Your Master Requires Your Perfection
by Jack Peacock
Part 2

The First Evening

We were in a line facing the rear wall. Once again the warden provided us with an opportunity to examine our cell wall in close detail. My mind started wandering, thinking about how we might have a quiz on the composition of the paint used in the Facility. Aside from the boredom of staring at the wall I didn’t mind because I wasn’t wearing those much too effective handcuffs or the leg chains. The sound of the cell door closing brought me back to the present. That was a good sign; we were going to be in here for a while.

He hadn’t released us from position yet, so he must still be there, somewhere behind us. I wondered if wardens ever forgot to let us go. I imagined him walking off, distracted, leaving the three of us standing in front of this wall all night until our legs gave out and we collapsed on the floor. I had the middle position, Paula to my left, Cathy to my right. That might be an advantage. I could fall on top of one of them as long as my legs didn’t give out first.

Less than one day here and I was already terrified of being punished for disobedience. I couldn’t bring myself to even look to either side; I had to stare straight ahead. I knew the warden couldn’t see my face, he would never know, but that didn’t make a difference. I was obsessed with standing straight, not moving, waiting for him to tell us what to do next.

I hoped he would let us sit down soon. I was tired from the long day and needed to rest. My legs were stiff and sore from all the walking and standing. And standing, and standing, the wardens loved to keep us in position against the walls.

“You have permission to move around the cell after I leave. You will not touch the bars in front. There is a blue line on the floor; do not cross it. While the lights are up you may sit or stand but not lie down. If a warden passes by you will stand and face the front. When the lights dim you may lie down and are not required to rise when a warden is present. At that time you may cover yourself with the blanket, but it must remain on the bed. You may not cover your head with the blanket. Turn around.”

On cue all three of us turned around to face him. I did remember to turn clockwise. That was a rule too; always turn in the same direction unless told otherwise. We still had to hold position, back straight, arms at our sides, feet together, and of course stare straight ahead. He took his time inspecting us, something wardens never failed to do, before walking off. Were they really looking for some tiny mistake, or just gawking at the eye candy? Whatever the reason I wasn’t brave enough to find out by acting up and provoking a response. I waited until I heard the outer door shut before breaking position, as did Paula and Cathy.

I looked around at our room for the night. There wasn’t much to it. There were bunk beds, a pair stacked on each side wall, and a toilet in one corner. Each bunk had bedding. At least I wouldn’t be spending the night on the floor. It would take some time to get used to the fact I no longer had a private bedroom and a soft bed to sleep in.

It looked like this was going to be our luxury penthouse suite for the night. About a foot from the cell bars there was a blue line painted on the floor. It didn’t leave us much space. I didn’t see any reason for that line except to make the cell a little more claustrophobic. No touching the bars at the front of our cell either. Maybe he left the door unlocked? No, I doubted they ever made that kind of mistake

There wasn’t a mini bar so I’d have to skip that relaxing glass of California red for the evening unwind. I didn’t expect to have room service available in the morning, but I was sure we would get a wakeup call. I couldn’t complain about the view, since there weren’t any windows. I didn’t see any chocolates on the pillows either. I smiled, thinking with service like this there’d be no tip for the maid tomorrow. At checkout time I was sure we would be promptly informed when it was time to leave.

“Does anyone want this one?” I patted one of the lower bunks. Both Cathy and Paula declined, so I picked it as my bed for the night. I sat down, careful to keep both feet on the floor. We still couldn’t lie on the bed. I situated myself at a slight angle so I could keep watch on the front, in case a warden suddenly appeared. Our room might not be much on creature comforts but I didn’t want to lose it by being too slow to stand up.

Cathy sat down on the other bunk. Paula walked back and forth in the little space we had, working the soreness out of her knees. I watched her, regretting I had, even indirectly, been responsible for her kneeling on that hard tile floor. “So, what do you think of your first day in our little school?” Cathy asked.

That wasn’t an easy question to answer. By one standard we had been treated as little more than animals. Oddly, that particular viewpoint really didn’t seem right to me. If it was so bad, why didn’t it bother me? That raised a lot of questions I didn’t want to think about right now.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” I answered, choosing my words carefully. I hadn’t seen any hidden microphones but there was no doubt in my mind the wardens listened to our conversations. “In one sense I certainly got what I asked for. Whatever happens now, I can’t walk away.”

Paula stopped her pacing. She smiled as she added, “Isn’t it great? Cathy thinks I’m crazy, but I love being in here. My master often has to go on long trips when he’s consulting at a mine. He puts me in the secure area while he’s gone. I look forward to it.”

Cathy shook her head. “Well, I don’t love it in here. Like Paula my master put me here, as an instructor for the day. I thought I was going to spend the night in bed with him, not sitting in here. If only I had….” She trailed off, remembering the order not to discuss the incident.

I sympathized with Cathy, but Paula’s offhand comment was more intriguing. “Paula, if you don’t mind, could I ask why you like being here so much?” This place was hardly a resort. My rating would be minus four stars on a good day, one star above a North Korean prison camp.

She sat down next to me. “You see the harsh conditions, the domineering wardens, the way we are treated? I see the same thing, but none of it bothers me in the slightest. I know, and I mean this, I’m at my very best when I’m closely supervised. I know precisely what’s expected of me. I don’t have any problems following rules, no matter how strict and demanding they may be. If I’m forced to obey, even better. And I know if I slack off, if I don’t deliver, even the tiniest of mistakes, one of those wardens will be there to correct me. I don’t want to be punished, I’m not a masochist, but the implied threat is the edge that makes it so exciting. I’m not perfect, you saw that today. It doesn’t stop me from trying.”

I could see how Paula earned her reputation as an extremist. I’d never met anyone like her before. I began to understand why she enjoyed being in the secure area. If she really meant what she told me then this place might just be her idea of a vacation.

“Lenora, what worries you about being here?” Cathy asked that one. “You seem to be preoccupied with something. Is it the fact you can’t leave?”

I hesitated, embarrassed to bring up the subject. How could I put words to it? The evening was upon us, along with nighttime activities. I had to hold my hands together to keep them from shaking. “No, not being held prisoner. Well, it does bother me, but that’s not it. This thing between our legs,” I tapped on the oval chastity belt shield, “when a warden comes for one of us, opens this belt; I’m scared I won’t be able to please him.” I felt my face turn red.

Paula put her hand over mine. “You can relax if that’s what’s getting to you. You aren’t going to be raped. You’re right that the belt doesn’t keep a warden out; naturally they have the keys. The belt has a different purpose, to keep us in. Yeah, we can’t even have sex without permission. Far from being assaulted they won’t open you up no matter how much you beg for it.”

That was a relief but the part about begging them to open the belt bothered me. I wasn’t an idiot. I knew at least one reason men liked to control us was the easy access to sex. I admit I had a lot of fun that way too. Stripped and handcuffed, helpless while he took full advantage of me, I enjoyed it just as much as he did. Tied spread-eagled on the bed, open and vulnerable, unable to move while he ran his hands over me; those were fond memories. That didn’t mean I expected to be available for anyone to use. The moment our clothes came off, and I saw that belt come out of the box, I had resigned myself to what might happen later.

Cathy added some more on the subject. “You have to remember, you are the personal property of your master. Think of it as proprietary rights. They don’t like to share. That also means if you start getting that warm feeling for a warden, well, it ain’t gonna happen. You come on to him and you’ll find yourself spending the night on the floor neatly bundled in a hogtie. Trust me, one night trussed up on a cold concrete floor and you’ll never repeat that mistake.”

I knew what hogtie bondage was from firsthand experience. One time I’d been put in one using rope, hands behind my back and tied to my ankles, with my knees also tied together. Bend my legs to relieve my arms, until the legs got sore. Bend my back to relieve my legs, until the back muscles were on fire. Or the third alternative, getting my arms pulled out of my shoulders. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to spend all night like that. I lasted about fifteen minutes before I was desperately begging to be released.

Knowing I wouldn’t be some stranger’s sex toy for the night was a relief. That did bring up other questions, like why I was singled out to be lured to the Facility? If the men here could easily seize anyone off the street as they did to Laura then they could choose from plenty of women who were younger and more attractive than me. I posed that question to Cathy and Paula.

“I can’t give you a definitive answer,” Paula told me. “I do know, at least for the men here, it isn’t about cheerleaders and supermodels. They look for other qualities. Obviously they want someone who can be controlled, but they also look for loyalty, a single-minded dedication to our masters, that need in us to be pleasing. I suppose you’d call it the personality of a deeply submissive woman. The degree may vary but that’s what you’ll find in common for all of us in here.”

I didn’t have an opportunity to dig deeper into why they thought I had been brought here. The lights dimmed, which put an end to any further discussion. I climbed under the blanket and pulled it up to my neck. I had survived the first day without being beaten, raped or tortured. How many more days would I be trapped in this place? Wrapping my arms around the pillow I fell into an exhausted sleep.

The Next Day

I woke up to the sound of a loud buzzer. When I opened my eye the lights were up. Paula was climbing down from the bunk above mine, and Cathy was already sitting up. For a moment I was disoriented until I remembered where I was. I quickly threw aside the blanket and sat up too. Our feet had to be on the floor; no laying in bed once it was time to get up.

“The wardens will be here shortly, so we have to be ready.” That was from Paula. “Make your bed first. It’ll be inspected so watch for wrinkles. Once you’re done go to the back wall. When you hear the outer door open you should stand in position facing forward.” She and Cathy were already straightening their bedding.

I didn’t want to get up but I could see from how fast they were working I didn’t have much time. Reluctantly I got out of bed.

Cathy looked worried. I found out why when she told me, “I don’t mean to criticize but you’re running out of time. We are all subject to punishment if the wardens aren’t satisfied with how the beds are made. I really don’t want to sleep on the floor for the next two weeks. You might want to move a little faster.”

Still half asleep I got to work. I didn’t care to sleep on the floor either. Much as I wanted to lie back down and sleep for a few more hours I knew it wasn’t allowed. I started on my bed, making sure everything was tucked in, straight and tidy.

I was in position at the back wall when the wardens showed up. Cathy was right though, I barely made it in time. Both of them looked over my bed to make sure it would pass. The moment they finished the sound of the outer door opening sent all of us scrambling to be in position before the wardens reached our cell. I’d have to do better next time.

There were two wardens. They took us out of our cell one at a time, put us in chains and turned us to face the wall. The three of us were also hooked together with one of the gang chains. Cathy was right about the bed too. After they turned us around to leave we still had to wait while one of the wardens went to each bed to make sure it was neatly made. I didn’t miss the point that the check was done when we could see it, rather than while we faced the wall. It was one more not so subtle reminder the wardens wouldn’t let any of us get away with laziness.

The beds must have passed inspection because we were taken to the showers to clean up. The chains and the belts came off but we weren’t left alone. I could see the showers but first we had to clean our belts until they shined. With Paula’s help I managed to win approval from the warden reviewing our work. It took two tries before I was given permission to take a shower.

A glass partition separated our showers from where the wardens sat, watching us. At first I was self-conscious about taking a shower but it didn’t seem to bother any of the other women. I told myself there wasn’t anything I could do about it, so I turned my back to the wardens and switched on the hot water.

I looked back over my shoulder at the wardens. There were four of them, but only two seemed to be paying any attention to us. Maybe we weren’t just putting on a show for them after all. It occurred to me that if they sat through this every day it might be boring after a while. With that in mind I wasn’t so preoccupied. The hot water felt good and left me relaxed.

Another day was starting for me in the Facility. Could it get much worse? I had to adapt to a vastly different way of life now, a way without any freedom other than the choice of obedience or punishment. I thought about the way Laura had been forcibly taken away by the wardens. After her performance I had no doubt she was being punished. Whatever her fate I doubted it included a soothing shower before breakfast. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me.

I finished, dried off and combed my hair. We had to line up with our hands behind our necks, displaying ourselves, while another warden walked around us. We failed the first time; two women had to comb their hair again. We all had to wait, still standing in display position, until they finished. Satisfied we were presentable the wardens put our belts back on, one at a time. That was followed by handcuffs behind our backs, and leg irons on our ankles.

Once the group was ready we were hooked together with a gang chain before two wardens took us to the dining room. We followed the same procedure, one at a time we were led to a table after picking up a food tray. This time there were three other women I didn’t know seated with me.

After eating we were taken to a classroom. We had to kneel, in position but with our legs together. Fortunately there were cushions so we didn’t have to suffer on the hard floor. Once we were all in place a warden brought in the instructor and took her to the front of the room.

The warden with her began, “You will give the instructor your undivided attention. She is required to report anyone who breaks position, speaks out of turn, is inattentive or otherwise demonstrates an uncooperative attitude. While in this class you will do whatever she says.” He freed the instructor’s hands and left.

“Good morning. My name is Greta. Today I’m going to explain some of the reasons behind the regulations in the Facility. If you understand the why perhaps it will be easier for you to see the need to obey all the rules here, and even earn your eventual release.”

That did get my attention. I wanted to know all about anything that would get me out of here.

She started with a question that applied to me. “Why are you here? Why you, and not someone else?” In bed last night that very question came to me. Why had I been singled out for a trip to this place? “There’s no one particular reason, other than a man decided to put you in here. Why did he choose you? He’s the only one who knows the answer.

“And that begs the next question, what right does he have to do that?” She paused, walking back and forth in front of us. “You won’t like the answer to that one. It’s because he can, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.” She held up a hand. “Yeah, I’ve heard it many times before. Might doesn’t make right. Except in your case it does, for those of you who were forced to come here.” Was I forced? Tricked maybe, but was that the same thing? I’d have to say yes, since I couldn’t leave.

Once again I heard the same explanation, some man, who I didn’t know, had me brought to the Facility. If I knew who he was, why he had done this to me, perhaps it would make some sense. If I could talk to him, ask him to let me go, then I’d have a chance to persuade him to release me. At the very least I might find out what he wanted.

The instructor continued, “It may not be much of a consolation, but I can give you one explanation as to why you were chosen. All of you share something in common. In the real world, out there,” she waved an arm, “you all show submissive tendencies. You like strong, dominant men. You want them to lead, to make the decisions, especially the hard ones. Even if you don’t admit it, you depend on them. You have a need to please them, to do whatever they want, to compromise rather than argue.” That was true enough. Even now I found I couldn’t help but obey the wardens. Maybe it was partly out of fear, but I also felt that need within me earn their approval.

“Now we get to why the Facility appears to be such a harsh environment. There are no limits placed on the men here. Think of it as unrestricted male domination along with unlimited female submission. You are free of any outside influences telling you to ignore your instincts and emotions. At the moment it may not seem like good fortune but you have a rare opportunity to explore what it would be like if you let go all your inhibitions holding back your true nature. Think about it.” She paused.

Being locked up in a remote prison wasn’t my idea of opportunity knocking on the door. I understood her point though. After only one day I could tell I was slipping into that submissive mindset.

“I’m sure you see this place as some sort of prison. The cells, the chains, your clothes taken away, the guards telling you what to do, the constant threat of punishment, what could be worse? There is a purpose behind all of it, and not what you think.

“Let’s start with the clothes. I know for me it was the single worst part of being in the secure area. Even now it’s difficult to make the transition, although I do it several times a week. Why are they taken away? I doubt if they object, but it’s not so the wardens can look at us.” Everyone laughed at that. I wondered about it myself.

“The first reason is the immediate effect it has on us. We have to bare all to men we don’t even know. We become sex objects, forced to display ourselves for the enjoyment of the wardens.”

That was my first reaction, but it wasn’t turning out like I expected even after only one day. The wardens were too businesslike, almost disinterested. I didn’t see those lingering stares, nor did they grab hold in an overt way.

“You’re not here to be a sex slave. They take away our clothes so we learn to comfortable in nothing more than our skin. As a man’s property he can order you to strip at any time. You have to be ready to do just that, without hesitation. All your life you’ve been taught to cover yourself. Your time here will break down that inhibition. It will become easier; just give it time. Remember the rule: you must not conceal yourself from the wardens. Don’t ever hold up your arms to cover your breasts. I can guarantee you will be disciplined for it.”

There weren’t all that many opportunities to break that particular rule. With my wrists cuffed behind my back it wasn’t even possible. I suppose that was one more technique the wardens used to condition us to nudity.

The instructor started a new topic. “Why are the wardens so strict? One reason is to teach us self-discipline. No matter what occurs here in the end it comes down to you as individuals. Are you really willing to hand your life over to a man, to let him make the decisions? I’m not talking about playing some game. I mean a real commitment, to accept the good and the bad, to obey him whether or not you agree. Even if you are furious with him, so angry you want to beat his head in with a frying pan, can you still kneel before him, accept his commands, and do your best to please him?”

That was a tough question. I wanted to say yes, but my own failed history at relationships didn’t back up that answer. And that led me back to the reason I agreed to come here in the first place. Could it make a real difference, being in the Facility, without the freedom to say no?

“Right now you have the opportunity to find out if you can make that commitment.” I turned my attention back to what the instructor was saying. If you can adapt to life in the secure area, truly allow someone else to run your life, then you have your answer.”

The class ended soon after that. I left with a new perspective on why I was here. From the way she explained it the conditions, though unpleasant, were not intended to be brutal or punitive. It was life at the edge, no pretense, where I had no choice but to confront who I was.

The Interview

I’d been in the Facility now for weeks, at least, maybe a month. There was an old cliché, something about doing anything long enough you eventually get used to it. That was happening to me. Obedience became a habit, an automatic reaction whenever a warden ordered me to do something. I knew when to stand, when to sit, when not to speak, and of course when to face the wall. So when I was pulled out of the dining room one day, by myself, I didn’t know what to expect but I did as I was told.

The warden brought me to an abrupt halt in front of an unmarked door. Not that it was special since there were only two kinds of doors in the Facility. It was either a one piece metal door or a barred gate, but for either one a key was required to open it. We weren’t allowed to open or close doors, only a warden could do that.

He turned me to face the wall next to the door but he didn’t open it immediately. I was already nervous, since there was no group with me. As usual I had no idea what was happening but it couldn’t be good if I was being singled out. I flashed back to that first day when the wardens had hauled off Laura after her tirade. I hadn’t seen her after the incident, but since we were forbidden to discuss it I couldn’t ask if anyone else knew about her. Now here I was, separated from the others.

It would be easy for me to vanish too. The wardens often mixed us up in groups so we never knew if someone was gone or just moved to a different group. I hadn’t seen Cathy since the first night, but I passed Paula once in the dining room. We weren’t at the same table so we couldn’t talk.

“When you enter you will see a table with a computer monitor on it. You will stand in front of the table and wait for further instructions when they appear on the display. Do not speak until given permission. Do you understand?” As usual the warden delivered his instructions with no emotion in his tone of voice. Orders were a simple statement of fact, which made sense since whatever they wanted they got.

“Yes, sir,” was all I could say. Not being allowed to speak I was limited to direct replies to his questions, keeping my answers as brief as possible. He opened the door and took my arm to bring me into the room. Inside I saw the table and display he had described. Off to the right was a chair, and on the left I just made out a barred gate to another room. A quick glance was all I could risk. I knew the rules, look straight ahead. The far wall had a large window into a darkened room. The window was tinted so I couldn’t make out what was in there.

Behind me the warden removed the handcuffs from my wrists. I still hated those things. I understood why the wardens used them though. When I wore the cuffs I had little use of my hands or arms. The hinged version is extremely limiting compared to the chain link handcuffs I was familiar with. I was helpless with them on, which is exactly what they wanted.

I really wanted to rub my wrists but I knew better. I kept my arms straight down at my side. “Stand there,” he ordered. Following instructions I went to the table. The display was blank, no commands yet. The door closed behind me. I didn’t turn around but I was sure I was alone.

I thought about pulling the chair over and sitting down. A little voice whispering in my head told me that would be a mistake. If it isn’t allowed, it’s forbidden, and I definitely had not been given permission to sit. This place was getting inside my head. It was obvious we were being subjected to behavior modification techniques. Knowing it was happening to me didn’t make it any less effective.

Words began to appear on the screen. They were large enough that I could read then from where I stood. The contents were unexpected.

You passed the first test. You did not to sit in the chair. That was the correct procedure.

This will be a private interview. It is not being recorded or monitored. What you say here will not be repeated or provided to anyone else.

I gave thanks for my little voice. I felt rather pleased that I had figured out the right answer, even though I didn’t know it was a test. I wasn’t sure what to make of a private interview, but it was a relief that I wasn’t going to face some kind of terrible punishment.

There was someone on the other side of the window. I could make out a silhouette but no features. It must be my mysterious interviewer.

For reasons which must be withheld I will remain anonymous. I will ask questions; you will answer in detail. There is no time limit, so you may take as long as you need to reply, but stay on point. If you later remember something you wish to add to a previous response you may ask for permission to return to a prior subject. You will answer every question. It is in your best interest to reply honestly. If at a later time I discover you were misleading or deceitful you will be held to account.

That last part didn’t sound too pleasant; the rest was simple enough. Naturally I was curious as to who was typing, and why he must remain anonymous. I knew it had to be a man, most likely a warden since he was writing with that same matter of fact, ‘you will do this’ tone.

You may sit in the chair. Place it directly in front of the monitor.

I waited a moment to see if there were any more commands. None appeared, so I reached for the chair, moved it over and sat down. It was on casters so I rolled it up to the table. I sat up straight, legs together, hands in my lap. I still had the leg irons on so I had to keep my ankles slightly apart.

In class we had been warned never to cross our legs, or even our ankles, when sitting. Both feet had to be on the floor at all times. That was a basic rule, along with keeping our breasts exposed. Any attempt to cover up by holding our arms across our chests was a major infraction and punished accordingly. The chain between my ankles was too short for me to cross my legs anyway.

This will be a lengthy session. You may relax. There is a bathroom on your left. You may ask permission to use it at any time. You are allowed to speak freely but respectfully when answering. You will address me as ‘sir’.

I guess I’m getting used to sitting the approved way. I had permission to relax, whatever that meant. I decided to remain where I was. It wasn’t uncomfortable, sitting in position. The wardens must like it too, since they insisted on it.

I was sure he was a warden now. He liked to use that “p-word”, permission. It was plain to me from the first day the wardens were men who liked to be in control of women like me. No surprise those were the type of men recruited to be the wardens here.

We will start with this question. If you were given the opportunity, would you choose to leave the Facility today? Explain the reasons for your answer.

He didn’t bother with softball warmup questions. I had quickly come to the conclusion there was no possible way for me to escape. Resigned to the fact I was a prisoner here I hadn’t given leaving much thought after a few days. Did I want to go? I thought I’d better start talking before he became impatient with me.

“Sir, I don’t have a definite answer to your question. I wish the conditions here were better, but I’m not suffering. The uncertainty is what I struggle with. I don’t know what will happen to me.

“I came here believing what I wanted was to have that last bit of freedom taken from me. No backing out, as I said. The Facility has delivered in that respect. I can feel myself slipping into a mindset where I can let go, accept that someone else runs my life now. The obedience, the dependency, it’s very difficult to fight it. I’m not certain I even want to resist.

“I think what I miss most is stability. As it stands I don’t even know what I’ll be doing an hour from now. I may find that feeling of security here eventually. I do know I couldn’t find it on my own, outside the Facility.

“The first few days in here I was terrified. Please understand, sir, I found myself in a prison and no idea if I will ever be released. I was stripped, chained, locked in a jail cell, forced to obey men I didn’t know.

“Since then I’ve come to learn they don’t intend to harm me, as long as I don’t challenge their authority. I have no choice but to trust them. I hope they act in my best interests. To date I’ve had no reason to question that trust. So no, sir, I would not leave.”

Once the words started they seemed to pour out. I hadn’t intended to talk so much. Maybe it was being alone, without anyone, except that figure behind the window, listening in.

Did I really want to stay here? At the start it would have been an easy answer, no. The place was growing on me though. Once I learned what the wardens wanted from me, and how I was expected to behave, I had no problems adapting to my new life. I’d never go as far as Paula, this wasn’t my idea of heaven on earth, but I had to face the reality that I wasn’t bothered by what others would see as horrific living conditions. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t miserable either.

Excellent, I am impressed by your insightful and articulate answer. You are an exceptional woman.

In regards to your comments, I ask that you be patient. I will not explain further. You have my assurance you will not leave the Facility at this time.

The next question, does it bother you being forced to wear the chains, the collar, or the chastity belt?

When I read the first line I felt so good I wanted to dance around. Exceptional, articulate, impressed! The new question was an easy one. “No sir, I would not say it bothered me. If given a choice of course I’d take them off, but I understand the necessity of being restrained to maintain overall security. I’ve noticed the number of wardens is very small compared to the women here. The handcuffs, the leg chains are there to ensure the wardens have a physical advantage over us at all times, especially when we are in a group.

“If I might add, sir, I’m well aware that men, the ones in charge of us in particular, like to see us in those chains. Every submissive woman knows when she is helpless it makes her very attractive to the man who has her in his power.

“As for the belt, well sir, using the toilet is a time consuming task. This thing reminds me in all sorts of little ways I have it on. When I bend over the belt digs into my waist. I can feel it press against me constantly. Regardless of all the problems, I do understand it must be important for us to wear it. If I were given a choice I would continue to wear the belt until told otherwise.

“It’s an odd feeling, knowing someone else has sexual control over me. It’s scary, but exciting too. And it fits in with being a man’s property.

“One more thing, sir, I confess it’s much easier to wear this belt knowing I can’t remove it. If I had the key I don’t think I would have to willpower to keep it on all day. Same with the collar, I don’t think about wearing it because I can’t take it off.”

It was the collar that drove my thoughts at night, not the belt. I put the belt in the same category as wearing a short dress and high heels, a lot of work but generally worth the effort. The collar was something else. It didn’t restrict me like the belt did, at least physically.

“The collar doesn’t interfere in a physical way at all, sir.” I reached up to touch it. “It does have a psychological effect. Every time I see it on me, in a reflection, it’s a reminder of the fact I’m owned. Not just me but everyone else here sees I’m a man’s possession. In all the times when I’ve been bound in some way, even though under a man’s control, I’ve never felt like that. I’m not sure how to explain it. I have this compulsion to please my master, as if it were my reason for living.”

There was no immediate response on the display. Had I said something disrespectful? Was he sending for the wardens? What had I done wrong?

You have given me much to think about. Your frank answers provide the insight I need.

I can tell you our next interview will deal with the collar in more detail. No more discussion on that subject today. You should know that, although there are practical reasons for the belt, it also has superb aesthetic qualities.

And you are correct that we do like our women helpless. You in particular are quite attractive when fully restrained.

Aesthetic qualities? In other words we had to wear those belts, and go through all the hassles, because they liked the way we looked. The fact it was appreciated did make it easier to tolerate that thing locked between my legs. I never understood why men found it attractive to see us dressed in steel, even though the stares confirmed it was true. I suspect those inspections by wardens are often for their enjoyment more than looking for mistakes on our part.

Do you miss your freedom? Do you feel some resentment that you can no longer do as you please?

That question went to the heart of the matter. It should be an easy one to answer; of course I wanted my freedom. Except it wasn’t that simple. It took a moment before I could reply.

“I think about that question every night, sir. At first I would have said yes. Now that I’ve had time to adjust I can’t give a definitive answer. I admit I accepted the offer knowing I would lose some control over my life. What I didn’t expect was to lose it all. My only freedom, if you can call it that, is to choose to obey or be punished if I fail to do as I’m told. I’ve never experienced being dominated, no, make that subjugated to the extent I now live with every day.

“I find I do not resent losing my freedom, sir. It does worry me that I feel compelled to do my best to encourage more of the same. I can’t explain why. I should be defiant, protesting how I’m treated, demanding my release. Instead I’m eager to follow every rule, to prove I am obedient in how I react to a warden’s commands.” I stopped, unsure what to add. My feelings about being in here were difficult to sort out. So much had happened, so quickly, I was left dazed by it all.

It is natural for you to be confused. You are in the process of learning that how you have been taught to behave is at odds with your true feelings. Trust your instincts. You are well along the path to the happiness you seek, the life that has eluded you in the past.

This will be the end of the session for today. Stand up, return the chair to its original place and remain in front of the monitor.

I stood up and went behind the chair. It had to go back to where it was when I came in; his instructions were very specific on that. The floor was carpeted, fortunate for me since I could still see faint marks where the chair had been. I had to maneuver it around to get the casters to line up. I went back to the monitor. “Sir, is there anything else you require?”

One last item, you will not discuss the interview today with anyone. That includes wardens. If someone asks, you will reply your master has forbidden any discussion. As your owner my direct orders supersede those of anyone else in the Facility. Remain where you are, facing forward, until someone comes for you. You do not have permission to speak.

I stared at the words on the screen. “Your master” and “your owner” leapt out. I so desperately wanted to ask more questions, but that wasn’t going to happen. This was the man behind my collar. That explained all those questions about how I was adjusting to life at the Facility.

I saw the shadowy figure behind the glass stand up and walk away. He was gone, and I was left in shock, staring at the casual announcement from my newfound master. Worst of all I couldn’t even tell anyone. The words on the monitor suddenly disappeared, leaving no evidence of what had just happened.

Cathy had told me the first day I belonged to someone. I suppose I hadn’t really taken her seriously. All that changed in one moment. He was very real, even if I had no idea who he was.

The door opened behind me. I almost turned around before remembering I had to stay where I was. “Hands behind your back,” the warden ordered. I’d heard the command so many times it was second nature now. I was still so bewildered I didn’t even notice when he fastened the cuffs on my wrists. When he took hold of my arm and said, “This way,” I followed but it was like being on autopilot.

That Fateful Night

In my room that night I was reunited with Cathy and Paula. I was surprised to find Cathy still in the secure area. I asked her about it.

“I don’t know why my master chose to leave me here. He told me I was not being punished, and that it was necessary for me to stay here, but he didn’t explain why. That’s all I know. Meanwhile I still teach classes. The rest of the time, here I am.” Despite her casual answer I could tell it bothered her. Even with her master’s reassurance she still believed she was being punished. I thought it best to drop the subject.

Cathy asked what I had been doing, since she hadn’t seen me in class with the new arrivals group. I hesitated, trying to think of what to say. I knew what I had to do, and I couldn’t find any way around it. I looked down at my hands in my lap.

“My master has forbidden any discussion.” I had no choice. He had dictated those exact words.

Paula and Cathy stared at me. “That sounds like a very specific order. The precise wording is the giveaway,” Paula said. She turned to Cathy. “Clearly Lenora can’t talk about it.”

Cathy was still looking at me. “Maybe you can’t discuss your master but that doesn’t stop the two of us. Paula, you’re the expert on interpreting the rules, what do you think?” she asked. I sat on the bed, prohibited from joining in, and that meant I couldn’t even ask them to stop.

Paula thought for a moment. “This would come under third party discussions, or gossip as its better known. No, I don’t see how her restrictions apply to us. I agree, we can talk about it all day long unless we’re told to stop.” She turned back to me. “Sorry Lenora, you have to sit and listen. Don’t say a word or you’ll be in trouble.” I didn’t like this turn of events at all, even though she was right. I was sure to be reprimanded if I opened my mouth now.

Cathy started, “So what do we know? He’s secretive, but since we’re in the secure area that only narrows it down to every man at the Facility. Did you notice?” she said, pointing at me, “He didn’t put his name on her collar.”

Paula added, “And she didn’t know who he was when she first arrived. That must mean he’s been after her before she got here. He proceeds carefully, which means he certainly has backup plans to handle the unexpected. That tells us he is a man who’s determined to get what he wants.”

Paula looked straight at me. “She better be very careful. Men like that have very high expectations and very little tolerance when you cross them.” She turned to Cathy. “You know how it is. Better let Lenora in on what’s in her future.” They were talking about me as if I were some inanimate object.

Cathy nodded. “I learned it the hard way. I suppose it’s the risk we run, careful what you wish for because you may get more than you ever imagined. Yes indeed, she better take that lecture on perfection to heart. He isn’t going to be patient or understanding when she acts up or makes mistakes. Now that she’s in here he can do something about it too.”

I was starting to worry again. These women knew about the types of dominant men who ran the Facility. From what they were saying one of these men had stalked me, tricked me into coming to the Facility and now held me captive. More than that, he would be difficult to please, never satisfied unless I was perfect in every way. My initial excitement at finding out he existed was rapidly giving way to dread that I wouldn’t be able to live up to being the woman he wanted.

Paula kept going, “In her favor, she does have a certain natural aptitude. Sure, I bet that’s why he seized her. It sounds exciting, being pursued, manipulated, at every step controlled by him without even knowing it. She’s very lucky, not many women, the ones like us, get to experience that.”

I wasn’t feeling excited or lucky. And what did she mean by ‘natural aptitude’? I saw a loophole. This wasn’t part of the interview today. I could safely discuss it as long as I didn’t mention him. I interrupted with a question of my own, “Just what kind of natural aptitude am I supposed to possess?”

Cathy looked right at me, answering in a serious tone, “You don’t see it? You and Paula, you are two of a kind. No wonder they put you in with her. It’s obvious you are here for the express purpose of developing those same qualities that make Paula so unique. Wow, I just realized there are going to be two of you now.”

Now I was really confused. Even Paula seemed to be unsure about what Cathy was talking about. Did Cathy mean I was another one of those fanatics like Paula? If so I didn’t see the resemblance. I said as much. “Sorry Paula, but I’m not like you. I have a mind of my own. I make my own decisions.”

Cathy shook her head, “No you don’t. I’ve seen you. You have the same obsession with obedience; that same drive to be perfect in every way. Tell me, do you ever think about refusing when a warden orders you around? Can you break a rule and not report yourself to a warden? Would you defy your master’s command not to discuss him?”

I couldn’t answer. She had played the trump card. If I said anything I’d violate the order not to talk about the interview. Just a simple yes or no was enough to acknowledge it happened, and I knew that was enough. I could not bring myself to disobey his command.

I could see Cathy knew she’d won the argument. Everything she said was true. Sure, I could make my own decisions, as long as I had permission and I didn’t break any rules. I could ignore the wardens, or my unseen master. Just like I could grow wings and fly out of here.

I stared down at the floor. Now I knew what missing from all my previous relationships. It wasn’t really stability. No, it was a firm hand to make sure I kept well within the boundaries set for me. That was my version of stability, the certainty of being disciplined if I ever tried to go past those boundaries, those rules that defined my life. Not guidelines I set for myself. They had to be my master’s rules.

Special Assignment

Right after our lunch, when we were being taken out one by one, I found myself singled out again. We were facing the wall in the corridor outside, as usual, while our group was being assembled. The warden had just finished with me, locking my wrists behind my back before adding the extra cuff for the gang chain. Hooked together it was very easy for one or two wardens to control a group of us. I was patiently studying the interesting pattern of cracks in the wall paint when another warden came up behind us. Although no one said anything one of the wardens unlocked the gang cuff from my wrist. I tensed, something must be wrong. What had I done?

“Come with me,” The new warden took hold of my arm and led me off down the corridor. I had no clue what was happening, the standard operating procedure for wardens. It took some time to get to wherever we were going. Four times we passed through barred gates. Once I was put up against the wall while someone passed us in a hallway. I could tell from the sound of the chains it was a group of women. For all I knew it might have been my group. I was busy examining a fine crack in the wall in front of me.

We finally stopped next to a door. I stood facing the wall while he unlocked the door. When he took me inside I was surprised to find what looked like a dance school practice room. There was a large mirror on one wall, handrails, and some tables with chairs. Two of the tables had cardboard boxes on top. There was another door on the far wall. Once more I was put against the wall while he closed the door.

Why was I here? I was no ballet dancer. A few lessons in grade school had demonstrated to my parents I had no talent for dancing. The warden was standing behind me with one hand on my back. He remained silent, declining to explain what my purpose was for the visit here.

I heard the other door open behind me. Someone came in, another woman from the sound of the leg chain on the hardwood floor. The warden behind me took hold of my handcuffs, unlocking them from my wrists. I didn’t expect it when he knelt down to remove my leg irons. Normally those were left on unless there was a good reason. Not that I objected to my unexpected bit of freedom. Whatever was coming next it was off to a good start.

“Turn around,” he ordered. Released from the wall I turned and saw another woman with a warden. He was removing her restraints. When she turned around I didn’t recognize her.

“You are here to learn from this instructor. You will follow her orders. There is to be no idle conversation. Discussion must be limited only to your instruction in here. This is a private assignment intended for you alone. You will make a special effort to learn. Failure will be treated as willful disobedience. You are forbidden to discuss it with anyone else. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir,” I answered. We had been taught, over and over, that willful disobedience was just about the worst crime possible. It was called a crime because it applied to every woman in the Facility, even if she wasn’t in the secure area. I hadn’t even known females were allowed outside the secure area until then. If I was to make a ‘special effort’ it meant putting everything I had into it, no matter what.

The other warden faced his charge and started, “Your assignment has been explained to you. You will do your best to ensure she learns everything. You heard the restrictions, no idle conversation, and no discussion with anyone else. Lessons will be daily until you are satisfied. There is no time limit. When you stop for the day press the button next to your door to notify us.”

“Yes, sir, I understand.” She was looking at me intently when she answered. The stakes were high for both of us. If she was an instructor then she had more to lose. Failure might well put her in here with the rest of us.

“You may begin after we leave.” Both wardens went out the door near me.

As soon as the door shut, and we heard the lock, she started. “Okay, you know what we have to do. We have a lot of work ahead. Come over here to the tables.”

I followed her to the tables with the boxes. “Umm, is it okay if I speak?” I didn’t have to ask with a warden but in this situation I wasn’t sure what rules applied.

She stopped and looked at me. She didn’t answer right away, so I waited. “Yes, you may speak freely, but don’t interrupt me. Sit down there,” she pointed to a chair. I sat down, back straight, head high, hands folded in my lap. She stared at me again.

“Okay, first, how often do you wear heels, in the real world?”

That was a strange question. “I wear low heels at work, high heels when out on a date.” We weren’t allowed shoes in here. Why would she ask about them?

She nodded, “Yeah, about what I expected.” She opened the box closest to me. “Now don’t freak out. These should fit you. Don’t put them on until I tell you.” She took out a pair of boots and handed them to me.

At first I didn’t see what the big deal was. They were high enough to come up a couple inches under my knees. There was a zipper on the side. Then I saw the heels. They must have been seven inches high. The boots came down to a point. I’d be standing on my toes if I stood up in them.

“They’re called ballet boots. You can see the resemblance to classic ballet shoes. The insole and tip is reinforced, so some of your weight is still taken up by your arch and heel.” She sat down next to me. “Don’t be intimidated. Let me show you how they work.”

I couldn’t see how even my ‘best efforts’ were going to help me. I might be able to stand, eventually, but I’d never be able to walk with those things on. She took out a similar pair from her box. I watched as she unzipped each boot and slipped her leg inside.

“Make sure you have a tight fit. That’s important. You need the support.” She took hold of the top and pulled each boot up before zipping it shut. I watched in amazement as she stood up and turned to face me.

“See? It is possible. Concentrate on your balance. Don’t make any sudden moves. Avoid any kind of rough surface, like a gravel road, or a floor with some give to it, like a deep carpet.” She walked over to the mirror, turned, and walked back to me. “Keep your steps short. Move slowly. Keep your balance in mind. The purpose of these shoes is to make it very difficult, but not impossible, for you to walk. Work with that.”

She sat down next to me. She didn’t take her boots off. “Now you try them on. Don’t attempt to stand up. I want you to get used to the way they hold your feet en pointe. That’s a ballet term. It means to hold your foot in a fully extended position.”

I have to do this, I told myself. I slid one foot into the boot. Copying her I grabbed the top and pulled, hard. My foot went all the way in, bent straight down from my ankle. I pulled up the zipper. The boot was snug against my calf when closed. I put on the other one the same way.

I stretched out my legs to see the results. I felt my toes at the tip. I had to admit they looked very sexy, especially with that giant heel in the back. I tried our required sitting position, legs together, feet on the floor, sit up straight, hands in lap.

Well, my feet were nowhere near the floor. Except for my toes; the tips were touching the ground. My instructor put a hand on my arm. “Very good! Don’t break position. You’ll feel some strain in your calf muscles. That’s normal. In time it will recede, as you practice.”

She stood up again. I envied the way she made it look so easy. She went behind her chair, picked it up and walked around to face me. She was right about slow and close. When she took a step she put one foot in front of the other, like the way models are taught to walk in shows. She sat down again, facing me.

“I want you to sit like that for a while. Hold position, eyes front, do not speak unless I ask you a question.” I straightened up, staring at her in front of me. “My instructions are to first teach you how to stand, and then how to walk. You will learn to do both. Neither of us has a choice in the matter.”

All sorts of questions were rolling around inside my head. Why was I doing this? Who decided I had to learn to walk in these things? And if I did, no, make that when I learned how to walk, would the wardens make me wear them all the time? I didn’t even want to think about that particular nightmare.

Across from me my instructor was also sitting in position, staring right back at me. The questions would have to wait. Until then I would do my best to learn to walk all over again.

Second Interview

I wasn’t sure how much time passed, maybe two or three weeks, before I was off on another mysterious solo assignment. When the warden opened the door for me I saw the now familiar table with the monitor and the darkened window in the background. As usual the warden hadn’t told me where I was going. Before closing the door he spoke up, “You know the rules. Wait for instructions on the screen.” I didn’t have to wait long.

You may sit in the chair. Place it in front of the monitor. You have permission to speak freely.

I pulled the chair over to the table and sat down. This time I was careful to notice where the chair was before moving it. I sat down, in position, hands in my lap.

Tell me of your progress with the ballet boots.

He didn’t waste any time. “Sir, I can now rise from a chair and stand without assistance. Yesterday I was able to walk the length of the handrail in the practice room, on my own without holding on.” I was excited about that short walk. I never thought I’d be able to do it but the instructor’s encouragement kept me going. “Will I be allowed to continue practicing?”

Your lessons will proceed. I am pleased with your progress. I expect you to continue to improve. I am satisfied that you are doing your best.

I remind you these lessons are important. For now I will not explain why. You are learning a special skill, one that will set you apart from other women. You must show me your dedication to this task.

I did put everything I had into meeting the challenge posed by those wretched shoes. My confidence rose as I met each milestone. It all came down to one goal, the day I would get up from the chair, walk all the way across the room, come back, and sit down. Without falling, I had to add that qualification. I was determined to show him I would succeed, no matter the toll on my sore feet.

I never thought of it as a skill but he was right. It was no simple matter to walk in those things. Why I had to learn it was still a mystery but now that I saw real progress I looked forward to the lessons.

Given what you know about the Facility, would you still have accepted the offer to come here?

It was close to his question from the last interview but not quite the same. I was still uncertain about this place. “I do like certain aspects here, sir. However, on balance I believe I would have declined.” He wanted honesty; I didn’t hold back. “The major problem I have is not being allowed to leave. I do have to add, sir, I would not have come here if I had known of the restrictions. But since I am here I might add, sir, I would regret not knowing if I could earn my release.” Which was the truth; other women made it through the experience. If they did it then so could I.

Whether or not you accepted you would still be here at the Facility today. The only difference is you would have been taken instead of being allowed to come voluntarily.

I will see to it you earn your release. For the rest of your life you will be proud you made it through Facility training. Other women will envy you for your accomplishment.

I stared at the screen. Taken? I held my hands together to keep from shaking. I had to know what he meant. “Sir, may I ask if you can explain your last remark, about being taken? I’m not certain I understand.” I wasn’t sure if I could get away with asking a question like that. However, he did give me permission to speak freely, so I took a chance.

You recall your arrest by the police? You were told it was staged as part of the offer. In fact it had been arranged before you even received the email offer. If you had not accepted, or had not shown up, the police would still have come for you. Fortunately events worked out to ease your transition.

I am convinced the Facility is the best place for you at this point in your life. When I decided I would own you I took all necessary steps to ensure you would be mine, one way or another. From that point on your arrival here was inevitable.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The offer was a sham. I never had a choice. This man had stalked me, manipulated me into coming here, trapping me for what purpose I still didn’t know. No, that wasn’t quite right. I did know it was for my own good, according to him.

I am aware this news will shock you. Your first reaction will be anger, to lash out at being forced to come here. You resent being tricked into choices you now regret.

Before you go further, think about this. As your master I get your progress reports prepared by the staff for the secure area. In every respect you have an exemplary record. You have never been punished. You have not received a single reprimand or warning. You excel at every task set for you. When given an order you exceed all requirements. You learn quickly, applying what you learn to new situations. By any measure you are thriving in this environment. If I made the wrong decision in bringing you here, how do you explain the obvious fact you are doing so well?

My burst of anger drained away. He had asked another difficult question. Perhaps I had been tricked into coming here, but there was no denying his argument. Where others struggled to adapt to the secure area it came naturally to me. I could live without the harsh conditions but in most other respects life in the Facility wasn’t that bad. Once I understood the rules I had no difficulties staying within my boundaries.

In the classes I saw other women make what I thought were clumsy mistakes. Why didn’t they see the obvious? Why did they test the rules, try to find ways around them? The wardens might be strangers, but they were still the men in charge of us. It was our duty to obey, there was nothing complicated about it.

I looked at the screen, struggling to find an answer to his question. “Sir, I’m sure you are aware I have always identified as a submissive female. I look for a man who will acknowledge my lifestyle and act accordingly. But no man has ever proven to me he can take on that responsibility. I see where he falters, where he asks instead of demands, where he is accommodating when he should be uncompromising. I try to explain that I have a place, it’s where I belong but I need to be reminded. It is his job to keep me there. Either he won’t or he can’t.

“In here the men do understand me. I am ordered, not asked politely. My freedom has been taken away, replaced by rules that govern everything I say or do. That’s my place. If I am doing well it’s because I’m where I should be, whether I like it or not.”

I was coming full circle. Unintentionally I had justified his action in seizing me. He was right; it was for my own good, much as I hated to admit it.

“Sir, it frightens me, the idea that a man I don’t even know can kidnap me and hold me prisoner. I know nothing about him, whether he will treat me well or torture me to death. Part of me wants just that, to be forced to serve an unyielding, inflexible master who demands all that I have and more. Another part of me is terrified at how vulnerable, how helpless I am because of that need for a strong hand.” I stopped, unsure of what else to say.

Your fears are justified. But consider this, the Facility exists to provide you with the assurances you will not be a victim of some psychotic monster. This is an institution with checks and balances, even though you don’t see them. The dangerous ones are weeded out long before they ever get here.

We will end the session now. Return the chair to its original place. You will assume a standing position in front of this display. A warden will come for you.

Defining Moment

We stood outside a door, waiting, spending quality time examining how well the walls were built. Finally the door opened and we were taken inside. Unlike regular classrooms, where we had to kneel on cushions, this time chairs were laid out in rows. Another group was already seated in the front. A woman was standing at the front, face to the wall, a warden close by her.

The wardens seated us behind the first group. Like us they were sitting in position, staring at the front of the room. Our classes were always in small groups. It was unusual for so many of us to be in one place at the same time.

We had to hold position so I couldn’t turn around but I’m sure I heard another group being seated behind us. This was definitely something new, but I couldn’t figure out what it might be.

The warden at the front began, “Everyone, your attention. This will be a lecture. You will remain seated during the presentation but you may relax and break position, except you will not look behind you. Do not speak unless given permission. I think you will find the instructor entertaining.” He took hold of the woman next to him and turned her around. I didn’t recognize her. He whispered something to her before walking off. Surprisingly he didn’t free her hands.

She didn’t start immediately. I saw the warden pass by us, going to the back of the room. She must be waiting for him.

“Okay, we can start. My name is Ruth, and I’ll be the instructor for this session.” She paused for a moment, looking at us. “I’m going to talk about attitude today. No, not the usual clichés about obeying our master; you’ve heard all that before. I’m going to talk about how we see ourselves, and how others can define us if we aren’t careful.”

It sounded like an unusual topic. Most of our classes stressed the rules on how we should behave. This one promised to be different.

“A while back my master, who conveniently happens to be my husband, and I were at the supermarket for the weekly grocery run. We’re doing our shopping, and of course I’m discreetly asking for his approval when I see something I’d like to add to the cart. Out in public I’m very careful not to intrude on others, but habits are hard to break, like asking permission. Anyway, someone must have heard me.

“In the checkout line there’s this woman behind us. She keeps staring at me, and I can’t figure out why. I don’t wear a collar in public, and I’m sure my chastity belt doesn’t show under my skirt. Well, I didn’t pay too much attention to her. You meet all kinds in the supermarket.

“We go through the checkout lane. My husband’s putting the bags in the cart while I stand there, watching. The cashier finishes, tells me the total. Thing is, when I’m out with my master I usually leave my purse in the car, and I’m not allowed to wear clothes with pockets. One of my master’s control freak type guilty pleasures is that I have to depend on him for money when we’re out together. So my husband comes around the cart to pay the bill. That woman who kept staring at me is behind us, and now she’s frowning at me in disapproval. Again, I ignore it. We head out to the parking lot.

“Hubby doesn’t let me load or unload groceries. He says that’s heavy lifting work, his job. Who am I to argue with master’s orders? I can’t get in the car until he opens my door, so I’m standing there, watching him. You know that rule, no opening or closing doors on your own. He finishes and starts to push the shopping cart over to one of those parking lot corrals.

“So while I’m waiting this woman who was behind me in the checkout line comes up to me and hands me a card. I look at it, seems she some kind of counselor at a battered women’s shelter. I have a premonition something bad is about to happen.

“There’s a safe place for you, she tells me. You don’t have to put up with the abuse, she assures me. He’ll never hit you again, I’m promised. I don’t know what to say. Problem is, I had no idea I was a battered, abused wife. Why hadn’t my master told me this? So I assured her if my husband allowed it I would look at her website.”

All of us laughed. It was a common mistake, assuming because we were submissive we must be abused. I’d come across social workers who thought they had a mission to rescue women like me from a life of misery and degradation. I suppose being tied to a bed while a man enjoys my body could be considered degrading, but I still had a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what qualified as misery.

“I know, I might have overdone it with that last part. It was her turn to be speechless. Meanwhile my husband comes back to open the car door for me. He sees this woman and looks a question at me.

“By rights I should have been punished for it but I couldn’t help myself. Sir, I ask him, may I have permission to be rescued by this woman? She is certain you are abusing me.”

I’m cracking up. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to say something like that.

“So master looks at me, looks at the woman, looks back at me. He folds his arms, leans back against the car and proceeds to ask me if I’m not getting enough abuse. Then he launches into this tale of woe about long work hours, how he tries to beat me at least once a day but sometimes he’s just too tired by the time he gets home. He promises to do better. He’ll keep me chained to the wall in the basement at least three days a week. Then he starts on who will cook his dinner and wash his clothes if I’m in the basement?

“I tell him that no, sir, I’m not getting enough beatings and if the best he can do is three days then I’m going to the shelter, if it’s okay with him. But only if he agrees, since a good wife must obey her husband.

“This woman meanwhile looks like she’s about to have a heart attack. Then I ask her, don’t you agree a husband should be required to beat his wife every day? How else can he keep her in line?”

“At that point the woman loses it. She starts yelling at my husband, calling him a misogynistic Neanderthal caveman. Then she turns on me, calls me weak because I enable him to treat me that way. I’m at a loss but master comes to the rescue. He calmly informs her we have been happily married for years, we both believe in a traditional marriage, and we do not answer to politically correct do-gooders.

“That’s when I realize we’ve drawn a crowd. People started clapping! This woman stomps off to her car, finally leaving me alone. Oh, in case you are curious, yes he does have a place in the basement where he can chain me to the wall, but it’s only used for, umm, special occasions. And I wouldn’t mind at all if there were at least three of those occasions per week.”

Her story was hilarious. Everyone was laughing, including me.

She continued, “The point behind the story is, don’t let someone else define who you are. Well, except for your master, but you know that’s his job. We are a minority in the outside world, and that requires some pragmatic decisions. No collars, no chains,” she held out her arms, still cuffed behind her back, “and no overt displays of submission. We don’t need to antagonize people who don’t agree with what we believe and the way we live.”

“But don’t let people like that woman intimidate you either. I was fortunate; my master was with me and easily handled the confrontation. Being submissive we have exceptional social skills, but arguing and shouting aren’t among them. Don’t be tempted, like I was, to poke the hornet’s nest with a stick to see if anyone’s home. Your first reaction may be a defensive attitude, to explain or strike back. Resist the temptation.

“That’s where you need to adjust your attitude. You won’t ever change the minds of people like that, so don’t try. All you do is irritate them. And while that may seem like a good idea it really doesn’t accomplish anything. Ignoring them is what they really hate, treating them as if they were irrelevant. Remind yourself that you only answer to your master, no one else.

“That’s the other part of my theme for this lecture. We are one half of a whole, two parts that are made to fit together. The buzzword today is gender equality, no differences between the sexes. Well, we have our own version of that, gender synergy. We have our strengths, men have theirs. Instead of competing we choose to merge those two strengths together, a synergy greater than the sum of its parts.”

I had never thought about it that way, but it made sense.

“My own background is what you might call traditional Judaism. We have a very strict set of rules called halakhah, or Jewish law. It won’t come as a surprise there are rules just for women. We have to cover our hair in public, just like good Muslim women, but we have more choices in how it’s done. Some wear a wig, yeah that counts, or for the rest of us a tischa, a scarf, is sufficient. My husband lets me use a scarf. I’m only allowed a skirt, and it has to be below the knee. Same for my arms, the sleeves on my blouse have to cover my elbows. That’s about the same as liberal Muslim countries, like Indonesia. I think it might have been the reason I was targeted by that woman.

“Anyway, we believe women and men each have specific roles. Both are equally important, but a woman’s role is more equal.” That got some laughs. “You can only be born Jewish if your mother is Jewish. Fathers don’t count. Even better, we are exempt from many of the religious laws. If you’re a man, tough luck.

“But what I really want to talk about is what we call shalom bayit, literally ‘peace of the home’ in Hebrew. The highest praise is for the woman who fulfils the wishes of her husband, and in return the husband is expected to love and honor her more than he honors himself. This is the synergy I mentioned, where each of us helps the other to live in harmony, combining our roles into something greater than each of us alone.”

That’s how I like to think of myself. I do honor his wishes in my obedience, and in turn he loves and cares for me. I liked what I was hearing.

“See where I’m going here? Your opinion of yourself, being submissive, depending on your man to take care of you, it isn’t a weakness of character. It’s the way people have lived for thousands of years. Is it for everyone?

“Of course not, progress has reached the point where a traditional lifestyle isn’t necessary for survival, but that doesn’t mean it has to be replaced by a way of life we don’t want. Necessity has been replaced by choice, but we can still choose to let our men be in charge. We are not weak because we choose to travel that path.”

I’d never heard anyone define the choice of submission so well. I agreed with everything she said. Her message was very specific to my own dilemma. I had a master, whoever he was, that seemed to be everything I could hope for. The question I had to answer, to myself, was if I could accept him.

No, that wasn’t really the question. Whether I accepted the current situation or not he effectively owned me now, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it as long as I was here. The real question, the one I couldn’t answer, was how I felt about the way he had taken control of me without any regard for my feelings about it.

A Night at the Movies

Our unpredictable schedule made it difficult to live in the secure area. I never knew from one moment to the next what was coming. I had lost track of how long I’d been at the Facility. Without a clock or calendar, and not even a window to see if it was day or night, all I had to keep track of time were meals and sleep periods. I wondered if those were deliberately manipulated as well. For all I knew we ate lunch at three in the morning and went to bed at noon.

The wardens never let up, constantly watching us, ordering us around, and they never failed to utilize their favorite activity, putting us up against a wall. In spite of all that there were pleasant breaks on rare occasions. I thought of them as days off, although we never forgot our rules.

One evening after supper, a warden announced we would be shown a movie. We were allowed to remain at our dining room tables while a screen and projector were set up. We were told to move our chairs around the table so we could all see the screen.

The real treat came before the movie started. Wardens brought carts filled with all those great concession stand snacks. We were allowed to go to a cart, one table at a time, and each pick out a snack and something to drink. I opted for popcorn and a cup of iced tea.

Once the movie started we weren’t allowed to talk. That was nice in a way, no irritating loudmouth in the back row on a cell phone to ruin the show. The wardens, several of them, sat behind us. We weren’t allowed to turn around to look at them.

The movie was very recent, a romantic comedy. I remembered seeing the coming attractions before I came to the Facility. After I finished my popcorn and tea I watched the rest of the movie sitting in position. I didn’t even notice until the movie ended. I suppose it was a habit now.

When the lights came back on everyone was ordered to stand. A warden went to the front of the room and ordered us to spread, meaning we had to stand with our legs apart, to the limit of our ankle chains. A warden came up behind me and told me to put my hands behind my back. On went the handcuffs, then out the door to a waiting gang chain. Life was back to normal. I hoped we were being taken to our cells for the night.

That’s not what happened. The wardens had assembled us into our groups and had just started moving our line down a hallway when the lead warden suddenly stopped us. Once more he put us against the wall. I heard the two wardens in charge of us going back and forth but I had no idea what was happening.

I heard more wardens arrive. Something unusual must be happening. I felt the presence of wardens stopped, directly behind me. To my surprise I felt the gang cuff being unlocked from my wrist. Wardens on either side took hold of my arms. Then a hood went over my head.

I was dragged away. The two wardens walked so fast I couldn’t get my feet under me. I tried to keep up but kept tripping on my leg chains. Something was terribly wrong. This is what happened to women who were punished. But I was sure I had behaved properly all day long. Why was this happening to me?

The Chance Encounter

One of the wardens held me firmly against the wall with his hand pressing on my back. I didn’t know where I was or what they intended for me next. The hood over my head blinded me. All I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going to like whatever came next.

“Here, double up on her. Do her waist too.” That was one of the two wardens that had come for me. I remembered him from that incident on the first day. Of course I didn’t know his name but he had a distinctive voice. The other one, holding me, took his hand off my back just long enough to lock another pair of handcuffs on my wrists. I didn’t understand that, one pair was sufficient to control me. Did they expect me to somehow escape from them?

He wasn’t finished. Next he wrapped a chain around my waist, just above the chastity belt. I felt it being pulled tight, with the loose ends behind me. A padlock snapped shut. The reason for the chain became obvious when he put some kind of covers over the cuff hinges, ran the free end of the chain through them and pulled my wrists up toward my waist. Thankfully he didn’t pull it tight, that would have been painful, but now the cuffs and my wrists were closely anchored to the small of my back. But wait, there’s more, as the TV commercials say.

As bad as the hinged handcuffs are there was one little tool in the restraint catalog that was even worse. My introduction began with the thumbcuffs clicking shut around my thumbs. They’re like tiny, rigid handcuffs with an opening just big enough for a finger. It felt like a lobster had hold of both my thumbs and would not let go.

I heard a cell door open. “Okay, let’s get her inside.” That was the first warden again. He must be the one supervising my punishment. The two of them turned me around and maneuvered me inside some kind of enclosure. I felt bars brush against my arms. There was something around my head too.

When I felt the leg cuffs being removed I was surprised. They were loading up on the handcuffs but leaving my legs free? No, my little taste of freedom was short-lived. I felt new cuffs going around my ankles, larger and heavier. They were connected close together, not hinged but solid. They seemed to be attached to the floor too. I could still stand, but the cuffs held my ankles so close together it was impossible to move my legs.

The ankles weren’t enough. The next restraint was a wide leather belt above my knees. It wasn’t tight but snug enough to keep my legs together. There must be some attachment to the enclosure I was in, because it didn’t slip down my legs.

Now that I was securely immobilized the second warden pulled off the hood. I did not like what I saw. I was in some kind of narrow cage, just big enough to stand in. My shoulders were within an inch of the sides. To either side of my face was some kind of enclosure, attached to the top of the cage. It was open but I could tell it was designed to fit around my head.

The first warden stood directly in front of me. “You need some quiet time to reflect on your behavior today.” I saw a large and uncomfortable looking gag in his hand. He stared at me, thinking about something. Finally he continued. “As long as you remain silent we’ll leave the gag off. If you need help to keep quiet,” he held up the gag, “we can show you how.”

I did not want that gag in my mouth. Quiet as a mouse, that was my motto. It was huge, a wide leather front with a foam covered insert that would completely fill my mouth. There were straps coming off it everywhere, across and over the head, and under the chin. He didn’t add anything to his helpful offer but he did stand there, looking me right in the eyes. I was sure he was going to gag me anyway,

But he didn’t. Nervously I watched him hang it on a hook on the wall opposite where I stood. I got the message, it was ready and waiting. When he turned back around he reached in and closed the steel fixture around my head. There was a narrow slot to see, and a grill of small holes in front of my mouth, so I could breathe and talk, or more importantly not talk after seeing that gag. It fit under my chin and around my neck, stopping just above the collar. I found out the position was adjustable when he started to raise it.

The pressure on my chin and head forced me to stretch, trying my best to stand as straight as possible, but he didn’t stop. When I was on tiptoes, the best I could do with those shackles on my ankles, he stopped and let it down just enough for me to get my feet back on the floor. The rigid, tight fit prevented me from moving my head.

Both wardens stepped back so the first one could close the front. Those bars were inches from my face. I couldn’t see but I heard the lock click shut. I couldn’t move.

At that moment a buzzer went off in the outer office. Both the wardens left, shutting the door behind them. I was left alone to meditate about my quiet time.

I decided to explore my tiny prison, starting with my hands. I could jerk against the waist chain but I didn’t accomplish anything. Why they had to double up on those handcuffs I had no idea. Well, that wasn’t strictly true. I think they did it because they could, and I had no way to stop them. I found out the combination of hinged cuffs and thumbcuffs made my hands useless. I did try to slip a thumb out, without success. The wardens wouldn’t be that careless.

That left my legs. I tried to lift one leg up a little, no luck. Those shackles on my ankles didn’t have any play at all, especially since they were chained to the floor. The belt around my knees didn’t help either. The way he had stretched me out with that thing on my head was putting a strain on my legs. I could feel it in my calf muscles.

I had an ominous feeling about what was coming. The massive overkill in restraining me didn’t seem to have a point. Not at first, but the longer I stood there the more I realized from the ache growing in my legs that they knew exactly what they were doing. All I had to do was yell out, beg them to release me… and give him an excuse to put that gag on me instead. I was determined not to let that happen.

I couldn’t see much. The gag hanging on the wall in front of me was clearly visible, no doubt intentionally. There was some kind of ridge around my view slit which resulted in tunnel vision. I could just make out the door. It was solid, and no way to open it on this side that I could see from my vantage point. It must be soundproof too. I couldn’t hear anything from the other side.

I wondered how long they would leave me like this. There were no clocks on the wall. As far as I knew there were no clocks anywhere in the Facility, or at least in the secure area. None of the wardens had a wristwatch either. I had the clever idea I could sneak a look to see the time that way, until I found out not one warden wore a watch.

Time slowed to a crawl. I still didn’t know why I was being punished. Had I done something while the movie was playing? I was always very careful when a warden was in the room. I must have missed an order or inadvertently broke position at some point during the day.

I tried to shift around in my cage. I didn’t make any progress but I figured there would be enough noise so anyone else in the room could hear, and maybe answer. I listened but heard nothing. That meant I was alone in here.

The helmet enclosing my head was a nasty piece of work. It had a rigid mount somewhere on the outside, since I couldn’t budge it. Nor could I turn my head inside since the fit was too close.

The door swung open without warning. I caught a glimpse of the outer office again, what looked like a desk with papers on it. The first warden walked in and stopped in front of me. He studied me intently, looking up and down. He reached through the bars, grabbed the chain around my waist and gave it a good tug. It didn’t come off. Kneeling down, and out of my sight, he reached in to run his hands down my lower legs, stopping at the cuffs. He took his time caressing my ankle, running his hand over and around the steel encircling it.

This was something new. His “inspection” was nothing of the kind. It was clear to me exactly what he was thinking. When he stood up he reached in between the bars again, this time slipping his fingers under the chastity belt. He gave it a quick tug. “You know I have the key for this,” he whispered, so low I could barely hear him. He leaned down to look into my eye slot, only inches away. I stared at his brown eyes, unable to look away.

I think this was the first time I really understood what it meant not to be in control. This man clearly wanted me and there was nothing I could do to stop him. I was terrified and aroused at the same time. I had to please this man or he might leave me here indefinitely.

He backed up, arms folded, watching me. “You’ve been a good girl. Keep it up; it will go easier for you. I was sure we’d need the gag by now.”

He walked over to the open door. “Alright, bring her in.” That must have been directed to someone in the outer office. I took it to mean he was finished with me, for the moment. I wanted to clinch my fists in frustration, but those thumbcuffs didn’t even allow me that small relief.

The second warden wheeled in what looked like a spindly wheelchair. In it was Laura, the woman they had taken away that first day. She was strapped down tight. I realized it wasn’t a wheelchair but one of those restraint chairs used to transport violent and dangerous prisoners. Close-fitting straps held her elbows, wrists, knees and ankles against the chair frame. More straps down her shoulders, across her waist and over her thighs secured her torso.

I had seen one of those chairs on a reality TV show. It was like a portable jail cell. I noticed there were some embellishments too. Her hands were covered with some kind of stiff nylon tube. Worst of all she had on the same type of gag as the one hanging on the wall. It looked like a giant spider covered her face, with straps going around her nose and over her head. There was a wide chinstrap to prevent it slipping, and more straps going to the back of her head. Over it all was a harness around her head, pinning her against the chair back.

She didn’t look too good. From what I could see there was a fearful, haunted expression on her face. It was obvious her time in the Facility had been far more difficult than my own.

The second warden wheeled her over to a spot in front of me. She sat there, facing me. “We’ll put her in number two,” the first warden said. It sounded like Laura would be joining me. “I don’t think we’ll need the gag, will we, Laura?”

I saw her trying to shake her head in a no. The head straps holding her to the chair made it difficult. He released the harness and started unbuckling the gag. When he pulled it out of her mouth I saw her working her jaw. It must have been painful wearing it.

Just then I heard the phone ringing through the open door. Both wardens looked annoyed at the interruption. “I’ll finish here, you go ahead,” the first warden said. The other one nodded and left. There was some indistinct conversation from the other room, followed by the sound of another door opening and closing.

The remaining warden started talking to Laura, “You get an unexpected reprieve. You were supposed to join our other guest in one of our popular ‘standing room only’ accommodations but for reasons you don’t need to know that will be postponed.” He turned to look at me. “Since the two of you will be alone for some time I’m going to allow you to talk to each other, with a few restrictions.”

There were always restrictions, on everything we did. I expected that. The “some time” comment was more worrisome. My legs were complaining loudly, and my shoulders were joining in.

“You,” he was looking into my eye slot, “are not permitted to discuss why you are here now, or anything that has happened since you and Laura parted company.” He turned back to Laura, “and you…” He stopped. I had no idea what he intended for her.

He stood directly in front of Laura’s chair, towering over her. “Perhaps it’s better if everyone knows about you. You have permission to discuss your arrival here and what happened afterwards. You will not discuss how you failed your master, or the reason why you were sent to the Facility.”

He walked over to the open door. Before leaving he added one last word, “Both of you are already in trouble. Remember your instructions. Don’t make a serious matter worse.” He left, shutting the door. I heard the click of the lock.

We were alone, and from the sound of it for quite a while. I looked down at Laura. “So, think it’ll rain today?” He hadn’t left me with much to start a conversation.

She looked up at me, a rueful smile on her face. “If it does we’ll never know.” She stared at me. “Sorry, I don’t recognize you behind that thing on your head. Your voice sounds familiar.”

“I was in your group on arrival. Lenora, I was the last one to be seated.” It seemed like years ago, but it couldn’t be more than a few weeks. Or maybe it was months, I wasn’t sure. Was it deliberate, making us lose track of time? It must be; the wardens never did anything that wasn’t planned in advance.

“I remember you. You said you came here voluntarily.”

“Yeah, I was the one who asked when I could leave the Facility.” My question at that first orientation sounded incredibly naïve now. I’d settle for knowing how to get out of my current situation, but I wouldn’t dare ask that question.

“Why on earth did you ask to come here? Didn’t you know what this place was like?”

If I had known, would I still have come? The sane answer would have been no, but despite all that had been done to me it I wasn’t sure how I would choose. “No, I didn’t know anything about the Facility. I’d never heard of it. I was offered a chance to find myself, what was called a ‘life-changing’ experience. Those were the exact words.”

I could see her looking me up and down with her eyes. “Since you’re in there something must have happened. I won’t ask; I know you can’t tell me.” I saw her strain against the strap on her body as she tried to rise up. “I can’t see your feet or hands. What did they do? I’m asking because there’s another cage next to you. From what he said when they return I’ll be in it soon.”

That explained why she was here. I couldn’t see the cage next to mine. Between the hood when they brought me in, and now this thing around my head I had no idea what was in our cell, except the little I could see in front. “My ankles are chained to the floor, with a belt around my knees so I can’t move my legs. They put two pairs of handcuffs on my wrists, behind my back, plus they locked the cuffs to a chain around my waist. Oh yeah, just to make sure I wouldn’t escape they hooked my thumbs together with thumbcuffs.” Those had moved to the top of my hate list.

I could see she didn’t like what she heard. “Not much to look forward to. In a way I guess I should be glad they left me in this chair. At least I get to sit down.”

I’d give anything to sit down. I was curious about her chair. “Those things on your hands, what are they?”

“It’s some kind of stiff nylon bag.” She struggled with the restraints on her wrists. I could see a slight movement inside the tubes. “If you can see, I can’t even bend my fingers. The best I can manage is to move them back and forth a little. Most of the time they won’t let me use my hands. Even when the wardens let me get some sleep I have to wear them.”

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like without hands. In a sense when I had the handcuffs on, behind my back, I couldn’t do much but the rest of the time my wrists and hands weren’t restrained. And the wardens didn’t make us sleep with cuffs on. I wasn’t sure which would be worse, those tubes over my hands or my thumbs locked together.

“No one has seen you since…” I hesitated. How to put it in a tactful way?

“Since I had a melt down? I’m not really that stupid. I did know better, but too many things happened too close together. They grabbed me right off the street, did you know that? One moment I’m walking out of a store in the mall, the next the police surround me, announcing to everyone I’m under arrest for shoplifting. While they handcuff and search me I’m tearfully pleading my innocence. They haul me outside to a waiting van. It wasn’t until we were out of the city that I realized I wasn’t going to jail.” She stopped, closing her eyes.

I had been taken the same way. The only difference was I knew it would happen. I’d have been petrified with fear if taken her way. I knew what to expect and it had still been difficult. In public, with a crowd watching, that would have been too much.

I thought about the warden’s instructions. I didn’t recall any prohibition against asking Laura questions about what had happened to her. I did hesitate; I was concerned she might not want to talk about it. Curiosity got the better of me.

“Laura, can I ask about that day?” I paused to think on how to word it. “What happened when you were taken away?”

She didn’t answer immediately. “I suppose so, the warden did give his permission. You saw them drag me out of the holding cell?”

I had been too scared to break position and watch. “I didn’t see too much. Paula told me to hold position, so I didn’t see you.”

“Ash, yes, our dear, beloved Paula. I know her, Miss Perfection, a model guest we can all admire. Did you know the wardens refer to us as guests? But I’m sure you did the right thing. Anyway, they got a gag in my mouth right away, before they unhooked me from the floor. They already had me in chains so it wasn’t hard to manhandle me out the door.”

There was a note of bitterness in her voice. I didn’t know about being a ‘guest’ but in one sense it was accurate. We received room and board, and there wasn’t even a bill. It did sound better than ‘prisoner’ or ‘inmate’.

“That’s the last any of us saw or heard about you. We weren’t allowed to discuss it.” I had watched for her, so I’d know if she was all right. Even if I didn’t approve of what she had done I didn’t want to see her suffer for it. Well, not suffer too much.

“So I disappeared? They put a bag over my head so I couldn’t see where they took me. When the hood came off I was in a small cage on a bare floor, still in chains and that gag. I couldn’t sit up or lay down because it was too cramped. They left me there, I don’t know how long. Once in a while a warden would come in and hose me down to keep me and the cage clean. Once they took off the gag I got a little water that way. They didn’t feed me.”

The wardens must have been very angry at her for a severe punishment like that. I’d never experienced anything like it. I had been tied up with rope, even restrained with chains, but never for long periods of time, and I’d never been put in a small cage.

“While I was in there wardens would come in and lecture me at all hours. They wouldn’t let me sleep. If I couldn’t stay awake they hosed me down to make sure I paid attention. At some point they let me go. I vaguely remember being pulled out of the cage. They took off the cuffs and gave me a pad on the floor so I could sleep. I thought the worst was over.”

She stopped again. I waited, giving her time to gather her thoughts. Meanwhile I had problems of my own. My thumbs were throbbing. I tried to twist them around but it didn’t help. I closed my eyes, telling myself I could manage. I knew if I begged the warden to take them off it would be the excuse he needed to use that gag. And chances are I’d still have the thumbcuffs on afterwards.

“I was kept in isolation. They made me get in that cage and locked me in all day long. I was let out to sleep and eat one meal. I think it was the third day my master showed up. He brought in a chair and sat down in front of me. I was so ashamed I couldn’t even look at him.”

Ashamed? I suppose I’d be ashamed too if I ever acted that way. She should have thought about the consequences before throwing a tantrum.

Laura was beginning to irritate me. Standing in this cage was beginning to irritate me. The thumbcuffs were long past irritating me. My patience ran out. She made foolish choices and then whined about it, looking for sympathy.

“I regret what you had to go through, Laura, but you have to face the fact you did it to yourself. Right from the beginning you knew, we all knew who is in charge here. There’s no excuse for defying them. And you knew that too, that’s why you waited until the wardens were gone and poor Cathy had to take the blame for your disobedience. Did anyone tell you she lost her instructor status and had to stay in the secure area as punishment?”

Laura looked genuinely surprised at the news about Cathy. “I never meant for her to be blamed. I just wanted out of here…”

I interrupted her, all but shouting. “You wanted? What the wardens want is all you should care about! That’s why we are here. Sure, I want out of this cage. I really want these horrid little thumbcuffs off my hands.

“But that’s not what the wardens want from me. I don’t know why I’m being punished. They didn’t tell me, which means I don’t need to know. They have a reason for putting me in here. I have no idea what it is, but I accept they have the right to discipline me. They ordered me in here, I obeyed. I will stand here as long as I’m able. I hope it won’t be until my thumbs fall off. It’s that simple. If you can’t understand, well, enjoy your easy chair. I hope they do put you in the cage next to me. I hope you get these dreadful thumbcuffs for good measure. And I hope they put that gag back in so I won’t have to listen…”

Without warning the door swung open. I stopped talking in mid-sentence. In came the same two wardens. Both went over to Laura, ignoring me. “Time for your new accommodations. I’m sure you’d like to stand up after sitting for so long.”

It didn’t take them long to transfer her. I watched them free her from the chair straps. They did let her stand up for a moment to stretch. After that I couldn’t see what happened but I did hear the cage door next to mine open and shut.

The first warden turned to me. “You were not brought here to be punished. Your master ordered you to be confined in that cage. The purpose is to demonstrate to you he will treat his property as he sees fit. He has asked me to inform you that he is pleased with the way you cooperated. You have done well.”

I was so relieved! While standing in the cage I had rerun the day over and over in my head, trying to figure out where I made a mistake. I still wasn’t too pleased about being put in here but I was thankful it was my master’s wishes and not my own blunder that earned me a trip to the punishment room.

“However, you were told to speak quietly. That’s not what happened.” I cringed. He heard me after all. I was sure to get the gag now. “You will spend some more time in your cage, to think about how you will make sure it doesn’t happen again.” He leaned in, reached through the bars around my back. I felt his hand on mine. Suddenly he grabbed the thumbcuffs and yanked. I let out a yelp in pain. “I’m not pleased you failed to follow my orders. Do not test me again.”

My little window suddenly went dark. He had slid a cover over my eye slot, a very effective blindfold. I was in total darkness.

“Both of you will remain silent. If I hear one sound, from either of you, you’ll both be gagged and your punishment time will be doubled.” The wardens left, closing the door behind them.

I felt terrible. Here I had been lecturing Laura while being disobedient myself. I took a deep breath. I can do this, I told myself. Whatever it takes, I was determined to make it through my punishment without begging to be released. This time I was being disciplined for cause. I deserved it; I knew what I was doing. Not that I had a choice but I did accept his judgement.

Time passes very slowly in those cages. I felt cut off from the outside world. No sight, no sound, I was all alone and helpless. All I could do is wait, and hope the wardens would come back to release me. Once I heard Laura try to move around in her cage. I don’t think she did any better than my own efforts. I worried the wardens might hear her but I had no way to ask her to stop. I tried to keep as still as possible.

The real punishment wasn’t being confined. It was boredom. Hour after hour I stood in that tiny cage, unable to move, forbidden to talk, and nothing to do except collect a few more aches and pains with every passing minute. It would end at some point in the future. That I knew from the warden’s comment about doubling our punishment time. How long I had to stay in the cage wasn’t arbitrary, I just didn’t know how long it would be.

In Review

Steve switched to the wide view camera so he could see both Laura in her chair and Lenora in her cage. He picked up the headphones to listen in. Putting them in the same area was an experiment, to see how they would interact with each other.

The two women were a stark contrast. He had checked Laura’s record. This wasn’t her first visit to the Facility. From what he could infer Laura had a temper that was unpredictable in both occurrence and ferocity. It might be a long time before she left the Facility again.

Lenora was the opposite. He knew from the intercepted emails and online chat conversations she had an unambiguous opinion on the relationship between men and women, an opinion that would not win her any friends in politically correct circles. She made no secret of her interest in dominant men. She also made it clear what she saw as her role. That fascinated him.

Lenora’s sudden outburst made him sit up. She had raised her voice, which would require a reprimand of some kind. But what she was saying was the interesting part.

Steve almost laughed at the mention of the thumbcuffs. They weren’t necessary for security purposes. She wasn’t going anywhere. They weren’t tight enough to cut off circulation but were a nasty combination when used with the hinged handcuffs. They were uncomfortable, but would she would break down and risk the gag in order to beg him to remove them?

When Larry came back to help transfer Laura Steve decided to put an end to it. The moment he opened the door to the punishment room Lenora halted her rant. Even angry she had the presence of mind to remember how to behave. He decided to let her off with a little extra time in the cage.

Back in the office he watched her on the monitor. He couldn’t see her expression; that was one of the drawbacks with those solid head enclosures. From her posture, her body language, she seemed to be resigned to her confinement. He checked the time. Another hour or two should be sufficient. For her it would seem to be twice as long.

End of part 2

Copyright© 2016 by Jack Peacock. All rights reserved.