Two Ghosts

by Abrank

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© Copyright 2007 - Abrank - Used by permission

Storycodes: M/f; F/mf; D/s; halloween; kidnap; captive; bond; chains; costume; chast; slave; bdsm; electro; torment; cellar; reluct/nc; XX

from the 2007 Halloween special

A gentle breeze rustled the leaves as two white ghosts moved slowly along the dark road. A pirate, a skeleton and a witch approached from the other direction on the opposite side of the road walking at a brisker pace. All except the tall ghost were carrying plastic containers. That carried by the short ghost was in the shape and color of a ripe pumpkin. It was Halloween and they were all out trick-or-treating, going door-to-door demanding candy. The two ghosts were a man and a girl, but not father and daughter as one might suppose, rather they were master and slave. As the two groups drew opposite each other the skeleton and the witch stopped to look at the ghosts. Skye, one of the ghosts, felt a chill, stumbled and had to take a few quick steps to recover.

“If you do that again I’ll shock you,” Mason whispered.

She did not reply.

The pirate called back to his friends, “Come on, we don’t have all night.” The skeleton and the witch hurried to catch up with him.

The evening had been exciting for Mason. It was the first time he had been out with his slave since he had captured her some months before. He thought of it as capturing rather than kidnapping since he had no intention of ransoming her or ever letting her go. Girls did not find him attractive, so he reasoned that he had to resort to such tactics to get the sex he needed. He thought it unfair that tall handsome men got all the good-looking girls without apparent effort on their part. He was just making things even, using his brains and other talents to secure for himself the regular sex he needed and deserved.

He had selected Halloween as the safest night to take his slave out for a walk. He thought they would be inconspicuous amongst the ghouls and goblins that roamed the streets. He could almost exhibit her as a chained slave, she would not appear out of place, but thought it more prudent to cover her chains with a costume.

The loose white robe of the ghost costume that Skye was wearing completely concealed her bonds. Her knees and ankles were chained together so she could not run. He had, in a cruel but erotic moment, made the linking chains very short that she could only take tiny steps. Her wrists were handcuffed behind her back and the handcuffs were padlocked to the waistband of her chastity belt. She was not wearing it to prevent sex, but because it provided a convenient anchor for her handcuffs and for a retaining chain that held up her knee and ankle chains keeping the latter pulled up out of sight under her robe.

The chastity belt also protected the wires attached to her pussy lips and clitoris. These wires led to a battery and electronics package strapped to her back. Additional wires led to her nipples where they were secured through her piercings. Mason carried the remote control that activated the electronics. If she attempted to escape or tried to attract anyone’s attention to her plight he would shock her. All the wires were capable of delivering pain, from a mild shock to an excruciating burning one. If an emergency arose, such as a serious attempt to escape, the wires attached to her nipples could deliver a shock strong enough to stop her heart, or so he thought. She thought so too. She was deathly afraid of these nipple shocks, the most intense she had experienced had been a level six and even those had affected her heart. But she knew the scale went all the way up to level ten.

The chastity belt had a small drainage hole to allow urine to escape and he had fitted this with a plastic tube. This tube contained two wires embedded in cloth. If the cloth became wet with urine, the wires would short together and a series of powerful electric shocks would be delivered to her. This circuit could be disabled by remote control or by a separate switch on her backpack to allow her to make pee. It was currently activated since he didn’t want her staining her white robe as they walked from house to house.

She was gagged, the gag concealed beneath a mask made in the style of The Scream by Edvard Munch. He had thought about allowing her to speak since she had been very compliant the previous few weeks and the threat of being shocked would probably have been sufficient to prevent her saying anything out of turn. But at the last minute he had decided it was too risky. He had also thought about blindfolding her but he had finally decided not to. She needed to see where she was going. It didn’t seem appropriate for him to lead her by the hand; she was too big for that. He had promised her a treat if there were no tricks. If she behaved they would have regular sex without the pain and for supper she could have ice cream, her favorite food.

They walked up the path of the next house. It was a large house but less brightly lit than the others they had visited, almost as if the owner were trying to discourage visitors. Mason mounted the steps and rang the doorbell. The shortness of her chains prevented Skye from climbing the steps, so she waited at the bottom. He liked this arrangement; it kept her away from the doors so that the homeowners would not be tempted to try to engage her in conversation.

After some delay the door was opened by a woman dressed in a white top and black pencil skirt. Mason said, “Trick or treat,” in a high-pitched falsetto voice. He was a dwarf and was pretending to be a child.

“Here you can take two,” said the woman holding out a basket filled with assorted candy bars. “But I think you are too old,” she added looking at Skye. She had mistaken Skye for a parent of Mason, an understandable mistake since Skye stood six feet tall in her ballet boots. When Skye did not respond to her comment, she must have felt a little guilty for she said, “You can have some candy too, if you want.”

“Thank you,” said Mason. “I’ll take two for her.” He put four candy bars into his bucket and started back down the path with Skye following. The woman watched them thoughtfully as they slowly disappeared from sight.

Mason was surprised at how easy this evening was turning out to be. In planning it he had thought it would exciting to be on the verge of being discovered, but this was their seventh house and nothing untoward had happened. He hadn’t had to give his slave even a mild shock. He fingered the remote and was tempted to shock her just to liven things up. She was too passive; he seemed to have completely broken her spirit.

He thought back to the early days following her capture. Those had been exciting. She had repeatedly tried to escape, and twice had almost succeeded. But the experience was a learning one for both of them, he had discovered that chains and padlocks are more secure than ropes and straps, and she learned that severe punishment invariably followed failed escape attempts. Eventually he learned to keep her continuously chained and she gave up trying to escape.

At first he had wanted her to love him and had been gentle with her. He had read many stories where captured girls fell in love their masters. These stories, which he now knew to be fiction, indicated that if a master fucked his female slave hard enough and often enough she would become dependent on him and love him. But real life seemed different to that portrayed in the stories. Certainly she had pretended to like him, but if he gave her any kind of chance she still attempted to escape.

He had not wanted to be cruel to her, had not wanted to punish her, but he had found it was the only way to get what he wanted. She had become afraid of him, although she had not been at first. Initially he had tried gentle training methods, rewarding her for good behavior. But it had not been effective. It was only when he had become cruel and begun to use cattle prods and a stun gun that he got what he wanted.

She was now so afraid of him that it wasn’t fun any more. Ever since he had fitted her with the remote-controlled shocking harness she had become completely compliant, the very model of a passive slave.

It was not enough that she obeyed his every command instantly and without question, he had begun to punish her for not anticipating his commands. He wanted her to obey his thoughts. This reintroduced the element of fun for him. No matter what she did he could punish her, either for incorrectly anticipating his commands or for failing to anticipate them. He found that if he kept this up for a while she became very stressed out, so much so that he almost felt sorry for her.

They walked along the road towards the next house. The development had large houses set on expansive treed lots, and there were no sidewalks. It was a cool crisp evening and quite dark; a thin layer of cloud covered the sky and there was no moon. There were no street lamps; the only light came from the illuminated porches of the houses. Mason had chosen this development for two reasons. The first was that there were not many trick-or-treaters walking around. Other developments had brighter lights and the houses were closer together, making it easier to accumulate candy. The second reason for picking this development was the possibility of capturing another slave. He was getting bored with only one slave and could imagine the advantages of having two. He would make them compete for his affection. He would fuck the winner while the loser looked on in painful bondage, perhaps on tiptoe in a strappado, or in a back-breaking hogtie. His penis rose at the thought.

If he found a house with a suitable girl, he might be able to return and capture her. The houses were well separated and surrounded by woods. It would be easy to approach them unobserved. Unfortunately all the girls seemed to be out trick-or-treating so he hadn’t seen any suitable candidates for his harem.

An SUV approached, driving fairly slowly as did most vehicles that evening. He knew his white robe would be quite visible to the driver, so he did not pay much attention.

But as the SUV was about to pass, Skye deliberately lurched into him putting her whole weight into the action. Her hip collided with his shoulder and the impact pushed him directly in front of the SUV. Her timing was impeccable; the SUV struck him squarely in the chest. He used his hands in an instinctive attempt to save himself and both the bucket of candy and the remote control went flying. The SUV pushed him back for a little way, then as it slowed he fell backwards, his head struck the road and the SUV passed over him. The right front wheel rolled over his left leg and he felt it break.

Skye also fell, her legs were too closely chained together and her ballet boots were too unstable. She fell against the side of the vehicle and bounced off, falling onto her side then her back.

The SUV stopped and the driver, a young man, got out. “Damn kids,” he said quietly then called out, “Anybody hurt? Are you all right?”

“No, I’m bloody well not,” said Mason trying to crawl out from under the SUV towards the driver’s door. “Here pull me out will you?”

“Don’t help him, he’s a kidnapper,” Skye screamed from the other side. But her words were muffled by the gag.

“It sounds like she’s hurt,” said the driver.

“No she’s not,” said Mason. “She’s just acting. It’s a Halloween prank and she’s role-playing. Just ignore her.” Mason was trying to speak calmly and suppress the pain in his broken leg. He didn’t want the driver to discover their secret and was wondering how he could persuade him to leave them alone.

“It wasn’t my fault,” said the driver defensively. “I saw her push you. There was nothing I could do.”

Skye continued to scream.

“Yes I know,” said Mason. “It’s just a game we were playing and it got a bit too rough. I’ll be good to you and am prepared to forget all about it if you are. I don’t think there’s any damage to your car. Why don’t you just drive on and pretend it didn’t happen.”

“Are you sure?”

“Well, if you stick around I’ll tell the police you were traveling too fast and ran us down.”

“OK. If you say so.” The young man looked nervously around, and seeing no one in sight got back into the SUV and restarted the engine.

“Don’t go you fucking idiot,” screamed Skye. “Call the police, can’t you see what’s happening here?”

The SUV drove off leaving the two ghosts lying on the road.

‘That driver’s a fool,’ thought Mason. ‘He’s left the scene of an accident and we have his license plate number. Or would have if I’d thought to look at it.’ Mason also thought it fortunate that they were between houses. The road appeared to be deserted, nobody seemed to have witnessed the accident or was responding to Skye’s muffled shouts.

“Be quiet,” Mason said, “or I’ll shock you.

‘I don’t think you have the control,’ thought Skye, ‘or you would have done so already.’ She knew him well enough that she would have received a crippling shock by now had he been able to deliver it. Although she had fallen on her back she knew the electronics was too well protected to have been damaged. The only explanation for his failure to punish her was that he had dropped the remote in the collision. She thought that if she could get to it first she might be able to keep it from him and escape to one of the houses. She managed to rise to her knees and began to knee walk towards the vanishing car thinking that the remote must have been knocked in that direction.

Mason felt stabs of pain from his leg each time he moved. He also felt pains in his chest and at the back of his head, but these were minor compared with that in his leg. He had concealed his injuries from the car driver since he didn’t want him discovering their secret. He looked at Skye and noticed that she was moving. She appeared to be walking on her knees, but she didn’t get very far, her robe was under her and as she tried to move forward it simply forced her head down. He watched as she fell over then began to roll. He wondered if she was attempting to reach one of the houses, but she seemed to be staying in the middle of the road. He suddenly realized that she might be going after the remote control.

Mason decided he had to act. He first had to find the control to reassert his authority over Skye, and then he had to find a way to get to his car, which was parked about a quarter of a mile away. After that he would drive home, secure Skye and finally drive to a hospital to get his leg attended to. He started to crawl after Skye but the pain in his leg stopped him. He wondered if it would be better to stand up and hop on his good leg.

A voice broke the silence, “What happened here?” It sounded like the woman from the last house they had visited.

Skye immediately began to scream again, and Mason’s heart fell. The unwelcome presence of the woman complicated the situation; it might be harder to get rid of her than the driver.

“It’s OK, we’re just resting,” said Mason.

Skye’s screams became more agitated, and woman went over to her. Mason saw that the woman was now dressed in black; that was why her approach had been unobserved.

“Oh my, you’re gagged!” said the woman as she lifted Skye’s mask. “Do you want me to remove it so you can tell me what happened?”

Skye nodded and the woman reached behind her head, unbuckled the strap and pulled the gag out. Skye began to speak, a little incoherently at first, but her voice became clearer as she spoke. “That bastard over there has been keeping me a prisoner. A car knocked us over but drove off. Call the police and get him arrested.”

“It’s just a Halloween prank,” said Mason losing hope that he could control the situation. “Please go back home; we can sort things out ourselves.”

“No it’s not a prank,” shouted Skye. “He’s kidnapped me. Check me out. He’s handcuffed my hands behind my back.”

The women bent down and felt behind Skye’s back. “So he has,” she said. She lifted Skye’s robe. “And I see he’s done a number on your legs too. Is he dangerous?”

“Of course he’s dangerous. Call the police.”

The woman walked over to Mason. “Why don’t you get up? Are you hurt?”

“I think my leg’s broken,” he said. He had finally given up hope. He realized he could no longer conceal the situation and resigned himself to his fate. He thought that his best strategy would be to claim that that Skye’s captivity had been consensual. That should put some doubt in the minds of the jury and might reduce his sentence.

“I’ll call an ambulance,” the woman said.

‘That’s better than the police,’ thought Mason. Out loud he said, “Yes, just call an ambulance.”

“I think I’d better get you out of the road. We don’t want you getting run over,” said the woman. She put her hands under his armpits and began to drag him backwards towards the edge of the road.

“Ow! You’re hurting my leg. Stop it.”

The woman ignored him and continued to drag him. Skye watched them. She was glad Mason was suffering; she felt he deserved a little pain after all that he had inflicted on her.

The woman dragged him to the edge of the road and several feet into some bushes.

“Where are you taking me? That’s far enough,” complained Mason in a weak voice.

The woman laid him down and asked, “Do you have the keys to her handcuffs and padlocks?”

“No, they’re at home.”

The woman went over to Skye who was still lying on the road. “Are you hurt? Can you stand up?”

“No I’m not really hurt, but I can’t get up. If you lift me I can stand.”

The woman put her hands under Skye and lifted her. Skye struggled to her feet. She thought that the woman seemed quite strong.

“Can you still walk?”

“Yes I think so. But I’m a bit tired.”

“We’ll go back to the house and wait for the ambulance,” said the woman.

“And the police,” added Skye.

“And the police,” repeated the woman. “But they may take a while to get here, I don’t want to leave him lying out here. He’ll be safer and more comfortable in the house.” She walked back to Mason and started to drag him deeper into the trees and away from the road.

Skye was puzzled by the woman’s actions. She thought they should immediately go to the house and make the phone calls. They could then return and wait by Mason for the ambulance and police to arrive. But she didn’t voice her objections, if the extra delay meant that Mason suffered more then she was in favor of it.

They both became aware of a dark figure standing at the edge of the trees. It appeared to be dressed in a long black hooded cloak, the hood concealing its face. In its hand it carried a scythe.

The woman put Mason down and said, “If you want candy it’s at the house.”

“I don’t want candy,” said the figure in a sepulchral voice, “I want the dwarf.”

“Well you can’t have him. He’s injured and I’m going to see that he gets better.”

The dark-cloaked figure turned and walked silently away without a word.

“That was creepy,” said Skye. “I wonder where he came from.”

The woman bent down and lifted Mason’s shoulders. She stopped and laid him down again. “He feels different,” she said. She felt his pulse. “Oh my god! He’s dead!”

Skye felt the hairs at the back of her neck rise. “Are you sure?”

“Positive. He has no pulse.”

Skye walked to the edge of the road and stopped; she didn’t want to risk walking on the uneven ground. She looked at Mason. He certainly looked dead, he was not moving and didn’t seem to be breathing, although it was difficult to tell in the dim light. She told herself that the figure she had just seen was not Death, just some trick-or-treater. It had been nothing more than a coincidence that he had come by at just the right time.

“Come, we better go to the house,” said the woman. She appeared to be shaken by the experience, and was not exuding the confidence she had shown earlier. She walked a few yards along the road then turned to watch Skye as she slowly caught up.

Skye could normally walk quite well in her ballet boots, but the short steps that her chains imposed meant that she had to be extra careful not to lose her balance. Recovery from a stumble was difficult and often impossible and she could not use her arms to protect herself in a fall. The short steps also seemed to be stressing her leg muscles. Consequently she moved quite slowly.

The woman appeared to be impatient with Skye’s slow speed, but did not say anything and led the way back along the road and up the driveway to her house.

Skye was thinking about Mason. She thought that he must have received some internal injuries when the car hit him. She wondered if he was really dead, or just unconscious and the woman had made a mistake. But it didn’t matter, she was finally free of the bastard. She wondered what she would do next. She had missed the beginning of the school year. She wondered if she could catch up or would have to skip a semester.

She felt an urge to pee. She would wait until she was in the house then get the woman to switch off the circuit. She wasn’t quite sure where the switch was, or if there was more than one switch. But if the woman couldn’t find it perhaps she could disconnect the battery.

Skye reached the two steps leading up to the front door and stopped. The woman had already opened the door.

“I can’t climb the steps,” explained Skye. “My chains are too short.”

The woman lifted Skye up. Skye was again surprised at how strong she was.

The woman led the way into the kitchen and helped Skye sit in a chair. She leaned against the counter staring at Skye. Skye noted that the woman was now dressed entirely in black; a leather jacket and leather trousers covering spike-heeled boots. She also had black hair that contrasted with her pale complexion. She seemed to be middle aged, perhaps in her early forties.

“You’re quite attractive, did you know that?” the woman said breaking the silence.

“Aren’t you going to call the police?” said Skye.

“Yes, but I’m worried about that dead dwarf out there. What if the police accuse me of killing him?”

“Don’t be silly. I’ll tell them what happened. He was hit by a car and it probably injured something inside him.”

“Perhaps you’re right. But I want to show them how I found you. You were gagged I believe?” said the woman holding up the gag.

“Yes, but I don’t see why that’s necessary,” said Skye nervously eying the gag. She was getting worried. The woman had not called the police and seemed to be acting strangely. She had also been staring hard at Skye as if assessing her.

“Open your mouth.”

Skye was tempted to obey. She had been used to instantly obeying all commands given to her during the last few months. But this was different; she should now be free. “No way,” she said. “Please call the police.”

The woman grabbed Skye’s hair and pulled it back with a powerful jerk, causing her head to fall back and her mouth to open. The women quickly forced the ball into her mouth and buckled the strap. The operation had pulled out some of her hair and the woman brushed it off her hands saying, “Any time I give you a command I want you to obey instantly. Is that understood?”

Skye nodded tearfully. What had happened? Instead of gaining her freedom had she simply exchanged a brutal master for a brutal mistress?

“I have something to show you downstairs,” the woman said and half dragged half carried Skye down a flight of steps. She made Skye follow her through two rooms to a doorway. The woman switched on a light and they entered a third room. Skye saw that it was equipped as a windowless dungeon with cinder block walls.

There was a man standing against the opposite wall. His arms and legs were stretched out and shackled to the wall. He was naked except for a gag that covered the lower part of his face, and something that appeared to enclose his penis. He squinted at them as they entered but didn’t say anything.

“That is Jackass,” said the woman waving her hand in the direction of the man, “and I’m going to call you Slug. You will forget your old name and think of yourself only as Slug. Stand here,” she said pushing Skye against the wall.

She closed an iron collar around Skye’s neck and padlocked it. “That’s convenient,” she remarked, “You’re the same height as Jackass. Now listen carefully, you will think of me as your mistress. If and when I allow you to speak you will address me as Mistress Dominika. Your sole purpose in life will be to obey me and serve me. Is that clear?”

Skye nodded, she thought it best to humor her.

“Good.” Dominika walked to the door and turned round to face them. “No talking you two. I shall be listening in. If I hear you trying to talk to each other I’ll come down and whip you both. I shall enjoy whipping you Slug, so I hope you do make a sound.” She paused, then added, “You might as well know that my whippings draw blood. You can see a few marks on the front of Jackass, but mostly I am kind and just whip your back. Now I have a little matter of a dead dwarf to see to.”

She walked out closing the door behind her. The light went out plunging them into total darkness.

Skye wanted to talk to Jackass to find out what Dominika was like, but was afraid to make a sound. She reasoned that if sounds could be made without being punished, then he would make them first. He would be curious about Dominika’s reference to a dead dwarf. She listened carefully but the only sound she heard was his breathing.

She was extremely uncomfortable. Her feet and legs were aching from the long walk, and she desperately wanted to make pee. Her arms hurt, they had been bruised by her contact with the car and her subsequent fall.

She felt she had reached a new low point in her life. She feared that Dominika would search the dwarf and the road and find the controller. If she tried to test it on her she might kill her, she would not know how incredibly powerful that bastard Mason had made it. She could not face the thought of severe shocks being administered by Dominika as she experimented with the control; she would rather die. Her life no longer seemed worth living.

“Oh Death where art thou?” she mumbled quietly into her gag. “Let me look upon thy face and die.”

Death, of course, did not appear. Skye decided to try to strangle herself and relaxed her legs, letting her collar take her weight. The sharp edge dug cruelly into her neck and she tried to position herself so that it would cut off her breathing.

She found a position where it seemed to both restrict her breathing and cut off the blood supply to her brain. She held the position for some time, gradually becoming light headed. But her body began to fight back, demanding that she live. Her chest heaved demanding that she breathe, and she felt an increasing urge to stand up. Finally she could take it no longer, she could not go through with it; the desire of her body to live was stronger than her willpower. She took her weight on her legs and stood up, gasping air into her lungs and feeling annoyed at her weakness

‘Shit,’ she thought, ‘I am the most miserable person in the world and I can’t even kill myself.’

Hours seemed to pass, but she had no way of telling how many. Her pains continued to grow more severe. She tried shifting her position to the limited extent allowed by her bonds, but it didn’t help much. One worrying development was that her legs began to shake with the stress of standing in her ballet boots. She had never stood for so long in them and her leg muscles were objecting to being forced into such an unnatural position.

Her need to pee was increasing and becoming unbearable.

She wondered what Dominika was doing. She thought that she might bury the dwarf or, more likely, move him to another location so that no one would connect the corpse to her house. To distract her mind from her pains she tried to calculate how long Dominika would take to dispose of the body. Fifteen minutes to load it into her car, half an hour to drive to a dumping ground, half an hour to bury or conceal it, and half an hour to drive back. That was a little under two hours, and she felt she had been in the dungeon far longer.

Her need to pee finally became unbearable. She feared the shocks that would follow if she did pee, but she thought peeing was inevitable. Even if she tried to hold it in she would leak and even a small leak would trigger the shocks. She decided that the continuing agony of trying to hold it in was worse than the expected electric shocks.

She relaxed her bladder allowing the urine to flow out. The initial feeling of relief was quickly followed by a stabbing pain in her nipples. This in turn was followed by another equally severe pain in her pussy lips. She screamed; she couldn’t help it. A third wave of pain shot down her front from her breast to her pussy, causing her to try to double up and forcing the front of her throat into the metal collar, momentarily stifling her scream.

The cycle continued, first the nipples, then her pussy, then both. She didn’t know what to do, she couldn’t stop peeing, and even if she did the cloth would be wet and would take hours to dry. The shocks would continue until the current was switched off or the battery ran down.

She thrashed about, angry with Mason who was now pointlessly punishing her from beyond the grave. She thought that he, even in his most sadistic moments, never intended her to suffer this long. In a moment of quiet she thought she heard Jackass making noises. She tried to suppress her screams and listen. He was rattling his chains and trying to say something. She thought it was, “Be quiet, you’ll get us both whipped,” but couldn’t be sure.

Again she tried to strangle herself but the convulsions of the shocks gave her no respite. Her body twitched each time the shocks came, and they seemed to come almost continually. She began to have trouble breathing. Her nose was completely clogged, and the shocks seemed to disrupt her breathing pattern. She tried to stop screaming. Although it gave her comfort and distracted her mind a little from the shocks, it also impeded her breathing.

Initially she thought she could stand no more than a few seconds of this torture, but it went remorselessly on and on. After a minute she thought she could stand no more than a few minutes. But on and on it went without stopping, without variation.

She slipped into a primitive mental state, a world filled only with pain. There was a rhythm to it, a regular cycle of shocks endlessly repeated. Each cycle lasted about a second so that she had no time to recover from a shock before the next struck her.

Gradually, oh so gradually, she began to reassert control over her body. She began to think again, and her thoughts continued past each shock instead of being completely disrupted. She thought the shocks were getting less intense; perhaps the battery was running down or she was becoming numb. She decided it must be the latter, her nerves would be getting less sensitive to the shocks, or perhaps they were getting destroyed.

Finally, after what seemed like thousands of shocks, she found she could endure them without reacting. She continued to feel them, but they were no longer really painful. ‘I’m going to survive,’ she thought.

Gradually she became aware of other things. She smelled her pee. ‘Oh God, Dominika will be angry with me for peeing on her floor. I wonder what the whipping will be like, surely it can’t be as bad as what I’ve just endured.’

She knew she had made a lot of noise and was therefore going to be punished, so she thought she might as well satisfy her curiosity about Jackass. “How long have you been here?” she asked, trying to enunciate every word as clearly as she could.

“Be quiet,” she heard him say, equally slowly.

She became more worried. If after she had made all that noise he still didn’t want to talk, Dominika must be truly vicious.

The house remained quiet; she had heard no sound since Dominika had left.

She heard footsteps over her head. She thought Dominika had finally returned and became afraid of what she would do when she discovered the pee on the floor. The shocks were feebler now, but still going at the same rate. Perhaps the battery was running down and if so she might no longer be able to kill her while experimenting with the controller.

The door opened and the room was filled with a blinding light. She blinked and squinted at the figure entering and was overjoyed to see it was a policeman.

He turned and shouted, “I’ve found someone!”

Skye was so overcome with relief that her rescue was a blur. The police removed her collar with bolt cutters and carried her upstairs. They explained that the man with a scythe had returned and found the dead dwarf. He had alerted the police and they had arrested Dominika as she was putting the body into her car. It had taken them several hours to obtain a warrant to enter her house and search it.

They introduced her to the man with the scythe. He was young and tall and good-looking, quite the most handsome man she had seen in several months.

“How strange to look Death in the face and see life,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. Three months later they were married.