Phantom Ch. 02byJulie20©
In the first part of our story we saw how Trish visited the derelict Victorian reformatory and was brutally taken by an entity which was horribly real in every sense apart from being invisible. The traumatised young woman flees to her flat and a warm bath where she is introduced to the fact that her attacker has accompanied her home.
Feeling very uneasy Trish towelled herself down after her bath and slipped into her longest nightdress; she wanted to be as fully covered as possible so she put on the white gown which reached almost to the floor. When her mirror gave her a glimpse of herself in the long gown she thought of those unfortunate Victorian girls who had been imprisoned in that dark reformatory where their screams went unheard by the outside world.
She pulled the bedcovers over herself and sank into the sleep of exhaustion but her sleep gave her no rest.
Her arms were painfully pinioned to her sides by the broad leather straps and she was standing in the dock with a hard faced wardress just behind her. There were iron shackles on her ankles and the shackles had been locked in place by a male guard. She had not at all enjoyed the experience of having a man handle her delicate ankles which were normally decently covered by long clothing. But by far the worst indignity had come when that huge leather gag had been forced into her mouth and buckled at the back of her slim neck.
As she looked over the iron spikes which ran along the top of the timber dock she heard the clerk of the court explain that the accused had been gagged to stop the tirade of obscenity which had been pouring from her mouth. Trish desperately wanted to say that this was completely untrue but all she could do was to dig her teeth into the hard leather which was forcing her mouth so painfully wide.
Reading the charges seemed to take an eternity. The packed courtroom heard how she had seduced stable lads, how she had sported herself naked on the river bank for all to see and how she had splayed herself on the morning room carpet with her fingers deep between her thighs much to the horror of the under-housemaid. Of course not a word of this was true. Trish was desperate to shout out how she was a decent girl and how the charges had been invented by her cruel and lecherous Uncle Andrew who had become her guardian and whose immoral advances she had spurned.
She looked at her uncle across the courtroom as he sat there giving a perfect impression of a decent citizen who was so saddened by his immoral niece's antics. As the charges went on the all male jury gasped in horror as worse and worse crimes were recited. The process seemed interminable but it dragged inevitably to the Foreman of the Jury solemnly pronouncing the verdict.
"We find the accused guilty as charged on all counts M'Lord."
Trish almost fainted in horror but the torment of the courtroom was not ended for now the judge had to pronounce sentence which he did at very great length and the final sentence was clear in all its finality.
"And so we have no choice but to condemn this depraved young woman to an indefinite term in a secure reformatory which exists for fallen women like herself. Take her down."
The wardress grabbed her shoulder and propelled her down the steps back into the subterranean world of tiled corridors and the smell of sweat and decay. They went along a narrow passageway with an arched roof and Trish was pushed into a tiny dark cell with a very high barred window. The door crashed shut and the key turned in the lock as the defeated girl sat back on the hard wooden bench against the wall. She was to sit there alone in the dark for many hours still restrained and gagged as she tried to come to terms with her dark and hopeless future. At one point she heard footsteps outside the cell and the door was unlocked to admit a wardress with a lantern and behind the woman stood Uncle Andrew who simply looked at her with a vicious leer of triumph then he turned and she was again alone in her dark world.
Two men came to fetch her and their hands gripped her forearms as they took her along passageways to the back door of the court building where she was one of three girls being loaded into the back of a small black carriage with a barred window set in the rear door. The loading was watched by a jeering crowd but all Trish's attention focussed on a small girl who asked her mama where the ladies were going. The woman's answer stayed with Trish throughout the journey.
"They are going to the place where bad girls go."
It was a very long journey and they soon left the noise of the city as the cart bumped over unmade roads and the wooden bench bruised her buttocks as they jolted along in silence although only Trish was gagged. Trish was hungry, thirsty and exhausted as the cart pulled up and the door was opened to reveal that they were in a bleak yard with high, grim walls rising above them. Men in black uniforms manhandled the girls down from the cart with no regard at all for which parts of the young female bodies they touched. Keys jangled, doors clanged and they found themselves in a large space with bright gaslight and a high ceiling. It was cold and stank of detergent which stung the nostrils. There seemed to be a lot of people around them all in black uniforms; some guards were male and some female but all carried long stout canes.
The trio of girls stood together as they were harangued by a long, loud speech which Trish did not take in then men removed their bindings and shackles but left the cruel gag in place and a loud male voice shouted at them to undress.
The girls looked at each other and at all the guards in horror. Surely there would be a screen to cover their disrobing. A very large wardress put her face an inch from that of the smallest girl and barked at her to strip. The girl stood open-mouthed and shook her head whereupon the wardress lashed her cane across the girl's shoulders and a second guard began to lay into her until she was curled up on the floor. Then the unfortunate girl was dragged to her feet and two men began to strip off her clothing. When the girl was naked, white and shivering her wrists were strapped behind her and the wardress asked if the other girls were ready to undress.
The two helpless girls began to denude themselves their faces burning with shame as the men stood watching every movement and taking in every intimate fold of forbidden feminine flesh. Trish hated removing her drawers and knowing that the men were looking at her dark triangle of hair and her puffy little lips between her thighs. She stood helplessly as she felt their lecherous eyes boring into her undefended neat white breasts. As soon as all three girls were nude and vulnerable they were pushed into a sort of low metal tunnel which had a bar along the centre so they had to shuffle along one behind the other with their legs either side of the bar. The far end of the tunnel was closed by an iron gate and another gate clanged shut behind them and then the spray began to come from tiny holes all around them including in the top of the bar between their legs. The spray stung like acid and covered their bodies and their hair with a yellow powder which, Trish learned later, was intended to kill lice. They were locked in the delousing tunnel for a long time until every inch of the girls was covered by a thick film of the stinking, stinging powder and they were coughing which was especially painful for Trish due to her gag.
When the gate was opened the girls stumbled out of the tunnel with eyes and noses running and barely able to see and hands propelled them into a large communal shower which made them shriek as the freezing cold water covered them. After the cold shower more shouted commands had the girls sit side by side on a wooden bench and the girl on the end was pulled off the bench and made to sit in a large chair. The two girls on the bench watched in horror as huge scissors, more like shears, were produced and the poor girl in the chair had to endure huge hanks of her hair being carved off to fall to the floor around her chair. She was weeping as she was pulled back to the bench and a large male guard dragged Trish to the chair for her once beautiful locks to be sheared off. Once this indignity had been performed and Trish found herself back on the bench she felt utterly defeated and dehumanised. What further torments could await her in this terrible place?
When the third girl had been shorn a barked command had the trio stand before a wooden counter onto which were placed three brown smocks which the girls were made to put on. The garments were rough sewn in some coarse material and were indecently short coming to just above the knee and lewdly allowing the unprotected breasts to press against the fabric. Sewn across the chest of each garment was a white strip bearing a black number and Trish noticed that she alone had a red line beneath her number. At last Trish's gag was now removed and her mouth bled as the leather was dragged away. In halting, fearful speech she asked why she had the red mark on her front.
"You're special Dearie. Your guardian told us you are violent so you will be kept restrained starting now."
So Uncle Andrew could still torment her even here. Trish was commanded to hold out her hands and heavy black manacles were locked onto her wrists in front of her. It seemed that everything here happened at the double and with the maximum of noise; barked commands made the girls jog, with breasts bouncing, down a corridor, past more guards and through iron grilles which were locked behind them. Then it was a narrow corridor lit by faint lights and each girl was locked up in a tiny cell with a mattress and a bucket.
Shortly afterwards there was the rattle of a trolley in the passage and a guard placed on the floor just inside the door a tin tray bearing a lump of stale bread and a large mug of water. The night was not quiet; it was broken by the sounds of weeping, the rattle of keys and the laughter of the guards but Trish did fall into a doze.
She was roused by rough hands on her bare arms and the smell of beery breath as a heavy dark shape came down on top of her and she felt her inadequate garment being pulled up above her waist. As Trish's scream was silenced by a slap to her cheek a hand found its way up her dress to painfully squeeze her breast and then there was pressure between her legs. At first her mind tried to tell her that this could not be happening but then the tearing agony in her deepest part filled her world and the weight of the man's body on top of her almost stopped her breathing. When he eventually left her she was curled up in a helpless, shaking, wet little ball of pain and fear. Trish was to learn that any of the guards could use the girls at any time of their choosing and in the weeks to follow she experienced every indignity and humiliation which it is possible for a man or woman to inflict on a helpless, chained captive.
Every day was long and driven along by shouted orders and the lash of the cane or the whip or a hand thudding into her cheek and making her head ring. The day began before it was light with naked physical exercise as over a hundred girls stood in rows stretching and bending to shouted orders. Then they had to sit without talking at long tables as they were fed bowls of nameless grey sludge before embarking on a day of hard labour at domestic chores or scrubbing rust from iron using brushes with metal bristles. If a girl was thought to be slacking her steel brush would be used on her leaving her bleeding as the skin was stripped from her body. Trish's manacles were only ever removed for long enough to allow her to remove her one garment when ordered to do so and then she would once again be humiliatingly chained with her wrists bruised and sore.
Sometimes as punishment and sometimes as entertainment for the guards there would be a public flogging with the victim strapped to a frame as the lash landed again and again on her bare flesh until she was dragged back to her cell barely alive. The girls were always cold and always hungry and often a girl would simply disappear; no-one asked where these girls had gone as any questions would be met with a very severe punishment.
Of course days blurred into weeks and weeks blurred into months and none of the girls could keep track of time as it passed in these vaulted and dark stone passages. The only measure of time was in the growing of their shaven hair but usually a girl whose hair had grown to any length was shaven once again. There came a time when Trish's hair, lank and greasy, reached almost down to her collar and she expected to be shorn any day but that did not happen.
She was in the labour room sitting on her hard bench at the long table and bent over her work scraping rusty iron as guards strolled around looking for a girl to punish. She barely noticed a guard enter the room and speak to the Head Overseer but then two guards stood beside her and she was ordered to stand to attention which she did instantly although her manacles prevented her hands from going to her sides.
There were more barked commands and she was marched from the room expecting to be once again raped which could happen at any time. One male guard was ahead of her and the other was following as they went up a staircase to a part of the building where Trish had never been before. Here there was carpet beneath her bare feet and wallpaper on the walls. They went into a well-decorated bedroom and one guard left them as the other took up his position just inside the closed door. The room was dominated by a large man standing beside the bed. He wore a black suit and a dark green velvet waistcoat with a gold watch chain. Trish stood before him in her filthy short brown uniform very aware of her semi-nakedness and the cold fetters on her wrists as he addressed her in smooth, smug and patronising terms.
The man asked her if she enjoyed being at the house and Trish did not dare to tell him what a stupid question that was. She knew that it was not a real question and the man was only speaking so that he could enjoy the sound of his own voice and the power which he had over the young woman. He told her that she was very fortunate and that there was a way for her to leave the care of the institution but this way depended upon her total obedience. When asked if she would pledge this unquestioning obedience of course Trish did so knowing that she had no real alternative. The man grinned and nodded to the guard at the door who came forward and unlocked her manacles.
Trish looked at her marked wrists and stood there taking in the feeling of being able to once more fully move her hands as the man ordered her to remove her uniform. Despite so long of being stripped and abused by guards it felt very threatening to stand here in a bedroom and expose her body to a gentleman who was standing a few feet in front of her but she dragged the stinking cloth over her head and allowed it to fall to the carpet. Trish stood naked and exposed not daring to put her legs tight together and feeling his eyes travel over every inch of her abused and violated flesh. The man did not deign to speak to her but he again nodded to the guard who opened a side door and beckoned Trish into what proved to be a bathroom.
There was steaming water in the bath and beside the bath was a shelf bearing soaps, scents and shampoo. The man uttered the one word "Wash" and left her alone but she noticed that he left the door wide open.
Lying in the bath drew all the aches from her body and it felt she was washing away the many weeks of abuse although the memory of that torment could never be washed away. When she had been in the bath for a while the gentleman came into the room and Trish instinctively put her hands over her breasts. He told her that as soon as she was clean she was to come back into the bedroom and dress in the clothing provided.
Trish had been convinced that her bathing was a prelude to being used by this man but now he had told her to dress. What could be going on? What fate was in store for her?
When she left the bath it seemed almost pointless to cover herself against the eyes of the man who had so recently seen her nakedness but she still wrapped herself in a large white towel before making her way back into the bedroom where the man was sitting down looking out of a window. He stood and grinned at her and waved towards the clothing which lay upon the bed. Of course she now had to remove her towel and when she picked up the clothing her puzzlement increased and soon turned to disgust.
With her every movement being watched by the man she dressed. There were white stockings but no corsets or stays. She simply wore a white shift embroidered with pink roses and a frilly petticoat trimmed in pink. Her white dress had a pink frill around the bodice and the hem and it came down to just below her knees. Of course no grown woman would wear such a short gown but Trish realised that she was being dressed in the manner of a child albeit a child of five feet tall. She sat on the bed and buckled on flat white sandals then, after a glance at the man, she moved to the dressing table where she tied wide pink ribbons in her hair. In the mirror she could barely bear to look at the vision of an overgrown poppet and she felt a sort of numbness as the man pressed a rag doll into her hands.
The man kissed her cheek and took her hand to escort her downstairs to the front door. They went down the steps to a small carriage just large enough to carry two persons and she looked back at the grim building where she had been treated so badly. The carriage took them through the countryside to a large mansion and the man bade her to enter the house. It seemed he was not going to accompany her but his parting words were chilling.
"If you just once refuse a command you will be back in your cell and things will be much more unpleasant than you have so far known them. Remember this is your one and only chance."
She entered the front door of the house in a dreamlike state laced with a feeling of horror. Her stomach felt uncomfortable. She stood in a large entrance hall lit by a huge chandelier and coming down the stairs was...............
This was the point where Trish awoke from her dream and sat bolt upright in her bed as her scream filled the bedroom.....
....Striding down the stairs wearing a look like a little boy at a sweetshop window was her Uncle Andy who knew that he had won.