A young and handsome man, a soldier by the looks of him, stumbled into a small village in the forest. Wounded, he collapsed once he reached the village. People ran out to help him and took him to the hut of the healer and left him there to see if he would live. He was strong and with the help of the healer he lived. He became a member of the tribe and was grateful for all that was done for him. He was waiting to return to his home when the war that he was fighting was over and it would be safe to travel. His name was Felinus.
A lovely girl helped the healer tend to him and he began to look forward to her visit each day. Her name was Katrine and it seemed to him that she was the one girl for him. By the time he healed he was in love and married into the village. His happiness was complete when she told him there would be a child. A baby girl was born and the soldier insisted that a small mark be tattooed on her foot. They named her Pearl as she was so beautiful. He told his wife that if something ever happened to him the child would be safe as this was the mark of his father a very powerful king. He planned to return with his family when the fighting was over.
He went into the forest when Pearl was only a baby to check on the conditions and to see if he could travel. He never returned and the men of the village found him dead the next day. Pearl's mother mourned him for the full year required by her people because she did love him so much then took another husband and had other children. She soon forgot about the mark on her daughter's foot and wouldn't know where to take her if she did try to find her husband's people.
The oldest girl was only 11 years old. Her name was Pearl and she felt responsible for the group of small girls that were hiding with her. The were told to stay out of sight until an adult came for them but it had been days and no one came looking for them. They were hungry and the youngest girl, only 3 years old, whimpered most of the time.
"Some one keep Lola quiet. I can't do everything all by myself." Pearl was tired of trying to keep everyone safe and wished someone was older so she could sit and cry for a change.
When the loud horn, made from some animal, kept sounding across the village she had run for the edge of the forest like her mother had taught her. Hide, she had said. Hide and don't come back until some grown up comes and tells you it's safe. When she was far enough away from the village she had hidden in a small cave that her mother had shown her. There was a water jug and some food hidden there along with some furs to sleep on.. Slowly other girls had come creeping in to the cave. They spent the first night huddled in fear and afraid to make a sound. Now the food and water were gone and Pearl was giving up hope that any one would come for them.
These raids were part of life. The powerful Chieftain always looked for slaves and constantly raided other villages to take as many as possible. Many were sold to some powerful slave trader that took most of them to the big ocean. They were usually looking for men and boys but took any one that got caught in their nets. It had gotten worse this last year and the number in their village was shrinking. It was hard to find food as most of the hunters were taken in earlier raids.
"I have to go see what happened to the people of our village and see if I can find us some food. All of you be quiet and wait for me. If I'm not back by dark then you are on your own." Pearl had made up her mind to find out for herself what had happened.
She slipped through the shrubs and plants that grew so thick that it was hard to walk unless you knew the path. Soon she came to the edge of the trees and looked toward the village that had been her home since she was born. The first thing she noticed was the smell of smoke. The closer she came to the place that she called home the more frightened she became. At last she was close enough to see that all the smoke was coming from the village. It was gone. Burned completely. No one was there. No grown up she could run to and ask for help. No one.
She listened for sounds of voices but it was eerie silence all around. Not even the birds were making their usual chatter and racket. She slowly moved closer trying to find her family's hut but it was burned along with all the others. Frantically, she ran crying out for any one that might hear her.
"It's me, Pearl! Where are you?" She was crying from hunger and fear of what her brain didn't want to accept. They were all gone and she was alone except for the young girls waiting back at the cave.
"Food. I have to find food." She scampered around looking for anything that could be eaten but found nothing.
She was so busy looking for food she could eat that she wasn't thinking straight. With the silence she should have known that something was wrong. That was the first sign that something was going to happen. The trees around her home were full of birds and insects. When they grew silent it meant trouble. As she dug in the ashes and ruins of the simple huts her people lived in she didn't notice the men coming into the clearing. Someone grabbed her from behind and lifted her up in strong arms.
"Hey, look what I found. I told you the young girls must have run off. Here's one of them."
Pearl could feel strong arms lift her up and as she screamed and kicked her feet he carried her to the edge of the clearing and put her in a cart. "Lock her up. If there is one around there must be more. You know how much we can get for young ones like this. We have to find the rest of them."
The other girls had left the cave and followed Pearl, afraid that they would lose the only one that was taking care of them. One by one they were found close to the ruined village and put in the cart with Pearl. Most of the younger girls were crying.
"Give them something to eat and some water to shut them up. I hate whining, crying kids." The leader of the group was a soldier of the powerful Chieftain that ruled in this corner of the country. This place was cut off from the rest of the country and any one that ventured very far inside the borders of the guerrilla army was killed or captured and made a slave.
Pearl's village was outside the borders of this powerful man and lived in safety for as long as any one could remember. It was in the last few years that slaves came into demand and raids like this took place all the time. The young girls didn't know the outside world and had no idea that they lived a very primitive life compared to the rest of the world.
When Pearl saw them put Lola in the cart she counted heads and knew they had all been taken. It didn't matter. They would have died soon without food or water. The girls eagerly ate the small travel cakes that the men carried with them and they were given water. As the cart began to move they were jostled from side to side but soon calmed down and stared with blank eyes at the men that kept talking and laughing behind the cart. They were riding horses, something rare in this part of the world. The girls had never seen one before and they looked big and powerful. Pearl dozed off as she resigned herself to what ever fate was waiting for her.
During the night she woke up when someone put a hand over her mouth. She looked up into the eyes of the man that was leading this small group of men. He carried her over to the side of the small path they were following. Many of the girls were missing and Pearl could see a fire with men sitting around it. She could see the girls there with the men and hear some of them crying. Then she was carried into the darkness of the forest and laid on the ground. She was scared. She didn't know what was going to happen. Why was he doing this? He covered her body with his and pulled off her wrap. She could feel his naked skin on hers and even though it felt sort of good it also scared her. He put a cloth over her mouth and tied it behind her head to keep her from crying out.
He kissed her neck and whispered to her words she didn't understand. He was excited she could tell that. Then she felt him pushing something between her legs. She tried to get away as this was not right. She had to get away from him and hide in the forest. She tried to fight but he was too big and strong for a young girl like Pearl. He pushed her legs wide apart and then she felt him pushing something inside her body. He was using her for sex. She knew that much. She had never been used like this and was still a virgin. When his thing broke through her membrane she tried to scream but couldn't. He had a hand over her throat and was slowly trying to kill her. She stopped fighting and he took his hand away and she could breathe. She lay under him as he pushed deeper into her body. It didn't hurt as badly as she thought it would and when he was in all the way he began to thrust over and over at her body. His mouth was everywhere and he was moaning as he licked at her tiny nipples. He sucked on one and she felt a strange thrill go to her slit and didn't know what was happening.
The man was like someone possessed. He began to fuck at her tiny slit and small body. She was so tight and his cock was in a grip like nothing he had ever felt. No wonder some men wanted young girls. They were tight and soft and easy to control. He took his time pushing in and out of her body and then she felt his thing pressing on something inside that was making her feel very good. The more he did this the more she felt pleasure. Faster and faster he worked his hips, ramming his cock into her small body. Then his cum shot up his shaft and into her body she was gripped in the first orgasm of her life and while he struggled to keep from shouting out she moaned against his chest. When it was over he cleaned her legs of any trace of what he had done and carried her back to the cart. He locked her in and went to the fire and took one of the other girls to play with. Pearl was in some kind of shock and finally drifted off to sleep. She didn't hear the other girls when they were brought back. The next morning it was as if nothing had happened. They traveled for several hours and finally reached their destination.
Pearl woke to a nightmare of sounds, smells and a kaleidoscope of colors. Colorful tents were all around and many people moved back and forth talking and laughing. She could smell meat cooking and her stomach flip flopped as she was so hungry. The other girls were waking up and looking around and a few were crying again. The girls had never seen so many people in one place before and so many different kinds. Some had very dark skin, others were almost white. Some had yellow hair and she stared at a man that had thick red hair on his head. If they weren't prisoners it would be fun to check out the many tents and food that was being cooked.
This was the trading post for many different tribes. Not far away was the ocean that Pearl had never seen and she could see the tops of big ships with tall masts that sailed here from around the world. She had no idea what was going to happen to them and realized the other members of her village probably were brought here as well. She looked around trying to see someone she knew. But it was all strange and unfamiliar to her and she knew her life was about to change and it scared her.
One man seemed to be crazy. His red hair was wild, sticking up all over his head. He was dirty and was missing some teeth. He laughed and pointed at the girls in the cart. As Pearl stared at him he grinned and reached under his dirty wrap and pulled out his pee thing. It was so big that Pearl stared in fascination. She had seen the little boys when they were bathed at her village but had never seem one on a grown man. Last night she hadn't seen the one that was pushed into her, just felt it. Pearl didn't know what it was at first, this long thing growing out of a mat of red hair. As all the girls stared at this strange sight he grabbed it with his hand and began to jerk it. It got bigger and he was moaning and looking at the young girls as he jerked off his cock. When his cum shot out the end on to the ground he moaned out very loudly then laughed like a hyena at the startled faces of the girls.
"You. You! Crazy man. Get away from those girls." One of the guards was laughing but chasing the man away. "Well, girls. You are going to see a lot of that part of a man's body from now on." He laughed and watched the girls stare at the stuff on the ground that came from the man.
Pearl looked away and somehow knew that had something to do with sex but she had never been exposed to it before last night. She refused to remember last night. It looked awful. That man was so big and she had heard that men put that thing in women and that it was supposed to be nice. She shuddered. Didn't look nice to her. Yet what happened last night did feel good, that one moment.
"Hey, I think they liked seeing that old man's cock. What they need to see is a good one." One of the guards was laughing and whipped out his own cock. "Look girls, I'm much bigger and a lot better." He waved his cock at them and stared into their eyes as he flashed his cock and balls at them.
"Oh, this feels good. Want to touch me?" He walked toward the cart as the girls moved away from the side of the cart.
"Go away, you dirty old man." Pearl was trying to protect the younger girls but she was beginning to realize life was going to be different from now on.
"Aw, I'm not a dirty old man. I could buy you and make you suck on this every night of your life. Would you like that? Huh? Huh? Make you eat my cum every night and you will grow to love it."
He came as close to the cart as he dared and began jerking on his cock.
"Close your eyes, girls. We don't have to look at that." Pearl turned her back on the man only to discover that a large group of men had gathered around the cart and were laughing at the girls and all had their cocks in their hands and showing them off.
"Ever see one of these? You will see plenty after today. Tomorrow you go on the auction block and the only reason a man will buy you is to make you into a sex toy. You're all too small and young to do much work." He laughed and moved closer to Pearl. "Girlie, maybe I'll buy you. Reach out and touch me. Go ahead and see how nice this is."
Pearl closed her eyes and refused to look at the crazy men that were crowding in toward the cart. The girls in her village were loved and respected and had never seen a man naked. They saw little boys running around naked but there was a big difference between a cute little boy and these ugly old men.
"Get away from that cart!" A big man with a whip came toward them and snapped the whip over the heads of the men. "Those are my captives and you have no right to scare them like that."
The crack of the whip, the smell of the dirt and the animals that was all around them and the noise of so many people talking and calling out to one another was scary to the girls. This was the first time they had seen so many people in one place and they didn't like it.
"Move that cart over to my tent and put the girls inside. I'll have to get them cleaned up and decided what I'm going to do with them." The whip was still in his hand so his men hurried to do what he said. He stared at Pearl long and hard and then smiled at her.
Pearl didn't realize how pretty she was. She had long dark wavy hair and big, deep brown eyes. Her small body was slim but strong. Her tiny breasts were beginning to develop and swelled slightly under her simply wrap. Pearl had never seen so many people in one place and so many colors and scents that were unknown to her. She knew she was dirty. Her hair was a matted mess and as she looked at the people around the cart she felt shy and embarrassed as they stared at her in her primitive wrap. Then the cart was moving and they pulled up next to a big tent. The girls were lifted out of the cart and pushed in side the tent.
It was cooler in the dim light of the tent and several old women were waiting for them. The girls didn't understand what they were saying but soon warm water was brought in and poured into a big tub. One by one the girls were stripped of their dirty and primitive wraps and had to submit to soap and scrubbing by several women as they cleaned their bodies and hair. When they were dried off they were given clean shifts and a outer wraps that covered their bodies. These were pretty in all colors and the nicest thing the girls had ever seen. New sandals were left for them and all their old clothes were taken out to be burned. By the time they were all cleaned up food was brought into the tent and for the first time in days the girls were fed hot food and fresh fruit. All they could eat. They were given cups with a weak wine to wash down the food and by this time the sun was setting and the girls gave in to the exhaustion and begged for a place to sleep.
Pearl was exhausted and fell into a deep sleep. When she was awakened the next morning some of the girls were gone. At first she panicked and then she didn't care. She knew she had to concentrate on her self and try to survive what ever was going to happen next.
The girls that were left were given a breakfast of fruit and a flat bread filled with meat. It was delicious and now that she was clean and refreshed from her sleep she ate till she was full. Resigned to her fate she tried hard not to care about the other girls. There was nothing she could do for them and very little she could do for herself.
Her hair was brushed and she was given a clean shift to wear under her light robe. "Well, well, well. This one sure cleaned up nice." The man that had used the whip yesterday came into the tent and was smiling down at her.
He lifted her chin and looked into her dark brown eyes. Her lips were full and soft and her skin was light for this part of the country. She looked like she might be of mixed blood. He liked that as they were usually very attractive people. He touched her hair that was nice and soft after being washed and liked the way she stood still and let him look her over. He knew she was trying not to be scared and he liked that. She understood more of what was being said than she let on. In their village some people came from other places and had taught her some words that they said people out side the forest used.
"Are you going to keep her?" One of the women that were looking after the girls asked him.
"I don't know. I've been offered a lot of money for her and that is hard to turn down. I think her value will go up when men see her cleaned up like this. I'll wait and see what happens at the auction."
Some men had paid for the younger girls and had taken them away. Many wanted Pearl but the Chieftain wasn't sure he wanted to sell her. There was a tribe to the north, in the mountains, that liked young girls. They paid a lot of money for one that was as pretty as this one. A buyer was here looking for girls and was interested in Pearl. If he could get a good price for her he would sell her. If not he would keep her.
Pearl was able to understand enough and felt a deep chill go over her body. She was no longer the beloved daughter of an important man in her village. She was now a slave to be sold to any one that would pay the price. A tear leaked out of one eye and ran down her cheek. Seeing this, the man reached out and wiped it away.
"Don't cry, little girl. "What is your name?" He looked at her wondering if she understood.
"Pearl." She whispered softly and kept her eyes down.
"So you do understand some of our words. Do you have any idea what is waiting for you from now on?" He lifted her chin again and looked deep into those brown eyes.
Pearl looked up at this man. He was not too old and had dark hair but very unexpected light brown eyes. Pearl had never seen eyes this light before. He was handsome and seemed nice and must be very powerful and rich. It didn't matter one way or the other. This was all business to him and it was slowly sinking in to Pearl that she was no longer free to make her own decision.
"Are their any other people from my village here?" She spoke very softly but looked up into those eyes and waited for a reply.
"No longer. The were sold before my men went back to look for you. I have no idea where they all went. I'm sorry but if I didn't raid your village some one else would. Our world is changing and the strong always win."
He stared at her for another minute and then turned and left the tent. Pearl tired to explain to the other girls what she knew then sunk down on a fur and turned her back to everyone. She just wanted to be alone.
By the end of the day all the girls that came from her village were gone and only Pearl remained. After she ate a lonely dinner she was left alone but knew men were outside the tent watching over her. When she took her sandals off she looked at the small tattoo on the bottom of her foot. It had always been there and her mother told her it was a mark that was put there when she was born by her birth father. He had died and she had remarried and all her siblings were the children of this second husband. Her mother never talked about this man and when Pearl would ask she would sometimes blush then told her it didn't matter any more so forget it. It was a strange mark. It almost looked like an animal face that was incomplete. Cat ears with a small nose. ^.^ She was told not to show this to anyone in the village and she never did. She almost forgot about it.
She curled up and went to sleep. While she slept the Chieftain came in and looked down at her. One foot was uncovered and he noticed a mark on the bottom of her foot. He got down close to the small foot and studied the strange tattoo on her foot. He recognized it and had no idea why it was on her foot. He stared at her for a long time. Then he made up his mind. He had to take her to the mountains as she was marked by the most powerful King in their known world. He would pay well to see this girl. He covered the foot up and left to make plans.
The next day Pearl was given a big breakfast and more new shifts and robes. She was cleaned again and dressed with care by the women that had helped before. A small saddle bag was carefully packed with her few belongings. A new hair brush, her new clothes and she was given a gold chain for her neck with a small cat hanging from it with green stones for its eyes.
This was all very strange to her but when she was led out and up to a horse she almost fainted. The chieftain helped her up on the saddle on the horses back and got on his own. A small army of his men were escorts leading pack animals.
"I hope you can understand what I'm going to tell you. I'm taking you to the mountains where a very powerful and rich man rules a large kingdom. You will be a gift to him. It will take us many days to get there as we will go slow for your sake. I hope you won't be too uncomfortable on the trip. I don't think you have ridden a horse before but you will get used to it." Pearl was able to make out enough of what he said to know he was taking her some place and she was to be given to a king.
"I'll try to learn. This horse won't hurt me will it?" This was her only worry as it was such a big animal.
"No. It is a gentle one and should be easy to ride. We will travel faster using the horses and this will make the trip shorter by many days." He signaled for the caravan to start and with one look back at this strange place Pearl was not sorry to be leaving.
Each night they stopped and had a nice meal and a small tent to sleep in. One women went with her, someone that seemed to be the wife of one of the soldiers that were guarding them.
One day blended into the next and Pearl drifted in her mind as she mourned her family and her friends. She knew she would never see them again.
A week later she could see the mountains in the distant. They were beautiful. The were big and some of them had white stuff on the tops and she was told this was snow. She had no idea what that was. The sky seemed bluer and as they came to the foot hills of these mountains she was getting a little excited. She had never been this far from her small village and never had seen such things as she had seen since she was taken.
Soon they were beginning to climb a little. Small slopes that were easy to get over. Strange trees she had never seen grew tall and big meadows were filled with wild flowers. It was a very beautiful place. At long last then came to a big gate that they had to travel under. It covered the road and on the top of the gate was the sign of the king. The same sign that was tattooed on her foot. Some of the soldiers whispered to one another and some looked scared.
They looked at the Chieftian and wanted to turn back.
"We go on. Don't worry we will be safe."
"But that is the sign of the cat people. The king is very powerful and people come here never to be seen again." One of the soldiers face was white as he talked to his leader.
"I told you we will be safe. This girl bears the mark of this king. He will treat us well."
Pearl heard this and turned toward the chief and tried to get him to tell her what this was all about. He didn't want to say anything at first then he began telling her about this king.
"This is one of the richest kings in the whole country. Many years ago he lost a son when he was on a trip to visit another king. This son must have ended up in your village and was your father. That tattoo on your foot would be there for one reason. To mark you as the daughter and kin of this king. Do you remember your father?"
"No. He was killed when I was very young. After some time my mother took another mate and had more children. She always told me to be careful who saw that mark on my foot. My real father had put it there right after I was born so someday I might be taken home. I didn't understand that as I felt I was at home. My mother taught me some of the words of my father in case I was ever to find his people." Pearl looked at the Chieftain. "That is all I know about him."
"I am taking you to your grandfather. I understand he is still alive and will welcome you once he sees the mark on your foot. It was wise of your father to put it there. You are marked as one that belongs to a king." He smiled down at her as they rode slowly up a path that was leading to the end of their journey.
"But why are some of the men afraid to go there?" Pearl didn't like this at all.
"They don't understand that you bear the mark of this King. He is very powerful and worships a God that uses cats to do his work. You will learn all about it when you get to your new home."
Pearl thought about all of this and touched the small cat on a chain around her neck. No wonder this man had given her this. He wanted to make sure she was marked by the cat. But were they mean?
The road curved around a hill and when they looked ahead they were in awe of what they saw. Another gate marked this road with the sign of the cat and up ahead they could see a palace that was very big and very beautiful. All along the road were small homes and people came out and looked at this strange group that was coming to see their king. Before they got to the palace a group of guards rode out and asked them what business they had with the king.
Pearl was led forward on her horse and a long conversation took place while the guards looked at her. One came toward her and removed her sandal. He looked at the mark on her foot then bowed to her and smiled a big smile of welcome. Pearl sat up a little straighter and smiled back. He hurried back to the group in the middle of the road and told what he had seen. Two riders went to the palace riding fast and the rest led the strange party forward. When they arrived at the gate to the palace they went into a big courtyard where men came forward and helped them dismount and took their horses to a stable.
Pearl walked with the Chieftain on one side a big guard on the other side toward the steps to the palace. Before they got there a man dressed in rich cloaks with many jewels and a crown of gold and precious stones came hurrying toward them. His eyes were on Pearl and he seemed very excited.
He stopped a few feet from her and didn't take his eyes away from hers as the story was told of how she came to be with this Chieftain. When he saw the mark on her foot he knew she must belong to this king and had brought her here him self.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Monday, November 17, 2003