Rah Kul

(Iakos the narrator is describing a slave girl)

When I first saw Rah-kul after reaching Natta’Isha last October, I didn’t recognize her. A healthy diet had added flesh to her bones, in all the right places. On the auction block she was wan and spindly. Now, if I looked at her too long, I felt the stirring under my tunic.

No gown could conceal that she was long-legged, and the imprint of her hips on her gown was no longer sharp and skeletal but soft and rounded. Before, her garments hung limply around a torso hidden somewhere within; now, they molded subtly but unmistakably to her curves. Before, men looked at her because onboard ship there was nothing else to look at; now, they looked at her because they could not do otherwise. Before, she was little more than a child; now, she was much more than a woman.

Her hair was full, tightly curled, and as dark as the bottom of a well; her eyes equally full, equally dark. On the block, her face was pinched, her eyes bulging. After eleven months of eating her fill, her features had softened. No longer repulsed, what I saw now were large, lustrous eyes, prominent cheekbones, and a wide, graceful mouth.