From on his knees with his chest to the stone, Dorren slid his right hand around the base. Listening for signs of the overseers approach, he slid his creeping fingers through the small rocks and dust until he felt the wooden edge of the water bucket. He grabbed it gently with his fingertips and started to pull it slowly back around the rock towards him.
Dorren was torn between the need to go slowly, and the desire to snatch the bucket and flee back up the hill as fast as his feet would make it. He could hear the overseers boots crunching the dirt and gravel just on the other side of him. His nervousness began to manifest itself in the form a trembling limbs and knotting muscles.
That soothing drink earlier now turned treasonous as it became sweat that ran into his eyes and burned.
Wiping his eyes clear with his free hand, he listened for sounds of the overseer, then continued to pull his prize toward him. "I think I can make it..", he thought to himself as he inched the container ever closer.
The Sarrian was raving at its charges with more venom than before, so Dorren was sure it wouldn't notice anything else. Now he could see the bucket, and his thoughts and eyes started to plan his ascent up the hill. Just a few more seconds and he would be safely back up the hill, salvaged water-bucket in hand. And then she couldnít refuse to tell him her name..and maybe join him for the evening meal..and maybe after THAT...
"What have we here?", was the sound that broke him from his plans and brought the whole world down upon him.
The Sarrian overseers' whip cracked and wrapped around Dorrens neck as its booted heel drove down onto his hand. Dorren felt some small bones crack, and his fingers go numb as the sarrians foot twisted. A rough jerk on the whip brought him to his feet, then he was immediately knocked back down by an armored fist.
"One that doesn't work, eh?", the Sarrian overseer kicked the wooden bucket away, sending it bouncing off of the stone with a sharp 'CRACK'. Dorren hardly noticed as he was now gasping for breath, unable to get enough air past the restricting coils of the overseers hold on him. He grabbed at the whip around his throat with his good hand, trying desperately to relax the tension. The Sarrian laughed at seeing Dorrens pathetic attempts to free himself.
"Since you donít work, you can die!" With that declaration came a swift, hard kick to the solarplexes and Dorren gave up any hope of ever drawing another breath.
He fell to his hands and knees and tried to remain conscious. His left hand had landed on the edge of the water bucket- the instrument of his demise. Feeling his life-force slipping away, a strange sense of calm began to flood through him. "Why not just let go?", it said, "Then I can finally be at rest..." The seductive peace of the afterlife called to him and most of Dorren wanted to follow it.

But not all.
Somewhere within him, a small voice became a panicked shout, "NO! Donít die! Not like THIS!! Not without a fight!" The whole of Asheland may have fallen without a fight to the mighty Sarrian warriors, but THIS Asheldian would not! Not this time!

His hand closed around the edge of the piece of Asheldian Oak beneath it. With a desperate effort, Dorren lifted himself up onto one knee, and swung the hard-wood weapon at the Sarrians helmeted head. He had no thought towards punishment or escape, just the sheer instinct to fill his burning lungs with air. Dorren put every bit of strength he possessed into making this one shot..his only shot, he knew...a killing one.

Dorren was rewarded with dull wooden 'thunk' and a sharp metallic 'clang' as he felt the impact shudder up his arm. The splintered remains of the now-useless water bucket shattered in his grip from the impact. A sense of satisfaction entered Dorren at the thought of toppling one of the monsters that lorded over him.

Only, the Sarrian did not fall.

It staggered backwards a step or two, but the iron grip holding him never wavered. Instead, the overseer laughed.
A cruel, mocking laugh gaining in volume. Dorren felt his hope drain away along with the last bit of his strength. The overseer yanked on the whip like a malevolent owner recalling a wayward pet, jerking Dorrens body fully up-right so as to laugh in his face. Its laughter was joined by an armored knee to Dorrens groin. Blackness closed around his vision, and bile rose in his throat.

The overseer grabbed Dorren roughly by the hair and uncoiled its whip. Over his gasping, ragged attempts to draw a breath, Dorren heard they overseer say, "I am Kahl U'sarren-drett. You've shown spirit this day, Asheldian!Ē
The Sarrian removed his helmet and leaned close to hiss into Dorrens ear, ďAnd before this nights moons have passed, I shall BREAK IT!" Sneering, he slammed Dorrens head into the side of the large boulder.
Dorren felt his body falling slowly; time had him again, as it had when the water-bucket fell. He saw rather than felt his body slam into the hard, rocky ground. His breath would surely had left him from the jolt, had he yet been able to draw one.

The last the he saw before he let the abyss take him was the soon-to-be-setting sun.
Another hour or so, and he would have been able to rest in its absence. An hour or so ago, this was just another day like many others of toiling in its glare. Now, he knew he may never see the sun again.
One final thought flitted across his mind before was lost to them all...he forgot to ask the water-girl her name.