Queen Captured – Act III: Knight (scene iii)

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Eighth 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.

Atop the city walls, leaning over the parapets or even sitting recklessly upon them with dangling legs, Isabella got her first good look at The People.

There had been people, of course, here and there along the road down into the valley from the overlook where Sir Stewart’s company had stopped to rendezvous with envoys from the palace, to organize themselves for their triumphal entrance into the capital. But it was only when enough people were gathered together that their collective will became a political force worth manipulating. Only then, Isabella knew, did they cease being people and become The People.

As she trudged step by step towards the city’s West Gate, Isabella scanned the crowd arrayed on the walls. She squinted, trying to divide the undifferentiated mass, accented only by the white flags sticking up at random angles and intervals like monochromatic pins in a pin cushion, into its constituent groups and individuals. It was a futile task at this distance, but it took her mind off her feet.

The gravel road had given way to stone as they neared the nexus of royal power. Hard and unforgiving but far less sharp and uneven. A small mercy.

Despite the growing ache emanating from the soles of her bare feet, Isabella maintained a steady, brisk stride, matching her pace to that of Sir Stewart’s horse. She walked with her arms stretched straight out ahead of her, elbows locked, like a sleepwalker or a reanimated corpse. Her closed fists pressed their knuckles firmly against one another, fixed in their embrace by the coils of rope that wound around her wrists. It was the same type of knot that had been used to tie her hands behind her back in the Bishop’s chamber of horrors.

From one end of the rope fetters that spiraled up her forearm, a single cord snaked up towards her neck, encircling her throat before tying itself off in a loose-fitting collar. Besides preventing her from dropping her arms below her waist, the leash served as another token of her degradation. She felt like a fattened sow being dragged to market to be weighed and slaughtered.

Shooting out beneath her fists, from the other side of the entwining coils, a much longer length of rope connected her to the back of Sir Stewart’s saddle, secured astride the knight’s dappled white gelding. Isabella struggled to leave enough slack in the rope, lest the steed topple her with a sudden movement.

She was completely naked. As instructed, after pulling the captive noblewoman from her cage, Sir Stewart’s men had stripped her.

Word must have passed among the soldiers, for, by the time the door cut into the roof of the cage had been unlatched and Isabella lifted out like a sack of foodstuffs from the cellar, a small crowd had gathered to watch.  She’d stood compliantly before them, offering no resistance as the mangled remnants of her black gown were ripped from her shoulders, the dress slipping out from beneath her breasts and catching around her hips as the lacing on the corset was pulled apart, the entire elaborate costume slithering down her legs and pooling in a ruffled circle around her feet, helped along by the tugging and tearing of the men placed in charge of disrobing her.

Isabella glanced downward. Through the gap between her bound arms, she could see her nude breasts swinging back and forth in step with her forced march. Once more, she felt a warm blush tingle up her cheeks. Despite all she had endured since her capture, there was something strange and distinctly embarrassing about her current state of undress. Horrific as the experience had been, it was one thing to be kept naked within the dark confines of the Bishop’s torture room. It was another thing to find herself without her clothes in broad daylight, paraded down a public road toward the gates of the Kingdom’s most populous city.

She squinted back up at the walls, growing nearer with every step. The front of the procession would be passing through the gate by now, and the focus of the onlookers was directed downward towards the pageantry directly below them. She could hear their cheering and make out the white rose emblazoned on their waving flags, the emblem of her father’s royal authority, now usurped by Lady Joan and her corpulent consort.

On closer examination, however, there were those among the still-distant faces who were already gesturing towards the back of the parade, pointing in the direction of the splendidly-armored White Knight and the naked, barefoot prisoner he was towing behind him. The People had spotted her.

Years before, when her power in the Grey Lion’s court had been at its apex, she had been at the head of a council tasked with resolving the Kingdom’s financial crisis.

To address the crown’s mounting debts, King Harold’s minister of the treasury, Lord Baldwin Loxbury, had greatly expanded the capacity of the Realm’s mints, an achievement for which he’d been widely lauded, particularly among Lady Joan’s faction and their allies. When a scarcity of gold and silver ore threatened to slow production, the innovative minister had introduced the practice of fortifying their coins with tin and copper and other more abundant metals.

To the bewilderment and dismay of the King’s advisors, however, a new problem emerged. Just as Lord Baldwin’s new supply of cash began to flow into their coffers, there was a sudden, inexplicable rise throughout the Kingdom in the price of goods. The lenders they had relied upon to bankroll the affairs of state refused to extend them further credit and demanded repayment for the government’s debts in kind rather than in adulterated coinage.

But as alarming as the monetary chaos was to King Harold and his court, the consequences fell hardest on The People. From grain to lamp oil, they found themselves unable to afford the basic commodities of survival. Unrest swept the countryside and flared into violence in the towns and cities. Fortunately, the King’s ministers were able to swiftly solve the problem by enforcing strict price controls, but, no sooner had they done so than a perplexing new woe befell the Kingdom’s economy: widespread food shortages. Famine loomed.

Desperate, the Old King had commissioned an emergency council, granting them extraordinary powers to deal with the situation as they saw fit. At its head, he placed his elder daughter. It was an unusual position of authority for a woman, but Princess Isabella had the loyalty of the Aardmorian faction, whose political support and financial backing the crown needed more than ever in those troubled times. Besides, the fiercely intelligent young princess had been outspoken against Loxbury’s policies from the beginning. Perhaps she had the sound judgment needed to exert command over the capricious forces of commerce.

It was not quick or easy, but Isabella and her fellow councilmen, who swiftly learned to respect the princess’s talents if they hadn’t already, turned things around. There was hunger, to be sure, but the famine was not as severe nor as prolonged as it might have been. Credit began to flow again, prices stabilized, trade resumed, prosperity gradually increased.

Yet, Princess Isabella’s success did not make her beloved by The People. Whatever her policies may have done for their wellbeing in the long run, in the short run she had ended the popular price controls on grain and levied new taxes that, while directed mainly at the Kingdom’s largest landowners, were resented on principle. Cause and effect became muddled in the minds of many, and it became common to lay blame for the years of turmoil and the hardship at the feet of the Grey Lion’s daughter.

These misplaced grievances were stirred up and exploited by the Whites, who refused to acknowledge Lord Baldwin’s mismanagement. Isabella was portrayed as having manipulated her way to her position of responsibility and, once there, of abusing her power for personal gain. It was around this time that the rumors concerning her and her mother’s occult practices first started gaining traction.

It did not help that the beautiful young princess who would soon be dubbed the Black Queen had little patience for public relations. Though outspoken when it came to matters of state or military policy and unshy about asserting herself within the halls of the palace, she had never been comfortable drawing attention to herself in a public manner. Unlike her younger sister, she did not make public appearances or cultivate a public persona, and she certainly did not employ a network of gossips to burnish her reputation or slander her opponents. Effortlessly gorgeous and unapologetically intelligent, Isabella had always come across as aloof and uncompassionate where The People were concerned.

Now, though, they would have all they wanted of her. The snooty princess who had so selfishly kept herself to herself, who had arrogantly refused to court their adoration while ruling over them, now she would be subjected to public scrutiny more probing than she could possibly have imagined, whether she liked it or not. The noblewoman who had valued her privacy over the opinion of The People would soon find herself offered up on public display for their entertainment and their ignorant judgments. There was nothing she could do about it. She belonged to them now.

Isabella had put on a brave face thus far, burying her past traumas and future fears beneath the tangible, immediate struggle of one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. One step at a time. But as the city walls loomed closer, her courage faltered. Whatever diversions the parade ahead of her offered, the attention of the throngs who’d flocked to the West Gate to welcome the victorious White army was now unmistakably directed towards the procession’s centerpiece and finale: the dazzling figure of the King’s High Marshal himself, the gallant and glamorous White Knight, and, behind him, stumbling along at the end of a rope like a pack mule, a nude woman who could not possibly be the indomitable Black Queen, the infamous Lady Isabella of Aardmore.

She could hear them now. Shouting down at her. Or shouting down about her to Sir Stewart or the other soldiers. She fixed her gaze ahead, trying to keep her chin from trembling, keep her stoic expression from contorting into sobs of helplessness and humiliation. Her legs felt wobbly, and she channeled all her willpower into bringing them under her command. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. To aim higher than landing her next footfall successfully was to expose herself to certain despair.

Ahead of her, the haunches of Sir Stewart’s steed swayed in dependable rhythm with its steady, well-trained trot, the same rhythm that Isabella had been doing her best to emulate and internalize. Ten paces behind. No more no less. Meticulous as always when it came to matters of self-aggrandizement, the White Knight had emphasized these instructions multiple times, made her repeat them back to him like a condescending schoolteacher while she stood there naked before him, his followers readying to hitch her to the back of his saddle.

The knight’s costume was even more flamboyant than usual. His armor, plainly forged for ceremony rather than battle, glittered in the sunlight, and a long white cape flapped heroically in the wind behind him. Managing the reins with one hand, he kept one arm raised in a perpetual wave towards the spectators on the walls, rotating his palm slowly so as to diffuse the benevolent rays of his humble thanks towards The People.

Sir Stewart and his trussed trophy were almost directly below them now. The multitude of faces, hundreds perhaps, gawked down at her. There were too many voices, all shouting and calling out on top of one another, for Isabella to pick out much from the general clamor, but here and there recurring phrases would rise out of the background noise of boos and hisses: Her name, for example, or, more often, one of her epithets. “The Black Witch.” “Whore of Aardmore.” Curses, taunts, appeals to see her hanged or worse. Unimaginative observations about her nude body, remarking on the size and shape of her bouncing tits or calling attention to her shaved cunt.

Her heart raced, and, with the city gate looming and the temporary shelter of its stone archway drawing near, her stride unconsciously quickened. Her tether to Sir Stewart’s horse slackened as she hurried forward. Without thinking, she approached within nine paces of the waving knight. Then eight. Then perhaps no more than five or six.

Zzzzzzzz-CRACK!!

Isabella staggered forward with a yelp of surprise as an acute sting licked across her naked backside. Above her, the crowd cheered and hooted in delight, as if their favorite tournament combatant had just made an impressive tilt in the joust.

She looked back over her shoulder, impotent anger swelling within her. There, she met the eyes of Charley, the sadistic farmboy from the village west of the capital. Shortly after Sir Stewart’s men had stripped her of her clothes and positioned her in her proper place within the procession, the White Knight had arrived, accompanied by his fresh recruit.

He had dressed the boy in royal livery. A finely embroidered white tunic hung from his shoulders. Most strikingly, he wore a tall white hat, ringed in fur and with a gigantic ostrich feather running up the center and fluttering over the top. It was a grandiose costume, like the cupbearer for some emperor out of the distant Orient.

Sir Stewart had given him a thin, flexible cane of birchwood, the sort of stick used to drive mules and other beasts of burden. He was instructed to march behind the captive queen. If the prisoner fell behind or surged too far ahead (“How many paces, Isabella?” “Ten, My Lord.”), he was instructed to strike her.

With so much else to take in, Isabella had nearly forgotten the boy was back there. But the sharp pain that nipped her bare skin, making her involuntarily clench her bottom and arch her back even as she stumbled onward after the white horse, made clear that the lad intended to take his mandate seriously.

He returned her backward glance with a look of smug satiety, as if he had been waiting for this moment. His arm was still raised from the arc of his stroke, the thin wooden rod, nearly as long as he was tall, held high in his hand, still reverberating from the impact. When the cheers erupted from the crowds along the city walls, he raised his face in dawning exhilaration. He lifted both arms towards the onlookers, waggling his stick above his head, welcoming The People’s adulation.

“Well done, boy!” shouted the White Knight from up ahead, once the crowd’s cheering had subsided, “Mind your pace, Isabella! Ten steps! Not nine not eleven! If she forgets again, you give her another reminder, boy! Don’t be shy!”

Choking back a sob, Isabella turned back ahead, fell back a few steps and tried her best to simply march on, one foot in front of the other, making sure that the rope connecting her to the knight’s saddle stayed slack but not too slack.

They passed the city watch, standing at attention in straight lines projecting out from the wall and flanking the entrance to the West Gate. Their pikes were raised in salute to the King’s High Marshal and his triumphant forces. They had adopted a similar formation during the ceremonial inspections that Princess Isabella had made during her time at court, accompanying her father at first and then later on her own. It had been important to her to demonstrate her authority and to make her face familiar to a key constituency in the power games that animated the capital.

Some of those same men were here today, she had no doubt, witnessing her homecoming, leashed naked behind her cousin’s horse, to the city where she once held such sway. Against her higher will, she was unable to resist a quick sidelong glance. One of the guards pursed his lips as her eyes rose towards him in an elaborate, mocking kissy-face.

“Lift your arms higher, Your Majesty! We can’t see your tits!” one of them called out, to the chuckles of his comrades.

For some reason, the unprofessionalism angered Isabella more than the taunts. When she’d been in command, she’d have had these men flogged for such lapses of discipline.

As if reading her mind, another guard called across to his neighbors, “Lookit that stripe ‘cross her arse! Red as a raspberry tart. Musta stung fierce that. Discipline, My Lady! Discipline is the mortar that binds the Kingdom!”

With a dizzying fury, Isabella recognized her own words. It was a maxim she’d deployed for years, organizing institutions large and small, from her household staff to the multiple field battalions of the Black army. Now it was thrown back at her by a bunch of impudent rogues befouling the uniform of the city watch, as they watched her struggle to maintain a disciplined march upon threat of being once more whipped across her bare haunches by a preening little boy. Conscious of the warm flush smoldering across her face, she gritted her teeth and looked away.

“Lookit ‘er blush!” someone said, just as she stepped across into the shadow of the city gate. The observation made her redden further.

Beneath the stone tunnel, the sounds of the crowd grew muffled. The clopping of Sir Stewart’s mount echoed around her. The sound was joined with the footfalls of the flamboyantly costumed peasant boy behind her and the handful of soldiers who formed the procession’s small rearguard, and with the patter of her own tender steps scrabbling across the cool, shaded bricks.

Upon the sheltered tunnel walls, several large sheets of parchment had been plastered. Isabella glanced at them in astonishment as she passed, her attention caught by the sight of her own visage gazing back at her in the form of a crude woodcut. They were all identical, and she struggled to take in the text that accompanied her ink portraits, craning her neck to read the poster receding behind her before picking up where she left off with the next in the series.

It was her confession. Every slanderous lie she’d been forced to sign. The fornication, the adultery, the Sapphic orgies, the Satanic rituals, even her mother’s shameful fate in the afterlife. All disseminated for public consumption. Isabella felt a knot rise in her throat. She thanked God that so few of The People were literate.

A moment later, the parade emerged back into the sunlight. The roar of the crowd erupted full-throated once more. The sound now came not just from above, the same onlookers having run to the other side of the wall or else a whole different set of spectators now getting their turn, but also from the throngs around and ahead of her.

The narrow alleyways of the capital forked out in chaotic tendrils from the open square just inside the gate. In the whole of the city there was only one path wide enough to accommodate the plunder-laden carts and three-abreast cavalry formations of the White Knight’s grand triumph: the Palace Road.

The Palace Road sloped down in a wide arc, following the city’s natural topography, towards the central plaza between the cathedral and the guild hall. From there, it was a short climb to the gates of the Royal Palace, its fortifications looming over the city like a watchful benefactor, giving no hint of the extravagant garden and courtyards ensconced within. Unlike the filthy mud streets the otherwise criss-crossed the capital, the Palace Road was mostly paved and reasonably maintained. Yet, frequent potholes were inevitable on such a highly-trafficked throughway, and the road was by no means free from the hazards created by emptied chamber pots, those stagnant puddles that gave urban life its universal texture and fragrance.

Isabella could see the parade ahead of her snaking down the Palace Road. The masses had gathered along the road, standing in the doorways of cramped shops and houses or leaning out windows from the rickety upper stories that jutted out precariously above the road, forming a partial canopy over its narrower stretches.

Like the crowds on the walls, they waved white banners as they cheered the martial pageantry marching by. The white rose hung from balconies and fluttered over rooftops. A fresh wave of huzzahs seemed to crest as Sir Stewart emerged through the gate’s stone archway in all his knightly pomp. A moment later, gasps and astonished laughter mingled among the cheers. Far down the rows of rabble lining the parade route, heads turned. They pointed. Losing immediate interest in whatever sideshows made up the triumph’s vanguard and meandering midsections, the focus of the crowds swung inexorably back towards the prize that the White Knight towed behind him.

Isabella stood out from the rest of the procession. She walked alone as if surrounded by an impenetrable unseen bubble that separated her from the tight formations of soldier’s marching ahead of her or the rearguard behind her. She was bookended by solitary figures: the gleaming mounted figure leading her from ten paces on and the absurd, grandiose little attendant urging her forward. Isabella’s position announced plainly that she was the centerpiece of the whole affair. She was situated so as to call maximum attention to herself.

Willing herself desperately to stifle the tears of shame that seemed to be building to a critical volume behind the levies of her eyes, she concentrated on simply taking one more step. Then another. Then the next. As for the jeers and derision that rained down upon her as she was paraded down the Palace Road between and beneath the teeming buildings of the capital, she did what she could to shut them out.

Eventually, a step thwarted her. Distracted momentarily by particularly shrill heckling from a gaggle of women hanging off a balcony directly above her, Isabella’s foot sank deep into a crater of mud that marred the center of the road. At least she hoped it was mud.

Isabella stumbled. Only the pull of the rope kept her from toppling over, and she teetered from side to side across the width of the Palace Road, leaning back against the taut cord connected to her wrists for balance, knowing that if she went down, her body would be dragged across the jagged cobblestones until Sir Stewart saw fit to halt his horse. Her nude breasts, too big to fit through the narrow passage between her locked elbows, leapt and jiggled, jostled by the force of the tightening rope which jerked her arms upwards and outwards. Even as she battled madly to right herself, she could hear The People react to her peril, their cries rising in excitement and glee.

Finally, she found her footing. She straightened out, and the soles of her feet began to strike the stone path in a painful but regular rhythm. No sooner had the danger of capsizing abated, however, than she felt the sting of the cane lash across her bottom, its whizz and crack somehow cutting through the din of the crowd. Caught off-guard, it drew from her a high-pitched wail of shock and pain that she would never have consciously allowed to escape her lips.

The People cheered.

A sensation of piercing heat sizzled in a straight diagonal down her lower buttocks where she’d been struck. Her arm twitched in an instinctive urge to reach back and rub the tingling, exposed flesh, but the coils around her wrists foiled that tiny solace before it began.

Still fighting for her balance, she tried to adjust her stride to catch up with Sir Stewart. She wasn’t nearly quick enough. Perhaps emboldened by the positive feedback he was receiving from the crowd, her handler Charley decided a second reprimand was in order. Lifting his rod high in the air with a theatrical flourish, he brought it hissing down into Isabella’s nude backside, leaving its mark across the soft curve of her ass with crisp pop and forming an angry X where it crisscrossed his previous stroke.

This time, Isabella stifled her cry beneath a throaty grunt, even as the burning of the second welt rose and throbbed. Clenching her buttocks against the pain, she pranced forward to catch up with Sir Stewart. It was an awkward, degradingly comical little dance, and, indeed, peals of laughter greeted her from the surrounding doorways and balconies as she hopped gracelessly past.

The city grew increasingly dense as the parade neared the cathedral plaza, and the chatter and cheers of its citizens ricocheted through the cramped alleys, echoing down the Palace Road like wind through a canyon. Isabella tried to treat it like wind, loud but indistinct, something that could be shut out as she fought to keep her aching feet moving one after the other. One step at a time. Ten paces behind.

Isabella settled into a sustainable pace, eyes locked down and forward, ignoring the taunts of the crowds and the lingering pain that pricked her backside, trying as best she could not to dwell on the horrifying reality of being whipped naked through the streets of the city that should have been her birthright. Suddenly, something struck the side of her face. It felt like a wet slap. Her neck whipped to the left with the force of the blow, causing her rope collar to bite into her skin.

A fresh surge of cheers and laughter accompanied the moist smack of the impact, augmenting the general cacophony.

Isabella’s mouth hung open, absorbing the shock and the sting. Momentarily blinded and disoriented, it took her a moment to register the film of sticky goo that had sprayed across her cheek, leaving splatters from her jaw all the way up into her hair. Still scurrying onward to maintain her pace, she looked down and behind her to see a piece of rotted fruit lying smashed on the receding pavement, a distended brown mass that might have once been a peach.

Another missile landed near her feet, splattering mush up her ankles and calves. Another struck the road a few steps ahead.

Her sharp temper, so worn down beneath the incessant grind of her subjugation, swelled anew. Outrage swallowing her shame and despair, she scanned the passing balconies and rooftops for her attackers, but the peach barrage had inspired such widespread merriment among the throngs of onlookers that it was impossible to tell who might have actually hurled the fruit.

“Cowards!” Isabella screamed, her voice cracking as it squeezed out her dry throat. “How dare you! Worthless craven filth! You dishonorable knaves! Bestial weak-livered ma—Gaaaaaaaah!”

The cane crashed into Isabella’s bare bottom with a heavy Thwaaaaap!, sending her dancing forward in another clownish, high-step trot.

“Oh! Oh G-God!” she gasped through gritted teeth.

“Behave yourself, Isabella!” she heard Sir Stewart shout back at her. “We’re almost there!”

She was panting, her nude breasts heaving in the crook of her bound arms as she tried to keep herself together. She could feel the syrupy peach juice oozing slowly down the side of her face while, traversing the plump curves of her bottom, the bite of the birchwood rod tingled insistently. Still, she staggered on, the firm cheeks of her victimized buttocks bouncing in rhythm with her faltering stride.

Spoiled produce rained down sporadically, copycats or collaborators of the initial ambush. Peaches seemed to be the ammunition of choice, though some of the smaller bombs might have once been plums or nectarines. The People’s aim was unimpressive, and the cobblestone path around Isabella’s feet erupted periodically with the splatter of exploding fruit.

But a small fraction of the squishy projectiles found their mark. Something large and moist smashed hard into the small of her back, disintegrating into a burst of goo and leaving a thick residue that trickled gradually down the curve of her spine and pooled in the cleft of her ass.

A dripping piece of fruit bounced off her chest, spraying her in the face with its putrid-sweet pulp as it grazed the white hilltops of her tits. A moment later, a rotting plum flew towards her at a similar angle. This time, however, instead of glancing off the buoyant surface of her naked breasts, the plum sailed straight into the cleavage between. There it stuck, coming to rest with a wet splat right inside the deep nook formed by the push of her pinioned arms squeezing her bosom upwards and outwards.

Disgusted, Isabella tried to shake the mushy plum loose, but, with her arms locked in front of her, there was not much she could do. It stayed tucked between her tits, oozing its juices down her front.

Perhaps concerned that the mob might slip out of control, or at least that he might be struck by a wayward nectarine, Sir Stewart barked orders up the line, and soon their pace increased. Isabella had to jog to keep up.

Her aching soles pounded the stone street. Her breasts bounced wildly, jumping up and down against her arms (yet somehow the jostling still failed to dislodge the plum). Her butt cheeks shimmied in a frenzied see-saw, rubbing rapidly against one another with an increasingly sticky, viscous sensation, as sour peach juice continued to ooze down into her crack. Her lungs burned from the sheer exertion. Finally, just when she thought she could go no further, resigning herself to being dragged behind the White Knight’s horse following her inevitable collapse, the procession slowed.

The deceleration was sudden enough that Isabella found herself careening forward towards Sir Stewart’s horse before catching herself and falling back to her proper position. The boy with the stick, who had also been forced to break into a run, caught up just in time to whack her across the bottom, but it was a tired, half-hearted blow, and it barely registered.

The Palace Road was widening out into the large central square. The Cathedral Square was used to host vendors’ stalls on market days and for other civic events. The spires of the capital cathedral loomed at one end of the plaza, while the squatter but no less imposing guildhall sat at the other end.

Today, the square was filled with people. They thronged up the cathedral steps and under the arches of the guildhall’s long portico. As Isabella lurched out into the square, making sure to maintain the correct distance behind Sir Stewart’s horse, she saw that the White Knight’s regiment had also taken up formation within the plaza, guarding the wagons of plunder that now sat parked beneath the shadow of the cathedral. This was the parade’s terminus, then. Isabella flicked her tongue across her dry lips, wondering what was in store for her now.

With threats and shoves, white-uniformed soldiers maintained a corridor down the middle of the crowd, through which the White Knight gallantly rode, trailing his naked captive behind him. Up ahead, Isabella noticed wooden scaffolding rising from the center of the plaza. A stage had been erected.

A sea of menacing faces walled her in on either side, but Isabella kept her gaze forward, watching the elevated platform creep closer and closer. Finally, they reached a set of stairs. Sir Stewart dismounted. Unhitching the rope from his saddle, he coiled it around his arm until there was only a short length separating him from his prisoner. He then tossed it over his shoulder and started up the wooden stairs, tugging his prisoner up after him.

As she shuffled up the creaking steps, she glanced briefly behind her. Two members of Sir Stewart’s rearguard were following. The village boy with the cane had started up the stairs as well before being pulled back down and told to stay put.

When she and the White Knight emerged onto the stage, they were announced by the sound of trumpets, and the crowd that encircled the small platform on all sides erupted in wild cheering. Sir Stewart raised his hands high above his head in a triumphant greeting.

He turned back to Isabella. Dropping the coils of rope to the ground, he grabbed her wrists and pulled her close.

“You look disgusting,” he observed, examining her with a look of faint amusement as if noticing for the first time the fruit pulp smeared across her face.

Then, shrugging, he pulled a knife from his belt and sawed through the cords around her wrists. With relief, she dropped her arms. At the same time, the moldy plum she had carried tucked between her breasts dropped to the floor, drawing hoots of laughter from those in the crowd close enough to see it happen.

Sir Stewart grabbed the remaining piece of rope looped around her neck and tugged her towards the edge of the stage. Then, with sudden violence, he put his hand on her shoulder and shoved her to the ground, kicking her legs out from under her so that she collapsed to her knees onto the wooden planks. Her palms slapped hard down upon the lip of the platform, and she found herself on all fours, facing The People.

“Good gentlefolk and honest citizens!” Sir Stewart cried out above the noise of the crowds. “I give you . . . the Black Queen!”

A deafening clamor spread across the square. It was half joy and half scorn, as the gathered masses vacillated between booing their enemy and cheering her defeat. Eventually, a discernable chant gained momentum. “Burn her! Burn her! Burn her!” the crowd repeated. Isabella looked out over them in terror.

No sooner had the “Burn her” chant found traction, however, than it abruptly died down. A chorus of shushes made its way around the plaza, and the crowd gradually quieted down. Still on her hands and knees, Isabella’s expression changed from terror to puzzlement.

Amid the growing hush, she heard the creak of the scaffold’s wooden stairs. Slowly, she turned, just in time to see a head of blonde curls rise above the edge of the platform. The yellow hair bounced with luxurious fullness and glistened in the waning afternoon sunlight. Crowning the head was an elegant French hood trimmed in white and gold, radiating out at an almost perpendicular angle, like the halo of a saint in a religious icon or like the frill of a beautiful but dangerous lizard.

The lizard’s eyes found Isabella’s, and Isabella felt her stomach drop. She felt dizzy. The arms supporting her weight grew weak and began to wobble. She had known the moment would come. But not like this.

The regal figure stepped onto the stage. Her dress was gold and white, matching her hat, and embellished with what appeared to be pearls. Sir Stewart took her hand and delivered an extravagant kiss. She smiled and nodded her acknowledgement.

“Cousin,” she said.

Then, turning to the disgraced woman kneeling, filthy and naked on all fours, at the lip of the stage, she nodded again, with a faint, haughty smile.

“Sister,” she said.

No, Isabella thought. No, not like this. She opened her mouth to speak but found she could not. Instead, she merely gaped back at her sister, Joan D’Montefort, Countess of Cartreaux. The White Queen.

Queen Joan looked vaguely disappointed at Isabella’s speechlessness, but after regarding her humiliated sister for a moment, she pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows in the tiny equivalent of a shrug.

“Mount the prisoner as discussed,” she said, addressing Sir Stewart’s men, “I will now address the People.”

The two White soldiers descended menacingly upon Isabella. Taking hold of her shoulders, they lifted her to her feet and escorted her to the middle of the stage. Joan and Sir Stewart made room for them. Two squat wooden pillars were set into the platform’s center, each about four feet tall and set about three feet apart. A knot rose in Isabella’s throat as she realized their purpose.

One of the soldiers took a knife and cut the rope collar off of Isabella’s neck. Meanwhile, the other had fetched a heavy, broad plank from where it had been piled at the opposite corner of the stage. Grunting with exertion, he lugged it back to the parallel columns, lifted it high, and slid it down between them into a slot specially carved for that purpose. The thick board caught a third of the way down, forming a stout, asymmetrical “H” with the pillars. Along the top edge of the plank, three semi-circles had been cut, a larger one flanked by two smaller ones. The pillory, Isabella thought with numb despair. They planned to place her in the pillory like a petty thief.

The other soldier pushed her forward. He placed one hand on the back of her neck and was about to grab her wrist with the other, but it was unnecessary. She knew what to do. Rather than be forced into position, Isabella leaned forward compliantly, resting her chin on the middle hole and her wrists on the outside holes. A moment later, a mirror plank was slotted into place and slid down towards her neck like an executioner’s blade.

Isabella flinched as the two wooden boards came together with a thud. When she opened her eyes, the circles surrounding her head and hands had been completed. The soldiers snapped shut a pair of latches, locking the pillory in place and locking Isabella into her humiliating position, her face mounted in the middle of this wooden frame like a hunter’s trophy, her hands pinned comically by her ears.

The position of the pillory’s head-hole was barely higher than Isabella’s bellybutton. She bent her knees at first, squatting as the boards were being locked in place. After a moment, though, she realized that her legs would not sustain this pose for long and adjusted her stance. She took a step back, straightened her legs and arched her back. It felt utterly demeaning to bend over like this, presenting her hindermost parts to the segment of the crowd gathered around the rear of the stage, but there was no other option.

She looked up to find Joan looking down at her. For a moment, her half-sister’s benevolent, queenly smile widened into something more sadistic and gleeful, and Isabella could see the face of the bratty little girl who had tormented her growing up. Then it was gone, and the sober monarch returned, looking at the pathetic prisoner with detachment, pity even.

The White Queen turned. The audience had started a chant of “Love live Queen Joan! Long live Queen Joan!” but at the slightest gesture from their sovereign, they quieted. Joan’s high, feminine voice rang out, bouncing off the wide stone walls of the guildhouse and echoing across the crowded plaza.

“My beloved countrymen and loyal subjects,” she said. “The dark days of blood that have tried our Kingdom’s resolve are nearly behind us. The gallant Sir Stewart has returned in triumph from the northlands, having destroyed our enemies’ host and laid waste to their strongholds. Sir Stewart, the Realm thanks you for your selfless service. The People owe their freedom and their very lives to you. You will be rewarded with lands and titles befitting your patriotism.”

The White Knight bowed humbly. The People cheered.

“Reginald de Cassingham, Baron of the West Midlands has repented his treason and lain down his arms. The Duke of Aardmore, who we are told even now cowers in a mountain cave with his few remaining followers, has sent emissaries to negotiate a lasting peace. And, as you yourselves have seen, the faithless pretender who once called herself the Black Queen, that woman of such scandalous repute that she has brought shame and disgrace to the name of her father, King Harold the Grey Lion, has been shown for what she is. Let it be known that God has chosen but one king and one queen to rule over you.”

“Long live Queen Joan!” the People shouted before being quieted once more.

“Look upon the deceitful harlot who once thought to threaten this Kingdom,” Queen Joan continued. “What fool would pay such a creature fealty? If you good Christian men and women did once fear her sorcery, look now and see how her dark power has been laid bare. She belongs to us, body and spirit, now and for all time, to do with her as we wish.”

“Burn her! Burn her!” the crowd cried, but Joan held up her hand.

“Your pleas have been heard and are most just. The punishment for treason can only be death. But His Majesty and I have prayed on this woman’s fate and the Lord has filled our hearts with mercy. By law, Lady Isabella’s life is forfeit. And indeed all honors and titles, all vestiges of her former royal personage are hereby stripped. But her body shall be spared as an enduring tribute to His Majesty’s magnificence and generosity and compassion for the rest of her days. Henceforth, she is the personal property of the crown and shall be kept in the palace to serve us and to use as we see fit.”

This time, the cheering was more scattered and confused, as if the crowd recognized the applause line in the Queen’s speech but was not fully committed to the sentiment. A moment later, however, something picked up their spirits. Isabella felt the stairs of the scaffolding creak, and, a moment later, there was clapping and laughter and eager pointing in her direction.

The excitement seemed to be directed at something behind her. Unable see anything beyond the stout boards surrounding her head, a feeling of intense vulnerability tingled across Isabella’s skin. She could sense someone standing just behind her shoulder, and there seemed to be a strange warmth radiating across the right side of her torso.

At a gesture from Queen Joan, a man stepped into her periphery wearing heavy gloves and a smithing apron. A straight metal implement was in his hand, and it took the rattled Isabella a moment to follow the straight, black rod from the gloved fist wrapped around its handle to the tip that flared open into an intricate pattern of intertwining metal ribbons, all glowing a pale orange.

The smith held the steaming brand in front of Isabella’s face, rotating it as if to demonstrate its exquisite craftsmanship. With eyes like quivering saucers, Isabella watched its pattern reveal itself as it turned, the twisting ribbons taking shape as the elaborate petals of the Cartreuax rose, the sigil of the White King’s vile new dynasty.

The rose flickered pink and white and back to orange, and animal fear commandeered Isabella’s will. She began a desperate, futile struggle. She bucked against the pillory, shaking its sturdy foundation to no avail. She banged her hands against the wooden holes that entrapped them.

“No! . . .” she screamed. “No! . . . No! . . . Please!”

The glowing brand disappeared from view as the smith stepped back into Isabella’s expansive blindspot.

“By law, this woman is now royal property,” Queen Joan told the crowd. “Whoever touches her without the King’s express permission shall be guilty of trespass to His Majesty’s personal chattels. We shall display our trophy here in the Cathedral Square until Vespers. Look upon her and contemplate the might and the mercy of God and your King!”

There was cheering, but it barely registered to Isabella. Her ears were ringing, and it felt like the world was moving in slow-motion. The warmth by her right side returned, centered around her upper thigh. She kicked and screamed. Several hands grabbed her, holding her still. Someone wrapped an arm around her waist. Someone else gripped her right knee tightly with two hands, holding her leg flat on the platform floor.

And then, searing pain. Her desperate pleas became an incoherent shriek. One second. Then two. Finally, the brand was taken away. The burning subsided into a dull throb as the cool early-evening air whipped across the tender patch on her upper thigh, just below the cleft of her buttocks, where the brand had marked her. Her screams petered out into sobs. With a feeling of nausea, she became aware of the faint scent of her own scorched flesh.

Trumpets sounded. Queen Joan turned and, with one last smirk towards Isabella’s teary, fruit-stained face, she took Sir Stewart’s hand and allowed herself to be escorted towards the stairs of the stage. The scaffolding creaked as the White Queen and the White Knight and their followers began their royal recession.

Isabella was left alone on the high platform. The rigid grip of the pillory forced her to face the hostile crowd while, behind her, unseen, the rest of the masses were free to file by and gawk at her exposed body and at the King’s mark which still smoldered upon her naked haunches.

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Queen Captured – Act III: Knight (scene ii)

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Eighth Chapter of W.H. Collins’s dark erotic fantasyAll 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.

The main road had been new paved since the last time Isabella had visited the lands west of the capital. It was leveler than she remembered, and a fresh coat of gravel coated its surface. The wagon train made good time, and, by the time the sun had cleared the tops of the trees that lined the southward side of the road, they were already passing by farms and through small villages that could reasonably be said to fall within the capital’s outskirts.

Their procession drew considerable attention, farmers and townsfolk coming out to stand in doorways and lean against fences to watch the flapping banners of the returning White cavalry and their long convoy. Isabella tried to keep her head down, shielding her face beneath cascades of black hair, but there was nowhere in her small crate to hide, and, like a leading circus attraction, the sight of the caged woman in the elegant black dress, prominently drawn in a wagon all her own, became an object of special interest.

Several times, she heard exclamations as she passed, sometimes questioning sometimes insistent, sometimes whispers sometimes shouts, sometimes referring to “Princess Isabella” or “the Black Queen” but more often to a nebulous “her.” Head down, she could not see them pointing, but she felt it.

They had just moved through a village, its general hubbub fading, when a particularly close voice caused her to look up.

“Then how come she ain’t movin’?” piped a small voice right beside her.

Isabella lifted her head for long enough to see a small boy—or possibly a girl, it was difficult to tell beneath the tangled hair and dirt-encrusted face—trotting alongside the wagon, breaking out into a periodic run to keep up. Matching his (or her) uneven pace were two older boys, perhaps 11 or 12 years of age to her (or his) 7 or 8. Looking around, she saw that several other village children had been drawn to her wagon and were jogging along the other side.

At Isabella’s sudden movement, some of them jumped back, falling behind the wagon temporarily before scampering to catch up.

“See? I told you she weren’t dead, dummy!” said one.

“Is it the queen? How come she inna cage?” the smaller child asked in a high, wobbly voice.

“She ain’t queen no more!” said another child. “That’s the Black Witch. Isabella of . . . of Mardmom. They catched ‘er during the fightin’ up north. I ‘erd Tawny Bill n’ ‘em talkin’ of it at the tavern yesternight.”

“Nuh-uh,” another responded. “My Pa says she weren’t queen and never was. Queen Joan’s the true queen. Lady Isabel jus’ used ‘er magic so as some folks got confuse.”

“Where they takin’ ‘er?”

Isabella closed her eyes, trying to ignore the urchins’ shrill gabbling. She had almost succeeded in shutting them out, their sing-song chatter fading into background along with the scrape of wheels on gravel and the clopping and snorting of horses, when a sharp pain in her side jolted her into abrupt alertness. Her eyes flew open with a yelp of shock, and her head jerked upright, clanging against the bars. She scrambled towards the other side of the cage, away from the source of the sudden pain.

Isabella looked behind her wild-eyed. One of the boys was holding what looked to be a tree branch. It was more than half the child’s height, its extraneous limbs crudely broken off and its end whittled into a sharp point.

Once more, the children fell back in momentary apprehension at Isabella’s stirring. Seeing no immediate fallout from their companion’s audacious actions, however, they quickly regained their confidence, scurrying to catch up with the wagon with renewed enthusiasm, giggling and chattering excitedly now that it seemed like a game was truly underway.

Up ahead, the white-uniformed horseman driving the wagon remained focused on the road, having either failed to hear his prisoner’s scream over the general clatter of the procession or else willfully ignoring her distress.

The boy with the pointed stick approached the cage once again, flaunting his audacity for the benefit of his companions. Skipping along to stay even with the wagon while dodging the gravel being kicked up by its tall wheels, he leaned in as close as he could to the moving cage in order to take aim at the far corner where the exotic captive had retreated.

He poked his stick through the bars. The pointed end waggled in front of Isabella as the boy gauged where to strike. The young hooligan’s impudence awoke a dormant ferocity in the Black Queen. With a snarl, she seized the stick, snapping off the end with a splintery crunch. Grabbing the remaining stem in both hands, she tugged, pulling the branch hand over hand towards her.

The boy, too surprised or too stupid to let go, soon found his arm yanked through the bars. Isabella snatched his forearm, sinking her nails into his skin. She twisted his arm until he cried out. His face smashed against one of the metal bars, and he lost his footing. Isabella released him, and he fell backwards into the gravel.

Far from being cowed, the rest of the children seemed invigorated by this drama. They laughed and clapped their hands, dancing around the wagon. There seemed to be more and more of them, the excitement drawing them out of the passing fields and woods like iron filings to a lodestone, or else summoned by some secret communication network for grubby-faced truants.

One of the soldiers barked half-heartedly at the rascals to go home, but the children, well-schooled in gauging the toothlessness of authority figures’ commands, ignored him.

Isabella felt a pudgy forefinger jab into her back. She whirled around, but the brat had already retreated out of arm’s reach, tittering to his comrades. While her head was turned, another tree branch slipped through the bars on the other side of the cage and jabbed her in the thigh. She snatched at it, but it slid away before she could lay her fingers on it.

There was more laughter and playful shouting. Isabella realized she was giving the little hoodlums exactly what they wanted, and, in desperation, resolved to switch back to her failed strategy of non-engagement. She scooted towards the center of the cage and pulled her limbs close. When a child reached through the bars to touch her, she pretended not to notice. When another took aim at her with a stick, she did her best to deflect and dodge it.

This passive tactic worked not at all. Within moments, the threshold for mischief had been so lowered that even the young mob’s most timid participants felt they’d been given permission to score a point or two by touching the woman in the cage. And the ringleaders, seeing their social cachet diluted, began to ratchet up the aggressiveness of their attacks.

Soon, half a dozen hands were reaching towards her from all sides, prodding and groping. Some couldn’t reach, but a few of the older boys had arms’ span to spare. One of them grabbed a fistful of her gown. Another managed to get his fingers around the thin chain that drooped between her wrists. Isabella swatted at their hands, but as soon as she convinced one to relinquish its grasp, another seized a different part of her body. She screamed in pain as one boy, a lanky, red-headed lad with a lazy eye, snatched ahold of her hair and pulled forcefully, causing her to topple over on her side.

There were a dozen or more of them now, mostly boys, some barely out of swaddling clothes, some at the cusp of manhood with wispy moustaches and burgeoning Adam’s apples beneath the grime that universally caked their faces. The littler ones danced around the cart laughing, joining one another in rhyming nursery chants and darting in opportunistically whenever the chance to pinch or prod the object of their fun presented itself. The older boys, meanwhile, seemed to take their game more seriously. Behind their leering grins, their eyes were focused, fixated on pinning down their slippery prey.

“See ‘ere, Charley, you go round thatta side ‘n grab ‘er other leg,” one boy was saying, raising his voice to be heard over the rest of the swarm, whose sing-song patter had coalesced into a single refrain:

“Ol’ Black Queen! ‘Ere she come! Wif a stick stuck up ‘er bum! Picks ‘er nose! Smells ‘er feets! Lets the farmboys milk ‘er teats!”

The tune, plagiarized from an older song, was infectious, and the children seized upon the anthem with the single-mindedness typical to their age. When Isabella had held power, the insolent little ragamuffins could have been arrested for this treasonous disrespect alone, executed perhaps. Now, it was merely the soundtrack to what was becoming an increasingly desperate battle between the chained noblewoman and the horde of tiny grasping hands and leering faces that encircled her.

Isabella landed a swift kick deep into the elbow of a boy who was reaching for her exposed calf. It was the one called “Charley” most likely. The chain between her ankles limited her maneuverability, but, whipping her leg around in a tight arc, she managed to gather an impressive amount of force behind the counterattack. Charley (or whatever the little lowlife’s name was) screamed in pain as his arm bent the wrong direction, twisted between the iron railings of the cage like a pry bar.

“Ooooooh!” hooted some of the children. Others barely acknowledged the violence, too animated by their chants—“. . . Picks ‘er nose! Smells ‘er feets! . . .”—to let the distress of their comrade, who stumbled back into their midst clutching his arm and howling, shake them from their rhythm.

But they kept coming at her. There were too many. They had her surrounded. No sooner would she repulse one encroachment than another would close in from the opposite direction. To her dismay, Isabella realized her wagon was slowing. The children no longer had to jog as hard to keep up, and they began to reach through the bars with greater confidence.

Able to launch more sustained incursions from positions of greater leverage, their grasping hands became harder and harder to fend off. One boy scored a solid handhold around her ankle. At the same time, a set of greasy fingers had slipped between her shoulder blades beneath the neck of her dress, and she heard the material rip.

She lashed out, her body flailing in tight contortions like pinned insect, but the moment she’d managed to shake off the fist clenched around her ankle, two more hands darted forward, each gathering up bundles of black fabric from the flowing hem of Isabella’s gown and tugging her towards their side of the cage with all the strength they could muster. As she struggled to pull away, Isabella heard another tear open in her lavish costume.

Suddenly, the cart ground to a full stop, sending Isabella tumbling. Her child tormentors were also thrown off balance and released their grips on the captive queen’s clothes and body, stumbling away from the tottering cart. As the dust from the gravel road rose and settled, some of the boys turned back towards the cage, eager to pick up where they’d left off, but most stepped back, craning their heads up and down the column of soldiers, waiting to see what would happen next.

Sure enough, the White horseman who’d been pulling the wagon dismounted. Too distracted or indifferent while the caravan was in motion to deal with the little mob that had gathered around his cargo, he now stomped into their midst as if scattering a swarm of flies.

“Off with you now!” he growled, cuffing one youngster on the ear and reaching menacingly for his sword.

The children dispersed as the soldier waved his arms, but Isabella noticed they didn’t go far, hanging back just a few paces off the road.

She righted herself and tried her best to regather her composure. Assessing the damage to her dress, she traced her fingers up the long tear that began at the hem and forked off in multiple jagged directions as it rose above her knee. On the other side, a ragged flap the size of a deck of cards drooped diagonally across the front of her thigh, held on by a narrow edge. Her right shoulder and arm were bare, the black material of the gown falling in saggy tatters down her back.

Several knights clopped past her. There was activity both ahead and behind her along the road. Certain wagons were being rolled off to the side, and various elements of Sir Stewart’s retinue were rearranging themselves. Isabella craned her head, ducking to evade the low wood ceiling that obstructed her sightlines.

Squinting out towards the horizon, she scanned across a forest of spindly smoke trails. Such a dense cluster of soot-bearing plumes could only arise from the hundreds of wood-burning stoves and chimneys of the Kingdom’s capital, she thought. And, indeed, through the grey-black canopy, she could just make out the royal palace, sitting atop the Hill of St. Theobald, the city’s highest point.

As she was gauging their distance—at their current pace, they could be approaching the city gates within an hour—Sir Stewart’s page jogged up beside her.

“Follow me, sir,” he said, addressing the soldier assigned to Isabella’s cart. “My master has convened a meeting to discuss arrangements for our entry into the city. You are needed.”

The soldier let out a contemptuous grunt, as if he felt the arrangements for their entry into the city had already been adequately discussed.

“And who’ll guard the sorceress then?” he asked. “The White Knight’s already reassigned half the company to take care of those damned monkeys.”

“The Whore of Aardmore isn’t going anywhere,” the page responded, jangling the set of keys around his belt for emphasis.

“Seems to me . . .” began the soldier, but the page cut him off.

“I have orders directly from Sir Stewart, appointed High Marshal by the King himself, that you are to join him at once. How he provides for the security of his prisoners is not for you to dictate, sirrah.”

The soldier shrugged and marched after the page. Seeing him turn, Isabella was seized by a sudden dread. Glancing off to the side of the road, she made eye contact with the lazy-eyed red-headed boy. He was sprawled out on a grassy slope, a length of straw drooping from his mouth.

“Wait!” she called after the departing men, her voice soft and hoarse at first but rising in volume and clarity in proportion to her panic. “Wait! Don’t! Sir! Please! Wait! This place . . . It’s not safe! Wait!”

The irony of her position, begging her captors to stay with her, gave her pleas a strained, quavering quality. She scooted all the way over to the front of the cage, clutching the bars, watching them disappear from sight around a large group of riderless horses who’d been tethered together to a stake near the side of the road up ahead of her. She opened her mouth to cry out once more, but no sound emerged. Her jaw snapped closed in futility.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the village children begin to stir. They’d been milling about the woods beside the road, watching the activity or else resting from their chase on the side of a small knoll that rose softly towards the east. Now, in ones and twos, checking to see that the soldiers were occupied at the front of the line, they inched closer. Isabella whirled around. Everywhere she looked, they were closing in.

“Stay back!” she spat at them, scrambling around her cage for some sort of weapon, something to throw at them. Finally, in wild-eyed desperation, she raised her clothed arm in front of her. “I’ll . . . I’ll cast a spell on you! I’ll curse you all!”

A few of the children stopped, alarm spreading across their small faces. Some of them, however, apparently found the performance unconvincing. Or perhaps the swarm had simply developed a will of its own, transcending the individual fears and desires of its members. In any case, they kept moving forward, coalescing into a tight ring around the cart, and soon the boldest boys had their faces pressed against the bars of cage. The young rabble’s excited chatter and laughing began to build again, and the staccato lyrics of their song were taken up in fits and starts, fortifying the confidence of the mob.

“. . . Here she come! Wif a stick stuck up ‘er bum! . . .”

One of the boys reached for her. Isabella tried deliver a kick to his face, but she was thrown off balance by someone yanking at her dress from the other side. Instead, her foot awkwardly slapped against the bars of the cage, and another boy reached through and grabbed her ankle with both hands. He pulled it through the bars, knocking Isabella unto her back.

Her head slammed against the cage floor. Immediately, several hands closed in on her hair, seizing bundles of black curls and greedily dragging them in different directions, as if each trying to tear off their own souvenir. Isabella gasped, emitting a high, girlish shriek, the register of which sounded totally unfamiliar to her.

She raised her arms up over her head and began pounding blindly with her fists. One hand after another let go as she pummeled them from knuckles to forearm. When one particularly tenacious boy wouldn’t let go, she grabbed his hand in hers, struggling to at least relieve the pressure on her scalp. It was a mistake. Someone reached through the bars and took ahold of her wrist. A moment later, someone else had snatched her other wrist.

“. . . Lets the farmboys milk ‘er teats! . . .”

The boy holding her foot dug his heels into the gravel road and leaned back, attempting to tug her leg further through the bars. Isabella resisted, straining to draw her knee up towards her chest. She bucked and floundered on the floor of the cage, grunting in exertion, trying simultaneously to fend off the attacks above and below.

Meanwhile, as the older boys attempted to pin down her hands and feet, the younger children continued darting in and out between them, jabbing the noblewoman opportunistically with sticks or snatching at whatever loose bits of clothing were swept their way by the undulations of Isabella’s struggle. The tear in her dress opened further. A few of the diminutive creeps managed to get their grubby fingers on her petticoat, and this too began to rip.

In her fight to keep her arms and legs inside the cart, she was forced to plant her other foot against the bars for leverage. Another mistake. Before she could push against the side of the cage, try to yank her right leg free, her left leg was pounced upon. From her position flat on her back, Isabella’s head jolted up in alarm.

It was the redhead. Both of his grubby hands were squeezed tight around her ankle. When he saw her look up at him, he grinned broadly. Like many of the children, he was missing half his teeth, but, unlike some of the others, it was clear from the lad’s age that in his case the gaps in his smile were never going to be filled.

“. . . Ol’ Black Queen. ‘Ere she come . . .” he sang along under his breath.

She tried to jerk away, but the boy held fast. At his twisting and nudging, her bare sole slipped off the smooth iron bars and into the space between. He yanked her foot through, adjusting his grip along her calf like a mariner taking charge of the ship’s rigging.

Isabella now found both her legs sticking out of the cage, a single metal pole between them. The two adolescent boys pulling her forward shared a look, a conspiratorial smirk that also conveyed the boys’ sheer amazement at their circumstances, the twist of fortune that had dropped these long, slender legs literally into their hands.

Isabella kicked, and the boys were bucked about, wrestling for control of the royal limbs as if subduing a pair of ferocious serpents. The boy on the right turned his back to the cage, tucking Isabella’s shin beneath his armpit for better leverage.

They continued to tug. Isabella found herself sliding on her back towards the side of the cage, her dress bunching up around the bars while, outside, the soft white skin of her legs—still smooth from the most recent grooming imposed upon her by Sir Stewart’s camp followers—emerged inch by inch into the sunlight. First her calves and then her knees and finally the beginnings of her thighs, their supple flesh pinched ever so slightly as they squeezed between the metal posts.

They would have pulled her even further outside were it not for the children on the other side of the wagon. Isabella’s arms, crossed at the wrists above her head, had been yanked through the bars. Other sets of hands had reached into the cage as well, gripping her biceps and shoulders. Her body was now stretched between the two groups as if upon a rack.

“ . . .Picks ‘er nose! Smells ‘er feets! . . .” they clapped and sang.

Isabella watched helplessly as a grimy adolescent hand appeared from somewhere behind her ear and worked its way underneath the front of her corset. Apparently straining the limits of his reach, the unseen boy stretched his greedy fingers as far as they could down Isabella’s chest, groping and fondling as he went. Isabella turned her head to try to bite his arm, but a yank to her hair made her snap her neck back with an anguished cry.

Pulling and nudging and rolling, the boy managed to coax her left tit towards him, directing it upwards until it finally spilled out over the lip of her corset, where it remained propped in an unnatural erection. Now in nearer arms’ reach, several other young hands closed in to poke or pinch her nude breast. Isabella gasped in pain as one of them snatched her nipple between thumb and forefinger and gave it a sudden wrenching twist. Peals of laughter followed.

Meanwhile, determined to win their tug-of-war, the children on the other side of the wagon had managed to pull her legs through the bars all the way to mid-thigh.

“How come her thingy got no hair?” she heard a small voice ask.

“She royalty ain’t she, dummy?” answered one of the older boys. “Whud you expect her cunt to look jus’ like your ma?”

“Don’ look like nuffin special to me!” offered another voice.

“Hey, come’n take a look!” called another.

Isabella lifted her head. A group of children had gathered close to look up her dress, beneath which she was wearing nothing. They leaned in to gawk at her bald cunny, lying exposed just a few inches from bars, as if it were a sideshow exhibit.

A pair of them reached through the bars to grab the hems of the bunched-up dress and petticoat that were partially obstructing the view. They first lifted the material up towards the top of the cage, forming a billowing tent to surround the circus attraction that was the captive queen’s naked groin. Then, with a coordinated heave-ho, they flung it backwards towards the other side of the cage.

It was an impressive toss. The flowing black skirt fell around Isabella’s face, and everything suddenly went dark. The children on the other side of the wagon grabbed the skirt and pulled it further upwards until the upper half of her body was totally engulfed, drowning in black cloth, while the lower half of her body, from her belly button down, was left completely naked.

The feeling of total exposure overwhelmed her. Unable to see what was happening, she could feel the hands on her bare legs and feel the eyes on her bare crotch. She squirmed helplessly.

Through the partial sensory deprivation of her black cocoon, she could hear the muffled sounds of laughter and the monotonous meter of their ceaseless juvenile chant:

“. . . Smells her feets! Lets the farmboys milk ‘er teats! The ol’ Black Queen! ‘Ere she come! . . .”

The hands touching her legs grew more numerous and worked their way further upwards, but it took a moment for the young mob to overcome its apparent awe and explore the mysterious bits of flesh waiting inside the cage. Finally, amid a chorus of giggles, she felt someone reach through the bars and softly pinch her labia. This opened the floodgates. Suddenly, half a dozen hands were clamoring to claim a piece of the most private areas of her body, prodding her, squeezing her thighs, burrowing beneath her buttocks. With a sense of overpowering disgust, she felt one of their thumbs work its way inside her.

She moaned in humiliation, the shame of enduring such domination from mere boys bringing tears to her eyes beneath the suffocating blanket of her dress.

“’Ere! ‘Ere! Use dis!” she heard someone call out.

“Oh ho ho!” answered another, and there was the sound of general laughter.

The adolescent hands exploring her body withdrew all at once. At the same time, they pulled her legs further apart and forced them upwards, raising them so high that the boys grasping her ankles must have been holding them above their heads. Again, she tried to kick, but her range of movement was limited, and she couldn’t shake the little monsters off.

It was then that she felt an object, ribbed with soft bumps but otherwise smooth and tapering into a blunted point, press between the cheeks of her upturned bottom. The cold, mysterious object fumbled up and down the cleft of her ass until, finally feeling out a pliant slot, it attempted to twist its way inside her.

“Errrrnnnnnnnnnggggh!!” Isabella screeched from beneath the tattered encasement of her dress.

For what seemed like an eternity of discomfort, the malicious pack of boys probed her with whatever crude item they’d found, all the while laughing and chanting. They tried several times to shove the pointed object further inside her but were unable to insert it much past its tip. To Isabella’s relief, after a final rough thrust, it was removed.

“’s too dry!” she heard one of the boys shout. “’Ere! Spit on’t!”

“Yeah! Spit on’t! Spit on’t!” came a chorus of mirthful echoes.

Even under the layers of fabric, Isabella could vaguely make out the loud, theatrical noises of spitting. One after another, the children appeared to be taking turns noisily adding their saliva to whatever disgusting reservoir they were building. P’tooooo. P’tooooo. P’toooooo.

When there had been enough spitting to seemingly coat a whole arsenal of makeshift phalluses, the sounds stopped. Isabella held her breath. Then, she felt the tip of the object return, this time unmistakably slimy and slick. Her stomach churned. She thought she might vomit as she imagined the collective phlegm of these filthy urchins being smeared over and in her.

Their nauseating methods worked. The tool slid more easily, lubricated by the film of adolescent spittle.

“Ah! Ah!” Isabella cried as they twisted and shoved the object deeper and deeper, deeper than she thought it could possibly go, so deep that she could soon feel the knuckles of the boy conducting the humiliating intrusion between the cheeks of her buttocks as he continued to work with the small nub that still remained outside her.

“What in God’s name . . . ?!”

This exclamation of utter astonishment came wrapped in Sir Stewart’s unmistakable haughty tenor. At the sound of the White Knight’s voice, the activity in and around Isabella’s bottom abruptly froze. The knuckles withdrew, leaving whatever the juvenile thugs had stuffed inside her poking lewdly out.

A commotion followed, shouting and clanging of metal. The cluster of small hands entwining her wrists and pinning her shoulders and elbows above her head all abruptly released her. Like a drowning victim bursting through the surface of her translucent tomb, Isabella sprang upright, knocking her tattered dress out of her face with a fierce backhand.

All around her, the mob of children were scattering as Sir Stewart and two of his knights, swords drawn, circled the cage, boxing whatever ears and kicking whatever backsides fell within their reach. Isabella emerged just in time to see the red-headed boy, who had held tight to her shapely white leg despite the violence around him, ripped from his cherished possession as the White Knight grabbed him by his collar and flung him to the ground.

The boy scrambled away piteously, lazy eye wide with fear, gap-toothed mouth open with a half-formulated plea. In an act of almost casual whimsy, Sir Stewart snapped up a short, one-handed mace from his belt and, with an offhanded flick of his wrist, smashed in the boy’s skull. There was a sharp crack, and a slurry of brain and bone chips splurted off to the side as the lad collapsed motionless, face-down in the grass beside the road.

Sir Stewart pivoted back around towards the cage, spinning the mace absent-mindedly in his hand.

“Peasant trash,” he sniffed, though his tone carried a hint of reluctant admiration. “Leave a morsel of meat lying about, it’s remarkable how swiftly the maggots gather.”

He peered closer at Isabella, looking her ruffled, manhandled form up and down, and a smile of surprise and amusement began to build across his face that he made only the most superficial show of repressing. His knights joined his side to share in the sorrowful sight, both wearing similar expressions of restrained mirth.

Under their gaze, Isabella did her best to collect herself, head still spinning from the ordeal. She pulled her legs back inside the cage and brushed her frazzled and tangled hair out of her face. Glancing down at her left breast, still squishing out obscenely over the top of her mangled corset, she tried to stuff it back into her dress. When the hefty mound of flesh refused to cooperate, she crossed her arm across her chest before looking up to meet Sir Stewart’s eyes.

“How . . . How could you . . .” she croaked out, trying to stop her chin from trembling. “How could you let them? Have you no . . . no honor? No honor at all, Sir?”

“Deepest apologies, My Lady,” answered the White Knight, his smirk broadcasting anything but sincerity. “But, after all, mere children . . . Who could have known they would dare molest the infamous Black Queen, warrior maid, storied butcher of the Battle of the Fens?”

The two other knights exchanged a look of merriment that made Isabella furious. Battle of the Fens. Had these two been part of the White cavalry she had defeated in that savage engagement last autumn amid the marshes? She should have slaughtered every one of them.

She shifted her weight, and a sudden, wrenching discomfort made her gasp. An awareness that had somehow been compartmentalized amid the tumult of Sir Stewart’s bloody arrival now came surging back to the fore of her consciousness. Gulping down quick shallow breaths, her eyes flitted back and forth among the three men staring at her in amused curiosity.

She reached down as discreetly as she could manage and fumbled underneath her skirt until she found the blunt shaft protruding from her bottom. Unable to get a firm grip, she was forced to roll to her side and hike the dress up her naked hips. Reaching around her back, she dug her nails into the soft sides of the object and pulled.

“Uuuuunnnnnnngggggh,” she groaned as the saliva-coated shaft slid painfully out of her.

She held up the disgusting object to finally see what humiliating device her young tormentors had found to fuck her with. It was a carrot.

It was too much for the three knights. Seeing the captive noblewoman’s dumbfounded expression as she held up the slimy orange vegetable she’d just pulled from her rectum, all three burst into open guffaws. One of them planted his sword into the earth and turned away doubled over in laughter, so delighted was he by the former monarch’s distress.

Sir Stewart, however, quickly suppressed his grin beneath a mask of dutiful solemnity. He approached the cage and grasped the bars. Reaching through, he pulled a corner of Isabella’s mutilated dress towards him, shaking his head.

“What puerile imaginations these farmboys have. I worry for the morals of our Kingdom’s youth. Truly. And this dress! Imported! Impossible to replicate such needlework. Such a waste! Ah well. It wasn’t to be featured in my triumph in any event. Not according to Queen Joan’s messengers. But musn’t keep griping over Her Majesty’s micromanagement. The show must go on!”

Sir Stewart turned back to the knights. Though addressed to his men, his orders seemed more for Isabella’s benefit.

“Well, no harm done, it doesn’t seem. Proceed as discussed, sirs. Escort the lady from her carriage and bring her to the back of the procession. Secure her directly behind my horse. Per Her Majesty’s express instructions, her sister is to enter the city on foot and unrobed. Not the effect I had in mind, but it sends a message of sorts, I suppose. Strip her of her clothes immediately. I wish to leave at once. We must pass through the city gates within the hour if we wish to reach the palace steps by dusk.”

The White Knight turned to go while his men approached the wagon. Isabella watched them in trepidation, trying to process what had happened and what was in store for her. Realizing that she was still holding the carrot, she flung it through the bars in disgust. Suddenly, one of the soldiers halted and called out to his commander.

“What have we here? Sir!”

The knight disappeared beneath the wagon and came up dragging a shifty-eyed boy of twelve or thirteen by the scruff of his neck. It looked to be the boy whose arm Isabella had likely broken with her kick, the one the other urchins had called Charley. Sir Stewart turned back with a sigh.

“They really are like fleas. Crush as many as you like, you’ll never clear the infestation entirely.”

“Cut the rascal’s throat, Sir?” asked the knight.

The boy squirmed under the soldier’s grip but looked more peeved than afraid.

“We done nothing wrong! You actin’ like that’s a good Christian woman you got caged up in there and not Lady Isabella of Aardmore, inn’it? Traitor to the Realm and hagent of Satan besides, I heard. So wus the problem, Sir? Why, we were jus’ defending them innocent young’uns from ‘er magic. She tried to lay curses on us an’ everything! You can’t imagine how afeared we all were!”

Sir Stewart snorted, amused by the boy’s boldness. With the same air nonchalance with which he’d bashed in the head of the youngster’s comrade, the White Knight strolled over and sized the lad up.

“I may have a job for this one. What do you think, boy? Instead of having your throat cut, how’d you like to be in a parade?”

The boy nodded warily.

“Good,” replied Sir Stewart. “Come with me. We’ll have you fitted for something more appropriate to a royal triumph.”

Without warning, he unsheathed his sword and stabbed at the ground. Isabella and the boy both flinched. When he brought the blade back up, impaled upon its tip was the spit-covered vegetable that had been forced up Isabella’s ass.

“If we must march Queen Joan’s trophy through the streets on foot, I daresay we may need to employ the stick as well as the carrot.”

Queen Captured – Act II: Bishop (scene iv)

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Fifth 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.

The next morning the Bishop returned. Sister Agnes awoke Isabella from a dreamless stupor with a splash of cold water. She had with her a bucket and a sponge and proceeded to wash down her captive before unshackling her. If she noticed the dried semen on the Queen’s legs or anything else amiss, she said nothing.

Too exhausted and dispirited to resist, Isabella allowed herself to be dragged to her feet and led over to the wall, where another set of shackles closed around her wrists and held her standing, back flat against the stonework, with arms outstretched. With something that might have been mistaken for tenderness, Sister Agnes unhooked the leather strap that held the wooden rod in place between Isabella’s teeth. The bit was removed, and she flexed her stiff and aching jaw.

The old nun pressed a ladle to Isabella’s lips. The water had come from the same bucket that had been used in her perfunctory sponge bath, but the Queen was in no position to argue hygiene. Her throat raw and dry, she greedily slurped at the liquid, her heart sinking when the ladle was tossed back into the bucket without the offer of further respite.

Sister Agnes stepped aside. The Bishop approached. He looked Isabella up and down while running a palm contemplatively across his bald head.

“Good morning, Lady Isabella. Are you ready to confess your sins?”

Isabella opened and closed her mouth experimentally, unsure, between the soreness of her jaw and her dehydration, if she would be capable of producing sounds. Her head was cloudy, her vision blurry. She would have rubbed her eyes if she could. Instead, she blinked hard, jerking her head to the side to shake off the haze, her black hair, still surprisingly bouncy and lustrous despite her ordeal, whipping down across half her face.

She looked up, and her one uncovered eye fell upon the two guards, standing at attention behind the Bishop. Her muscles clenched in anger, and she swallowed hard, her rising fury seeming to somehow lubricate her parched throat.

“Your men . . .” she croaked, “. . . they came to me in the night . . . like beasts . . . used me . . .”

“The witch lies!” protested Brother Duncan. At the same time, Sister Agnes announced her view of the accusation with dismissive snort, full of derision and disappointment. But the Bishop raised his hand to silence them both.

“Once again, my child, you mistake this for a conversation. The only words that can save you are ones of repentance. I ask you again: are you ready to confess your sins before God?”

“God . . .” Isabella hissed bitterly, dropping her eyes to the floor in despair, “God has forsaken this place.”

The Bishop shook his head in a show of disappointment. He turned and plucked a metal object from a nearby workbench, an elongated, pear-shaped device of polished bronze. Holding it up before the chained queen, he tested a knob at its base. As he twisted, the head of the tool slowly flared, bursting into three pieces and yawning like the mouth of some unnatural creature.

“Very well,” said the Bishop. “The interrogation continues.”

The pattern continued for days. How many days, Isabella could not be certain, for the same mental defenses that allowed her to endure what was being done to her seemed to block her from counting how many times it happened.

By day, she was tortured. Sometimes for an hour, sometimes for ten. Sometimes in one long session, sometimes in shifts. Sometimes she was hounded for a confession, sometimes the Bishop and his assistants went about their work in silence. All according to her captors’ whims.

By night, the guards would come. It was just Duncan and Theodore at first, but then, growing bolder perhaps, they began to bring others, men that Isabella did not recognize, comrades from other details presumably. One night, they were accompanied by a tonsured monk, who wasted no time eagerly hiking up his habit to mount the bound noblewoman. On more than one occasion, Isabella saw coins exchanged between Brother Duncan and the visitors.

Somehow, however many days she had been locked in the tower, she remained intact. Physically intact, at any rate. She had been in peak health when she had been taken at Malburgh, and her body was remarkably resilient in the face of her tribulations. Her mind had its own battles to fight.

The torments devised for her were varied and endless. One day, she had been forced to sit for hours straddling a narrow wooden beam, set at a height just inches above where she could comfortably stand, its edges digging into her crotch whenever her muscles would no longer permit her to remain on tip toes.

Another cruel morning had seen her nipples placed into tiny vices which were closed crank by crank around the tender flesh.

She had been strapped to a table as the bottoms of her feet were beaten with a birch cane. Wet cloth had been pressed to her face to simulate the sensation of drowning. Hot wax had been dripped across every inch of her skin and into every crevice of her body. A procession of foreign objects had been shoved into her asshole, sometimes left there to protrude from her body like a flag planted deep in newly-conquered earth.

These were painful, agonizing ordeals, without question. Degrading, yes, beyond all imagining. But, based on what Isabella had knew of the interrogation techniques employed by the Tribunal of Heresies, the tortures the Bishop had selected for her seemed calculated not to inflict permanent injury, to leave no lasting scars or, indeed, marks of any kind. For a while, through the grim haze of her pain and humiliation and despair, this realization was some small hope. The Bishop needed her alive, in one piece and largely unblemished. Whatever his pronouncements about church prerogative, he must at some point still intend to turn her over to Queen Joan and her feeble White King.

Yet the unremitting nature of her torture and captivity took its toll. Though her bones remained unbroken, the cumulative trauma of such ceaseless pain and debasement was steadily breaking down her spirit. The diurnal rhythms of her existence were divided between the Bishop’s whip and his servants’ cocks, and the helplessness of her situation was wearing her down. She was losing her mind and with it her sense of self. Lady Isabella might remain bodily whole, but the Black Queen was dying.

One night, many days, weeks perhaps, after her confinement began, she lay face down in the darkness. Unusually, she had not been chained to the floor at the end of the day. Instead, she had been left strapped to the apparatus that had been the site of the day’s torture.

It was a whipping bench, and Isabella knelt on a raised plank with her legs spread at shoulder width, her thighs secured against the body of the apparatus with broad leather belts. She was bent forward over an elevated portion of the bench, the weight of her upper body resting on her stomach, her breasts hanging loose over the front. More leather bands wrapped around her elbows and wrists, tying her arms fast to the slanted legs of the bench. Her head dangled freely and would have been shrouded by the curtain of her black hair had Sister Agnes not gathered it up into a neat bun that bobbled atop her skull.

Whether it had been oversight or conscious disregard that had left her there, part of Isabella still had sufficient sense of agency to contemplate turning this carelessness to her advantage. She began to wriggle.

Very quickly, she despaired. The buckles around her arms and legs might not have the durability of the heavy iron chains that were her usual bedtime accommodations, but they would suffice to hold her. She had neither the strength nor the leverage to break or twist out of tight leather straps. Even if she could, how did she expect to get herself out of the tower, naked and alone and surrounded by the Bishop’s men and other loyalists of the White regime?

Somehow, even in her uncomfortable position, sleep eventually overcame the exhausted Isabella. At the creak of the chamber door, however, she immediately woke, her heart already racing in a learned fear response. She lifted her head but could not crane her neck around sufficiently to see the door. She listened, muscles tensing, as a single set of footsteps approached from behind her at a steady, unhurried pace. Eerie shadows arose from the darkness as the flickering glow of candlelight spilled across the chamber and then grew closer.

“Mmmmmpph . .  uuuuhhh.” Isabella mumbled into her bit, hoping pathetically to elicit some response that would at least break the tension and horrible anticipation.

The intruder’s footsteps stopped behind her. Isabella held her breath. Was it Duncan? Or Theodore? Or had they sold her off to some third person for tonight? She tucked her chin but could barely see her knees past the obstruction of her pendulous breasts, let alone make out the identity of the figure of looming over her upraised bottom.

To her surprise, Isabella heard the sound of soft, ritualistic murmuring. Someone was praying. The words came fast and only half-vocalized, such that the fettered queen could only catch snippets here and there.

“ . . . that the Lord may forgive my unclean thoughts . . . this temptress sent by the devil to test men’s weakness . . . and afterwards to purify myself in whatever manner Thou command . . . that Thy will be done . . .”

The breathy mutterings were so indistinct that it took Isabella a moment to recognize that it was the Bishop himself standing behind her. No sooner had she made this realization than she felt leather-gloved hands on her buttocks, a palm pressed flat against each cheek as if sizing up her backside. Isabella squirmed. Tied down, draped over this bench, she could not have felt more exposed, with her bottom sticking up in the air above her stooped torso and her legs parted just enough to offer up both her front and rear orifices for display.

From the leisurely, silent way that the Bishop ran his hands over her bottom, squeezing her cheeks gently together and pulling them apart as if evaluating the ripeness of a large piece of fruit, he seemed to be taking in with relish the spectacle of the Queen’s exhibited parts.

One hand brushed down between her legs and ran slowly across the folds of her vagina and then up the valley floor between the mounds of her ass. The Bishop then released her bottom, and Isabella heard a soft pop that sounded like a stopper being removed from a jar. A moment later, she lurched forward in surprise as two fingers, ungloved but covered in something cold and slippery, jabbed against her anus without warning.

“Fffffmmmmmm! . . .” Isabella squealed, wiggling her bottom reflexively in a futile attempt to evade the Bishop’s touch, but the leather straps held her in place.

Helplessly, she stared down at the stone floor, feeling the invasive fingers circle round and round her asshole, smearing it thoroughly with lubricant. Isabella didn’t know what was in the slimy tincture, but she had grown familiar with the cold, oily feeling of having it rubbed on her and in her. It was the same concoction Sister Agnes used when preparing her to have one of her holes plugged by some new instrument of torture or humiliation, be it the Flemish Pear or the Beaded Confessor.

Sure enough, the unseen hands at her backside wasted no time in pushing their way inside her. First one slick finger burrowed into her ass, then another. Rhythmically, they slid in and out. Isabella moaned at the indignity.

The fingers molesting her bottom slowed and then withdrew. Isabella felt a fleeting sense of relief, but a moment later she wished the Bishop had been more thorough in applying the ointment. A burst of pain coursed through her as she felt her interrogator’s stiff and dismayingly thick penis press against her asshole and then roughly shove its way in.

In silence, save for Isabella’s muffled grunts of pain, the White Bishop fucked the Black Queen’s ass. The ordeal didn’t take long, and after a final stoic thrust, the Bishop wordlessly removed himself from Isabella’s aching hole. The Queen felt several globs of hot semen splatter against her right butt cheek. She choked back a sob while, behind her, the sadistic clergyman muttered another hurried prayer, presumably stuffing his wet cock back inside his holy vestments.

The footsteps and the candlelight receded, and the door creaked and closed. Isabella was left once more in the darkness, naked and bound, waiting for what new torments the dawn would bring, wondering wretchedly how much more abuse she could compartmentalize before the woman she had been was strangled and drowned.

The heavy chamber door and its visceral engravings of damnation swung slowly open again, its shrill creak once again triggering an immediate anxiety reflex in the captive queen. It seemed like only a moment ago the Bishop had left, but perhaps she had dropped out of consciousness at some point, through sleep or simply her mind shutting down to help dull the trauma.

Sister Agnes came first, walking across the chamber and into Isabella’s field of vision, carrying the bucket of water for her prisoner’s morning bath. Though she could not see them, Isabella knew that Brother Duncan and Brother Theodore would no doubt be taking their stations flanking the entryway, settling in to enjoy another session watching their master torment and humiliate the Old King’s fallen daughter.

Sister Agnes loosened the straps around Isabella’s arms and legs but did not release her from the whipping bench. Isabella gingerly adjusted her stiff appendages but moved slowly and deliberately lest the nun think she was trying to struggle or fight. The old woman circled around her, sponging down her body. As usual, she gave no indication that she noticed the remnants of the night’s visitations sticking in crusty splotches to the fettered woman’s bottom and thighs.

Once Isabella had been wiped down, her surfaces and crevices dutifully polished like a well-kept piece of furniture or machinery, Sister Agnes removed the bit from between her teeth and gave her a ladle of water, which Isabella slurped at gratefully while the nun held a hand beneath her chin to support her dangling head. Then came the creak of the door and the steady, methodical footsteps that could only by the Bishop’s.

Isabella cringed with each footfall. There was a rustle of objects at a nearby table, and she imagined the grim-faced churchman musing over the day’s favored tools. Eventually, a flourish of white linen swooped past her face, and Isabella lifted her head, straining upwards to meet the eyes of the figure looming above and before her.

When she saw his expression, though, as cold and imperious as always, not the slightest flicker acknowledging what he had done to her during the night, she found that she could not hold his gaze. She allowed her head to sag back to its resting place between her stooped shoulders. Eyes fixed on the Bishop’s boots, she waited.

“Lady Isabella of Aardmore, you know well the charges against you. By the mercy of Almighty God, you are given this day a further opportunity to confess your sins and repent your wickedness. Will you take His proffered succor? What say you?”

Isabella’s head swam. She could no longer remember her stratagem, what she was holding out for, her reasons for defiance. She tried to focus, but the sober, calculating parts of her mind kept being disrupted by crazy thoughts. Perhaps she was a witch after all. Perhaps if she admitted her witchcraft, they would burn her. Burn her, yes, and the flames would caress her, soothe her, take her away from all this.

She shook her head, trying to brush off the wild imaginings. She opened her mouth, wincing at the stiffness in her jaw from days of being muzzled.

“Aahh . . .” she began, addressing the Bishop’s shins before swallowing, running her tongue across the dry roof of her mouth and trying again. “I . . . I . . .”

What had she been about to say? She didn’t know how to continue. All she could think about was leaving this awful tower, moving freely again, seeing the sun again. She moistened her lips once more as best she could. As she did so, her eyes were drawn to the braided cords that dangled beside the Bishop’s boot heel.

There were three of them, tightly woven and each ending in thick, uneven knots. She followed the cords up past the hem of the Bishop’s robes, all the way to where they came together, snaking out from an ivory handle clutched firmly in the Bishop’s gloved fist. Isabella hadn’t seen this particular flail before, but she’d learned enough of the varying qualities of such instruments during her prolonged interrogation to recognize pain when she saw it.

“I . . .” she stammered, as much to the flail as to the Bishop, “I . . .”

“Speak,” grumbled the Bishop impatiently.

But Isabella found she couldn’t bring her tongue under her command. She stared into the Bishop’s knees, mouth agape, breathing heavily.

“Her soul gasps for reconciliation with God, Your Purity and Grace,” Sister Agnes announced. “But the Devil stifles her. You must drive him out.”

“Sister Agnes speaks true,” replied the Bishop. “I can see you are close. We will help you break free of the final chains binding you to sin. Submit to God, Lady Isabella. You will see. Submission is conquest. Set down your defiance, your pride. Surrender yourself fully and be free. Sister, ready the cloth.”

The Bishop snapped his flail, which cracked the air with a horrifying pop. His boots marched past Isabella and out of her field of vision.

“No . . . Wait . . .” she cried, her voice quavering wildly in volume and pitch. “Wait no . . .”

She strained her head up to find Sister Agnes coming towards her fast, a dripping wet cloth in her hand.

“No . . . I . . . I . . . Mmmmmmmppphh”

The nun smashed the wet cloth into Isabella’s face and wrapped it around her head, pulling it taut with both hands clenched tight against the back of the noblewoman’s neck. Isabella sucked desperately against the damp fabric. What little air made it through was worse than none at all. She was suffocating slowly, a faithful recreation of the experience of drowning. She struggled frantically against her restraints, shaking the bench.

Suddenly, even through the deadening barrier of the cloth wrapped round her head, she heard the flail crack. A white hot line of pain erupted across her buttocks. She screamed, the sound largely absorbed by the wet fabric plastered across her mouth and nose.

Having wasted precious breath on her wail of agony, her lungs burned. She bucked hard. The leather straps around her arms and legs dug into her skin, but it barely registered. Then, there was another loud crack from behind her and the pain across her backside was overwhelming. She screamed again, but the reaction was weaker this time. Her struggles slowed. She felt like she was about to black out.

Just as she was readying herself to embrace unconsciousness, the cloth was whipped off her face. Isabella gasped and gasped. The streaks where the lash had fallen across her upturned ass sizzled, bringing tears to her eyes. Her body shuddered with a series of half-coughs, half-sobs. The Bishop stepped in front of her and slapped the side of her face to get her attention.

“Confess, Lady Isabella. Confess and taste God’s mercy.”

“I . . .” Isabella sputtered, not sure what she was saying. “I . . . Yes, I confess . . . I . . . Mercy . . . Please . . . no more . . . I surrender submit confess . . . I confess . . .”

“My heart gladdens,” said the Bishop in a cold, even tone. “God will grant you the mercy you seek, My Child. Sister, ink and parchment. Prepare to transcribe the declaration. What is it you confess, Lady Isabella?”

“All . . .” Isabella panted as Sister Agnes dragged a stool up beside the whipping bench and smoothed a piece of parchment, “I confess it all . . . Everything . . . Just no more . . .”

The Bishop cocked a skeptical eyebrow towards his assistant.

“I warn you that the Tribunal does not tolerate insincerity, My Child. Only open repentance, full and frank and genuine, can bring forgiveness. You must detail your sins.”

Isabella tried to remember the full litany of ridiculous charges that had been brought against her, searching for something to offer up. It was a list that had been repeatedly thrown at her, smeared across her, over the course of her torture and was by now etched firmly into her memory. It should have been easy for her to simply regurgitate the demeaning accusations, but at the moment Isabella wasn’t thinking straight.

When she tried to summon one of the disgraceful lies about her, to repeat and confirm the vile slander, she fumbled for the phrasing. Her words failed her. She could do nothing but gape dumbly at the Bishop’s knees. Was she too traumatized to form sentences? Or was there yet some defiant part of her holding her back?

“Her mendacity is palpable, Your Purity and Grace,” spat Sister Agnes in disgust, setting down her parchment, “She will not repent until her sins are dragged from her, bit by bit.”

The Bishop sighed and gave the nun a nod. With astonishing deftness for a woman her age, Sister Agnes snatched up the cloth from where she had deposited it in the water bucket and turned towards Isabella.

“No! . . . Wait! . . .” cried Isabella hoarsely. “I confess! . . . I confess!”

But it was too late. The wet cloth was wrapped around her face, stifling her pleas. Once more, Isabella felt herself suffocating, drowning. And then came the crack of the flail across her exposed bottom. Once. Twice. And just when she thought she might pass out from the pain and lack of air, the shroud was abruptly removed.

“Confess,” barked the Bishop, circling back in front of her and raising his flail threateningly. “Set forth your sins.”

“I . . . buuuuh . . b-books!” Isabella sputtered. “B-books of . . . of spells and potions! I . . . aaah . . . I had them! T-t-to practice witchcraft! I confess! I made the potions . . . the potions from the books! Dark ones! And spells! Dark spells! I cast them all! I . . . I confess! . . . Mercy . . .”

At a nod from the Bishop, Sister Agnes set down her cloth and picked up the parchment. Isabella stared down at the floor to hide the tears that had welled up in her eyes. Giving the braided cords of his instrument and satisfied flick, the Bishop paced before her.

“And to what ends did you employ these dark arts?” he prompted.

“To g-g-gain power at court? . . .” Isabella stammered, trying to recall the details of the accusations. “I . . . cast spells on men of influence . . . forced them to . . . forced them to lay with me . . .”

“And how many men did you fuck in this way?”

Isabella answered with a sob of humiliation before mustering control of her voice and continuing.

“Scores of men . . .” she answered, her voice quavering, “I . . . fuh . . . fucked countless men using my witchcraft . . . my . . . my father’s closest advisors . . . important barons . . . ambassadors from abroad . . . archbishops of the Church. . . I fucked them all. I confess!”

“Blasphemy . . .” whispered Sister Agnes to herself as she transcribed Isabella’s admissions.

Isabella hung her head in silence, hoping that she had given them enough for now, but the Bishop paced behind her and, when further confessions were not forthcoming, delivered a slap with his flail. It was a comparatively light blow, designed to grab her attention, but it still delivered a painful shock to her already-sore buttocks. Isabella yelped.

“Continue,” commanded the Bishop.

“I . . . my servingwomen! I made them . . . made them t-touch one another. I confess it! I made them . . . perform pagan rites! We would . . . would kiss and lick one another’s bodies and achieve unnatural ecstasies in mockery of God . . . I made them . . . Daily I made them pleasure me . . . their heads between my legs . . . caressing my breasts day and night . . . I confess!”

“Continue,” repeated the Bishop, prompting Isabella with another slap of the flail across her bottom.

“Aaaaaaah! . . . I . . . My mother and I . . . we worshipped the Devil . . . She initiated me among his followers . . . taught me witchcraft . . . She watched me . . . watched me pledge myself . . .” At this point, Isabella choked up, barely able to get the words out. “. . . g-give myself to the Devil. . . before my mother and . . . and all our . . . our f-fellow witches and . . . and . . .”

Isabella trailed off, and the Bishop hit her again.

“This ritual. What did it involve?”

“A d-demon! . . . A huge demon with claws and the face of a goat! . . . And I . . . I knelt before him . . . And I wrapped my mouth around his . . . his penis . . . And I pleasured him . . . for hours . . . for hours and hours . . . running my lips up and down its giant . . . giant p-penis . . And then . . . and then . . . I let it fuck me . . . I let the demon fuck me . . .”

“And you enjoyed these depraved, unholy acts?” demanded the Bishop.

“Yes!” Isabella sobbed. “I . . . I loved it . . . I confess . . . I confess it all! I’ve lain with men and women and animals and demons! I practice witchcraft and sorcery! I murdered my father! My mother . . . my mother is Satan’s whore! I confess!”

The Bishop continued to press her, making her repeat certain admissions and delve into greater, often graphic, detail for others. But eventually he seemed satisfied. Isabella was released from the whipping bench, and she was given a fresh penitent’s cassock before being shackled to the wall. As before, the vestments were roughly woven and ill-fitting, but after uncounted days lying naked in the tower, they felt positively dignified.

Her mouth was left ungagged. Yet the Queen remained passive and silent while her leather bindings were being loosened, while the simple brown frock was being fetched and pulled down over her head, while the iron cuffs closed around her wrists. She had no wish to provoke any renewed aggression from her captors. Besides, what was there to say? They left her hanging there, chained to the wall, the humiliation of her utter submission pulling down upon her like a deadweight.

Later, she was brought food and water. It was delivered by young Sister Geneveive, whom Isabella had not seen since the ordeal in the bathhouse, a disgrace that now seemed a world away. The Queen could see the change in herself reflected in the youthful nun’s shocked reaction, the look of fascination that could not decide between delight and horror. The gruel, lifted to Isabella’s lips spoonful by spoonful, tasted thicker than the stuff she’d been given to sustain her during her interrogation; the water, less corrupted.

Eventually, Sister Agnes returned. She had with her the transcript of the confession. Isabella was temporarily unchained, a quill thrust into her hand. Staring down at the document with bleary, unfocused eyes, she noted that it already bore the signatures of the Bishop, Sister Agnes, Brother Duncan and Brother Theodore, attesting as witnesses to the accuracy of the shameful declaration she’d been forced to give. Otherwise, she could not bear to read it. Swallowing her feelings of debasement, she swiftly made her mark at the bottom of the page.

After that, she was alone again, hanging there in the dark chamber, left to contemplate her fate. She had no illusions about the sort of “mercy” she could expect. Her understanding of the legal procedures followed by the Tribunal of Heresies was spotty, but she knew that confessions of the magnitude that she had just signed only led one place. She only hoped that she would have the chance to see the daylight sky again before the flames consumed her flesh.

A great commotion from the antechamber suddenly caused Isabella to lift her head and set aside some of her morbid reflections. Just outside the entrance to the interrogation room, there was shouting and then what sounded like the clanging of steel. Something heavy was thrown against the tall carved doors, and they shook. More shouting. Cries of pain.

Finally, the ruckus stopped. Then, after a momentary silence, the familiar sound of keys rattling in the chamber door, followed by the terrible creak that had awoken Isabella to so many nights and days of horror. When the door had opened a crack, it stopped. A figure stood motionless in the narrow opening. Though backlit, Isabella knew from his build that it was Brother Duncan, leaning forward with his mail-clad shoulder against the door frame, seemingly frozen at the room’s threshold.

Torchlight from the wall sconces fell upon the White Guardsman’s face, and as Isabella’s eyes adjusted she could make out his features. His eyes were wide in consternation, his lips parted in a comical little “o.” Suddenly, his shoulder began to slide down the doorway and he collapsed onto his stomach like a rag doll, his chin slamming down hard against the stone floor. From behind the door, a heavy boot appeared and clamped its heel down upon the limp Duncan’s head as if to steady it. Then, from the same direction, a sword blade flashed into view, glinting against the torchlight as it jabbed straight downward and into Brother Duncan’s neck.

Fluid splurted upwards like a wine skin squeezed too forcefully. Duncan emitted a pathetic gurgle that slowed and then faded away. Meanwhile, his killer pulled the sword free and stepped over the body. It was a soldier, dressed in the uniform of the Whites. A second soldier followed him, carefully avoiding the puddle of blood pooling around Duncan’s neck as he entered the interrogation chamber.

When they saw Isabella chained to the wall, both men stopped. The one who had finished off Brother Duncan sheathed his sword and approached her slowly, looking her up and down in apparent uncertainty and puzzlement.

“Is that . . .” he asked.

His comrade grunted in affirmation and called out towards the antechamber.

“She’s here!”

The first soldier brought a torch closer to better illuminate the shackled queen, barefoot and clad in coarse brown penitent’s garb. As he did so, they were joined by two more men. The first was the Bishop, who stepped over the crumpled body of his slaughtered goon with a look of loathing and trepidation. At his shoulder, nudging the cowed clergyman forward, swaggered a figure whose armor was polished to such a dazzling sheen that Isabella had to momentarily close her eyes against the reflected glare.

When she opened them, the shiny newcomer had left the Bishop glowering off to the side and was pacing casually in front of Isabella, regarding the captured queen with a smirk that seemed to animate his entire body. Contemplatively, he ran his fingers across the length of his long, curling moustache, the same light brown color and just as carefully groomed as the mane of hair of that fell in a neat arc around his shoulders. Isabella’s eyes narrowed and her heartbeat quickened.

“Well . . . Well well well . . .” hummed the dapper warrior.

“Sir Stewart,” hissed the Queen.

Sir Stewart, the White Knight himself, sauntered closer, eyeing Isabella’s ill-fitting cassock and uncovered calves with smug, pursed lips. He then gave her an elaborate courtly bow.

“Your Majesty . . .”

Queen Captured – Act II: Bishop (scene i)

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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.

“Mmmmphfff-uuuuuh-muuuh…”

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

“Mmmmuuutth?… Fffuuuh-ffffuuuuh!”

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.”

Queen Captured – Act I: Pawn

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First 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.

Her hands were bound. As the Black Queen struggled painfully toward consciousness, the dull discomfort of the rope entwining her wrists and the unpleasant sensation of immobility penetrated her fevered dreams and hastened the onset of wakefulness.

The Black Queen? Yes, that was her. The realization was an important corner piece out from which she could reconstruct the jigsaw puzzle of her situation. Her mind still straddled  the dizzying precipice between lucidity and the unconscious. In that twilight where one’s sense of place and of time and even of self become disoriented and elusive, the words were a beacon.

The Black Queen. Yes. Even before her father’s death had thrown the realm into chaos, people had spoken in terms of the Blacks and the Whites. The enmity between the court’s two most powerful factions had a long history, but it was the succession issue that brought the divide into focus, turning what had once been merely a rough, color-coded shorthand into a more-or-less official badge of allegiance.

Black referred to the black cross of the Duchy of Aardmore, the clique’s principal base of power and where the Queen had spent many of her formative years during her mother’s brief exile from court. White might plausibly have come from Whitehold, the coastal fortress that had more than once been the site of political intrigue by the Queen’s half-sister and her supporters, or from the white rose that was a traditional symbol of royal authority. Or perhaps the label came to be used simply because it was the opposite of Black.

Whatever the origin, the symbolism was self-perpetuating. As the Old King’s health worsened and the camps coalesced, nobles and knights and churchmen across the kingdom declared their loyalties by flying their faction’s colors: black gowns and white banners; black ribbons and white cloaks; black armor and white lances. There were neutral parties, of course, counselors loyal first and foremost to the realm, who in the Old King’s final years begged him to name an heir and unite his fraying kingdom.

Sadly, the imperious and long-reigning monarch known as the Grey Lion had always preferred to keep the succession card in play, sending ambivalent signals and intentionally setting the cadet branches of his dynasty against one another as a means of exerting his will upon his unruly barons. By the time the need for an unequivocal declaration became undeniable, it was too late. The rapidly deteriorating state of the King’s mental faculties was an open secret at court, such that any proclamation could be plausibly challenged later as a product of the Grey Lion’s dementia. For this reason, his advisors ceased to press the issue, and the Blacks and the Whites positioned themselves for an inevitable civil war.

Lady Isabella of Aardmore. The Black Queen. Yes. It was her birthright.

She was well aware of the arguments to the contrary, of course. Some claimed the annulment of King Harold’s marriage to Isabella’s mother had retroactively thrown her legitimacy into question. If so, then Joan D’Montefort, the eldest surviving child of the Old King’s second marriage, the vain, cruel woman now holding herself out as the White Queen, who might seem to have a viable claim. Joan may have been younger—twenty-two years to Isabella’s twenty-six—but she had shored up her claim with a strategic marriage to her first cousin, the Earl of Carteaux, the ineffectual, porcine pretender known now as the White King.

But Lady Isabella cared little for what the lawyers said. The Blacks had their own lawyers, who had their own theories, based upon Isabella’s lineage through her maternal grandfather, the late Duke of Aardmore, and upon changes to the laws of inheritance wrought by the Treaty of Barrington, and upon other more esoteric precedents that they assured her demonstrated conclusively her legitimacy. It mattered little. The Black Queen knew that power did not spring from the law; it was the other way around.

As the sides had positioned themselves in anticipation of the Grey Lion’s death, Lady Isabella had been pressured into a strategic marriage of her own. The elderly baron now hailed as the Black King, unlike Cartreaux, brought no royal blood to bolster her claim to the throne, but he did bring 200 knights, 1,000 footmen and extensive landholdings located in key regions. It was not a match that conformed to her girlhood fantasies, but the Queen recognized its expedience. And whatever conjugal comforts were beyond the capacity of her kindly but frail Black King could be amply provided by her long-time consort, the comely Sir William Cantor.

“. . . the Black Queen.” This time, the words were not in her head. Someone was speaking of her, and not with the tone of deference to which she was accustomed. The intrusion of the voice upon her dreams made her newly aware that the force that immobilized her, pressing her thighs tightly together and wrenching her arms behind her back was not the warm embrace of her Sir William as she had begun to imagine.

Captured. That’s what had happened. She had been riding north at the head of a full mounted regiment to relieve the siege at the Black stronghold of Malburgh Castle. She knew the risks of the mission. Yet she insisted on leading the Black forces personally against the urging of her advisors.

If God had seen fit that she should fall before the stout walls of Malburgh, that would have been one thing. But the manner of her defeat was more shameful, and, as her mind struggled haltingly into the present, a deep sense of dishonor awakened, more painful than her dawning physical discomfort.

Foolishly, she had ridden out ahead of her main contingent. She had hoped to see for herself where and how the White forces were arrayed. They were said to be under the command of Sir Stewart, the cavalier young knight whose service to the White cause had been distinguished both by military acumen and by sheer brutality. If she could outmaneuver the White Knight on the battlefield, it might decisively change the war’s momentum. Instead, she was ambushed before she ever got to the ridge overlooking the castle.

Ambushed not by Sir Stewart. Nor by any other knight or castellan fit to meet a queen in battle. Instead, in her carelessness, she and her small company were set upon by a band of lowly foot soldiers. No more than armed peasants. The last thing she remembered was seeing one of her men pulled from his horse and slaughtered. Then she had suffered a blow from behind.

Her Magnificence the Black Queen laid low by a rabble of ignorant peons. As the shameful memory rose to the surface, she squirmed in discomfort. Again, the alien bite of her bindings twisted against her wrists.

The smell of campfire was in the air. A cold wind snaked its way underneath her dress and chilled her bones. Her head aching and her arms stiff from confinement, the Black Queen finally opened her eyes.

She was in a small clearing, dense woods pressing in all around. Her body was propped up against a tree trunk. It was night, and, aside from the dim moonlight creeping its way through the foliage overhead, the only illumination emanated from a fire, which cast eerie shadows over the thick layer of pine needles that covered the forest floor.

Tending the fire, which had been built in the center of the clearing a little more than ten feet from where the Queen lay, was a figure in what had once clearly been a white uniform, though the jacket was so heavily caked in soot and grime that it almost reminded the Queen of her own soldiers’ livery. As the figure leaned in to stoke the flames, the Black Queen could discern the details of his leathery face. He had the grizzled, pockmarked look that was a badge of his serfdom.

Suddenly, the soldier looked over at her. The Queen tried to shut her eyes, but it was too late.

“Hey, Nollie!” she heard him hiss, “Her majesty’s up from ‘er nap!”

Opening her eyes once again, she saw a second soldier, equally dirty and disreputable, emerge from the darkness carrying an armload of firewood. He dumped it unceremoniously by the fire and joined his comrade staring in the Queen’s direction.

“Wha’? Are you sure she’s up, Red? I can’t see er eyes…”

“Sure sure. I jus saw er move,” replied Red, “Hey, yer majesty! So nice ‘o you ta join us!”

It was time to confront her fate, and the Black Queen gathered her courage. With a small groan, she did her best to pull herself up into a sitting position. Using the tree to take most of her weight, she raised her chin and fixed her captors with her most regal look.

“You there! What lord do you serve?” she demanded.

The two soldiers looked at each other. Red took off his dingy white cap to reveal a gray and patchy mat of hair that left no clue as to the origins of his name. Nollie, several decades his junior and some two feet his superior, scratched his facial scruff nervously.

“What lord you reckon we serve, Nol?” Red said. “I meself grew up on the estates of Lord Gascon, but that was before the Old King stripped ‘im of ‘is lands an’ granted ‘em to the Earl of Tallybrook. Now Tallybrook married ‘is daughter to some nephew of ‘Ouse of Cartreaux as best I understan’ . . .”

“You will unbind me at once,” the Queen interrupted in exasperation. “You will bring me at once to your commanding officer that we may discuss terms.”

“Oh,” Red responded, knitting his brow and nodding slowly in showy consideration of the Queen’s words, “So that’s what we will do. You get all that, Nollie?”

Nollie simply looked nervously back and forth between Red and the Queen.

“I’m sure glad you woke up, Yer Majesty, to tell we aimless pawns what we will do. Why, I was jus’ wondering what I will do. Wasn’ I, Nol?”

Red cautiously sauntered closer to the Queen, making an awkward snuffling noise that might have been some sort of a chuckle. He stopped just short of where she lay, propped up in her uncomfortable half-sitting position, and examined her. His eyes glazed over, transfixed in wonder. The Queen squirmed, causing the ropes wrapped round her legs to dig painfully into her thighs.

She looked up, and, for a brief instant, the Queen saw herself reflected in the peasant’s yellowing, sunken eyes. It was said she was a beautiful woman, the most beautiful in the realm if her flatterers were given any credence at all. But even her detractors could not deny her striking, delicate features nor the way her intense green eyes were set off by stunning cascades of dark black hair, creating a face that had inspired a hundred poems.

And her body. Her body had captured the attention of every man at court. Her corsets could barely contain her ample chest, and many a male courtier and ambassador had longed to glimpse the long legs and shapely bottom that were no doubt contained underneath the flowing black gowns she always favored.

At the moment, however, that flowing black gown was covered in pine needles, and that near-to-bursting corset was threatening to suffocate her. As the Black Queen looked up at the rough face of her captor, she felt herself recoil. Her shame and anger were joined by the first hints of an emergent panic.

“Well? Release me, footman. I am the trueborn daughter of King Harold the Grey Lion and his rightful heir. Do you understand?  I wish to speak to your superiors. You marched on Malburgh with the butcher Sir Stewart, yes? I would treat with the White Knight at once. Take me to him. I will not wait on the morrow.”

Red let out a low whistle.

“We’d ‘eard that the Black Queen was a pretty one, but the stories don’t do it no justice. Ain’t that right, Nollie?”

“She’s pretty all right, Red,” Nollie agreed.

Red crouched down and brought his haggard face within inches of the Queen’s. The smell of onions and roasted forest animal clung to his breath.

“How about a liddle kiss for ol’ Red, Yer Majesty? It gets awful lonely out ‘ere on patrol, it does.”

The Queen felt as she might vomit, but, instead, she spit. Gathering what little moisture she could from her parched mouth, she managed to land a modest gob of saliva just below Red’s eye.

“You will release me at once! I shall report the disrespect you have shown me to your commander!” she said, her tone of command undercut by a faint note of hysteria. “I shall . . .! You will . . . !”

“Nasty nasty. Wut kinda manners is they teachin’ at the palace nowdays?”

“Even I knows better than tuh spit on people, Red,” contributed Nollie, still standing several feet away, fiddling nervously with his coat buttons.

The impertinence of these common soldiers was now beyond all belief. She itched with the urge to land a blow across this arrogant peon’s cheek with the back of her hand, a move she had honed to stinging perfection over the years on her own servants, and reflexively she attempted to rise. Immediately, her ropes squeezed, and she rocked back against the tree with a thud.

As she lay there, her muscles quaking with fury, Red placed his hand on her knee and bent forward to place a wet kiss on her collarbone, which protruded ever so slightly from the ruffled neckline of her gown. Queen Isabella’s eyes went wide in complete disbelief.

“You-… I’ll have you-… you’ll be lashed for this!… Lashed, do you hear?!” she sputtered, struggling to squirm away from the defiling touch of this upstart Pawn.

“Lashed? Oh yes, I’ve been lashed before,” responded Red with a toothy grin.

“Yeah, me too, Red!” contributed Nollie, “Yuh don’t serve wif Sir Stewart’s men too long without takin’ a lashing or two.”

Red grabbed one of the Queen’s ankles and gave it a sharp tug, pulling her roughly away from the tree. Her head hit the soft dirt with a gentle bump and a crackle of leaves. Her pinioned arms twisted beneath her, eliciting from her a yelp of pain. Red stood over the Black Queen with a foot on either side of her torso, preventing her from wriggling away.

“You see? We’re lashing hexperts, you might say. Why, once, when I was a boy, the old Duke of Aardmore, your grandfather if I know me noble fammy trees, he n’ his house was guests of Lord Gascon. To shorten what’s a might lengthy story, I got caught peepin’ on the Lady Aardmore when she was at her bath. The Duke had me lashed like I never been before and since. Lashed me Ma and Pa and me old Nana too for me wicked upbringing while he was at it. And me Pa never was the same from that day. Oh I been lashed no denying.”

The pockmarked old footman sluffed off his coat and tossed it over by the fire. He untucked his shirt from his trousers and raised it to demonstrate. Indeed, his skin was marked by a latticework of long, beveled scars. He let his shirt drop and leaned down towards the bound noblewoman at his feet.

“Question is: Have you ever been lashed, Yer Majesty?”

The Queen was so stunned she stopped struggling for a moment.

“Have I-. . . Lashed? I most certainly have not, you filthy cur! You- You shall release me if you wish to keep your heads!”

“Never had to take a bit of the lash, eh? Well no wonder yer manners hain’t fittin’ a proper young lady. Yer daddy good King Harold hadn’t time to take you cross ‘is knee give that arrogant royal bottom a lesson, that it? Nor your granddad the Duke, may the son of a whore get buggered in ‘ell, ‘e too captivated by ‘is pretty Black Princess to take a rod to ‘er backside when she needed it?”

Rage was convulsing her, and, as her breathing escalated, she feared she might suffocate in her tight corset.

“How-…” she panted, “How-… How dare you!”

Before she could continue, however, Red grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her violently to her feet. Nollie joined him, and, between the two of them, they lifted her and pinned her face-first against the tree trunk. With Nollie holding her securely, Red undid the rope around her wrists, only to retie them on the other side of the tree as Nollie pressed against her back, holding her helpless and immobile.

Then, Red undid the knots by her thighs and unwound the rope that held her legs together. The Queen tried to kick, but between the two soldiers they were able to neutralize her while Red tied both her ankles tightly to the tree, fixing them on opposite sides of the trunk and spreading her legs slightly apart. Another stretch of rope was wound around her torso, just above her hips and knotted tightly on the other side of the tree.

The Black Queen was in agony, her arms pulled taught around the tree and her face and body squished forcibly against the bark. She began to scream, hurling incoherent curses.

“Nollie, do something about that noise, huh? Nobody around to hear it, but I don’ wanna go deef…”

Nollie found a strip of filthy cloth, a greasy rag that was probably used to clean the cooking gear. Red took it and forced it into the Queen’s mouth. With difficulty, he managed to wedge it in between her teeth and tie it around her head, muffling her cries of outrage.

“Spittin’ on good honest folks,” said Red. “Callin’ ‘em all sorts of nasty names. Where I was raised, that’d be more’nuff to earn Yer Majesty ‘er first taste o’ the lash. Yer lucky you ran into us, M’lady. You should hear the stories that’re spreadin’ bout your bo-have-i-or. A firm punishment, like yer daddy outta given you long time ago. I’d say that’s jus’ what you needa turn yer life round. Why, yer gonna thank us when this is done. . .”

The Queen’s head swam. What was this vile peasant suggesting? He wouldn’t dare raise his filthy hand to someone of her birth. She was a prisoner, perhaps, but a royal prisoner. White or Black, any lord who found out what this lowborn thug had threatened would surely see him hanged, drawn and quartered. She strained her neck to look behind her and tried to shout these same observations back at her deluded captors, but the angry words were muffled by the rag in her mouth.

“Hey, Red. I broke off a piece of this here birch. Think this’ll do?”

Nollie handed Red a branch, from which he’d stripped most of leaves. It was two feet long and about half an inch in diameter at its fattest part. Red stripped off a few more leaves and imperfections before whipping it around experimentally. The Queen flinched at the whizzing noise she heard it make.

“Ooooh… I’m gonna injoy this, Yer Majesty,” Red said, wheezing with excitement, “me n’ Nollie here are gonna teach you some manners. We’ll see how high n’ mighty you act after you’re through with your liddle punishment…”

Even now, the Queen’s mind refused to process her predicament. Did they really mean to strike her with that crude branch? Never in her life had someone dared lay hands on her royal person in such a fashion. And to have such brutality justified as “punishment” was an affront too humiliating to bear. These White thugs could not possibly follow through with what they were implying: the rightful queen of the realm tied down and whipped like a servant or a schoolchild? It was unthinkable.

“Well… I’d say this is a rod fit for a royal behind.”

“Oh! Can we pull up her dress, Red?” asked Nollie, practically sputtering in excitement. “We can pull up her dress can’t we? When they whip the serving girls at the manor, they pull up theirs dresses. I seen it! Make them take off their dainties too! Yes I seen it plenty times! Bottoms just shaking out in the wind, naked as God made em. I seen em, Red!”

“You must think I’m a village idiot, Nollie. Wouldn’t be no proper punishment otherwise, now would it? You go ‘elp ‘er Majesty’s naughty liddle arse get ready to taste this ‘ere birch.”

The Queen gasped into her gag at hearing this exchange. The taller, younger soldier eagerly bounded over to the tree and bent down to grab the hem of the Queen’s skirt. Her eyes grew wide and she began to struggle, bucking and tugging against her bonds. Some of the dress was wedged in between her calves and the rope, but Nollie soon freed the material and began to shimmy it upwards, exposing the gauzy chemise that she wore underneath. He took a moment to feel the soft, thin fabric, rolling it reverently between thumb and forefinger, before tugging it upwards after the dress, bringing the Queen’s bare legs into view inch by inch. Isabella collapsed against the tree in helplessness, fighting against the tears of frustration welling up in her eyes.

As the footman pulled her dress up higher, he encountered the silk undergarments that Isabella wore for horseback riding. They were exuisitely tailored, their frilled edges circling tightly around her hips and thighs. The men paused in curiosity at the sight.

“Well, would you look at them fancy little bloomers,” laughed Red, “tuck that dress up so’s it don’t fall down, Nollie, then let’s ‘ave a look’t what Er Majesty hides beneef dem drawers…”

No instruction was necessary. Nollie had already bunched the skirt up and secured it well above the Queen’s waistline and was reaching eagerly for the string that tied her underwear. Though she struggled mightily against her restraints, the proud monarch was unable to prevent the gangly footman from loosening the knot and then, to her utter dismay, yanking them down to her knees.

The Black Queen moaned in shame through the rag between her teeth. Even in the royal bedroom, her body was seldom so exposed. She felt the cold night air whip across her naked skin, its violating caress circling the firm round orbs of her buttocks, down to the backs of her knees and then up the inside of her thigh to stroke her womanhood with its chilly touch. Never had her body been put on display in this fashion, its private curves mounted in the open air for the pleasure of strangers.

The two White soldiers stepped back to admire. Before them was an object of beauty to which nothing in their miserable lives could compare. The drooping, birthmarked asses of the whores down at the Hart’s Head Tavern could not possibly have prepared them for the long aristocratic legs or the perky royal bottom tied helplessly to the tree in front of them.

Red gave a whistle of appreciation.

“Anyone ever tell you you’ve got a damn pretty rump, Yer Ighness? Seems a shame we’ve gotta mark it up like this, but then how else you gonna learn your lesson and come out of this a good little princess, eh?”

As Isabella struggled against her bindings, she felt the rough bark of the tree rub against her naked crotch. It was a completely alien sensation and reinforced the abject humiliation of her situation.

Red stepped up to her and whipped his wooden rod through the air. With a flourish, he brought the stripped birch squarely down in the middle of the Black Queen’s captive ass.

Whizzzz. CRACK!

The Queen let out a gagged shriek. She had not been prepared for this sudden assault. The sting that the supple wood rod left in its wake overwhelmed her.

“Now, thas one, Yer Maj. Yer gonna take five more jus’ like that so’s you’ll learn better behavior. Then, I promise, me n’ Nollie will show that royal arse some better treatment…”

Whizzzzz. CRACK!

Another shriek. Nollie giggled and clapped.

Whizzzzz. CRACK!

The shock of the impact made the Queen jump, almost rising off her feet. Her naked thighs and cunt scraped against the cold tree. Pain, fear and humiliation pushed her breath from her in violent sobs, choked by the rag crumpled inside her mouth.

Whizzzzz. CRACK! CRACK!

Red gave her two swift lashes as she squirmed left and right trying to avoid the blows.  Deep red lines began to emerge across the Queen’s pale ass cheeks.

Whizzzzz. CRACK!

A tear rolled down Isabella’s face. Her posterior in agony, her arms aching from her restraints, the Black Queen felt she would gladly accept any death rather than endure this torment any further. To think that she, the rightful sovereign of the entire Kingdom, should find herself tied to a tree, her silk underwear pulled down around her knees, having her naked buttocks beaten by a pair of filthy foot soldiers. It was insupportable.

“There now, Yer ‘Ighness. Don’t cry. It’s all over. But I ‘ope you learnt your lesson. Sumptimes even queens get a bit naughty and gotta be punished. Ain’t tha’ right, Nollie?”

“Can I touch ‘er bottom now, Red?”

The Black Queen did not hear an answer, but she did feel one. With a noisy crunching of leaves, Nollie scurried up behind her and placed his palms over her sore and throbbing cheeks. With a moan of pleasure, he began to trace the circumference of the two luscious globes, rubbing her ass down with his outspread hands in large, circular motions.

Overcome by shame and indignation, the Queen could only shut her eyes as Nollie continued his frantic exploration of her naked bottom. He began to knead and squeeze her cheeks, pushing them up and down, back and forth, playing with the Queen’s buttocks like a hyperactive child playing with a new toy.

Nollie gave his plaything a few light slaps before resuming his eager manipulation. He squeezed her ass cheeks together, then pulled them apart, exposing her more fully to the cold night air. The Queen shivered from the shock.

“Ohhhhh…” breathed Nollie, peering down at the pucker of her asshole. “Red! Red! Can I?” The Queen froze. Behind her, Nollie was making eager slurping sounds as, in near-ecstasy, he began to lick his index finger up and down.

In a moment of sheer horror, the Queen felt a single, slimy finger graze its way down her crack and come to rest just outside her anus. Her eyes opened wide as it began to twist, pushing its way inside her with a slow insistence. She wanted to scream and kick, but the best she could manage were muffled cries and a frantic bucking of her lower body that only pushed the finger in deeper.

“Ohhhh-ho…”

As Nollie’s right hand invaded her asshole, his left hand continued to knead the fleshy cheeks that surrounded it. He gave her a few playful slaps and worked his finger in deeper. A few feet behind them, Red was laughing.

“Oh, if only yer ladies’n-waiting could see you now, Yer Majesty. Tied to a tree with a finger up yer bum! How’s she treatin’ you, Nollie?”

Nollie was grinning from ear to ear.

“Jus’ fine, Red. Oh, she’s a pretty one. Real pretty.”

“You’d bes’ loosen up and let ol’ Nollie in, Yer Maj, or you’ll be gettin’ another taste of the switch…”

To illustrate his point, Red walked up beside her and began to deliver a series of stinging blows with the palm of his hand to her already-tender ass. The Queen bit down hard on the dish rag between her teeth. Meanwhile, Nollie had worked his finger in almost up to the knuckle.

“Awright, Nol. The Queen’s had her punishment. You’ve had yer fun. I think it’s time she showed us some royal treatment, doncha think?”

“Oh, sure, Red. Sure.”

Nollie pulled his finger out of her ass and walked around to the front of the tree, where he began untying the Queen’s wrists. As soon as her arms were free, she began to fight, but the footman was too strong for her. He managed to grab both wrists and pull them both behind her, where Red was waiting to retie them. Once her flailing arms were secure, Nollie pinned her legs against the tree as Red carefully released her lower half. Then, between the two of them, the men lowered her down to the forest floor.

Red climbed on top of her as Nollie tore away her silk undergarments with a long rip that seemed to echo across the forest clearing. He grabbed her legs to keep her from kicking. Breathing heavily, sweating excitement through his pores, Red violently pushed her dress up past her waist. He paused for a moment, staring down at the elegantly trimmed patch of black pubic hair. Still pinning her shoulder down with one hand, he reached down with the other to feel the soft folds of her pussy.

As he did so, the Queen realized with horror how moist she was. It was a response her body had always had to danger. She often found herself growing damp as she rode into battle, never aroused exactly but certainly stimulated in some sense. She was mortified that this physiological response might now look like a sign of pleasure to her captors.

“Well, what have we here? It looks like we won’t be needing to use that bacon grease after all, Nollie. Her Majesty’s been gettin’ all hot and bothered.”

She struggled with all her might, trying to knock the old peasant off her, but the two footmen held her firm.

“I’d lie a liddle more still if I was you, Yer Ighness…” hissed Red, and from behind his back, he produced a large hunting knife.

The Black Queen was terrified, and, for a few moments, did indeed lie still. Red grabbed the collar of her beautiful black gown and began to saw at it with the knife. Immediately, it began to tear, and Red continued to slice his way down the dress’s front, mutilating the expensive vestment beyond recognition. Eventually, her corset was exposed. Red began to slice away at the strings that held it tight, finally tearing it asunder and allowing the Queen’s bountiful breasts to pop free.

The Black Queen screamed into her cloth muzzle. She was completely helpless and exposed. Tatters of her dress hung here and there, but her body was largely laid bare, exposed to the cold wind and the cruel whims of this leathery goblin.

Red, for his part, was dumbfounded by the huge, gorgeous bosom that the Queen’s corset had concealed. He reached down and grabbed one of the immaculate white mounds, squeezing and caressing it. He took hold of one of her nipples and began to pinch it, rolling it between his thumb and forefinger.

“Jeeeezuz… Will ya look at that, Nollie? I hain’t never seen a whore wif ninnies that big. Has you?”

“They’re big awright, Red,” replied Nollie, putting more pressure on the Queen’s legs to prevent a new fit of kicking.

Red let go of her breasts and reached for his crotch. He unsnapped the white trouser flap, and, with some careful pushing and tugging, released his throbbing erection into the chilly night air. When the Queen saw this, she began to struggle all the more, and Red was forced to pin her shoulders down once again.

Nollie backed off a little, and Red maneuvered himself between the Queen’s legs. Using his right hand to guide, he slowly eased the head of his penis inside her. Shrieking and sobbing beneath her gag, the helpless monarch tried her best to pull away, but Red, with his superior leverage, was able to force his stiff cock deeper and deeper into her.

“Ohhh, Lordy,” he groaned, “if me ol’ Pa could see me now. I may notta had the luck to be born a gentleman, but, by God, at least He’s given me the chance to fuck a proper lady.”

As he humped her squirming body, the Queen’s legs began to lash out, landing a series of ineffective kicks on Red’s back. Ignoring this futile resistance, he grabbed her breasts, using this fleshy handhold for support as he pounded away at her.

In no time at all, however, the aging soldier came to the end of his stamina. With an appreciative moan, he thrust one last time into the Queen and stopped. With a wave terrible nausea, she imagined she could feel his penis pulsate and expel its grotesque load inside her body.

“Ahhhhh…” sighed Red, pulling out and rising to his feet, “Yer Ighness is a damn fine fuck, I must say. I hain’t tasted a tart that juicy in years.”

“My turn, Red? Huh?” asked Nollie, clapping his hands together absent-mindedly and bouncing around the Queen’s prostrate body in anticipation.

“Sure sure. She’s all yers, Nol’. Jus’ be quick. It’s almost dawn, and we gotta meet up with ‘Is ‘Oliness.”

Using what little energy she had left, the Black Queen rolled over onto her stomach and attempted to rise to her feet, the tatters of her dress and corset still hanging off her shoulders. She did not manage a single step, however, before Nollie grabbed her around the waist and held her tight.

“Red! Red! Help me get ‘er dress off!”

Red rebuttoned his trousers and picked up his knife. With Nollie holding her steady, he went to work on the remainder of the Queen’s clothing. With a few well placed slashes and rips, the black dress fell loosely to the pine needles below. The Black Queen was completely naked, shivering against the cold and struggling in Nollie’s arms.

Nollie dragged her over to a small boulder stump near the campfire and roughly forced her down on her knees and over the rock. Red came over to assist by pinning down her torso, smashing her breasts down against the cool stone and forcing her ass up into the air.

“You ever been fucked like a dog, Yer Majesty?” asked Red, smirking insufferably, “Cuz I think thas’ what ol’ Nollie here has in mind for you…”

The Black Queen shut her eyes, trying desperately to pretend that this nightmare wasn’t happening. She tried to imagine she was somewhere else: The beautiful gardens in the courtyard of the palace library where she loved to spend her afternoons reading. The woods near Aardmore Castle where she used to secretly rendezvous with Sir William. Anywhere. She wanted desperately to escape, but she was jerked forcibly back to reality by the second White footman’s penis forcing its way from behind into her cunny.

Nollie’s cock was much larger than Red’s, and it took some insistence to get it inside, all the more so due to Queen’s intermittent and feeble struggles. Nollie had to grab her hips firmly and gradually guide his prick in between her pink lips. His thrusts started out slow, but gained momentum as he grew more confident.

“Ohhhh… Ohh yeah…” Nollie sighed as he started ramming himself ever more rapidly against the Queen’s ass, his belly making an almost comical slapping sound as it collided over and over again with her whip-marked cheeks.

With one hand, the younger soldier held tight to the rope that bound the Queen’s wrists behind her back, forcing her shoulders back and her head up as her naked body rocked back and forth against the rock over which she’d been draped. Nollie’s other hand gripped the Queen’s hip tightly, yanking her ass violently back into his prick as he fucked her.

The Queen’s second ordeal lasted much longer than the first, and, as the tall, gangly foot soldier continued to thrust his penis in and out of her, his fingers digging into her hip,  Isabella felt the merciful caress of unconsciousness arrive to relieve her of the pain in her arms and her chest and between her legs.

Just before she passed out, Queen Isabella dimly heard Nollie cry out in ecstasy as he released his disgusting juices into her defenseless cunt.

When she awoke—moments or hours later, it was impossible to tell—her naked body was lying next to the fire and covered by a dirty blanket. Staring down at her were, not two, but three faces.

“You…” she croaked. “You will hang for this . . . I swear it.”

The middle face bent down, and it was only then that she noticed the white miter billowing up from his skull like a misshapen toadstool. She knew this man. Thomas Trolwick, Archbishop of Evanshire. What was a man of his rank doing among these brigands?

The Bishop eyed her bare shoulders, sticking out from the blanket. He frowned a disapproving frown and crossed himself.

“Like we was sayin’, Yer ‘Oliness . . .”

The Black Queen cringed at the voice of the ugly old foot soldier who had beaten and defiled her.

“ . . . a powerful spell indeed. I swear on me father’s grave. She’s a witch jus’ like they all say, sure as the nose on me face. Soon as we capture her, she starts openin’ ‘er legs up to us, tryinta’ seduce us. Me n’ Nollie we resist as best two mortal men can, but what chance do we ‘ave gainst black magic like wut this witch queen ‘as. Before we can do a thing, she’s takin’ off ‘er clothes an’ drawin’ us into ‘er and sayin’- . . .”

“Enough!” The Bishop held up a hand with two raised fingers to silence the footman. “The tales of the Lady Isabella’s lasciviousness are well known. That she attempted to use her body to gain her freedom I have no doubt.”

“That’s just what she did!” exclaimed Nollie. “Lassivied the pants right off me. Right, Red?”

“Thaas jus’ wut ‘appened, Nol,” said Red. “Now, Yer ‘Oliness. ‘Ere’s yer traitor queen. All in one piece. Jus’ like we found ‘er. Or near as. She’s all yers. Now such service to God and the realm . . . why, I ‘spect that earns some reward, if ya beg me pardon?”

The Bishop nodded gravely and gestured behind him. From out of the darkness emerged two soldiers in White uniforms, crisper and more professional than those of the Queen’s two grubby assailants. Wordlessly, one grabbed Nollie and one grabbed Red. In one fluid motion, each pulled a dagger and drew it briskly across his victim’s throat. Nollie and Red both dropped to their knees in unison, blood gushing from their wounds.

As the death gurgles of the two footmen slowed and faded, the Bishop knelt beside the Black Queen. He fixed her with a pair of pale, empty eyes which flickered with reflected firelight. She drew her blanket tighter around her nude body and shrank away.

“You shall come with me, Lady Isabella. And we shall cure you of your wickedness.”