If She Were a MermaidbyJMaxwell69©
She was racing down the sidewalk to catch the last train. Single-mindedly, she thought nothing of crossing the chasm of alley mouth.
She was snatched into the alley by a hand that snapped out of the ink. Before she could scream, she was enveloped and a meaty hand capped her mouth.
The heat of his breath chugged over her shoulder and obliquely across her cheek. She struggled against the anaconda-like constriction of the arm wrapped across her chest and around her arms. She was immersed in darkness.
"Ssshhh. Don't struggle. You're mine now... In my world, you keep what you catch."
The gravely voice spurred her into a frenzy of foot-stomping, shin-kicking, and writhing. The words had been delivered so calmly and precisely.
The attacker expertly slid his hairy forearm over her mouth stifling her screams as he moved from covering her mouth to catching her neck in his arm's crook.
The muscles flexed catching her arteries and windpipe in a vice. She tried to scream and tried to tear at any flesh her pinned arms could reach. Her nails snapped off with no effect. The man, if it was a man, didn't react to pain. She felt herself blacking out.
She awoke bound nude to a cot. The only light was faint candle glow. It looked and smelled like a wine cellar with all the casks removed. Her normally flawlessly smooth skin was covered in goose-bumps.
The silence was interrupted when he walked out of the darkness into the candlelight.
She could only see the lower half of his dark robes and the knife in his hand.
He moved closer, extending the knife towards her sole. She pulled the foot away, but the slack bindings cinched agonizingly tight until they felt like they would slice through her skin.
In reaction to the pain, she involuntarily extended the leg out toward the knife point. Before the foot reached the dagger, the bindings bit her flesh once more. He withdrew the knife and returned it to a sheath. It had all been a demonstration of the futility of struggle.
"Please let me go, I won't tell anyone." came the teary-eyed imploration.
He leaned in to lightly run a hand over her thigh. His face came into view.
She screamed ear-piercingly.
He recoiled into the darkness.
He'd been wearing a grotesque crow mask; at least, she prayed it was a mask. Leaving, he snuffed the candle. The faint ether of light faded to black behind him. She only heard the high-pitched tone that one sometimes hears in the complete absence of sound. The walls were thick, and perhaps far underground. Cringing, she thought she felt tiny feet scurrying across her naked body.
It felt like an eternity was dripping away. Eventually, she drifted in and out of sleep. She always wondered for how long she had slept; suspecting it was never long. She wanted to track time, but time did not seem to exist - any more than light or sound - in her catacomb.
With the cool air and passing of time, she needed to pee so badly.
She repetitively called out, "I've got to pee."
Eventually he strode in, sans robes, his flaccid dangle swaying rhythmically with each step. He had something in his hand - a bedpan and a cloth. She trembled.
She couldn't help but stare. His body was lean and sinewy- fit but, at once, knotty and grotesque. She tried to stifle her sobs, to not give him the satisfaction. When he started to loosen one of her leg bindings, she expected an impending rape, but he just positioned the bedpan.
Despite her painfully full bladder, she could not immediately unclench and urinate.
When finally she finished, he set the pan aside and wiped her crudely with the cloth as if cleaning a spill from a stovetop. She tried to move away from the violating hand, but was bitten by her bindings.
He completely loosened the binding on her leg and extracted it. He began to gently massage away the pins and needles. She tried to kick him. He slipped the kick, and jabbed a thumb deep into the acupressure point he was working. It felt like he had driven a railroad spike into her.
His defense was agonizing, but not brutal. In one of the many contradictions screaming through her brain, she feared his calm. It meant that he would not be easily manipulated.
She had wondered if they might triangulate on her cell-phone, but now knew it would not be the case.
For all this man's heinous vices, rashness and stupidity were not among them. The phone was still in the alley, she resigned herself to it.
One by one he massaged out her limbs methodically and then rubbed lotion over her skin - never lingering.
She tried to talk to him, but he remained silent.
Time passed; she never knew how much. With nothing to do but reflect, she experienced all manner of maddening and conflicting thoughts and emotions. She began to despise herself for being so weepy, but she couldn't stop. Part of her mind implored her to be strong. Soon they would find her.
Periodically, he came in to care for and feed her- always wearing a different primitive gruesome mask.
She found it progressively harder to catch the crazy thoughts and to rebuke herself for them.
"No, she didn't do anything to deserve this."
"No, she would not rather that he talked to her than that she be free."
She awoke one day to find the bindings gone. Had it been a week? A few days?
She heard the lumber drop hollowly and cacophonously - the door was being unbarred.
She attacked her captor with berserk fury, but he was prepared. He captured her limbs and soon had her pinned on her stomach on the ground.
After he tended to her abrasions, he did not enter her chamber again for several days. He left a bucket, and would occasionally push food and water through a small doggy-door.
Every time he dropped something off, she begged for him to enter.
She heard a sound outside the door, and once more implored, "I'll be good..."
The 2X4 came off the door.
The man entered with a steaming bucket of water and a small bag in one hand, and a lantern in the other. A big fluffy white towel was folded under the lantern arm. He set the lantern down in the middle of the room and set the bucket and bag down by the drain in the floor.
"Take your bucket down to the end of the hall and set it down inside the door, then come back. Don't dawdle or your water will get cold." It was the first thing he had said to her since her abduction.
She carried the foul-smelling bucket carefully as directed. She set it down and paused looking at the door.
"Was this a test?" The thought ran through her mind. Three days ago she would have bolted out the door without question, but now she was terrified of being left alone in the dark for weeks or months as a punishment. What was on the other side of that door? A forest? A stairwell? Times Square? She didn't know. Was it even unlocked? Would an alarm sound? All these thoughts swept through her mind before she turned and headed back toward her cell. She was angry with herself for not trying to escape, but she couldn't make herself do it.
"That's a good girl. Now clean up." He said.
The rational part of her found the patronizing comment revolting, but another part of her (a part she never knew to exist before) felt comforted and pleased by it.
The bag contained a washcloth, soap, and shampoo. The hot washcloth on her face was nirvana.
"Turn this way." The man said in response to her subconsciously modest position facing the wall with her back toward him.
She couldn't see the man's expression through the tribal African mask he wore, but she could tell by the tent forming in his robe that he was becoming aroused by watching her soap up and rinse off her svelte body. The hot water felt so good. She didn't let his ogling stop her from a much needed thorough bath.
"I find the sight of you bathing rather erotic. I hope you won't mind if I touch myself." The man said flipping his robe up over his engorged member. He began to stroke himself lightly as he watched the show being put on. He was not going at it fast and white-knuckled, but, rather, in a light sensual manner.
She felt violated as she looked over at the man stroking his chubby while she squatted and cleaned between her legs, and she worried that she was about to experience the rape she had long been expecting.
While the warm water and cleanliness made her feel like person anew, she did start to chill almost immediately once she stopped rinsing.
The man moved toward her unfolding the towel. He wrapped it around her and then began to dry her starting with her brunette locks and working downward. Again, he was methodical but never lingered gratuitously on her private parts in a groping manner.
She didn't know what made her do it, but she touched the member that touched her leg. First it was like an accidental touch of her fingertips and then she wrapped her hand around it. For a moment he continued to towel her dry, but, when she began to stroke, he stopped and removed her hand.
"You have an important day ahead." He said, and then left her with the towel wrapped about her torso.
"Why did you do it? Touch it?" She asked herself.
"To feel as though I control something in my runaway world." She responded.
She knew she should be worried about feeling the need to speak the words aloud, but she couldn't help it. She needed to hear a human voice, and even to feel as though she were interacting in dialogue - even if it was truly monologue.
There was one recurring question that she did not speak aloud. It was odd how the exact same words could take on very different meanings with differing contexts. The question she couldn't bring herself to say aloud was, "Why hasn't he raped me?"
In the beginning, this horrific curiosity was considered in the context of "what does he want from me, and, if it's not sex, what could it be?" She then always had to push the horrific alternatives from her mind. Rape would be a dreadful trauma (there was a time she couldn't imagine worse), but it was a known quantity. The anxiety of uncertainty was killing her. Her stomach churned and roiled with it. Just recently, however, the question took on the new and disturbing context of "is there something wrong with me?"
She was undergoing some transformation that she couldn't even begin to understand - or was she?
In a few hours the man returned.
"A great many mysteries will be unlocked over the next several hours. The first thing you should know is that you weren't abducted at random. On the contrary, your abduction was the denouement of an extensive search and observation. You were found to be the most promising among a select pool of candidates. In short, I found you exceptional." He said and took her by the hand.
He led her out of her cell and down the hall toward the door that she had earlier contemplated fleeing through. His left arm held the lantern out ahead of him, and his right was stretched out behind holding her hand firmly as she walked at arms length behind.
The door opened to the foot of a stairway. The stairway was lit, and he snuffed out the lantern and left it on a shelf there. Then he guided her up the stairs. The stairs opened into a large impressive kitchen with marble countertops and restaurant-grade appliances. It was so unlike the musty dank cellar she had called home for some unknown time. It was pristinely clean and sanitary.
They crossed into a dinning room in which a table had already been set, and steaming bowls of soup set out. It smelled so good, and she involuntarily salivated. She had been fed mostly cold table scraps since her abduction.
"There is someone you must meet." The man gestured for her to turn.
A woman was walking into the dinning room. She was nude like the captive, but was not trembling and seemed well acclimated to her surroundings. She was several years older than the captive, but was quite attractive woman. In contrast, she was blond with a short hairstyle, and was more buxom than the new captive - though still tone.
"Meet B. B this is C." He said making the introduction.
It took her a moment to realize that she was C.
B looked C up and down, and even walked around behind her.
"She's a nervous little mouse, but I think you made a wise choice. We'll see anyway." B. said.
"You just don't remember what you were like at this stage." The man said, and then added, "Let's eat before it gets cold."
They sat down at the table with the man at the head and the two women to either side of him.
"May I?" B said.
The man nodded and said, "Yes. I guess it's time."
B got up and slowly eased the mask off the man's face.
C expected some sort of deformed, scarred, or burned face, but was relieved and curious to see that it was perfectly fine face. It had a chiseled handsomeness to it even. Some might find it a little gaunt or with a little too prominent bone structure. He was by no stretch pretty. It was a definitively masculine face. What preoccupied C, however, was how familiar the face seemed, but yet she could not place it. It was as if the man had appeared in her dreams, but that couldn't be it.
B leaned over and the man tilted up his face upward to receive a kiss while taking B's face between his palms gently.
After C finished watching B return to her seat, trying to figure out what the relationship between her two dinner companions was - and what role she was supposed to play in all this, she bowed her head reflectively with her hands in her lap.
"Extraordinary." B said in an apparently surprised ejaculation.
C looked up and saw that the man was holding his palm extended toward B and casting a stern rebuking glance upon the blond woman.
B then quietly averted her eyes downward as well. B had just so expected C to ravenously tuck into the food, and was pleasantly surprised by the refined behavior. It was not the religiosity of it. It didn't matter to B if C was saying Christian grace, practicing Buddhist mindfulness, or was a conscientious atheist. It was the fact that the young woman was in control of herself in a way that few were. After all C had gone through, she was not victim to base impulse. It was so hard, such a long and challenging process, to find a suitable candidate. One had to find a woman who was strong enough to bend to this life without breaking, but yet, deep down, had a longing to bend to it. She had to be smart and have a longing to know herself - even if it was painful at times, but yet be someone who had a void of which they could not make sense.
The bisque was other-worldly, and C realized how much more she appreciated it than she had any other food she had ever placed in her mouth. Despite the fact that her mind was a carousel that alternated between thoughts of the woman seated across from her and the view out the window over B's shoulder, C savored the flavors. She knew virtually nothing about B, but yet she seemed to have a strong mixed gut reaction to her - as she did toward the man, though the nature of that ambiguity was different. The feelings were mixed in an odd love - hate sort of way. She found B stirred some sort of ire in her, but simultaneously C had a type of affinity for, or kinship toward, B. Some siblings had this kind of relationship, and C found it odd that she should feel this way toward a lady she didn't really know. The woman had made a patronizing comment, but C's dislike of her was more than that. Jealousy? Surely, that was ridiculous.
The view out the window gave C's mind to thoughts of escape, and she considered the landscape. There was not much to garner from the view. There was a lush bucolic gradual rise that seemed to meet a backdrop of low hanging medium-gray clouds. More immediately, she noted that there were tightly spaced bars upon the windows.
When they had all finished the soup course, C was directed to bus the man's dishes as well as her own while B cleared her own plate. B showed C around the kitchen, and gave C the man's main course as well as C's own plate. C was to serve the man and then could sit down to her own food. B took her own plate. This process was repeated through the remainder of the courses.
After the meal the man excused himself and retired to his study to read.
C was left alone with B, and they cleared the table and cleaned up together.
"What am I doing here? Why did he kidnap me?" C asked B.
"It's not my place to answer such questions without his permission, but, by the end of the evening, things will clearer." B responded as she brushed a stray lock of hair out of C's face.
"Who are you?"
"I am B."
"Are you a captive like me?"
B gave the smile of one looking at an endearingly naïve soul. She wasn't sure how to answer this question. "I am very much like you in many ways, but I don't consider myself a captive."
"Is there an 'A'; are we some sort of harem or collection?" C asked.
"There was an A, but she... she didn't make it.
"No. We are not a harem. Master is not the kind to collect. He would, no doubt, say that collections were for those caught up in the avarice of desire, and rather one should simplify one's life such that one can see and experience the beauty and innate perfection inherent in those special things that we choose to take into our lives.
"This may seem a contradiction, given that there are two of us standing here, but, for now, you'll have to trust that your role here will become clear." B explained ambiguously.
"I'm... I'm really scared here... Will you, please, please, help me to escape?" C said, her eyes welling up.
B stepped to C and embraced the younger woman. As soon as she did so, C returned the embrace and was wracked by a fit of sobbing. C so needed the human contact - the contact of a confidant that she could unload her tsunami of built up emotion upon. C clutched at B as though the elder woman were a life-preserver in a rolling ocean.
"Trust me, girl, this will all be alright. I can't offer you that assistance, and right now you may think me a vile and despicable monster for it, but someday I think you'll see it differently. There will be traumas ahead, no doubt, but you are strong enough to handle them, and I'll be there to help you as long as I can."
After C had cried herself out and they finished the clean-up chores, B decided to try a heart-to-heart with the girl. "Tonight is going to be hard on you - physically and emotionally. You are going to want to flee. I know this. I remember how it was. I know it's hard to accept what I'm saying, but don't give in to it. Nothing good will come of it. I know this is all scary and demoralizing. If you just give this a chance, hard as that may be, you'll never see that awful cellar again. You'll never be alone again." B said looking C in the eye with her hands on the girl's shoulders.
B took C by the hand and led her through the house. The house was not huge and was sparsely furnished and decorated with the exception of the study that they passed. It was floor to ceiling with books. However, the goods and decorations that were there were all high-quality and showed impressive taste. The Master had left the study by the time the two women passed by.
They found him in the bedroom lying on the bed nude. He was reading Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". The two women just stood quietly waiting for several minutes before the Master put a bookmark where he left off, and set the book aside on the end table. B guided C toward the bed, and the younger woman could hear her heartbeat pound.
When C nervously refused to walk further, B grabbed her by the hair and pulled her forward. It was such a change from the sweet woman who had consoled her. B struggled to remain on her feet until she was pushed roughly over onto the bed.
"Don't embarrass me. It's time for you to do your chores." B hissed as she pushed the younger woman's cheek against the man's flaccid snake.