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from Hiren's Journey by Rebecca Onkar

Chapter 2

“Well boys, looks like we got ourselves a new bidder out there.” The auctioneer quickly recovered himself and resumed. “That’s two hundred and twenty-five dollars, do I hear two hundred and thirty?” he said pointedly looking at the bidder in front of Bram. “Two hundred and thirty dollars, anyone?”

There was expectation in the air and a whiff of fear as the two hundred or so spectators waited, in gleeful anticipation, for the auctioneer’s gavel to fall and announce the owner of the most exotic property King’s Port had ever seen.

The body of the bidder seemed to quiver where he stood, his large hairy hands clenched into fists, his knuckles white against his skin. All at once he made a noise; it came from the back of his throat and was somewhere between a hiss and a growl. Then he swung out his massive arm, elbowing the unfortunate soul next to him in the throat, and strode slowly away, looking over his shoulder only once to fix his bulging eyes on Bram’s face, then he disappeared amongst the crowd of men.

Bram felt a flicker of fear at the hatred in the man’s eyes but he was immediately distracted from it by the sound of the auctioneer.

“...two hundred and twenty-five dollars going twice.” A pause, then, “Sold! To the man in the brown greatcoat.”

A cheer erupted from the crowd and Bram felt his back being slapped and his hands grabbed in congratulations. Shouts of “Go get &lsquo...

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