The Ugly Elfling by Milly

When he looked up again after several moments a couple of men had gathered around him and watched him. "A farmer kid. Nothing worth the trouble."

"How old are you kid?" They laughed. He watched them fearfully, pretending neither to hear nor to understand what they were saying. "He's too stupid to understand."

"Guess nobody took the time to teach such an ugly little boy."

"We could teach him how to serve us."

"We could also teach him how to.."

"You'd wish to lie with such a kid? You might get even more sicknesses than you already carry!" He still watched them not daring to move to attract any attention to himself. Maybe they would just leave him alone if he pretended not to be any use. Though he knew perfectly well that there was no real chance in that. He saw how they started to fight but suddenly another man appeared. "Stop this now. There's no reason to fight about a filthy little boy. Talon is right, we could have him serve us. Carry stuff and fetch branches and water can't be too difficult for a kid."

The man turned to face him. "What's your name little one?" He kept silent. "Don't you think you can fool me. You're not THAT stupid."

"Did not call me by name." He did not care if he sounded as stupid as they thought he was. He was frightend and he didn't want them to find out that he had fooled them earlier. "You don't have a name? Oh well.. We'll find one for you sooner or later."

"What if they search for him?"

"A little foolish run-away? Who should search for him? Why should they want him back?"

"Why do we want him to come with us? We could just leave him out here to die."

"Don't you think that it's bad enough for him to be ugly and stupid? I say we take him with us and I won't ask whether you like my decision or not, did I make myself clear enough?"

The others nodded and the men faced him again. "You will come with us little one. Don't fear, if you are good we won't hurt you."

He nodded silently and then followed them back to their horses. He didn't dare to run and hide for he was unsure whether he would be fast enough and what they could do to him if they got him.
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