Citizen Kern

- by Cartell

Supplied by the author to SirJeff's Ponygirls.
Do not replicate without author's permission.

Chapter 2: The Ox

As the grey light of dawn crept over Jenny’s Lancashire home, it penetrated the tiny ground-level windows of her cellar, and life began to stir there. The Ox opened her eyes, lay still for a few seconds, threw back her blankets, and then rolled off her canvas cot, wincing at the pain in her back. Crouched on the cold concrete floor, she looked around, hoping to see that her captor had made some small mistake that would open the possibility of escape, or had left some object that would serve as a weapon. As always, she was disappointed.

The Ox sat on her cot, blinked, and forced herself to think. Today was her fifteenth day in bondage, she was sure of that. She had no means to record the passing of the days, and was afraid that she would lose track of time. The idea of stealing some hard object with which she could scratch an improvised calendar on the floor under her cot was becoming an obsession with her, but no opportunity had yet presented itself. If she did manage to acquire such an object, and her crime was discovered, she had no doubt that she would be flogged mercilessly. Shivering, she gazed around the cellar.

There was not much to see; a chemical toilet that her chain would just allow her to reach, a rowing machine, a treadmill, and a steel whipping post set into the concrete. Near her cot was a wall-mounted electric heater, it only came on when the temperature approached freezing. A small table, which was bolted to the floor in the same manner as the cot, bore a plastic jug of water; there was no beaker. The Ox had to drink from the jug, and had once been punished for knocking it over. By the wall opposite the Ox’s cot an identical cot was bolted to the floor, next to it were two steel cabinets; one that the Ox had never seen inside, and one that contained a miscellany of security equipment. A mesh-shielded overhead fluorescent light completed the inventory of the Ox’s abode; the light would be switched on shortly, signalling the start of another day of oppression. Sighing, the Ox lay back on the cot, and covered herself with the blankets, arranging them carefully over the chain that connected her left ankle to a ring in the floor. She closed her eyes, and blessed sleep returned.

Upstairs, Jenny slept later than usual. As she awoke, she stretched, enjoying the feel of warm satin sheets against her skin. Leaving her bed, she went to the window and threw back the curtains. Still naked, she looked down on the back garden, and tried to visualize a pair of slaves in harness, ready to pull their mistress’s buggy on a morning run. ‘Patience, my girl,’ she muttered, ‘it will come.’

Jenny usually kept the Ox in the cellar until afternoon, when most danger of callers to the house had passed, and today was no exception. She had her breakfast of eggs and bacon, and then descended to the cellar, collecting a cane from the under-stairs cupboard on the way. The door at the top of cellar stairs had no lock, but Jenny had fitted a hinged security bar across it; she removed the padlock from the bar, swung it aside, and kicked the door open.

 The Ox jerked awake at the sound of the door crashing open, rolled off her cot, and assumed the submission position; face down on the floor, with her legs wide apart, and her hands clasped behind her back. This position was an idea Jenny had learned from her brother; it made it impossible for the slave to quickly launch herself at Jenny.

Jenny clattered down the cellar stairs, and walked over to inspect her property, swishing the cane through the air to remind the Ox of her station in life. The psychology of slavery was something that Jenny understood only too well; the slave quickly learns that obedience is less painful than thinking, and obedience becomes an almost unbreakable habit. Consistent application of physical punishment was the key; when the Ox had first been placed in the submission position, she had twitched her head a little, to see what her mistress was doing, Jenny had immediately striped the slave’s buttocks with the cane. Once, just once, the Ox had glared resentfully at her mistress, and Jenny had taken a leisurely half-hour to mete out fifty whip strokes.

Looking down at the Ox’s back, Jenny thought that perhaps she had been over-exuberant with the whip when she had driven her slave on the rowing machine the previous night. Still, it was all part of the conditioning process for slave and owner, who both had to fully understand that, by definition, there are no limits to absolute power. Standing between the Ox’s legs, Jenny marvelled at the physique of the woman; with her broad back and massive thighs, she was a born work-beast. There were still creased rolls of fat around the Ox’s waist and thighs, but meagre rations and a ruthless exercise regime would convert the remaining blubber to muscle in a couple more weeks.

Jenny stepped away, swished the cane, and gave her first command of the day. ‘Stand up, Ox.’

The Ox stood and faced her mistress; her eyes were lowered, for she knew that eye contact would mean a whipping. Jenny was pensive; she thought that the Ox was almost completely broken-in, and would soon be a useful slave. It suddenly occurred to her that she had forgotten to bring the Ox any food. She was tempted to not bother, but she only fed her slave twice a day, and she wanted a strong beast to do her bidding. She barked another order, ‘Submit.’ and went to the security equipment cabinet after watching the Ox hit the floor and place her hands behind her back. When she was slave handling, Jenny could almost hear her brother whispering in her ear, ‘Security, Jenny, always think security.’

From the cabinet, Jenny took two sets of manacles, one longer than the other. She returned to the Ox, and fastened the short set to her wrists. ‘Legs together’ she hissed, and fastened the other set to the Ox’s ankles. Now she could release the Ox from the floor chain, and haul her to her feet.

‘Treadmill, Ox’ Jenny ordered, and the Ox shuffled awkwardly over to the machine, and onto its rubberised track. Jenny fastened chains from the machine’s side-rails to the Ox’s wrists, and then removed the two sets of manacles she had fitted just minutes earlier. It was a cumbersome procedure to move a slave twelve feet, but until the Ox was completely broken she could take no chances. She zeroed the machine’s distance counter, and gave the Ox her instructions. ‘I want five miles before breakfast, Ox. You have one hour.’

‘Yes, Mistress.’ The Ox started running. Jenny watched for a few minutes, she enjoyed seeing her slave’s muscles work, and then she left the cellar, being careful to replace the security bar across the door. In the kitchen she half-filled a saucepan with water, threw a handful of porridge oats in, lit the gas, and then made a cup of coffee. Taking the coffee, and the latest Larry Spaggott book, she went out to the front garden. The September sunshine was pleasant enough; she sat at a garden table, lit a cigarette, and opened the book.

In the cellar, the Ox pounded along steadily, she was not built for speed, but had considerable endurance. Her broad flat face, further marred by crooked teeth, was expressionless, but her mind was in turmoil. She knew that she was being physically and mentally conditioned, that her individual will was being destroyed, but could see no avenue of resistance. Any hint of defiance would result in her suffering the agony of the whip, and she realised that she did not have the courage to deliberately risk that. She thought she could face death, but to hang on the whipping post, to feel the hard leather thong cutting into her back again and again, that was a more fearsome prospect. Needles of pain shot through her thighs, but she could not slow down, for the diabolical mistress – whose name she did not know – never allowed her any means of measuring time. She had done a fifth of the miles, but had she used a fifth of the hour? She did not know; when the mistress returned to the cellar, the helpless Ox might just receive her breakfast, or she might be punished for disobedience and laziness. Still there was no expression on her face; only the salty tears rolling down her cheeks betrayed her misery.

Jenny put the book down; she was finding the series repetitive, and thus predictable. She checked her wristwatch, thought of the Ox running against an invisible clock, and giggled. Closing her eyes, and tilting her face up to the sun, she wondered if she had ever been so contented.  A cloud obscured the sun, and at the same moment, Estelle intruded vividly on her thoughts, as if she was right there. Jenny thought she could smell the bitch’s perfume, and she was almost afraid to open her eyes; but she did open them, and of course the garden was empty.  Sitting bolt upright now, Jenny realised that she had thrown the coffee cup from her hand, and that her heart was pounding - now what was that about? Could it mean that Estelle was close? 

Feeling very disturbed, Jenny returned to the kitchen. The porridge was boiling; she turned the gas down to a simmer, and stirred the glutinous mass. She added a handful of raisins to the porridge, stirred them in, and then poured it all into a dog bowl; it was not properly cooked, but it was good enough for the Ox. Taking the bowl and a plastic spoon, she went down to the cellar. The hour had not passed, so Jenny did not bother with checking the Ox’s mileage, she just went straight into the laborious procedure of moving the slave back to her floor chain by the cot, and then gave her the bowl and spoon. The Ox sat on her cot to eat; Jenny watched the food being consumed, and then told the slave to sleep.

Jenny prowled the house restlessly until lunchtime, when she decided that the postman could not be coming today, and that it would be safe to work the Ox in the garden. She gave her slave a skirt to wear, manacled her hand and foot, and then led her to work. The procedure for gardening was that Jenny removed the Ox’s wrist manacles safely out of reach of the tools, and then sent to her to fetch the appropriate tool for each task; using a long whip, Jenny could apply correction without the risk of having a hoe embedded in her face.

As she sat watching the Ox work, Jenny again thought of how Estelle had popped into her head that morning. She, who had spent months hunting Estelle, now felt like the hunted, and she wondered if she should forget the Ukrainian girl. There were two cots in the cellar because it had always been Jenny’s plan to have two harness slaves, but now she considered using just one. The Ox was bent from the waist, plucking weeds; her heavy breasts swung gently, and her nipple rings flashed in the sun. Studying the slave’s powerful form, Jenny decided there and then that she would put the Ox in harness alone, and that she would abandon the search for Estelle. Possibly she would take another slave, if the opportunity arose, but she would not make it a priority. Coming to a decision made her feel a lot better, she picked up the whip, and strode out to urge the Ox to greater exertions.    

Coming Next... Chapter 3: Estelle