The Jolly Market


19th May 2024 | 2 Views

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 “Help!” I screamed, or at least I thought I did but really it came out as nothing but a light whisper. Or perhaps, a forced huff of breath to be more precise. I could hear the bustling and murmurs traveling through the old market. 

I knew. 

I knew where I was kept. 

I knew the vendors out there, selling the fruits with a jolly smile on their faces and a hospitable nature was nothing but a show. They were trapped. 

Just as I am. 

Their helplessness was benefitted from. In exchange for more money, the vendors come here and put up a happy market for the customers, but no one looks closely. 

Because if they did, they’d see the fearful eyes, the strained smiles, the way an entire human trafficking base is disguised as a market.

If only they looked a little more closely, they’d see us. They could save us. I heard them arguing yesterday, my kidnappers. A spy hired by the government was sniffing around their territory. As much as I try to tell my heart to not have hope, it can’t help but wonder. Wonder if this time I’d be saved. Wonder about getting back to my family. Wonder about getting back my life that they snatched away with a brutality that I still can’t quite comprehend.

Did I deserve this? Did I deserve to be exposed to the cruel, barbaric side of the world?

But as I lay on the dirty, cemented floor trying to call out for help to the hired spy, my kidnappers sat proudly in front of me with malicious looks, shaking hands with my supposed savior.

They bought him, too. 

I let out a painful groan, feeling the crushing pressure of a huge shoe on the side of my head. I couldn’t move but I knew it was another one of them trying to ‘punish’ me. 

Because I tried.

I tried running away. I fought. 

But I lost. 

I lost everything. 

Vanshika Sharma



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