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Seventh Ring: Part 1 - Sold
Chapter 1: Sold
New Earth, 418 A.C. (After Contact)
"We'll start the bidding off at 100 credits!"
Ari shifted uncomfortably in her seat as the auction began. The fan she'd crafted out of the event's flier was starting to crumple between her fingers and become less and less useful the faster she moved her arm. The heat of the sun above them was unbearable, despite how early in the afternoon the auction was scheduled. It didn't help that the tight leather corset that hugged her middle was making it harder for her to breathe and shed the heat her body was emitting. A long, cream-colored dress kept her legs hot while a wide, flowery bonnet helped shield her pale face. She unlocked her ankles and shifted her weight in the hard wooden chair near the auction's stage.
"Stop fidgeting, will you?" hissed the man beside her.
She obeyed and recrossed her legs without meeting his gaze. She didn't move again until the auctioneer shouted "sold!"
The object that was
a dangerous hallucinationThe light coming through the window was bright,
much too bright.
Even though my eyes were closed
I could see it-
The skin of my arms prickled,
sweat dripped from my brow.
It was two in the afternoon but…
the sun was setting
through the window facing east.
I should have seen the hutch,
shelves lined with bone china
decorated with delicate leaves and vines.
I was so thirsty
and reaching for cups that should have been there.
Instead I found a billboard of butterflies,
the colors raging
more than any rainbow
I'd ever seen.
Their wings fluttered and flashed
yet somehow they moved in slow motion.
I wanted to stand,
wanted to reach out and touch them but…
I couldn't move,
and yet I laughed
ignoring my dry mouth
and the tingling in my feet.
There was a tempest
on the rise
and in my blood.
A sugar rush disguised
as a riot of butterflies
and they were swarming me.
There was a small vial
of insulin in my pocket
that I nev
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