prisoner” stencilled in big letters on the front and back. Surely that was grossly prejudicial – the jury looking at him like that would thing he was guilty even before the trail started. And it didn’t help that they hadn’t let him shave, and dad and I both have really thick, tough facial hair – miss a day of shaving, and you almost look like a thug!
The usher shouted “All rise”, and the judge strode in – I don’t know why, but I instinctively felt that he was evil, somehow. He looked down at dad, and it seemed to me that he was thinking that dad was scum even before he’d heard the facts of the case. The usher read out the charges, the judge looked at dad’s lawyer and snapped “Well?”
“Masters pleads not guilty, your honour. He admits to being careless in his business financial affairs and tax declarations, and is willing to make full restitution…”
“Silence!”, the judge almost screamed at him. I’ll take that as a “not guilty”, shall I? A very risky strategy, if I may say so, when there seems to be some doubt in your mind…. I usually hand out lighter sentences to felons who openly admit their crimes, and make a full confession…. Still, the plea has been entered.”
He smiled almost sweetly at the lady prosecutor, and said “Proceed, Miss Sampson”.
Look, you’ve got the case number, so you can look up the transcript for yourself if you want the whole gory words. But basically the essence of the federal case against dad was that he’d done all this “extra” work at weekends, and never declared it to the IRS. Dad’s lawyer made a kind of stumbling explanation about being hard up, saving for college, and so on, but in doing so basically admitted dad’s guilt. The prosecutor bitch then made a damming summing-up speech, saying that although the amounts of tax were not huge by the standards of the big corporate frauds, being less than ten thousand dollars, nevertheless it was necessary to bring these cases to court to remind everyone that they have a duty to pay tax on all their income. This current ‘shocking’ case had only come to light as dad had re-done a patio for someone who worked for the IRS, and they went through his filing that year and found it had not been mentioned! It seems dad “needed to be made an example of”, as a warning to others. “After all”, she finished, “If thousands of Joe’s like the defendant here were to defraud the government – no, defraud his fellow citizens – the loss to our great country would be enormous”.
Dad’s guy didn’t have much to say at all, the jury went out just for a token one minute, and came back with a guilty verdict. The judge was about to fine dad or imprison him or something, when the prosecutor bitch got to her feet. “May I remind your honour”, she said, in an icy voice ” about how seriously the IRS regards evasion of this type? Although the amount is not huge, as we all agree, the prisoner needs to be made an example of, and I therefore ask your honour for the maximum sentence in this case.”
The judge looked a little shocked. “Are you certain, Miss Sampson? Are you aware of the recent changes in the sentencing rules for gross financial misfeasance? And do you want that brought into play here?”
“Yes I am your honour”, she said, smiling sweetly, “And I do. The prisoner could have made a full confession and plea bargained, but he persisted in this trial. He needs to be made an example of.”
The judge kind of shrugged, leaned forward in his chair to peer down at dad. The usher shouted “The prisoner will rise”, and dad did so, the chains rattling again.
“Joseph Masters, you have been found guilty of the crimes as charged by a jury of your peers. The prosecution has asked for, and I will therefore grant, the full penalty that the law allows for this.” He paused dramatically for effect, and then added “Joseph Masters, you are therefore sentenced to be taken from this Court to a designated centre where you will be enslaved, and then auctioned.”
A gasp ran around the court, and the judge banged his gavel for silence before continuing “Any order for the proceeds of the crime, Miss Sampson?”
“Yes, your honour. We ask that all the slave’s goods and assets be seized and sold and used to offset the tax avoided.”
“So be it”, the judge replied. Then, turning to dad, he went on “This should be a lesson to you, slave, that attempting to lie and dissemble will get you nowhere. I trust that your new owners will rapidly teach you that we have aright to expect honesty and truthfulness from slaves, and that otherwise they suffer the most severe punishments.”
Dad looked speechless, and before anything more was said, the judge rapped “Bailiffs – the prisoner is now a slave. It is not fitting that a slave should appear in this Court wearing clothes that mean he might be mistaken for a free man. Remove them!”
There was an expectant murmur from the public seated behind me, as the two guards who had led dad in came up to him and started fiddling with the straps of the dungarees. He undid them and pushed them down over dad’s hips, so that dad was standing there just in the T and boxer shorts he’d had on when arrested. There must have been some button arrangement or something, as he bent down and pulled the bright orange things off dad’s legs, even though dad was shackled at the ankles, as I’ve said.
There was a a problem then as they couldn’t get dad’s T off, being as his hands were still cuffed at the front, so they simply cut through the fabric and almost tore the remains off him. There was a little burst of applause as dad’s big, strong firm upper body was revealed, and the judge banged the gavel for silence and motioned for the guards to proceed. It was as if some of these people came to the courts just to see a man being humiliated like this!
They did the same thing for dad’s cotton boxer shorts – not even trying to get them down or anything, but slitting neatly up each side seam and then just ripping them away. There really was applause now, as dad stood there entirely naked. I was used to it, of course, but it must have been a treat for the rest of them to see dad’s powerful muscular butt and thighs as he stood there – they were very pronounced, somehow, as unlike his torso and legs, there were deathly white, dad’s thatch of black hair standing out starkly against them. The sun never got to his butt, of course, as he always wore shorts to work – only slaves worked naked, after all – and we never had any time for vacationing, when he might have evened up the tan a bit.
We could only see the back of dad as he stood there. But to my horror I heard the judge intone “The slave will turn around and reveal himself to the public. As a free man the slave chose to hide lawfully-due tax money and deceive his fellow citizens. Now, as a naked slave, he can have nothing to hide.”
Dad hesitated, but the one of the guards grabbed his arm and almost pulled him around, so that we could all see him. Dad instinctively dropped his cuffed hands to cover his dick and his balls, The guard saw this, and tugged at dad’s upper arm so that he had to raise his hands to waist level, revealing himself fully to everyone. The guard then pulled at his arm again, so that dad half rotated to face the prosecutor, and I saw the tip of her tongue run over her lips as if she was savouring the humiliation that she’d caused this big, strong handsome guy.
“Take him down”, the judge ordered, and the guards grabbed hold of dad again and pulled him towards the door at the back of the court. I leaned forward and said to his pathetic lawyer “How long’s dad been enslaved for, then? The judge didn’t say – is it a couple of years, or less?”
He turned around and looked at me, almost pityingly. “He didn’t say, as there’s no need! Where did you grow up, boy? A slave is a slave for life once he’s sentenced – there’s no remission, no short sentences, no pardons, nothing: if you commit a crime that merits enslavement, then that’s that. Slaves need to know that their life has changed irrevocably, that once they’re made a slave, they’ll remain one for the rest of their life. It’s kinder, I suppose: if you’re going to be a slave, you may as well get used to it from the first moment, and know that there’s no amount of pleading or anything that might give you some chance of freedom.”
I jumped to my feet. “No!”, I called out, desperation adding volume to my voice. “Please, judge… Your honour… Please don’t do that to my dad. He’s all I’ve got. Since mom died, it’s just been dad and me….”
The judge banged his gavel for order, and told me to come forward. I stood there in front of him, and he asked “Are you the slave’s son?”
“Sir, yes, sir, Steven Masters, sir. But please don’t do this to my dad… He’s all I’ve got….”
He smiled at me, almost kindly. “Now don’t you worry, boy. The State will take care of you. You also need to know that what he did was very serious, and that he deserved to be enslaved…”
“Sir, so, sir. He was only doing it for me. To save for college….”
“The motive doesn’t matter, as you’ll perhaps learn one day. What matters is that he was attempting to defraud his fellow citizens, and we can’t have that. Now, just wait there, and I’ll call Social Services, to have you taken into care….”
“No! Please don’t do that. They tried to do that after mom died, and they said dad couldn’t take care of me. Well, he has – and very well. And I’m old enough to look after myself now, sir. I don’t want to go off to some kids’ home….”
“How old are you, Steven?”
“Sixteen, sir. Three months ago.”
The judge looked at me, and then at the prosecutor bitch. “Miss Sampson….?”. His tone was quizzical.
“The IRS respectfully asks you to make a further order for the enslaved Joseph Masters’ assets, so that it includes the minor son, Steven”, she said brightly.
“NO!”. It was dad’s attorney from the public defender’s office who now spoke. “The law is quite clear. A man’s assets do not include his children! The boy Steven here is not an ‘asset’ of the slave….”
“Oh, I’m afraid I must correct your understanding of the law”, the judge said bitingly. “Once a child is eighteen, then he is considered to be an individual in his own right. But Steven here is sixteen, as we have heard.”
“Well, as a sixteen year old, he is entitled to the protection of the State, and your honour should go ahead with a care order, for Social services to look after him until he is eighteen…”
“Please don’t tell me my job, young man! There is an anomaly in the law in the State, which the good folk at the State House have been debating for some time. A man becomes properly a man when his is eighteen. Children, defined as those who have not yet reached their sixteenth birthday, are indeed entitled to our protection. And if Steven were fifteen, I would make a care order for him. But at sixteen, under one set of laws he is no longer a ‘minor’. And under another, he is not yet a ‘man’. So he is in a strange limbo, and in a similar case last year, which the legislators are still considering, it was ruled that the girl – it was a girl in that instance – was her father’s ‘property’ and thus available for sequestration on his enslavement.”
He banged his gavel for order, and intoned “Steven Masters, I order you to be taken from this Court to the State assessment and training centre for young slaves. After a suitable period, as determined by the centre and your progress through it, you will be sold as a slave and the proceeds of that sale used to further offset the monies owed to the IRS by the slave who is the former Joseph Masters.”
I stood there, struck dumb. My world seemed to be crashing around me. “Please, sir…”
“Will your honour have the slave stripped?”, I then heard the prosecutor bitch ask. “We’d like to be able to form some view of the value that will accrue to us….”
I shook inwardly. The thought of having my clothes torn off in front of all these people was awful. But fortunately the judge seemed to be on my side in this. “Certainly not, Miss Sampson! I have never heard anything so outrageous, as the suggestion that a young boy like this, not yet properly a man by some reckoning, should be stripped and humiliated in a public place like this. Guards – take him down!”
Well, at least I’d been spared the humiliation they’d meted out to dad, I thought. The guard put his hand around my arm, and I shook it off, angrily. He was in his mid-fifties, I guess, and there was an underlying power to his body, although he had a kindly face. He whispered to me “Now come on, son, don’ make it even harder for yourself! Just come quietly, and then I won’t have to cuff you, or use the slave stun. And the judge can always change his mind if he thinks you’re going to make an uppity slave, and order you to be stripped right here… Would you like that?”
I shook my head, and he grabbed me around the biceps again, and half pushed, half coaxed me towards the door at the back of the Court. Even this felt odd – I mean, I wasn’t used to havinganother man’s hand on me like that, especially not one that was “controlling” me, as he was.
Dad didn’t get to know what happened to me. When I was led through the door at the back of the Court we went along a corridor and into the holding areas for prisoners, and I saw dad being manhandled – literally – by four guards out of a door at the back. He was shouting and swearing, and kicking out as best he could at them, but he had no chance: I saw flashes of his brown limbs and white butt as he surfaced and then disappeared under the four men, and I knew they must be punching and hitting him as every now and then his curses tailed off into strangled screams. And then he was gone, and the door slammed shut. I suddenly felt so alone – how was I ever going to make contact with dad again, if he and I were both slaves? We’d probably be sold to different owners, and would have no chance of meeting.
The guard holding me felt me going all tense as I watched what was happening, and I tried to pull away from him to go and help dad, but it was too late, and his grip was too strong. “Easy, boy, there’s nothing you can do to help your dad”, he told me. “Now just behave, will you, as I’d hate to have to punish you. I expect you’ll have enough of that before you’re too much older, and there’s no point in starting it now!”
He led me over to what he called “the holding cage”, but looked to me like an ordinary cell, and gently pushed me inside and locked the gate. Then I think he must have felt sorry for me, as he went and fetched me a cold soda. I just sat there on the edge of the bunk, wondering what the fuck was gong to happen to me.
To be continued …
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