"Slightly arrived next."
"You grass," Slightly muttered as the boys turned to look at him. None of them could deny that they were enjoying finding out about their friends' pasts, however, it was not very fun to tell the tale. None of them had been given a very nice younger childhood and most of them just wanted to forget about it. "Oh well, I suppose mine isn't too bad, I guess."
"That's the spirit!" Peter jeered, pounding his fist in the air.
Slightly scowled, "You are SOOO going to get it once its your turn!"
Slightly jabbed the grain pile with a metal rod and tried to loosen the pile and cause it to fall to the bottom so it could be shovelled. However, his weak arms and small body made this rather difficult. His head was pounding from the many hours he'd been inside this silo and his arms and back ached horribly. Life working in a silo was far from pleasant.
A silo was a place used for storing bulk materials, like grain, and was very tall and made entirely of metal. The seven year old's job was to work inside the silo and jab the pile of grain that got bunched up in the corner of the silo and try to cause it to fall so it could be shovelled out. However, this was a dangerous, boring and tiring job. Slightly was constantly trying to avoid getting crushed by many tons of grain that got placed in the silo while he worked and had come close to being killed more than once.
Three of his friends who used to work at this farm had gotten crushed and killed.
The tiring part came in by the amount of effort it took to free the grain. The grain was damp, difficult to move given his age and constantly stuck to the walls of the silo just to make his job even harder. The only way he could free the grain was to jab it with a metal rod.
"Did your arms go numb after a while?" Twins asked.
Slightly nodded. "Yip!"
"Not surprising," Nibs added.
After a while of working in the silo one day, the farmer owner called him out to speak with him. Slightly didn't need to get told twice and was out of the storage room within a minute. His metal rod clasped in his left hand. "What is it sir?" Slightly asked the farmer once he stood in front of him. Standing straight to show respect to his employer.
The owner of the farm was an old man, around the age of seventy or eighty, with many wrinkles and a bored expression on his face. The man had a high craving for respect and wouldn't hesitate to use the cane on Slightly if this respect even faltered slightly. The man stared at Slightly with the same bored expression he always wore.
He didn't reply to Slightly's question, instead, he stepped aside and a man wearing a black suite, a boler hat and a pocket watch appeared from behind him. He held a thin, black painted cane in his hand. "This is Mr Hook," Slightly's employer stated bluntly. "Mr Hook, Fatty!" Slightly glanced down at the cruel nickname.
Despite the amount of respect Slightly gave his employer, the farmer gave very little respect in return. He didn't even refer to him by his name. He just called him 'Fatty'. Sure, Slightly was a rather chubby child but not chubby enough to deserve the nickname of Fat. "So this is Slightly?" The stranger asked. Slightly nodded. "Mr Smith, are you sure you don't want this one? He seems like a hard worker."
The farmer chortled. "Hmm... You can have him. You gave me a good price for him." Slightly felt confusion swirl within him. What on earth were they talking about? Had he been sold or something? He bit his lip in thought that is when it hit him. Of course! He must've been flogged to another business owner.
It was strangely common for children like him, who don't have parents, to get sold to a different business owner for a set price. For this price, Slightly would stop being employed by this farm owner, become an employee for the person who'd bought him and work wherever this stranger wanted him too, whether it was a factory, farm or something else.
But the question was, which place did this stranger who he'd been flogged to have in mind. Judging from his attire he seemed like a factory owner. Great. Slightly really didn't want to work in a factory. "Fair enough," Mr Hook approached Slightly's side and gave him a blank expression. "I'll be leaving then. Judging that he has no belongings."
Both the farmer and Slightly shook their heads. "Okay, bye, Mr Smith."
"Bye, Mr Hook"
"Pleasure doing buissness with you."
The pair left the farm in utter silence, not breathing a word to each other until they reached a car parked at the bottom of the farm path. Mr Hook gestured for him to go inside and he did as he was told and hopped in. Feeling slighty excitement building inside him. He'd never been in a car before. However, there wasn't just himself and Mr Hook in the car. There were also four other young boys all squashed into the back seat.
"How did it go, Jimmy!" The tallest boy exclaimed as Mr Hook stepped in the car.
"He bought it," Mr Hook smiled. The four boys high-fived as they laughed. Slightly couldn't help but feel nervous. Who had bought what? Mr Hook turned to Slightly and smiled. "I am sorry but I have not properly introduced myself. I am Mr James Hook. However, you may call me Jimmy." Slightly nodded but he didn't reply. Jimmy noticed this and smiled in a more comforting manner. "So your name is Slightly?"
"Nice to meet you," The pair shook hands. "Okay then Slightly, from here on, you won't be working in a farm."
"You are going to live with us."
"...and that is the end of my story."
Peter grinned at his friend. "That wasn't too bad! You were right!" Peter turned to Twins. "So you were the last person to arrive before me?"