by Terry Alexander
The thick sulfur dust hung in the air like a hot mist. The slave master moaned at my feet. A flaming yellow ball struck his leg and reduced it to ash. I slipped the rope from my neck as he screamed in agony.
“James, help me. Save me and win your freedom.” Pain etched deep lines across his face. “Save me.”
My shaking hands closed on his robes and tore a long strip of cloth free. I tied it across my face to filter the thick air. His weak hands pawed at my legs. Blinking away the tears, I stared down at the man who had tormented me for nearly a year.
“Please, James, save me.” His face blistered from the hot powder falling from the sky. “Save me.” His hands fastened on the hem of my slave tunic. He was trying to pull me down.
I kicked him in the face. The blisters popped, draining a thick clear liquid. The sole on my sandal tore through his cheek. Blood gushed from the split flesh as panic gripped my heart. I gazed around, looking for the authorities. Rebellious slaves are dealt with quickly, savagely, by dismemberment and death.
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