Views: 362 Created: 2017.03.24 Updated: 2017.03.24

Arabella and the rod by stephen rawlings

CHAPTER 5 - FORFEITS

Summer had faded, and with it her bruises. Now all that remained were faint silver scars on her right flank and armpit, together with a pair of silver triangles bearing little licking silver flames that scarcely left her ears, and eight worn silver shillings set in the links of an elegant bracelet on her right wrist. More than one of her acquaintances had remarked how bizarre it was to set such worthless objects into so fine an ornament, when she could have had jewels or, if she craved coins, antique gold pieces of value and beauty, but she deflected their curiosity and told no-one their true meaning, though she often pondered it herself.

Now the September nights were drawing in, and she found herself visiting again, this time another Great House where Cousins and Aunts, Uncles and more distant connections had come to enjoy country sports. While the men talked endlessly of guns and birds, dogs and horseflesh, and kept the servants busy, transferring the contents of the

well-stocked cellars to their own unflagging throats, and the older women played endless games of whist, and destroyed every reputation in the Kingdom, the younger females drifted into boredom, deprived as they were of that essential stimulus to vivacity, young and preferably rich male company.

Some six or eight of them, all cousins in some degree, had taken refuge in the private suite of the daughter of the house, where, observed only by the young lady's personal maid, who saw to their wants for food, drink and fuel, they could relax before the glowing fire clad only in silk chemises and peignoirs. It had not taken long to exhaust their meagre repertoire of self-entertainment. Singing was all very well to impress possible fiancees or their mothers, but of small use for amusing friends of the same sex, and they met so often at the Great Houses of one or another of the inter-related families that there was no gossip left that had not been chewed juiceless long before. Various games of cards had petered out in disinterest and now the girls lay around listlessly, flicking through the book of fashions from Paris that they all knew by heart or calling for another glass of cordial, simply for something to do.

"I have it," cried Georgina, a pretty blonde of twenty years, "let's play forfeits."

"What? Kiss the one you love best, or eat a worm? We've grown too old for that Georgie dear. Besides," Chloe added, "it's far too cold and dark to go looking for worms."

"No, silly, I mean real forfeits. Something really exciting and testing. Things that will make your belly twitch as you wonder if you're the one that will have to do it."

" I say we all write down the most horrible thing that we can think of," Lavinia suggested in the kind of tone usually used to tell ghost stories, "then we put them all in a hat, and everyone has to draw one and do exactly what is written on her slip."

"Yes, and we must all swear a terrible oath that we will withdraw from society if we shrink from carrying it out, no matter how horrible it is." Clearly Dorinda was being swept away on a tide of recklessness and cordial.

Arabella felt the excitement rising in her own belly, but thought she owed it to the younger ones to counsel caution.

" If we're going to make such a binding commitment, we've got to lay down that nothing shall be asked that will damage anyone's health or reputation, nor disfigure them or cause permanent harm. That would still leave plenty of possibilities for making our flesh creep, which is what you all appear so anxious to experience."

"In that case," suggested Georgina, "why don't we ask Arabella to be our Proctor for the evening? She is the eldest, and most experienced of us." Arabella stroked her bracelet and gave a secret smile. "She can look at each forfeit before it's put in the hat, and ask the writer to amend it if it oversteps the mark. Mind you," she added, turning to Arabella, "you must be very strict in your judgements. It won't be any fun if they don't make us wet our drawers with apprehension." An enthusiastic chorus supported the suggestion, and so it was agreed. When the maid had been banished to the anteroom of the suite to guard their privacy without observing their activities, they drew up a solemn declaration, that each would accept whatever ordeal she should draw on pain of being branded not fit to mingle with her peers, and bound to withdraw from society, and all that implied, including the 'Season' and the pursuit of husbands. When they had all signed this pledge, some trembling so much they could hardly write their names, each girl sat at Georgina's escritoire and composed her contribution to the fearful catalogue they so set on. As each completed her recipe for humiliation and pain, she submitted it for approval before it was added to the pool.

Arabella could not but wonder at the capacity of the female mind to devise such fiendish torments, even when they might well be inflicted on the instigator herself. Perhaps even because they might? Several times she pursed her lips and whistled silently. Some, if not most, only just skirted the limits laid down, but, although she hesitated over one or two, she let them all pass until Chloe's contribution. She was one of the older girls, a little less than her own age, and given to dark and dangerous moods. It was something she had in mind when calling for safeguards

"No, Chloe. This will not do as it stands. I fear there might be too much damage. If you would agree to substitute a needle, then it might serve." With a bad grace Chloe accepted the amendment, while the rest of the group shuddered deliciously at what this might imply.

"Now," declared Georgina, "in order to set the mood, we must all strip to a state of nature. If there should be anything we need to send Minette for, I shall go through to the anteroom and give her directions. She is used to seeing me naked, and is in any case the soul of

discretion, which is just as well, considering the scandal we are risking. Now deal the cards, Lavinia, and let the fun commence." Arabella was not sure that fun was an appropriate description for what they purposed, but, never-the-less was filled with excited anticipation as the cards dropped one by one in front of each naked kneeling female. She wondered if the suspense was higher for her, knowing the forfeits to be drawn, though not of course which would fall to her, or if her sisters at hazard were more fearful in their ignorance.

When the deal was completed Dorinda, who had the lowest card, reached fearfully into the hat and drew out a slip. In a very small voice she read out.

"To have a broom's tail thrust up her fundament, and kept there until the evening be spent."

While Dorinda waited apprehensively, and the others discussed her plight, Minette was despatched below stairs for the broomstick. When it arrived, Georgina anointed its end with the cream she used to soften her hands and ordered Dorinda to bend and place her hands on her knees. At first the sphincter of Dorinda's tight opening would not accept the uneven rod, and the girl cried out in pain and protest at the assault, but a combination of two fingers coated with cream distending the reluctant anus, and a reminder of the undertaking she had signed, sufficed to overcome her resistance enough that the stick was forced past the entrance and seven or eight inches into her rectum. To ensure its retention for the full period stipulated, it was secured by cords tied to the broom just below the point at which it entered the girl's bottom and fixed to the front and back of a thin leather belt placed round her waist. Her predicament was comical to behold.

"Why Dorrie dear," quipped Althea, "a black cat and a pointed hat, and you're all set for the witches' Sabbat."

With four foot of stick and broom protruding from her backside, and seven inches up her fundament, causing agony if pushed sideways against the tender wall of her rectum, she could only stand with great care, as to knock the broom up or sideways punished her cruelly. She could not kneel upright nor could she lie down since, if she lay on her back the broom was pressed up between her legs, and if she lay on her front, the broom dropped under its own weight, with the same unpleasant result. She must spend her time between very careful standing and kneeling before a low stool over which she would bend, supporting her weight on her forearms. Neither was very comfortable for any length of time, and the transition between cost her many groans and yelps of pain.

It was agreed that this was a nicely calculated balance of discomfort and humiliation, and the next in order was invited to see if she would draw its equal. Lavinia's face dropped as she read her doom.

"She shall bite into an apple and bend to touch her toes. While she is in this posture, each of the company shall lay on two strokes of a riding switch, and should she let fall the apple, she shall receive another."

"Why, Lavinia, I cannot guess which will be the redder, the apple or your bottom." Georgina chortled. "Bend over, cherie, and make a nice round bum, for I can hardly wait to slice it. Do please bite through your apple for two is such a measly helping of such tasty fare." Obediently Lavinia bent, the apple gripped between her teeth, but not for long. Georgina's first cut took her by surprise, the stinging stroke across her taut buttocks shocking her into a shout of pain, and the apple rolled to the floor.

"Oooh. Lovely," cooed Georgina, "I shall get that extra slice of this delicious pie after all."

And so she did, and extra slices too for each of the others. It required just too delicate a control for poor Lavinia to prevent herself from crying out as the crop sliced so painfully into her tender, and getting tenderer, hams. She tried to steel herself, and in her tensed state, bit clean through the fruit. Then she tried relaxing, and her teeth slipped on the polished skin and again it escaped her.

"Chloe, you filthy bitch," she protested, "you might at least hit me on the bum. I declare that was full on my thighs."

"So much the better, Lavinia dear. You'll feel them all the longer for it. You wouldn't wish to wake tomorrow with no mementos of our riotous evening together." replied Chloe in a voice sickly with sweet reasonableness.

"I doubt I shall walk in comfort inside a week, even without your slashing my legs. Spare me that, do."

But they were in no mood to spare her, and each in their turn received their extra slice of pie, even Dorinda, handicapped as she was by the broom she rode. She shuffled wincingly to take the whip and lay it on heartily, though it cost her groans on her own behalf to do so. By the time her loving cousins had their pleasure with her, Lavinia's buttocks carried some twenty-one fierce stripes, more than one showing blood where the searing tip had been driven in by a merciless female arm and wrist, and the girl shed tears of pain and shame. She straightened painfully and went to kneel on a chair, still sobbing, as Althea who was next in line, drew the next slip.

"To be mounted astride the lamp bracket, with her hands secured behind her, and there left, sitting on her cunt, for an hour by the clock." Althea groaned as she read her fate but stood quietly enough as her wrists were tied behind her with a silk scarf. The lamp was supported by a bracket of wrought iron, the square sectioned bars, about a thumb's width across, twisted into a spiral for decorative effect. The top bar stood out from the wall about a foot and a half at about head height. They removed the lamp and sent Minette for the Library steps. When these arrived, Althea was made to mount them and swing her leg over the bar. Eager hands parted her nether lips so that the twisted bar entered between and touched the delicate pink parts revealed, and then the steps were removed, leaving the unhappy girl sitting with her weight carried by her most intimate and delicate parts. She groaned as she felt the iron entering her flesh and was not comforted when it was decided to make her position more secure by stretching cords from her ankles to the corners of the pair of cabinets that stood about three feet apart, below and either side of the bracket. Such stays certainly gave her stability, but their tension added to the pressure on her cunt, while the parting of her legs seemed to her to aid the penetration of the bar. Her hour promised to be both long and agony filled.

" My turn next," said Georgina. "Let us see what my rashness in proposing this game has brought me." As she read her slip she gave a moan of misery.

"Oh, merciful Heaven! This is too dreadful. I would rather suffer twice Lavinia's stripes and then sit on Althea's perch all night, than do what I have to do."

"Read it! Read it!" they chorused.

" A bucket of fresh cow dung to be brought, and she shall first put her head entirely in it, until it is well soaked, and then shall, with her own hands, cover every part of her body, rubbing well in, and not neglecting those parts between her thighs which she shall open wide, and so she shall stay until our sport is finished, nor shall she try to cleanse herself before."

Her unfeeling cousins howled their derision, even poor Althea atop her dolorous perch interrupted her groans to laugh, though not for long as the impulses communicated to her anguished centre soon silenced her mirth. Once more Minette was despatched, this time to the Dairy, and soon her Mistress faced a steaming bucket set in the centre of a horse-blanket. She knelt in front of it, but could not at first bring herself to such a disgusting action. Spurred on however by threats and scorn from the heartless coven, she steeled herself to draw a deep breath and thrust her head deep into the stinking mass. Surfacing again, her hair soaked in the reeking slop, she took handfuls to smear them over her body. Now the worst was done, she hesitated no more and, as stipulated, opened herself up to ladle generous dollops of dung onto her vulva and between the cheeks of her arse. When no inch of her was free of the revolting stew, she squatted in the middle of her blanket, more like a toad than the comely girl of five minutes since, and grinned wryly.

" If anyone breathes a word of this, or goes 'moo' when I'm around, there will be murder done. Come on, Arabella, it's your turn now." Arabella, of course, had some idea of what might remain, and did not care much for most, nor was she wrong to be so pessimistic.

"Let down her hair and plait a cord in it that will hold. Take the long string from the harp and tie it to the cord, then secure her wrists behind her. Now pass the string between her legs, being sure to part her nether lips, and fasten it to a hook behind the door so that she must tilt her head right back, and rise on her toes, else have her cunt cut like cheddar cheese. And let her remain so, not less than one hour." She let down her luxuriant auburn tresses, and Lavinia, somewhat recovered now, found distraction from her hurts by preparing another lamb for the slaughter. The longest of the braided brass wires that strung the harp was unstrung and attached to the cord, and Arabella's wrists bound firmly behind her. Lavinia passed the wire between her legs and led her, like a bitch on a string, towards the door.

"Wait! I have a better idea," cried Chloe. "Fasten her string to Althea's perch, they can rest on their cunts together."

This proposal meeting with general approval, Arabella was led to stand between Althea's widely parted legs. As the wire was drawn up to tie it to the bracket, her head was pulled back and she rose on her toes to relieve the cutting of her tender parts. With her face tilted upwards so far, her only view was of the underside of Althea's buttocks and the cruel iron pressing between her parted thighs which quivered from time to time to the accompaniment of low moans from the martyred girl. She had no doubt she would be in a like case herself before her time was up, and was more than sure when Chloe decided it would be better if her own legs, like Althea's, were secured well parted with cords attached to the twin chests. The action brought her onto the very point of her toes, and her neck arched back while her calves had to strain to keep her weight on her toes and off the 'cheese cutter' between her thighs. She inwardly cursed Chloe's cruel touches and tried to remember what delights remained in the pool that might give Chloe equal cause for sorrow. Positioned as she was, with no view of the proceedings other than Althea's suffering intimate parts, she marvelled at the female capacity for pain. For devising such fiendish means of inflicting it on others, for delighting in carrying out that infliction herself, and, indeed, for submitting herself to those same torments on her own person. What was it that connected women and pain, even sexual arousal and pain, for she was aware that her reactions to her sufferings, both now and in the past were not unmixed, nor were they, she observed, in her sister sufferers. Perhaps nature had devised it as a means of helping women survive defloration, rape and childbirth. Certainly the sources of sexual pleasure in clitoris, vagina and nipples seemed to stimulate the libido almost indifferent to whether they were caressed or abused. It was too great a puzzle to solve in her present state, her mind filled with the need to control her straining calves, as her sight was filled with Althea's swelling hinds and twitchy thighs. Her thoughts were

interrupted by a forefinger and thumb clamped in a pincer-like grip on her nipple.

"You seem a little tense, Arabella dear," hissed Chloe in her ear, "why don't you relax and admire the pretty view?"

With that she dug a thumbnail like a hawk's talon into the tender nubbin deep enough to draw blood.

"Damn you, Chloe." she thought, "I hope you suffer hell. Whoever thought of calling women the gentle sex? He, for it can only have been some half-witted male any female would know better he can have learnt nothing of women."

She recalled how, in her grandmother's day, the women of France had dragged pretty Aristoi from their hiding places and handed them over to the Terror, and how they had sat, knitting, under La Guillotine

(Appropriately a feminine gender assigned to it.) and licked their lips as the heads rolled into the basket. Even today, fashionable Ladies paid to see the poor creatures in Bedlam and bribed the jailors to watch the harlots flogged in Bridewell. She prayed fervently that Chloe would draw an ordeal as testing as her own and, even more fervently that, despite her torment, Dorinda could keep control of her bladder for the next sixty minutes.

Indeed it was Chloe's turn to draw next. She paled a little and then read out.

"First she is to have hot wax applied to her nether fleece and all plucked out, strip by strip. When all is gone, take needle and silk and sew up her purse from end to end using as fine and close a stitch as you may. She shall not be allowed to open herself til morning, and until then she must forego any ease."

"Well now, Chloe," called Georgina, from her blanket where her unwholesome ungents were drying uncomfortably and aromatically, on her person," I hope no young man is expected in your bed tonight or, either he'll be locked out of his prize, or you'll suffer a second, and more painful, loss of maidenhead, and as I read your task, you are forbidden the ease of your own fingers too. I do not think I should leave my sanctuary yet awhile, but Barbara and Zelda can attend to you. Ask Minette for all you need. She is skilled in these things and will provide."

Stony-faced, Chloe was made to lie on her back on a narrow bench, her thighs well spayed and exposing her thick black fleece, a broad belt around her waist and the bench to keep her in position, and her hands and ankles secured to the legs with cord. Wax was prepared over a little spirit lamp and narrow linen strips, thickly coated with the molten wax, were applied one by one, until all the luxuriant growth was covered. When the wax had set, Barbara took each strip in turn and pulled it free, ripping the coarse hairs from the tender skin. At first she pulled hard and quick, but Chloe was not well liked amongst the girls, and, in any case their lust for cruelty had been unleashed this evening and fattened by the sights that had gone before, and soon she was pulling oh so slowly, drawing out the agony, breaking Chloe's resistance and forcing groans and a high pitched mewling as the hairs stretched interminably before the blest relief of parting. Arabella found some slight relief for her mind in this evidence of Chloe's suffering, but it did nothing to relieve the strains and anguish of her own body.

When, as instructed, the mons was bare, Zelda took over, needle and long silk thread in hand. While those others not hors de combat lent their aid to prevent the anxious thighs from wavering, Zelda parted the fleshy outer parts and pinched up the delicate inner labia. Working with steady deliberation, she thrust the needle through the pursed lips near the top, looped the thread and drew her stitch tight.

Chloe tensed and gave a thin keening sound, repeated as Zelda made another plunge through the delicate membranes and formed her second stitch close as the instructions specified. And so it progressed as Zelda practised her finest stitches until the lips had been sealed by over a dozen tight sutures, each pulled tight until it sank into the flesh. Chloe's keening turned to shrieks and pleas for mercy, but mercy was in short supply this evening. Their blood was up and their lust ran riot, as Chloe's vagina was sealed tighter than ever it had been when she was virgin. When the last knot had been pulled straining taut the thread was buried so deep in her flesh that it was certain that by morning, after a night of anguish, the inflamed lips would have swollen so, it would cost her dear to get at the threads and remove them. Released from the bench she hobbled off with bent knees and straddled thighs, clasping her aching vulva in both hands.

"Most salutary," commented Georgina. "Step up Barbara, and let us see what sport we will have from you."

"Why," exclaimed Barbara, "it is a poem," and she read. "The winner of this simple task,

Must surely strain and toil,

For down her gullet she must pour,

A pint of castor oil."

"Oh no," she wailed, "my bowels will be in flux for a week. Mama makes us take a tablespoon full if we're costive, two if she thinks we have the sulks, and I squirt like a cow in a meadow."

"Help her to sup her dose, girls. And Barbara, you had best get to my closet and stay there once your bowels cramp, for I don't want my room fouled. Though how it can be more fouled than by my own presence, just now I cannot imagine." Georgina added ruefully.

The potent potion was produced and Barbara tried bravely to get it down, though she gagged and retched on the revolting fluid and made many stops and starts, before it was all down. No sooner had she emptied the nauseous draught than her stomach cramped. Doubled over, with her hands gripping her belly, she shuffled from the room, and soon they could hear humiliating liquid sounds from Georgie's privy closet, mingled with heavy groans. It continued, rising to a crescendo then falling back to near calm, before a fresh paroxysm seized the unfortunate girl. They listened for some minutes then returned to their sport.

Only Zelda remained to try her fate. Nervously she drew out the final slip.

"A needle to be thrust through each nipple and a weight of not less than half a pound hung from each until the evening be concluded. All this to be accomplished by the woman herself, unaided."

"Needles we have aplenty of all sizes. You must make your choice, Zelda." Georgina thought a moment. "I have it. For weights these apples in the bowl will do. I'll stand bail they weigh four to the pound as near as nothing. Do you pierce them with a knitting pin, Zee, and thread two on a string by which you may hang them over the needle, after it has transfixed your teat."

Arabella, despite the red mist of pain and strain in which she stood, found time to be thankful that she had curbed Chloe's brutal first draught, though it had probably made her a mortal enemy, for she was a girl of dark and secret mind and given to bitter hatreds if she felt slighted. Originally she had specified fish-hooks, and not just any hooks, but those that Uncle Simon used for pike, great cruel beasts like the fish they caught, and armed moreover with fierce barbs. If a girl, desperate not to be shamed in front of her sisters, struck one of those into her nipple, and hung a half pound on it, it would sink so deep the barb would be buried. Then she must either tear it out, and thereby rend her bud, or unaided try and force it all the way through, its shape dictating it followed a circular path until it eventually emerged and could be drawn out, leaving a great curved passage torn through the tender flesh. In either case the pain and damage would be far greater than she was prepared to allow, especially for the younger girls and their delicate young points.

The needle was a far less devastating weapon, but fearsome enough when a girl has to drive it through her own sweet flesh. Zelda screwed up her face and yelled as she thrust the first through, though it was probably almost as much to relieve the tension as it was from the pain. Bravely she took up the second needle and transfixed her other bud. Panting with pain and the pitch she had screwed herself to, she paused a minute, cupping her breasts. Then she took the pairs of apples she had prepared and, with great care, hung a string over each horizontal needle, drawing in her breath in a gasp as the weight fell on each freshly pierced nipple, and letting it out in a groan as the full load was taken. The rosy fruits swung gently below her swelling breasts like images of Autumn fruitfulness. Putting her hands behind her head to keep them from her tortured dugs, she stood before them and received their

congratulations on her determination and fortitude, though Chloe looked sour and muttered about fish-hooks.

"Well done, Zee," said Georgina, "that was a brave effort, to pierce your own flesh like that. I doubt that I would have had the courage. Now you are the last, and it is time to unwind this sorry skein we have woven. First, Dorinda, you can dismount from that broom you've been riding so happily."

She freed the cords easily enough, but the constant and prolonged pressure of her sphincter had caused her anus to extrude the meagre lubricant and seize hard upon the now dry and uneven wood. She flinched so from the pain generated by her attempt to pull it clear that she had to be held by Lavinia while Chloe wrenched it none too gently from her rectum, eliciting a shocked scream.

Next it was conceded that the pair "sitting on their cunts" had served their sixty minutes, and they were got down, by now in some distress. Althea had been sobbing brokenly for some time, although to Arabella's great relief, she had not lost control of her bladder. She could not stand after she had been helped down from her perch on the cruel black iron, and lay huddled on the sofa with her body wracked by sobs and her hands between her thighs.

Arabella was in little better shape, her neck aching from strain, her calves burning and twitching in their extremity and sheer agony between her thighs. The harpstring had cut into the soft parts of her vulva, rubbing the clitoris raw, abusing the puckered rose of her anus and the delicate perineum below, and fretting through the skin where it crossed her pubic bone, leaving a bloody track. She walked anstey, her

stiff-legged gait still not quite sparing her ravaged furrow where any motion stirred up the lurking anguish. Somehow, groaning all the way, she made the haven of a deep upholstered chair. Sitting was out of the question, but she knelt on the soft cushion and lay her head on her arms on the back rest.

Since nothing could be done for poor Barbara, who could still be heard squirting into the pot, Georgina declared the evening's proceedings closed, and Zelda gratefully unloaded her sore tits. She could not suppress a further yelp as each needle came free, but nevertheless seemed glad to take them out.

"Remember, Chloe, you cannot unstitch yourself until morning, so there will be no relief for you tonight, by your own or any hand, though I expect after all the excitement there will not be many others among us who will not seek some comfort to settle our nerves. No, you must stay chaste, by the letter of your task, and you must come show me you are intact in the morning. But do not come before ten o'clock. Minette is preparing me a bath even now to get this dung off me, but I shall have the maids up betimes tomorrow, getting water hot and I shall need to soak for an hour or more, steeped in attar of roses, before I can face a single one of you."

Chloe glowered and crossed to where Arabella knelt and stood before her, her hands still clasped to her sealed cunt.

"You bitch," she spat, "you spoilt my task for Zelda. I would have enjoyed watching her fight to get those hooks out of her flesh. Mine was the only contribution you refused, and you did it because you were too great a coward to face getting it yourself."

" You're wrong, Chloe. I did it to protect the younger ones. No mere girl should be put at risk of such tearing of her immature flesh." "Well your flesh is not immature, will you dare it?" "If you will, any time." Anger had made Arabella reckless. "Oh, I dare. I'll take you up on this later." And Chloe shuffled away to find her peignoir and her passionless bed.