Broken Justice: Fifteen

The harsh clang of bronze sword against iron bars stabbed into Sabit’s head like a spear point driven through the eye. Tongue cloven to the roof of her mouth, her lips felt like tough strips of meat, salted for a long journey. Every joint felt swollen to twice its proper size—Sabit would almost rather her limbs be removed than that she need to move them.
“Get up,” came the overseer’s booming voice, stalking down the rows of cells, striking an bronze sword against the bars like the knell of death’s own bell. “If you want more celebration, you need to win more cases. And for that you need to train, you louts! Get up!”
Sabit groaned. Immediately, she winced at the sound of her own voice. How much had she drunk? What celebration was worth this suffering?
“Who’s this?” the overseer shouted, too loud and too close. “Qaansoole, you know the rules about non-champions here!”
The allure of seeing the disgrace of that vexing archer gave Sabit the strength to peel open her eyes. The dim shafts of distant daylight were like daggers, but she could make out several figures in the hallway.
Qaansoole was naked, save a black cloak, free of patches, wrapped around her body. “Let him go!” the archer pleaded with the overseer. “I’ll give you half my next prize! Just release him! Don’t take him before the Magistrate.”
The overseer, unmoved by Qaansoole’s pleas, hauled a man from Qaansoole’s cell. He, too, was naked, save for Qaansoole’s heavily-patched cloak hanging from his hips. As the overseer dragged the man out of the cell block, Sabit got a good look at the man’s face.
It was Allamu.

Wayfarings of Sabit: Broken Justice is copyright (c) 2016 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: or