by Ghost Writer
Special thanks to J. Kreeg. This story is set in the same world as his "New In Town" story which is posted in the free Yahoo group, Confining Clothing (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/confiningclothing/info). If you wish to know more about the world, please join the group for free and look under the Files section for the folder "Kreeg's Stories". This story follows The Announcement and The Preparation and those stories should be read first.
The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world. It has more than 1,200 shops and at over 13 million square feet it is the size of more than 50 football pitches. It is also the place where Zara would be sold.
At its peak, over 750,000 visitors visited the Dubai Mall every week. After “The Plot” however, tourist numbers throughout the world plunged into an abyss that the tourism sector never recovered from. The Dubai Mall, with its 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens, 120 restaurants and cafes, became a virtual ghost town.
With all the open space came an opportunity.
When the Dubai government wanted a central location to regulate the reviving slave trade, the Mall was the logical place to do it. It was big, spacious, well-known, and unused. This was a decision that the people of the region obviously agreed with, as the Dubai Mall has now become the central slave market of not just Dubai, but the whole Middle East. None of this mattered to Zara as the door of the IIC opened.
Her uncle Johari led her by the arm through the mall and Zara felt nothing but shame. After the session in the IIC, she now knew the evil within her and wanted nothing but to be locked back into the darkness of the IIC. Even though she was gagged, shackled and hunched over, Zara felt shame even at the fact she was walking in public. She felt unworthy of even standing and, not for the first time, secretly wished that her uncle was one of the men who do not allow their women to walk but only to crawl on all fours. It was nothing less than what women deserved. However, she wasn't going to defy her uncle. She was going to be sold today. She only prayed that her new owner would be strict with her.
Uncle Johari led Stephanie to a set of doors with a sign that state "Auction: Authorized Personal Only" above it. They entered the room and Zara was immediately overwhelmed. The room was filled with over a hundred people, most of whom were women. Most of them were hunched over like her in her niqab, but some were naked with only their gag on them. If not for her gag, she would have cried out in shock.
Putting a hand on her arm, Uncle Johari began to lead her through the crowd. She was led to a man sitting behind a counter that was piled with files and documents.
“Johari Dhall, here for the sale of his niece Zara.”
The man behind the table looked up at Uncle Johari and shuffled through the paper on the counter. After finding the relevant document and looking through it a look of surprise came to his face. “Everything seems in order Mr. Dhall but…”
“Is there a problem?”
“Well, it states here you impose three criteria for the buyers. Buyer must be a Muslim, a citizen of the Emirates, and… payment must be in cash?”
“Yes, that’s correct. Is there anything wrong?”
“Well no but… Mr. Dhall, these conditions will severely affect your selling price. Your girl is young but well, from the photos, she’s not a great beauty. You will not get a good price with these conditions.”
“Which will affect the 10% cut the government takes from every sale.”
“Now that’s not…”
“I understand perfectly where you’re coming from, but a seller is allowed to impose a maximum of three conditions, right?” Silence was answer enough. “So again I ask, is there anything wrong?”
“No, there isn’t.” The officer shrugged and stamped something on the piece of paper. Then he said something that surprised Zara. “Let’s see her then.”
Zara now knew why so many of the women in the room were naked. Her Uncle Johari methodically took her chains away from her. First to come off were the silver chains linking her two pairs of cuffs, and then her uncle released Zara from the cuffs themselves, both on her wrists and ankles, leaving her unshackled in public for the first time in years. Zara was still getting used to being unchained when her uncle ordered her to undress herself.
It’s a show of her training that Zara complied without thinking. Before she realized what she was doing, Zara had already taken off her niqab. Only after she realized she was showing her face in public did she hesitated. Her uncle motioned for her to continue on.
Soon her dress, gloves and socks were all on the ground and Zara was standing there naked with only her gag. She felt strange; ashamed at her nakedness but at the same time proud of how well she obeyed the orders of her uncle.
The officer looked at her naked form and stamped her paper again. “Okay, we’ll take her from here.” He scribbled a number on the back of Zara's right hand with a black marker pen.
A moment later another man showed up. After a quick word, the officer handed the man the piece of paper with Zara's information. The man then locked a collar around the neck of Zara and pulled on the leash attached to the collar. Zara took a quick look to her uncle who motioned for Zara to follow the man.
The man pulled Zara and the duo slowly walked to the other side of the room and out through a door. Slowly walking down a corridor, they made a turn at the end of the corridor. Zara could tell that the man was enjoying leading her by a leash. Still, it was nothing less than normal and Zara quietly followed the man.
They went through another open door and that was when Zara first saw what was in store for her. A row of naked women were standing at the far wall of the room but Zara did not have time to stare. The man pulled her to the wall and led her to the front of the line. Zara did not need an order to understand she need to stand alongside the women. After she did so, the man locked her leash to a bar above her. He then left.
Left in the room, Zara waited quietly with the other women. The women could not speak with each other due to their gags and a silent tension steadily built in the room. It was only broken occasionally when the man came in leading another woman on a leash. He always left after locking the woman to the bar and never spoke to any of the women.
Zara soon found herself shivering from the tension. Wanting to stop the shivering, Zara went to the method that had always served her well; trying to think of something to take her mind off her current situation. Her thoughts went to the Dubai Mall. She remember the first time she visited the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre. She remembered spending a wonderful afternoon watching the beautiful fishes swimming leisurely in the huge tanks, before having dinner with her family in one of the Mall's 120 restaurants and cafes. Zara remembered the Dubai Mall as it was, not as it is now; the central slave market of the Middle East.
Her thoughts were interrupted when a man dressed like a guard came in. He was followed by another man, a fat man dressed in a white Arabic robe. The guard was holding a file and looked over the row of women before checking something on his file.
"So, Zara Dhall? She's up first?" Zara realized he was looking at the paper the officer handed to the man earlier.
"Yes," the fat man said. "Her uncle want to sell her cheap. Poor girl must have pissed him off somehow."
What? Panic filled Zara. Was Uncle Johari angry with her? Did she do something wrong? Wait, was being sold cheap even a bad thing? She had no idea and the lack of knowledge made her panic even worse.
"None of our business," the guard said. "Nothing matters to us but the sale."
The fat man walked to the centre of the room and looked over the women who stood with their eyes to the ground.
"Okay, if any of you slaves do not know yet let me tell you now. You are here to be sold. In a few hours, all of you will be at the home of your new master who, hopefully for all our sakes, will keep you all from killing the world again."
Zara let the insult wash over her. It was nothing but the truth. The fat man continued. "What's going to happen now is very simple. We will now proceed to the stage where all of you will first be covered in a burqa and then you will all take turns, one by one, and walk down a catwalk. You will then walk back to the centre of the stage where we will take the burqa off. You will then walk back down the catwalk naked where I will try my best to sell you off." So the fat man was the auctioneer and he had a low view of women. Somehow Zara wasn't surprised.
"Now one more thing," the auctioneer said smiling. "Smile when you're out there."
Zara would have laughed if not for her gag. Everyone was telling her to smile today!
The auctioneer gave a signal to the guard and he began to unlock the women from the bar above them. He then chained the women to each other, locking their leashes to the collar of the women next to her. As Zara was the lead girl, the man took her leash and Zara obediently followed him. They went out of the room and down a corridor where they entered through a double-door.
This was where Zara first saw the stage. Elevated a few feet off the main floor was a T-shaped stage that was brightly lit with floodlights, Zara could see there were arrow signs on the edges of the runway which indicate the side where the women were supposed to walk to the front, and the side of the stage where they were supposed to walk back. The man leading her gave a sharp tug on her leash and the row of women were on their way again.
The guard led the line of women to the back of the stage where all the women were made to kneel against a wall. Their leash was then locked to a ring on the floor and then, once again, they were left alone. After half an hour, Zara's knees began to hurt but she knew better than to make any complaint. An hour later, there was finally some movement. The sound from the front of the stage began to increase and Zara knew the auction would start soon.
The man came back pushing a trolley and he unlocked Zara from the floor. He motioned her to stand. Zara did as ordered and the guard picked up a piece of cloth from the trolley. Zara did not know why but he showed it to her; it was a beautiful white burqa. Zara stood there stunned. The burqa must have cost hundreds... at least!
Zara was still stunned when he put the burqa over her and led her to the stage. Only when she saw the bright lights of the stage and heard the soft Arabic music in the background did she came back to her senses and realized where she was. There must have been over fifty men there looking at her. She immediately remembered what she need to do.
Step by step, she slowly walked down the runway. She put her head down, hoping to show the crowd the perfect submissive woman. For all her nerves, Zara found that she wasn't all that unhappy being up there on the stage. Being up there, the centre of attention of all these men; it wasn't an unpleasant feeling.
The runway wasn't that long and almost too soon, the walk was over for Zara. She found herself in the centre of the stage where the guard and the auctioneer came to stand beside her. The auctioneer began;
"Welcome gentlemen! Welcome to the sale of the latest meat of Dubai!"
The men in room hollered and cheered! Zara's heart fell and lifted at the same time. Terrified that she was considered nothing but meat to these men but at the same time glad that anyone who bought her today would clearly keep her in control. As the auctioneer continued his sales pitch, the guard took her burqa off.
Her shivering returned as she stood naked in front of the men with nothing on but her gag, collar and leash. The guard was the one who surprisingly came to her rescue. "Walk, slave," he commanded.
Zara unthinkingly responded to the whisper. She slowly walked back down the runway again, only this time naked. She got to the end of the runway and discovered she didn't know what to do. Does she walked back? Do she just stand there? She didn't have any orders. When left with that situation, she did what came naturally.
She knelt and bowed her head to the ground.
It was the right move as the bidding went faster. Zara could immediately hear the auctioneer quickly recognizing one bid after another. The bidding quickly went on until the winning bid settled at six hundred dollars.
Zara quickly felt the guard coming up to her. He took her leash and pulled her along. Crawling on her hands and knees, Zara followed the man to the centre of the stage and through the back. Zara only stopped when the man did. He spoke to another man and Zara quickly heard that this man was her new owner. She kept her eyes to the ground, not wanting to disrespect her new owner. The man left and Zara was with her new owner. Zara saw the feet of another man.
"Look up, Zara."
Zara recognized the voice. She looked up and in shock saw her uncle. Her uncle bent over and unlocked and removed her gag.
Her uncle nodded and pointed to her new owner. "I believe you met Sharif before."
Zara looked at the face of her owner for the first time and saw that he was familiar.
"It's been awhile, Zara," her new owner said and now Zara remembered him. He was the son of one of her father's friends. They used to play together when they were children.
"Uncle Johari, what's going on?"
"Well, Sharif's father knew you were going to be sold and approached me for permission to buy you for his son. I agreed."
"But... is that legal? I mean the slave market. They allow this?"
"You were on sale and I bought you," her new owner said.
"True," Uncle Johari said. "The fact that your new owner and your old guardian has a private agreement beforehand is... well, a grey area."
The two men laughed in agreement and Zara now knew why her uncle put in those conditions and why he wanted to sell her cheap. He already knew who her new owner would be! Despite what her uncle said, Zara was pretty sure it was illegal. After "The Plot", women outnumbered men by a hefty margin and one of the main purposes of the slave market was to make sure all the men had an equal chance at the women on offer. Men had the choice and all men had an equal choice. That did not happen in her case and her uncle did it for her!
Her uncle took a risk and made sure she would go to someone who knew and cared for her. Zara didn't need anyone to tell her of the risk he took. She also knew there was nothing she could do to repay his kindness.
So she did the only thing she could. She smiled!
Copyright© 2014 by Ghost Writer. All rights reserved.