by Clare Seven
Arriving at a remote German castle after a nightmare journey through a storm, Mila’s only intention was to complete her objective: to see the castle owner’s unique collection of ancient instruments of torment and, hopefully negotiate the purchase of one of them. After all, she worked for a museum, and Herr Beck’s collection was very special. And yet, there was something more, something that Mila found inexplicably exciting and arousing. Surely it would be madness to let Herr Beck and his two strange employees lock her into the restraints and let her experience for herself just how it felt to be subjected to a little of the torment so many had suffered centuries ago?
Published: 4 / 2014 No. words: 29600
Style: BDSM/Bondage – Content: Moderate – Classed as: Consensual – Sado-Masochism (SM), Male Dom – M/F Beck appeared at the door. He had removed the jacket that she had seen him wearing earlier. He walked toward Mila as she lifted the wine innocently, sipping it, trying to stop her heart pounding and her hand shaking.
“You are sure you want to see some of the items now, Ms. Smith? You must be tired after your journey, and it is such a terrible night.”
“I’m sure,” Mila said, stiffening and beginning to stand up.
Mila’s heels clicked on the stone floor as she followed Beck into what appeared to be the central part of the keep. She could see now that most of the rooms and corridors were built out from a hub, leading to a central atrium, where Beck was leading her now. The atrium held a torch lit area. As she neared it, she could plainly make out on the floor a partially rusted, thick steel grille approximately ten feet in diameter, which covered a round hole in the flagstones. As she reached it, she could make out what it covered in the pale light. The hole in the ground was actually the start of a massive stone spiral staircase. As she watched, Beck lifted a portion of the steel grille, letting it clang to the ground, revealing the steps and indicating their descent with his free hand.
“Descent into hell, you might say,” he chuckled.
Mila could not laugh in response, the memory of what she had seen in the books in the other room still fresh in her mind. Now he was clearly indicating that she should start down this narrow, stone, spiral staircase. She wondered idly how many other women had taken this journey.
“Wait? Ms. Smith, surely this is what you have been waiting for all these months. You wanted to see the instruments; you begged me for an invitation to the castle in your emails, extolled the virtues of your museum and the wonders that you hoped to create with new displays and exhibitions of the horror of torment. And now you want to wait?”
Mila narrowed her eyes and stared at him.
“You don’t understand…” She was shivering now. The atrium suddenly seemed much colder than before, than the other room.
Beck interrupted her. “You won’t be forced to do anything you do not want to do,” he said slowly, deliberately, as if reading the part of her mind that was terrified at what she had found here, yet at the same time was exhilarated by the prospect of seeing something horrific yet, perhaps, erotic.
Yet still she feigned her shock.
“What? What do you mean, Herr Beck?”
He smiled in response, once more indicating that she should start down the spiral staircase.
“Perhaps you should remove those heels. The stairs are old and narrow, and we would not want you to lose your footing and hurt yourself.”
Mila found herself nodding. It was if she yearned to find out what was below. What exactly had she heard earlier through that grille in her room? Was someone being tormented in this freak’s dungeons? Or, was that what she had wanted to hear? She began to check herself as she lifted a foot and removed a shoe, then the other, replacing her stocking soles on the cold cobblestone floor. Had she really seen some record of torment, of someone agreeing to it, in that book back in the main library?
She padded forward toward the narrow stairwell, descending as Beck held up the steel grille, and then let it fall as he began to follow. There were lights below, electric lights, strong enough to illuminate the stairwell and passageway that was slowly being revealed as she descended. It was cool underfoot. As she reached the bottom, Mila replaced her heels, standing awkwardly as she re-found her footing.
The room was well lit. A large oak table filled one half of it and some decrepit looking chairs had been placed to one side. Two doors were set in the wall. One was barred with rusted steel and seemed to lead off into a long corridor with stone arches, though it was difficult to see more than a few yards. The second door was wooden and old, dark oak bound with rusting iron. There was a distinct smell in the air. Sweat? Damp? She could not quite place it.
“Well, you certainly have all the trappings of a castle dungeon,” Mila said, trying to settle herself by breaking the silence that had descended as they came down the steps.
“Oh, this is just the holding area. Formerly, there would have been an officer here, with a jailor and possibly a tormentor, to survey the accused and see that he or she was stripped,” he muttered in a matter-of-fact manner, before looking up at Mila.
“Stripped. Oh yes, I see.”
“Yes, it had two purposes, of course. The prisoners would be humiliated, and the jailor could be assured that they were not hiding anything.”
Mila nodded in understanding, not quite sure why the discussion excited her so, but the pounding of her heart in her chest clearly indicated that it did.
“Perhaps you would like to see the cells?” Beck said, interrupting her dark thoughts.
“Yes. Yes, of course, and the artefacts.”
She thought she saw the faint trace of a smile on Beck’s lips as he turned and rattled the barred door. She could see the rust from the old steel bars come away in his hand.
“Bernard!” he shouted. At first, Mila could not understand why Beck was shouting the name of the giant she had met earlier, the strong ‘oaf’ who had gripped her arm when she had dallied at the painting of the woman on the rack. Then she understood.
As she watched the barred door and the corridor beyond, she could see the swaying of a lantern approaching. Bernard, it seemed, liked to spend time in the dungeons. Was that it? She found herself moving to Beck and touching his arm. He, in turn, patted her hand.
“Does he live down here?”
“Bernard? I believe he feels an affinity with the cells and the chamber of torment. He is descended from a long line of…” He hesitated. “He is descended from the jailors that I mentioned. It seems that it is in his blood. The male children of his family, going back for generations, have spent years amidst the darkness down here, tending to the condemned, conveying them to torment and doom.” As he spoke, it seemed that he drifted off, his voice becoming quiet as he watched the swaying light coming closer.
“Tending to them?” Mila interrupted. “You mean ensuring that they were kept naked in chains, then dragged screaming to be tormented. Surely that’s what you mean, Herr Beck?” He heard her words but did not turn to listen, merely gripping the rusted bars more tightly as Bernard, bathed in the light from the guardroom and his lantern, appeared at the bars and slurred his words, apparently a little breathless.
“Yes, my Lord?”
“Open the door Bernard. Ms. Smith wishes to see the dungeons.”
Bernard paused for a few seconds. “Is she to be…?”
“No, Bernard,” Beck interrupted. “She just wants to see the cells and chamber.”
Mila’s eyes narrowed. What had he been about to say?
Beck lifted his hand to welcome her in as Bernard unlocked the door. Mila walked forward, not wishing to show any hesitation or fear as the giant moved to one side to admit her, drool dripping from the side of his slack jaw as he watched her as though he was excited to be admitting her to his vile den of iniquity.
The smell of damp was very evident as Mila walked slowly along the stone cobbles, her heels clicking audibly, echoing throughout the chamber. There were some modern lights at intervals, though Bernard’s lantern was still required to allow Mila to see where she was going.
“Some modern lighting?” she queried innocently.
“Yes, well, even I must nod to technology, though Bernard does not like it.”
Mila turned to one side to look at Bernard.
“No… Ms. Smith. I believe that it ruins the atmos… the atmos… the feel of the dungeons. They do not like light. They are places of pain and suffering,” he grunted.
As he spoke, drool continued to fall from his lips onto the dirty jerkin that covered his wide chest and plump belly. Mila looked away. As they continued down the wide stone corridor, the first cells began to appear on either side. Again, the bars were rounded and rough, displaying all the signs of rusting down here in the damp atmosphere of the dungeon.
The air was ripe with the smell of damp, and from somewhere there was a waft of the smell of sewers that Mila had noticed earlier, and she had found in parts of so many old European cities. Cells adorned both sides of the corridor now. Each was perhaps ten feet square, barred at the front, with a barred door in turn set into the large steel frame. The cells were separated by thick stone walls, yet the barred nature of each meant that there was absolutely no privacy. Any jailor would simply be able to view his charges by walking past them. High in the wall she noticed a small, round window with a single bar on it – evidently at ground level outside. Even now, with the rain still pattering outside, she noted a stream of water slowly flowing down the wall. Years of this had worn a channel through the black stonework. As her eyes followed the trickle of water and adjusted to the poor light, she saw the thick chains and rusting fetters lying on the ground.
She could sense Beck and Bernard watching her closely as she moved forward, gripping the bars softly as she stared. There were four sets of these fetters, apparently for the ankles, in the corners of the cell, each allowing the prisoner a limited amount of both movement and space. Three to four feet of chain was passed through a ring in the wall at floor level, the chain ending in two thick ankle fetters, with an old locking mechanism. In the centre of the floor now, she noticed a hole, perhaps six inches in diameter. She could perceive a slight fall in the cobbles.
“The hole, for waste?”
Beck nodded. “Yes, an old but functional purpose.”
He moved beside her at the door, before continuing.
“Prisoners would be stripped, bound, brought here and have their ankles placed in chains. In some cases they might remain bound and be collared to the wall. There, you see the collar?”
Mila stared. In the corner, where the light had barely touched, a collar had been attached to the wall at head height.
“You mean they might remain bound, in leg chains, forced to stand by virtue of having that tethering collar on?”
“For how long?”
“There are records of some prisoners being forced to stand for days, to weaken them. Their feet so swollen that they had to be dragged to the chamber. Other tormentors forced them to stand on wooden or steel spikes for long periods,” Beck said.
Mila gasped, staring at the floor, imagining the torment that must have been inflicted in this vile place.
“Would you like to see inside, Ms. Smith?” Beck asked.
Mila swallowed nervously, suddenly remembering what she had seen in the records in the library. Clearly, this place was still being used, at least to some degree. Did he really expect her to accept an invitation to step inside after what she had read?
“I would like that, yes,” she replied softly.
The relative silence that followed was shattered as Bernard thrust a heavy black key into the steel lock, and turned. A loud creak made Mila wince as the door was pulled open. She stepped over the threshold that the steel frame made with the door. Her heel did not click this time as it struck the floor of the cell. The ground was softer, or at least covered with a moss-type substance. She grimaced as she realised that it was probably covered with the dried product of many hundreds of prisoners, laced into the grain of the cobblestones.
She stood just inside the doorway, the collar clearly visible now in the far corner to her right. With two sets of chains on either side of her, she looked up at the small window. To lie here, barely fed, naked and cold, not knowing when one would be taken to…
“You can imagine the anguish of lying naked in chains awaiting a dark fate, can you not, Ms. Smith?”
It was as if Beck were reading her thoughts. She looked back. The door still stood open. Part of her had expected them to close it, lock her in, demand that she undress and pass her garments through the bars to them, with the expectation that she would be tormented come nightfall. Part of her, some dark part of her, had expected it – born out of paranoia, but had some other part wanted it?
She walked to the wall, bending down to lift up one of the heavy fetters. The steel felt old, yet its weight added to the confining nature of its design. Ultimately, this unforgiving steel would rub the ankles raw as the prisoner moved and strained against her chains. She could not imagine languishing in chains, naked and rotting in this hellhole. She closed her eyes. Some part of her wanted Beck to say ‘would you like to try the chains on, Ms. Smith’, yet he remained silent, simply staring. Bernard seemed embarrassed, almost unsure what to do. She wondered if she were the first to be brought down here clothed, the first to be allowed to enter the dungeon without being forced into heavy chains, the first not to be dragged by the arm in his massive, unforgiving grip.
She was shaking as she let the fetter fall clanging to the ground, as she brushed her hands together now to remove the black rust and dirt that had collected.
“If you’ve seen enough, Ms. Smith, I believe it was the instruments that you really wanted to see?” Beck said, raising an eyebrow as if to imply that she was wasting his time by seeing the cell.
“Yes, of course, though cells like this are, of course… important to my research.”
“I’m sure they are, Ms. Smith. You may spend time here later, if you wish, of course.”
She looked up suddenly, realising that she had done little to conceal the excitement at the prospect from her expression. Beck noticed it, but displayed no obvious reaction. He offered her his hand as she approached the threshold once more, stepping over it with ease, taking his hand through politeness. It was cold to the touch. As she looked at Bernard, the giant looked away. Although his loose slacks were voluminous, she could not fail to see the bulging erection that he tried to hide.
The underground section of the castle proved to be very large. Two more corridors of cells led off from the main one. Mila guessed that there were at least twenty, possibly more cells like the one that she had seen.
“This could handle a lot of people in its day, Herr Beck.”
“Indeed, it was used a prison for hundreds of years, though conditions, as I’m sure you understand, were quite primitive; foul, even.”
The corridor widened now as they headed for a large steel bound oak door at the end of a corridor of cells. The lights seemed dimmed, less bright than they had been in the initial areas they had entered. Mila was unsure whether this was done on purpose in order to create a ‘mood’, but decided not to ask. She did notice, however, that outside, if the lack of running water down the cell walls was anything to go by, that the rain had stopped at last. It seemed that she had been here for almost an hour. It must surely be near midnight. A wave of tiredness threatened to overcome her as she walked past a cell, a cell where a naked woman lay chained in one dark, foul corner.