I awoke in a cell, which I believe to be the same cell in which I had previously been held in irons. It was difficult to tell, because it was so dark, but after crawling around a bit I found bits of cloth that I believe were what was left of my torn dress. It was cold, and I covered my naked and suffering body as best I could. The dirt on the floor covered a hard, uneven stone which dug into my flesh as I lay on my side.
My ankle had been chained to the wall, as if there was any chance of escape from this hell. The stench of urine and feces, sweat and blood, and the indefinable smell of pain and iron made it almost impossible to breathe. The dark made it hard to see much except by the slivers of light that entered from around the door edges. There was little to hear except the occasional rustling of rats.
Not only had my ankle been chained to the wall, my wrists had been placed in an iron device that was attached to my neck by a collar. The iron bar extended out from the collar and held my wrists out from my neck about a foot. I could move more freely than I could when I was in that torturous inverted V, and lay down on the floor, which I did. But the irons were still very restrictive and uncomfortable. That said, I hardly noticed them because of the lingering pain in the rest of my body.
My extended time on the wooden pony had damaged my privates. The area between my legs was wet with blood, and was in constant throbbing pain. I could not examine myself because my hands were held up near my head by the irons, but I felt as if my pussy had been spread and torn wide, and blood was tricking down my thighs. I lay on my back with my knees up, legs slightly apart, trying to relieve the pain.
My breasts ached horribly. The numbness was receding, but as it went, pain took its place. Strange how the torture was over, at least for now, but the pain was increasing! I began to sob quietly, grateful for the rest and recovery, but feeling completely lost and hopeless.
Finally, I slept.
I was awakened by the door opening and light flooding the cell. A guard placed a pan with something in it, as well as a jug of liquid which turned out to be water. He slammed the door behind him and I realized just how starved and thirsty I was. I drank the water eagerly, and then ate stale bread from the metal pan. I drained the water jug, and fell back again, feeling a little better than I had.
I fell asleep again.
This time I was awakened by a scream echoing down the halls. A woman was shrieking, one long scream that seemed to penetrate wo0den doors and stone walls, going on and on without stopping, tearing the agony from inside of her and expressing it in sound… until slowly the scream quieted in a gurgle as the air was completely expelled from her lungs. I expected her to scream again… and the silence that came after the scream was more disturbing than the scream that had awakened me.
I crawled as far away from the door as I could and sat shivering next to the wall. A rat ran across the floor, touching my foot. The pain in my breasts had begun to subside, but the fear in my heart was growing. They had already tortured me, raped me… what was next?
When the guards came and dragged me from my cell, I discovered that I could not stand on my own. The joints in my legs were too painful – a lingering effect of the weights that had been hung on them while I was riding the pony. So, I was dragged out, down the corridor, up some stairs and to a hall that had several people in it, including one severe looking priest sitting at a table. The guard threw me on the floor in front of the table.
“She is accused?” The magistrate at the table wheezed out in a weak voice.
“Yes sir. She has been held for the last two days, awaiting your judgment,” said a tall thin man dressed in black from the side of the room.
“Is there a confession?”
“No, sir. She has not been examined yet.”
I looked up at the magistrate from the floor, hair hanging in clumps over my face, and tried to rise. “Please sir… I am…”
“Are you ready to confess?” The magistrate wheezed and coughed.
“Sir, I am innocent-”
He cut me off, “I don’t want to hear it then. Examine her for the mark. Gag her to assure she does not speak further.”
My hands were bound in front of me, and a gag was shoved in my mouth before I realized what was happening. The gag was huge, holding my mouth wide open, distending my jaws widely and painfully, and yet filling my mouth completely to muffle all sounds.
The rope around my hands was raised, and I was lifted up in to the air. Once again, I hung by a rope from the ceiling, swaying slightly. The strain was on my shoulders and I began to whimper through the gag with the pain.
The humiliation of being hung naked, in front of a room full of men, suddenly flushed over me. I wriggled a little bit, and then started crying.
Moments later, two of the men had their hands on me, examining my body carefully. It felt as if I were a slab of meat being inspected before being cut up and sold. They probed me, spreading my buttocks, lifting my breasts (which made me cry out in pain), searching every part of my flesh. Probing fingers slide into crevices of my body, demonstrating how helpless I was as the men scraped fingernails over the sensitive flesh inside me.
While the physical examination continued, the men spent a long time looking between my legs, pulling my nipples, and invading my holes. I felt so completely helpless; it was worse than the torture the day before. I wanted to die rather than let these men fondle and grab my body in any way they chose.
A sharp object, like a knife but with a sharp tip, was produced. They actually showed it to me, and my eyes widened in fear as I saw the instrument before my eyes. I shook my head frantically and cried out from behind the gag… but moments later the probe had been shoved into my stomach, piercing my flesh. I yelled, and wriggled, trying to get away. Strong hands held me as the knife was plunged into my back, repeatedly. Different spots, starting from the top of my shoulders to my buttocks, then inside my legs… I jerk and screamed at each probe.
At last came a time when I had no strength to do anything other than hang from my wrists, swaying as the examination continued. The knife pricked me again and again, and while the pain was severe, I did nothing but moan in the agony.
“It is here,” said one of the men, pointing to a place here the knife had just pierced the skin of my inner thigh, near the top. “She does not react when we prick her. It is the sign of Satan.”
“Very well. Let her be examined and a confession extracted. May God have mercy on you,” the magistrate nodded and then turned to leave.
The rope holding me dangling above the floor was released and I collapsed. My body was covered with streaming rivulets of blood, and I felt as if I had no more life force in me. The thin man in black motioned to the guards, who picked me up under the arms and dragged me from the room, descending once again into the bowels of the stone prison, into the stench and misery that awaited.
I was not returned to the cell, which I had hoped. Rest, even in that suffocating darkness was all I desired right then. The rest and peace of being alone, unmolested, just for an hour or two. Instead I was dragged down to a lower level where the ceiling was low and supported by arches, the light dim from the flames of torches, and the floor a plain dirt with no stone paving.
There, in the room at the end, awaited my fate. A simple, uncomplicated thing. A table. Just a wooden table. With a places for ropes to be tied… and a roller at one end.
It was a rack. I was to be stretched on that most infamous of devices. I fainted.