Chapter 1: CASS

Chapter 1: CASS

A Chapter by AGirlAuthor

Cass was awakened by a strange yellow light.
Blinking off sleep, he couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. The remains of his latest nightmares still drifted through his mind like smoke, choking him. He only remembered a calloused hand hitting him, and then he was falling. That was it.
His eyes jumped around the room, searching for the light source in the dank, underground cell.
He spotted the torches lining the wall, sputtering orange flame. The other bunks in his cell were empty.
Stumbling to his feet, the slave boy cursed under his breath before inhaling dust. Dread's voice filtered through his head, warning him not to hack up his lungs. Cass raked a hand through his hair, and it fell across his forehead, cutting his vision into strips.
No one had woken him. Again.
Grumbling to himself, Cass padded to the sink protruding from the stone wall. He stuck his head under the faucet, and the cool, iron scented water revived his energy. Cass's eyes landed on a rusty knife, balancing on the edge of the sink.
Dread had probably left it; he was known to forget things. Glancing at his greasy locks in the tiny, dirt smeared mirror, he gripped the blade. In his other fist he held up a chunk of his hair. Pausing only to watch the firelight glint off the metal, he brought the knife down.
It had been time for a change.

Half an hour later, Cass trodded into the Records room.
Dread looked up at his approach, barely smiling, and leaned against a cabinet. He was named for his hair, an old style that made him look unclean. Cass was sure that Dread only talked to him because he was the only person, slave or not, that was kind to him. Or, at least, neutral.
"Ya cut yer hair."
"So I've noticed," Cass replied, digging through a cabinet for the day's rotation. He found a scroll and took it out.
Cass felt Dread's labored breaths on his bare neck, and almost crumpled the parchment. "Ain't ya look proper," the other boy continued as Cass scanned the list.
SLAVE 4612
MARRIAGE ORGANIZATIONS
Cass sucked in a breath. That job was on the upper floors of the building, normally reserved for patrol officers. He'd heard there were more marriages lately, and the Court was understaffed, but did not expect to be assigned upstairs.
"Best find a patrol," Dread muttered behind him, taking the list. Together the boys rounded the corner. The path turned to linoleum: clean and shiny. Powerful white bulbs replaced the torches.
A patrol officer read them their schedules, and the boys parted ways. Cass watched Dread's figure retreat down the hall, toward the kitchens. He felt guilty to be going upward, to daylight, while Dread cooked and cleaned for the masters. But why had Cass gotten such a job in the first place? He supposed he was more well-mannered than his fellow slaves.
Because slaves were barred from using the elevator, Cass darted up several flights of stairs until he felt sunlight on his face. A cacophony of voices filled the room and seemed to hush at his approach.
Lucian was at the top of the steps, glaring down at Cass. Once he reached the landing, the man tugged on his worn jacket and shook him. Where did a man like him get muscles like that?
"You have the privilege to work with your superiors and you wear that trash?" Lucian scoffed, dragging him by the hood like a mewling kitten. The boy itched to see if those muscles would benefit his master in a fight.
"Here," the man spat when they reached Master Cartwright's office.
After rummaging through a closet beside his desk, Lucian tossed new slacks and a dress shirt in the boy's direction.
As Cass struggled into the shirt, Lucian coughed into a handkerchief, watching with a look of disdain. When he brought his hand back, the cloth was dabbled with blood.
Cass shivered.
"What?" Lucian snapped.
The slave boy shrugged, unbuttoning his pants.
His master scoffed again, saying only, "Keep those clean," before stalking back out of the office.

By the time the sun was in the middle of the sky, Cass had already consulted with several young men and women concerning their marriages.
The biggest reason he had been promoted, Cass knew, was because he could read. It was a necessary ability with his new task, as he had to write down people's information in official Court documents.
Lucian and a few other officials knew he could read, but otherwise, even Dread didn't know.
A law stated that no person could teach a slave, but the fact that it was legal for slaves to know how to read contradicted it. As far as Cass was aware, he was the only slave in the City who could read. Rules like that, loopholes, were what kept him alive.
The city goers were dull and by his break, Cass was yawning. He only had time to check on Dread before he was expected back in the documents sector of Court; Dread hadn't seemed to like Cass's new clothes, curling his lip as he gave him a once over.
Cass sensed their strange friendship- if one could call it that- coming to and end.
Clearing his throat, he tapped the steel table and waited for the next bride to be. The file by his hand read the name Anastasia Bentley.


© 2016 AGirlAuthor


Author's Note

AGirlAuthor
I would really appreciate all feedback! This is my third draft~

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Hey there! This is the first story I have read on this site ( I joined yesterday) and I must say that I am enjoying it so far. I only wish there were more to read. You have a very relaxed way with words that rolls off the tongue without becoming too bland or boring.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




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Hey there! This is the first story I have read on this site ( I joined yesterday) and I must say that I am enjoying it so far. I only wish there were more to read. You have a very relaxed way with words that rolls off the tongue without becoming too bland or boring.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 3, 2016
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AGirlAuthor
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Aspiring young adult author of young adult books ;) more..

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A Chapter by AGirlAuthor