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Your eyes shoot open as your body is jolted up and down. The only thing you can see is darkness. You attempt to remove whatever is blocking your vision, but find that your arms are bound behind your back. A rope cuts into the back of your knees, binding your legs to your scaly green chest. A breeze blows past and you feel a chill in the regions where the sun never shines.

Bewildered, you start to shout. A flash of light explodes in your vision as a heavy object slams into your head. “Shut yer trap, filthy troll,” a voice says. Your mouth hangs open as drool leaks from the corner of your lips—or is that blood? Your tongue touches your newly earned cut, causing a stinging sensation. Definitely blood. Maybe you should’ve kept your trap shut.

You lie still against the ground as a man, or a very deep-voiced woman, grumbles. The ground continues to shake and your body bounces up and down. It’s uncomfortable, but luckily for you, your skin is tough and doesn’t break against the wooden planks.

Wooden planks? That’s right. You must be on one of those funny looking wood cows that the humans use to transport stuff. You grit your teeth at the thought; you’re a person, not a ‘stuff’ to be transported. Just wait until they remove these restraints. Then you’ll teach these puny humans a lesson. Thinking those thoughts, you relax and smile to yourself, your lower tusks jutting out of your mouth. Time flies and you can no longer feel the sun against your skin, but the wood cow continues to move.

Eventually, it comes to a stop and you hear footsteps on the ground. The actual ground this time, not the wooden planks of the wagon. Hands grab at you and your restraints, pulling you off the wagon. You rejoice as the humans begin to fiddle with your fetters. Soon. Soon they will pay.

But the ropes don’t loosen and your head remains covered. Instead, you feel the cords of the ropes cut deeper into your wrists. Disappointment wells inside of you and you let out a shout. Another explosion of light. They hit your head again and now you’re kissing the ground. Didn’t you decide to stay silent?

“He doesn’t seem that easy to handle,” a voice says from behind. “How ‘bout half the usual price? ‘Tis hard to train older trolls.”

“What? No way. Do you know how many people we lost to capture an adult?” You recognize the gruff voice from earlier.

“80 shekels. Tha’s the most I’ll do.” Metal clinks.

You hear a grunt and metal jingles as it transfers hands. “Help me load ‘im up.”

Hands grab you and you’re tossed into the air. You try to brace yourself, but it’s difficult when you can’t see. You land on the side of your arm, onto another wooden cow. It hurts, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Well you can shout. So you shout.

Tsk. Another explosion of light enters your brain as an impact nearly tears your ear off. Why haven’t you learned yet? The ground rattles and once again you’re whisked off against your wishes. You feel dizzy from all the blows to your head and your consciousness fades in and out. It would be better to sleep, right? It’s not like you can do anything.

The choice is yours.

Sleep.

Stay awake.

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