1 A brown book

"And don't forget to do my laundry and then clean the horse's shelter." Luis listened as his Aunt listed enormous chores which he was going to do before the end of the day.

"Take out every book from this bookshelf" she had taken him to her library." clean the books and the shelf then rearrange the books on the shelf"

Luis glanced at the bookshelf from down to up, how did she expect him to do that and the other things she told him to before the end of the day, he thought, but he didn't dare to complain.

The last time he did that he got starved for a week, he would have starved to death if he hadn't gone out and met a tentmaker who paid him little money for helping him in his shop.

The money he paid him hadn't been enough to satisfy his hunger fully but still, it was better than having nothing to eat.

He crawled back to his aunt begging that he would do anything as long she didn't starve him.

A smile curved on her lips and from there the hard labor began again, he didn't mind now as long as he had something to eat.

Luis had lost his parents at a very tender age, he was only nine months old so he was put under the care of his aunt who despised him.

She never liked him because she never liked his mom either, and anytime she came home and found out he had any unfinished task, just looking at those emerald green eyes of his reminded her of his mother and then she will burst out at him in anger.

Anytime that happened he was either slapped several times before being sent to finish the task or he would be denied food or he would have to sleep outside that night without any blanket.

When she woke up in the morning she would find him crouched upon the tree in front of her house then she would wake him up with a bucket filled with cold water that was left outside in the night when he would spring up in fear she would slap him and from there start giving things to do during the day without even giving him any food.

"I hope you understood everything?"

"Yes ma." his voice was trembling.

"Good." she turned to leave.

"But ma" Luis quickly covered his mouth as if he didn't know when that came out.

"What?" she stopped but she didn't turn.

"My food" he managed to utter.

"You'll get your food when you are done," she said."You don't sleep and eat here because you are my nephew, you sleep and eat here because you work for me and you can only get paid when you are done with your work," she said with a very harsh tone.

How could she say that to him? Yes, Luis was aware of that with the way she treated him but she didn't have to tell to him.

"Understood?" she said, but she didn't get any reply, she turned to Luis who was just standing there looking at her, he could see the rage in her eyes, what's she going to do to me now? he thought.


"Yes ma" he preferred to call her ma in a formal, after all, he was just a worker to her.

"Am I understood?"

Luis bowed his head."Yes ma"

"Good, now get those things done before I'm back," she said and shut the door behind herself.

Luis looked at the door for a moment, then he turned his gaze to the enormous bookshelf that was standing in the room, now how was he supposed to survive today?

This was a really tough one but he would rather exhaust all his strength and later get something to eat than stay idle the whole day wallowing in hunger.

He quickly got to work, starting with the laundry which was the easiest and the most important not just because clothes were involved here but because Elsa was putting on her last cloth.

She would wait for all her clothes to get dirty before she would give them to Luis to wash and then he would suffer while doing this because washing all her clothes were like washing all the clothes belonging to an extended family.

Luis got all her Laundry done in almost three hours, he hated washing her clothes, he would always think of pranking her by smearing pepper on the cloth that she was going to wear next, yes he knew which cloth she wore on which day or occasion, but he would shun the idea.

He didn't like it when her aunt was mad at him but some part of him would like to see her in pain and agony that part just wasn't strong enough yet.

Luis went on to the next task

The horse shelter!

Just thinking about that made him want to throw up, that was the last he would want to be but his aunt would make him go there clean every nonsense that made him dread going there, and then feed the horses, what did she even use those horses for? she never rode one.

Luis went to his room to wear his gear for that kind of task, it was just a face mask a pair of hand gloves, and a trowel.

Luis staggered into his aunt's library, he was tired, that was another thing about cleaning the horses that he hated, it exhausted him, and then he wouldn't be able to do anything.

"Why did I even do that first?" he blamed himself.

Just looking at that enormous bookshelf scared him, how was he supposed to take out every book from there? he thought, then suddenly an idea came to his mind.

He walked to the bookshelf and then he held it by the wood in the center and began to bend it slightly, he wanted to push every book out, but that was going wrong now.

Soon he lost control of the shelf it was falling and he couldn't pull it back up, unable to hold the weight he left it and jumped backward allowing the bookshelf to crash on the floor.

Fear soon found its way into Luis' eye as he looked at the mess he had done.

"I need to eat something" and with that, he left.

"How are you Luis?" a girl asked, him, you could tell she was around the same age as Luis, she was standing over two wooden boxes where she was grilling some pieces of meat.

"I am okay Tania" he tried to smile.

"Aren't you going to ask me?" she said turning one of the meats.

Luis didn't feel like but he did it so that she wouldn't feel bad.

"How are you?"

"You know you can just say and you? together with your reply"

"I'll do it next time"

She was silent for a while. " By the way, I'm fine too," she said but she was concentrating on her meat now."Are you here to buy meat?"


"How many?"


"Okay," she quickly wrapped two pieces of grilled meat in a piece of paper.

"Here" Luis pulled out some coins from his pocket and gave her while she gave him the meat.

He was about to leave when she called him back.

"This money isn't enough"

"Oh I'll just return one then" he opened the paper.

"I mean it's not even enough for one"

"Oh," he said, his voice was filled with sadness.

"No wait," Tania said as Luis made to keep the meat back, he was confused.


"You can have them"

"Why? You just told me that my money was not enough"

"You need them" was her short reply.

"What about your parents?" Luis said and Tania turned to look at her parents who were busy putting down some things in a building that wasn't too far from where they were standing.

"They won't know" she smiled.

Luis was confused, is this a trap? he thought.

"Trust me, they won't know," she said trying to clear that doubt and fear in his face.

"Thank you" he muttered and turned to leave but then he felt something in his pockets.

"I think you will need those," she said removing her hands from his pocket.

Why was she doing this? Luis didn't have time to start asking questions, so he just nodded and quickly ran along with his completely free meal.

By the time Luis had gotten to his aunt's house his meal was gone, he was too hungry to take them home before eating them.

He thought of what could make Tania so nice to him on his way home but those thoughts had disappeared immediately after he entered his aunt's library.

He had a serious mess to clean, or else he may get starved for a month now if his aunt should come back and see this mess.

Luis quickly walked over to the books, the bookshelf was covering most of them, at least it would be easier to lift now, he thought but he was wrong, lifting that bookshelf was hard, he had to give up two times before he was able to lift it.

"Now it's just to clean the books now" he heaved a sigh of relief, but then his fears returned as he gazed at the books scattered all over the floor, there were hundreds of them maybe they were even up to a thousand.

He wanted to go get a rag and start cleaning, but a little brown book that was close to his leg caught his attention.

"Ancient mystics" he read the title of the book after picking it up, then he opened the first page and read out loud again.

"Ancient mystics from Greg Miles to...…..

he stopped reading.


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