The Republic's Laws don't allow them to be sentenced to death ... but their sentence is intended to get rid of the degraded sluts for good anyway
After the recession hit the small Republic and many of the mines which had previously employed both men and women below ground were forced to close, there was a coup d'etat by the Generals and a much harsher regime imposed in an attempt to return some stability to the economy.
One of the problems the Generals promised to deal with was the number of girls and women who turned to prostitution simply to try to get enough money to feed themselves after losing their jobs. The middle classes were affronted by the sight of these filthy half starved young women showing as much flesh from beneath their rags as the cold night air allowed in often futile attempts to get custom from the few men who could afford them, which might include the very soldiers who were supposed to be maintaining law and order.
The problem in the City had got to a point where the troops and police had rounded up so many of these poor girls that the few small cells allocated in the Citadel were so crowded that they had to take it in turns to sleep lying on the mixture of straw urine and shit on the floors. At least the stench reduced the possible ardour of the warders towards their charges and limited their contact to passing bowls of stale bread or rotten vegetables through the cell bars.
Tayna was only seventeen but her worn pale face made her appear to be in her late twenties after two hard years working underground hauling coal tubs in a colliery, which had however given her a lean but fit body. After walking the thirty or so miles to the City, with fellow ex-mineworkers Sabrina and Fanita, she attempted to work as a prostitute after seeing many older and less good looking women picking up men on the street corners. However before even getting her first customer she was arrested by a motorised patrol.
Tayna had seen her only two friends taken roughly from the cells and assumed they were being taken to court, but they were returned limp, exhausted and totally naked after about a week. Apparently to dissuade soldiers from encouraging prostitution a few of the arrested girls were taken to the barracks, strapped spread-eagled to wooden tables and their heads hooded by oilcloth bags so they could neither see nor could their faces be seen, the troops were then allowed to do whatever they willed with them. At intervals their vaginas were washed out with near boiling water to reduce the spread of disease. Eventually they had become so weak that the soldiers complained that the girls no longer responded to being screwed and manhandled in even the most erotic or sadistic ways so they had been returned to the cells and new girls sent out.
One of her two friends she saw being dragged back into a cell at the far end of the prison, but Samara (Sam) was returned into Tayna's cell so she tried to tend to her friends wounds while learning with horror what had happened. It seemed increasingly unlikely that they would ever get a fair trial, not that anything had seemed fair since last autumn's coup. Sam seemed to have little will to live, throwing up any food that Tayna persuaded her to swallow while she seemed to have lost all feeling below her waist. Tayna tore a strip from the lower part of her sackcloth tunic around her midriff to make a crude loincloth which provided some slight modesty for Sam as she faded away. During the cold of the clear, starry nights (not that the girls could see much of the stars through the small high unglazed window with its single bar) Tayna hugged Sams cold body tight to her to try to stop her from freezing to death but this only made her more conscious of the washboard like rib cage and horn like hips of her friend.
Tayna dreaded the inevitable morning when she would awake to find Sam even colder than usual and no longer breathing, but when the wardens dragged her from the cell she left Sam clinging to life. Indeed she had even kept down two meals of rotten potatoes over the last couple of days. Tayna's legs felt weak as a pair of wardens dragged her across the courtyard of the Citadel and after a few weak steps she allowed her bare feet to be dragged across the rough cobbles, resigned to becoming a plaything of the troops. Instead she found herself in the courtroom, along with seven other women.
When many of the mines closed the Generals made it illegal for women to work underground, so that their places at work in the few remaining pits could be taken by men from the closed ones. They may have hoped that all the displaced women would be cared for by those men still working, but as well as those who sought fortune 'working' in the City many instead roamed the countryside begging and stealing. The courts could hardly make begging and prostitution capital offences so unless a girl was caught stealing (for which offence she could be sent to the gallows) they could only justify a custodial sentence. However the Generals made it quite clear that they wished these 'nuisances' would just disappear.
Judge Tawridge looked with disgust at the eight smelly creatures huddled in the dock across the small courtroom. He asked the Court Usher to open the leaded windows to let in some of the fresh spring air. Tayna didn't know any of the other women but felt very self conscious about her bare hollow belly and protruding hips now exposed below the ripped remains of her tunic, she self consciously pulled her shapeless dark grey cotton skirt up over her midriff and pulled the rotting sisal cord that served as a belt tighter - only for it to snap. Her skirt now slid down even lower than before but luckily her firm buttocks stopped it dropping to the floor. The Judge stared in disgust as the top of her pubic hair was briefly exposed before she managed to pull the skirt back up. Judge Tawridge muttered "for God's sake let's get this over with quickly" as the Lieutenant finished his account of the women's arrests. He silenced a vain attempt by one of the women to explain that she had not been soliciting and pronounced his sentence.
The criminals were to be taken to a place allocated by the Government in the remote south of the country and there interned within a secure area where they could cause neither offense nor trouble. Only after they had been led out of the courtroom did Tayna realise he had not mentioned a length of time for their sentence. As they waited in the corner of the courtyard, faced by a dozen soldiers armed with rifles and fixed bayonets, Tayna rearranged her dress by tying a knot in the top of it to keep it from slipping down again. One grizzled soldier nudged the young con next to him and pointed at her with a grin. Then the Sergeant barked a command and several of the soldiers lent their rifles against the wall and advanced on the women. Tayna's hands were grabbed roughly and tied together in front of her.
Instead of being loaded into a truck Tayna saw the great wooden gates of the Citadel opened and the Sergeant motioned them to walk. However a warder came hurrying across the courtyard carrying an armful of manacles and chains, then followed a huddled discussion with the soldiers. The warder then took the chains and manacles away and returned with a coil of rope. The girls bound wrists were then tied to this long rope at intervals. She now wished she hadn't allowed her feet to be cut and bruised by being dragged to the court instead of walking as she recalled it was at least half a mile walk to the station where they must surely be heading. She couldn't recall exactly when she had lost her clogs, but they had become so soaked in shit and urine in the cell that they had started to make her feet sting. Had she known she was in for a walk before being taken from the cell perhaps she could have found them, or would they have been cleared away with the soiled straw? By concentrating on such trivia she tried to ignore the stares of passers by in the city streets.
They didn't turn left down Fleet Road to the station but carried on to the outskirts of the City. With growing horror Tayna realised they were going to walk all the way! How far? Judge Tawridge had said they were to be taken to a remote area in the south, how far south? She felt that even another mile would be impossible with her feet cut and bruised, but it must surely be somewhere further away than the mines and they were at least thirty miles away! Her feet stung and her head throbbed, she recalled they had been taken to the court before the day's food had been flung through the bars, although luckily she had drunk some of the stale water from the trough in the cell. The Judge had referred to a 'remote area'. Tayna stumbled as she stubbed her toe on a stone as the road surface deteriorated after they passed the last house. "Oh my God" she muttered as she thought perhaps the Judge was referring to the mountains, but how far were they? Fifty or a hundred miles south of the mines? Judge Tawridge had given them a death sentence after all!
It was a fine spring day and in the village older women stood chatting while their menfolk and younger women toiled in the fields. It was the butcher's wife who first saw the group slowly coming up the dusty hill between the low hedges. The soldiers ambled along looking bored apart from one, the Sergeant, who tried to march but in slow motion. Eight women staggered along, occasionally leaning against one another but hindered by their hands being tied in front of them. "By Jesus what be here" exclaimed the butcher's wife, "convicts" said a plump younger woman next to her "I seen some about two weeks ago just before dawn", then to the third woman in the group "thieves or rebels I expect". Then they stared in silence as the group passed them, observing one very young looking girl with a painfully thin pale face, an older tall woman wearing a very thin white cotton blouse which rippled in the warm breeze then a slightly younger woman wearing a top made from sacking torn across just below her breasts to reveal her bottom ribs protruding above a concave stomach below which the top of her skirt stretched between her hip bones leaving a gap in front of her lower belly. As they then studied the fourth woman the Sergeant suddenly turned back to the bystanders and asked them to provide some water for the prisoners.
"Thank God for some humanity" said the tall woman in front of her to Tayna. "I've not had a drink since yesterday". Tayna replied, taking the beaker from her mouth "I'm Tayna". "Varnia" came the reply. "Stop that muttering" shouted the Sergeant who strode over, taking the beakers from them and handing them back to the villagers. "Carry on!" The young looking girl who had sat down was prodded to her feet with a bayonet. "Get moving!"
Once the party of convicted women was past the village the guards became more impatient and the older grizzled soldier started prodding the young looking girl in the back and buttocks with his bayonet has she stumbled to a standstill several times. The Sergeant seemed to smile with approval and barked "hurry up". Tayna now feared that the slight kindness in providing drinks was only for the villagers' benefit.
By mid afternoon the breeze had died away and Tayna's pale white skin was unused to the late spring sunshine which now caressed it. As they were forced to climb a long shallow hill Varnia's thin cotton blouse became soaked with sweat and stuck to her body, the outline of her breasts and nipples becoming more and more visible. Tayna could only feel a dull burning sensation from her feet and when she looked down at them she could see dust stuck to the blood from the cuts and grazes that they now bore. At last the young girl with the thin face responded to one more prod from the bayonet by falling forward onto her bony elbows splitting the skin to the bone, the soldier dragged her roughly to her feet but as soon as he released his grip she fell again to the ground. The Sergeant walked up, untied her from her position on the long rope, unbound her wrists then re-tied the trailing end of the rope in a loose loop round her neck. "Pass the rope between your legs and walk" he commanded the rest of the women and they staggered forward dragging the poor creature along by the neck while the soldier prodded her from behind with his bayonet. She struggled up onto all fours again and dejectedly crawled forward, thin trickles of blood running down her sweat soaked thighs. Tayna could hear the girl's choked sobs and looked briefly around but could only see her hair hanging forward brushing the ground, her sweat soaked pink cotton blouse sticking to her thin shoulder and her bare buttocks sticking up behind. She slowly realised that the poor girls already rotten colourless skirt must have been ripped to shreds below her waist by the probing bayonet.
It surely couldn't continue much longer, Tayna's buttocks too were now being prodded by another soldier's bayonet as she slowed with the strain of pulling the rope. She started sobbing. Her head throbbed with the heat and exhaustion and she didn't know whether she was crying for her own plight or for the collapsed girl behind who was now being dragged along the ground by the neck as her grazed arms and legs made feeble attempts to ease the strain.
"Stop" called the Sergeant in a resigned voice and the women were pushed into the welcome shade of a roadside copse. "Mess time" he commanded in a more cheerful tone and the soldiers removed their backpacks and started to eat. No food for the prisoners who just lay in the dirt watching with dull eyes as the soldiers ate their small rations. The young girl who had collapsed on the march rolled slowly onto her back panting weakly, small bare bleeding breasts and grazed ribs exposed as the shredded front of the once pink blouse fell away.
The young con who had grinned when he first saw Tayna in the Citadel walked over to her, his face expressionless. Tayna instinctively pressed her knees together, but he took her bound hands gently and led her through the trees. Tayna closed her eyes tightly and clenched her fists but then he said calmly "drink" and pointed to a slow running stream. She fell to her knees in the cool mud and buried her face in the water then began lapping like a dog.
One by one the other prisoners were led to the water, though the thin faced young girl had to be dragged there by the shoulders. Tayna wasn't sure that she had actually drunk much before she was dragged back and dropped carelessly to the ground with the rest of the pitiful group who were then bound together again.
"What's your name?" asked Tayna gently but the filthy half-naked girl just stared back with dull blue-grey eyes and didn't answer. As the sun fell their sweat soaked clothes started to chill and the prisoners huddled together for warmth, no one spoke but it appeared they were to spend the night there. The soldiers got grey blankets from their packs, which they wrapped around their shoulders as they smoked and chatted quietly. As the last of the evening light faded and the stars brightened in the dusk the young con started tearing off clumps of bracken, which he then cautiously carried over to the prisoners, looking back several times at the Sergeant who was watching him. He gently spread the bracken over the slumped form of the tragic young girl, then silently rejoined the rest of the escort who made no comment.
The dawn brought with it a damp mist. The grey light only added to the gloom of Tayna's surroundings, she reached across to the still form half covered by loose bracken. The young girl's chest still rose and fell slowly. The blood, which had stained her fragile body red the night before, had now dried to a brownish black coated in dust. Tayna's own feet legs and wrists ached and hurt when she moved, her shoulders, arms and calves stung from yesterday's unaccustomed sun and had turned reddish pink. Her stomach felt as if a belt was tied tight around it but when she looked down there was nothing there, it would soon be two days since she had last eaten.
The soldiers were warming up some rations for breakfast but looked at the women in gloomy silence. Then the young soldier spoke hesitantly to the Sergeant before walking over to the young girl, cradling her head in his hands he patiently poured a little warm soup into her dry mouth. He then gently lay her back on the bracken before running his hands over her bare breasts, then moved his hands down to her slim thighs. "Enough" called the Sergeant and one soldier called out "got yerself a lover then, boy", another jeered "she charges for that you know" as red faced he returned to them.
For the first time the Sergeant spoke directly to the prisoners "do you want to carry that bitch or drag her" then he laughed. Varnia and a tanned strongly built woman stepped forward and each took one of the girl's shoulders. "You'll have enough trouble without any unnecessary weight" jeered the grizzled old soldier who strode forward and swiftly ripped away the few rags still hanging off the girl, other soldiers whistled and cheered. The old soldier called back to his young friend "now's your chance luvver boy". The Sergeant silenced further comment by shouting "come along lovely boys, let's get moving, we hardly got started yesterday".
The mist cleared but Tayna was thankful it remained cloudy. The pain from aching legs, torn feet and sunburn began to be a part of her existence which she accepted, carefully placing one foot in front trying not to cause further injury. In front of her Varnia and the other woman dragged the silent, naked young girl. Carefully at first but as they tired they let her feet drag more heavily on the ground. The next village they skirted round using farm tracks, it seemed that the Sergeant was becoming embarrassed about the state of his charges. The young girl suddenly coughed violently and her surprised helpers dropped her face down on the hard ground. The two women looked at each other and Varnia said wearily "Marie, this isn't working", Varnia then rolled the girl on her back and grabbed both her arms and Marie stood between the girls legs and lifted them. In this undignified way with her head hanging back and blood from her nose running across her face the broken girl had perhaps a slightly more comfortable journey for a while.
Around midday, as they rejoined the road after taking to rough tracks to avoid passing through a small town, they sighted an inn. The prisoners were allowed to fall to the ground and rest as the Sergeant wrote out a requisition note and sent two of the older soldiers off to the pub. They returned each bearing half a dozen jugs of ale. For the next three-quarters of an hour the soldiers sat drinking and smoking, largely ignoring the women.
"Rest over, get a move on" barked the Sergeant and the prisoners were dragged to their feet. Even the young girl managed to stand unaided but within a few steps of the party setting off she stumbled and sagged to her knees. The Sergeant struck her in the small of her back with his rifle and she fell on her face, he then rolled her onto her back and gave her a vicious kick in the side of her rib cage, Tayna wasn't sure but thought she heard a crack as if it broke a rib. The Sergeant spat in disgust at the filthy naked body sprawled on the ground and muttered "Shit, I give up on this bitch" then turned to his soldiers saying "she's finished , we'll leave her here" . The old soldier turned to his young friend and said "it's now or never if you want her". Another soldier grabbed the girl's feet and dragged her lifeless form off the road and lay her across a fallen tree. The youngster had quickly stripped off his uniform and ran over to her and eased his erect member into her exposed vagina. As he grabbed her hips and started rhythmically screwing her she coughed and crimson blood spurted from her mouth. Although he soon came in her with a cry of delight she showed no sign of an orgasm and Tayna feared she might already be dead. The slim young soldier fell forward clasping her to his own pale slender body, caressing her shoulders, ribcage and breasts. When he got back to his feet there were tears in his eyes but he quickly wiped them away and turned to his comrades and grinned saying "fucking great!". "Anyone else want a go" called the Sergeant though his eyes seemed to be fixed on the naked youth. Another soldier walked over to her, felt at the side of her neck and said "I ain't fucking no corpse", he then pulled a large stone from the roadside hedgebank, raised it above his head and brought it down onto the girl's face with all his strength. The Sergeant then joined him and together they dragged the shattered carcass of the nameless young teenager to the roadside ditch and rolled her into its peaty water. As the prisoners were herded on along the road Tayna took a sideways glance down to see only a pale pair of thin buttocks still visible above the water.
The Sergeant felt their party was less disrespectable now, although he still looked with disgust at Tayna whose torn rags failed to cover much of her body. She, along with a petite girl with roughly cropped short fair hair now seemed to be the weakest of the prisoners. At least he felt able to march them through the centre of the next village later that afternoon.
General Slade had suggested that convicts should be marched on foot from the City to the proposed internment camps so the sight of them would serve as a warning to all in the towns and villages they passed through. It would certainly have been more economical to have shipped them by rail in cattle trucks, but he chose a route march through the more troublesome areas to act as a warning to other waifs and strays. Although the Sergeant was aware of this, that morning he had perhaps felt that dragging a naked bloody unconscious youngster with them would have reflected badly on the regiment.
Dusk came early that evening, the clouds darkened and a light drizzle started. They encamped for the night by a stream, which the road crossed by a stone arch leaving space between the water and the abutment for them all to shelter. The soldiers took it in turn to strip and wash, apparently oblivious to the watching women. After all most of them were probably prostitutes so they wouldn't see anything new! The prisoners were allowed to drink while both Varnia and Marie washed themselves as well as they could manage without removing their clothes, although Varnia's sodden blouse failed to hide much from the watching men.
Despite the miserable weather the Sergeant felt happier than he had the previous night. He estimated they had covered about 20 miles that day, but as he heard the little blonde start to sob softly he worried that the prisoners were weakening. Nothing had been said to him about feeding the prisoners, he had however been told that it wouldn't go too badly for him if a few failed to complete the journey so his concern was more about the time it might take.
Tayna shuffled over to sit next to the little blonde and took her hand, the girl turned her tear stained face to Tayna and asked her name, then she told Tayna hers was Frey. They both then moved forward to soothe their swollen feet in the clear running water for a while. Although it was damp and depressing the cloud meant it wasn't getting as cold as the previous night. Just as she started to fall asleep Tayna was startled by gunshots. Another woman screamed and Tayna clasped Frey tight to her.
Shortly afterwards two soldiers returned with a rabbit. The Sergeant thought that some of his men could do with practising their marksmanship while some food for the prisoners might help them keep up the pace. Unfortunately the soldiers were poorer shots than he expected so it was difficult to cut up one small rabbit into seven portions. The Sergeant deliberately gave Tayna and Frey the smallest pieces of the tough raw meat, silently assessing that if necessary he could probably afford to cull two more of his charges without too many questions being asked.
Tayna was woken by water from the stream lapping at her feet as the swollen stream rose in response to the now torrential rain. Although it was barely light the Sergeant hustled everyone to their feet and moved them off the rapidly disappearing platform where they had spent the night. As they scrambled up out from the shelter of the river gully the full force of the wind driven rain hit them. The soldiers had the protection of oilskin capes they produced from their rucksacks but the women's clothes gave no protection from the rain. They struggled on up the hill away from the river, bare feet splashing in the rivulets of muddy water running back down the hill. Tayna's wet hair was plastered across her face and she looked with envy at Frey in front of her, wondering for the first time if she had had her hair cut while held in the Citadel, or whether she had not long previously been arrested. Now was certainly not the time to ask her!
The Sergeant had deliberately bound Tayna at the rear of the line of prisoners as he considered her the most likely to need pulling along by the others, along with Frey in front of her. Marie he had chosen to lead as he hoped she would set the best pace. As they breasted the top of the hill the full force of the storm hit them, taking Tayna's breath away. The wind driven raindrops lashed her sunburned bare arms legs and midriff like tiny nails and her sodden, ripe cotton skirt wrapped itself tight around the front of her thighs as she staggered forward, the movement of her legs made it slip down further below her hips as the improvised knot holding it up came undone. She futilely fumbled to re-tie it with her bound hands, aware that if she stopped the soldier behind would yet again prod her with his bayonet to keep her moving. The sodden ragged remains opf her skirt fell around her ankles and as she stumbled the soldier behind couldn't help responding to the sight of her bare buttocks by thrusting his bayonet forward into them. At the same moment the rope around her wrist was pulled forward by Frey, unaware of Tayna's problems, and she fell to her knees yelling "fucking stop!".
The Sergeant turned and walked back with a resigned expression on his face, this was just what he expected from that half naked slut. Remembering the fate of the young girl the previous day Tayna defiantly said "I'll be alright, just let me get up". As the got to her feet she became aware of a warm sensation at the back of her right leg, she twisted to see a stream of blood, running down from her wounded buttock. "The rain's making it look worse" volunteered Frey, but when Tayna pulled her skirt back up over it the coarse material rubbing the wound was unbearable. She started to cry. "Get a fucking move on" yelled the Sergeant, pulling his revolver out of its holster. She quickly dropped the skirt and instead carried it in her hands as she resumed walking sobbing "it's okay I'm not crippled, you bastards", though in truth each step caused sharp pains both from her pierced buttock and from her split knees.
They weren't allowed even a moment's rest until mid-day. Tayna was feeling such agony and felt so humiliated after a group of men stopped work on repairing a workshop roof as they passed and all stared straight at her as she staggered past, her body still bare below the sodden remains of her tunic. But it was Frey who stumbled and fell bringing the Sergeant running back to lift her back up by the neck and stare into her terrified eyes. "My feet ...." she pleaded. He let her drop face down again and grabbed one of her ankles looking at the wet, bloody swollen foot. He told the soldiers to stop and eat, then commanded the youngest soldier "find something to bandage this whore's feet with". He fumbled in his pack for a field dressing, "you stupid boy" yelled the Sergeant "that's for you or you're mates if your injured, not to be thrown away on a bitch we'll probably have to shoot before the day's out". "Then what..." he started, then turned back to Frey who lay face down in the mud sobbing quietly. He grabbed the top of her coarse sodden dress behind her neck and ripped it down to her waist, baring her back. Then he tore it across for a few inches before tearing it back up to the neckline producing a strip of material which he used to bandage her right foot. He then roughly tore a second strip from the bottom of the dress exposing the back of her legs almost to her buttocks and proceeded to use that to bandage the other foot.
The Sergeant walked forward checking the other prisoners bloody feet while Tayna hurriedly pulled her skirt back on, terrified that it might be snatched to provide further bandages. Before the young soldier had a chance to start eating his ration after repacking his backpack they were all commanded to start moving again. As Frey staggered to her feet the shoulders of her ruined sodden dress slipped down her arms exposing her breasts. Her bound wrists prevented her from pulling it back up and as they all resumed their pathetic march onward through the pouring rain more of the fabric tore so the tattered remains of the sleeves hung around her wrists while the rest of the shredded dress slipped with each pained step until it trailed on the ground from her ankles. Fearful of tripping she kicked it from her feet, one of the useless bandages slipping off with it. As they trudged slowly onward Tayna stared pitifully down at the red stains in the muddy footprints Frey left as she bravely struggled on with rivulets of rain trickling down her shivering naked body.
By the time they stopped for the evening in the foothills of the mountains near a recently closed mine the rain and wind had thankfully died away and the exhausted women slumped haphazardly on the still wet short moorland grass. "If you morons can't shoot more than a single rabbit lets see if you can even hit a sheep from 200 yards" the Sergeant challenged his troops. Even that stationary target took one of the soldiers four shots. Two of the soldiers dragged the carcass back to their encampment while others started untying the ropes from the women's bleeding wrists and transferring the bonds to their ankles for the night. With this small act to ease the prisoners' discomfort Tayna hoped the Sergeant had after all some pity for his charges. Was the sheep carcass to feed them as well as the soldiers?
Some of the soldiers were commanded to build a fire while others started skinning the sheep. Tayna waited for the young soldier to finish attending to Marie's bonds and release her own burning wrists -suddenly Marie sprang to her feet! The soldier grabbed the back of her scanty ragged dress but the strong woman just pulled away from him, the dress tearing from top to bottom leaving just a sodden strip in the soldiers hand. Marie ran fast and low to a gorse bank nearby while tearing away the useless tattered shreds remaining of the dress. Ignoring the tearing spines she thrust her bare tanned body through the gorse and disappeared into the gully of a small stream.
As the Sergeant screamed obscenities all the soldiers grabbed their rifles and set off in pursuit but then with further furious screams the Sergeant ordered two of them back to guard the rest of the prisoners. Having taken the unexpected chance to flee Marie knew her life was worthless to her pursuers and that she must put distance between them and herself as quickly as possible. Though encouraged by their difficulty in culling even a stationary sheep she nevertheless realised she was weak from lack of food and could not sustain this agonising burst of energy for long. Reaching the end of the gully the stream cascaded 15 feet down rocks so she scrambled up out of the far side but three shots rang out as soon as she returned to the soldiers' view, she could hear the bullets hissing through the gorse inches from her thighs. Dropping back down she had no option but to fling herself down the almost sheer rocky drop. Bloody feet slipping on the wet rocks her buttocks crashed onto a rock ledge half way down toppling her forward, arms outstretched. She belly flopped onto the boulders at the bottom, feeling ribs cracking like twigs as her face splattered sideways onto the rock. A broken cheekbone sent agonising stabs of pain every time her left eyeball moved in its socket as she coughed up little globules of blood from her pierced lung with each painful breath.
Yet still she staggered forward bent double following the twists of the stream as it tumbled on down its little cleft. Her insane desperation allowed her to pull ahead of the troops who assumed they must surely be closing on her. Her nails carelessly torn from her toes by the rocky bed, her tanned breasts splattered with sweat and coughed up blood she spotted several large boulders close above the stream and hauled herself amongst them and wedged her body down tight between and half beneath them. In panic she looked back towards the stream expecting to see a tell tale trail of blood but, painfully staring with just one eye she could see nothing obvious.
Tayna had heard the soldiers' gunshots in the distance and selfishly hoped that was the end of their pursuit and they could now get something to eat. But as the minutes passed nothing more was seen or heard of the hunt. She crawled closer to Frey and put an arm around her naked shaking shoulders. Frey was sobbing uncontrollably with cold, hunger and fear.
Marie must have passed out for a short while, for as consciousness returned she had to noisily cough up a lot of blood from her lungs before she could take a deep breath of air. She heard shouts nearby answered by more distant voices. It seemed the soldiers had stopped their headlong pursuit and were now returning beating the clumps of gorse and searching over a wide front. Her fainting had lost her precious time and she feared the troops would quickly spot the boulders as a likely hiding place. She painfully dragged her torn aching body from beneath the boulders and painfully scampered and slithered along up away from the stream keeping as close to the ground as possible. She had nearly made it into the shelter of a small copse when one of the soldiers spotted her. She heard shouts then a gunshot followed by a sharp blow to her buttocks, which sent her sprawling as for the first time one of the bullets found its mark. Her whole lower body felt as if flames were spreading inside her left thigh and through her abdomen. The bullet had hit bone to be deflected inside her pelvis then ripping through her lower belly to burst bloodily from her body to the left of her navel.
An animal instinct for survival took over her pain racked body, she lifted her head and shoulders from the ground and dragged herself forward with her arms into the woods. A rifle butt driven down hard between her shoulder blades soon halted her desperate progress. Angrily the old soldier, whose shot had stopped her, forcefully rolled her onto her back with a boot at the side of her ribcage. A glance at the bloody mess they had recaptured made it clear they had little time if they were to exact revenge while she still clung to life. The Sergeant caught up with them red faced and panting, but smiling at the old soldier he said "I knew you didn't need to join in the practise earlier, well done!". After looking at Marie, sprawled on her back shuddering as she struggled to breathe despite the agony each breath caused in her crushed chest and torn abdomen, he said "get the other bitches over here to see what happens if they try to escape".
Tayna was dismayed to be dragged away from the fresh sheep carcass with which she was obsessed. As they were herded into the woods she was momentarily cheered by the sight of another fresh bloody carcass before she realised it was Marie. Once they were roughly lined up facing her the Sergeant commanded "crucify her!". Quickly finding a sturdy tree to which a solid branch was hurriedly lashed across, Marie was tied, arms spread above her, feet clear of the ground. As the horrified prisoners watched Marie strained twice causing blood to spurt from the ragged hole in her belly in addition to the continual trickle of blood down her left leg from her perforated buttock. However her one open eye stared aimlessly into space. The Sergeant took bayonets from two of the soldiers and using a rock as a hammer drove one through each wrist. Although little more could have been added to the agony she was already in, this action symbolised the finality of her present position. The women were made to stand and watch for nearly quarter of an hour as, though no longer struggling, the pathetic girls ruined chest still slowly rose and fell as her lungs filled with blood.
Released from its bonds after the bayonets had been retrieved the broken body, which even Tayna had once found erotic in its perfection, crumpled to the ground and the other prisoners were made to drag it by the ankles back to the fire.
A spit was set up and pieces of flesh were carved from the sheep to be roasted for the soldiers, except that as punishment for letting Marie escape the youngest soldier got none. The Sergeant roughly carved a piece of raw flesh from the thigh of the human carcass and threw it to the prisoners saying "that's all you're going to get to eat so make the best of it". None of the hunched prisoners touched the bloody piece of meat and they tried to ignore its existence despite painfully clutching their empty aching bellies and shivering with cold. Eventually, in the interests of the party making some progress the next day, the Sergeant relented and threw several handfuls of cold discarded offal from the sheep at them, which they fought each other to devour.
"You gonna shag another corpse then" teased the other soldiers. "She wasn't dead, well not THAT dead" retorted the young soldier. "I'ld rather fuck that one" said another pointing at Frey. He stood up and strode towards the terrified girl who curled into a ball trying to hide her nudity. "Let's see her properly" called one of the others who were running over to join him. Soldiers grabbed the little blonde's hand and feet and her pale body was spreadeagled on its back, thin legs spread wide. "No! Not me" she sobbed. "Yer just doing your old job again, slut" laughed the soldier who was about to rape her. Another cruelly commented "that corpse there had a much better body than yer pile of bones" just before he forced his rigid penis in between her aching thighs while tearing at her small breasts with his dirty fingernails. After seven of the lustful soldiers had finished with her she just lay on her back panting with her legs still spread wide while the Sergeant re-bound her slim wrists above her head to the long rope. Tayna and the other women shuffled as far away from the obscene humiliated girl as their bonds permitted. The following morning Tayna awoke to slight warmth on her back from the spring sunshine. Looking around she saw Frey stil lay as the soldiers had discarded her, exposing her sore sex between spread thighs. Her red eyes suggested she had been crying all night. The fire still smouldered and stank of burnt flesh, as both the sheep's and Marie's carcasses had been thrown onto it where the flames had failed to completely consume them.
After the last couple of days' bad weather the spring sunshine cheered the soldiers up considerably and they laughed as they repacked their kit before dragging their despondent prisoners to their feet. Frey was dragged to her feet with great discomfort. The soles of her feet shredded and her vagina swollen from abuse she immediately sat down again, her face expressionless as she looked at the Sergeant's holster, half hoping he would draw his revolver and end her pain and humiliation.
Frey had been moved back to replace Tayna at the trailing end of the long rope and the Sergeant guesssed that the threat of further pain rather than death would be more effective. "Walk or they'll just have to drag you" he sneered. She again staggered to her feet, legs bowed and feet twisted on edge in agony. Yet Tayna was amazed that Frey still staggered along behind them as they climbed higher into the mountains. In contrast to the recent continuous cold and exposure they all now sweated in the hot sun as the climb stiffened, the soldiers perhaps worse off than the mainly scantily clad prisoners.
Varnia's useless cotton blouse, rotten from damp and sweat, feel apart at the seams across her shoulders from the constant tugging off her bound arms. Her right breast fell out as it slipped down to the petty amusement of the escort. Seeing the soldier alongside her laughing she spat at him in contempt, he swiftly tore away the remains of her top, then slammed his rifle butt in her belly so hard that she doubled up in pain and fell to the ground. Hearing the commotion the Sergeant ran back to see her sprawled on the ground, "another bitch gone down" sighed her attacker. The Sergeant kicked hard the side of her abdomen, unaware of the previous blow, and she rolled onto her back, her contorted face screaming obscenities at him. He dragged her to her feet by the hair, hit her in her screaming mouth with the handle of his revolver breaking three or four teeth and snarled "I hope we don't have to crucify you too, just when we're almost there". Shocked at the senseless abuse of her innocent friend Tayna hurried to follow as Varnia started trudging forward again. The sudden restart took Frey off balance as she tried to ease the pain from the soles of her feet.
"Are they trying to fucking piss me off?" shouted the sweaty red faced Sergeant as Frey sprawled forward. Tayna pulled gamely forward dragging Frey face down along the road, the other women also put effort into keeping the group moving forward. The Sergeant laughed at Frey's body jerkily being dragged along leaving thin streaks and splatters of blood on the stony ground and replaced his gun in its holster.
The youngest soldier, already too tired and hungry to be aroused by Frey's nudity, viewed her as one might watch any wounded animal. He idly wondered if she would be alive or dead when they reached the internment camp, casually studying her painful twisting from side to side as she tried to prevent further laceration of her breasts, ribs and hips from the stony track.
To add to the convicts disreputable appearance as they approached the camp Tayna's skirt again came undone and fell to the ground. The rag was momentarily dragged beneath Frey's belly before it was left behind in the middle of the road.
Tayna was surprised to see how few buildings there were at the internment camp. A couple of large wooden huts stood each side of the tall wire gates. A high perimeter fence topped with four strands of razor wire extended some way each side of the entrance to where rudimentary watch towers stood at which points the fence presumably turned away.
The guard at the gate stood watching without emotion as the prisoners slowly struggled the last few yards towards him. Most other consignments had arrived piled onto farm carts or in the backs of lorries, this was the first time an escort had managed to get the their charges to struggle all the way on foot. As the guard pressed a button by the gate the Sergeant apologised for losing two of the eight convicts. "Don't worry, most of the other groups lost more than that before giving up and requisitioning some transport" the guard replied.
The women were roughly shoved through the gates as an officer appeared from the nearest hut with two other armed guards. Tayna expect him to address them but he just stood and watched as Frey was dragged clear of an inner gate. The guards released their bonds then just walked away. They girls all just lay resting where they had been released, wondering what would happen next.
Then Tayna noticed another group of three women with tanned, or filthy, skin slowly approaching them. They wore soiled and tattered clothes clearly splattered with dried blood and the nearest carried a large stone in one fist. Tayna didn't like the way they stared intently at the new arrivals. "Feeding time girls!" called out one of the guards with a grin. Horrified the six new arrivals dragged Frey's barely conscious body into the middle of their group and got to their feet facing off the three leering women. Tayna watched as they slowly circled them, all the while studying the new arrivals intently, their strong looking leader thenm snarled "don't look so scared, were not hungry ... yet" before they ambled away.
After a monents silence Varnia shakily said "there seem to be some boulders near a stream over there near the fence, I suggest we explore a bit". The hot women drank eagerly from the cool stream then Tayna suggested they sit Frey beneath the shade of the largest boulder. However when they looked beneath it there were the remains of at least two human skeletons, still with some hair on the skulls, though most of the limbs seemed to be missing. Tayna collapsed in a heap sobbing, realising why the Judge had thought it unnecessary to specify durations of their sentences. Varnia dragged the bones out from beneath the boulders tossing them into a slight dip in the ground about 20 yards away so they wouldn't have to keep looking at them.
"What are WE going to eat" sobbed Tayna as she tried to make Frey comfortable now the cool water had revived her a bit. "Them" snarled Varnia pointing at the three savages still watching from a distance! "And we'd better take it in turns to keep watch from on top of these rocks" she added with a cold practicality. Tayna wondered how much of their predicament Frey understood as another of their emaciated companions sobbed "I need to eat NOW" then started tearing up clumps of the short grass and soil and stuffing it into her mouth.
As the sun sank towards the warm shimmering horizon Tayna climbed down after her turn keeping watch, where there had at least been a slight cooling breeze. She removed the ragged remains of her tunic and rolled it into a crude thin pillow before settling down naked alongside Frey for the night like an animal, clasping her hollow aching belly, unsure whether they would see another dawn, or even if she actually wanted to ...