I would like to offer you a position for which I believe you are eminently suited. However, the position would require you to live here on my estate for a period of approximately one year.
As I value privacy, you would be required to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement before terms and conditions are discussed. However, if you feel that you are unable or unwilling to continue when you have heard what I require, you may choose to leave with no hard feeling on my part.
Lady Elizabeth Harrington
I sat reading the letter for the third time. Who was this woman? I had checked her name on line, discovering that she was from a long line of titled people going back to the English civil war. Along with the letter was a first class rail ticket with a reserved seat to a station in Devon. I wondered how she had chosen me, not that I was objecting, considering my current situation.
A degree in law was fine, if you could get a job. However, all I had been able to get was an endless string of temps, which had lately dried up. Unemployment in this area was high so I had trouble even getting part time work in a local fast food outlet. In addition, the lease on my flat was due up and the landlord wasn’t renewing it as he wanted to sell up and retire. I had been reduced to seeking help from a local charity for food, so with nothing to lose, I wrote back accepting the invitation while wondering what it was all about. Two days later, a package arrived for me and opening it I discovered a knee length jersey dress in dark red, along with a pair of shoes with three inch heels. There was a letter from Lady Harrington instructing me to wear the dress and shoes when I came down. They were expensive items and fitted me well, almost as if they had been made for me, and I found myself wondering just what I had agreed to. However, with no money and the prospect of being made homeless, I knew that I didn’t really have any choice in the matter.
A little about me. My name is Linda Kennedy, I’m 22 years old, five foot five inches tall with a 34-23-35 figure, long platinum blonde hair and blue eyes. I’m also a lesbian, which has led to my being called a bimbo or worse when I’ve rejected the numerous male advances. I have no family, and because I spent all my time studying for my degree, no real friends either. The invitation from this Lady Harrington was heaven sent, so on a cold Friday morning in November, I found myself settling down for the trip to Devon, noticing as I did so that the only other reserved seat was opposite mine. Two stops after I got on the train, another young woman came into the carriage and as she came up to the other reserved seat she stopped and we stared at each other. It was as if I was looking into a mirror, she could have been my twin, and she obviously thought the same. The situation became really weird as she took off her coat to reveal an identical dress to the one I was wearing. She sat down, and as she took out her cell phone she also pulled out a letter that I recognised.
Taking my own letter out of my bag, I showed it to her.
“I think we’re heading for the same place,” I said.
Looking at the two letters, she replied, “It looks that way. My name’s Tracy. Tracy Fleming.”
We compared letters, finding them to be identical, and as we sat, we compared notes, finding that our situations were practically the same. No job, and no home. Tracy’s flat had been damaged when vandals broke into a neighbour and set fire to the place.
“Apart from this dress and shoes, I only have one change of clothing,” she told me. “Everything else was either destroyed in the fire or ruined by water when the fire brigade put the fire out.” She then added, “Unfortunately, because I was short of money, I put off renewing my insurance.”
Tracy spoke with a pronounced American accent, and when I asked her where she was from, she replied, “I’m from a place called Brookhurst in Wyoming, but I would say my home is now England.”
For the next three or four hours, we sat and compared life histories. Like me, Tracy was a graduate but also like me, had found it nearly impossible to get decent work. Also, like me, Tracy was a lesbian, and the more we talked, and the more we learned about each other, the more we found ourselves enjoying each others company.
Eventually, our train pulled into the unmanned Devonshire station of Crowcombe, where we got off. The train pulled out and we were left standing on the empty platform as we were the only people to get off. We were wondering what to do when a cultured voice called out, “Miss Kennedy? Miss Fleming?”
We turned round to see an attractive dark haired woman who must have been late 30’s or early 40’s. She had a figure that I hoped I would have at her age. She was immaculately dressed and her make up was perfect.
“I am Elizabeth Harrington. Come this way girls, my car is just round the corner.”
As we walked to the car, each with the single suitcase that contained all our worldly possessions, I wondered why our hostess appeared to have kept hidden from anyone else on the train, however, she kept up a flow of inconsequential chatter that distracted me, and later I found that Tracy had also had her thoughts diverted.
When we got to her car, a large Range Rover, we were told to sit in the rear seats, which we did. Elizabeth set off and Tracy and I found ourselves holding hands as we wondered what we had got ourselves into. The drive lasted for about an hour before we arrived at a large imposing wall broken only by an equally imposing steel barred gate. The gate opened as the car approached and we were informed that it responded to a sensor that Elizabeth carried on her. I looked back as the gate slid shut behind us and exchanged glances with Tracy as we then drove for another twenty minutes before arriving in front of a large stone built house.
We were ushered inside by Elizabeth and a young brunette who was introduced to us as Lucy Cavener, Elizabeth’s niece. We were led into a large sitting room and invited to sit down. Lucy came in with a tray of sandwiches and poured coffee. When we were settled, Lucy walked out the room and Elizabeth laughed.
“Lucy is trying to be so helpful these days. She was 17 yesterday and I have promised her a special gift for her 18th if she’s a good girl. Now girls, I know you’re wondering what this is all about, and no doubt a little bit worried?”
Tracy and I looked at each other then reluctantly agreed.
“Don’t worry girls,” Elizabeth replied. “You are free to leave any time you choose. However, I think you’ll be willing to stay, at least for now. I have a number of challenges for you, and I hope that at the end of the year, you will be ready and willing to take what I would call the ultimate challenge. However, before I go into details, I need you both to sign these documents.”
She handed to each of us a three-page document and I settled down to read what was a very comprehensive, and punitive, non-disclosure agreement. Simply, it stated that if I said to anyone, what I see, hear or experience while under the guidance and control of Lady Harrington, there would be severe penalties. For some reason, possibly my subconscious mind was playing its own game, I didn’t take in the inclusion of the word ‘control’.
Looking up I said, “If I read this correctly, the penalties for breaching this agreement are very severe. So severe that you could track down even distant relatives and extract large sums of money from them.”
“That is correct,” replied Elizabeth then went on, “however, from what I know of you both, you’re not the type to break your word once it’s given, which signing these is effectively what you’re doing.”
Before I could respond, Tracy interrupted. “Is there anything of an illegal nature involved?”
“No,” was the quick response. “Some possible embarrassing publicity, perhaps, but nothing of an illegal nature.”
“Well,” was Tracy’s reply, “I don’t really think I’m in a position to refuse your offer, whatever it is.” Looking at me, she went on, “I’m in. Are you?”
My response was to pick up a pen and sign. With a grin, Tracy did likewise. It was only then that we became aware of someone else in the room.
"Ah Cook,” called Elizabeth, “just in time. Can you witness these please? Cook duly signed then disappeared again. We never found out her name. She was always ‘Cook’ with a capital C.
“Now then.” Lady Harrington paused, “your first challenge is to strip.”
Tracy and I looked at each other. I licked my lips then as if we had agreed a pact, we both stood and removed all our clothing.
“Very good girls,” Elizabeth said, then continued, “Now, you may wear these.” She pointed behind us to where Lucy was standing holding two pairs of black leather boots. They were ankle boots with a 4 inch heel. Lucy bent down and laced them onto my feet, then she pulled a strap round the top and fastened it.
“Have these boots just been locked on?” I asked as Lucy closed the catch and I heard a small click.
“Yes,” was the prompt answer.
“I hope you have the key,” was the only response from Tracy as Lucy reached over and locked her boots on. I was still trying to adjust to the 4 inch stiletto heels as Lady Harrington laughingly replied, “Oh don’t worry, I have the keys.” She paused, “along with all the others.
Tracy and I exchanged glances as I asked, “What others?”
“The ones for your restraints,” she calmly replied.
There was a jingle and Lucy reappeared with what seemed to be a pile of chain. With Elizabeth to help, our ankles were locked into steel hobbles that only allowed us a step of about a foot, then our wrists were locked in front of us with only an inch between them.
“There,” said Elizabeth. “You will remain restrained and naked for the duration of your stay here. Any objections?”
Again Tracy and I exchanged looks before Tracy spoke.
“I don’t have any objections, and I don’t think Linda does either.” She glanced at me and I simply nodded, then Tracy continued, “However, I have a hell of a lot of questions.”
“Why us? You’ve obviously gone to a lot of trouble to pick two of us who could be twins. I trust you to honour your word about letting us go if we wish to leave, but I think we both need to know what you’re wanting from us.”
“Of course you do,” Elizabeth replied. “However, before I go into that, I know that your social media is practically non existent. Do either of you have someone you keep in touch with?”
We both had to admit that there wasn’t. In fact Tracy admitted that if she were to drop off the face of the earth, nobody would miss her, and I had to agree regarding myself.
“Then,” Elizabeth responded, “I would like you both to, how did you phrase it, ‘drop off the face of the earth’. I would like you to surrender your phones, tablets, laptops and so on.”
Tracy and I looked at each other, again, before agreeing. Lucy was sent to where our luggage had been taken and returned with my laptop and Tracy’s notebook. We dug into our bags and handed over our phones, then as Lucy left the room, Elizabeth burst out laughing.
“I’m sorry girls. It’s just that every time I ask you to make a decision whether to accept another challenge or condition you look at each other before accepting.” She paused. “Now girls, remember that you can walk away from here at any time during the year.” She stopped and took a drink of coffee before continuing. “I have researched you both very thoroughly. In fact I researched just under one hundred girls who are almost identical pairs before settling on you. In fact I double checked to see if you were related in any way, but the DNA samples I acquired showed no match. You are ideal for my purposes. You were on the verge of being made homeless, had no job and no prospects of getting one. Your savings are almost gone. In addition, you both suffer from MRKH syndrome.”
We both gasped when we heard that, and I wondered just how the hell she knew that I had been born without a fully developed womb. Then, how and when did she get a DNA sample? Elizabeth held up her hand to stop as speaking and continued, “I also know that you have both sought help for depression, without success. I have a series of challenges for you over the year which, having read your psychological profiles, I think you will accept. These challenges will culminate in one year’s time with what I will call an ultimate challenge. I shall refrain from telling you what it is, until I feel you are ready to hear it. I will only say that it has to do with Lucy’s 18th birthday. I will do nothing to cause you harm, although you may suffer some discomfort. Just keep in mind that you may say ‘stop’ at any time. Now. Will you put your trust in me and accept what happens?”
Before either of us could respond, she suddenly added, “Oh yes. One other thing. From now on you will address me as Mistress, and Lucy as Miss Cavener if I am present or Mistress if I am absent.”
Tracy and I looked at each other then burst out laughing as we realised what we were doing. I took a deep breath and turning to Elizabeth replied, “I think Tracy is in agreement with me when I say that I’m happy to stay for the year Mistress.” Elizabeth smiled. “I don’t know what you’re planning, but it beats living on the streets and going hungry.”
Elizabeth smiled and gave a little clap before saying, “Excellent my dears. Now run along and explore. Lucy will find you for dinner. Just don’t go into the kitchen. That’s Cook’s domain, and even I get shouted at if I enter uninvited.”
With that, Elizabeth and Lucy left the room leaving us naked, wearing boots with 4” stilettoes, locked on and shackled hand and foot as well.
“Oh boy, this is weird,” exclaimed Tracy
“You can say that again” I said. “Wonder just how far this is going to go.”
“No idea,” was her immediate reply. “but I’m game for this. Wonder just how far she’ll go with her challenges?”
“How far do you think before one of us says we’ve had enough?”
“Don’t know about you Linda, but so long as she doesn’t decide to brand me, flay me with a whip, or sell me to some horrible man, I’d like to find out what she has in mind. What about you?”
“I’m with you,” I replied. “She’s promised that we will not be harmed, and I’m curious about what her ‘ultimate’ challenge is.”
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering round the large house, examining all the various paintings and other items dating back many years. We were in the library looking through some of the leather bound volumes when Lucy appeared.
“Dinner time. Hope you’re hungry.”
There was no hesitation as we both answered simultaneously, “Yes Mistress.” All three of us burst out laughing, and as she led us to the dining room, Lucy said, “Oh you’re both going to fit in really well here, I just know you are.”
Dinner was excellent, if you didn’t mind eating while wearing handcuffs. Lady Elizabeth, as I found myself thinking of her, kept up a constant stream of conversation that was completely trivial yet highly amusing as she regaled us with stories of various functions and hunt balls.
“I thought hunting was banned,” Tracy asked.
“Hunting with dogs,” was the reply, to which Lucy laughed. “From what Aunt Elizabeth says, the hunt balls have very little to do with the actual hunting bit.”
“Enough,” replied Lady Elizabeth as the laughter died down. “It’s time everyone was in bed. You have an early day Lucy, and I’m sure Linda and Tracy are tired from their trip here.”
With that, Lucy led the way up several flights of stairs to a room that must have been on the top floor of the house. We went in, and saw that there was a king sized bed and an en-suite bathroom. Lucy produced a key and after unlocking our chains, she then unlocked our boots, said a cheery, “Good night. See you sometime tomorrow,” and left, closing the thick wooden door behind her.
We spent some time exploring our room, looking in various wardrobes and drawers, finding them empty.
“Wonder where our clothes are?” muttered Tracy, then as she passed the window and looked out, she gave a small gasp.
“Hey Linda, come and look at this.”
This turned out to be the window of our room. Set in a solid frame were two sheets of very thick glass, with iron bars sandwiched between them.
“Well, we won’t have to worry about anyone breaking in,” said Tracy.
Looking at the window I had a thought and going over to the door tried to open it.
“Door’s locked as well,” I told Tracy. “Looks as if our bedroom is actually a comfortable cell.”
With nothing else to do, we each took a turn using the bathroom then climbed into bed. We sat looking at each other then burst out laughing. Our situation was so unreal that you couldn’t have imagined it. As we talked about it, we weren’t afraid or even worried, but we both thought it amusing. Even both of us naked, in the same bed didn’t bother us and we turned off the lights, then settled down for a good night’s sleep.
When the light coming in through the window woke us next morning, we took turns using the toilet then with nothing better to do, climbed back into bed. We had no way to tell the time, but as it was November, it had to be late. We lay talking about our situation until we heard the door being unlocked and in strolled Lucy.
“Good morning. Did you sleep well?
When we admitted that we had, we were told, or rather, from the tone of voice, ordered to get showered. Make up was supplied and used then we pulled on our boots, which were again locked on. Our ankles were shackled then our wrists locked in front of us before we were led downstairs to the dining room. Lady Elizabeth joined us for what turned out to be brunch, enquiring if we had slept well, then talking to Lucy about various items to do with the estate. Tracy and I were ignored during this conversation, but I saw Lady Elizabeth watching us from the corner of her eye and deduced that this was an unspoken challenge. Glancing at Tracy, I saw an answering smile and a raised eyebrow, so she was thinking the same as me.
After breakfast, our hands were cuffed behind our backs then Lucy produced two steel collars. She approached me with one and Lady Elizabeth took the other one and went to Tracy. There was a moment’s hesitation, probably to see if either one of us was going to object, then the collars were locked round our necks. I found my collar tight but not uncomfortable and felt that I wouldn’t be able to get a finger under it, assuming I had a hand that wasn’t restrained that is! We were led into what was Lady Elizabeth’s study and saw on the floor opposite her desk, two large cushions behind a long steel bar that stood about 18” high and was bolted to the floor. We were made to kneel on the cushions and our collars were secured to the bar with short lengths of chain. Before we could fully take in what was happening, gag harnesses were strapped round our heads. The gag was a large ball, and the harness went round and over our heads. In addition, there was a large rubber lined leather panel that was tightly secured over the gag.
As Lady Elizabeth went to sit at her desk, Lucy bent over and said, “Aunt Elizabeth likes something to look at when she’s working, but doesn’t like to be disturbed. Also, she doesn’t like to see lots of drooling either, hence these panels. I’ve made sure the cushions are nice and soft, so just relax and enjoy the afternoon.” With that, Lucy went over to her aunt, gave her a kiss on the cheek, waved at us and left.
We spent the afternoon kneeling, shackled and gagged. At one point, Cook came in with afternoon tea for Lady Elizabeth but ignored us as if we weren’t there, and I wondered what other strange sights she had seen while working here. Eventually, Lady Elizabeth finished whatever she was doing, rose and came over to us. Producing a key, she released us from the bar but didn’t release any of our restraints.
“You’ve both been very good,” she said, “so let us go and get you something to eat.” We were led towards the dining room, but halfway there, Lady Elizabeth turned to us, “Oh I am sorry girls. I’m forgetting my manners. Would you like to freshen up before dinner?”
As we both needed to pee, there was much nodding of heads. Lady Elizabeth laughed, then unlocked our handcuffs.
“You can remove your own gags. Go freshen up then join me in the dining room. Hurry up now!”
We shuffled up to our bedroom as fast as our hobbled legs would let us, but didn’t remove our gags until we were back in our room. We did what we had to do then shuffled back down to the dining room where Lucy greeted us.
Dinner was excellent, with Lady Elizabeth continuing to tell scandalous stories about people we had either read about or seen on TV. I was never sure how much was genuine and how much Lady Elizabeth ‘expanded’ or just made up. Either way, it passed a very enjoyable time. Lady Elizabeth told us a few funny stories about confusion caused by misunderstandings between English English and American English.
“I still remember wondering what an American woman was talking about,” she told us, “when she talked about pantyhose and diapers. Then she started talking about what was in her purse. Took me a while to understand she meant tights and nappies, and what she called a purse, I call a handbag. A purse is something one puts in ones handbag.”
Tracy and I were trying to be polite and not laugh, but Lady then said, “Strange way of speaking you have my dear,” she said, looking at Tracy who simply tactfully replied, “Yes Mistress, I suppose we do.”
After dinner Lady Elizabeth suggested we watched a film on TV, although as far as Tracy and I were concerned, it was an order. When we stood up from the table, handcuffs were produced and Tracy and I meekly stood with hands behind our back as the wrists were secured. What we didn’t expect was the three foot chain Lucy brought out and locked to our collars. Restrained and chained together, Tracy and I shuffled into the lounge where we sat and watched, of all things, Mama Mia. I don’t know what the others thought, but I cringed all through the movie. If you have a musical, at least have people who can sing!
During the movie, Lucy and Lady Elizabeth sat next to Tracy and me and held glasses of wine for us. After the film ended it was back up to bed. When we sat on the bed, Lucy unlocked and removed out boots, but left us chained together and shackled. As she started to leave, Tracy called out, “Wait. What if we have to go to the toilet?”
“Well,” came the smiling reply, “there are two of you, so I’m sure you’ll manage. Good night.” With that, the door was closed and locked. We sat looking at each other then burst out giggling like two schoolgirls. Sure enough we needed to go, and we coped, even if it was a bit more intimate than we imagined. Afterwards we lay in bed talking about our situation, and it was during this time that I found out why Tracy felt England was now her home.
“It was during summer break before my last year,” she explained, “I had gone back home but mom was going on about how I should have found a boy. In fact, she said she was going to invite somebody over that evening to share a meal. The fact that I despised the guy probably spurred me to come out and tell my folks that I wasn’t interested in boys, as I was gay” She paused, obviously thinking back to the event. She continued, “You would think I had murdered someone. Both parents started shouting at me, calling me a dirty pervert among other things. My kid sister called me a dyke bitch, so I finally had enough and gave her one hell of a slap. That was it. I was ordered to leave the house and never come back.”
“Have you had any contact with your family since?” I asked.
“Sort of,” she said. “About a week afterwards, I was back here in England when I got a letter from the family lawyer informing me that I had been removed from dad’s will. I was also informed that there was no place for me anywhere near the family.”
She started crying and I leaned into her and kissed her. However, what started as a friendly and supportive kiss become more intense. However, shackled hand and foot, then chained together stopped us doing much else. Fortunately, Tracy’s sense of the ridiculous came back and we lay down snuggling into each other as best we could for the night.
* * *
Next morning we were woken up by Lucy who then stood and watched us as we used the toilet.
“See,” she exclaimed, “I said you could manage, didn’t I.”
She then proceeded to wash our faces and brush our teeth, then after getting us to kneel on the floor in front of her, she brushed our hair then applied some make up before locking our boots back onto our feet. I began to wonder who the captive was. We were then taken downstairs for breakfast where we were again fed by Lucy and her aunt. Afterwards, Lady Elizabeth turned to Lucy, “I have a few things I want to deal with this morning, so why don’t you show our guests the stables.”
“Oh super idea Auntie,” replied Lucy. She went to a drawer and produced a leather leash which she clipped to the middle of the chain connecting our collars.
“Off we go.” And we were led towards a door at the rear of the house. When we got there, Lucy pulled on a pair of rubber boots and a rubber cape. The rain was falling steadily and I wondered of we were going to be dragged naked through the rain when Lucy produced a pair of hooded rubber capes, similar to her own. The capes reached to our ankles and when the hood was pulled up and the capes zipped closed, the only part of me exposed to the elements was my face.
We were led through a garden then down a path to a large building hidden from the house by a screen of trees. Lucy opened a door and led us inside. She closed the door and opened another.
“We use the pair of doors to stop the heat escaping,” she explained. When we went through the second door, we were confronted by a steel barred gate. The bars were a good two inches thick and there was about four inches between the bars. Lucy produced a tablet, tapped at it, and the gate slid open. We went through, Lucy tapped at her tablet again and the gate slid closed.
“Welcome to the stables,” she proudly proclaimed as she removed our capes and unlocked our connecting chain. We were shown into a large room just inside the gate and Lucy explained that this was the tack room where the ponies were fitted out. I thought it would be rather crowded with even a small pony in there, but before I could comment, Lucy said, “OK. Let’s go.” And from there, we exited through another door into the stables proper. There was a double line of stalls, with ten stalls on one side and eight on the other, and as we passed down the aisle between them I noticed the stall doors were in two halves. The bottom half, that was about four foot high, was solid, but the top half, that reached all the way to the top of the stall, was comprised of the same bars that made up the gate we had come through.
At the end of the aisle, there was an area with a drain and facilities for washing things and leading off this area were several other doors, but Lucy didn’t bother to mention what was in them.
“This is the cleaning area,” was Lucy’s explanation. “Here we can clean the ponies”
There were two steel barred gates beyond the cleaning area and Lucy led us through one, again using her tablet to open it. She then opened a wooden door and we stood shivering in the icy wind looking out at a field that, I found out later, was about half a mile long by a quarter mile wide with a small copse of trees halfway down one side. Once we had seen the field, Lucy closed the door and led us back inside. As we warmed up, she led us through the other gate and into a very large barn. It was enormous, with a hard packed soil floor. Near one side was a vertical pole with two horizontal arms and Lucy told us that that was an exercise machine.
“A pony will have her reins attached to the end of the arm which then rotates and the pony has to walk or get dragged,” she said
“Isn’t that cruel?” I said, to which Lucy replied with a grin, “I have never yet seen a pony refuse to walk, or trot. It’s as if they know they need the exercise and training.”
Up against the far wall, were three vehicles. Two were two wheeled buggies and the third was also two wheeled but double the width of the other two. Lucy went on to explain that they were used to train ponies to answer their reins. The buggies all had electric motors attached to the axles so the pony didn’t have to use any strength to pull.
“Of course,” Lucy went on, “if we have a reluctant or lazy pony, we can simply switch off the motor and the pony has to work up a sweat!”
We were led back into the stable and saw that all the stall doors were now open. Looking inside, Tracy exclaimed, “There isn’t a lot of room in there.” Each stall was about eight foot by five foot covered in straw and with a bare area near the back with a drain. I also noticed that along one wall was a shelf about three foot wide and about two foot off the ground. Near the gate was a steel trough set about three feet off the ground and next to it, a large bottle with a nozzle, similar to that used to water rabbits, but much larger. Tracy went on,
“I would think even a small pony would need more room.”
At this Lucy started laughing. “Oh Tracy,” she stopped as she convulsed with laughter. Finally getting herself under control, she went on, “Sorry about that, but I thought one of you would have worked it out by now.”
“Worked out what?” I asked.
Lucy laughed again as she replied, “the ponies these stables are designed for only have two legs.”
“Yes. Ponygirls. People who dress and act like ponies.”
To say we were intrigued would be an understatement and we wanted to hear more. Instead, Lucy asked us if we would like to experience it for ourselves. When we said yes, we were taken back to the tack room and told to sit down. Lucy walked out of the room and returned a few minutes later with two pairs of boots. They were knee high black leather. The sole was wide and resembled a horse’s hoof, complete with horseshoe and there was no heel. The wearer would have to walk on tip toe, or near enough it. Lucy unlocked and removed the boots we were wearing and then, starting with Tracy, fitted the pony boots onto her. They laced up and were obviously tight fitting. When the laces were done, a leather flap was closed over, concealing them, zipped up to the top of the boot and locked. Then it was my turn. I was right. The boots were very tight fitting. I thought they would be uncomfortable, but that thought disappeared when Lucy helped us to stand. At first, she had to help us stay upright, but we soon mastered the art of walking in these boots. The very tightness if them helped to support our feet and ankles.
Lucy explained that although the boots looked and felt like leather, they were in fact made from a synthetic material that allowed them to get wet without risk of damage. They also allowed the feet and legs to breathe. She led us back to the exercise shed and left us to get used to walking in our new footwear. Tracy and I found, to our surprise, that we soon became fairly proficient with these boots and even started to play at ponies, following suggestions from Lucy about lifting our legs and how to step. After a while, we progressed to trotting but Lucy stopped us from trying to run.
“I think you’ve done enough for one day,” she said. “I’m amazed at how well you have adapted to pony boots, especially as you haven’t had your arms to help.”
It may seem strange to others, but I hadn’t really noticed that my hands were still cuffed behind my back, and afterwards, when I got the chance to share with Tracy, she had a similar experience. We were led back into the stables and Lucy turned to us and said,”Poor ponies, you must be tired. Why don’t you pick a stall and rest?”
Laughing, Tracy and I picked stalls opposite each other and entered. I sat down on the raised platform, finding that the straw was very soft, and not prickly as I expected it to be. I heard a sound and looked up in time to see the door of my stall slide closed. Getting up I peered through the bars to see Tracy looking through the bars of her stall.
“Lie down and rest,” said Lucy. “Your feet and legs will be sore from the unaccustomed exercise.” She tapped at her tablet again, and there was a rattle and a number of small brown pellets fell into the feeding trough, then there was a gurgling sound as the water bottle filled.
“Enjoy your lunch ponies,” she called out as she walked towards the exit. “I’ll see you later.” With that she left and faintly I heard the sound of the entrance gate opening then closing.
Tracy and I stood looking through the bars at each other.
“Looks like we’re now ponies for the day,” said Tracy, then she went on. “Wonder what the food tastes like?”
I’d been thinking the same thing, so bending down I took a small mouthful. They weren’t bad! I couldn’t identify the flavour, but as they started to melt in the mouth, I swallowed then had some more. Before I knew it, I had finished the lot. Hearing a laugh from across the aisle, I heard Tracy exclaim, “Hey, they’re not bad. Touch of cinnamon, I think.”
I had a drink of water, then decided to lie down, as my feet and legs were sore from the unaccustomed exercise in these boots, and Tracy decided to do likewise.
“You look very comfortable.” The voice brought me awake and I scrambled to my feet, momentarily stumbling as I readjusted to being in pony boots. Standing with Lucy, with a smile on her face, was Lady Elizabeth. Tracy and I stood as she went on, “Lucy tells me you both seem to have an affinity for the deportment necessary to a good ponygirl.”
Turning to Lucy, she said,” Let them out my dear,” and when our gates had slid open, and we stepped into the aisle, Lady Elizabeth turned to us and said, “Perhaps you will let me see how well you can perform.”
We were led through to the exercise barn where Tracy and I demonstrated what we had learned, only that morning.
“Well done my dears,” called Lady Elizabeth, “but don’t forget to get your thighs parallel with the ground when you step. Lucy, get my whip please.”
Whip? I wondered what was coming as Lucy returned and handed her aunt a formidable looking leather plaited whip.
“Now then. Let me see if I can teach you.”
With that we were told to ‘Step.’ I thought I was doing alright when I felt a sting at the back of my leg.
“Parallel with the ground Linda, parallel.”
After several minutes, and a few more strokes from the whip, none of which had caused me any real pain, I was rewarded with an “Oh well done. Lucy, keep an eye on Linda while I attend to Tracy.”
I continued stepping, discovering when I slacked off that Tracy also had a whip and knew how to wield it. As I carried on, I could hear the sound of Lady Elizabeth’s whip ‘teaching’ Tracy to step correctly. After a while, we were trotting and then the pace was increased until we were running, ‘Galloping’ we were told, until, exhausted, we were allowed to stop and taken back into the stables.
Once there, Lady Elizabeth made us enter a stall and sit down, much to the relief of my aching feet. She exchanged looks with Lucy then addressed us.
“I am very impressed with you both. Despite all you’ve been put through, you have not complained and even remained cheerful. Now, I have another challenge for you. I had intended to wait for at least another week, but after what I’ve seen I’m going to bring the challenge forward.”
We sat expectantly as she went on, “I would like you both to allow me to treat you as ponies. For the foreseeable future, or until you say enough, you would surrender practically all control to either myself or Lucy. I must point out,” she continued before either of us could speak, “that this control will include a daily enema.”
I sat there, thinking it through, or trying to. Give up control? Thinking about the past two days, I realised that being kept shackled, I had already lost control, but before I could say anything, Tracy let out a very good impression of a horse’s whinny. I just had to laugh then say, “I think Tracy’s just said yes for both of us.”
We were taken back to the tack room where two sets of synthetic leather harnesses were produced. First on was a waist cincher that went from just below my breasts to just above my hips. It was buckled tightly round me and I found I had to take shallow breaths. The metal collar I had been wearing was removed and immediately replaced with a posture collar that prevented me from raising or lowering my head, and only allowed very limited movement to the side. A strap came from the waist cincher, passed between my breasts and attached to the collar and from this strap came two other straps that passed round my body, above and below my breasts and had the effect of making my breasts stand out. Another strap attached to the back of my collar and connected to the back of my waist cincher.
Two thin straps ran from the bottom of the waist cincher at the back, through my legs and up to the front where they were secured. The effect of these straps was to make me feel as if my sex was being displayed. The cuffs were unlocked from my wrists and I was made to hold my arms behind me with my hands cupping my elbows. Straps secured my arms and also secured my arms to the waist cincher. A bridle harness was then strapped round my head and the attached blinkers prevented me from seeing anywhere except straight ahead. Finally, a bit was secured in my mouth. It was a rubber covered steel bar and with it strapped in place, I found I couldn’t close my mouth, and it was difficult to move my tongue. Speech was nigh on impossible. I looked at Tracy, who was in an identical outfit, and thought that if I looked like her, then this tack had given me a great figure!
Lucy and her aunt stood talking quietly as Tracy and I admired each other, then Lady Elizabeth spoke.
“Right girls. I think the best way forward is to train you in proper dressage movements and also break you into buggy harness. We’ll let you settle down for the night and start tomorrow.”
Reins were attached to our bridles and we were led back to the stalls. However, instead of the stalls we had been in, Tracy was placed in a stall at one end of the aisle and I was placed in one at the other end.
“You’ll be fed and watered in a little while, then I suggest you get some sleep. You’ll need all your energy for tomorrow.” This was from Lady Elizabeth as the stall door slid shut. The two women left and in the silence, I tried to call out to Tracy, but all that came out was, “Ow ah oo?”
Back came the reply, “iine.”
Just then food pellets rattled into the trough and I thought I’d better eat and found out the reason the pellets started to melt in the mouth. It was impossible to chew anything due to the bit in my mouth. Also, try eating without moving your tongue. After a few minutes I mastered the art of eating while wearing a bit, and learned how to drink without choking. A little while later, the lights went out except for two dim lights at each end of the aisle. With nothing to do and even less to see, I lay down and went to sleep.
The sound of food pellets rattling into the trough woke me. I rose, stretched and used the drain before eating. As I walked away from the drain, I heard a whooshing sound behind me and I jumped. Turning round, I saw that the drain had a self flushing system, so there would be no smells of pee wafting up from that area. As I ate, I heard Lady Elizabeth talking to Tracy, but couldn’t make out what she was saying, but a few minutes later she appeared outside my stall. She tapped a pad and the top bars of my stall rolled away, then she leaned in and removed my bit.
“Good morning Linda. I trust you slept well?”
I rolled my tongue round my mouth before replying, “Yes Mistress, very well.”
“Excellent. Now, I’ll tell you what I’ve just told Miss Fleming. Lucy is away during the week and I have things to do, so I am bringing in two grooms to help look after you both. As far as they will be concerned, you are both ponies just starting your training. Be calm and obey their directions, because they will punish you as they would any disobedient pony. Do you understand?”
I understood all right. As far as these grooms were concerned, I was just another piece of livestock. Strangely, that didn’t bother me, but I was afraid of being controlled by a man.
“Yes Mistress, I understand. I’ll do my best, but won’t be easy giving up control to a man.”
“Oh my dear,” Lady Elizabeth responded, while stroking my cheek. “I would never allow you to be at the mercy of any man. No, your grooms and trainers are both women. I know them well and you can trust them to take good care of you. Just remember what I said about obedience.”
She replaced my bit, fastening it tighter than before, then closed the top half of my stall gate, but then turned back and said, “Oh yes, I almost forgot. As ponies, you have to have pony names. Miss Fleming is now Amber, and you are now Honey. I do hope you like your new name.” With that, she turned and left me to finish eating.
Shortly afterwards, I heard noises, then saw Tracy, sorry Amber, being led out then my stall gate opened and a well built woman entered carrying a set of reins.
“Now Honey, are you going to be the good pony Lady Harrington says you are?”
My response was to walk over to her and nuzzle her cheek.
“Oh I think we’re going to have a great time together,” was her reply as she in turn stroked my cheek. Attaching my reins, I was led out of my stall and into the cleaning area where I saw Amber bent over a bar with her legs restrained wide apart and a plastic tube inserted in her anus. I soon found myself in a similar position, being held down by the simple expedient of knotting my reins to a ringbolt in the floor. My first experience of an enema wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was mildly uncomfortable but not too bad. It was the sense of humiliation that was worse, but it was helped by listening to the sounds made by Amber who seemed to have her sense of the ridiculous working as normal.
Afterwards, we were cleaned and then led into the exercise barn. By this time I had worked out that Mary was the one who worked on gait and deportment, and Cathy taught buggy work. Amber was linked to the exercise pole and I was led over to one of the small buggies and harnessed to it. For the rest of the morning, I was put through a series of exercises pulling the buggy. This included walking, stepping, trotting and changing between each. It was also an exercise in becoming aware of and reacting to the reins. I found it tiring at times, but was encouraged by my trainer’s use of her whip when I flagged, and the approval from her when I did something particularly well.
Sometimes, as we went round a circuit of the barn, I saw Amber but couldn’t see what she was doing. Eventually, I was returned to my stall and saw Amber being led to her’s. A short while later, I was taken out again by the other groom/trainer and led to the exercise pole and saw Amber being led towards the buggy. I then spent the next few hours being taught the correct way to step (thigh parallel to the ground and bring the hoof forward just before it touches the ground). I learned, with a little whip encouragement how to walk, step, prance and trot as the exercise pole changed speed. After a while I was released from the pole and Mary attached a long lead to my bridle. I was then taken to another part of the building and this time I was taught basic dressage movements. At all times, I was constantly being instructed on carriage and deportment (Back straight, head high. Be proud). Instruction might be the wrong word, as the instructions were usually made with the whip, but despite the sting and the hard work, I found I was enjoying myself. I suppose it’s the satisfaction of doing something difficult and finding that you’re doing it well.
We were again taken back to our stalls. I was given a good rub down and fed some sweet candy treats and I later found out, Amber was being dealt with the same way. We were then left for a while before being taken back into the barn again, but this time, we were both harnessed to the twin buggy. The training exercises were pretty much the same as when we were on a single buggy, but with subtle differences. Amber and I had to be constantly aware of the other, and what the other one was doing. For instance, if going round a turn, the pony on the inside had to slow her step and the one on the outside had to increase her’s. In addition, both trainers worked on us to try and get us to keep in step, and it was a pair of tired ponies that were taken back to their stalls that evening. I ate my food, had a drink of water then practically fell onto the sleeping platform, tired and footsore.
The rest of the week followed the same routine. Enema, cleaned then exercise. We alternated between dressage and buggy work, and the only time Amber and I were really together was when we were harnessed into the double buggy.
On what must have been the Friday, days no longer had any meaning to me, I was returned to my stall, given a pat and wished a cheery, “See you Monday” then left. The next morning I was woken up by Lucy, who came into my stall, and proceeded to remove all the pony tack. She then cuffed my hands behind my back and produced a pair of shoes with a four inch heel for me to wear. I was grateful for the shoes, because when I tried to put my bare feet flat on the ground, my calf muscles protested, painfully. I was wrapped in the rubber cape and led out of the stable block along with Tracy/Amber who was similarly restrained and dressed like me. We were taken into the house and given our first hot food in a week, and we both sighed with pleasure at the simple act of drinking tea.
“How are you enjoying your first week as ponies?” we were asked, and we both agreed that it was tiring but fun.
“I’m glad you’re enjoying yourselves,” Lady Elizabeth said. “Your trainers will be back on Monday, but as they will be here next weekend, you won’t be getting a break, so enjoy your weekend off.”
It was Tracy who asked, “Where do Cathy and Mary come from. They act as if they’ve been doing this sort of thing for years.”
“They have,” was the surprising reply, and Lady Elizabeth and Lucy proceeded to tell us of the secret world of human ponies. It was a fascinating story of pony stables, like this one, owners and trainers, and shows and exhibitions all over the world. I wondered how something like this could stay secret.
“Surely by now, some reporter would have stumbled on this by now?”
Lady Elizabeth and Lucy both laughed and we were led through to where Lady Elizabeth had her home cinema setup where we watched a collection of videos showing events at many of the shows Lady Elizabeth and Lucy had attended. As we watched, I began to recognise some faces. One pony girl, having won a race was having her bit and bridle removed and I realised that she was a well known TV presenter. In the course of the evening, we each recognised numerous famous personalities, some from TV and many from politics, and entertainment as well as a large number identified by Lady Elizabeth with various titles, many of them global figures in business as well. I began to realise just how Lady Elizabeth had been able to get access to our medical records as well as getting a DNA sample. We found out that there were many permanent ponies, in other words, people who had willingly committed the rest of their lives to being ponies. They surrendered all and any rights and allowed themselves to be reduced to livestock. They were chipped and registered to a global registry that recorded ownership changes, money involved and arbitrated on any disputes. What we saw and heard gave me an insight as to how this secret world remained secret.
We also found out that the synthetic leather and straw as well as the food pellets had all been developed by people who were, or had been members of this global society. It was Lady Elizabeth who told us, “You will have noticed that your food pellets come in a variety of flavours. That is to help prevent you from becoming completely bored with your food. Also, it was thought that the synthetic straw would be beneficial to farmers because of the benefits of pest control, but it wasn’t well received. Animals will pee or poop on ordinary straw that could then either be burned or composted and used as fertiliser. Only our little community have any use for it.”
As the evening progressed, Tracy kept silent, and I saw Lady Elizabeth watching her, no doubt wondering, as I was, if she was going to ask to leave. However, she surprised everyone, including me.
“Mistress,” she asked, turning to Lady Elizabeth. “Am I right in assuming that you want us to stay as pony girls, at least for now?”
“Why yes, my dear. Is that a problem?” she asked in kindly voice.
“Oh no,” was the reply. She looked over at me as she went on. “I’m not sure how to put this. If it was just me, there would not be a problem, but I have to think of Linda.”
“Just go on and say whatever it is,” I called out. “I’ll probably agree with you, again.”
When the laughter died out, Tracy went on, “If we’re to be ponygirls, then maybe we should stay in the stables, complete with pony tack. We should even continue to be addressed by our pony names. I like mine by the way,” she finished in a rush.
Everyone turned to look at me and I sat there thinking. Here I was, naked, hands cuffed behind my back yet being treated with a kindness I had never experienced in a long time.
“I think Amber is right,” I replied, “it makes more sense for us to stay in pony mode rather than chop and change. Mary and Cathy will probably get upset if they thought their training was being wasted, or worse, thought we were bad ponies. I do have one question though.”
“Why have you kept us separated?”
It was Lady Elizabeth who responded. “I thought that keeping you apart would work in helping you bond when being worked as a pair. You know, the ‘absence makes the heart grow’ type of thing. However, after tonight, I don’t think I need to worry about that.”
So it came about that we ended up in full pony tack, but fitted even more tightly if that were possible, and locked in stalls that were opposite one another. As we settled down, I thought back over the day and the conversations with Lady Elizabeth and Lucy. The stable block was fully computer controlled. The computer was told which pony was assigned to which stall and also given the dietary requirements of that pony as well as the feeding schedule (Once or twice a day). When the system registered the pony in its stall, the food would be released. If the pony didn’t eat, the system would send an alert to the owner, in our case, Lady Elizabeth. The entire stable complex had been designed to repel or kill any insect life, and now that it had been mentioned, I realised that I hadn’t seen any bugs, including spiders that usually inhabited such places. Being winter, I thought that there would be a certain amount seeking the warmth. Even the synthetic straw was designed to provide comfort to a human pony but repel insects. It was also confirmed that the stable area and the outside field, were kept under constant video and audio surveillance, not only for security, but also to monitor any problems. I also found out that during the summer, there would be other ponies staying as their owners travelled around to various shows.
On the Sunday, Lucy took us into the barn and spent the day exercising us in the double buggy. From what we had seen and heard, we knew that there were buggy dressage competitions, with a double buggy event being a new addition. Lucy had said that she would have loved to enter the double buggy event, and as we moved round the barn, I found myself wondering if there was any way I could help Lucy achieve her ambition. If only I had known.
story continues in part two.