Artesius looked up at the sound of voices. The voices were from people young and old, men and women together. When the voices reached him he saw that the source was a crowd of people. They chatted to each other, pointing and gawking at him.

He brushed the tears away and glared at the humans. Whoever it was who’d captured him had put him into some kind of sideshow menagerie. He stood and, very intentionally, turned his back on them.

“Centaur,” the voice from earlier called. A sudden sharp pain lanced over his flank and he spun. “One warning. Greet the crowd, little centaur.”

Artesius nodded once and turned back to the crowd of people. He looked around at them. For the most part they were curious. Some of those in the crowd seemed skeptical; others almost horrified. One pair of eyes met his. A young boy, not more than twelve, looked at him and saw him as a person. The boy glared at the man who held Artesius captive. He looked up at an older man and whispered in his ear for a moment. The man looked startled but nodded once.

Then the boy nodded at him once and turned to leave. Artesius wasn’t sure what he planned but a small part of him felt hope.