Warning: This contains descriptions of explicit violence.
This is a unplanned sequel to an earlier story, Gothic Sacrifice, that I was told did not end satisfyingly.
To find the earlier story, click on my name.
The sound of her own voice had been echoing in her head for weeks, "My name is Number Three."
She knew that, in time, she would become Number Two and, eventually, Number One but, if she had another name before, she could not remember. Still, she was haunted by her dreams at night and got the feeling that she had lived another life. In those moments, when she first awakened, she felt strange, she felt good. It was merely a fantasy. Reality is pain and work. Sometimes, there would be pleasure but it always came with a price. Pain and pleasure were opposite sides of the same coin and there couldn't be one without the other.
Every week, all three women would walk down to the village for their humble needs. What a peculiar place it was. Colourful and bright and so fragile with their wood posts and thatched roofs. They wore clothes as ugly as their village and laughed like clucking hens until they saw them approaching. She didn't know why, but they annoyed her. She was just thankful they were quiet in her presence and gave them no opportunity to speak. Everything that one of them pointed at would be delivered on a cart, before evening.
The smaller villagers were the worst. They stared at the three of them with their big wondrous eyes, like livestock before the slaughter, not even wise enough to be scared. She felt like a wolf among the sheep. The bigger ones weren't scared either, they seemed humble and respectful, except for that one woman.
"Hello. Do you remember me?" the woman asked, almost pleading.
"Of course, you sell vegetables and eggs at the market."
For some reason, the woman acted as if she had been slapped across the face. She even had a tear falling down her cheek. Number Three was disgusted by the display of weakness and walked away. It struck her that there was something familiar about the woman and turned around to see a man comforting the crying woman. Doubtless, they were about to have sex.
"You should not have talked to that woman," Number One reminded on the path back to the castle.
She knew that meant she would be punished that night but was not afraid. She deserved it. First, dinner had to be prepared for His Lordship and themselves. The lash can wait for it's taste of blood. She almost looked forward to the lash because she knew what would follow. Although, she had to admit that it was better to give than receive.
There was no need for chains anymore but traditions should not be ignored. She wore her scars proudly and eagerly awaited to be as marked as her sisters. Sisters, there was a word she couldn't say aloud. She didn't even know what it really meant, but it seemed to fit. Even now, as she received her punishment, she felt united to them. They shared a common bond and duty that went far beyond servicing His Lordship's needs and desires. It was a closeness that, sometimes, felt worse than the lash. Each slap of the canes was a relief to the deeper pain within. At least, the skin would heal.
What a contradiction, the gentle dabbing of the wet cloth after the pounding of the canes. The pain only got worse as her mind and body relaxed. Number Two could not wait for the shackles to be released and squeezed the exposed breasts in her hands. There was no compassion in Number Two's eyes, only lust, pure hunger. Number Three saw herself reflected in those eyes and as Number One released the shackles, she matched the passion rather than surrender to it. She didn't fall into the hands supporting her, she leaned into them. Behind her, Number One dropped to her knees and spread the injured cheeks with her thumbs. Number Three widened her stance, instinctively but it did not help maintain her balance. She may as well been floating with all the hands holding her so tightly.
She felt a hand slip between her legs and reached down to guide it. She pressed the hand against her and the fingers into her with strength she didn't know she had. She pushed until it hurt. It hurt so good. Meanwhile, Number Two had her tongue deep in her mouth and her own moans were shared in another's breath. Number Three had closed her eyes and when she opened them, she was alone, but only from the waist up.
Number Two had slid down her body in search of lips that weren't so vocal. Number One was fascinated on the other side, pinching and pressing and playing with her new toy. She tested it's softness and firmness. She explored it's warmth with her lips and it's pain threshold with her teeth. As she had done with the hand before, Number Three pushed Number Two's head into her lap.
"Harder... Harder... Suck on it... Nnnuhn." she grunted and panted.
The mattress seemed to lift up and press against her because she couldn't imagine how she lowered down to it. She opened her eyes to see nothing but darkness as a dress lowered onto her face. Damp, curly hairs tickled her nose and the pungent smell of sex filled the air. She didn't know who was on top of her and it didn't matter. She desperately stuck her tongue out until she felt the kiss of the softest lips.
Down below, her legs were being forced apart and up so that her hips were twisted sideways. She felt legs slide in between her own and she didn't need to see to recognize like for like. That's a kiss! She could feel that she was the only one completely naked but she knew she was covered. Their dresses and their bodies covered her like a blanket.
In her face, the damp furry flesh grinded between her chin and her nose, agonizingly teasing her tongue. She got lost in her compassion and could not be certain if it she was giving or receiving. She seemed to feel the other's joy as if it were her own. They didn't just share their bodies, they merged. She made the same pulsating motions with her own hips as the ones above her face but was held much more firmly. Firm but gentle, at first.
"Mmmph," came a muffled groan under the dress, as the other at her legs pounded against her, "Hahla... Hahla."
She didn't mean that for both of them but they complied willingly. Her body shook from intermittent pounding from below and she struggled to catch her breath of musky air. It still wasn't hard enough and she bucked her hips, almost bouncing her sister away. There was this voice inside her that she had not suffered enough and didn't deserve such pleasure. Instead of pounding harder, her sister below got into a long sliding motion that felt even better. She decided to focus on her sister above and reached under the skirt to steady that twitching ass. She pinched that little protruding knob with her own lips. She sucked gently and rolled it on the tip of her tongue.
It only felt like moments but was actually minutes before she felt the ass above her tighten and the voice above her moan in anything but pain. She lapped up the flood of fluid and her fingers dug into that shivering ass and then, silence. She was, no longer, voracious but kissed the swollen, reddened lips tenderly.
It was more than Number One could take and she moved off to collect herself and enjoy the sight. Number Two had slowed down and rolled into Number Three like waves onto the shore. Not quite regularly but with an occasional splash every seventh wave or so. Number Three was as still as the shore itself, accepting and subduing the beating surf. Such a gentle scene betrayed by the tension of their faces. Over time, a gentle rain will move a mountain and their faces suggested a landslide. Number One wanted to be that final drop of water that caused the mountain to collapse and dove onto the naked young flesh with her lips and hands. The rumbling quake was followed by heaving, exhausted gasps for air, in harmony.
The next morning was a return to the drudgery of chores. She started out replacing the candles in the hallways and rooms. For some, it was the only light they had. It was mindless work that left too much time to reminisce about the previous night. Without underclothes, the dampness allowed her legs to slip agains each other and, although she was slightly embarrassed, she was alone and indulged herself in her own sensations. Sensual feelings gave way to feelings of intimacy and that made her feel uncomfortable. She wished she could just be numb.
His Lordship didn't make her feel that way. Sex with him was different, it was an obligation, like feeding the livestock. No, that's not true. That's the way she wanted it to feel. Maybe, that's the way he wanted. Fact is, she enjoyed his brutal touch and having him inside her. She felt pity for his tortured soul, more than she felt for her own. She would gladly take more punishment if it would relieve some of his but that's not the way it worked.
His Lordship was still reclusive but occasionally came out of his room at night. Sometimes, he would just watch the lashings and sex. Sometimes, he would participate and, when he did, brought it to a new level. With him, pain and pleasure became the same. Passion led to bruises and torture mixed with touch. In his dark eyes, the women were only flesh to be used and abused. Yet, she still felt a warmth and it wearied her like a fever.
Suddenly, she realized that her duties had led her to her master's door. She was tempted to knock but knew it was not her place. She stood there, captivated by carvings on the door. Most of the carvings were grotesque, demons grabbing and violating chained women, crows circling and pecking at the flesh of the helpless. However, there at the top, was a carving of a naked woman with a wreath on her head, flowers in her hand and a sword at her feet. The images would continue to haunt her for days but she began to understand. She thought of a plan, a cunning plan. It may be worthy of the Devil, himself, but she shuddered at the thought that it might not.
It was one of those nights, when His Lordship drifted through the hallways, searching for partners in crime or victims. He found both. Number Three's door swung open, surprising her. She had become accustomed to listening for footsteps but had heard none.
"Come with me," he ordered
She followed him dutifully and without question. She accepted the inevitable but she cringed as he led her to the door of the torture chamber. The heavy door flung open so easily for him that she knew he could easily overpower her. They were not alone. Number Two stood by the chains hanging from the ceiling, waiting. His Lordship glanced at both of them, in turn. They kept their eyes on the floor.
Tonight, we're going to have some fun," he said with a sarcastic, sadistic grin.
Number Three looked up to see her sister wince. It was more she needed to know.
"Eeeny meeny miny mo... Who's the one that's gonna go..."
He glared at Number Two and pointed to the rack. The rack was an inclined platform of woven leather straps on a wooden frame. At the base were a pair of widely spaced leather shackles and, at the top was a spool of rope with a ratchet, gears and a handle. Number Three had a chance to inspect the device and imagined the horror of it.
"No. Allow me to take her place," Number Three shouted.
His Lordship stared at nothing for a few moments and slowly turned his head toward her.
"Fine. Do you think I care who suffers?"
Number Three walked past the shocked expression of her sister and climbed onto the rack. Number Two tightened the shackles around her ankles and wrists tightly. With a wave of her master's finger, she began to turn the handle till it was taut and Number Three's body was pulled along the platform. Another wave of the finger and Number Three felt the stretch. First, she felt it at the shackles, then, her shoulders felt like they were being torn apart. After that, it hurt everywhere. She had tried to be strong but couldn't stop the scream. The stretching stopped and she wished she hadn't held back so long but the pain continued.
His Lordship pulled a shiny metal object out of his pocket and placed it on his finger. On it's tip was a small blade. He walked up to her slowly, coldly looking into her eyes. He leaned over her and she felt the implement on his finger tug at the top button of her blouse. He didn't take her eyes off hers and almost grinned as the metal claw cut through the fabric and into her skin. There were seven buttons and seven tiny cuts as he worked his way down and he only turned to look when his finger could find no more. He jabbed the claw into the fabric of her dress and sliced through to her crotch. She felt the cold steel dragged down her belly, closed her eyes, and knew that, if she as much as shivered, would be cut wide open.
Seconds seemed like minutes as she was too frightened to open her eyes. Finally, she felt his hands grasp what remained of her dress and tear it apart with a force that yanked her from the table. She lay exposed to the cool air and the imposing eyes. Only her arms and shoulders remained covered. He traced the edge of her nipple with the edge of his claw and she looked up, defiantly, but he was focused on her breasts. She tried to read his expression but saw only inhuman intensity. His black eyes reflected her gaze and revealed nothing, certainly not mercy.
"Aww, look at those nasty cuts," he mocked, "We'll have to do something about that. Maybe we should tie them together."
He looked up at Number Two for approval and, in that instant, got a better idea. He pulled a lit candle off it's base and held it above his restrained victim. Then he tilted the candle so that it would drip hot, fatty wax over the wounds. It took a lot more seven drips of wax for seven cuts but his aim improved as he went along. They all hurt but the drips that fell on target made her entire body clench. She tried to anticipate the drops and steady herself but they fell in their own time, not hers.
"There ya go. Now you won't bleed all over me."
The claw slid down her body with his stare and she fought against a twitch that would impale her. The small blade flicked at her pubic hair, cruelly teasing. Despite the pain and terror, she felt the heat build from below and within. She licked her puckering lips. A bare finger brushed at her most intimate and gently circled the nub at the top. Her body tensed, not in rejection, but in a vain attempt to take that finger inside her. He looked back at her face and raised his little finger to his lips, tasting it. Then, he ran blade of the claw along his tongue.
His other cold hand cupped the entire pubic mound and pressed hard, dragging a finger upward between her damp entrance. The finger pushed into her and twisted in a circular motion, causing her to bite her lower lip. She had nearly forgot about the pain and was overwhelmed with desire.
Oh, she wanted to exclaim, "Yes. Yes," but refused to let him know her pleasure.
He didn't want her pleasure, only his own, and squeezed her between his finger, deep inside, and his thumb, reaching toward her navel. He thought to hurt her and, by the expression on her face, succeeded. Appearances can be deceiving, even to the master of pain. He continued to roll his her insides against her outsides and she struggled to maintain control of her bladder against the waves of delight. Just as she felt she could no longer contain herself, he withdrew his hand.
She kept her jaw clenched and her eyelids pressed closed and felt his weight crawl onto her. He jabbed into her quickly, filling her completely. Still, she wanted more and pushed back to pull him in. He withdrew slowly, only to plunge back violently. In his distraction, Number Two cautiously released the tension of the device and Number Three's arms relaxed. She grabbed onto woven straps of the table and wondered if she had been given mercy. She turned her head and saw her sister wiping a tear from her cheek.
She turned her attention back to her master and herself, feeling a little triumph. He continued to ravage her fiercely, increasing his speed and his own fervour. He was working up to a furious zeal that he couldn't maintain. After all, he was only human. It took a while but he eventually and suddenly stopped. A couple uncontrollable spasms shot and reverberated through her own body, stronger than all the pounding before. A wave of bliss travelled outward from her centre, to her toes and the roots of her hair, then back again.
Still inside her, he panted as he caught his breath. She tugged against ropes strapped to her arms and, with the ratchet unlocked, slowly pulled her arms down. She gently palmed his cheek and gave him a look of appreciation and acceptance. He was taken completely by surprise and did not know how to react. This was strange to him and, for the first time he could remember, felt something. He looked into her eyes for a moment and slapped her across the face. Confused, he quickly pulled his pants back up and quickly slipped out of the room with his long riding coat draping behind him.
"Why did you do that? Why did you take my place?" Number Two questioned desperately.
"Your pain hurts more than my own." she replied.
Number Two looked perplexed as she helped Number Three back to her room and tended to her wounds.
The next day was unusually quiet in a place where a mouse scurrying across the floor was a clamour. The day after that more than made up for it. A courier delivered a notice which Number One took to His Lordship. She returned, ominously, with news of upcoming visitors. The only visitors that Number Three had known coming to the castle were for deliveries from the village but they merely dropped their loads at the gates, sometimes leaving the carts behind, to be picked up later. Like the courier, the deliveries would ring a bell beside the gate and disappear before anyone came out.
Number Two's eyes dilated when she heard the news and she held her breath as if she forgot to breath. Number Three didn't have to be told what it meant and considered that her plan was doomed.
"But it might be just what I need." she thought for a moment, "It's too soon. I'm not ready."
She still had two days to plan but, apparently, she was going to be very busy preparing for the guests. The first thing to do was go down to village for food and supplies. That old woman stared sadly at her again and she felt compelled to return her gaze. The old woman's face had invaded her dreams. She had awakened many mornings with that face haunting her. It wasn't quite the same face, though. In her dreams, it smiled. She tried to emulate that smile, for her own curiosity but appeared as forced as it was. Unfortunately, she was looking at the old woman at the time and that old woman gave her a demonstration of what a smile was. Of course, the old woman started to cry again but Number Three couldn't understand if she was hurt.
She did a weeks worth of chores in those two days and had little time to consider her plan. When the guests did arrive, in the afternoon, both her sisters and her lined up in order while His Lordship made an unusual daylight appearance. He looked so pale and bizarre in the light. He was gaunt and sickly and not at all the monster of the moonlight. He did not appear nearly so peculiar as his guests. If she wasn't already obliged to look away, she would have anyway. There was a woman and man, for lack of a better term. They both had protruding chins, rat-like eyes, and faces that could chop wood but he was a hunchback with a pronounced limp.
The guests didn't look at the servants as they entered but leered at them unabashedly as they served. She heard fragments of conversations about archdukes and bishops and who married who, for what reason. It was shocking that the world was so much bigger than just this castle and village. She knew there was more out there but she was beginning to feel even smaller. What bothered her more than what they said was the way they said it and how much they had to say. They were elegant and eloquent. She could hardly string her words together. She hardly ever needed to.