I wrote this when I was so bored in an awful film class I was taking this past semester that I wrote a short story. I'm not much of a writer, but I hope you all enjoy it.
Katan was making a pumpkin. He didn't get to do it often, as the ingredients were usually expensive even more so this time of year, but it was important tonight as Sana, his mistress, was having an important guest, a diplomat from a neighboring city. A pumpkin would be novel. It would show that her guests only deserve the most exquisite things possible. A pumpkin stuffed with meat, corn, and sweet beans. It was a recipe Katan had learned from his old home. His old home wasn't a particularly good place, nor was it a place Katan had any fond memories of, but it was the place where he'd learned how to prepare a stuffed pumpkin, and that was all that mattered.
In Katan's mind, he was already free. He quite liked his Mistress. He believed that he even loved her. If he were to be freed, he'd have had his ear nailed to the door because all he'd want to do was continue to cook for her, clean her home, keep her company if she were to ill to get out of bed. If she'd allow it, Katan would go as far as to scratch behind her ears, something his parents did for him as a sign of affection when he was a pup. But that would only be if Sana would allow it. Her word was sacred.
Katan sat down at the kitchen table and got to work. One by one, he used his tools. A knife to cut the top of the pumpkin open, a spoon to scoop out the seeds and scrape the sides free of the goo inside, and a bowl of water to drop it into.
An official translator of this city's government, she was all about novelty and trying new things, so Katan wasn't sure if she legitimately enjoyed the taste of the stuffed pumpkin he'd made prior to this one, or if she simply enjoyed it because it was something new, something she'd never before experienced. It was a blisteringly hot day in the middle of the summer in this desert city. Still, he managed to smile as he worked. He knew this was going to make her happy regardless of whether or not she enjoyed it because it was something she could show off to somebody else. Little was more important to her than doing her job well.
Katan was singing a song in his native tongue while he cleaned out the inside of the pumpkin.
"We will go to the river
We will catch a goat
We will play with the goat
And then let it go"
It sounded better in its original language.
"I want to belong to her and not just literally, as silly as that sounds." Katan had never been much of a poet. He couldn't even read. He'd never been taught how.
He'd began to separate the seeds from the pumpkins guts and began to put them neatly on a small metal tray in rhythm to the music he'd been making. He would bake the seeds later. They would become crunchy. Something to put in a bowl on a table. While Sana would never admit it outloud and it was impossible to tell from her rather slim figure, she enjoyed snackfood. Dried grapes, crackers, but her favorite was chips. Small slices of fried potato. It was a bit of an absurd snack, just frying potatoes in oil, but it was something she had picked up from an ambassador a couple of years ago and she'd asked Katan if he could do it. He would never say no.
If the meat were ground, it would make the preparation much more simple, but he'd nothing better to do. He'd bought a rather plain cut of something that looked like it had once been alive and put it on the table. The meat wasn't fantastic, but the flavor wasn't what mattered. He cut it up very finely and put it into the pumpkin. As if aware of his singing for the first time, Katan began to step with both feet, leaving the table entirely for a moment as he enjoyed himself by doing a little dance. He swayed his hips, took a few light steps in rhythm with his song. He even danced his way back to his seat, going as far as to spin around once before sitting back down. He decided he'd like to teach Sana how to dance one day. Maybe a cooler day than this, and one where he wouldn't be cooking and she wouldn't be out of the house all day.
Katan was panting hard enough he felt like he could melt. If he were to do that, the plans for the evening would certainly be ruined and Katan decided that wasn't an option. So instead of melting, he took off his plain, brown shirt. He scratched his white-furred chest a little, then stood back up to check on the beans he'd been hydrating since the night before. He dumped them into the pumpkin as well. He took his spoon and began to stir the whole thing together. The beef, the meat of the pumpkin, and the beans, and the corn all together smelled wonderful. He put the top of the pumpkin back onto it and took a moment to observe his work. He smiled.
This called for a reward. He walked over to Sana's chair. It was large and made of a soft fabric. It was her chair. If any slave were to sit in their owner's chair, they would likely be harshly punished, but Katan didn't think Sana would mind. Even if she would have, she wasn't home. As soon as he sat down in it, he sank. It was deep, comfortable, and Sana's scent was all over it from the shedding that came with summer.