Slavery & Freedom
By Mr Malaprop
This is a piece of fiction, the characters and events depicted are purely the products of my imagination and no similarity is intended to any real events or persons. Any such similarity is completely coincidental.
Thanks to my friends HCFU (Freedom, Nick and Thorns) for their constant encouragement.
None of the above is responsible in any way for any imperfections in this story, that responsibility rests solely with me.
And finally: If you shouldn't, don't. If you don't like it, stop. If you want to flame me, you're wasting your time.
Comments and constructive criticism are welcome at:
I am away until mid-May so cannot reply or respond to comments before then.
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The whole story is copyright © Malaka/Mr Malaprop 2005/2006
Slavery & Freedom
By Mr Malaprop
I was born to a good house in an honourable city. I had slaves of my own from an early age. My father was a landowner, an aristocrat, a man of learning. He had fought with courage for our land but was not only a soldier but a healer too; he was well versed in in herbs and plants and all healing arts and this knowledge he delighted to pass on to me, his only son.
I was 14 and nearly a man, my parents were talking of finding me a bride. I had already been courted for some time by the son of a neighbouring estate so was well versed in the arts of love. My life looked well set and I was as content as any 14 year old can be.
Then in the shifting alliances of the time our city took the wrong side and suddenly we were at war with Athens. It was a short, bloody and unequal contest. My father died early, my lover soon after. I was left to defend our estate but we were soon over-run and I, my mother and my sisters were captive and enslaved. Being aristocrats we did not fare too badly, or at least I didn't. I was soon separated from my kin but I trust they were sold to good houses rather than ending up in whore-houses as common women might.
My captor treated me honourably, I was not beaten much. He questioned me as I knelt before him, eyes cast down. When he learnt I could read and write and reckon he chose to keep me in his service rather than sell me on at auction. He wondered aloud in front of me whether to have me gelded but chose to keep me whole which immediately endeared him to me.
I have always been comely despite my slight frame so was not surprised when on the third night after we returned to his estate I was summoned to his bed. For two nights he had done his duty to his wife so now was ready to seek pleasure. I was terrified but anxious to perform well not only for my survival but also because he was a fine man and at thirty not yet old.
I must have pleased him for he called for me again the next night and soon I was his regular bed slave. He was as gentle as my old lover and was pleased to give me pleasure as well as take his own.
My duties were not confined to the bed-chamber, I also worked for the steward on clerical matters, the writing of accounts and such things. I had a quick mind and soon had a grasp of the economics of the estate.
My life settled into a pattern. I tried not to think about my past or what had happened to my mother or sisters for that way led to sadness. No, I was well treated and content, I also loved my master for his tenderness and I believed that in his way he loved me too. Occasionally he had a girl slave spend a night with him, less often he spent time with his wife; in each moon fully a score of nights I was with him. Yes, contentment is the word.
My master, like my father, had a son and two daughters by his wife. I saw them often but had no direct dealings with them. When I had been two years there my master dismissed his son's tutor, a free man, for drunkenness. A few days later, as we lay in bed after our pleasure, he shocked me when he told me he wished that I should become tutor to his son, now 10 years old. He said I knew more than the tutor just dismissed, that I could read and reckon better, that I knew the healing arts passed on from my own father and that he had little fear that I would fall to drunkenness. I know we both knew that were I to do so my punishment would be both swift and terrible.
Now I spent less time with the steward, for much of the time Demetrios was my companion. My master had told us both of the arrangement, the boy and me. I was to respect my charge and teach him well. I could reprove him when he needed it but not beat him. Any transgression was to be reported to his father who would give the beating if it were merited. If I failed to report such things and my master learnt of it we would both be beaten. We were to call one another by our given names. He concluded his instruction by saying that soon, when the boy was a little older, I was to instruct him in the arts of love so that when he was courted he should have some knowledge. I was forbidden to penetrate him as that is a lover's right, neither a tutor's nor a slave's.
Oh Demetrios, how we loved and fought and learnt and loved again!
He resented me at first. His tutor had had little time for him preferring the company of Bacchus and his maenads to the rigours of teaching, so the boy had run half wild. I did not wish either of us to be beaten but his constant disappearances when our time together approached forced me to mention it to his father. The boy was beaten a little and then fought me for a while by deliberately seeming stupid when I tried to teach him. I knew he was a bright enough lad so I persevered. In my desperation one day I took him with me in our class time to the woods to collect some woodland herbs I needed for my apothecary. At first he feigned disinterest but I carefully explained each herb as I picked it, its powers and uses. Something in this must have appealed to him and he changed as if from night to day - he gladly helped me with the gathering and sorting, checking with me if he was doing it aright.
The change there brought other changes too, he became an avid student, though sometimes he rebelled on a fine day and itched to be off playing with the other boys. Full knowing what his father had said within the month he begged me teach him the arts of love. He had, he said, played around with other boys his age but knew that I could teach him more. That night I mentioned this to his father who gave his consent. He said I might use my fingers to open him but nothing else. It left us enough.
I started the instruction the next day, he was an adept learner and soon we were, in all but name, lovers. I taught him kissing and how to give pleasure with hand and mouth. With my fingers I explored inside him and found the little place within that gives such great pleasure so he learnt early that although penetration may hurt at first the rewards are great. He begged me to penetrate him but I refused, reminding him of his father's words. He said his sire would never know but I was wary and still refused.
My teaching stood Demetrios in good stead and soon I was relieved of teaching him these arts, though our other lessons continued. He was courted by another nobleman's son and was well pleased with the arrangement. When we went gathering of herbs he would tell me of the pleasures he received and of his joy in giving pleasure to this young man.
Our world was deeply shaken a week after Demetrios reached 16 years. His father and the steward were out inspecting the estate when they were attacked by lawless men and killed. Demetrios was now the lord, he was my owner though 6 years my junior. He immediately set out with his lover and some friends, found the thieves hiding in the hills and butchered them all. On his return he made me steward of the estate.
It had been arranged some time before that he was to marry his lover's sister as soon as she reached 14 years and so it happened. About this time his lover married too and moved away, his new father in law had granted him some land far north of here.
I busied myself about my new responsibilities, as did Demetrios about his larger ones. We still saw much of one another but there was a new reserve between us as he was now the lord.
And so it went on for a year and half a year. He was nearing 18 years and a father of a beautiful young son and I was just 24 that day when during our usual meeting to discuss the needs of the estate he bade me close the door and take wine with him. I was surprised but did his bidding.
“Today is your birthday is it not?”
“Yes, lord, I'm surprised you remember.”
“Call me Demetrios, my friend, when we are alone.”
“Thank you, Demetrios, I am honoured.”
“Here is a gift for you.” He handed me a small scroll.
“Well, open it!”
I opened it and read and then I wept. I cast myself upon my knees before him and clasped his hands; it was my manumission, I was a free man again!
“Thank you, Demetrios! I am forever in your debt.”
“No, I am in yours. Unlike my father I will not take a slave to bed and neither will I make being bedfellows a condition of your freedom so I free you first then you can refuse me if you wish. You always refused to love me fully when you were my tutor but now if you let me come to your chamber of a night, I would change all that. Rutting with my wife is, frankly, not much to my taste; alas you taught me too well, my friend, and it is your body I really crave, if you will have me.”
In answer, still upon my knees before him, I lifted up his tunic and took him into my mouth.
That night he, the lord of the estate, came to my little chamber and gave himself to me fully as I then did for him. It was the most blissful night of my life. We made love until dawn flushed pink the eastern sky in an ecstatic round of giving and taking and giving once again.
The next day he had me moved to more commodious apartments as befitted a freeman steward.
That last all happened 20 years ago, I live here still in those same apartments. I am an old man now, 44 is a goodly age. My master, friend and lover is 38 and hale and hearty, still a warrior, still an artful lover. He had another son and a daughter before he forsook his wife's bed forever. They are still friends and she seems to bear me no ill will though she must know that he is my lover, that I receive what is by rights her due. He once offered to find me a bride but I refused; I have no land to leave, no wish for it either. I am content as steward to my lord knowing that I have lord and lover all in one.
© Malaka/Mr Malaprop 2005/2006