inventrix: (Default)
inventrix ([personal profile] inventrix) wrote2016-10-09 06:19 pm

I suck at titles

Nobody wanted to buy her.

In an earlier year - an earlier life - Amalia would have thought that would be a good thing. If nobody bought her, then she didn't have to play servant-pet-slave for anyone; she didn't have to give up her personhood or identity or any of the things she had always assumed came with the "job". Being held in a pet shop wasn't nearly as bad; like being wrongly held in prison.

In an earlier life, Amalia hadn't experienced the slow grinding down of self-worth that came with constant, never-ending rejection. Every customer coming in to buy a girl was shown the whole selection, including her. Every customer coming in to buy a girl gave her one brief glance and turned away. Every one, every day. The first few weeks - maybe even months - she'd taken a sort of spiteful pleasure in it, thinking that she was costing the shop money and good riddance. But then the looks, the nearly instantaneous dismissal from so many of the shop's customers - people she would never have wanted to please, anyway - they started to stick, and a small voice of doubt started in the back of her mind.

Why didn't they want her? Was it them? Or was it her; was there something wrong, something unlikable about her?

She started taking better care of her appearance, asking to look at the style magazines from the lounge and mimicking the trending hairstyles. She copied the poses and attitudes of the other women in the shop, surreptitiously peering through the cages and at the display tables to see what got the most positive attention. She tried arranging her minimal clothing less modestly; she tried arranging it more modestly.

And yet, the customers barely even gave her a first glance, let alone a second.

This one was no exception. An older man in a stylish suit, meticulously tailored, and with a collared young man tailing after him with packages from the other stores in the mall, who gave her a cursory glance as he walked by before stopping before the timid dark-skinned girl down the row and starting to haggle with the clerk.

Nobody wanted to buy her.

Amalia felt her throat tighten and bit her lip, willing herself not to cry, don't cry, nobody wants a girl who cries, but the tears came anyway. She pressed her knuckles to her teeth, choking back a sob and hoping no one would notice.

"What's wrong?"

Amalia started, abruptly aware that an unfamiliar man was standing in front of her cage. He must be a customer. He was speaking to her.

"I..." Shit. Shit, she finally had someone's attention and she was a disaster, tears in her eyes and her voice shaking. "Nothing, sir. I apologize if I disturbed you." It was the right thing to say, she knew, but even with untold hours of reshaping herself to try to please, the lie still left a sour taste in her mouth.

"Bullshit." The man delivered his judgement in a light-hearted tone that surprised her almost as much as the exclamation. "Nobody cries about nothing being wrong."

She stared at him, at a loss for a reply. She shouldn't disagree with him, but... admitting the reason would sound pitiful, not to mention like a poor attempt to guilt him into buying her. "...I'm sorry, sir?"

"Gale!" The older man down the line barked the name out sharply.

"I'm coming, I'm coming." The man in front of her - younger, equally well-groomed and now that she was looking, bearing a familial resemblance to the older one - turned away from her with an exasperated sigh.

...and that was that, Amalia thought, settling back into her cushions. Someone finally noticed her, and now he was gone. The other man was probably his father, buying him a gift. Well, Carla - the girl down the row - was a sweet girl; she'd make a good pet for him. Maybe this was the start of a trend for her, and someone else--

"But I like this one." The younger man's voice carried back to her and she looked up again to see him pointing at her cage.

"Come on, Gale, don't be an idiot. Look at her; all muscle. And such an unpleasant expression... and look, she's been crying."

Amalia's stomach flip-flopped. This was worse than being ignored. This was so much worse. Why had she been hoping someone would notice her? What was she thinking?

"I like her looks." The young man - Gale - sounded challenging as he walked back over and stopped in front of her. "Besides, I thought we were picking someone out for me, not you. Don't I get to decide?"

The older man shook his head. "When you realize you don't like her, I'm not buying you a new one," he grumbled before turning back to the clerk.

"What's your name?" Gale bent closer to the door of her cage, looking through the bars at her.

"...Amalia, sir, but you can call me whatever you want." She was actually being bought? ...shouldn't this make her happy?

"Oh? What if I called you, hmm, Kit-kat?"

Amalia frowned, then hastily schooled her expression back to neutral. It was just a pet name... it was a stupid, demeaning pet name, but it was just a name.

To her surprise, he laughed before she had a chance to reply. "I didn't think so. Is Amy acceptable?"

"Amy... Amy is fine. Sir."

"Good. I hope you'll like your new home, Amy." And he grinned mischievously at her before turning back to his father and the clerk. This wasn't going the way most purchases did, she thought in confusion. But it looked like this Gale was, really and actually, going to be her... master.

part 2
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

[personal profile] aldersprig 2016-10-10 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
I like Gale! So far...

(Anonymous) 2016-10-10 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I liked it, is it going anywhere??

--B