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It's not an easy life.
At the start it was so scary! I remember when they told me it was time to get undressed. That’s a really strange experience -- taking off clothing, knowing it's for the last time in my life.
Then they guided me to my location in the barn, and I saw all these workers with tools and equipment, waiting at my station to get me set up properly.
Someone put a little footstool in front of my milking rack. They helped me to step up on it, turn my back to the rack, and get seated. They took the footstool away and I knew I wasn't getting down -- that made my heart beat faster. After a bit more time they said they were ready to get my arms fastened. I watched closely as they installed the first cuff behind me on my right. I put my arm into the cuff when it was ready, and held steady while they tightened it down. After that, we did the same with my left arm. The left one was tougher -- the cuff forced me to face forward and it forced my shoulders back against the top bar of the milking rack. The cuffs felt solid. It took me just a second to realize how much my chest was pushed outward. I felt vulgar, with my boobs thrust out in front of me like that, and people standing around looking at me. I tired to adjust my posture to take some of the pressure off of my arms and shoulders. But my squirming wasn't helping me get much more comfortable. And I realized all my fidgeting was making my boobs bobble back and forth for all to see -- I was just making a spectacle of myself. Part of me wanted to keep struggling to try to get more comfortable, but part of me realized I had to stop and accept the feelings in my body.
Then they started to install the ankle cuffs. I looked down and realized how far apart they were. Oh my God! I think I was laughing through this whole process to keep from crying, and I was blushing a dozen shades of red. When the time was ready, it wasn't too hard to get my leg into the first cuff. The second one was tougher -- I couldn't quite get into it by myself, and I had to ask for some help. Once my leg was inside the cuff, I held myself as steady as I could while it was tightened down nice and snug.
After that, the workers spent a lot of time making small adjustments and making everything more snug.
One of the women paused briefly, she said, "I know you're nervous sweetheart."
She ran her eyes over my body. She brushed my shoulder gently with one hand, then let her hand brush against the side of one of my boobs. "You look really good. I think you'll be a good producer here. Just focus on doing the best you can, okay?"
I wasn't sure what she meant exactly. But it seemed like she was trying to be nice, and I nodded again.
Then she said, softly, almost as if talking to herself, "I could never do what you're doing. I'd be way too scared. I like my freedom way too much -- I'd be way too unhappy to live this life."
I didn't know what to say. I guess I just gave her an awkward smile.
Then one of the men came up close to me. He put his hand on my knee, which I thought was really forward. He told me it was time to weld all the bolts in place so they would all be permanent.
I knew this part was coming. But I didn't know how I should feel. Should I be scared, or angry, or aroused? Should I cry, or pout, or flirt? I could feel the warmth of his body close to mine, and I could see the muscles under his t-shirt. In the end, all I could do was smile and nod, and give him a few words of encouragement. He went about his work, and I watched closely. When he was done, he stood back to take a long look. I wanted him to stand close to me one more time and say something again. But he just started packing his tools. I tried to catch his eye and draw him to me with a smile. I think I even arched my back a little extra, trying to draw his attention. I was just really nervous, and I wanted a little human contact. I wanted him to step close to me, and say, "Everything is going to be okay -- don't you worry about a thing." But he just drifted away.
I tested the feeling of the cuffs. They were firm, as if my arms and legs were held in solid rock or concrete. My past life was truly over -- this would be my only home now, for as long as my production is good. I felt really exposed. I felt really sad and alone, in spite of all the people around me. But in other ways the cuffs felt real good. It's complicated. I took some deep breaths to try to deal with the feelings.
After that, they put the tubes in my throat. Ugh!
Lastly my nipples got a lot of attention, while they installed the milking pumps. The pumps are mean little devices. They're designed to get the most from a girl, even if the nipples becomes plump and sore from being overworked.
That was my first day -- I think about that day a lot.
My production is getting better each week, but I've got to do much better before I really earn my keep here.
The sex hormones in the food and water make me more productive. But every day I get more emotional and more horny. When some worker walks by I want to screw them silly.
I swear, I wish they'd set me free long enough for just one good chance to make love. That would be fantastic. I'd cherish every smell, and every feeling, and every taste. I'd be the happiest, most eager-to-please lover in the whole world. Then I'd be content. I'd gladly get back on this milking rack with a big smile, and I'd never wish for anything else ever again. I think about that all the time. Sometimes my thoughts and imagination become so real, I really feel like I've been released and I have some freedom to indulge myself. But sooner or later, usually about the time my fantasies start to get really good, my thoughts come back to reality. I tug at my cuffs, which grip me as tightly as ever. I realize I'm never going to be free, even on my last day. God -- I get so frustrated!!!
Girls tour the barn here from time to time. If they think about signing up, I hope they think carefully -- there's no going back. Most of them wouldn't dream of it, obviously -- they just signed up for the tour because it's an excuse to spend a fun day with friends away from school or their other daily routine. Only rarely do I see someone who is really looking around closely and seriously giving it some thought. Overall the tour days are okay. I don't always like being stared at, like I'm some kind of animal in a zoo. But I like to see what clothes and shoes the girls are wearing, and it's just fun to see girls who look happy and full of life, enjoying a day of freedom from their usual daily lives. After the tour groups leave, the barn feels still and quiet with nothing but the normal hum of machinery. I think about the girls who were just here, and how they'll spend the rest of their day now that their tour is complete -- shopping, or eating with friends, going home to study, or talking with a boy, or any one of a million other things normal people do.
Once a week or so, I see a new girl walk by me on her way to get set up. Each one is so different. Some are really bubbly and excited -- they can't wait to walk to their rack, and they can't wait to get fastened in. It’s cute. But I wish they'd slow down and savor their last few minutes of freedom instead of being in such a hurry. Others look worried and have a "walking to the gallows" attitude. I wonder what their story is. How did they come to be here? Will they feel okay about their new life here? Hopefully they'll all be okay -- I hope they can all find some pleasures in this life to go along with the frustrations and hardships of being a milking girl. With the tubes in my throat I can't say anything, but when I see a new girl I try to give her a look that says "Welcome." I don't know if any of them get the message.
On the day I first got here I met this really perky, pretty receptionist. I was surprised to see her walk by me the other day with a team of workers. She was totally naked, and the workers were escorting her to an empty milking rack. Obviously she's moving from "administration" into "production." She looked nervous, but happy. She's a short, slight girl who probably doesn't weigh 95 pounds. I don't know if her body will produce enough milk to meet her long-term quotas. And getting fastened onto one of these milking racks must be an awful stretch for her. I guess she must have thought about that before she signed up. It must feel odd to be fastened here naked with your former co-workers all around you.
For me, the best part of this life comes each morning. At night the milking pumps are shut off, and the clamps close down on my nipples. My boobs get overfilled. The pain gets so bad I get tears. Then morning comes. The clamps release themselves and the milkers turn on -- vibrating and pulsing and sucking like crazy. I close my eyes, lean my head back, and I wish those feelings would never stop -- God, it's so fantastic! That's when I think that maybe I'm in the right place for me, doing what I was meant to do.
It's not an easy life. Don't let anyone tell you it is. Overall I try to make the best of it. Some days I think that maybe everything has worked out for the best.
(edited on June 9, 2017)
What would school be like if there was capital punishment at the end of the year for those who don't do real well on their final exams?
That's the premise of the feature-length movie "The Thinning," available on YouTube Red.
The film has a few good points. The young actresses are perky and pretty. The male lead is hunky -- it's very plausible he could win a hand-to-hand fight with a security guard. The movie has a few scenes that are unique or especially pretty, and quite well done. Peyton List looks terrific in her scenes. Near the middle of the movie there are some scenes showing a group of generally attractive high school seniors being taken away for a "thinning," and that part of the movie is powerful. The filmmakers obviously want these scenes to be scary & intense, and they are. They mix sex appeal into this process too, by making all of these kids get naked as part of the process for only weak plot reasons.
The premise of the movie gets more scary when it appears someone might be manipulating the test results. So even a student who is very smart and studies hard might still get selected.
While the movie has a few good scenes that are pretty or emotionally powerful, they're sadly very brief. In the end the overall movie doesn't work real well. There's too much time spent on social justice preaching about how American businesses and politicians are corrupt and heartless. The US flag is used repeatedly in a way that mocks the United States. This kind of anti-business, anti-American attitude has been done a billion times before. That part of the movie isn't compelling or interesting -- it's sadly boring.
Some day maybe someone will take this basic idea and try again to make it into a movie or video. I think the basic idea could be turned into an emotionally powerful and compelling story.
The trailer for "The Thinning" is easy to find for those who want to see it, like here: www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi114…
or, enter your birth date.*
It was the day before all the women were hanged. Lucy and others were riding in a van.
Over the centuries many traditions evolved for a hanging. The condemned could choose a last meal. They’d be clothed, and their hands would not be restrained until the last part of the preparations. They'd have a chance to say a few last words to the assembled crowd. If there was more than one hanging in a day, those who would hang later would not have to see those who go ahead of them.
These were honored traditions that were always followed closely. But they applied only to men. None of those traditions applied to women.
For those who volunteer for the Gallows Day, there was supposed to be a bright side. The girls get a shopping trip the day before they go.
The local department store opened early for these shopping sprees – the sales clerks were at their stations, and the girls who are going to hang are allowed to make their purchases.
For those who work at the store, it was a special day. They would usually wear their best clothes – the younger and prettier female employees made it a point to wear their skimpiest outfits and best makeup, each one trying to look sexier than the other. It was a day of fun and excitement.
The girls to be hanged were in the charge of a young deputy, Matt. Lucy suspected this assignment to go shopping was unpopular with the male deputies. So it fell to Matt as the youngest and most junior of all. He was about the same age as Lucy, but seemed younger to her. He seemed young to wear the star pinned on his flannel shirt or to carry the big, old revolver on his hip.
Matt’s girlfriend Andrea had also come along. She was there to help with the shopping – she was there to help carry the packages and help the other girls reach the merchandise they wanted to look at. Lucy couldn’t help staring at the blue cotton dress Andrea was wearing, and the way she would use her hands to gesture as she talked. There was nothing really unusual about Andrea’s dress – except that it brought to mind the simple pleasure of getting dressed in the morning which was just a distant memory to Lucy, along with the great feeling of having her hands free of the hateful handcuffs she had to wear much of the time.
Lucy felt the whole tradition of shopping for a hanging was ridiculous. She didn’t want to shop, and she didn’t want to be out in public with restraints and no clothes. But the other women seemed happy. They chatted among themselves about what they were going to buy. They didn’t act like they minded being nude and they didn’t act like they minded their handcuffs much. Lucy didn’t want to be left out. And in a way she felt glad the other women seemed to be enjoying themselves - after all it was their last day on earth and it's nice if they can have some fun. She didn’t want to diminish the enjoyment of the others. So she listened and talked and tried to act as if it was a big day for her as well.
The ground rules were simple – the women had a budget from the town government to buy whatever they wanted. Women could wear anything to their hanging – as long as it didn’t cover any part of their breasts, shoulder or neck area, or cover any part of the groin or buttocks area.
When they got to the store, the feeling for Lucy was surreal. When they were in the prison together and all kept handcuffed for large blocks of time, it almost started to feel a little "normal" to Lucy since the other girls around her were kept the same way. But now, to walk into a department store, was almost more than Lucy could bear. She never felt so helpless and so exposed – she was extremely conscious of the way her breasts bobbled as she walked in the door and down the center aisle of the store. She tugged as hard as ever at her cuffs hoping for some relief from their grip, but they didn’t give.
On the other hand there were some comforting and familiar feelings as well. She and her friends had come here many times before to shop – if she could close her eyes and imagine, she could almost pretend they had come to pick out a prom dress or clothes for a new year at school as she'd done in the past.
The store was closed to the public, but with all the store employees present at their stations it didn’t feel empty. The men, as usual, were often speechless at the sight of the women as they walked down the aisle. Lucy noticed their slack-jawed, blank expression as they ogled the women walking by, staring mostly at their breasts. Obviously all higher thought processes had vanished from their brains at the sight of naked women. Lucy almost had to giggle to herself at their straight-forward reaction – men were just so simple and direct.
The female store employees were different -- they’d look at the face and eyes and also run their eyes over all the bodies of the naked women, hair, shoulders, breasts, waist, hips, legs and more.
They headed for the first stop, the lingerie department. Jo wanted a pair of black stockings and a garter belt. The other women had their own goals also, like a skimpy, short little corset or some sheer, thigh-high stockings with a black seam up the back. As they walked past the clothing displays Lucy looked longingly at the racks of clothing. A pair of jeans on a shelf looked like heaven. She would have traded anything just to put on some jeans again for an hour. But it was not allowed. Even the tiniest thong panties looked good to Lucy – they just sat there on the shelf and mocked her, making her feel more naked than ever.
The women made their selections. Lucy chose a pair of thigh-high stockings in dark grey, with ruffles at the top. Then they were off to the shoe department.
The women’s shoe department was well stocked. The manager personally brought out various styles to show. All the women talked among themselves about what kind of style they wanted, and how high the heels should be. The more they talked and looked at the options the higher the heels became. By the time they were done, each woman had a pair with such a dangerously high spiked heel it would have been hard to stand or walk if their hands were not tied, and much harder still with no way to use their arms for balance. They all agreed they didn’t have far to walk, and they wanted to look their best tomorrow. Lucy groaned at the idea of having to stand for long or walk far in those shoes. But on the other hand she had to admit they looked fantastic.
They spent awhile at some makeup counters, choosing lipstick and a few other cosmetics. Lucy got talked into a shade of dramatically bright red lipstick. She was almost shocked to find herself agreeing to such an eye-catching shade. But in the end it didn’t take a great deal of persuasion from the other women – Lucy knew when the clerk put it on her that it looked great.
Then it was on to the last stop, the hair stylist. The girls where chatting with more and more excitement. It was becoming quite a turn-on to realize they had whole store to themselves with every staff member focused only for them – it was an ultimate shopping fantasy. Even Lucy had to admit it was fun to be the only customers in the store. Matt looked at his watch, and gamely accompanied all the girls to the next stop.
Andrea was clearly having a great time. She talked with each of the girls, and made suggestions. She admired their selections, and got advice about what she should buy. She was enjoying the trip so much that she bought stockings for herself, and picked out a pair of shoes also when Matt said it was okay to include her items on the city credit card he’d been given. At first it was hard for Lucy to accept Andrea’s presence on the shopping trip – Lucy resented the fact that Andrea was clothed and her hands were free. But Andrea proved to be so bubbly and so pleasant that after a short time it felt like she was "one of the girls" and Lucy was glad she was there.
All five of the girls sat down to have their hair done. Tradition dictated that all the girls have their hair cut short, or at least pinned up, so their neck would be clear and unobstructed. Lucy rebelled at this – there was no way she would allow her long blond hair to be cut. This caused quite a discussion among all the women. In the end the women all reached a compromise. Lucy agreed to have her hair braided into a thick ponytail with a decorative ribbon.
The hair stylists put clear plastic capes over each of the women before starting their work. For Lucy, the cape felt great – it was the first piece of "clothing" she’d worn all week. Even though it was transparent it felt nice around her shoulders, bringing back memories of clothes she’d enjoyed in the past. Pleasant thoughts helped put her more at ease. Next she bent over the sink so the stylist could wash and condition her hair. For Lucy this was the highlight of the trip. She closed her eyes and felt the warm water running through her hair. She felt the hands of the stylists as she worked in the shampoo, then rinsed it thoroughly, and went on to the conditioner. It was heavenly, and she wished it would never end. Lucy kept her eyes shut and felt all the familiar smells and sensations of having her hair done as she’d had it done in the past. For a few minutes she forgot about being naked, and handcuffed, and she forgot about tomorrow.
After their hair was done the last step arrived. The women could ask for whatever trimming or waxing they wanted. Lucy asked to be totally bare – she felt women, including herself, look best that way.
It was over all too soon and they all got up to leave. There were too many packages for Andrea to carry, so she handed some of them off to Matt. The five girls and Matt started walking back to the exit. Andrea was the only female who wasn’t wearing cuffs. But she walked along holding her hands clasped behind her back as if to get the feeling of what it was like to be handcuffed in public, and to show solidarity with the other four.
It was now late morning and the store was getting ready to open to the public. As they exited the front door Lucy saw with a shock that a small crowd had gathered. She just wanted to hurry to their van and get out of sight, but it didn’t work that way. The girls had to wait on the sidewalk while Matt laconically strolled across the parking lot to the van, picked up four sets of leg irons, and slowly strolled back. He started to put one of the hobbles on each of the women.
"Can I help?" Andrea asked cheerfully.
"Sure," Matt said, and handed her two of the hobbles.
Lucy was glad that it was Andrea, not Matt, who bent down in front of her to put the irons on her ankles. Lucy spread her legs a bit, so that Andrea could put the hobbles on her easily.
The irons had only a short length of chain between the two ankle cuffs. A girl could walk, but only slowly, with many short steps. Lucy had heard some men say that the slow, short steps for naked, handcuffed girl gave a very attractive sway to the breasts. "Men!" she thought with a combination of disgust and a chuckle, ". . . always thinking about just one thing."
One by one the girls were slowly escorted to the van, until they were all seated inside, buckled in, and driven back to the jail.
Lucy was glad to be back at the lockup, out of the public eye. It was about noon, and there was not much to do before tomorrow but wait – the preparations were complete. All the girls were led back to their individual cells. All the women got a few hours to be free of their cuffs, but they were warned it would only be for a short time - then they'd be cuffed until the next day. Lucy hated the idea of being cuffed all night, but there was nothing she could do about it. And a few hours later, sure enough, one of the guards put the restraints back on her.
Later that afternoon she thought she heard someone new coming into the jail. But she couldn't be sure.
Not much happened that evening and that night. Lucy tried to lay on her cot and relax. But she was too agitated and too uncomfortable to get more than a little sleep. Her sense of time was confused -- in some ways time seemed to be creeping by very slowly but in other ways she felt like her last night was racing by.
Morning came early.
The guards tapped on the cell doors, then got all the women up.
A few of the female guards were there. Andrea was there also, with her friend Judy, who was a clerk for the Judge.
To Lucy’s pleasant surprise, the handcuffs were removed. All four were led naked to the showers, were they were washed up. Lucy felt like a little child. Judy was with her, washing her down. Lucy didn’t have to do anything but stand there almost limp in the warm water. Judy washed her body, raising each of her arms to wash her better.
When the showers were over, the four women were dried off and led to a bench.
Their hands were tied with rope. Lucy had been wearing handcuffs for a week with only a few breaks. For her, the hemp felt scratchy and unfamiliar, but Judy knew what she was doing and the rope was very snug – it wouldn’t be coming off. Steel handcuffs were quick and effective, especially the female-sized cuffs typically used on the women. But long tradition in the old west dictated their wrists should be tied with hemp for the actual hanging.
Judy helped Lucy put on the stockings and shoes and makeup they had bought the day before. The human touch felt great. Andrea was helping Kate get ready, and a couple of the female guards helped Jo and Sally.
After awhile, the four were led outside to the holding area at the base of the gallows. Each walked slowly and carefully. There was no need to rush and it was hard to walk in their heels with arms tied back. Anyway, the slow walk from the jail to the gallows was part of the overall show for the crowd -- it was a chance for eager spectators go get their first good looks at the women.
To Lucy the gallows looked huge, dark and foreboding. She just tried not to think about it too much.
Someone had used chalk to mark out a small box on the ground, to show their waiting area. It was near the base of the gallows – each girl would have a close-up view of the action until it was her time to walk up the steps.
Some joker had placed a sign near one corner of the box, saying "Please wait behind the line until your name is called."
A crowd had already gathered, and gradually growing.
All the girls were surprised to see that the first hanging was to be someone new – someone from out of town. None of them had known about the new girl. Furthermore, the new girl was wearing a dress. To the others who had been naked for weeks, this caused a real problem. There was anger and agitation. For the first time, it looked like the deputies might have a mutiny on their hands, or some of the four might turn hostile. It took quick thinking on the part of one of the senior deputies to explain that the dress was only temporary – it was simply needed to make this new girl go along with the program, and would be torn away at the first opportunity.
This helped calm the situation, but only a little. The four women remained resentful and agitated that someone else was wearing clothing while they had none, and even though they all remained in place, they were all worked up about this.
A more somber mood returned to the holding box as the lengthy preparations came to an end. The new girl, Penny, didn’t seem very willing. But in the end, Penny went along – they got the noose over her and positioned her on one of the sets of trapdoors.
Lucy knew that the girls in the holding box were required to face the gallows and watch all that happened, from set-up to conclusion. One of the big female guards was standing behind the girls with a switch, ready to deliver a swift "swat" on any girl who looked away. The first stroke might fall on the back of the legs – the second stroke might fall on the belly or the breasts or some place even more sensitive. Lucy watched everything going on.
The actual hanging was very vivid. Lucy could see every gesture and hear every gurgle as the new girl fought the rope. The hangman had tied the rope for slow strangulation. To the girls waiting in the holding box it seemed like hours, as they saw Penny struggle and they got an up-close look at what was in store for them.
A few men gave her a good hard banging while she was helpless. The hardest thrusts were just enough for her to gulp some air, which only prolonged her agony.
Finally the Judge drove his sharpened walking stick up inside Penny to finish her off. Still, her body kept jerking for quite awhile until it was finally still.
While all this was going on, yet another new girl had arrived. Lucy’s feet and calves were already hurting from the shoes she was wearing, and she dreaded the feeling of more time like this. But on the other hand, she really didn’t mind hearing they’d all wait a bit longer while this second new girl, Marsha, took her turn with a noose.
Lucy never really heard the full story about how Marsha came to be there. Evidently she was visiting town with her new boyfriend, and he had been telling her in detail about the town tradition of female hangings that take place one day each summer. Maybe he’d been trying to recruit her to participate. In the end, Marsha said she’d do it, but only if it happened right away – she wouldn’t allow any delays for second thoughts. Faced with this option, the Judge agreed to take her on for a hanging very quickly.
The girls in the holding box were glad to see Marsha was naked like they were, with her hands bound and wearing heels.
Marsha’s hanging proceeded smoothly – as smoothly as one can see the life taken from a gorgeous, healthy strong young woman. Each hanging followed a certain script, yet each one was completely different – the struggles and mannerism of each girl were unique to that person.
The day was getting on and there were still four hangings to go. Lucy wondered if they would all get done that day.
Kate’s name was called next. Kate showed a nervous smile. She turned to the others, saying "Good luck to you all – be brave." She gulped and walked slowly up the stairs.
Kate’s preparation for hanging went smoothly.
When the trap doors first opened on Kate, she didn’t move much. For just an instant, Lucy thought that maybe the hanging wouldn’t work. Maybe Kate was so strong and could stay so still that the noose wouldn’t tighten around her neck, and the hanging wouldn’t work. Didn’t some circus performers hang by their neck in their acts, and live? But at almost the instant this thought came to Lucy, she knew it was nonsense. Kate jerked her body a bit, flexing her legs in an unnatural-looking way, and made a slight jerking motions with her hands. It was just the start of a build-up to a long, intense struggle. And in the end the rope won – it always did. After what seemed like a very long time Kate finally hung limp and lifeless, twisting and swaying slightly as she hung for her allotted time.
When time was up her body was dropped on the ground in a heap, then tossed into the waiting wagon next to Marsha's corpse.
By then it was past lunch time. The Judge called an adjournment until after lunch, when the hangings would resume.
Lucy, Jo and Sally were allowed a short break inside the jail building, then brought back out to the holding box. Lucy was relieved to see that a bench had been placed in the box so they could sit a bit – Lucy’s legs were hurting and she felt she’d fall over if force to stand any longer.
They didn’t want any food and only a little water.
Andrea and Judy came by to talk with the girls in the holding box.
"You look really tense, sweetheart" Andrea said to Lucy, putting her hand on Lucy's shoulder.
"I am," said Lucy, nodding.
"I would be in your situation," said Andrea. "Let me see if I can help you with that."
As Lucy sat on the bench, her hands still tied like Jo and Sally, Andrea gave her a vigorous massage of her shoulders, neck and back. It felt absolutely amazing. Lucy could just close her eyes to feel the warmth of the touch of another person, and feel the immense tension in her body reduced a bit.
Andrea wrapped up the massage by cupping Lucy’s breasts and kneading them roughly. Then she gave a playful, hard pinch on each nipple that made Lucy shudder and yelp, but also smile. Then Andrea finished up by stroking her neck and giving a single kiss between her shoulder blades. The feelings were fantastic for Lucy. She blushed. When Andrea was done she stepped away.
After the lunch break the bench was taken away and it was Sally’s turn on the gallows. Again, the process went on with all its horror and fascination for those watching. Again, there was a long, hard struggle with the rope.
After it was over, Lucy could only marvel at Sally’s body as it slowly twisted and hung the full allotted time. One moment she had been so full of warmth and life, and now her body hung limp and lifeless. The nipples on Sally’s breasts were engorged and hard – they stuck out in an obscene way, as if the body was still aroused. And occasionally the body made a jerky spasm as it slowly twisted. Lucy knew these were just post-mortem reactions, but they bothered her anyway. Lucy wondered if her body would do the same things.
Finally the full time had passed – Sally’s body was dropped to the ground, and thrown on the back of the wagon on top of Marsha and Kate like an old, discarded roll of carpet.
Lucy knew her time was getting short. She braced herself for what she knew was coming.
The hangman called their names.
She gave a nervous smile to Jo. She walked over to the base of the stairs, paused, took a few deep breaths, and started her one-way climb.
(edited March 20, 2017)
GALLOWS DAY AT THE OLD WEST FESTIVAL Part 1 “Just step this way sweetie,” said the hangman, holding an open noose. His voice was warm – Lucy had imaged he’d bark out harsh commands like an angry drill sergeant.
She stepped slowly as she reached the top of the stairs. “Ugh – I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she thought for the millionth time.
She walked carefully on the uneven wooden surface, worried she’d trip or her knees would buckle. When she was standing next to the hangman she closed her eyes, nodded a few times rapidly, and then lifted her chin to indicate she was ready for the noose.
He eased the rope over her head, pulled her braided pony tail out from inside the noose, and pulled it snug around her neck.
The rope was thick, with prickly hairs that tickled the bare skin of her neck. She opened her eyes. Standing high on the gallows platform she could see people milling around in the town squar
GALLOWS DAY AT THE OLD WEST FESTIVAL Part 2 [Excerpt: As the women got near the gallows and got a good look, some of their bravery and confidence seemed to fade. But still they kept walking.]
THIS IS PART 2. A LINK TO PART 1 IS BELOW.
Back in 1875 horse thieves must hang. Everybody knew that. So when two thieves were caught outside of town along with their girlfriends, it was only a matter or working out a few simple details.
The new judge in town said there should be a trial. People grumbled that this wasn't necessary. But the judge promised he'd make it quick, and then the guilty would hang.
True to his word, the trial went fast. The young men sat in court and looked nervous, but stoic. The girlfriends sat behind them, in the spectator’s gallery. They looked worried too. They whispered a lot to each other about what was going on.
Katie was the smaller of the two but a bit older and a bit bolder. Ann was a bit taller, slim, and more often quiet.
She had a several single-glove restraints, in different colors and made with different types of leather. They held her arms strictly behind her back. He had her wear one each day for his pleasure, usually a few hours a day.
When he had to leave town on business he left strict orders with her maid that his wife should be restrained each day.
The two women disagreed about exactly what he meant. Yelinda said her husband wanted her to wear the single-glove each day for a few hours, to stay in practice with the restraints. But the maid said he meant for Yelinda to wear it all day, every day, from the time she got up in the morning until the time she went to bed at night. The maid was adamant that she had her orders and she wouldn’t listen to any other point of view. So early each morning she placed Yelinda snugly in an arm binder and kept it on her until bedtime.
Yelinda was staying with her mother in law, Lady Ardmore, for much of this time. Lady Ardmore offered to try to clear up her son’s intentions.
She wrote to get more information. Since her son and her husband were in India on business (for 2 years), it took several months to get a reply.
Her son Charles said he only meant for Yelinda to wear the single glove a few hours a day, to stay familiar with the feelings of being restrained. But now that the maid had established a new pattern that had been in place for a few months already, he decided it made sense to continue for his wife to be restrained all of her waking hours every day until he returned. In addition, he said he wanted her to practice getting sleep in her restraint too.
Lady Ardmore had her own single-glove restraint. She had her maid put it on her from time to time. She liked how it looked and she liked the feelings. She would sometimes wear it for formal dinner parties and other special occasions. But she said it was only enjoyable for the first 1-2 hours. After that it started to became very uncomfortable. Once she wore it for seven hours – she said that was an agony she never wants to go through again. She said she can only imagine what her daughter in law must have been going through, wearing a snug single-glove armbinder 13-15 hours a day, every day, with no chance for a break or a day off, plus wearing it all night in bed every other night also.
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