Lessons Learned

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Short Story (4,700 words)
Ebook Edition (Available in epub, mobi & pdf.)
Publication date: May 19, 2015
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Wren has spent seven years of his life as a slave, only to have his world and all the rules he has ever learned turned upside down when he and his new master, Jere, begin a romantic relationship. For as many years, he has believed himself to be stupid and slow, unable to adapt to the demands of slavery, but a casual moment of reading over Jere’s shoulder challenges these ideas. (M/M)

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Wren trembled, but he allowed himself to be led into the small room.

“Lie on the floor, face-down,” the trainer ordered. The moment Wren complied, the trainer dragged Wren’s body to where he wanted it. “There are five buttons. Two for your wrists, two for the tops of your feet, and one for your chin. Your only job is to lie still and keep pressure on the buttons. They’re not hard to press; as long as you don’t move, they stay pressed. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Wren mumbled, focusing on the buttons. It was so easy. Stay still. “What happens if I move?”

The trainer delivered a swift kick to Wren’s side, causing him to curl into a ball, trying to protect himself. A loud buzzer sounded the moment Wren stopped pressing the buttons.

“You’ll be whipped later for speaking out of turn,” the trainer announced, sounding pleased. “Look at you. Disgusting. What did we just talk about? You only have to do one thing in this room!”

Wren struggled to understand. Was he supposed to be silent? Then it hit him. The buttons! He stretched his limbs back out, pressed his chin on the fifth button, glanced up at the trainer hopefully.

“Oh, should I tell you you’re a good boy, now?” the trainer taunted.

Wren was silent. He could do this. It was simple, just as simple as anything else he had ever learned in his life. He was good at learning things, he was compliant, he was fast. His speed gift had even started to help, before he was taken.

This time, instead of a kick, it was a light hand, grazing across his back, then lower, down over his ass. When Wren felt a finger dipping below his waistband, he cried out, pulling away. The button released, and a loud buzzer sounded, announcing his failure.

“Stupid whore,” the trainer laughed.

While Wren lay there, miserable, he heard the trainer get up and step outside of the door. He didn’t dare to look, but he soon heard footsteps, far more than there had been.

“Hold him,” the trainer ordered, and suddenly, there were trainers everywhere, forcing Wren to stay down, pressing his hands and feet and face painfully into the buttons.

“See how easy it is not to move? If you weren’t such a fucking waste of human life, you could do this yourself.”

They beat him until he passed out, all the while pinning him to the ground.

Hours blurred into days, then weeks. Aside from occasional trips to the bathroom, or the infirmary, or other training sessions, Wren was trapped in the room with the buttons.

“Say it,” the trainer ordered, gripping Wren’s head and grinding it down into the floor. “Tell me why you’re here.”

“It’s wrong to stop a master or a trainer from doing what they want with your body. If they want to kick you, they should be able to, without worrying about having to aim, or catch you,” Wren mumbled, for what seemed like the hundredth time.

“That’s right,” the trainer intoned. “Now, tell me why you can’t seem to remember it?”

“Because I’m stupid, sir,” Wren admitted. He knew it was true. Everything else, the rest of his life, it had all been a lie. He was deficient; not just because of his gift, but because of his insolence, his defiance, his utter inability to remain still.

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