If you’ve been following my WipItUp Wednesday posts, you’ll know I’ve been sharing from my current work in progress – Chosen by the Judge. Poor Zara, a human accused of drunk and disorderly behaviour, has been brought before an alien judge, Galen, and given her sentence – a public whipping. Obviously, it’s a shock!
She didn’t know what to do. With only instinct to fall back on, she dropped to her knees. “Please, please. I would go to prison, anything, just don’t let my family see this, hear about this. It’s humiliating. I’m so ashamed.”
He drummed his fingers on the bench and sighed, his lips then briefly pursed. “Is that not the purpose of punishing you?”
“Yes, but…” How to explain that the shame would last on, past the whipping and hang about her for ages afterwards. The Vendu preferred this kind of punishment because they could move on and put it behind them once completed. If anything, coming out of the horrendous discipline was a display of courage, demonstrating how they could take punishment and gain strength from it. But, Zara wasn’t Vendu.
She sank back on her heels and feeling overwhelmed she sobbed.
“Help her up,” the judge ordered. “Take her away. She will need to enter the pre-punishment preparations. They will calm her.”
Calm her? Being made ready for her whipping would be calming?
She looked over her shoulder as she was led away. He was watching her intently. The frown had left his face and another expression had replaced it. He almost appeared bemused by her breakdown, or perhaps even concerned.
So will Galen show any sympathy for her or not, and if he does, what will be his plans for Zara?