tagBDSMJulie and the Cross

Julie and the Cross


In the small farming town where I grew up, the town elders took religious holidays very seriously. Each major holiday ended with a huge festival and the Spring celebration that coincided with Easter was one of the biggest of the year. It not only commemorated the holiday, which our deeply religious community celebrated with zeal, it also meant the start of the Spring planting season, critical for the town's success. A successful festival was seen as a sign that town continued to be blessed by God and that a bountiful harvest would be received.

The centerpiece of the Easter celebration was the large wooden cross planted in the courtyard outside Town Center. The cross towered ten feet over the cobblestone walkways, in full view from all of the buildings in town, each arranged in a circular manner radiating out from Town Center. On the Friday before Easter, Good Friday, the elders had mandated that townspeople would take turns being tied to the wooden cross, crucified as Jesus had been, to show piety and offer themselves as a symbolic sacrifice. Each volunteer would spend an hour tied to the cross, starting at dawn on Good Friday and continuing through dawn on Saturday morning.

As the years had passed, the elders had found it more diffcult to find volunteers for the hourly timeslots. Most of the adults had taken their turns in past years and many children had moved away from town, seeking employment away from the rough provincial farm life. The elders had taken to selecting "volunteers" from the congregation based on various sins that some had committed throughout the year. The first four morning slots had been taken by men whose farms had been struggling. With their debts rising, they had agreed to participate in hoping God would look down upon them favorably. The next three slots had been filled by two women and a man who had committed small time crimes, theft and the like, and were looking for absolution.

At one, the cross was occupied by Sarah Lancaster, who had been caught having an affair with her neighbor. Susan's husband Robert had volunteered his wife for time on the cross as a condition for taking her back. The neighbor, Jacob Shawls, found himself bound to the cross an hour later, serving his own penance for his indiscretion. A few actual volunteers followed over the course of the next few hours, and as the sun was setting in the sky around eight p.m., it was finally my turn to take my place on the cross.

I had just turned eighteen the week before, the minimum age for volunteering to be crucified. I had watched over the years as other men and women had taken their place, and knew that when I turned eighteen, I would volunteer as well. And so I found myself in a small tent just off the town square, stripping off all of my clothing. Sitting on a small table were several lengths of cloth. I picked up the first one and wrapped it around my waist in the way I had seen it done by other women. It was just wide enough to cover my bare butt. I pulled the ends around in front of me and tied a loop and let the remainder of the fabric dangle in front of my shaved pubes. I wrapped the other piece of cloth behind my back and tied it in a knot between my 34B breasts like a bikini. I knew I was showing a lot of cleavage and I found myself getting excited knowing my nearly naked body was about to be on display for the entire town.

I heard a voice calling for me and I stepped out of the tent and walked slowly forward to the square, the cobblestones cold and rough under by bare feet. The cross had been lowered from its mount, and the previous volunteer, a classmate of mine, Mitch Evans, had been untied and taken back to the tent. He shot me a tight smile as we passed and I returned it, fear replacing the thrill I had felt a few minutes earlier.

"Julie Anderson," called out Rev. Mitchell, the senior pastor of our church, "are you prepared to take the place of honor upon the cross?" I was barely able to let out a meek 'yes' before I was motioned to lie down against the rough wood and extend my arms out to my side along the crossbar, still warm from the previous volunteer. I felt the chill of the night air as the sun was setting and I kept my ankles and knees pressed tightly together, suddenly feeling the full effect of lying there nearly nude. I began to regret my decision. I knew others had bailed at the last minute, however, and had seen the disapproving looks of the town elders on those occasions, and so I resolved to go through with my decision.

Two men knelt along side me and began lashing my wrists to the crossbar with lengths of heavy rope. I closed my eyes and took deep breaths. The rope was soft but I had seen the marks it left behind, often visible for hours afterward on the wrists and ankles of the volunteers. I was trying to fight back the tears welling up in my eyes. As the first ropes passed around my wrists, the feeling of being completely and utterly helpless overwhelmed me. Even though I knew I would not be harmed, I struggled against the bindings, knowing that there was no way for me to free myself. I would be confined for the remainder of the hour.

I felt the men place the tapered wooden block against my bare feet. This slanted block would give me a place to rest my feet and allow me to support some of my weight and not hang from the crossbar by my wrists alone. More rope was wrapped around my bare ankles, strapping them loosely to the upright. This would also prevent me from sliding down the cross too far and injuring my shoulders or arms. It also kept my legs together, protecting what little modesty I had left.

Several men grabbed the cross and lifted it into the air parallel to the ground over to the metal coupling anchored in cement in the town square. The cross was slowly tilted, my body becoming more vertical until it was lowered into the coupler. I was unprepared for the feeling in my arms when the men let go of the cross. I felt as if my shoulders were being ripped from their sockets as my body drooped. My bare feet found the slanted wooden block but it had been positioned in such a way as to prevent me from completely straightening my legs. I tried to remember if this had been the case for other volunteers. Maybe they had misjudged my height after dealing with adults and much taller male teens throughout the day. I had to be careful to keep my bent knees together so I didn't accidentally flash the audience below.

I was able to dig into the block with my heels a little. As the shock of being lowered passed, I realized it wasn't so much pain as it was pressure in my shoulders. The real issue was breathing. My arms had been pulled backwards and upwards, pushing out my breasts and compressing my diaphragm. It was nearly impossible to take deep breaths and so I found myself sort of half panting. I would press up as much as I could with my feet to give me some relief, which would help my breathing, but eventually my legs would tire, and I would have to drop back down and let my arms support my weight.

I looked out across the town center. A small crowd had gathered below, larger than usual, which occurred most often when a fresh volunteer — someone who had never been on the cross before — was occupying the position. I wondered if the sight of a half naked teenager contributed to the even larger than normal group of townspeople below. I saw many of my classmates and wondered if any of them had volunteered for the rest of the evening. My mom and dad and brother were nowhere to be seen, apparently having decided to avoid seeing me in this position, even though all three of them had experienced this at one point in time in their lives.

It was getting colder and two small fires had been started in barrels near the base of the cross, which provided not only some heat for me, but also illuminated my scantily-clad flesh. A spotlight had been set up in front of the cross and as the sun disappeared over the horizon, it was turned on, bathing my in soft light. I drooped on the cross in the manner I had seen others before me, duplicating the poses I had seen for years.

The biggest thing my brother had told me was that you lost all sense of time while hanging on the cross. This was particularly true now at night, as I didn't even had the sun to tell me that time was passing. I felt like I had already been hanging here for well over my allotted hour. Unbeknown to me, this was true. The next victim, I mean, volunteer, Jenny Collins, had not shown up for her volunteer time. A group of men had been sent to her farm to look for her but until she was found, I would have to remain on the cross unless another volunteer was found to take my place. This happened rarely and usually the next volunteer in line would be asked to come down early and then when they found the missing volunteer, they would take a later slot.

But my second hour on the cross was now nearly half over and no one had appeared to relieve me. Even worse, a light rain had begun to fall, increasing the cold and my discomfort. The rain started to pick up, pelting down on me ever harder. I had seen in past years where a tarp had been erected over the cross during heavy rains, but this usually happened when it had been raining for days or had been forecast. Today's forecast had been for clear weather. I looked down and saw some of the elders moving around, perhaps going to find the tarp and begin work on it.

As I looked down, I saw something that scared me even more. The linen cloth that had been supplied to me as my wardrobe was quickly getting soaked with rain, and as it did, the material was becoming transparent! My nipples were already poking out through the fabric and as the linen became more and more soaked, it clung tightly around my breasts. With the bright spotlight shining up on me, I knew that I looked topless to the assembled crowd below.

I finally called down and asked how much longer I would remain on the cross. Rev. Mitchell was standing at the base of the cross and called up to me. "Miss Anderson, please accept our humblest apologies. Mr. and Mrs. Collins, who were to be our next volunteers, have not been located. We fear something may have happened to them en route. We are sending several parties out to find out what has happened. Hopefully it won't be much longer."

The tears I had fought back earlier now flowed freely. Any thrill I had felt at being bound and crucified had evaporated by the rain and the forces I felt in my wrists and shoulders. The Reverend's statement then hit me. He had mentioned both Mr. and Mrs. Collins as the next volunteers, which meant there was no one here for the ten o'clock hour either! Would I be left hanging here for a third hour?

The rain that had begun as a drizzle and intensified throughout the second hour had now become a torrential downpour. Most of the crowd had disappeared, heading to the cover of shops and tents and I cursed at them for leaving me here. I was soaked to the bone. Even worse, the knot I had tied in the cloth around my chest had begun working itself loose from the added weight of all of the water pooling up around my breasts. The cloth had already slipped down significantly and soon my breasts popped out of the cloth as it slid down my torso. I no longer cursed at the crowd for leaving, glad now there were only a few people standing beneath me, staring up at my naked chest.

Thankfully, I saw ropes being pulled up and the large tarp being stretched across the courtyard and soon it passed above the cross, shielding me from the rain. The elders pulled it down so I was no longer visible unless you stood under the tarp itself, which was reserved for only the Reverend and a few of the Deacons.

Rev. Mitchell called to me again, "Julie, I know this is not what you had expected but I wanted you to know the Church is grateful for your selfish act this evening. With the rain, sadly, several other volunteers have declined and we have no one to replace you. We are currently conferring to end the ritual early this year, given what has happened. We have never done so, and we are concerned about the impact to the harvest."

I looked down at the Reverend. "My parents need a good harvest this year, sir. Please do not end the ceremony. I will continue to serve." The Reverend smiled up at me. No one had ever hung on the cross for as long as I had so far, and I now had another five hours to go.


I spent a total of eight hours hanging on that wooden cross that evening. When I was finally lowered at dawn, my wrists had been rubbed raw by the rope and it was weeks before the marks faded. I moved away from town less than a month after that Easter, embarrassed by having been seen naked by most of my friends and neighbors. I never returned but my parents informed me that year's harvest was the best the town had ever seen.

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