Kristen & the Moot Court

by Zack

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© Copyright 2002 - Zack - Used by permission

Storycodes: bondage; reluct; XX

(story continues from )

Kristen's Story
Kristen and the Moot Court
by Zack
Copyright©  2002.   All rights reserved.

Part Three 

Tien said, "I'm going to leave you now; I want to make your ID tag and the machine is really old and cranky.  Don't try to leave the stall." 

"What's this ID tag, that you need a machine to make it?" 

"It's a stainless steel tag, like an army dog tag.  Your name and prison number are punched into it.  The machine was part of the old farm equipment; it was used to make ear tags for livestock."  Tien left the stall, closing and bolting the door. 

I was still very tired and I wanted to sleep, but the pain in my wrists was too bad to ignore.  I sat in the straw in sort of a stupor until Jesse returned.  She gave Tien a piece of chain about five feet long.  There was a ring fastened to the back wall of the stall, and Tien looped the chain through it; the links were long enough to let her feed the chain through its end link.  Jesse padlocked the chain to my collar and gave the key to Tien. 

Jesse instructed, "Keep the key out of her reach unless she is secured.  If you keep it in your pocket she might be tempted to jump you." 

Tien nodded and stepped out of the stall while Jesse cut the twine off my wrists and ankles.  I moaned with relief and rubbed the deep welts left by the thin twine. 

Jesse said to Tien, "I've got to leave.  Give her the initial test before the rest of the intake processing."  Tien nodded and accompanied her out of the barn.  The stall door was open, but I couldn't reach it. 

Soon Tien returned with a clipboard, a handful of number 2 pencils, and a thick stack of paper.  She said, "This is a psychological evaluation.  The whole point of the incarceration project is to see how the prisoners change with various treatments, and these evaluations are used to measure the results.  Don't try to fake your answers; you'll see that a lot of the questions are repeated in different words, and we check to see if the answers are consistent.  You'll be very sorry if they're not.  Keep in mind that there are only three offenses here that are always punished by flogging, and one of them is falsifying a psychological evaluation." 

"Flogging?  You can't be serious!" 

"Yes we are; why do you think it was authorized by the contract you signed?  The point is that falsifying an evaluation is very bad for you.  You will take them frequently and they will be compared to your previous evaluations, so unless you have a photographic memory be honest." 

"OK, you've made your point.  I have no reason to fake the evaluation anyway."  But flogging?  I still didn't believe it. 

Tien left the stall and I started on the test, which featured the same psychobabble that is on all of these tests.  I sat on the straw and answered the questions, carefully filling in the little circles with my pencil.  When I finished I stretched out on the straw and slept. 

Some time later Tien woke me up.  She had a a two-liter plastic bottle filled with water in one hand and a hank of thin rope in the other.  She said, "It's time for the rest of the intake processing.  Do you need any water?"  I shook my head, no. 

She put down the bottle and said, "I'm going to tie you up.  Please cooperate; I'm sure you know what will happen if you don't." 

Yeah, stun city.  I stood up, turn my back, and crossed my wrists.  She moved my hands so they were palm-to-palm and swiftly tied them with an ease that showed she'd had lots of practice.  When she finished my wrists were firmly fastened, with no knots in reach.  She repeated the process with my elbows; she didn't try to make them touch, but when she finished I couldn't use my arms.  Finally, Tien hobbled my ankles.  Once I was helpless she got the padlock key from where she had left it outside the stall and freed me from the chain. 

We walked to the other end of the barn and Tien made me lay face-down on a bench, with my head extending off the end.  She padlocked my collar to an eyebolt, and used rope to tie down my waist and knees.  I knew what this meant; she was going to do something I wouldn't like.  My voice shook when I asked, "What are you going to do to me?" 

"I'm going to attach your ID tag.  I see that you have pierced ears; that will save a step."  She showed me the tag and some stainless steel wire, and then wheeled up a resistance welder.  She said, "This won't hurt much if you hold still." She threaded a piece of wire through my left earlobe and then through a hole in the tag.  She clamped the ends of the wire together with the welder's jaws and activated it, and I had a permanent earring. 

Tien showed me a piece of red plastic and said, "This goes on your other ear to show that you're part of the group that will receive the harshest treatment."  She threaded wire through my right earlobe, welded it, and I had two permanent earrings. 

When Tien didn't say anything or free me from the bench I started to worry.  I asked, "What happens now?" 

"I've got to do something I don't agree with, but it's Policy so I haven't any choice.  I've got to shave your head." 

"What!  You can't mean that!"  I thrashed around, going precisely nowhere.  I have never been vain about my hair; in fact, I usually just had it hacked off when it got long enough to bother me, but this humiliation was too much. 

"I think it's barbaric, but the psych professors think it's important enough to make it part of the policy document.  I'm not going to shave you bald, just give you a buzz cut."  Tien picked up barber's clippers and buzzed them over my head.  My hair rained down on the floor, followed by some tears. 

Tien took me back to my stall and chained me to the wall.  I had been depressed before, but I was really down now.  I slumped to my knees and leaned against the wall, still tied up.  I wanted my hands back, but I knew that asking to be untied would do more harm than good. 

Tien said, "I'm going to get you some food and some other stuff you'll need.  I won't be long."  She kissed me on the forehead and left, taking the psych test with her.  I just knelt in the straw and quietly cried. 

I was still crying when Tien returned.  She said, "I owe you an apology.  I re-read the policy document, and shaving your head wasn't required.  It's only to be used as a punishment, not as a routine part of the intake processing." 

Somehow this did make me feel better.  I hadn't been deliberately humiliated; I was just the victim of an accident, like I got too close to a campfire and my hair got burned off.  I said, "I'm just glad that branding isn't one of the punishments; a mistake about that would have been a lot worse." 

"What makes you think branding isn't one of the punishments?"  Tien enjoyed the shocked look on my face, and then laughed.  "It's not, I was just teasing."  She sat down in front of me and presented the bowl she was carrying.  "Here's some food.  I made it myself." 

She held out a spoonful and I opened my mouth.  It was some kind of stew, and it tasted good.  I ate everything in the bowl and could have eaten more, but I knew dinner was over when Tien untied me.  Remembering my manners as a sub, I said, "Thank you for the food; it was very good.  And thank you for untying me." 

"You're welcome."  Tien left with the bowl and returned in a few minutes with a large cardboard box.  She said, "Here's some other things you'll need."  She unloaded two blankets, a plastic basin, soap, a towel, a toothbrush, and a comb.  She picked up the comb.  "I guess you won't need this.  I'll bring you some water later so you can wash." 

I didn't notice when she brought the water, because as soon as I was untied I wrapped myself in the blankets and fell asleep. 

Tien woke me the next morning before dawn.  She said, "The Policy requires the Red Group to work from dawn to sunset, so you have to get up.  Use the bucket now if you have to." 

I squatted over the bucket and then washed my face and hands.  I asked, "Do I get any food?" 

"I'll bring you some later.  Turn around and put your hands behind your back." 

I crossed by wrists, and in about a minute Tien had them firmly tied.  She got the key from outside the stall and unchained me, then snapped a leash on my collar and led me outside.  On the way out of the barn she picked up a hoe, gloves, and a straw hat, which she put on my head.  She said, "You'll be outside all day, and this will keep your scalp from getting sunburned." 

We walked over to the fence that surrounded the high-security part of the prison camp.  It was chain link, eight feet tall, and with three strands of barbed wire on top.  We stopped near a chunk of concrete that looked like it was a piece of an old curb.  Rebar protruded from one end, and a chain had been welded to it. 

Tien locked my collar to the chain and untied my hands.  She gave me the gloves and the hoe and said, "When the rest of the prisoners arrive we'll organize the chain gang and you'll be closely supervised, but for now I'm going to have you work on your own.  See all the weeds along the fence?  I want you to hoe them out.  When you've cleared everything that you can reach drag the concrete to a new location.  You don't have to kill yourself, but don't stop working, either.  I'll let you know when it's break time, and that's the only time you can stop hoeing.  Any questions?" 

It didn't seem to be too complicated even for me to understand, so I shook my head.  Tien told me to start working, and she went back into the barn.  I put on the gloves and started chopping weeds.  The chain was about fifteen feet long, so I could clear thirty feet of fence before I had to move the concrete.  This required me to grab the chain with both hands and walk slowly backward as the concrete reluctantly slid along the ground.  I obviously wasn't going to escape if I had to drag it with me. 

I got into a rhythm and shut off my brain.  In a couple of hours Tien appeared with a gallon of water in a plastic jug and a couple of granola bars.  I half-way expected her to tie my hands so she could feed me, but she didn't.  After I ate, she rubbed some sun block on my exposed skin.  She made quite a production of it, and I wondered if she had any romantic notions.  I'd never been interested in girls, but I wasn't going to refuse the advances of somebody who controlled my life, either. 

As I worked my thoughts drifted to the idea of escape.  The prospects didn't look good; I was always chained or tied, this fence would be tough to climb over, and I was way out in the sticks.  I didn't know exactly where I was, but I could see Humphries Peak, the tallest of the San Francisco Mountains, so I knew which way it was to town.  Of course, even if I could get to town I wouldn't have any clothes, money, or identification, and my closest friends were part of the group I was trying to escape from.  I considered what would happen if I went to the police for help; they would call the university to confirm my fantastic story, and I would be characterized as delusional.  The police might even deliver me back to the Psychology Department.  I forgot about escape and kept hoeing. 

The idea of escape returned when I came to a place where a small gully ran under the fence.  It wasn't very deep, but I figured I might be able to use it to slip under the wire, assuming I could get this far.  I spent some time using the hoe to soften up the ground as much as I could, and smoothed it over to conceal what I had done. 

This time of year the day is about sixteen hours long, and I felt every minute of it.  By sundown my back hurt, my arms hurt, and in spite of the gloves I was developing blisters on my hands.  I was very glad to see Tien again.  She walked up to me, and then ran back about twenty feet and put a key on the ground.  By the time she returned I had already turned and crossed my wrists behind my back.  She did her usual expert job of tying my hands, and then she got the key and unchained me.  She snapped the leash on my collar and we walked back towards the barn. 

Tien asked, "How do you feel, Bonnie?" 

"Tired and sore." 

"Good, that's the way you're supposed to feel.  You're getting into shape before the real work starts on the chain gang, so you'll have an easier time than the other prisoners." 

Somehow this didn't cheer me all that much. 

Just as we entered the barn we met two young women. One was wearing the black jeans and black tee shirt of a guard.  She had a slim body, very pale skin, and long blonde hair.  The other woman was wearing a prisoner's orange dress.  She was about my size, with olive skin and dark, curly hair. Her hands were tied behind her back, and a choke chain around her neck was held by the blonde guard. 

Tien said, "Hello, Inga.  I see that Winnie has her ear tags.  Did she finish the psych test?" 

"Yes, she's all checked in.  Who's this?" 

"This is Bonnie; I'll show you her file later.  I want to put her in her stall and feed her now." 

"Could you feed Winnie, too?" 

"OK.  Leave her hands tied." 

Tien took me into my stall and locked the chain on my neck, and Inga put Winnie in the adjacent stall.  I waited with my eyes closed until Tien returned with more stew.  After she fed me and untied my hands I washed as much of my body as I could and brushed my teeth.  I ran my hands across the stubble on my head and was glad that I didn't have a mirror. 

I was ready to sleep, but a voice from the next stall called to me: "Hi, my moot name is Winnie Judd.  What's yours?" 

"Bonnie Parker, but my real name is Kristen.  Please call me that."  So I don't forget it. 

"OK, Kristen.  My real name is Maria, but please call me Winnie; it helps me to get into the scene.  This is really exciting, isn't it?" 

Huh?  Where did this kid come from?  "How did you get picked for the chain gang, Winnie?" 

"I volunteered, of course.  When I heard in my psych class that students were needed for the incarceration study I signed up as soon as I could.  This has always been a fantasy of mine, but I am kind of disappointed; I expected concrete cells with steel bars, not a stall in a barn.  The chain around my neck is OK, but don't they have any handcuffs?" 

"I think they'll get some later.  I'm kind of tired, so I'd like to sleep now.  Good night."  I was glad Winnie was enjoying this.  I wondered how long she would continue to like it. 

Next morning it was a repeat of the previous day.  Tien chained me to the concrete chunk and I picked up the hoe and started chopping.  The day's routine changed when Tien appeared a few hours later.  She was pulling a wagon; a genuine Radio Flyer.  I had one when I was a little girl, and this was the same type, only much bigger and with pneumatic tires instead of the solid rubber ones I remembered. 

Tien produced a leather strap and fastened it around my hips, just below my navel.  It was about two inches wide and made of worn, heavy leather, like it had been part of an old harness.  There wasn't any buckle; holes had been punched in the ends and laced with rope.  Tien threaded ropes through other holes in the strap and tied my hands at my sides.  She hiked up my dress and tied a crotch rope from the front to the back and tightened up everything.  Finally, she fastened the wagon handle to the back of the belt. 

Once I was harnessed Tien fed me a couple of granola bars and gave me a drink of water.  She retrieved the key and unlocked the chain from my collar and replaced it with the leash, and when she turned and walked away I trotted behind her. 

We went around the barn and out the front gate, which was standing open, and about a quarter-mile down the road.  Here a dirt path led back into a stand of pine trees, and at the end of this path was a pile of wood; small trees that had been cut into firewood. 

Inga and Winnie were also there, and Winnie was hitched to a wagon just like mine, except that her's was already filled with wood.  Instead of a leash Winnie had a choke chain around her neck.  She was also gagged with a stick. 

Tien asked, "Why did you gag her, Inga?" 

"Every pony needs a bit.  Here's one for yours, too." 

Inga held a stick up to my mouth.  I saw the look in her eyes and didn't even think of refusing it.  She jammed the stick in my mouth and tied it in place with thin rope; I could taste the dirt on it. 

Inga yanked on the choke chain and Winnie followed her down the path.  Tien put on gloves and loaded wood into my wagon, and when it was full she picked up the leash and started walking.  I leaned into the belt to get the wagon moving and followed her.  The path was level and the ground was dry, so it wasn't all that hard to pull the wagon, especially when we got onto the road. 

We met Inga and Winnie on their way back for another load; now Inga was riding in the wagon.  Tien led me around to the back of the barn and unloaded the wood, and then she got into the wagon and I pulled her back to the woodpile in the woods.  After we had made several trips we reached the back of the barn just as Inga finished unloading her wagon. 

Inga helped Tien unload my wagon and then she said the words that I had been dreading; "I bet my pony is faster than your pony." 

Tien replied, "You want to race?  I don't know that we should." 

"It won't hurt them; it will actually do them good and help them get in shape." 

Tien still looked doubtful, but she agreed and Winnie and I were led around to the front of the barn.  Inga removed the choke chain and got in the wagon.  She said, "We'll race from here to where the path meets the road, OK?" 

Tien nodded and unclipped the leash.  She got in the wagon and said, "I'm ready." 

Inga shouted, "Go!" and Winnie started running.  I started running too, but she was already ahead of me and the lead increased as we ran down the road; when Winnie crossed the finish line she was at least fifty feet ahead of me.  We both stopped, panting.  I found it was much more difficult to run pulling a wagon than it was to just run. 

We were given a few minutes to recover and then Tien and Inga led us back to the woodpile and loaded the wagons.  When that load was dumped we walked back to the front of the barn. 

Inga said, "Let's race again." 

Tien replied, "It's not fair.  You've got a young filly and I've got this old mare.  I don't have a chance." 

Hey, I'm not that old, I just live hard. 

"You've just got to give her the proper motivation.  Switch wagons with me and I'll show you." 

Tien got into Winnie's wagon.  Inga moved next to me and pulled up my dress and tucked it in the belt so my hips were bare.  She said to Tien, "We need more distance.  Do you remember that big tree just this side of the highway?  Let's race to there.  And I want to borrow the leash." 

Inga got in the wagon and shouted, "Go!"  At the same time she snapped the leash across my right hip.  I screamed through the gag and lunged forward.  Winnie started too and we ran down the road neck and neck.  Inga lashed me again and I pulled slightly ahead, but Winnie was close behind and every time she got near us Inga whipped me until I was in front again.  By the time we passed the path I wanted to collapse, but every time I faltered Inga responded with a flurry of forehand and backhand blows.  The whipping hurt more than the running, so I forced myself to keep moving. 

Finally we reached the tree and I could stop.  I fell to my knees and fought to breathe around the gag.  Winnie was right behind me; she was breathing hard, but she wasn't close to collapsing.  Her hips and thighs weren't covered with red welts, either. 

Tien said, "That's enough racing for today.  Take Winnie and move the rest of the firewood; I'll be along with Bonnie once she recovers."  Inga replaced the choke chain on Winnie's neck and led her away. 

Tien took out the bit, and it was some time before she could help me to my feet. We slowly walked back to the barn and she led me to my stall and locked the chain to my neck; then she unhitched me and put away the wagon somewhere.  I lay face-down on the straw and tried to ignore the flames burning on my hips and legs. 

Tien returned with some lotion and rubbed it on the welts, paying particular attention to the places on my belly and the inside of my thighs where the end of the leash had struck.  She asked, "Does that feel better, Bonnie?" 

It did feel better; the lotion was very soothing.  I nodded and said, "It does help.  Thank you." 

Tien paused and started to say something, but then she abruptly left the stall.  I was relieved, but kind of disappointed, too. 

I was allowed to rest for a while, but was still some hours before sunset so Tien took me back outside and I became reacquainted with my old friend the hoe.  I managed to simulate chopping, even though it hurt to move, and the rest of the day passed in a haze of pain.  Tien recovered my body at last, and after she fed me she rubbed some more lotion on my welts and gave me a couple of pills.  Blessed oblivion claimed me. 

The next morning I got a pleasant surprise.  Instead of the routine I had already come to hate Tien delivered a substantial breakfast on a tray, and she let me feed myself.  She returned later with pencils and another psych evaluation. 

Tien said, "Today is a rest day, the one day each week that you don't have to do hard labor.  All you have to do is take the evaluation, and the rest of the day is free time.  Later we'll have organized activities, but they're not ready yet." 

"This is wonderful, but why are you so generous?" 

"It's all part of the Policy.  If we provide a day off it acts as a contrast so the workdays seem harder.  It also creates a privilege that can be taken away as a punishment.  There are practical uses as well, such as providing time for the evaluations and a chance for injuries to heal." 

"Why isn't Sunday the day of rest?" 

"We don't want to blur the line between church and state." 

Whatever the motives I welcomed the time off.  I completed the evaluation and then lay on the straw and tried to avoid aggravating my welts.  I was so stiff that I couldn't do much else.  I drifted off to sleep. 

I was awakened by Tien, who said, "You have a visitor, Bonnie." 

Jean's face indicated surprise and upset when she entered the stall and saw me chained like an animal, but her voice was calm. "Hello, Kristen.  I've got that power of attorney ready for you to sign.  Tien can sign as a witness."  She handed me a clipboard and a pen and I signed and then Tien signed. 

Jean waited until Tien had left the stall and then whispered, "I've got some bad news, Kristen.  The Psychology Department received another grant so the incarceration study will be funded for two more years, and Aunt Jesse told me that they plan to keep using you as an experimental subject.  I'm very sorry that I got you into this; I didn't have any idea that you would be imprisoned for so long." 

I was stunned.  I had hoped that at worst I would be released when the fall semester classes started, but it sounded like I was going to be kept in my own private hell for years to come.  I pleaded, "Please, can't you help me get out of here?" 

"I'd like to, but I don't dare.  If I interfered in a university project I could be expelled, and they could also sue me for damages.  I will press your appeal in the moot court, but it will be months before anything comes of it." 

Jean let that sink in for a while and then changed the subject.  "I got a good offer for your car and I'll sell it for you; you don't want it to sit rusting on the street while you're in here.   I also got your stuff moved out of your apartment and into storage.  The landlord was very nice about it and refunded your entire deposit." 

I started to cry.  Bit by bit Kristen was disappearing from the world and Bonnie the prisoner was taking her place.  Jean patted my shoulder and left the stall; for some reason she seemed to be embarrassed.  I brooded for a while, and gradually my depression turned into rage at what was happening to me.  I screamed and pulled as hard as I could on the chain that held me prisoner.

I felt the chain give a little bit!  It was attached to a ring that was welded to a square plate, and the plate was fastened to the stable wall by four lag bolts.  I looked at it closely, and I could see that the bolts had rusted until most of the threads were corroded away.  I moved up to the wall and wrapped the chain around my hips, put my feet on the wall, and pushed with all the strength in my legs.  The ring came out of the wall! 

I heard Inga bringing Winnie back to her stall, so I shoved the ring back in place and luckily it stayed there.   I got my euphoria under control and tried to plan my next steps.  The obstacles to a successful escape were as large as ever, and even if I could get out of the stall it would be only the first step. 

I tried for quite a while to devise a clever plan that would guarantee my escape, but the best I could come up with was 'get out of here and run for it'.  I did realize that I would have a better chance if I waited until after dark, so I fought down my impatience and tried to pass the time with sleep. 

I had no way to tell the time, but I estimated it was close to midnight when I started the great escape.  I had been able to sleep, which was a good thing because I would probably be up all night.  I pulled the ring out of the wall and peeked over the stall door.  The barn was dimly illuminated by a single light bulb, but it was enough for me to see Inga coming towards me to make a bed check.  She was wearing pajamas and a robe and was carrying a flashlight.  I had guessed that Tien lived on the premises, sleeping in the old tack room, but Inga was a surprise. 

I ducked down and hoped that she hadn't seen me.  I scurried to put the ring back in the wall and wrap myself in the blankets, and I was stretched out on the straw and snoring gently when the flashlight beam hit my face.  Inga checked on Winnie, and I waited a while longer until I heard the tack room door close.  Now was the time.  Liberty or Death!  Well, maybe not death. 

I tossed my equipment over the stall door and climbed after it.  I had decided to take my hat, the water bottle, and a blanket.  I tiptoed to the barn door.  It was locked, of course.  What to do?  I climbed into the hayloft, and as I remembered the loading door was open.  I tossed out my equipment, then I lowered myself as far as my arms would reach and dropped.  I didn't break or sprain anything, so I was ready for the next step.  I went to the gully under the fence and used my faithful friend the hoe to scrape away the dirt.  It was tight, but I squeezed under the fence and I was free! 

I wrapped myself in the blanket and wrapped the chain around me as a belt, put on the hat, and headed for the highway with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips. 

Many weary miles later I had sore feet, but I knew where I was and it was good.  I had reached an intersection I recognized, and I had a destination at last.  A few miles down the road was the home of my old boss, the truck stop service manager.  I had been to his house a half-dozen times, both when Mack and his wife Alice had hosted company parties and on my own.  Mack had always been like an uncle to me, very helpful and friendly, and he was truly sorry when he was forced to lay me off from my job. 

By the time I reached Mack's house the sun had been up for maybe an hour.  I took a deep breath and knocked on the door, and when Mack opened it I said, "Hi, Mack.  Remember me?" 

"Kristen!  What are you doing here so early, and why are you wearing that strange outfit?" 

"It's a long story.  Can I come in?  Some people are looking for me, and I'd like to get out of sight." 

Mack stepped aside and said, "Sure, come on in.  Who's looking for you, the police?" 

"No, I'm not that kind of fugitive."  I opened the blanket and Mack raised his eyebrows when he saw the chain and collar on my neck and the 'Prisoner' written across my chest.  "Can we sit down?  I'm kind of tired and it will take a while to explain all this." 

Mack took me into the kitchen where Alice was preparing breakfast.  She had much the same reaction as Mack, but she put some more eggs in the pan, and I told them my story and ate at the same time. 

When I had finished talking Mack said, "That is one strange story, and if it had happened to anyone else I might not have believed it, but you seem to attract weird kinds of trouble.  What are you going to do now?" 

"I've got to get out of town.  The Psychology Department will want me back, and they won't quit until they get me.  I don't have a car or an apartment, but there should be enough money in my bank account to finance my escape.  The only problem is that I don't have any ID, so getting it out of the bank will be hard.  What can I do?" 

"I can loan you some money, but it will be hard to travel without any ID.  You need to get a replacement driver's license.  But first we've got to get that collar off your neck.  Let's go out to my shop." 

Mack had a well-equipped workshop, and after some effort he drilled out the clamp lock and took the collar off my neck.  It was a great relief to know that now I couldn't be stunned at the whim of some girl.  Mack also used wire cutters to remove my ear tags. 

Mack had to go to work, but Alice took over.  She gave me a bag of clothing and said, "These are some old clothes that our daughter left here, so take anything you need.  Then I'll show you where you can sleep."  No words could have been more welcome. 

Everything seemed strange to me, since now I lived something that resembled a normal life.  The next morning Mack gave me a ride to the DMV on his way to work, and after the usual hours-long wait they issued me a new driver's license.  This was a temporary paper copy, and they told me to expect the picture ID version in the mail in a week or so.  I used Mack's address. 

I took a bus to the truck stop and waited around until Mack's lunchtime.  It was fun to see the old gang, but I took a lot of teasing about my appearance.  I was wearing an old dress and I had a scarf covering my shaved head, so I looked a lot like a Balkan refugee. Mack drove me back to his house and I spent the rest of the day helping Alice. 

The days that I spent with Mack and Alice were great.  I had been living on my own for some time, and it was good to be part of a family again.  I helped Alice with the housework and did home-repair jobs that Mack had been putting off. 

Every day when the Postal Service truck stopped at the mailbox I ran out to sort the mail and see if my new driver's license had arrived yet.  One day I was busy with this when I heard an engine and looked up to see a van with the university seal on the door stop next to me.  The sliding door was open and I recognized Gimpy the bailiff.  I turned and ran for the house, but I had only gone a few steps when there was a sound like an airgun and something stabbed my butt.  Then I was on the ground, twitching; I had been stunned again. 

When I recovered I was on my stomach in the back of the van, with my hands cuffed behind my back and leg irons on my ankles.  There was a ball gag stuffed in my mouth, but no hood.  They drove back to the Farm and Gimpy hauled me out of the van; Tien and Inga were there to greet me and they took me back to my old stall in the barn. 

There had been some changes; a chain was now securely bolted to opposite sides of the stall.  The center of the chain was wrapped around my neck and padlocked in place; it was long enough to let me sit up, but I couldn't stand. 

Tien took off the chains and removed the gag.  She said, "Oh, Bonnie, why did you try to escape?  Now you have to be punished." 

Inga sneered, "Don't feel sorry for her; she knew what would happen."  She said to me, "Take off those clothes, and be quick about it unless you want me to help you." 

Inga had picked up a heavy strap, so I didn't hesitate; I stripped everything off and put on the orange dress that Tien gave me. Then she cuffed my hands in front and ironed my ankles. 

I asked, "How did you find me?" 

Tien answered, "One of the bailiffs has a friend who works for the DMV.  She got the address from your new driver's license, and they watched the house." 

Tien and Inga went away, but a few minutes later Inga returned alone and padlocked the leg iron chain to the handcuffs.  She said, "I'll be by every few hours.  If you want anything, like water or a chance to stretch your legs, you can beg me for it.  If you're humble enough I might let you have it." 

It was tough to get comfortable when I was chained like this, and I was worried that I was going to go through what I had experienced before my trial, only for a much longer time.  I was wrong about this, though.  When Tien saw my cramped body a little later she stormed off and I could hear her shouting at Inga, and then she returned and removed the padlock. 

I extended my legs and said, "Thank you.  I take it that Inga wasn't following the Policy?" 

"That's right.  The policy document is very explicit about what punishments are allowed, and I've warned Inga before about going outside the guidelines.  If she doesn't shape up she's likely to find herself wearing orange instead of black." 

I felt I had to know, so I inquired, "What is the punishment for escape?  You said something about flogging, but I can't believe that." 

"But it's true, Bonnie.  The penalty for trying to escape is fifty lashes.  I don't want that to happen, but the policy document is very clear that the prescribed punishment must be administered." 

"Fifty lashes with what? And who is the flogger?"  Maybe it was just a symbolic flogging. 

"Inga does it with a heavy leather strap, and she can be brutal.  Last summer I saw her give a prisoner twenty lashes, and it was a week before the poor girl could even move.  Inga covered the girl's back and legs with big swollen welts, but she didn't break the skin, so there wasn't any violation of the contract." 

I felt sick.  Inga obviously enjoyed her work, and I knew she wouldn't go easy on me.  I fell on my back and stared at the ceiling while my mind raced, trying to find some way out.  I couldn't think of anything. 

I didn't get much sleep that night, and I was tense and nervous the next day.  Some time in the morning I heard loud voices coming from the barn door. 

Tien said, "Stop!  You can't go in there." 

A man's voice replied, "I know Kristen is in there and I have a warrant for her arrest.  I'll give you two minutes to bring her here or I'm going in there after her, and if I have to do that I'll arrest you, too."

A minute later Tien and Inga entered my stall.  Inga took off the handcuffs and leg irons and Tien tied my hands behind my back.  Inga unlocked the chain holding my neck and replaced it with her choke chain.  They dragged me to my feet and hustled me out of the barn. 

The man waiting outside was a uniformed deputy sheriff.  I knew a lot of Jim's fellow deputies, but this man was a stranger to me.  He asked, "Are you Kristen?" 

I nodded, and he said, "I have a warrant for your arrest."  He removed the choke chain and cut the rope off my wrists, but he replaced it with plastic handcuffs.  He took my arm and walked me over to his patrol car and folded me into the back seat, and once I was belted in he pulled a hood over my head and tightened the drawstring around my neck. 

As we drove away I tried to think of what I might have done to get arrested.  The only thing I could think of was taking the university's collar with me when I escaped.  It was probably valuable enough to make that grand theft, but I wasn't too worried because it would be tough for them to make a case in court.  I didn't really care; I was moving away from Inga's whip, and that was all that mattered now. 

After a while the car stopped and the deputy got me out of the back seat.  I wondered where we were; there wasn't the traffic noise I'd expect to hear around the jail downtown.  We walked a short distance on a sidewalk and I heard a muffled doorbell, and then a door opened and the deputy said, "You were right, they didn't even look at the phony warrant.  She's all yours; I'll see you later." 

I was frightened now, and I struggled when I was dragged inside and the door locked behind me.  Someone's arms wrapped around me and a voice growled, "Resistance is useless.  You're my prisoner now, and you'll never escape." 

That voice.  That corny dialogue.  I knew who it was and I yelled, "Jim!  Let me look at you." 

My lover removed the hood and our lips met, and then merged.  When we stopped to breathe I said, "I've missed you so much.  When did you get back?" 

"Four days ago.  Jean told me what had happened to you, but she said that you had escaped and no one knew where you were.  I was afraid that you'd left town, but then she called and told me that you'd been recaptured.  After that it didn't take me long to invent a clever way to break you out." 

"Stop talking.  You can take this dress off without freeing my hands.  Is that enough of a hint to let you deduce what I want?" 

Jim unbuttoned the straps on my dress and pulled it down and off, and then picked me up and carried me into the bedroom.  He dropped me on the bed and then stripped and joined me.  He was as eager as I was, and omitted a lot of our usual foreplay.  To increase my arousal I struggled against the plastic cuffs holding my hands behind my back, and when he entered me I screamed with pleasure. 

Much later Jim released my hands and we rested in bed.  I hugged his neck and told him about all the things that had been done to me, and he was properly sympathetic.  Then I broke the bad news: "I really do have to get out of town.  Those Psychology Department people are fanatics, and I'm their favorite lab rat.  As long as they've got that contract they'll never let me go." 

"I know, they do tend to forget that their experimental subjects are people.  I'm going to persuade Aunt Jesse to transfer the contract to me.  I'm sure she'll agree, because she wouldn't want your story to get around.  But I'm going to keep the contract, not cancel it.  You really will be my prisoner." 

I kissed him again. "You won't have to keep me chained to keep me with you.  And rope is more fun anyway." 

The End
Copyright© 2002 by Zack.  All rights reserved.
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updated: 16.07.02