The Dunes pt. 1

What kind of world is this, that a man who does not own himself can control a barge meant to kill and destroy? Be called captain? Command other men who do not own themselves?

The masters are smart in that they do not dangle the promise of freedom from bondage, but the promise of freedom from pain.

Death is the only liberator.

The blessed sun slinks behind the horizon pulling with it the old day and pushing the moon up to fill the night sky.

On this night it will be work and toil when the hour is right.

A night of robbery, mayhem, slaughter and death.

Many who smiled and enjoyed life on the day that passed will not know tomorrow. Will never taste freedom again. Will only be able to remember a life when they were whole and full of promise.

The captain stands at the wheel watching his men work.

He is an old man.

His life a curse that seemingly will never end. His body hurts. His left hand is gone replaced by a vicious useless hook. His right leg from the middle of his thigh down is a straight metal pole with no give, rusted from his sweat and bent from years of the weight of his rigid skeletal body. His face is a mess of scars and wisps of hair surrounding two eyes that glow a pale angry blue. The nasty orbs sit above a black hole where his nose should be. His mouth is a twisted grimace of anger and pain depressed over rotting gums long void of teeth.

He watches the new man, a boy actually, smooth and soft, unblemished by life. He struggles with the rigging on the secondary sail, “Saikin do?” he screams in a voice from the netherworld. Loud rasping and filled with potential violence

The crew stops and looks. It is known when the captain speaks all stop and listen.

“Aneka wa!” he points with his hook at the boy and all the other slaves busy themselves again, happy not to be the monster’s target.

The captain crooks the index finger on his hand.

The boy looks near tears. He is not a new captive, he has been a slave most of his life, but now trained he has been assigned to this skiff as a dune pirate. He bows his head and begins to climb over the decking towards his commander.

The captain remembers his youth, so long ago it could be a dream. He remembers being summoned. He remembers the fear and the uncertainty. He loves seeing it on the youth’s face. “Hai, kanaji, he whispers as if to himself, come be punished.


Continued with part 2

and Part 3



Double Sun

by cyberkolbasa


Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: My Subreddit: My Reddit profile: Like my work? Become a patron at:

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