All he did was ask to go home.
The last time the Burmese slave made the same request, he was beaten almost to death. But after being gone eight years and forced to work on a boat in faraway Indonesia, Myint Naing was willing to risk everything to see his mother again. His nights were filled with dreams of her, and time was slowly stealing her face from his memory.
So he threw himself on the ground and roped his arms around the captain's legs to beg for freedom.
The Thai skipper barked loud enough for all to hear that Myint would be killed for trying to abandon ship. Then he flung the fisherman onto the deck and chained down his arms and legs.
Myint was left for three days to burn in the searing sun and shiver in the nighttime rain, without food or water. He wondered how he would be killed. Would they throw his body overboard to wash up on shore, like the other corpses he'd seen? Would they shoot him?
Or would they simply bash his head open, as they had done before?
He was never going to see his mother again. He would simply disappear, and she wouldn't even know where to look.
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