The year was 2317, and after the Chinese conquest 200 years earlier, all white citizens of the United States were sold into slavery. The Chinese, being the ruthless conquerors they were at the time, demanded ungodly amounts of work to be performed by their slaves. These slaves worked 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week; and while the death rate among the slaves was very high, most endured this oppression for their entire lives.
There was one particular master named Lo Chang who was especially cruel and demanded that his slaves perform a certain amount of work daily, lest they be punished. He commanded authority and made sure his slaves knew their place. They never referred to him as anything other than "Master." And when he punished them, he tortured them mentally as well as physically. Also, his slaves were not given names, but numbers; and he had hundreds of them. He did have some nontraditional methods of torture that motivated his slaves to meet production quickly, and he would employ them in a heartbeat if any of his slaves were lazy or disrespectful.
Every day, he went into the fields in the 103 degree weather (the climate had deteriorated rapidly since the invasion) to receive the report of his slaves' progress. In this particular field, all of his slaves were males between the ages of 17 and 23 because they were the strongest slaves and were desperately needed perform the bitter labor. They were each given a pick and forced to cut away at the stone and then haul over 100 pounds of it on their backs hundreds of feet. Chang always enjoyed hearing the grunting of these sweaty slave boys and watching their muscles flex and their teeth clench under all the weight. Occasionally he would taunt and provoke one of them only so he could receive the slightest amount of disrespect. Thus he would have an excuse to torture him.
One particular slave, number 57, caught the eye of his cruel master. He was a tall, muscular 19-year-old, with beautiful brown eyes and short, brown hair. Chang loved seeing this slave sweat in his uniform which all the slaves were forced to wear. It consisted of a white, threadbare t-shirt with the sleeves torn off and short pants with the bottoms cut off. In the fields the slaves were allowed to wear loose leather sandals with one strap across the toe and none across the heel - but only if they were willing to give up one meal a week, supposedly to pay for the old worn out sandals. And, of course, they were forced to turn them in at the end of the mercilessly exhausting work day and then walk barefoot across the burning gravel back to their barracks where they were given a small ration of food, usually moldy bread. Chang knew his slaves looked poor, but his excuse was always money shortage - and the fact that his slaves needed to know what scum they were.
Yes, Chang was a monster, and number 57 would be his next victim.
"Slave! Come here!"
Number 57 was straining to carry a huge basket of rocks. The sweat was dripping off his forehead. He looked up. "Yes, Master." He put down the rocks and ran to Chang.
"Slave! Did I say you could put down the rocks? Did I say you could look up!"
"I'm sorry, Master." Suddenly 57's eyes met Chang's - the worst offense of all. 57 tried to hide his eyes in sheer terror, and tears began streaming down his cheek. He thrust his head down and fearfully whispered, "I'm sorry, Master."
Chang was enraged. "Take this insolent slave to Torture Chamber A!"
"No, n-n-no, please Master," he begged. But it was no good. The guards dragged 57 away and took his sandals from him at the gate of the rock pit.
Chang walked slowly into Torture Chamber A to find 57 hanging from the ceiling with his arms twisted behind his back. "Take him down." The henchmen complied, slinging 57 onto the floor. He had only heard stories about Torture Chamber A, how Chang's slaves had gone mad and were then killed. 57 trembled as Chang approached him.
"On your knees, Slave."
Turning white from fear, the trembling slave obeyed. Chang walked behind him, examining him and placed his huge boot gently on 57's curling toes. "I could crush them, you know." 57 was silent. Chang's voice exploded. "Answer me!!!"
The terrified boy squeaked out a "yes, Master."
"Put him on the table." His henchmen complied. 57's breathing became heavy. "You are going to beg me to torture you, you stupid slave," Chang said calmly. But then he screamed. "Now!!"
57, wide-eyed with horror begged. "P-p-please, Master. Torture me."
"What kind of torture would you like?"
"Please, Master. No."
"Too late. Now it's going to get ugly. Tie him down." Chang's mouth watered as he examined 57's feet. They were long, slender, and the toes extended out and curled almost like fingers. They were perfect - his long, crooked, well-tanned toes; his high, ticklish arches; the veins bulging out of the tops of those big, sweaty beauties. They begged for torture and would soon receive their request. 57 was at Chang's mercy now, but would receive none.
Chang took his long fingernail and scraped it across 57's right sole. 57 held his breath. But after a few minutes of this agony he screamed and begged. "No, p-p-p-pleeeeease. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Ha Ha Haaaaaaaaaa!" Chang became more merciless and scraped three of his fingernails across each sole at a time. After half an hour, the slave was going mad as he thrashed around and lifted his back off the long table in his ticklish torment. "That is just the beginning of your punishment," Chang taunted. He then took his fingers and placed them on 57's long, crooked toes. "Beg me, Slave."
"Please, please Master, please." The tears stained his face. But he knew how much worse his torture would be if he did not comply. "Please torture me," he squeaked. Chang then took his fingers and started to bend the slave's toes. 57, with wide-eyes and a look of tortured terror shook his whole body violently, begging and screaming. Chang had no mercy. He walked around the table and bent down to 57's ear.
Whispering threateningly, he said, "You don't want me to bend your toes, Slave, because when I bend your toes, I bend to break." The slave was breathing heavily now, his heart racing. Chang walked back around the table and started to bend 57's toes once again. He bent and bent adding more and more pressure. Uncomfortable turned to painful. Painful turned to excruciating. The slave could stand no more.
"No. No. Noo! Nooooooooooooooooooooo! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! Aha! Aha! Aha! Ahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
Chang finally stopped.
57, whimpering softly, was sobbing uncontrollably. Chang took a candle from one of his henchmen. 57 knew what was coming. "Beg me," Chang said with a smirk in his voice. The sweat flowed from 57's entire body. Panting, he begged. "Ahha! Please Ahha, Master. Ahha. Ahha. Ahha. I beg you. Ahha. Ahha. I beg you to torture me."
"Beyond your mind, little Slave?"
"Ahha. Yes ahha, Master. Ahha. Ahha. Beyond my mind. Ahha." Still panting, the slave closed his eyes, enjoying the one moment of rest before his torture began again anew. Of course, it did not last.
Chang took the candle in hand and put it near the sole of 57's right foot. Once again, 57's head shook. "No! No! Nooooo!" Chang would move the candle around his foot, then leave it in one place long enough to make 57 very uncomfortable. 57 screamed and fought the restraints. It was no good. After a few minutes of candle play on the slave's soles, Chang decided he would singe 57's toe hair. Chang got some very loud screams from 57 this way. His feet were sweaty before, but now they were drenched. Every time the hair on one of his toes was singed, 57 would let out a loud yelp. Burn. "Ayp!" Burn. "Ayp!"
"Well, Slave, two down. Only eight more to go." Burn. "Ayp!" Burn. "Ayp!" Over and over again until all ten toes had a turn.
Chang then instructed one of his henchmen to hold 57's big and index toes apart on his right foot. But the henchman could not keep his grip because the slave's toes were so sweaty. After a swift slap in the face to 57, the henchman got a towel and dried the whimpering slave's feet. The henchman attempted to hold them apart once again, this time succeeding. And Chang took the candle and burned between the toes for exactly 30 seconds. Then he repeated between all the other toes. Burn, burn, burn. "Uuuuughh!" Burn, burn, burn. "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhh!" Finally Chang burned in between all the toes on 57's right foot.
"Now we wouldn't want your left foot to feel left out, would we?" 57's sleeveless shirt and torn short pants were soaked. Not having the energy to watch any more, he lay his head back with a thump. Burn, burn, burn. "Uuuuuuuuughh!" But eventually the slave did not even have the energy to perform this simple sound. Burn, burn, burn.
"Ooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh," he moaned.
Finally Chang finished burning between all of 57's toes. "Slave!"
After several seconds the exhausted slave, still panting, managed to utter a weak, "Yes, Master?"
"You won't disobey me any more, will you, Slave?"
"Will you slave!!!"
"Ahha. No, Master. Ahhaaooouuuhhh."
Chang turned to his henchmen. "Take this slave back to the gravel pit. He is not to leave until he has finished double production or until tomorrow at 3 A.M. - which ever is last. Also, do not give him any sandals for the next week."
The slave shed bitter tears at hearing this cruelty as he was dragged out of the torture chamber. "How many more sessions do we have today?" Chang asked one of his henchmen.
"There are three slaves who did not meet production yesterday and two who were caught making fun of you this morning. They are hanging in Torture Chamber B."
"It looks like we're getting behind. Let's get started."
The Goblin King