Kincaid rode behind the sheep. Dust choked his lungs, and the stink of sheep sickened him like the raid itself. But riding last was better than being out front leading the column on the hunt for slaves. He told himself he was protecting the food; two sheep per day for twenty days.
He looked ahead at the ciboleros, most of them his friends. Why did they do this? These people he liked, who welcomed him, a foreigner, into their village at the base of the magnificent mountains. These people who forged a life from little, surrounded by enemies, cut off from trade and support. These people who made snug homes from mud, dished up food that nourished a body and lifted its spirit with flavor and spice. These people who cherished their children were riding 200 miles west to steal children of others.
Rico, his horse, snorted dust from his wide nostrils. If only Kincaid could blow out the stench of the voyage and its evil purpose.
Pablo rode up and said “You don’t want to be with us, do you?”
“It’s just not my way.”
“But you have slaves in your country.”
“Yes, but we don’t capture them.” Kincaid watched the sheep, reluctant to meet Pablo's gaze. “In our country, we keep the slaves in identical boxes. We give them pointless, repetitive tasks to do and we berate them when they make a mistake. We treat them like animals; we break their spirits. Eventually they go insane.”
“Then how do you replace them?”
Kincaid scratched at his stubble. “We fill out a form, get it authorised by the manager and send it down to Personnel. A new slave shows up in the morning.”
Pablo spat into the dust. “It is your people who are the primitive barbarians.”
Opening: Wes.....Continuation: Anon.