Miss Cuntling’s Day Off
The ridiculous honking noises startled me so much I almost fell out of my bunk. Sure as shite that wasn’t Kandrin’s whistle.
“Goooooood Morning, Deepfall!”
In the barrack door stood Kendrick, a bulb hooter in one hand. It looked original, like those brass horns on really old cars. He was obviously enjoying his toy, honking cheerfully at girls to chase them this way and that as he strode up the aisle.
“Forecast says cloudy, then clear, 24°C, light west wind. See you lovelies outside!”
He turned and marched out, working the rubber bulb in sync with his steps. Ten pushed past me on the way to the washroom.
“What a freakshow.”
Twelve minutes later we had lined up for the little fall-in. Kendrick was facing us, this time without the hooter.
“As the more perceptive amongst you may have realised by now, Miss Kandrin is absent today.”
Nothing serious, I hoped…
“So the honour was bestowed upon me to substitute for her as group leader. It fills me with pride to take over guidance of such a fine breed – plus, I’m bound by contract to plague myself with the lot of you once a week.”
There weren’t any noteworthy deviations from our morning routine, though. Kendrick had us run the inner perimeter, then sent us showering before breakfast. The big fall-in held another, more disturbing surprise ready: 1105 was back from the infirmary, if under restrictions. Only light duties, no sports, no activities. The girl still didn’t look too hot, and I was unsettled by how crippling five lashes to the bare back had turned out to be. At all costs the great black single-tail whip had to be avoided.
With Miss Cuntling enjoying her free day, we had a scheduled respite as well. Which meant, no pony training. No bits in our maltreated mouths. No plugs in our maltreated bums, either. I felt truly grateful for that, which was truly fucked-up. Absence of physical and mental abuse should be the norm, not a reward. Of course one would be ill-advised to take freedom, peace, a stable political and economic situation, working healthcare and clean water for granted. But to thank those who regularly inflict cruelty upon one for not doing so once a week was a travesty.
Kendrick arranged the duties. I got tack. Before I took off, I asked his permission for a detour to the main building. I was on the home straight of revealing my misery to the world and would not risk it by violating actual or made-up formalities.
“Miss Kandrin hasn’t mentioned anything about a letter.”
I showed him the Writ of Correspondence Clearance (the first sheet I had found yesterday), which I had stowed in the big envelope, together with my actual letter.
“You sure that doesn’t need to be counter-signed?”
He then had me hand him the sealed envelope.
“There’s not even a stamp on it.”
It was post-paid. He was obviously pulling my leg.
“Okay, Seventeen, you’ve got five minutes.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
I took off to the main building with due speed. The letter box was set into the wall next to the entrance, and its stainless steel front generated an air of finality. Once something had been pushed through its slot, it was irretrievably inducted into a bureaucratic machinery whose cogs turned in but one direction. I jumped up the few steps, hesitated for a moment, and stuffed the letter in. It landed with a faint metallic sound – for the better or the worse no other letters were in the box.
The plethora of leather gear greeted me as I arrived at the tack room. Slacker Boy did the same, yet not as cordially:
“You are late.”
“No, I’m not.”
He gave me a look that failed utterly to carry any form of authority. When handing out the work, he avoided eye contact at all.
“Those reins are to be mended, and the binders need new lacings.”
“Sure, I live to serve.”
I took my time fixing the reins. The last set, although mendable, I just sorted out by throwing it in the wooden box underneath the work table. I didn’t feel like doing any more menial work. Slacker Boy pushed the armbinders over nonetheless. I sighed, not only because of the fiddly task ahead. I hated monogloves and their habit of slow-spraining my shoulders. And I loathed them for giving others power over me (come to think of it, I could sigh at the reins and every other item within the tack room, too).
For once, Slacker Boy showed situation awareness by interpreting my little lament correctly.
“I thought you looked hot in yours.”
Well, my ears looked hot right now, turning red with both embarrassment and rage. He was clearly referring to the other day, when he had unhinged me from my sulky after the pole training at the waterfall. On a theoretical level I had already assumed that he’d seen me under bridle on some occasion. But now he was confronting me with an explicit event, a bijective spot in time and place. Letting me know that he knew. My ears became even hotter.
“Glad you liked me all tied up and gagged and beaten.”
I fiddled angrily at the lacing.
“I don’t like it when they beat any of you,” he back-pedalled. “They say you deserve it for shoplifting or stealing cars or doing drugs. But they shouldn’t whip you.” He didn’t take too strong a position against my being tied up and gagged, though.
Pulling more of the damaged laces free, I nodded towards the infamous bit board.
“You think those don’t hurt?”
“I reckon the spiked ones―”
“All of them do!”
He did not reply. I continued in a more moderate tone.
“They bruise up the mouth, both the inside and outside. After ten minutes even the ‘mild’ models are intolerable, after an hour they are unbearable.”
He glanced at the haematomata I was still sporting, as if he hadn’t noticed them before. I was well aware of how he checked me out every time he saw me. After all, I am a bloofer lass with a history of non-consensual bondage who happens to look hot in armbinders.
“And as for the spiked ones: What’s there to reckon about? They don’t leave much room for interpretation.”
“When I first saw them, I thought that at least the nastier ones were just for show. All that talk about how to use them to ‘break in naughty fillies’ I didn’t took for real. For me they were just poke-cheeking.”
Again the mysterious “they”. Either the boy wanted to separating himself from the whip-wielding villains (or appear to do so), or he did believe some anonymous powers to be at work. Apart from that he was oblivious of the irony that lay in his choice of words: “Poke-cheeks” is a regional term for a swaggerer or telltale. It originates from a mediæval practice reserved for notorious liars and women who were a tad too chatty. The culprit was to be gagged with a sphere or egg-shaped object of some kind. But unlike with a scold’s bridle, no straps or frame were attached to hold the gag inside the mouth. Instead, a skewer was pushed through one cheek, through a hole in the gag and back out through the other cheek. When – if – this device of discipline was removed and the wounds healed, the remaining scars would serve as a sign of untrustworthiness. (One would be amazed of the delightfully cruel things that could be learnt from history shows on the telly after ten at night. Next time I’ll explain to you how a Pear of Anguish works.)
Slacker Boy refrained from further inappropriate comments for the rest of my tack duty. When I left the barn for my next assignment, I wished him a good day.
“Same to you,” he hurried to reply, glad I wasn’t crossed with him anymore. I had him where I wanted him.
Shortly after lunch time I found myself wondering how Kandrin in particular and any staff member in general spent their day off. I haven’t seen her around, so I pondered whether she had left for town. The warden had spoken of 1500 square kilometres of woods surrounding us. How close or far could a town be that it still was economical to travel to for a single day? And how did she get there? I hadn’t seen any private cars so far, only the white four-by-fours. Maybe she took the pony express.
Kendrick’s honkie-thingie interrupted my infrastructural digression.
“Ladies, I need a volunteer.”
The lead handler looked us over as we were standing outside the mess hall.
“Fifteen, step forth, please,” he finally decided, redefining the concept of a volunteer quite broadly.
The small brunette took an insecure step forwards. If she fainted right on the spot, I wouldn’t be surprised. Her deer-in-headlights aura might be a welcomed feature for pony play, her constitution certainly wasn’t. Kendrick instructed her in a low voice, and off she went.
We didn’t see her until the evening fall-in, and when she returned, she refused to tell us what her “volunteering” had been all about.
“Twenty euro says she had to suck off the guards,” Ten proposed, empathetic as always.
“That’s not funny,” I hissed at the lanky girl as we eyed Fifteen inconspicuously from the back of the barrack. “And I haven’t seen a cashpoint around here yet.”
“I accept IOUs.”
I pushed myself away from the wall and walked over to the fragile brunette. Absent-minded, she was folding the same shirt for the third time.
“Huh?” She looked at me as though we’d never met before. “Yes, I’m fine.”
“Did something happen?”
Behind her Ten had closed in and was mimicking fellatio with her tongue and a half-closed fist.
“Kendrick sent me to take over the whipped girl’s duties.”
The Oners had corral training this afternoon, followed by some enjoyable sulky-pulling. 1105 had been exempted from both activities.
“She was brought back to the infirmary, all pale and shivering. I think they’d really messed her up the other day.”
Remember what I said about the great black single-tail whip? Sometimes I hate to be always right. There is a frighteningly vast spectrum when it comes to selecting one’s weapon of choice for pain-giving. Five lashes from a cheap internet rubber flogger are hardly worth mentioning. Five lashes from a sjambok could kill you. Old Painful was evidently on the sjambok-side.
Behind her Ten had stopped fooling about.