Ridge Runner

Ridge Runner

Trees, stumps and boulders that he knew well enough to find in the dark appeared as apparitions then faded behind as he stormed up the slim hollow away from the cabin down on the flat river bend. Boiling clouds of wet morning fog clutched at his feet and pulled at his arms as he worked to climb above them.

Halfway to the ridge he slipped around an outcropping and paused to breathe near the copse of stunted torch pine that seemed to grow right out of the rocks. Later in the day, with the sun high overhead, this was a favorite sunning spot for copperheads but now only golden tendrils of sunlight had begun to tear at the gauzy curtain around him. Through an opening shard of green, the cabin looked like a small car from here. From up top it would be a matchbox.

Flight was more an instinct than a planned strategy. No doubt when she said “GO!” she meant out of the room but by the time he yanked his jeans up and cinched his belt, “OUT!” was all he was thinking.

He heard his name, clear as a crow’s call across the valley. Once. Then again. His heart, settling back into its rhythm, pumped the blood that coursed through the welts that he knew crossed his backside. He felt the burn that had been dulled by the run up the mountain. The searing pain that had forced him to bite the pillow.

But worse than that, he felt the wet spot in the front of his pants, that small drip that came when he was hard in spite of-or because of-his humiliation and pain. How could that be right? The first time she’d laid hands on him he felt it.  Did she know that? Could she tell? Is that why she stopped taking him over her lap and made him lie across the bed?

He wasn’t hard just then, thinking about it. But he wasn’t altogether soft either. With none but the trees to see, he rubbed his hand along the back of his jeans feeling a slight charge from massaging a spot at the top of his leg. Just as he was about to loosen his belt to slip his hand inside, he heard his name again. Sharper this time. Jabbing. Then, “It’ll be twice as bad if you don’t get back here right now!”

His heart beginning to race again, he turned his back downhill and continued to climb.

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No Redemption Without Damnation

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(Continued from The Colonel Comes Home – Memories)

“You’re Sylvia Palacios?” he growled in a guttural lowland accent.

“Yes Captain”.

Garcia squinted. “You know me?”

“No sir. Your braid is the mark of a Captain. My husband was a soldier, sir.”

“We know. At this moment, that’s the only thing saving your life.”

Garcia flipped his good leg over and hopped to the ground. He loosened the ax from its’ bindings. With a few barked orders the soldiers dismounted and spread through the property and into the house.  She didn’t move as he strode by her, as if immobility made her invisible. “Did you know my Antonio?”

“No. The Colonel suddenly has a soft spot for widows of those who died under his command.”

She jumped but didn’t turn at the crash of the first ax blow. Then the second-she knew what he was doing. A few more then the door, in shards, was tossed aside. A window shattered as a chair flew through it. She directed the men with what sounded like grunts and coughs. The dialect was strange to her, but she thought she heard the word “treasure.”

“Where is the gold?” he asked, suddenly back at her shoulder.

“What gold Captain?”

He leaned and rumbled into her ear. “Remember I said your life has been saved for the moment. It’s a gift that can be withdrawn any time.”

She turned and met his eyes but for a moment. “Bedroom closet. Under the floorboards.”

He turned his head and barked. She heard the rumble of men rushing through her house then the crashing of axes.

“What’s to become of me?” she asked having turned away again.

“If you live, it’s shit-town for you”, he said distracted, paying attention to the two bags that his men were bringing out of the house. The little she knew of shit-town was it was the bottom of the bottom caste. Natives living naked in the jungle occupied a higher rung on their society’s ladder. At least the band of outcasts and ne’er do wells that lived along a downstream slough of the river had a function. They managed the rudimentary sewage runnels that the viceroy had invented years before to relieve the highlands of any town’s most vexing and continuous need. And they washed soldier’s uniforms and the army’s bandages in large boiling pots well upstream from the shit pipes. The other lore she ignored for the time being. She would know soon enough.

He brought the bags to the table beside her and emptied the smaller one. “Not as much here as I thought there would be.”

“I’ve been living off it, since Antonio died.”

“There’s more?”

“There was. That’s all that’s left. I swear.”

They were old coins imprinted with the name of a Spanish king who had rotted away decades ago. Impossible to know when, or where, Antonio Palacios had made them his own. But it didn’t matter, they belonged to the Colonel now he thought, as he put them back into the sack. Most of them anyway. He left enough on the table for his men to pick up. They would notice there were exactly three per man and would take their share. Everyone had ways to ensure a soldier’s loyalty.

“You gather everything you can carry in a pillowcase”, he told her. As she entered the house, the soldiers walked out carrying Laurencia’s clothes. Deadened to what she might see, she didn’t even gasp at the ruin around her. Tables, chairs, dressers, all smashed and scattered. She found another dress, like the one she wore, in a pile. Also trousers. Sandals, underclothing, boots…all jammed into a sack. Turning from the shattered room she saw the captain-silhouetted in the sunshine from outside- standing between her and the door. He was unfastening his belt. “Oh”, was all she said.

“Remove your dress and lay over the bed”, he said simply. That’s when it registered to her that the bed was the only piece of furniture in the house left undisturbed. She turned her back to him and pulled the rough cloth over her head, letting it fall to the floor. “Your rump has all the colors of the sunset, Senora.” She knew as she lowered herself that the bruises were fading but still very much in evidence.

“The Colonel was very thorough”, she said situating herself over the foot of the bed, feet on the floor. “I deserved it”, she repeated her mantra.

“Well, there will be no whipping today”, he said.

She turned her head to look back over her shoulder. His dark cock, long, and slender, pointed to her bottom like a compass needle finding true north. Again, even in her shame, she felt a flutter in her breast. She had nothing not grown in the garden between her legs for years. Her rounded backside was large and heavy enough to well cover her treasures. “Spread these”, he said stepping between her legs. She wriggled to comply and felt his surprisingly gentle finger over her dry slit. She pushed backward trying to open as he wriggled against the opening that seemed impossibly narrow.

“There is lotion”, she said quickly. “If you can find it. It was in a jar on the dresser.”

“You would like that”, he said rubbing back and forth. “It would be easier for you.”

“And for you”, she said. “Would you rather slip through butter or grind through sand?”

She felt his hand on her bottom cheek as he pushed away and shuffled to where the dresser lay, its drawers having vomited their contents in a swath across the floor. She rolled onto her side and pointed to a spot near the wall. “There”, she said. “The green jar.” He picked it up and she settled back onto her stomach.

“And it’s not broken”, he said chuckling. “I’ll have to speak to my men.”

The joke did not register as she pulled a pillow to her face and opened her legs. She gasped as first one, then two fingers, worked their way up and down then, well-greased, entered her. She lifted onto her toes to better accommodate him as he oiled and stretched her with a few minutes of thorough fingering. She felt him move closer against her before he withdrew his hand and roughly grasped her hips. Pulling as he pushed forward, he sheathed himself-in a single slow thrust-as completely as possible into her secreted vagina. He pushed harder trying to get all the way in but her bottom-as pleasant as he found it to rub against-was an impediment to complete penetration.

“Your ass, senora…It is in the way…” he caught his breath and bit his tongue.  Though an older man, he spent little time with women these days and concentrated, concerned that he might come too quickly.

“I could lay on my back”, she offered.

“No”, he said pulling out. “I like it back here. But I think I’ll switch holes.”

Before she could panic at the prospect of being violated in a way she hadn’t for years, the head of his cock was pushing at her tiny brown button. As a child she was told if she opened her mouth wide, it would open her back there. So, feeling the searing burn as the Captain stretched his way into her top hole, she opened her mouth wide and said nothing as he filled her completely with his length and breadth.

“Better…” he grunted pushing deeply. He saw the woman’s hands shaking as she clenched the bedclothes and knew her mouth was full of pillow. His strokes, for the most part, were shallow and quick. Not until he felt himself gathering at the gate did he drive deeply, grinding into Sylvia Palacios’ ass. He didn’t care any longer about coming; would prefer to get it over with. His job here was complete-he could report her well used.

Backside aflame, her ears rang with the slapping sound of skin on skin as he bounced off her bottom. Hurry damn you! she thought holding her breath as he quickened pace for a moment then stiffened with a grunt and shudder. He collapsed atop her as his throbbing cock painted her insides with ill sown seed. He lay still until his breathing recovered then pushed himself off her to stand.

“Come on”, he said after wiping himself with the end of the sheet. “We have to be off.” He picked up the dress and her sack and strode out the door. She knew he meant for her to follow him naked into the yard but she refused, finding a limit to her appetite for punishment. Moving stiffly, she wrapped the soiled sheet around her and shuffled through the door.

When he saw her, he barked a quick order and the soldier nearest her ripped the sheet from her with such force she almost tumbled. “I can’t ride like this!” she cried, her alabaster body gleaming in the sunlight.

He gave another quick order and two soldiers took her roughly and tied her feet and hands with coarse rope that had been thrown over their saddles. She didn’t resist knowing struggle was fruitless and allowed herself to be lifted and thrown bottom up over the saddle like a bag of corn. She watched the ground mutely as they tied her hands to her ankles and with another rope, fastened her to the saddle.

“There”, he said standing beside the burro and patting her upturned bottom strongly. “You think you can ride like this?” She said something he didn’t hear. “What?”, he asked.

“I’m leaking you bastard!”, she whispered raggedly. Knowing what she meant he tore a slice from the sheet and shoved it roughly between the cheeks of her ass. “There”, he said patting her again. “That should save the saddle.” Then, struck by an idea, he stepped to the fire pit and took a piece of charcoal. He brushed her bottom as one might a table to clear crumbs and with the charcoal wrote in fine script, “Sylvia Palacios” and below that “Madre Horrible”. He stood back admiring his handiwork before mounting and tying Sylvia’s burro to his saddle horn. “Now let’s ride.”

The soldier in the lead headed off on a neglected trail that led directly to the river. “Not that way”, the captain said turning his horse to the well-worn path. “Let’s go down through town.”

Her humiliation complete, Sylvia Palacios wept. The Captain leaned over and spoke softly to the back of her downcast head. “There can be no redemption without damnation, Senora.”

(Thus ends Chapter One of ‘The Colonel Comes Home’)

The Colonel Comes Home – Memories

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(Continued from The Colonel Comes Home – 4)

Sylvia Palacios sat on a hard stool in the courtyard of her home and let her eyes flow over the untended garden and the darkness of the ever-encroaching jungle. Years before, they’d cut many trees in clearing this land. What she knew is that trees, like memories, were never gone. You could drop the thickest tree, cut it into logs and send it down river or burn it for charcoal. With a strong mule and harness, maybe a little dynamite, you can be rid of the stump and with dirt fill, the ground would look fine. Would look strong. Would be strong; for a while.

But over the years the roots below ground would be eaten by insects; would rot. Would disappear and become voids where there was once strength. The voids, unseen on the surface, would create sinkholes that lay in wait to twist a knee, crack an ankle or crumble a house. That is what memories are: voids from the never-forgotten past that open sinkholes in the soul and she had fallen into one and gotten horribly twisted.

She could not grasp why she did what she did. Even now, in the light of day, she could barely remember it. But when she finally awoke this morning and found Laurencia gone, she knew what she had done. She was strangely composed as she changed from her night clothes into an old, shapeless cotton house dress: a fitting garment for her last day on earth. She deserved no better. She wore no underclothes in case there would be another whipping before her execution.

Her long hair was tied in a braid to make it easier for the hangman’s noose or, God forbid, the chopping block. She’d heard of beheadings-horrific stories of tribal warfare-but had never seen one. If they were to shoot her, she hoped it would be against the front wall so the last thing she would see was the garden and the purple mountains beyond. That was her preference, she supposed. Antonio had been shot. In battle, yes. But shot.

These were her thoughts as, with a rumble, the soldiers rode into her yard. The first of the riders, a tall one with gray hair, had an axe strapped to the side of his saddle. Had she eaten anything in the previous days she would have lost it from one end or the other. Idle rumination of one’s imminent demise are one thing; seeing the instrument of your own end riding in, is was quite another. As it was, her stomach empty and feeding on itself, she only stared, bowels roiling.

(Continuing…)

The Colonel Comes Home – 4

(Continued from The Colonel Comes Home – 3)

A short, sharp, duo-tone whistle reached the ears of Captain Miguel Garcia, the head of the Colonel’s house guard. Captain Garcia, a widower who had ridden with the Colonel since the beginning, looked older than he was but he was still older than the Colonel. Still fierce but with a diplomatic side-a trait that made him valuable to the Colonel in a different way than the soldiers garrisoned across the river or the berserk warriors guarding the poppy fields.

Garcia, limping slightly from an old lance wound, materialized at the end of the veranda. He was tall with a proud leonine head and wavy gray hair combed straight back giving him a patrician air that belied his low country roots. He was not the type of man to be summoned by a whistle like a dog but since losing the hearing in his left ear from cannon fire on the savannah years before, it worked.

“You know the girl’s mother, right?”

“Yes. A Rondon. Breed of pigs, you ask me. The young one” he nodded toward the house “is the last of a misbegotten line.”

With a flick of his wrist the Colonel offered wine which Garcia happily accepted. He sat, stretching and rubbing his gimpy leg.

“What do we know of her father?”

“The girl’s? He was one of ours. Died in the Battle of Marzipan some years ago.”

“Did I know him?”

“I doubt it.” He shrugged. “Decent soldier-otherwise undistinguished.”

The Colonel pulled at his lip. As always, more information complicated things. “How did she come to be living in a stone house halfway up the mountain?”

Garcia shrugged. “Maybe he was a thief.”

“You think he stole from us?” he asked sharply, the question rife with dark import.

“No”, replied Garcia. “He kept his head until he lost it. There are endless places for a soldier to steal if he’s a mind.”

“But”, said the Colonel finger raised for emphasis “Doesn’t all treasure won in conquest belong to all of us?” Garcia shrugged uninterested in that debate. Easier to legislate against soldiers shitting than stealing. The Colonel let it lie. “Otherwise he served us well?”

“Adequately. Died well-at the front of a charge.”

“A horseman?”

“No.”

“No?”

“One of the human waves we sent at them, on the Sun Plains.”

“Ah”, said the Colonel. “A glorious day.”

“Not for him.”

“He was probably out in front to get to the gold first.”

“There is that.”

“Serves him right then. Why can’t I remember him?”

“You’ve commanded hundreds—thousands–over the years Colonel. You can’t remember them all. “

“Aye”, he waved it away like a bug. “No matter. Her house is ours now. You want it?”

“I’m happy where I am Colonel.”

“Leave it empty then. Take the doors and windows off so the mountain can reclaim it. Let her collect everything in a single sack that she can carry. Bring the livestock and anything else you can find here. It’s off to shit-town for her. Let them deal with her.”

“As you will Colonel”. He finished his wine in a swallow and stood. “Will she be coming back? Or is this a one-way trip?”

“Up to her, I’d imagine.”

“Very well.” With a nod that could have been interpreted as a bow, Garcia turned to take his leave.

“And Miguel,” the Colonel added softly. Hearing his given name, the Captain stopped and leaned back. “Use her, my friend. You won’t take her house, take her. With my permission. No, even at my insistence.” He would use words like this sometimes to disguise orders.

The Captain nodded and was off.

 

(Continuing…)

The Colonel Comes Home – 2

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(Continued from The Colonel Comes Home)

Sylvia Palacios had obviously spent the morning preparing for her audience with the Colonel. The daughter’s hair and cheekbones must have been her father’s but the black eyes came from the one standing across from him. He hadn’t asked her to sit. She was his height, wide shouldered and rounded of hip. Her breasts, no doubt she thought her best feature, were bound up, pressing proudly against her bodice. She was not striking or beautiful as Laurencia was becoming but pretty enough in her own right.

“Did you ride the burro up?”

“No Colonel. I have a pony-left me by my husband. It’s old but knows the trails.” She had walked the pony slowly, so as not to sweat in the oppressive heat of the day. And even if she did, she had powdered and oiled enough not to offend. The breezy deference that she showed upon entering the veranda began to wither as she wasn’t offered a seat. Nor was there a glass for her as the Colonel drank what looked to be wine. She expected a work table full of maps, plans and papers but it was clear and spotless. Just the Colonel’s glass and a pitcher and the wine. She was thirsty and growing nervous.

He looked at her from the side-as if cocking his head from the smoke of a cigar.  “That is some daughter you have there, Senora.”

“Oh yes, Excellency. She is my pride.” So, she thought, this IS about Laurencia. The girl had told her they’d just talked-that the Colonel was too busy to do anything else. Had she lied? She had better not have lied to her.

Muffled shouts from the river below and the buzzing murmur of estate chatter joining the cicadas, birds and monkeys in a blanket of sound made the silence settling between them that much more uncomfortable. “Are you alright Senora? You look to be sweating”, he asked as he poured himself another cup of water. Her upper lip glistened in the sun and a tiny drop slid from her armpit as she watched him drink. “Here”, he said rising. “Let’s walk over to the railing-look out over the river. There’s a breeze.”

He stood aside as she passed but leaned in toward her hair. “Whatever is that scent you are wearing?”

“Guava”, she said surprised and a little confused. Given the cool reception she hadn’t expected a compliment. “I make it…”

“Very nice.”

He led her gently to the railing where the valley and the river from eastern bend to western bend opened to her. “Beautiful, is it not?”

“Yesh”, she slurred slightly, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. Should I ask for water? she wondered.

“Here, here”, said the colonel taking her arms from behind and placing them on the railing, leaning her a little forward. “Breathe”, he told her helpfully. “Take deep breaths.” He sucked air puffing his chest to show her and she followed suit hesitatingly. “Still not enough!” he fussed. “Here”.

He took her hand and placed it along the bracing board below the rail causing her to bend completely over, the rail digging at her waist. “Let your head hang…” She dropped the other hand to the board but uncomfortable, tried to stand. The Colonel lay his hand-as firm as a locust post-across her back.

“You do not move Senora”, he said sternly all cordial pretense gone.

“Colonel…?” she asked trying to look back over her shoulder. She was startled to feel her dress and slip pushed up over her head and the air of the veranda play against her underneath.

“Excellency!” she cried.

He slapped her rump firmly as he might a recalcitrant donkey and she yelped.

“Silence!” he barked rubbing her ass, his calluses catching on the silken undergarments. They were not cheap. Nor too tight. With a yank he loosened them, then worked them down over her bottom. Below her knees, her legs were slender-like a girl’s-but thickened at the top. She whimpered lightly as he ran his hand over the deep dimples on her backside and thighs. Her skin, the color of clam shells, mottled pink with his handprint.

She had clenched her cheeks together so he forced the flat of his hand between her legs pushing and slapping at the inside of her thighs. She reluctantly shuffled her feet apart releasing the soft scent of eucalyptus.

“Colonel”, she begged. “Everyone will see.”

“Yet, you would send your daughter up here for me to use? Would you be so modest if it was she bent over the rail here?”

She flinched at his rough touch between her legs; he squeezed the thickness of them then pressed the side of his hand against her dry slit. “Is this how you would have had me use her? Here? Like this?” He prodded with his finger.

“No Excellency! You are mistaken! I never….”

“Maybe here?” He slipped his thumb into her deep crevice and pushed firmly at her anus.

“NO!! Please…”

“Which of your daughter’s holes would you have had me enter first?” He slapped her again, the loud report echoing. The second handprint-like a discarded glove-appeared over the first as he unbuckled his belt.

She began to blubber when she heard the slithering snap of the leather being pulled from his trousers. It was a sound she remembered too well from childhood. “I’m sorry Colonel” she cried.

“No doubt you are. You will learn from this.” He kneaded her with his left hand. “Do not clench-it will be worse, trust me.”

The first cut of the belt stole her breath-she couldn’t scream as the soft leather stroked equally across both globes with enough left over to snap at the side of her hip. Her lungs filled as the burn spread and she cried out at the second stroke startling a screaming macaw into flight. The third stroke was better aimed, snapping at the center of her right cheek leaving a bright strawberry kiss.

After the sixth stroke she settled into the reality of her thrashing, biting her lip and grunting at each blow. Through her tears she saw peasants across the river pausing to watch the Colonel whip a white woman. Behind her most of the staff had scattered. The women never wanted to be around when the Colonel was in a whipping mood lest some forgotten transgression be remembered. The men nearby might pretend they weren’t watching but would see what they could until their hardness became unbearable and they retreated to the darkest corner of the barn or a willing maid for relief.

Buenila, on the other hand, stood contentedly beside the stone fireplace, bony arms crossing her flat chest. She wouldn’t miss a stroke. If it were up to her, he would whip more of them. If she were capable, it was a job she would be happy to undertake.

While Sylvia Palacios sobbed silently through her thrashing, tasting the copper of blood from her bitten lip, holding still was impossible. She jerked at each stroke, raised on one toe, then the other. Squatted-straightened, balanced on the rail spreading and thrusting-all modesty gone as she revealed herself openly to anyone with eyes. The Colonel, his rage dampened, aimed well, raising new welts and crossing old. The tops of her legs were not forgotten. The senora was bucking like a heifer in a branding cage when he stayed his arm to take stock. Her backend was crossed with pink and red stripes decorated with starbursts of purple. She bent, spent and sobbing, over the rail this time welcoming the respite of his rough hand surveying his handiwork.

“I think my work here is done”, he said rubbing and closely inspecting. He hadn’t broken the skin which was good. This was the jungle after all and any wound was an invitation to infection. The Colonel gently took her slip, then her dress and dropped them over her naked behind.  “Come, Senora,” he reached out a hand. “Arise. Come on. Up, Up…”

She stood on shaky legs and accepted the clean, silk handkerchief the Colonel offered. Her face, as red as her bottom, was smeared with tears, powder and snot. She worked at it, sniffling as he led her to a chair.

“Here”, he said. “Sit.”

She snorted lightly into the handkerchief. “Now you offer me a seat?”

The Colonel’s mouth twitched; the ghost of a smile below his mustache. “It’s canvas”, he said. “Look-it will be fine.”

She smiled ruefully with her eyes at least and sat, lowering herself lightly, gripping the chair arms. It took a few wriggles and adjustments before she could sit, listing to one side.

“There” he said.

Then she noticed the fresh pitcher of chilled water and a cup in front of her. She reached, then stopped. “May I?”

“By all means” He poured himself a glass of Port, also new to the table, and without much prodding heard the story of Sylvia Palacios. At least the rehearsed, well-told story. About how her father had given her for use to her uncle, then when he grew tired of her she was offered to a provisional reagent whose name escaped the Colonel. As she droned on his attention was pulled to her white underpants lying on the dark wood like a dead gull. It was curious that the sight of the discarded silk aroused him more than her naked bottom had.

He had tired of her story-and tired of trying to fathom how much truth was in it.

“Your father”, he asked. “Is he still alive?”

“No Excellency.”

“Your uncle?”

“No. They both died in the last war.”

“Pity. I would have liked to kill at least one of them for you.” Then, after a pause “What do you think about what happened to you today?”

She looked at her hands and tried to fashion words that would have the ring of truth. It took but a few moments. “I was wrong, Excellency. And deserved everything you gave me. I insulted you…”

“Your daughter…”

“My daughter. And should have been whipped. I apologize.”

“Not to me. Go now. Prepare a meal for your daughter and apologize for being such and awful mother.”

“I will Excellency. I will tell her….”

“You will tell her nothing. You will show her-by attention, by doing everything moving forward to show her how important she is to you.”

“Yes Excellency.”

“Now go. I’ve spent enough time this week with Palacios women.”

She rose gingerly and looked toward the rail spotting her underwear. She went to retrieve them.

“Leave them”, said the Colonel, not sure why.

“Yes sir.” She looked away from them like they didn’t exist and with a slight curtsey, disappeared from the veranda, across the patio and was gone. The voices of the house, stilled for a while, began to buzz again.

At the gate Sylvia Palacios wondered about the hard, worn leather of the saddle. She had no choice, it was too far to walk. Placing one foot in the stirrup she put the other one over and sat. No, she thought, wincing, as the pony started to walk. Her bottom felt burned and shrunken. She stood in the stirrups trying to look regal as she passed everyone who knew why she wasn’t sitting astride her little pony.

That little bitch will pay for this, she thought darkly. My shame will be her pain.

 

(Continuing…)

Chelsea – 3

 

tumblr_nzyvo9tk1x1s3zznpo1_1280(Continued from Chelsea – 2)

“CHELSEA!” Geneva cried as she was coming up the hill from the apple trees. “THE WORKSHOP!” Chelsea looked up to see her running and pointing behind her. She spun to see smoke rolling out of the open door. “SHIT!” She dropped the mower deck and ran into the smoke.

Fresh sawdust smolders for a long time before bursting into open flame. Chelsea figured she had not very many more seconds before the smoke bomb would have become a conflagration. As it was, she didn’t even use the fire extinguisher, just turned the hose on it. By the time Gennie came gasping through the door, it was out, leaving nothing but the smoky cloud behind.

“Shit, Chel. What happened?”

She was too shaken to just laugh it off. “I don’t know. I had a cigarette…”

“You were smoking in here?”

“No! I mean…I was smoking out there-working on the mower deck-then came in here for a wrench. Must have laid the cigarette…”

“Jesus!” Gennie was nervously circling. “Okay, okay…we won’t tell him, right? We just won’t say anything.”

“Sniff, girl. Smells like fire in here.”

“We’ll open the loft door. Then get rid of it-the sawdust. Everything that’s burnt. We’ll take it back into the woods.”

“It’ll still smell in here.”

“Fire up the saws. Fresh sawdust will cover the smell!”

“Gen, that’s not going to fool him. I’m fucked.”

“No. Come on!” Geneva grabbed a shovel, “Get that bucket, both of those…”

Chelsea wasn’t moving. “I’m not lying to him Gen. I’m not.  Is that what you want to do?”

Gennie came up short. “What? No…I didn’t mean that…” She shut up with the crunch of the pickup on the gravel outside. She hadn’t even heard him coming up the driveway. “Aw, Chelsea. We are fucked.”

“Not ‘we’. Not ‘us’…this is my problem, not yours. I’ll deal with it.”

Chelsea ached, not at what she was pretty sure was coming, but at the changing light of his face as he came toward them. Behind the taciturn mask was a smile of joy at seeing them, then a concern over their serious faces followed by the darkening clouds of anger, disappointment and dread of what might have happened. And now, what was going to have to happen.

She had caused this stormy weather. If not for her they would all be standing around talking, laughing, planning the evening. But they weren’t. Because of her. She had never forgotten how it felt to deserve to be punished.

(Continuing…)

A Whipping – Part II

(Continued from A Whipping)

The Punisher regarded her coolly, hiding any feelings behind an implacable mask. He had never wavered in his responsibilities or shirked his duty though the things he had been offered in this room would send a priest pounding for entry at the doors of Hell. He was looking beyond the woman on her knees before him until, deciding, he pushed away from the bench and strode purposefully toward the steps; not pausing as he took one, then another up toward the courtyard.

“Noooo Roger, please!” she bawled and sprawled prostrate on the cold floor crushing her silken beret against the stone. “I’ll die Roger! I will die up there in the courtyard…” She wished suddenly that she wasn’t as strong a woman so she could swoon like some stricken damsel and impress him with her desperation. It wasn’t to be, though. All she could do was weep openly on the stone floor and beg.

She heard the door’s heavy bolt slide definitively closed. Then the cross beam fell securing it. She snuffled and fell silent lifting on an elbow. Roger appeared back down the staircase and crossed to her, reaching down to offer a hand. “Come, Ellie, get up…”

“But Roger…” she took his hand.

“We won’t be going up into the courtyard. And no one will be coming down.”

She held onto his hand but couldn’t rise, slipping down onto her haunches-a hollow husk, completely drained by the cold fear that had filled her totally.

“But what…what will happen?”

“I can’t let you off Ellie. Can’t do it.”

“No! No! You shouldn’t. As I said-I fully expect to…

“I will cane you right here and now.”

“Oh Roger, never will anyone so happily accept a caning as I will today.”

“Best save your gratitude. This will be…more than last time.”

“Yes Roger, I understand. What must I do?”

“Go. Behind the screen”, he pointed to the standing divider in the corner.  “Disrobe to give me access to your bottom. Bare from waist down…cover the rest as you will.”

“Yes, Roger”, she gasped, hurrying lest he change his mind.

She quickly doffed the beret and the veil hanging them on a hook. The dress came off simply enough and she at least had the good sense not to have worn a corset. She pulled at her slip, then her knickers. It was endless! Which is why the serving class was not allowed underclothes when they worked. Their chastisements were so regular that the time expended undressing and dressing again would be too great.

Bare on the bottom, she rubbed her hands along her thighs and backside feeling strangely chilled. Since Olivia, her topography had changed a bit and she suddenly wondered what he would think. It was vain, she knew, given all the women he has seen in this room. She thought of taking her top off over her head but decided to leave it-not wanting to seem too wanton. She doubted that Roger expected to see her walking nude from behind the screen. So, with a deep breath, she stepped from behind the barrier.

Roger was a man of discipline in more ways than one. He locked eyes with Eleanor as she stepped toward him, having no need-or apparently desire-to see what was below her waist. Her heart swelled at his gallantry.

“This way Missus”, he said, being more comfortable in the formality of his office for the time being. She took his hand and allowed herself to be led to the bench. He showed her how to kneel on the platform which placed her legs a little wider than her shoulders and helped her to bend forward across the bench.

“Would you prefer to be bound, Missus?”

She feared that the pain might make her a coward. “The legs, yes. And across the back. Leave my hands free if you would.”

“As you will”, he said formally.

She was conscious of him behind her affixing the straps around her thighs. She could feel his warm breath on her bare bottom as he reached between her legs for the buckles. The thick belt cinched her waist to the bench and she was set.  Once bared and bound she had naught to do but wait. Her insides roiled as she lay her cheek on the leather padding. Her last caning had been a simple ‘bend over and lift your skirts’ affair; almost a lark between old friends. This was more like…

(Continuing…)