Second Chapter of W.H. Collins’s dark erotic fantasy. All fourteen chapters are now available from Amazon under the title The Fall of the Black Queen.
Note that this story is intended for mature audiences only and contains extremely graphic depictions of material that many audiences will find disturbing, including spanking and forced nudity. Nothing herein is intended to glorify or condone the horrific experiences which the protagonist endures, and the reader is strictly instructed not to take any prurient interest in this tale of medieval violence and sexual exploitation.
“I heard she’s been w’ every man at court. ‘Er father the Old King and her uncle the duke included. Can you imagine? God save us from such wantonness.”
“It’s the Devil gives her her beauty. And her dark powers, so they say. Every night a demon slips into her bedchambers, hooves and horns and scaley skin and all, and the princess she lunges for the foul creature’s manhood like a woman starving—beg me pardon, sisters, but I’m only telling what I’ve heard—she puts the demon’s bulging black prick into her mouth and she swallows its seed, what keeps her skin fair and her bosom so unnatural buoyant. It’s true. I had it from a page who heard it from the Black Lady’s own chambermaid who seen it happen night after night . . .”
“God preserve us . . .”
Once again, the Black Queen found herself badly disoriented as to her location. She remembered the events that brought her here in jumbled bits and pieces. The White soldiers with their throats slit, dropping to the ground beside her. The beak-like nose and beady eyes of Bishop Trolwick, drawing close in the firelight. The bishop’s men lifting her roughly to her feet, her blanket falling, exposing her nakedness. Her tattered black gown slipped over her shoulders, providing some small measure of modesty before she was draped across the back of a horse like a sack of millet, her body secured tightly to the saddlebags with lengths of rope like so much luggage.
Somewhere during the long uncomfortable journey, amid the painful bouncing and jostling, her naked breasts swinging freely out from the tears in her shredded dress, she had drifted into something like sleep. Now she was elsewhere.
She was upright, seated on some sort of hard, unforgiving chair. The rigid wood beneath her magnified the pain emanating from her buttocks where the two White ruffians had beaten her with their makeshift rod. She groaned and shifted her weight and found her wrists bound to the stiff arms of the chair with iron bands.
She was no longer wearing the remnants of her shredded gown. Instead, she was covered with a straight brown cassock, little more than a bag with holes for head and arms, woven from a coarse cloth that scratched and irritated her bare skin. The uniform of a penitent.
Blinking forcefully to dislodge the dirt and sleep from her eyes, she lifted her head and squinted out at her surroundings. She was seated in the middle of a stark, bare room. A cell of some sort, though it was no dungeon if the narrow beams of sunlight slicing slim patterns across the stone floor were any indication. Before her stood three women, all wearing the simple brown habits of the Order of St. Martinette.
“Ah. The harlot wakes . . .” muttered one of the nuns, a stout matronly figure with a prominent, hairy mole high on her left cheek.
The Black Queen met the woman’s eyes, and she seemed to shrink back under the force of the regal gaze, shuffling her feet. Her mouth twitched with the effort to maintain her confident sneer. The Queen’s gaze swept slowly down the line. The woman in the center was both taller and older, with an angular face and a pinched, judgmental mouth. The Queen stared hard at the nun, but the woman did not seem as easily cowed as her fat companion. Stiff-backed and impassive, she stared right back at the Queen with unblinking gray eyes. There was a haughtiness to her that both infuriated and frightened the shackled monarch.
“You are to come with us, My Lady,” said old nun without changing expression. “Can you walk?”
The Queen ran her tongue around a raw dry mouth, gauging her ability to produce intelligible speech.
“Where . . .?” she finally croaked.
“Evanshire Abbey, My Lady,” the woman responded. “Home to the holy relic of the ears of St. Bartleby as well as the tomb of King Francis the Repentant.”
Under different circumstances, the Black Queen might have laughed. She had visited the Abbey as a young princess and been forced to pay her respects to the ridiculous shriveled flaps of skin that the Evanshire monks kept in a velvet box. She had openly snickered about it afterwards, with the encouragement of her uncle, the future Duke Aardmore.
As for her great-grandfather King Francis I, Queen Isabella knew her histories well enough to know he was far from repentant; the concessions he had granted to the Church on his deathbed were pure political expediency, something she had not been shy about discussing upon her visit to his grandiose tomb.
Not for the first time, the Queen was forced to wonder whether the open contempt she had shown in her youth for the Church, for its silly rituals and superstitions no less than its myriad hypocrisies, had been her downfall. With the exception of a handful of local bishops who had close ties to the Duchy of Aardmore, the Kingdom’s clergy had overwhelmingly sided with the Whites. Several of the White bishops controlled key territory, including Evanshire.
Queen Isabella badly wished she could have earlier reconciled herself to the realm’s powerful religious interests, much as her ancestor King Francis had done, no matter how many boxes of disgusting severed ears she had to kneel before.
But it was too late now. She was captured. The war was effectively over. All that remained now was to negotiate a dignified peace, preferably one that allowed her to keep her head and perhaps some remnant of her grandfather’s lands. Paying fealty to her sister and her sister’s husband would be a difficult pill to swallow, but it must be endured.
And the reign of a monarch might see many changes of fortune. If she lived, the Black Cause might well be resurrected in the fullness of time. What had happened to her in the forest with those lowborn soldiers had been traumatic, but they were dead and she was alive. She was strong and would survive.
“Tell your . . . your Lord,” she said hoarsely, “I am . . . am ready . . . to discuss . . . terms.”
The fat nun snorted in derision but deferred to her elder, who merely pursed her lips tighter before answering.
“The righteous have no terms to discuss with the wicked but repentance,” she said. “But we are to take you before His Purity and Grace the Bishop soon enough. You are not yet fit to enter the Abbey’s Inner Sanctum. Once you have been cleansed and purified, then you may appear before His Purity and Grace and Our Lord God to confess your sins and plead mercy. Sister Genevieve, release the Lady Isabella from her restraints.”
“Yes, Sister Agnes.”
The Queen turned her head to regard the third nun, who had been standing deferentially behind her stern, gray-eyed sister. She was younger than the other two, perhaps no more than four or five years into womanhood. She was pretty, even beneath the drab brown coif that covered her hair and fell down around her cheeks and neck. As she came forward and crouched beside the wooden chair to which Isabella was bolted, the Queen found herself examining the young nun’s features, struck by something familiar in her pale blue eyes.
Sister Genevieve unlatched the lock at the Queen’s right wrist, and hinge of the restraint creaked as the metal band flipped open. The Queen lifted her arm experimentally. When the nun came around to her other side and released her other arm, the Queen thought briefly of lashing out. Unlike most women at court, her education had included training in basic combat techniques, and, in peak condition, she had no doubt that she could overwhelm the three nuns and make her escape.
But her body was still stiff and her mind still cloudy from her ordeal. She did not trust her reflexes. Besides, she could not imagine these nuns had been sent to retrieve her without the Bishop’s armed guards waiting nearby. A rash escape attempt now might foreclose a better opportunity down the line. The wise course was to gain access to the White Bishop as soon as possible. He would be able to relay treaty terms between her and Joan (“Queen Joan,” she reminded herself bitterly) setting her on the humiliating but necessary path that would take her back to Aardmore Castle in defeat.
Still, the urge to grab this sweet Genevieve girl by the hair and smash her head against the stone floor was powerful.
Instead, Isabella allowed the young nun to place her hands on the Queen’s elbow and help her to rise. Isabella winced, as the chafing of the cassock, as well as the stiffness of her legs and the blood rushing back to her injured bottom, all competed for the attention of her pain receptors. Wobbling uncertainly, she found her feet and straightened up with all the dignity she could muster. Her shapeless tunic came to rest just below her knees. A cool breeze from the cell’s narrow windows snaked beneath, reminding her that she had on nothing underneath the coarse penitent’s vestment.
Sister Agnes then rapped a fist against the cell door. It was promptly opened, and, indeed, on the other side stood a guard in full chainmail with an imposing halberd at his side. The Queen was glad she had refrained from breaking any of the nuns’ bones.
With the guard trailing behind, the three women led the Black Queen through the halls of the Abbey. As she stumbled along, mindful of her bare feet on the uneven stone walkways, Sister Genevieve addressed her in a soft tone that Isabella couldn’t immediately read.
“Do you remember me, My Lady?”
Isabella looked over her shoulder at the young nun, stubbing a toe as she did so. The fat nun yanked roughly at her arm when she paused.
“Keep moving, witch,” she growled under her breath.
“I served at the palace as a girl,” Sister Genevieve continued. “Before my vows.”
“That’s enough, Sister,” chastised Sister Agnes. “As we discussed, it is dangerous to engage the Lady Isabella in conversation. We do not know the extent of her corruption.”
The Queen did not look back again, but her memory had indeed been spurred. The girl had been one of her handmaidens. The association was hazy but not pleasant. The Queen had the vague sense that, like many of the young girls assigned to wait on then-Princess Isabella, Genevieve had not been treated with much kindness.
Though never intentionally cruel, Isabella had always been bossy and willful, both as a matter of nature and upbringing. She did not regard ignorance or incompetence within her household with any sort of charity. In her youth especially, she had been known to humiliate and belittle the women in her circle who were less well-read or quick-witted.
The effect would have been magnified with respect to the youngest girls at court, towards whom a certain amount of baseline bullying by the older cohorts was to be expected. It was a casual meanness that the Queen often looked back on with regret. She wondered how the young Genevieve, who had apparently since pledged herself to God, remembered her and how she was reacting to seeing her former mistress debased in this way, marched around like a common prisoner, barefoot and dressed in a dirty sack.
She was led down a flight of stone stairs and felt the air grow hot and humid. Sister Agnes opened a thick oak door, and steam drifted out of the room beyond. The Abbey’s baths. Of course. Purified for the Inner Sanctum. Despite herself, the Queen felt a wave of gratitude. She enjoyed bathing and had always done so with a frequency that her peers found eccentric. It had been many days since she had been able to wash herself. If ritual ablution meant the chance to rid herself of some of the sweat and grime that had accumulated on her body since she first set out for Malburgh, then she thanked God for His fussy approach to hygiene.
The nuns led her into the subterranean bathhouse. It was not as large as the cavernous rooms beneath the palace or even those of Aardmore Castle, but it was well kept. At the center was a tiled, recessed tub which looked to be about waist-deep. The room’s ample torchlight bounced off the surface of the water, casting shimmering reflections on the stone pillars and the wooden benches that ringed the square pool.
“Sister Ruth, stoke the furnace please. Sister Geneveive, fetch more water.”
Sister Agnes directed her subordinate sisters with crisp waves of her hands.
“Brother Duncan, please shut that door.”
To Isabella’s dismay, she saw that the guard had followed them into the chamber. He dutifully shut the door behind him and turned back around to regard the Queen with feigned disinterest.
Sister Ruth shortly returned and, in her thick-hipped waddle, sidled up to the Penitent Queen.
“Hot as she’s going to get, I wager. It’ll take more’n soap to wash this‘un clean, Sister. But shall we do as the Bishop bids?”
Sister Agnes nodded.
“Relieve Lady Isabella of her vestments, please.”
The Queen’s breath caught in her throat. She was used to bathing with the assistance of servants, of course. But she was generally afforded more modesty. Never would someone dare help disrobe her without the Queen’s express instruction. Never would one of her servingwomen watch her remove her clothes as Sister Agnes now appeared ready to do, without even pretending to avert her eyes.
And this was to say nothing of the impropriety of having a male attendant present. She glanced over at the Abbey guardsman Duncan, who had remained silent and stoic but who Isabella had noticed licking his lips, his hands fidgeting up and down the pole of his halberd as he waited for the beautiful Black Queen to be stripped of her sole garment.
By now Sister Genevieve had returned, carrying two brimming buckets. Queen Isabella faced the three nuns and the male sentry, her back to tub. The reflections off the water caused her black hair to flicker and flare. Marshaling her tone of command, she prepared to berate them all for their impertinence.
Before she could form the words, Sister Ruth grabbed the hem of her cassock and yanked it upward with a surprising force. And, with the unexpected assault, Isabella’s regal address disintegrated into a shrill gasp.
She was thrown off balance as the fabric suddenly brushed and bunched its way up her thighs, tugged violently left and right by the nun as she sought to lift the garment free of the Queen’s curves. Before Isabella could process what was happening, the simple brown frock was bunched up around her torso, and the trim patch of black hair that covered her royal crotch was exposed to the room, dancing back and forth as Isabella stumbled to regain her balance.
The stout nun continued to tug upwards, but the friction around the Queen’s chest, where her breasts—which were much more robust than the makers of the simple penitent’s tunic clearly anticipated—pulled the material taut. Suddenly, Isabella regained her footing and grabbed at Sister Ruth’s wrist, wrenching it away from her clothes. With her other hand, she landed a swift slap across the nun’s face. Sister Ruth dropped the hem of the vestment and staggered backwards in surprise.
The Black Queen swiftly covered herself once again, smoothing the brown tunic back down over her thighs. She faced them defiantly. Sister Ruth looked as if she was about to make a run at her when she was stopped by a wave of Sister Agnes’s hand.
“Lady Isabella, you forget yourself. You are here to learn humility and repentance. I’m afraid that sort of behavior will not be tolerated. Brother Duncan?”
The guard set his weapon down against the wall and stepped toward the Queen menacingly. Isabella took an involuntary step backward, the steaming tub of water at her back cutting off any further retreat. A sense of powerlessness crawled up her skin like a winter chill. There was nowhere to run or dodge. And to fight bare-fisted against the Bishop’s thug, clad as he was in leather and mail, was clear folly. Yet she could not let herself be cowed. Only by firm resistance would these impudent rogues learn to treat her with due deference. She glanced behind her again at the water. Perhaps if she . . .
Too late! With unexpected agility, a thick leather glove lunged out from her periphery and snapped shut around her bicep. The Queen twisted and tried to jerk free even as she whipped her other arm around in long arc, fingers taloned, towards the guard’s exposed face. But either Brother Duncan’s reflexes were especially keen or her own especially dulled; the guard easily caught her left wrist in his left glove before it could cause any damage.
Manipulating her like a rag doll, the burley guard spun the Black Queen back around to face the three nuns, causing her to gasp in pain at the brutal contortion of her shoulders. He positioned himself behind her, the crushing force of his leather grip finding its way to her elbows as he pinned her arms to her sides. She tried to kick, but her naked heel merely connected painfully with the iron buckles of the guard’s high boot. Her struggles gradually decreased and dimmed, muffled by their own futility.
She faced the three women, immobile but for her heavy breathing, her chest rising and falling in exaggerated waves as the pressure from her pinioned arm squeezed her ribcage from both sides. Sister Agnes stepped forward.
“When we defy and disobey God’s will, Lady Isabella, we only bring unnecessary suffering on ourselves. Your sinfulness must surely have blinded you if you cannot see that.”
From within the folds of her habit, the old nun produced a small, curved knife. She leaned in close and rested the blade against the Queen’s collarbone.
“You may now add to your transgressions the unnecessary needlework you have created for the Abbey’s seamstresses.”
With that, Sister Agnes sawed a notch into the center of the brown cassock’s collar and drew her knife downward. The crudely-woven cloth gave way easily. With a satisfying riiiiip, its threads parted rapidly, following the jagged path of the nun’s blade down Isabella’s paralyzed body.
As the tear in the garment cleared her chest, the Black Queen’s ample tits bounced free, pushing the severed flaps of fabric to either side. The monarch let out an audible gasp of surprise and shame but was careful to remain motionless lest the knife cut more than her clothes.
Sister Agnes grabbed half of the torn vestment and pulled upward to bring greater leverage to bear on her blade. The rip quickly zig-zagged its way down past Isabella’s stomach and crotch before freeing itself at the brown garment’s hem. The sides of the dress dropped away, exposing the Queen’s front from top to bottom.
Promptly, the nun turned her attention to the sleeves, slicing one away, then the other, and the entire penitent’s robe fell to the floor in one piece, leaving the Queen completely naked, still pinned firmly by the guard’s iron handhold to the front of his body.
“I had hoped for better from you, Lady Isabella,” Sister Agnes lectured with a tone of infuriating superiority. “The Bishop will be disappointed to hear how difficult you’ve made this.”
The Bishop. In her resolve to teach these impertinent women that she was not some common prisoner, Queen Isabella had nearly lost sight of her only way forward. The sooner she could find audience with the Bishop, the sooner she could negotiate her freedom.
“I had hoped our pious brother might be able to keep his clothes dry, but if the only way to make you fit to enter the Inner Sanctum is to have Brother Duncan bathe you, that is what we must do.”
“I will do as duty requires, Sister,” came a gravelly mumble just above Isabella’s ear.
She involuntarily squirmed. As she did, her naked thighs and bottom rubbed against the craggy ringlets of the guard’s chainmail tunic. Suddenly, she could feel something swelling, even from beneath the guard’s layer of armor, something pushing with sickening insistence into her lower back. With a sense of nausea, she began to imagine herself pinned down as this Church thug ran his hands all over her, soaping her, scrubbing her, wiping her dry.
Sister Agnes folded her arms behind her back and met the Queen’s frightened eyes with a stern, patronizing look.
“Is that what you want? . . .”
There was an awkward silence as the two women stared at one another. The Queen’s naked breasts heaved up and down as she panted in discomfort and desperation. The bulge in Brother Duncan’s trousers grew steadily more prominent, pressing against her bare skin with a lewdness that was now impossible to ignore.
“. . . Or are you calm enough that Sisters Geneveive and Ruth can manage your ablutions unaided?”
The Black Queen swallowed hard. To humble herself before this pompous nun was unendurable. But having her body forcibly washed by Brother Duncan as these women watched would do nothing for her pride. To subject herself to further agony and debasement for no purpose was foolish.
“Very well. Let’s get on with it . . .” she whispered, lowering her eyes.
When there was no response, the Queen looked back up to find Sister Agnes looking at her with one raised eyebrow and pursed lips, as if Isabella’s words had been ambiguous.
“I . . . I will bathe . . . bathe myself. . .” she stammered desperately.
The old nun continued to look at her silently, her expression unchanged.
” . . . with Sister . . . Sister Genevieve’s assistance . . .” the Queen offered.
Finally, Sister Agnes grunted and shrugged, as if placated but not entirely satisfied.
“You may release her, Brother Duncan,” she said. “Lady Isabella appears chastened.”
With what felt like some reluctance, the guard’s gloved fists unclenched. He shuffled back towards his post at the doorway as Isabella brought a newly-liberated arm up over her breasts in an attempt to cover herself, while her other hand sank demurely down in front of her prim triangle of black hair.
For a moment, the three women and their male escort stared silently at the naked queen, as if none were quite sure what came next. Isabella, for her part, kept her eyes fixed on the tiled floor, trying not to let her captors see her discomfited, even as rage and humiliation drove warm blood to her face.
Finally, at a nod from the old nun, both Sister Genevieve and Sister Ruth began to hitch the hems of their habits up above their knees. Sister Ruth then marched towards Queen Isabella and grabbed her roughly by the elbow, tearing the Queen’s protective arm from her chest and spinning her around towards the shallow tub. The jerking motion caused the Queen to lose her footing and she tumbled over the lip of the tub and hit the water with an undignified splash.
The Queen was briefly submerged. The bath was not nearly as warm as it looked, and the shock of the sudden impact caused Isabella to flail until she found her footing and was able to raise herself, water dripping off her luxurious black hair like a soaked sponge, cascading in streams and waterfalls down her shoulders and over her naked breasts. Once she had wobbled uncertainly to her feet, the water came up only to mid-thigh, leaving the rest of her glistening body exposed to the air.
Sounds of laughter filled the bath chamber. The Queen angrily brushed a damp mop of hair from her face and wiped water from her eyes. She turned towards Sister Ruth in fury, but the fat nun was already wading into the tub, barreling towards her. Behind Sister Ruth was Sister Genevieve, carrying a bucket. She was giggling unabashedly at her former mistress’s pratfall.
The Queen gave token resistance when Sister Ruth reached for her, her slick skin easily slipping from the nun’s grip, but a harsh reprimand from Sister Agnes—”Lady Isabella, be still!”—caused her to hesitate. The next thing she knew, a bucket of water had been emptied over her head, accompanied by a stifled snort of merriment from Sister Genevieve. Isabella was once again blind and disoriented as the sudden torrent of water rushed over her face, leaving her sputtering and gasping.
“Lift your arms, witch,” Sister Ruth growled.
Too stunned to do otherwise, the Black Queen complied. After wiping the water from her face once again, she hesitantly raised her arms out to her sides, stealing a glance as she did so at the White guardsman, who leaned against his halberd, drinking in every moment of this performance. Meanwhile, Sister Genevieve had produced a thick slab of soap and was busily lathering a large, coarse-bristled brush of the sort that the Queen associated more with the scullery than the bathhouse.
Sister Genevieve handed the brush off to her sister, who roughly yanked the Queen’s left arm even higher and began to scrub beneath her armpit. Isabella bit her lip, willing herself to remain still while the nun manhandled her like a farm animal.
At the same time as Sister Ruth was scouring under the Queen’s arms, Sister Genevieve began applying her chunk of soap directly to the Queen’s skin. She began by swiping from shoulder to shoulder, leaving a frothy, filmy trail across the Queen’s collarbone. Then, the young nun dragged the soap down across the Queen’s naked breasts. The waxy block circled one teat and then the other, tracing the circumference of the perky white mounds from their apex down into the delicate cleft where they rested against her torso.
“Keep those arms up, Whore of Aardmore,” the fat nun hissed in her ear. “Or we’ll never get that stink off you.”
Once a layer of foam had coated the Queen’s bosom, the young nun set the soap aside and engaged the nude sovereign’s glistening orbs with her hands. Rubbing her palms over the spongy flesh in tight circles, Sister Genevieve quickly worked up a lather. Seemingly fascinated with the older woman’s magnificent endowment, the young nun’s hands lingered, squeezing and lifting the Queen’s soapy breasts in an exploratory fashion, shyly at first and then with ever greater boldness.
The Queen, however, barely had time to register this lewd molestation. As Sister Ruth moved onto the monarch’s other armpit, the brush’s sharp bristles bit into a tender new swath of skin, drawing the Queen’s attention away from the degrading activity at her chest.
“Unnnh! Softer, you pig-faced cunt!” the Queen grunted before she could stop herself.
Sister Genevieve, whose fingers had found their way to the Queen’s nipples, suddenly paused, her thumbs resting just below the puckered nubs.
“Ooooooo . . .” the young nun gasped in scandalized excitement.
Outside the pool, Sister Agnes clacked her tongue.
“It seems it is the Black Lady’s mouth that is in need of the most urgent cleansing,” the old nun said. “Sister Genevieve?”
“Yes, Sister,” the young nun answered with suppressed eagerness. She gave Isabella’s nipples a swift pinch before turning around and grabbing the soap block.
As she did so, Sister Ruth took hold of the Queen’s wrists and pulled them behind her back. Sister Genevieve then turned around shoved the soap in the Queen’s face, rubbing it all around her clenched lips. Isabella squirmed and tried to twist her face away from the foul-tasting soap.
“Open up, My Lady,” the young nun said.
“Lady Isabella . . .” Sister Agnes added in a tone of warning.
Foolishly, the Queen tried to protest. No sooner had the outrage parted her lips than Sister Genevieve managed to press the soap inside her mouth. Jiggling the slippery brick this way and that, the girl was able to wedge it past the Queen’s teeth. Isabella squealed in muffled fury. She tried to jerk away, but Sister Ruth held fast to her wrists. She kicked impotently at the water.
“The sooner we clean out that nasty mouth, My Lady, the sooner you can appear before the Bishop and be forgiven your sins.”
Whether it was the persistent prying of the soap against her teeth or whether it was her own subconscious, willing this ordeal towards a swifter conclusion, the Queen found her jaw giving way. With relish, the young nun jammed the soap deeper. The bitter taste of pig’s fat and lye flooded the Queen’s mouth. She gagged.
Ignoring the moist choking sounds burbling from her naked prisoner, Sister Genevieve gleefully wiggled the soap around the captive queen’s helpless mouth, coating the inside of her cheeks before ramming the fat, slippery brick in and out of the Queen’s thoroughly-lubricated orifice. Foam began to spill out the sides, oozing down her chin and dripping off her face in thick frothy gobs.
“That’s enough, Sister Genevieve,” Sister Agnes instructed. “Lady Isabella, we will leave that soap in place for the time being lest you undo your cleanliness with the pollution of your tongue. You may hold onto it by your own power or we will have Brother Duncan hold it in for you.”
Sister Genevieve looked up at Isabella with curiosity and very slowly removed her hand from the block of soap, watching expectantly to see if the humiliated queen would spit it out. Isabella felt the penetrating bitterness of the soap sting the back of her throat, and she wanted desperately to purge the frothy residue from her mouth. But what would happen if she continued to fight?
As a girl, she had witnessed an emotional conversation between her mother and grandfather. It was shortly after court machinations had forced the former Queen to flee the capital for Aardmore Castle.
“What can I do?” the young princess overheard her mother ask tearfully.
“You can endure,” Duke Aardmore had replied. “Sufferance is a tactic. Those who can endure remain poised to exploit whatever openings their enemies inevitably provide.”
Gain audience with the bishop. Negotiate her release. Return to her supporters. Wait for an opening. That was the way forward. A tactical withdrawal. Whatever else happened along that path was irrelevant. Something to be endured. She bit down into the soap.
For an instant, her eyes met Sister Geneveive’s. The hint of a smirk tugged at her former handmaid’s mouth, and the Black Queen was forced to look away, lifting her chin and gazing blankly into the middle-distance. She hoped the expression might pass for dignified, until a suppressed gag reflex caused her torso to shudder and a sudsy whimper to burble involuntarily from her soap-stuffed face.
“Have you learned by now your dark powers are useless in this stronghold of God?” Sister Ruth grunted at her triumphantly as she released the Queen’s wrists. “Now put your hands on your head and keep them there. The bishop’s waiting.”
The Queen did as she was told.
The nun’s brush scoured her back, and Isabella winced in pain, biting down harder on the soap. Meanwhile, the captive monarch saw Sister Genevieve’s hands approaching her face, and she flinched instinctively. But the young initiate merely rubbed her palms across the waxy slab that protruded comically from the Queen’s mouth, working up a lather that she then conveyed downward to the unbathed portions of her prisoner’s skin.
Together, the two women worked the Queen’s body. The waifish young nun circled, running her soapy hands in eager arcs across her humbled mistress’s flesh, while her gruff colleague followed, scraping the tender skin pink and raw. Isabella closed her eyes and pressed her intertwined hands helplessly to the back of her head, sucking in breath through her nose and emitting little muffled moans, as the nuns’ ministrations weaved lower and lower.
When Sister Geneveive got to the thick patch of black hair that framed the Queen’s loins, she paused to recoat her hands in soap. Then, she plunged her fingers deep into the damp mop and began to work up a lather, massaging the sovereign’s pubis with intrusive thoroughness, twisting and tugging at individual clumps of hair as if forgetting that the downy object she was shampooing was attached to a woman of royal blood and not the lining of some soiled garment.
Lady Isabella had barely begun to register this invasion when Sister Ruth gave the back of her thigh a wet slap.
“Spread your legs, witch.”
With a readiness that surprised even herself, Isabella immediately adjusted her stance, shuffling her feet apart beneath the water.
“Wider,” demanded the corpulent nun, slapping her hand demonstratively between the insides of her naked charge’s thighs.
With a forlorn, soap-muffled moan and a powerless shake of her head, the Queen again suppressed her indignation and tried to heed the command of the White Bishop’s loathsome minions. Taking another deep nasal breath, she arched her back to keep her balance, her splayed elbows straining further aloft and her naked bosom rising to full attention, as she sank into an even wider stance. Her soapy crotch grazed the surface of the water with a gentle “plop.”
As Isabella obediently exposed herself, Sister Genevieve’s fingers quickly annexed new territory. Bent forward, her head even with the Queen’s abdomen, the young nun slid a cupped hand down from the Queen’s well-lathered bush in a tight curve all the way around the apex of her spread thighs.
Back and forth, she glided her slick palm between the nude monarch’s legs, covering the surface of Isabella’s obligingly open crotch with foam. To her dismay, the Black Queen heard another involuntary moan, this time less unambiguously one of pain, slip past the waxy block jammed crudely between her teeth.
Suddenly, Sister Genevieve’s caress slowed and then lingered. Her hand cupped Lady Isabella’s crotch firmly, lifting with such persistence that the queen was forced up onto the tips of her toes. A single thoroughly-lubricated digit began digging upwards, exploring between the inner folds of the Black Queen’s womanhood with accelerating aggressiveness. Isabella’s eyes grew wide in alarm just as the girl plunged a finger deep inside her former mistress’s vagina.
“Muuuhh-mmpphhth-th…” the Queen sputtered through the soap.
In no time, Sister Genevieve had managed to insert a second soapy finger and then a third inside the Black Queen’s increasingly slick hole. Whether it was stoic determination or simply stunned paralysis, the Queen remained in place—hands on her head, back arched, legs spread, jaw clamped firmly around a bar of soap—even as she was forcibly penetrated by this girl whom she remembered as the lowliest member of her entourage.
But clearly this purification charade had crossed an unendurable line, and Isabella turned her head towards Sister Agnes, lifting her eyebrows towards the senior nun in a half-pleading, half-accusatory grimace.
Whether Sister Agnes regarded the penitent’s animalistic burbling as plaintive or merely an angry outburst, the grim-faced woman did not break her stern pose, looking down upon the ritual cleansing with crossed arms and moving only her pursed lips when she spoke.
“All parts of your body must be cleansed, Lady Isabella. And Sister Genevieve is attending to a region that you have befouled most grievously of all, if what we have heard is true. Please continue, Sister. The Lady cannot enter the Abbey’s inner sanctum so long as any residue of her wickedness clings to her. Be thorough.”
Sister Geneveive’s fingers pushed their way deeper inside the Queen and began thrusting in and out of her cunny, causing her to gasp and wobble in her spread-eagled stance. Desperately, she searched Sister Agnes’s face for some acknowledgement that fingering prisoners in a tub was contrary to her order’s vows
Soapy saliva oozed from the Black Queen’s mouth and dribbled down her chin as she tried to express herself. For the first time, Isabella felt tears of frustration well up in her eyes. Before looking away in humiliation, she caught a glimpse over Sister Agnes’s shoulder of the White guardsman Duncan, leaning forward attentively.
As instructed, the young nun continued to scour the Queen’s cunt with dutiful thoroughness, rubbing around the outside in forceful concentric circles before working her fingers back inside. A billowing foam began to build and creep down Isabella’s open thighs. She could hear her own heavy breathing sounding more and more labored as she struggled to suck in enough air through her nose, her senses increasingly overwhelmed by the intensity of the activity between her legs.
And then it stopped. Sister Genevieve withdrew her hand, shook off some of the froth and nodded up at the Queen with a brisk “hmmmm,” as if satisfied that her former mistress’s private parts were now sufficiently sanitary. Isabella found that her legs were shaking.
“Disgusting,” Sister Ruth growled behind her ear. “The Black Witch draws sinful pleasure from our touch.”
“That may be so, Sister,” intoned Sister Agnes, “but there are limits to what our purification ritual can achieve. We must leave it to the bishop to cleanse her soul.”
Suddenly, with a sharp splash, Sister Genevieve flung a bucketful of water against Isabella’s crotch, rinsing some of soap away while causing the Queen to stumble backwards with a muffled “oof.” At the same time, Sister Ruth grabbed her shoulder and gave it a swift shove.
“Bend over, witch. Grab your knees.”
Isabella hesitated, momentarily unable to fathom voluntarily adopting such a humiliating, submissive position in front of these three horrible women. Then, seeing no way out, she slowly unlaced her fingers from behind her head and reached falteringly towards her submerged knees, all the while telling herself the ordeal would be over soon.
The Black Queen’s plump tits skimmed buoyantly against the surface of the water as she bent forward. The tub was filmy with soap residue and shimmered in the glow of the bathchamber’s candlelight. Her face came to rest mere inches above the water, and she imagined with horror that she could make out her reflection: naked and bowed in supplication before a gang of common churchwomen, a greasy block of soap stuffed degradingly in her mouth like an apple in a roasted pig.
Worse, she knew what was coming, and indeed no sooner had she assumed her demeaning pose than she felt Sister Ruth’s brush make contact with her defenseless bottom. Roughly spreading the Queen’s cheeks apart with one hand, the fat nun scrubbed up and down and inside the tender valley of Isabella’s buttocks. Despite the bulkiness of the cleaning implement, she managed to wedge the brush deep into the cleft between the captive monarch’s spread cheeks, her thrusts finding their way into its furthest recesses.
“Muuuuuh…fuuuuuhmph…fuuuuhph” the Queen grunted while behind her rigid bristles scoured her asshole.
Finally, Sister Ruth withdrew the brush. Queen Isabella maintained her position, waiting for her next degradation as soap suds bubbled gradually out from her backside and dribbled down her thighs. Hands gripping her knees, she lifted her face apprehensively to find Sister Genevieve looking down at her with an insufferable smirk.
“Very good, My Lady. You’re looking so fresh and clean. Here. I’ll take that nasty soap. I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson about proper language.”
The young initiate reached down and jostled the Queen’s makeshift gag. Isabella stretched her lips as wide as she could to allow the soap to slide free. Her jaw ached. A thick white film ringed her mouth like a fake beard. She choked and sputtered trying to rid her mouth of the bitter residue.
As she leaned over, coughing and spitting, a fat hand gripped the back of her head and shoved her under the water. Unprepared, Isabella flailed in panic. Twisting her body, she managed push her face above the surface just long enough to suck in a quick breath before being forced back down by both nuns. Fully submerged and too disoriented to mount an effective resistance, the Queen splashed impotently while two sets of hands fondled her body up and down in a final forcible rinse.
Then they grabbed her by the shoulders and dragged her to her feet. The Queen gasped for air. Her hair was plastered around her face like a wet mask, blinding her. Supporting her weight, they led her dripping out of the pool onto the tiled bathhouse floor.
“This way, Sisters,” she heard Sister Agnes say, “Help Lady Isabella up onto the bench. This one here”
Isabella tried feebly to shake some of the water and hair from her eyes, stumbling along guided by the women gripping her arms. After a few halting steps backwards, her hip struck the edge of one of the low wooden tables that ringed the central bath. The nuns forced her up onto the hard flat surface and swung her long slender legs off the floor. Positioning themselves on either side of the table, they pulled her down onto her back so that her nude body was draped across its surface like a ritual sacrifice upon an altar.
Through a break in the damp curtain of her disheveled hair, Isabella watched Sister Agnes approach. A small blade glinted in her hand, and, for a terrifying moment, Isabella feared that they really did mean to sacrifice her, cut her open and harvest her blood in fanatical tribute to their God.
But, recognizing the flat edge of a barber’s razor, the Queen’s panic ebbed. Sister Agnes placed the razor on the bench beside Isabella’s naked body. Next to the blade, she placed a small wooden bowl filled with a sweet-smelling balm. Then the old nun left for a moment, returning with a silver bowl filled with water.
Isabella watched with something approaching curiosity as the stern woman began to mix the sticky cream with a small brush. Then, with pursed-lipped efficiency, she began to spread the mixture over Isabella’s legs. The Queen flinched at the first cool touch but forced herself to remain still. Clearly, some tenet of this absurd ritual required her legs to be cleanly shaven.
Though some still regarded the practice as a mark of wantoness, shorn legs had long been in fashion amongst the younger noblewomen at court, and, in truth, Isabella had last shaved shortly before riding out for Malburgh. But if these zealous harpies wished to give her legs a fresh grooming, they were welcome to it, so long as they hurried up about it and took care not to nick her skin.
The cream tingled. Isabella made a conscious effort to slow her breathing while the humorless old nun took the razor and scraped off swath after swath of the sticky salve from the captive monarch’s legs, leaving only smooth white flesh. When she was done, Sister Agnes took a damp cloth and wiped off the remaining residue.
Thinking her humiliating “purification” might finally be nearing completion, Isabella made a tentative attempt to rise, but Ruth and Geneveive pulled her roughly back down onto the wood tabletop. Sister Agnes ran her brush around the bowl of ointment and then began spreading the cream under Isabella’s arms. The sensation tickled, and the pinioned noblewoman gasped and writhed involuntarily. In her impassive, businesslike manner, the old nun then scraped the Queen’s armpits clean before returning to her balm.
This time, the nun’s brush dove between Isabella’s legs. The Queen let out an undignified squeak of surprise and her torso jerked upwards as, without warning, Sister Agnes slapped a moist dollop of cream down on top of her naked crotch and began to slather the Queen’s pubic area with the frothy mixture. Scooping another glob of cream onto her prisoner’s exposed genitals, the nun swabbed the region around Isabella’s royal loins with what seemed like greater thoroughness than she had devoted to her legs and armpits.
Having meticulously saturated the Queen’s pubic hair with the white ointment, Sister Agnes spread Isabella’s thighs apart with a brusque yank and directed her brush strokes downward, leaning forward in the candlelight like a painter refining small details on her masterwork. The bristles tickled unbearably as they were dragged slowly and methodically up and down the tender lips of Isabella’s womanhood. The Black Queen squirmed.
Finally, Sister Agnes grabbed Isabella’s ankles and lifted her legs into the air like an infant having its soiled nappy removed. Holding her captive’s ankles aloft with one arm, the nun continued to spread the ointment, coating the remainder of the Queen’s lewdly exhibited vaginal region before sweeping lower with her brush down across Isabella’s taint and finally between the cheeks of her buttocks.
Briefly, the Queen caught the eyes of the two women who loomed over her, pinning her down. Both were wearing smiles of repressed mirth. Their gaze flitted back and forth between their prisoner’s shamed face and the long supple legs which their colleague held aloft as she continued her degrading ministrations. Lifting her head slightly, the Queen could just barely see, beyond the slope of her mountainous breasts and past the quavering wall of her hoisted thighs, the bathhouse entryway and, beside it, the Bishop’s guardsman, standing with the perfect view of the monarch’s upraised hindquarters. She let her head to fall back against the tabletop and squeezed shut her eyes, willing herself to endure the humiliation.
She felt the brush strokes swabbing her bottom slow and then cease. Sister Agnes released her ankles, allowing her legs to drop. Before her limbs even came to rest, she felt the sharp edge of nun’s razor against her pelvis. With continued precision, the old woman scraped the blade across the moistened tangle of the Queen’s pubic hair, ripping it free silky black clumps that she flicked deftly to the side before rinsing her instrument and returning for another pass.
Isabella gritted her teeth, ignoring the occasional flashes of pain. Having this hostile stranger wave this perilously sharp implement around such sensitive parts of her body, it was nothing short of terrifying, but she could do little but trust blindly that these women did not intend to maim her. She held her body as motionless as she could manage, trying to give the old nun no excuse to draw blood.
Isabella held her breath in alarm. Miraculously, her lead captor displayed remarkable dexterity with the razor, and none of her cuts broke skin, even as her attentions moved lower, carefully scraping stray hairs from around the lips of the Queen’s royal cunny. Finally, Sister Agnes once again lifted the Queen’s legs, curling her body back into the degrading, infantilizing posture that made Isabella feel so exposed.
Manhandling the monarch’s lower half like an unwieldy piece of furniture, the old woman reached all the way around Isabella’s suspended thighs and leaned in close in order to put the finishing touches on her shorn genitals before spreading the Queen’s bottom and scraping clean whatever sparse wisps of hair ringed her asshole. Then, after wiping her down with a damp rag, Sister Agnes ran a finger along the crack Isabella’s bottom, up through the crevice between her legs and down around to the flat expanse of her pelvis, gauging the smoothness. Satisfied, she set down her tools.
“Your purification is complete, Lady Isabella. You may rise.”
The two other nuns released her arms. Her face burning at the indignity to which she’d just been subjected, Queen Isabella slowly sat up, swinging her legs out to dangle from the table. She stole a brief glance downward and was confronted with the unfamiliar cleft of her womanhood, bare as the day she’d entered this cruel world.
The White guardsman approached, and Isabella instinctively placed a hand over her lap while drawing her other arm across her naked breasts, a ridiculous attempt at modesty after everything this man had witnessed. Suddenly, he tossed something at her.
A bundle of fabric struck her squarely in the face before tumbling down into her demurely shielded lap. She looked down. Another penitent’s vestment.
“Come, My Lady,” said Sister Genevieve, “We must hurry up and get you dressed. His Excellency the Bishop awaits.”