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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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The suspense was always the worst part.

 Everytime a giant came into the shop, all of the humans would hold their breaths, and wonder who would be chosen. Some wanted to get out of this hellhole, but they all had heard the stories, the rumors, from humans-- or pets, to the giants-- that had been returned. They came back white as a sheet, trembling and always on edge, as if they had gone through something traumatizing; torture, being teased, being played with like a doll-- treated as an animal.

As for one in particular human, he wasn't sure what to think. Jason was his real name, but a giant would probably rename him-- if he ever got chosen, at least. The humans that had been returned would say that their former owners had renamed them with pet names, like "Chica" or "Marlon." One even came back renamed "Fluffy" because his hair had lacked any care and gotten so disheveled.

To any other human who wasn't a part of this world, they would say "This is absurd!  This is ridiculous! Humans don't deserve to be treated like animals, what did they do to deserve this!?" The truth is though, there is no answer to the latter question. Within this society, this is how it's always been. Within the history of your world, did there not come a huge length of time where not ALL men AND women were free? Only the strongest of the "proper color?" No, it wasn't right, it wasn't fair, neither is this world's customs, but you must understand that this is the only thing giants and humans knew.

This is their society; this is their home-- this was simply how things were done.

Jason shivered and hugged his knees to his chest, burying his face in them and letting out a shaky sigh. It had been about one and a half years since he'd been taken captive into this store, into this "Pet Shop." He hated it here, but couldn't imagine anything worse than getting "adopted." Like hell they got adopted; the giants called it adoption like they were doing the humans a favor!

All Jason wanted was to get out of here and be free, or to just curl up and die peacefully, in his sleep. The food tasted horrible-- it wasn't even food, they were some kind of pellets like for cats and bunnies-- and the tap water was almost sour-ish. No, it was definitely not fun here. Some pets would argue that the real fun lies out there, beyond the boundaries of the giant city-- the Wild, where humans could live like when they first did long ago, in the old days... Kind of like campers on a camping trip.

Jason wasn't sure what he wanted, nor what he needed. He felt blank, empty-- void; just like his facial expressions were. He could barely recall oh so long ago, before the giants had come; it felt like a millennium ago. He remembered how he always laughed and smiled at silly little everyday things, entertaining people and being quite rich--mostly in happiness-- for his age. But now the pet human had been reduced to shambles. Human money meant nothing now... And Jason never smiled or laughed ever since.

He was nothing but a broken pet, curled up in his cage, watching the world change around him as the occasional pet was adopted and taken home to be submissive entertainment for their new owners. It quickly became same-old-same-old; the store clerk would refill the food and water bowls, some time would pass as a few tens of humans were taken away, every other week someone would be returned for being "disobedient" or "boring."

Just a few weeks before Christmas, is when something happened.

Jason heard the bell jingle as the door opened, but he had long grown used to it. He was never adopted anyways, so why should he care? He wasn't going to grovel and beg to be taken in by a complete stranger.

"Hello there! How can I help you, anything in particular?" The store clerk asked excitedly.

"I'd like a human." Jason stole a tiny glance at the deep, warm voice. The giant was pretty young looking; he had brown fluffy hair, sweeping bangs threatening to cover his left eye, and his eyes were a soft blood red color, almost like the color of wine but more vibrant. He had a simple white shirt and grey jeans on, complimenting his pale pasty skin. He was also carrying a pet carrier-- which meant he was determined to get a pet.

"Oh! Yes yes, come with me!" Jason turned to where his back was once again to the world outside the cage, staring blankly at the wall as the clerk rushed to assist the young customer. "Let me show you all of our best humans!" The clerk chirped cheerfully, "This one right here is a very pretty little thing! Got nice green eyes and golden brown hair. This one's pretty strong, and this one..." Jason tilted his head to the side to let his temple gently press against the glass, listening to the clerk babble on as he always did when someone came along.

Sometimes Jason wondered if he ever stopped talking.

His containment was suddenly shadowed to a darker tone, and Jason's eyes rounded a bit in surprise as he realized that the giant had stopped at his cage and was now studying him.

"... What about this one?" The customer asked.

"Oh, that one? He was pretty difficult to catch, heheh." The clerk scratched the back of his neck and grinned sheepishly. "That one was pretty feisty when we first got him, so we had to separate him from the others. He's much more calmer by himself." Jason couldn't help himself and looked up, seeing the giant towering over him.

"Hmm..." The giant raised one brow curiously. "His eyes are rather unique," he observed.

"Yes, yes! He's a special specimen!" The clerk boasted. "No other humans have bright cyan eyes like that." The giant opened the top glass ceiling of the terrarium, and before Jason could realize what was happening, he found himself being enveloped in securely curled fingers, and being lifted out to be eye level with the red-eyed giant.

A small quiet gasp had escaped Jason at feeling helpless, and at being so high up! He fidgeted a little as the giant studied him curiously, feeling his soft curly hair, his arms, taking in his height and weight, his size-- everything about the small human.

Jason didn't like it.

"... How much?"

Jason's eyes widened in surprise.

"50 euros."

Jason's eyes rounded even more, his jaw dropping.

"Deal."

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