Trees and Sky
by Graham

This is a short story about The Settlement. See my full-length novels at

Trees and sky, thought Jake to himself, how he loved women’s bodies – and not just the young, perfectly formed ones either, though the community in which he lived had a good few of those. No, he loved the real ones, the ones with their curves and sags and wobbly bits. The sexy, earthy, forty year old ones, such as the one he was watching now.

He lay on his bed, admiring the woman as she pottered, finishing tidying away the dinner things, working with her back to him. She was, of course, naked, and he could see the smoothness of her back, brushed by her shining, nut-brown hair, and more to the point he could enjoy the width of her hips, the gentle vibration of her well cushioned-rear as she moved, and the glorious taper and dappled texture of her meaty thighs. It may not have won an old-world beauty competition, but Mother Earth, it was inspiring. He could not wait to grab once more.

Of course, he thought, that was the thing about The Settlement, or one of them. They had found a new way of living. They had needed to, needed to seek ways of survival in the face of environmental cataclysm. But they had found a way in which everyone was valued, and the oppressive values of the old world had been discarded. Here everyone was sexy, even if they were forty and not quite the shape you would have seen in one of those old-time fashion magazines.

“Come to bed, please, 257,” the man said, not wanting to wait any longer. 257 was the woman’s number in The Settlement record, and the only name by which Jake knew her.

She turned and smiled, noting the man’s erection waiting for her. He was naked too, though for him it was an option. She moved towards him, her steel fetters rattling. He watched her, now looking into her smiling eyes, now distracted by the bright steel collar around her neck, with its padlock, and the solemn beauty of the chain depending between her exposed breasts. Its other end slid in the girl-rail, the steel conduit to which it was attached.

She came onto the bed, kneeling, looking down at him. He reached out and touched her hip. “Handcuffs, please, 257,” he said. If 257 was disappointed at this command, she did not show it. The matter was entirely for the man to decide. For women in The Settlement, having your hands chained behind you was the normal expectation; having your handcuffs unlocked at any stage was not a right, it was a privilege. And she, for one, could not complain: it was a privilege with which Jake was fairly generous. When she was with him, safe in his apartment, she got to have her cuffs off for two or three hours every day, far more than most girls she knew. And while she might have fantasized, now and again, that he would let her keep her hands free while they made love, it had never happened yet, and she had no real belief that it ever would. Female hands were useful for cooking and cleaning and all sorts of things, but no one could seriously argue that a girl needed her hands free in order to be fucked.

Kneeling up, making sure her thighs were stretched respectfully apart, Number 257 reached across to the bedside table, where her wrist restraints lay open and ready, and took them up. It was a moment’s work to click one of them about her left wrist, reach behind her and close the other ring about her right. They did not need a key to lock them.

Then, once more properly confined, she cocked her leg over Jake as he lay recumbent, and gently impaled herself on his waiting manhood.

* * *

The following morning, after more lovemaking, a shower and breakfast, Number 257 made her way out of Jake’s apartment and across The Settlement’s main campus towards the Women’s Quarters. It was a hot, sunny morning – it always was, now – and there were a few people about, going hither and thither; some men, but mostly naked women like herself, shackled hand and foot, and securely neck chained to the girl-rails.

257 took the line of rails that headed towards the Women’s Quarters, at the bottom end of the campus. She went slowly – not that it was possible to go fast, when your ankles were permanently linked by forty centimetres of chain – but she was enjoying the morning, and in truth, slightly nervous of what she would meet when she arrived at her destination. She exchanged pleasantries with the people she encountered on the way, all of whom she knew, for she had been in The Settlement the best part of a decade, finding safety here when the earthquakes first struck. Now they were friends.

At last, she arrived at the Women’s Quarters – the “old” quarters, for there were now several other buildings constructed to meet growing demand. She went in, nodding politely to the man who guarded the door, noting down the women’s comings and goings, removing their handcuffs if they had sufficient reason, and checking that they were properly manacled before allowing them out of the building.

“Sir, is 475 in?” 257 asked him.

“She is,” he said, without consulting his record. “She has not been out. Apparently she is not doing to well.”

Upset, but unsurprised at this news, 257 asked “do you know where?”

“Sorry, no,” said the man, the precise distribution of women’s accommodation within the quarters being outside his jurisdiction.

It took 257 a while to find the girl she was looking for; the old quarters was labyrinthine, with sleeping cages fashioned here and there in pieces of old corridor, added to over the years. But eventually 257 turned a sharp corner and came upon one of the smaller areas, a space just a couple of metres wide, with two beds, divided from the end of the corridor by a screen of close-set steel bars. At night, or in times of emergency, these would of course be locked shut, confining the cage’s occupants within, but now the cage door stood open. One of the beds was empty, but on the other lay a sobbing, naked, shackled female figure.

257 went in, sitting on the bed; “Oh, hey, darling,” she whispered, leaning over the other. Her instinct was to cuddle the girl, but of course being handcuffed, she could not. The girl was similarly restrained. She looked up, into 257’s eyes, and sobbed again. She said “Nnngh!”.

“Oh my poor love,” said 257, sitting on the bed, twisting her body so that she could lay a cuffed hand on the other girl’s leg. “What is a mother to do?” She looked down, moved at her daughter’s plight.

“Nnngh,” replied the daughter again. It was all she could say, for she was securely and effectively gagged. A steel tube, about three centimetres in diameter, was set between her teeth and over her tongue, with straps passing around her head to hold it in place. The straps were padlocked, ensuring that no female could remove the gag, which was a disciplinary measure.

Number 475 had only turned eighteen a week ago, and had made the final transition from the Family Compound, where children were raised, to the main campus - and the nudity and shackles of an adult female. Of course her mother had tried to prepare 475 for life in the community, and the girl had been here since she was seven, and had grown up knowing what to expect. But it was always hard for youngsters coming through, and now this. Just about the first thing she had managed to do was say something that one of the less sympathetic men had considered disrespectful. The sentence: a week in a gag, and loss of handcuff privileges for a month. Coupled with the growing realization that she would never again be free from the girl-rails, and that she never again had the choice of whether or not to wear handcuffs and leg irons, it was a hard punishment for 475 to bear.

* * *

“Sir, you know my daughter, don’t you? She is 475 now.”

“Of course,” said Jake, seeing them standing there in his apartment doorway, neck chains dangling from their collars, their hands neatly held behind them. It still amazed him, that a woman as sexy as 257 could have an eighteen year old daughter. He glanced the mother up and down again, drinking in her body, remembering times past and thinking of times to come. But here was the daughter, younger, slimmer than her mother, but with the same long brown hair, deep brown eyes and slim waist and flared hips. The same largish breasts, though more pert than her parent’s. And the same enticing triangle of soft brown her between her legs. That he had not seen before: when she had, as a seventeen year-old, come through to the campus for lessons in the education centre, her muff had been hidden behind a locked steel chastity belt, for her protection. Now that she was a woman it was different, her pubis was, and would remain, fully displayed to view. Respect demanded nothing less.

“Come in,” he smiled, noting the young girl’s securely locked gag. He led them over to the seating area, indicating the area of floor where they should kneel, which, thighs spread apart, they did. He sat on an armchair.

“Well,” he said. “Tell me about it.”

“I’m not sure, really, Sir,” said 257, glancing at her daughter, who bowed her head as if in shame. “She said something disrespectful. But obviously she cannot tell me the story yet.”

“Nnngh,” said 475, and clinked her handcuffs behind her.

“It’s hard, Sir, you know, for young girls, coming through. I was wondering…” The older woman, too, clinked her cuffs, as if nervous.

“Yes, said the man, looking down at her. “What?”

“Can she stay here for a bit? Maybe till the gag comes off? I am sure it would help.”

Jake looked at the two girls. He had been enjoying his time alone with the elder one, but he could see that she was genuinely worried for her daughter. And it was not as if there was not plenty of room. Like all the men’s accommodation, his apartment was equipped with three cages for the secure accommodation of female guests, and so far 257 had not used any of them, for she had spent her nights in his bed. He looked at the daughter, who at that moment managed to look up and meet his eyes. She had tear stains on her face, he noted, but she was very beautiful, and so pathetically helpless with her lips spread uncomfortably around the wide tube of the gag. At least there would be no teenage chatter. It might make a change to have a younger female around as well. And it would be decorative – something firmer, to offset the nobility of her mother’s arse and thighs. “OK,” he said.

* * *

There was no question in Jake’s mind of undoing the daughter’s gag, or indeed of freeing her wrists from their cuffs. Perhaps the punishment was a hard one, but discipline had to be maintained, and disrespect for a man certainly needed to be nipped in the bud. He thus elected to leave both women handcuffed, and prepared lunch himself – finely chopped vegetables for 257, which she lap from a bowl without need of her hands, and porridge for 475, which he himself spooned down the tube of her gag. Clearly it was uncomfortable for her to eat this way, but it would no doubt teach her the lesson intended. And it would be a useful skill for her: in the years to come, she would undoubtedly end up gagged again on various occasions. Most women did at some stage in their lives.

“Now,” said Jake, after the meal was over, “I have work to do here. I need you two out of the way. Go!”

“Nnngh!” said the daughter, shaking her head wildly and once more pulling at her handcuffs. “Nnngh!”

“She does not want to go out,” said her mother, interpreting. “She feels embarrassed. It was bad enough just getting her over here. Can she not just stay here, out of the way?”

He looked from one female to the other. “I don’t see why,” he said. “Can’t you take her for a walk in the woods or something?”

“Nnngh!” More shaking of the head. The young girl was quite animated, and had tears in her eyes. Jake took pity. “OK, then,” he said. “You can hide out here. You can go in that cage and keep quiet.”

He closed the cage door, locking her in, and saw 257 out, and then, giving no further thought to females of any kind, he got on with some calculations he was doing for the community’s energy supply – all done on slates, since there were no more computers, and not that much paper anymore.

* * *

257 decided that, even alone, a walk in the woods was a good idea, and she took the appropriate path. The girl-rail system may have been completely escape-proof, but it was extensive, and it included several long paths through beautiful, shady woodland. Soon the woman was well away from the campus, with only the breeze in the trees and the birdsong for company; the solid steel conduit to which her naked body was attached, with, every few metres, its massive concrete anchor blocks, was the only evidence of civilized life. She walked faster than she had this morning, relishing the exercise, her steps long accustomed to the exact limitations of her fetters, the afternoon heat causing sweat to prick beneath the steel of her collar and cuffs.

Finally she reached the summit of the path, where there was a little grassy clearing with a shaded bench. She sat, raised her face to the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees, and thought. She thought of her daughter, and of the past. It was not new: she had thought of it often, wondering if she had been right to come here. Back then, she had had a choice: she need not have taken the vow to remain in The Settlement, she could have left. But leave to where? OK, here there strange rules, but also food, shelter and a sense of community. A real sense of being valued. Outside there was only starvation, violence and death in a dying world. There had, in her mind, as in the minds of so many others at the time, been no question about staying. But of course, that choice was made for her little daughter too: the child had, with the mother, become part of the community, with no further option to leave, no further option at all except, when she reached adulthood, to be stripped naked and shackled to the girl-rails for the rest of her life. Had it been fair to make that choice for her?

257 shifted her position, twisting at the short link of steel that joined her wrists behind her. Of course it had been fair. There was still nothing outside, less than nothing. Even the bandits that had threatened back then had gone, starved to death or murdered. Only here was there any life. It might be hard for 475 to adjust to her grown up status, but it was all there was. 257 stretched her legs, pulling her fetter chain tight, and moved her hands again, pulling them this way and that to her hips, as far as they would go, remembering when she had first come here. Had it taken long to get used to it? She did not think it had, really. It was much easier than she had imagined it would be. Of course, it had at first seemed strange: the constant nudity and bondage, the requirement to address men respectfully as “sir”. Female nudity was required for respect, the community asserted, whilst the girls’ chains were needed to ensure their safety in a dangerous world. Whatever. But the whole way of life had, it seemed, been created by people that truly understood women: their physical and mental capacities for coping, their feminine need for security and protection. And of course it was a shared way of life; all the girls were the same, they all helped each other. And in general, they were all happy here.

As for the actual chains, they too had been much easier to manage than she’d first imagined. Of course they were totally secure and completely escape proof bonds, but, unless you struggled against them, or tried to do something they were not designed to permit, they were by no means uncomfortable: they were made to measure, to give a perfect fit, so they had never rubbed or chafed; indeed the metal had seemed from the first as much like an embrace or a caress as a restraint. The fetters (which girls were required to wear to ensure they were never tempted to put on clothing that might cover their girl-parts in a disrespectful way) were long enough to allow normal walking, once you had worked them out. The girl-rail system allowed you freedom to move around wherever you needed. And the handcuffs: well, it was surprising what a girl could still do, handcuffed, especially with help from her similarly manacled sisters. Certainly they could keep each other clean and tidy, do quite a lot of housework and other odd jobs, and feed themselves and their men, if they worked together and knew how to do it.

257 jiggled her shackled wrists behind her, feeling the familiar sense of restraint. She stretched her feet apart until her fetters pulled tight, and twisted her body, feeling her neck-chain move sensuously against her naked flesh. She smiled. She had got used to living in chains, and it would, she knew, feel very strange now to be without them. She would never be able to sleep without her handcuffs, and the thought of being out here without them, or, after all these years, having her feet freed, or being unlocked from the girl-rails, was simply terrifying.

* * *

Jake worked at his calculations, thoroughly absorbed in the task. Of course he was not completely unaware of the young female in his cage, and on occasion, hearing the musical jangle of chains, he looked up to see her seated on the toilet with which the cage was equipped. The bathroom facilities were not, of course, shielded from view in any way, privacy in this (or any) respect not being considered an issue for women in The Settlement. He caught her gaze and smiled, detecting no reaction other than the enforced gape produced by her gag, so he went back to work.

A little later on, however, Jake became fully conscious of further small sounds coming from the girl-cage: little sobs and clinks of metal bonds. He had been aware of them for some while, but his mind had ignored them, focused as he was on his work. Now he peered through the bars to where the naked, eighteen year-old number 475 knelt on the floor-level mattress provided for her bed. She had her back to him, so he could not see her face, but it was very plain that she was engaged in a determined, albeit entirely pointless attempt to somehow break out of her handcuffs. She twisted the metal this way and that, pulling hard and then grabbing each cuff with the opposite hand and somehow attempting to slide it off her wrist. Then, obviously quite unable to do this, she knelt up and started trying to move her cuffs down past her bottom, as if she might get her legs through them and so bring her hands in front of her. But this, of course, was also impossible: The Settlement’s chain makers had taken particular care to ensure that the links joining a girl’s wrist cuffs were too short ever to permit that manoeuvre.

Jake approached the bars of the cage. He did not try to be quiet, but 475 was completely absorbed in her struggles; she had no idea she was being watched. The man smiled, enjoying the spectacle of the girl’s helplessness. He was unconcerned by her actions, for he had total confidence in the security of the bonds in which her flesh was imprisoned. Long experience had proved that, once a Settlement girl’s hands were locked in her handcuffs, they stayed exactly where they were meant to stay, safely out of the way behind her back, unless and until a man chose to unlock them. And so it proved with 475. Eventually, utterly miserable and frustrated, but just as securely manacled as she had been to start with, she collapsed back down on her knees, head bowed, sobbing wildly.

“475, come here!” the man commanded, standing at the bars. She looked up in shock, a panicked, guilty expression on her tear-stained face. After a few seconds, she dragged herself to her feet and followed the girl-rail around the cage to stand opposite Jake. “Legs,” he said, quietly, reminding her that she should stand with her legs as wide apart as her fetters allowed. Respect demanded a man be given a clear view of feminine intimacies, and for a girl to keep her legs together was not allowed. As she moved to correct her stance, he looked her up and down, taking in her thick brown hair, her dark eyes, her soft, smooth, youthful skin, her figure, the same flared hips as her mum. Dew and rain, she was lovely. And she was modelling her chains to perfection. The steel seemed to utterly dominate her small frame, making her seem more naked than it was really possible for a woman to be, its precise hardness the flowing curves of the girl’s flesh. Not for the first time, Jake made a silent prayer of thanks that he was able to live in this community. He would never grow bored of naked, chained women.

At last, the man spoke: “I do not mind you struggling,” he said, gently. “It is understandable, especially in the first couple of weeks.”

She nodded, looked down, and then up again, meeting his eyes through the bars.

“You understand,” he asked, “that you are chained for a reason? For your own protection?”

Again, she nodded. She pulled at her handcuffs, though not hard.

“The thing is,” he said, “to relax. Don’t fight it. The security systems here are designed by people who understand all about girls. They give you all the freedom you need, and they keep you safe, but there is no way you can ever defeat them. No Settlement girl has ever got free of her chains, and neither will you. It’s impossible. You must understand that.”

“Nnnnngh.” More clinking of handcuffs.

“The thing is, keep calm,” continued Jake. He reached an arm through the cage bars, and rested his hand on the girl’s side, just allowing the ball of his thumb to press against the underside of her breast. She flinched slightly at the touch, but then relaxed, and even leaned into it a bit. He looked into her eyes, which were still moist with sadness. “Hundreds of girls live her happily,” he said, “and you will too. Don’t be frightened. Everyone will care for you.” His eyes studied her breasts, her flat stomach, her soft triangle of hair. His own flesh responded to the temptation. His one hand still pressed against the girl, his other fingered his keys in his pocket. He could go into the cage. There was nothing she could do to stop him, for she had voluntarily come into his apartment, and according to The Settlement’s clear sexual protocol, that definitely constituted consent to sex. But maybe later, he thought. “Go and lie down for a bit,” he said. “I will be done soon, and your mum will be back. You can come out of the cage for a bit then.”

* * *

257 gave an exasperated pull at her inflexibly locked wrist rings. She’d grown used to her three hours of freedom every evening, but now it seemed, that was off the agenda. Instead, Jake had said that since there were two of them now, they could manage perfectly well as they were, and 257 could show her daughter all she needed to know. Then he’d sat on his sofa and watched as they had laboured against their cuffs to chop and boil the veg, making a stew that Jake and 257 could eat and a broth for 475.

But, thought the older woman, after they had finally got everything cleared away and retired to the seating area, the man had a point. They really could manage, it was useful to get 475 learning the skills required to live in handcuffs, and it was certainly much more convenient for Jake not to have to bother with all the unlocking. And it was, of course, quite sexy in its way, to have your arms fastened behind you for a man, to know that whilst you could struggle for a thousand years and never get free yourself, he could unlock you in an instant, he just elected not to.

Jake thought it was pretty sexy too: The Settlement certainly knew how to keep its women so that they would not only be safe, but would be an inspiration to the men. And now, he thought, enjoying his massive hard-on, it was time to do something about that inspiration. “Time to play, ladies,” he said. “Kneel by the bed, please.”

257 had worried about this moment. Was he going to fuck her daughter? What did she think about that? But there was nothing she could think really. It was not as if 475 was not going to get laid many times in her life, and she might as well start with a nice man like Jake. And he was perfectly within his rights, according to the rules of the community.

The younger girl was not so sure: “Nnnngh!” she squealed, looking at the man and then at her mother, her eyes frightened above her gag, her hands yanking helplessly at her cuffs.

“Are you going to make love to us both, Sir?” asked 257. “I don’t think anyone has, you know, with my daughter yet.”

“Nnnnngh!” the daughter said, nodding in confirmation.

“Well then it is high time someone did,” the man replied, directly to 475. “You are very beautiful. 257, do my trousers.”

The mother turned her back to the man, using her shackled hands to undo his belt and flies, and then reaching in and feeling his cock – long, thick and hard. She felt her own wetness in response. As she fingered the man, she looked at her daughter, standing there, naked, chained, helpless, wondering what the girl was feeling, whether she was wet, too.

“Bed,” commanded Jake, and grabbing an arm of each female, he led them to the bed, thrust them to their knees and bent them forward, face down. They turned their heads, looking at each other. “Relax,” said the mother, “you are a woman now!” Then her face contorted as the man entered her, swift and deep.

Holding the mother’s more than ample hips, Jake thrust slowly, content to let the female milk all the sensation she could from his attention. In the meantime he watched the daughter, kneeling next to them, with interest. She could not take her eyes of her mother, and she was plainly leaking moisture at both ends – drool through her gag, and female juice down her legs. Her small hands pulled this way and that at their confining rings of steel. At last Jake reached an arm across, groping the young girls bum and in between her legs, feeling warm, damp softness. He felt her gasp, trying to turn and see. A few harder thrusts, however, made the mother come again, and distracted the girl. In a second he had pulled out of the older woman and penetrated the tight, virgin hole of the younger.

Mother earth, he thought, she feels good. I should do younger girls more often. Already stimulated from his thorough examination of 257, he had to concentrate to hold back whilst the teenager exploded with pleasure, finally spending himself into her shackled body when she was on her fourth or fifth orgasm.

* * *

The women spent the rest of the night in separate cages – invisible to each other, for while the cage bars allowed Jake a full view of each girl, the cages were separated by solid walls. Both females spent some time awake, staring through the bars to where the man slept peacefully.

257 was the first to wake the next morning. There was always a time, as she first became conscious, when she thought, even hoped, that she had been dreaming, and she would wake up to her old life, before the old world had ended. It was only when she moved, and felt once more the restraining grasp of her steel bonds that she was brought home once more to reality. Sighing with faint regret, she got up and dragged her neck-chain over to the toilet, beginning her next day of helpless imprisonment in The Settlement.

The familiar sound of her mother’s shackles woke 475; she felt different from her parent. Her life as an adult female in the community might be daunting, but it was not unfamiliar. She had no earlier memory: she had been too young. Even in the Family Compound, there were girl-rails to confine the mothers, and she had never so much as seen an adult woman wearing clothes, it had never occurred to her even as a possibility. And now, unlike yesterday morning, she was fully a woman. Opening her eyes and rolling onto her back, propping herself on her elbows, she looked down admiringly at the triangle of brown hair between her thighs, imagining the tingle she had felt when Jake had used her body. Compared with that even her gag seemed insignificant.

She looked through the bars at where the man slept on, snoring.

She wished he would wake up and come and let her out of her cage.

The End