Queen Captured – Act II: Bishop (scene iv)

fobq_cover2

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 . . .”

Advertisements

Queen Captured – Act II: Bishop (scene i)

fobq_cover2

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.”