| Betty pushed her chair back and started collecting the coffee cups. Geoff could hardly believe that the old transvestite was really a man. He wondered what Betty thought of him, dressed ─ as he was ─ as Tania Hyde.
'It's your turn now Chloe. Tell your story for my guests,' said Mr Prentice. 'Then we must go to bed.
'I don't want to. It hurts to remember,' said the naked, mousy-haired girl sitting between Jenny and Zoë.
'It will hurt more if you don't, my girl.'
'I'm sorry, Master. Please don't punish me. I'll tell.' Chloe blushed and stared down at the table as she started her story. Geoff noticed the purple bruises on her large breasts as he followed her gaze.
I grew up in the country, in Suffolk, not on a farm but in a principally farming community. My dad was the landlord of the only pub in the village. On my eighteenth birthday he let me help behind the bar for the first time during opening hours. He was very strict like that. Of course, I knew all the locals and they all called me by my nickname: Bagpuss. I hated that name but it had stuck. I think it was because of my slightly chubby appearance: puppy fat that had appeared with the onset of puberty. Anyway, I had got used to it.
Because they knew me, they also knew it was my birthday and started singing as soon as I walked in behind the bar. Dad had said I could accept just one drink if offered and old Seth Baggott was the first to offer. I thanked him and poured myself a double Bacardi and coke. If only Dad knew that I'd been drinking this concoction since I was fourteen, he'd have gone berserk; but he didn't know, bless him. I raised my glass and sipped my drink legally for the first time in my life. 'Thank you, Seth. Cheers everyone,' I said.
It was then that he walked in. Expensive-looking townie, I thought. Grey arrogant eyes, smart suit. Money written all over him. Tall. Not bad looking but not my type at all. He was staring at my breasts. It made me blush. I hated him. But I was bar staff.
'Can I help you?'
'A pint of Adnam's please.'
I tapped the order into the computerized till and pulled his drink.'
'Could you top it up please, Bagpuss?'
He must have read my nickname from the LED display/. I made a mental note to kill my father for doing this to me. I topped up his pint.
'Thank you, my dear.' His was grinning and still staring at my tits.
'Patronizing sexist bastard,' I thought.
He took his pint to a table and took a newspaper out of his briefcase. When I cleared the table, after he had left, I saw that he had completed The Times crossword. And that was all I thought about it until a week or so later.
It was Sunday. I was out for a stroll in the morning, to clear my head before helping Dad out in the bar. I was on my way back to the village when the Jaguar pulled up just beside me.
I whirled and bent to the lowered window, not recognizing the voice. It was the same man.
'I'm just on my way to The Chequers. Can I offer you a lift?'
'No thanks. It's not far. I'm out for a walk.'
'Don't be silly. I want to buy you a drink. Hop in.'
Dad had said that I could accept the money for drinks, even if I didn't drink them. My plan was to save these tips and use them to see me through university. I had a place at Warwick (to do Maths) already.
'OK then.' I tried the door. It wouldn't open.
'Sorry, Love, that door's stuck. Hop in the back.'
The back door opened easily enough and I clambered in and closed it. There was a partition between me and the driver and the darkened windows not only prevented people from seeing into the car but also stopped me seeing out. The journey home should have taken about five minutes. I wasn't wearing a watch but it seemed too long.
'Hey,' I shouted, 'are we there yet? Are you lost?'
A speaker crackled and I heard his voice. 'Shut your mouth, Bagpuss. Any further talking will be punished severely.'
'My name's not Bagpuss, it's Chloe. Now stop the car and let me out.'
No answer. No crackle even. I tried the door. Locked. I tried the windows. They wouldn't open.
It must have been an hour or two before the car stopped and the door was opened. The man grabbed my arm and pulled me out. I tried to run but he held me in a vicelike grip. He was already fitting the manacles to my wrists. Before the bag went over my head, I saw that we were in the drive of an expensive looking house. Gravel crunched under our feet as he frogmarched me indoors. Then he wrestled me down a flight of stairs. Something round my neck. A collar. Pushed to the ground. Clanking. A chain. Silence. He was gone.
I analyzed my situation and explored what freedom of movement I had. I was sitting on a cold stone floor with my hands cuffed behind me. My neck was chained to a metal staple on the wall, which seemed to be of bare brick. I could only stand if I bent double. I was a prisoner. Why? In a minute he would come back and say it was all a joke. But nothing. I waited. And waited. In pitch blackness time goes slowly but I couldn't believe that it wasn't night already. I wanted to pee badly.
After what seemed like hours more, I didn't want to pee any more; but I did want to take off my wet jeans. No luck there either. Now the fear came. Would he leave me here to starve? I cried for the first time in my ordeal; terrified, alone and bereft of hope.
His voice and his shaking of my shoulder brought me back to consciousness.
'Wake up, Chloe. Are you hungry?'
I couldn't bring myself to speak.
'My word! You've pissed you pants, girl. Let's get them off.'
In my weakened and confused state I didn't resist as I felt his hands unzip my jeans and pull them down my legs. Panic only set in when he started to pull at my thong.
'But they're wet.'
I tried to kick out at my invisible assailant ─ uselessly. I heard the material of the thong rip.
He was sitting on my legs. I heard the two clicks as he cuffed my ankles. He forced my ankles apart now and I realized that he had attached something long and rigid to the ankle cuffs that stopped me from closing my legs once his weight was removed from them. I felt so ashamed, knowing that he would be able to see my nakedness: my opened and vulnerable sex. Was I about to be raped? It was a thought that had occurred to me before, in the car. I don't remember ever before being so terrified as I was in that moment.
Then I felt his fingers reach under my teeshirt. He pulled it up and pulled my fleece off my shoulders in one movement. It hurt as he tweaked my nipples, erect from the cold of the room.
Snip. Snip. Scissors! He was cutting off my remaining clothes.
'Please,' I begged.
'I have already told you not to speak. You will be punished.'
I didn't understand, back then. 'Please,' I begged again.
'Thirty strokes of the taws,' he said, feeling my breasts now.
'Please,' I begged.
'Forty strokes with the taws.'
'Taws?' I said, bewildered.
'Fifty. You'll find out soon enough, Chloe.'
Then he was gone. I was naked and cold and he was gone. I slept again.
The cold water woke me up. The hood was gone. He was standing over me, hosing away my motions and leering at my nakedness.
'You dirty girl,' he said. ' Are you going to be good now?'
'Yes,' I said. I'd have done anything just to be able to stand up and move my trapped arms.
It was the same man: the one in The Chequers; the one who had kidnapped me. He was wearing casual clothes now: shirt and slacks. He was going to rape me and possibly kill me now. 'Yes,' I said again.
He freed my collar from the chain and attached a new one, by which he pulled me into a standing position and towards him.
It was difficult to walk with the metal bar that still separated my ankles but I managed somehow.
'Are you a virgin?' he said, as we reached the foot of a flight of stairs in the corridor outside my cell.
'Please don't hurt me.'
His fingers parted my vulnerable sex.
'Please don't hurt me.'
A finger penetrated my dry vagina.
'Ouch. Please don't hurt me.'
The finger carried on probing.
'Ah, yes,' he said. 'A virgin; and a talkative one at that. Now, Chloe, I'm going to take the leg spreader off so that you can walk up the stairs. You won't try to run away, will you?'
'No,' I said, glancing around to see if I could see an obvious escape route.
'Say "No, Master",' he said.
I decide to humour him until I could escape. 'No, Master.'
He knelt and removed the metal bar but, before I could react, he replaced it with a chain. He picked up the metal bar and stood, taking my chin between his fingers and forcing me to stare into his grey, menacing eyes.
'Are you frightened?'
'Yes,' I said.
'Yes what, girl?'
'Yes, of course I'm frightened. What are you going to do with me?'
'Oh dear! What a slow learner you are. Follow.'
He started to plod up the stairs. The chain at my neck pulled me stumbling after him. At the top we entered plusher surroundings than the stark corridor of metal doors that we had just left. There was another staircase going up and a number of polished oaken doors. The biggest door was painted black; obviously the front door – my escape route. The chain at my ankles was long enough to let me walk but short enough to prevent long strides; I felt a bit like a Japanese geisha as I followed him into a room, taking little pigeon steps.
The room was expensively furnished with plush armchairs and a great oak table in the centre; but there was one anomaly. Under the window there was a sort of trestle; like the ones that carpenters use but upholstered with leather. Ropes were attached to staples at the base of each leg and a long leather strap trailed down from the crosspiece.
'Are you frightened?' he said, as he led me toward the weird item of furniture.
'Yes,' I said.
'Do you know what it is?'
'Call me Master.'
His voice brooked no refusal this time. 'No, Master.'
'It's a whipping trestle. In a short time I'm going to ask you to bend over it, Chloe. Will you do that for me?'
'You can't be serio—'
He took hold of my chin again. His eyes twinkled with malevolent humour now. 'Then you will ask me to punish you, Chloe. You will beg. The only decision you have to make is whether you beg me to fuck your worthless little virgin cunt first. Do you understand?'
His slap silenced me again. I started to cry.
'Do you know what a taws is?'
'No,' I sobbed, not wanting to know in the slightest.
'I'll show you.'
I watched him walk to the sideboard, wondering if I could beat him to the door. No. He was nearer to it than I.
'This, my dear, is what you will soon beg me to beat you with.'
He was holding a short leather strap divided into two along its length.
'This was the traditional instrument of chastisement in Scottish schools until not that long ago. It brings about obedience after six strokes but you have earned fifty. Are you frightened? Bend over the trestle now and I'll show you how obedient you will become.'
'No. You can't get away with this. I'll scre—'
And I did. I screamed as he brought the horrid thing down across my naked chest. And again as it hit my shoulder. I fell to my knees and cowered, but he didn't hit me again.
'Get up. Unless you want more right now.'
The taws hit, this time, across my shoulder blades. With difficulty I struggled to my feet.
'Please, Master. Please don't hit me. Please.'
'Do you want me to fuck you now?'
'No!' I was horrified.
'Very well; the beating first. Your choice, Chloe. But first,' he went on, 'you will need to be washed and fed. Betty!'
A woman came into the room at his call. She was ugly, I thought at the time, and old looking. Sorry, Betty.
'Give Chloe her shower and feed her. You know the routine.'
'Yes, Master.' Betty's voice was surprisingly deep but sort of stage-childlike.
Betty took my chain and led me out. I thought of pushing her over and making a run for the door but, with my hands cuffed behind me, I wouldn't be able to reach the catch.
'Come along, Dear. He's a good master when you get used to him. Be a good girl for him and he won't beat you too badly. You have to be good though. Do what I say now, and everything will be alright. You'll feel better when we've cleaned you up and fed you. Do you want to go first?'
We were in a bathroom now. I did. I nodded at the toilet pedestal.
'Let's get these undone first.'
She produced a key from her apron and freed my hands, leaving the leather cuffs in place on my wrists. At first I thought she was going to stay and watch me at my toilet but, fortunately, she left the room so that I could empty my bowels in private and shower in peace. With my hands now free I could get to that door.
Betty was waiting for me. She took me downstairs. She must have seen my furtive glance at the front door.
'It's locked, Dear. You'll only get beaten if you try. There's tag in your collar; you wouldn't get as far as the gates. They're locked too. You better get used to it. You're here for the duration. Better give in to him straight away or he might give you to his wife.'
'His wife! She knows about this?'
'And the rest. You don't want to get into her hands. She much the crueller of the two. No; be a good girl for Master. Let's eat. Then I have to take you back to him.'
The meal was a salad: delicious fare for a girl who was just a prisoner, I thought. Crab! A luxury food where I come from; even though Cromer isn't far away. Perhaps where you come from isn't defined by geography.
Then there I was. Back in the drawing room, his face implacable, my nakedness and chains humiliating.
'Would you like me to fuck you now?'
'You're learning at last. Beat you then?'
'Please let me go. I won't tell anyone. I promise.'
'Bend over the trestle.'
'Bend over the trestle.'
'Don't hit me again.'
'Beg me to fuck you, then.'
'Will you let me go if I do?'
'No. Bend over the trestle.'
He forced me now. He tied my hands first, then my ankles after releasing the chain. His hand was stroking my arse and then my sex.
'You're dry. Don't you want me to fuck you?'
'No. Please have pity.'
'Beg for my taws then. You know you deserve it.'
'No. Please. Anything.'
The pain exploded like a smart missile killing children in Iraq. I screamed. He hit me again and again, until I thought I would die. And still he didn't stop. I passed out.
It was Betty that woke me. She untied me and took me back to my prison cell – for such it was; it was bare and cold and I was naked. She chained my neck to the wall and left me weeping on the hard bed.
The next day he beat me again. I tried to count the blows this time, but lost count. My burning bum was count enough. After two more nights in the cell and two more sessions under the wicked taws, I begged him to fuck me. If that was all he wanted, I would do it. Anything but more pain.
'It's too late for that, Chloe. Beg for the fifty strokes that you still haven't asked for. We can't start counting until you beg nicely, girl. Think about it. You will feel this taws every day until you learn to beg properly. You may as well beg now, so that we can get started.
I thought about this. This torture could go on for ever. Then I heard a swish and felt a blaze of pain in my bottom that made the taws seem almost gentle in comparison. I screamed and then started to beg.
'I'll beg. Please, I'll beg. Master, I'll beg'
'Ah! I see my riding crop is teaching you obedience after only one stroke. Good, good! Now beg nicely for your master's taws.'
'Please beat me with your taws, Master.'
'Certainly, Chloe. Fifty for talking out of turn I think we said. I'll give you ten a day. I want you to count them out loud and thank me after the tenth. Will you be a good obedient girl afterwards?'
'Yes, Master; I'll be good.' The memory of that one cut with the crop stood in front of my mind like a big sign saying "Say What He Wants to Hear".
'Good girl. Now I'm going to ask you to prove it. I'm going to untie you. You must lie still and count.'
Could I run now? No; he was close and strong. The taws hurt my already-sore bum but I resisted the urge to stand and rub and protect it. Counting the blows out loud was just further humiliation and proof of the man's power over me. The sign read "Do Whatever He Wants".
'Ten,' I said breathlessly at last.
'Now kneel and thank me.'
I lifted my agonised torso off the trestle and knelt facing him. I tried to sound as "obedient" as I knew how to.
'Thank you, Master, for punishing me. I promise to be a good girl in future.' I hated myself for saying it, but I had no choice.
'Now thank me with your mouth.'
My pain-hazed eyes hadn't noticed before; his penis was sticking out from his trousers, right in front of my face. I had never seen an erect penis before. It looked impossibly huge and was covered with nasty veins. I stared at it, terrified; horrified. He couldn't seriously mean that he wanted me to . . .
'Kiss it first. Then open your mouth to give thanks.'
He grabbed my head then and forced my terrified mouth open. It felt as huge as it looked. I couldn't breath as it forced its way right to the back of my throat and, it felt like, further. I struggled for breath as he pumped it in and out of me like a dancer doing the samba. This was the ultimate horror and humiliation, I thought. Fancy: putting someone's thing in your mouth! Yugh! Yugh! Yugh!
He was holding me by the hair now and pumping faster. Warm liquid filled my mouth. Yugh! Yugh! Yugh! At first I thought urine, but then he withdrew and I watched a final jet of white stuff spurt from the end of his saliva-slicked member. It landed on my chest. The head of my invader was shining red now.
'Say "thank you", Chloe. Or do I have to crop you again?'
I thought about the sign again, as his sticky fluid clung to my tongue and dribbled down my chin. 'Thank you, Master.'
We went through this degrading rigmarole every day for the next four days. Except that twice it was the maid Betty that handed out the beating because Master was busy. I was already thinking of him as Master by then. I had heard him called no other name. But I hated myself for being so servile in thought now as well as in the words he forced me to speak. Betty hit me nearly as hard as he did. I least I wouldn't have to "thank" her, I thought. But I was wrong about that. That's when I found out that Betty was really a man. I was living in a nightmare world. Pinching myself didn't help though.
I was very careful now not to speak without permission. Every time, after he had beaten me, Master explained how else I must behave to avoid the threat of the taws – or worse. I learnt to kneel when he or his fearsome old dragon of a wife entered the room and never look them in the face without permission. My mouth and cunt belong to him. He made me repeat these hateful words every day until I almost believed them myself.
I managed to get through a whole week without being beaten at all. Then I slipped up. I was daydreaming; staring at him and thinking that, despite how much I loathed and feared him, he was quite attractive for his age. He saw me looking.
I fell to my knees, knowing what was coming already and ready to beg for it this time. I pressed my palms together. I'm sorry, Master. Please forgive me. I've tried so hard to be good for you. Please have mercy and don't beat me to hard.' I was crying by now. Sobbing tears of terror.
'Six with the crop. Take position.'
The crop! Six! I started to shake all over as I bent over the trestle and asked him to give me the thing I least wanted. Then I forgot to count the first stroke, so he started again.