Author's Note: New heroine, short story
Urging his horses on the coach driver steered the carriage through the stygian darkness of the forest. There was still snow on the ground and the gibbous moon shining from a cold cloudless sky helped the driver to find his way, the light from the carriage lanterns being pale and ineffectual.
Behind the screens on the carriage windows sat a single occupant, a petite blond woman in her late 30's with attractive but pointed features, she sat wrapped in a heavy travelling cape her gloved hands holding documents which she studied intently. This was Lady Sally Blackrook, an Englishwoman of some nobility. Widow of the late Lord Blackrook she was a woman of independent means despite her husband's wealth. A famed beauty she had remained single since husband's death however it was rumoured she had her choice of lovers from the great and good of the English and International Úlite. She was infamous in polite society as an unconventional woman who did not conform to the Victorian role of a lady, shooting, hunting and partaking of other hazardous pursuits not deemed suitable for a lady of her status. In fact she was an adventuress and explorer using her considerable wealth to fund her exploits, there were even rumours she occasionally took the pay of British Government as a spy.
She looked up from her papers as she felt the carriage slow and instinctively she felt in her carpet bag for her pistol, a Colt model 1873 she had picked up in the "old west", a rather large firearm for a lady but she liked its stopping power. The grips had been customised for a smaller hold and her petite gloves hands cocked the heavy weapon before resting it on her lap.
"What is it Christophe, why are we slowing?" she called to the driver
A panel slid back in the roof and a heavy accented voice spoke.
"Something ahead M'lady, looks like a lamp"
"Well be prepared Christophe we need to be in the Moldavian capital by midday to get the train".
The big driver slid the flap closed and reached under his seat for his firearm, he could see in the distance a light swinging rhythmically from side to side and as the slowing carriage drew closer he could see a small hunched hooded figure holding the lamp.
"Whoa, whoa", he pulled the horses to a halt, they stood there stamping and snorting their hot breath wreathing them in moonlit clouds of vapour.
"What do you want stranger?" called the driver, the figure remained silent, hooded but stopped swinging the lamp.
He stood swinging up his blunderbuss and spoke again.
"I said what do you want, what's the meaning of stopping us?"
"You have something we want" came another voice from the dark trees at the side of the road.
He spun, swinging his weapon around, "Who's there, show yourself brigand".
Inside the carriage Lady Blackrook lifted the cocked the Colt and extinguished the carriage lamp plunging her into darkness.
Several dark figures had now stepped from the trees onto the side of the road, the driver struggled to see their faces as they all wore cloaks and hoods.
"Go, let us pass we have nothing of value for you outlaws, now be gone and that's an end to matter".
"I think not" said the disembodied voice, "it is not robbery we ply driver, we require something more valuable, something your passenger holds. Hand her over and be on your way".
Listening to the conversation she had quietly opened the door on the opposite side of the road slipping silently down onto the track. She intended to creep around the back of the carriage and engage the villains but before she could get far, dark figures emerged swiftly and silently from the trees and overpowered her. She let out a stifled cry before a gloved hand clamped over her mouth.
Hearing the scuffling Christophe swung around to see the dark figures manhandling his Mistress.
"M'lady" he cried, "Let her go you scoundrels or I will pepper the lot of you" and he took aim.
Almost instantly there was a swishing sound, thud followed by a gurgle.
Christophe reached up to his throat and felt the hard shaft of a crossbow bolt through his neck and the warm trickle of blood.
A second thud and another bolt protruded from his chest, she staggered a little rocking back and forth, gurgling as blood filled his throat and spilled from his mouth.
A third thud and it was all over, the last bolt penetrated his forehead and he toppled silently backwards off the carriage and crashed to the ground.
The attackers had now dragged the struggling woman around the carriage and the hooded leader stepped from the trees. A hand still clamped over her mouth, she protested loudly but impotently.
"She was carrying this" one of the men held out the pistol.
"Hmmm, a rather imposing weapon for a Lady, but it will do you no good. Now where is it? tell me".
The men were now searching inside the carriage, rifling through her papers and bag.
"There's nothing here Sir" returned one of the searchers.
The leader stepped forward and lowered his hood, he was tall, thin faced with blond hair, he smiled thinly".
"Where is it Lady Blackrook, the vials, the journals and books?"
So that was what they wanted.
"I don't know what you are talking about" she replied "I suggest you let me go, you are in enough trouble murdering my driver".
He laughed, "You do not get away so lightly M'Lady" he said mockingly, "My Master will want to see you and he will make you sing".
Turning to his men he ordered, "bind and hood her, get rid of this body and we shall return to the castle".
Lady Blackrook found a cloth cleave gag tied around roughly around her face before a leather hood was pulled over her head, she felt her gloved hands being pulled behind her and a leather strap fastened around them then she was bundled back into the carriage.
The carriage jerked away as the horses galloped through the forest tracks and she was jolted about as the men on either side of her held her upright. Eventually the carriage began to slow and the sound of the horses hooves and the ironclad wheels changed as the road changed from earth to cobbles and she guessed she was being taken into a building of some sort as the sound echoed off the walls. The carriage stopped and she heard the door open and she was hauled roughly out.
"Out you come M'lady" laughed a gruff voice as she was half ushered half dragged away. Next thing she was sat down heavily on chair and the hood was pulled from her head, she blinked in the light after the darkness.
She was sitting in a large drawing room, lit by oil lamps, heavy drapes and tapestries covered the walls and a huge fire crackled in the grate.
Before her sitting on the edge of a large polished table was a tall slim man with sharp hawkish features, pale skin and dark hair swept back exposing his prominent widow's peak. His dark set grey eyes were dark and cold, his lips thin, he wore a deep burgundy velvet jacket, his long delicate fingers held a smoking cigarette.
He appraised her slowly before he spoke.
"Lady Blackwood, it's regrettable I had to have you bought here, you could have just given my men what they wanted and gone on your way".
She humpphed through the gag and he signalled with his hand for one of his men to removed it. She licked her dry lips and worked her jaw. Another man appeared silently at the man's shoulder and whispered something into his ear, he nodded and fixed her with his cold gaze again.
"So my men have thoroughly searched you bags and carriage and you don't have it with you, so where is it Lady Blackwood?"
"Sorry who are you again we have not be properly introduced?" she started
He smiled coldly looking down, he did not want to play her games but he indulged her.
I am Count Corvinus, Lady Blackrook, now, pleasantries over let's get back to the matter in hand"
She cut in, "So let me understand, what is it you are looking for again, this thing I don't have?"
"Don't toy with me, you collected Dr Enescu's papers, books and journals from him two days ago, you were seen by my spies and you have been travelling since. They are clearly not with you now so where are they".
She paused looking down before speaking. "You will never get that information, as times passes it gets further and further from your filthy grasp"
His coughed, his hands clenching and unclenching.
"Lady Blackwood, I will make you tell me where it is or you will suffer much discomfort, save yourself the pain, the agony, tell me now"
Her voice rose "Do your worst Corvinus, beat me, burn me I will not tell, too much is at stake"
He grinned and laughed quietly, "Beat and burn , Oh Lady Blackwood I am not a barbarian I have something much more sophisticated planned for you, something exquisitely agonising, something that will break your body and your contemptable English spirit".
A shiver went down her spine, she knew who Corvinus was, descended from the ancient princes of Wallachia he could trace his dynasty back to Vlad the Impaler, once cruellest of the region rulers.
He stood up, "Bring her" and he turned and began to walk from the room.
Hands grabbed her under her arms and she was lifted from the chair and propelled after the Count her booted feet skittering to get purchase on the stone floor. She was hauled down an short corridor and down a set of stairs and into another large dimly lit room, fire threw moving shadows around the panelled walls, in the centre of the floor was set a square pattern of raised circular flanges. She felt her wrists being released and then she was pushed into the centre of the room. She rubbed her wrists, the Count stood with his back to her.
She stood still, fear prickling the back of her neck.
I will not, I am an English Lady I will not sully my virtue in front of you or your men"
He turned slowly, his voice dripped menace
"Lady Blackrook, strip or my men will do it for you"
She looked around the room as the men in attendance began to move forward and decided discretion was the better part of valour. Huffing, she unfastened her travelling cape and dropped it to the floor, slipping off her gloves as she did so. Next she slipped her jacket from her shoulders and began to unfasten the back of her dress. Allowing it to fall she stepped out of it, followed by her petticoats. She stood for a moment, then she unfastened her corset clasps and dropped it onto the growing pile of clothes. Unfastening her ankle boots she tossed them onto the pile.
"Everything Lady Blackrook, everything" intoned Corvinus.
She frowned, pulling the fastening cords she allowed her one piece undergarment to slip over her shoulders and pool around her ankles, apart from her cotton stockings she was virtually naked yet the men around the room appeared unaffected. Finally peeling off her stockings she stood naked, chastely covering her sex with one hand her breasts with the other.
Her blond hair fell about her bare shoulders and her alabaster skin shone in the light from the fire. Although a petite frame she had large firm full breasts topped by a fat pink nipple, her slim waist swelled to the fullness of her hips and perfect derriere, a small patch of blond curls decorate her mons. Unlike many woman of the time she kept her sex neatly trimmed, her labia shaved bare, her husband had liked it that way and she had continued after his death.
"Lie down now" came the masterful voice
One of the men directed her and meekly she lay on the hard wooden floor inside the pattern of flanges. Almost immediately others stepped from the shadows and silently took hold of her wrists and ankles. Her wrists were pulled out at right angles to her body and slipped into shaped iron hasps and padlocked closed. Taking her ankles her legs were spread about 3 feet apart and shackled in the same way and she felt the cool air kiss her gaping sex and inner thighs and she blushed. Totally naked she was spread-eagled on the floor, her breasts and perfect sex on full view, exposed, unprotected.
Then the men began their task, a rigid cuboid tubular metal frame was lifted into position over her prostrate form and locked into several of the flanges, she was now effectively underneath the frame. She examined the structure unsure of its purpose or what the Count had in store for her. The frame consisted of metal horizontal and vertical tubes like scaffolding and at various positions along the horizontal bars where protruding metal rings.
She jumped, something touched the sole of her foot, and then the other, something was pressing into the soles of her feet. The men in that area locked something into place and then moved on and she could feel something hard but blunt in constant contact with the soles of her feet. The she saw was it was, on either side of her the men were sliding short wooden poles with blunt points into fittings on the floor, the poles were then pushed until they indented her flanks, one under each armpit the others into her waist and a third at each hip. Now if she tried to move the poles pushed harder into her flesh, as it was they applied a constant pressure restricting her side to side movement.
The Count had now moved into view and was looking down at her, she flashed contempt in her eyes.
"You still have time to rethink before we move onto the next stage, do you want to tell what you have done with Dr Enescu's work?"
"Go to hell Corvinus you are a foreign fiend of the worst order"
Very well Lady Blackrook, your choice, perhaps you would like to know what this device is called? It has many names and dates back several centuries and was used to extract confessions from witches and vampires, in Romanian it is called Rupt in Varful, in Italian it is Rotto Sotto il Picco, the French call it Casse Sous le Pic but in English it is Broken under the Spike!
Her blood ran cold. "You Bastard"
He smiled and waved vaguely with one hand and the men moved back in. They all held several slim polished wooden poles, about 2 metres long ending in a blunt point. One at a time they began to thread them into the metal rings attached to the frame. The first ones came to rest on her outstretched hands the point in the centre of her palms. They slipped the next ones into place with the point resting on the inner aspect of her elbow joint. More poles came to rest on the junction of her foot and ankle joint and just above her knee cap.
She gasped as one pole pressed centrally onto her chest between her breasts, then two more on either side pressing just under her collar bones. Two more were placed to push down on her soft abdomen over her ovaries and the final nestled into place amongst the bush of curl surmounting the peak of her mons.
She steadied her breathing, the multiple points pushing into her smooth skin not yet unbearable, Count Corvinus moved into view again.
"Not too bad at present is it, however each of the poles is placed over a joint or key pressure point. Each pole weights a mere half a kilo, but that weight is focused through the point, the point pressing down on you. Gradually the continual pressure will begin to disrupt the joints slowly forcing it apart or out of alignment, meanwhile the poles over the pressure points and organs will begin to stimulate your nerve pathways leaving you in either inexplicable agony or unappeasable ecstasy, after so long if you haven't died beforehand your body will be left crippled and your mind an empty vessel."
She grimaced, "You bastard, you evil bastard, I'll die before you break me"
"Very well Lady Blackrook, we'll see if you are still defiant in an hour"
He said something in his own tongue and two of the men made final preparations. One man placed his hand on either side of her head whilst another manoeuvred a thick pole into place. The pole ending in a fat leather dildo shape which he used to fill her mouth, she gagged as he locked it into place but as he released her head she realised she could no longer move her head. And then the final humiliation, the two men worked another huge leather dildo into her tight sex, she protested loudly but unable to speak or move she could do nothing to prevent its full length entering her before it too was locked into place.
"I will return in one hour lady Blackrook to see what you have to say then....if you are still with us" and she watched as The Count walked out of her field of vision flanked by his henchmen and she heard the door close.
Left alone now in the room she worked to control her breathing, every breath or the slightest movement of her body and limbs caused one or more of the poles to press harder into her soft flesh. Slowly her joints, hands, elbows, collar bones, knees and ankles all began exhibited a deep bony ache as slowly the points forced the bones apart.
The points impinging on her lower abdomen had different and varied effects, indirectly they stimulated the deep muscles groups of her pelvis and she gradually felt her vagina begin to contract rhythmically around the leather intruder whilst the pressure on her ovaries caused a hot pain deep inside her. The point pressing on her mons stimulated her pudendal nerve plexus which excited the whole of her genital region and she felt the familiar but increasing moist warmth throughout her pussy.
She fought the feelings and tried desperately to put the growing discomfort out of her mind but after an hour her body was glazed with a layer sweat and every now and then she would let out a purely involuntary cry or moan, and a shiver would cross her form.
A voice crept into her world of increasing torment.
Lady Blackrook, still defiant? You still have time, the damage will not be permanent, tell what I want to know and I'll free you"
She forced her eyes open to see Corvinus looking down at her, his eyes still cold and cruel.
"O oooo, ell" she struggled to reply, her mouth filled with dildo, her eyes filled with hate.
He shook his head, "You foolish, misguided woman all you will achieve is your own destruction, so far you have only felt the inertia of my device, however once I activate it we will see if that loosens your tongue"
"Moooooo" she moaned around the wet leather cock.
Reaching for a sturdy brass and steel lever next to the fireplace, he released the locking handle and pull it fully back like a signalman in a box. There was a hiss and then a gentle clanking. Lady Blackrook felt her heart begin to race, what more could this odious device do to her petite body?
She saw something moving overhead in the flickering firelight. Above her was some kind of glass hopper filled with silver metal balls the size of a quail eggs. There was a mechanism at the neck of the hopper which was fixed above a brass tube. As the device lowered the light caught more metal parts, brass and steel, tracks supported by chains. They spread out and hung below the hopper like the spiralling tentacles of some mechanical octopus and as it was lowered she realised each track terminated just above the end of each of the poles that pinioned her.
Corvinus looked down at her, her big eyes wide with terror, her small but frantic struggles, yet she was still a beauty behold, her breasts firm and round, her flat belly indented by the poles, the swell of her mons curving down between her firm alabaster thighs, the dark ring in the leather at her entrance where she had soaked the dildo. He gazed for a moment aware he was becoming tumescent, he suppressed the feeling, he had more important matters to attend to.
"Lady Blackrook, this is your last chance, I can wait no longer, tell me now or I activate the device of you demise!"
She narrowed her eyes and shook as head a far as she was able.
"Very well" he pulled a second lever into a halfway position before depressing a pedal on the floor. The machine whirred before a single silver ball dropped from the hopper, down the brass tube and onto the confluence of the spiralling tracks before it began to slowly roll down one. Slowly gathering speed, it rolled down until its chosen track ended a few inches above the pole sited on her mound of Venus. She watched as the ball abruptly dropped and disappeared into the pole before it rattled to the bottom and landed with a clunk driving the point down. She gasped as unexpected wave of pleasure swept through her sex and she felt herself gush.
"Aaawwwwwwww" she moaned loudly, Corvinus smiled.
A second ball was now on its convoluted journey before dropping into a pole situated over her left elbow joint. The ball landed with a clunk and this time she was rewarded with sharp agonising pain lancing through her outstretched arm.
"AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH" she screamed, she now knew the dreadful purpose of the device.
"Yes" Corvinus began "the poles are hollow and each has a capacity to hold over two hundred balls and each ball weights fifty grams. So whilst they weight only half a kilo now, as they fill with balls the weight will increase. Of course in which pole they end their journey is completely arbitrary so you will never know where the next will drop".
He laughed a cruel cold laugh.
A ball plunged down the pole centred on her chest and as it hit the bottom she felt her heart miss a beat, she screamed again.
"And you will have no choice but to watch every ball journey down not knowing until the final moments whether it will be pleasure or pain".
One dropped down a pole over her abdomen landing with a thud, almost instantly her love canal constricted around the drenched leather intruder sending waves of molten pleasure through her loins, milliseconds later her right ovary felt like it was about to explode, her eyes opened wide and her mouth formed a silent "O" around the dildo.
"Or both" he added.
"I must take my departure now Lady Blackrook and leave you to your end, indeed the outcome could have been so different had you seen sense, as it is I will find that which I seek and you will die excruciatingly slowly, your joints shattered, betrayed by your womanhood, pinned and mounted like an insect in a collection. It will not be quick although I am sure after a while you will wish for death. The balls fall every ten seconds, six a minute, sixty an hours and so on, I'm sure you can do the maths, I wonder how many it will take before you die? Goodbye"
And he turned to leave again.
"MO!!, Pleeve!!" she moaned pitifully but the door had closed. A ball dropped, clunk, she grimaced silently, another was already wending its way down the spiral track.
How many indeed?