please note: I am posting two chapters at once.
Fae Apoc, approx. now.
Content Warnings: This setting, although not this ficlet, contains rape, mind control, and dubious consent situations.
This particular story contains kidnapping and slavery, bondage, violence, and will eventually contain Stockholm Syndrome.
There had to be a catch. Nobody was nice just to be nice. Amrit worked his mouth around the new gag, slammed the axe into another log, worked his mouth around the gag again. It didn’t hurt anywhere. It didn’t chafe anywhere. It was even gentle on the places already hurting, and — assuming the hawthorn got out of his system soon — would probably not interfere with his own healing.
There had to be a catch. She had bought him from a slave market, dragged him here, chained him to the bed. She’d threatened to break his leg if he tried to run away. Not that it would stop him for long… but Amrit had broken bones before, and he didn’t like it.
She’d kidnapped, enslaved, and threatened him. But she’d put a nice gag in his mouth that didn’t hurt him, and, even after telling him he’d get no lunch, she’d fed him. He worked his mouth around the new gag and split another log.
The pile he had to split didn’t seem to get any smaller, but the pile he’d already split kept getting bigger. It was getting bigger more slowly, though, as the day went on, as his muscles ached and his body tired. He had another foot of height to go before he’d get his “reward.” Another foot, and the sun was beginning to set. Where was she? He split a log, looked around. No sign of her. He split another log, looked around. The plow lay idle, up against the garage.
Three more logs. He might finish at this rate. He looked at the chain hooked to his ankle. No, not yet. He split another log. He wasn’t sure if he could even do a Working, and his regeneration wasn’t all the way returned. No. Now he had to focus on convincing her to take the gag out. He split another log.
“Time for dinner.”
He hadn’t seen her coming, and Amrit had the axe in the air and ready to swing at the intruder before he realized it was her. Carefully, he set it back down.
She, surprisingly, hadn’t choked him yet. “Time for dinner,” she repeated.
Amrit shook his head fiercely. He had only one row to go, and he’d have earned his reward.
“It’s nearly dark. Come on.”
He shook his head again and gestured at the pile. So close. It wasn’t fair.
“Aaah. All right.” She muttered a Working and the light in the area rose like it was on a dimmer switch, gestured with her hand and floated another log into place on the block.
Amrit split it like he was splitting this whole wretched situation in half, and it fell apart in one hit. Another log replaced it, and he did the same to that one. And another, and another. The axe seemed a bit lighter. The hitting seemed a bit more fun. And then there was no next log, and Amrit looked up to see the rack entirely full.
“It’s time for dinner now,” she repeated. He thought she looked a little tired herself. “Put the axe away, there,” she pointed at a wall-mounted rack, “and come on in.”
He did as he was told. There was dinner in it for him, after all.
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