Devil's Plan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Yorgos wanted to rid himself of debt at any cost.

Submitted: June 28, 2016

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Submitted: June 28, 2016

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The devil's plan

Rhamnus, Greece

100 b.c.

Yorgos guzzled down his third mug of wine in less than half an hour. He had been an alcoholic for the majority of his thirty four years of his life. Making him quite useless as a husband and father of three daughters. He lived on the outskirts of a town called Rhamnus and owned a cramped cottage and a bit of harvesting land that was passed down to him by his father. Both his parents died when he was thirteen and with no siblings, had to fend for himself. The first year he almost starved to death if it wasn't for some thieving at the local market. This included taking a bottle or two of wine from the wine merchant. Once eighteen years of age he married a local peasant girl called Euthalia. Soon came Malantha, his first born who was now sixteen, Thetis (13) and Charis (11). The social and religious pressures of having a son was putting him into an even bigger alcoholic spiral. Which in turn proved disasterous as now he owed tabs at every Inn and gambling house in town. Then it happened, rumors of a mob being formed by the owed villagers to rid themselves of the leechings of Yorgos began to float about. He caught wind of the happenings and rushed home to think of what to do. He had no money to just run away so that was out of the question. Suicide was an option but he was too much of a coward. Then it hit him like a ton of bricks.

-How could I have not thought of this before! He exclaimed with a hushed voice as not to wake anyone in the house.

 

That night he could barely sleep as the prospect of a new life, debt free flooded his mind. The next morning he woke at dawn gently shaking his wife and children from their slumber.

-Euthalia, Malantha, Charis, Thetis! Wake up my family. I have great news. His cheery enthusiasm was not reciprocated but his wife mustered a smile.

-Husband, are you mad? What is going on?

-A new life my dear, for you and the children. I have figured a plan for my debts and promise to never drink or gamble again.

Euthalia could not believe her ears. After all these years of praying for a decent father and husband, her prayers were finally answered.

-Oh husband, you have made me the happiest wife. Tears began to form in her eyes as she threw herself into his arms.

-How did you manage all of this? She asked with excitement

-I will tell you but first I want to take you all out to the market today. We will get roast lamb, bread and sweets to celebrate our new lives.

The children are now next to jump into their father's arms.

-Thank you father. They say collectively.

-Now all of you go and get ready, I will be waiting outside.

The little one room cottage became a whirlwind of excitement and joy. Malantha found her best tunic which was old and torn.

"Perhaps father will buy me a new one" She thought hopefully.

Minutes passed.

-Malantha, Thetis, Charis, time to go. Their mother yelled from outdoors.

Yorgos placed a lamb skin on their donkeys back and saddled the two youngest. They walked proudly down the path to the market. Joy and peace filling their hearts.

 

The market was bustling with people laughing and haggling. The smell of roasting meat and freshly baked bread permeated the air.

-Father! Can we eat first? I'm very hungry. The youngest asked.

-Of course child. We will all sit down and eat. Euthalia, why don't you take the children to the bakery. I have to hitch up the donkey.

-Yes husband.

-Oh, and get some sweets for them.

She nodded and smiled at him lovingly. They eagerly made their way to the bakery and sweet shop and placed their orders. Euthalia searched her side and realized that she had forgotten to ask Yorgos for money.

-Malantha, watch your sisters. I need to find your father.

-Yes mother.

She pushed her way through the dense crowd and managed to make it to the stables. The donkey was there but its master was nowhere to be found. She began to panic. Where could he be? A heavy hand landed on her delicate shoulder. She turned and there was Yorgos holding a huge sack of coins.

-I was worried that something had hap...where did you get so much money from?

-Come, I'll show you. She silently followed him to the center of the market.

As they passed the bakery and sweet shop, she noticed that the children were no longer there. She became uneasy but calmed herself with the thought that they probably got bored and were wandering about.

 

They finally arrived at their destination and what she saw made her almost pass out with disbelief. People were gathered around a huge stage and shackled to the stage were prisoners of war, orphaned children and at the very end her sweet little girls. Charis was crying silently and Thetis's chains were so heavy that they were forcing her to pitch forward. Malantha's eyes were fixed on her feet, she was frozen with fear.

-What is going on? She yelled at him for the first time in their marriage.

He then hit her without warning and she fell at once. Before she knew what was happening she heard Yorgos saying to the slave trader that he wanted to sell him his wife also. Within seconds, his entire family was sold for two sacks of gold. He sat and watched them all go up for auction like cattle. The slave trader made a profit of double on his pitiful family. Once they had all been purchased and drug off by their new masters, Yorgos got up and sauntered to a meat selling stand. There he ordered a huge piece of braised lamb and enjoyed it in the mid-morning sun. Once done, he wiped his mouth and headed to the stables to fetch his donkey. He began to ride off to the north, now wealthy and not a penny paid to his debts.

-I'll start a new life where no one knows me. But first I think I'll have a little celebratory drink .

Reaching under the lamb skin saddle he produced a flask which he quickly drank.

-What a beautiful day, what a beautiful life. He spoke to himself out loud.

 

One month later...

Euthalia was purchased by another slave trader from Persia. She was brought to Izmir where she was sold again. Foreign slaves were a commodity and a rich old man became her master. Even though he had never beaten her , she had been raped by him on countless occasions to ended up dying some years later of some unknown disease. Five years after that, the master died of the same bizarre illness. Malantha was sold to a well known peddler of flesh. He brought her to Athens where she was forced to prostitute herself until she became too old for the clients and lived the remainder of her long years begging on the streets of Athens for scraps of food. She was eventually found dead in the gutter clutching an old tattered piece of tunic. Thetis was sold to a wealthy family from a nearby village. After only two days, the poor child tried to escape and return to Rhamnus to her home but was caught by the family's hired guard. She was then flogged so much that she became crippled. Unable to walk the family ordered the guard to carry her deep into the forest and leave her for dead. The next day the guard returned to make sure the deed had worked but she was nowhere to be found. Charis was bought by a reasonably wealthy widow who was barren and wanted a child of her own. She was kind and gentle to little Charis and loved her very much. She even paid for her to be educated. She grew up to be a fine young woman and married a noble gentleman. She had six children but one was lost in a miscarriage. Three girls and two boys, she named the girls after her mother and sisters but never spoke of them or that fateful day at the market.

 

Yorgos, on the day of his family's demise, was spotted riding out of town by one of the Inn keepers that he owed money to and was chased down by an angry mob. The old donkey could not out run the men and Yorgos was caught. They were so distracted by the gold coins that they didn't notice Yorgos slipping away with his donkey. Once out of sight of the mob, he began cursing and beating the hapless animal. The donkey, in retaliation kicked him, severely breaking his right leg. Unable to move he was forced to stay put on the isolated road. He might have survived the night if it hadn't been for a starved wild boar, known for attacking the local livestock, stumbling upon the injured man. It began eating him alive, starting with his feet.

 

The End


© Copyright 2017 C. Wolff. All rights reserved.

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