I am a spider in a city of webs. The loom spins, expelling silken threads.
“Faster.” I flinch before the cane hits my back, but my shoulders have hardened to such blows.
I can not work faster. I am already faster than all the others. The rebukes of the Overlookers are compulsory, something they do to avoid punishment of their own.
“Faster,” another says. “Do you want to be paid?”
That makes me flinch in earnest. I can’t afford another day without pay. My stomach rumbles, but it will endure. Their stomachs are what worry me, their bellies growling with hunger for another night.