Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapter 27

What happened next was a nightmare which I could not dispel; it brooded inside my head. "Emus," Heber ordered, throwing him his knife, "Carve out the belly button!" For a brief uncertain moment Emus hesitated to obey but his instincts pushed the man onto the ground. "No, you cannot do this!" The man howled. "It is not human!" Emus thrust the knife into his stomach and dug a hole around the belly button."Is this what you want, master?" He asked holding up a mass of skin and blood with his fingers. "Give it to me," Heber growled. So Emus dropped the belly button into Heber's hairy fist. "Now
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this is what I call a warrior! I trust Emus even in me sleep." "Is that all, master?" "Does he still breathe?" "He has fainted." Then his fingers pointed towards me, singling me out. "You will dig out the eyes when he awakes. Watch and wait." All night I wrestled with the nightmare inside my head, dreading my part in the torture, thinking of cutting him loose and helping him to escape. I examined the wounds. He had lost too much blood and his death was eminent. But the question was when. I could spare him further agony by killing him. The silver handle of my sword and its long sinewy blade gleamed in the moonlight. I wondered if the cavalier Thomas would leave the deed to the diabolical Heber or give the man a quick death. And how? Would he cut the legs or stab him in the heart? While I poised the sword in different scenarios, the man groaned. He was awake. I hurried to the tent of Heber and stepping over the thirty slaves sleeping in the outer chamber and found Emus. Emus' eyes met mine. He knew. "So it is time," he whispered. "Come, follow me, let us be sure." Emus followed me. The man lay weeping and groaning in a puddle of blood.

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