Ally opened her eyes and wiped her long matted blond hair out of her eyes. Her head hurt from a deep pain, and she was slightly disoriented. There was bright sunshine beaming against her face, and the heat from the sun was making her forehead sweat small beads of perspiration. She moved her hands to her eyelids and rubbed, then opened and began to look around to see where she had woken up.
She was sitting and leaning back against a stone wall in what seemed to be a large pit, with giant sandstone walls reaching up high around her, and the sun shone into the pit with its full fiery fury. All around her, there was complete chaos. Several large men wearing only loin clothes and huge gold jeweled necklaces that covered their large bare chests were taking other girls by a collar, and pulling them around by a long chain. Ally saw several girls led through a stone alcove door on the other side of the pit, and her brain tried to process more what was going on around her. All of the other girls she saw looked as confused and disoriented as Ally felt at the moment.
Looking down at herself, Ally saw she was wearing only a loose ragged camisk which hung loosely over her thin body, and covered her from just above her breasts down to only the tops of her scratched thighs. Her knees were scraped bright red and when she looked at her hands and bare feet, she saw they were caked with sand. She felt her hair and it was tangled and knotted with dirt and sand. Then she became aware of the collar. Feeling her neck, Ally’s fingers touched a steel band that was locked just below her jaw. Ally’s eyes widened in surprise that the collar was there, and that it felt cold despite the hot sun and burning heat in her large pit.
Suddenly one of the large men bent down and snapped a chain onto a ring in Ally’s collar. Pulling Ally up, the man tugged her and said nothing other than a stern “come!” Her feet dragged in the sand as she was led to the alcove door. Ally tried to keep up, her hands holding onto the chain in an attempt to not trip and be dragged to the door.
Once inside the alcove door, Ally noticed that the air was cooler and extremely humid. The man yanked her again by the chain and dragged Ally to a fresh water pool. With a quick kick, Ally was pushed into the water and felt her body slip and fall into a hot shallow bath.
“Get clean” ordered the man as he unfastened the chain from Ally’s collar. “Wash the dirt and sand from your face, and if you want to be sold to one of the cleaner harems, you had better wash your hair too” he said as he dropped a bar of well used soap into Ally’s lap.
“Sold…harem?” Ally could not think very clearly, as her head was still swimming in fog from what must have been some drug. Her last memory was riding in a caravan through a valley in the desert, when it was suddenly attacked. "Slavers...." she moaned to herself beginning to understand what must have happened. "They have kept me alive for...what?" Slowly she picked up the bar of soap and started to wash her hands, and then slipped soapy water over her face. She still did not know where she was, but knew that perhaps getting cleaner may help her find a way out of this mess…