The Summer Job

by I. Binder
- do not use without the author's permission.

Part 6

Her trainer had mounted the sulky and signaled for her to leave the barn. It actually felt good to be back in harness. She moved into the walk that she had practiced on the deck of the ship. On reasonably level, non-pitching, ground it was easy to keep a pace and lift her legs high. The weight of the sulky seemed negligible. Only a slightly forward angle compensated for the drag at her hips. As they left the barn she was turned back onto the path they had just walked. Just ahead and to the right was the practice area. The major feature of the training area was a large track, about the same size as the dirt track in the formal stadium. Inside were two smaller tracks, also dirt, set end to end or oval to oval. There was no grass practice track. The interior tracks were closer in size to the track Willow had practiced on in the warehouse back in the United States. The outside track was much longer. Willow remembered that the big race, only a couple of months away, and that it was two miles. That would be about two laps of the big track. Her eyes circumnavigated the large track. That was a long way. In her training so far she had run no further than two laps of the small track. She could see that would be less than a full lap of the big track. She had only trotted four or five laps, and again of the short track. She felt her stomach knot. Suddenly she did not feel so confident. Jen was suddenly thinking that although she could probably jog two miles this was a race. A race hitched to some stupid cart with a passenger being pulled. This just wasn’t right. They had no right to do this to her. The stupid protective association wouldn’t even let her state her case. So was that the governmental oversight? It was catch-22 – ponies could not speak so the paperwork and the statements of the humans governed. If the government sanctioned this it would make escape much more difficult. With a registration number tattooed in her mouth she could be easily caught and returned to her owners if she did get away.

As they turned onto the large training track, a snap of the reins and the crack of the whip signaled an increase in pace. Jen came out of her thoughts, focused on the task at hand and moved up to a trot. Had it really been almost two weeks since she did this before? It seemed so natural a movement. Suddenly Willow wasn’t afraid of the length of the track. She could do this. She would do this. She needed to show her owner that he had made the right decision buying her, well them. She would make sure he was not disappointed. If Misty needed to be whipped, well that was just the way it was.

They trotted for two laps of the track (2 miles). The pace was good, it was smooth and steady. The clink of the bells gave witness to the gait. Willow’s trainer worked on bringing her close to the rail. She didn’t like being so close to the rail. She would start to drift away and be guided back in. A couple of times she thought the trainer was going to run her right into the rail but she always eased up just short of bringing her into contact.

Willow’s breath was coming in deep heavy gasps after the two laps. She was surprised when instead of being brought to a walk she was signaled to run. There was a crack of the whip, still in the air, not on her flesh. She moved to the run gait she had learned. It was a run, not a sprint. It involved reaching out with her legs to cover as much distance as she could with each step. The lower connection point of the sulky became obvious as she ran. With its connection to her body adjacent to the point where her legs connected into her hips she could deliver maximum power to each step. She could lean into the movement using the small resistance from the sulky to keep her upright.

Willow was enjoying the feel of the run. She wondered if her owner were somewhere nearby. He certainly would not expect her to look so good and move so fast on her first day ‘off the boat’. She was sure he would be pleased with her. They continued the run for a full lap. As the bells on her nipples and clitoris started to arouse her she thought of her owner. She pictured him in the sulky behind her enhancing her sensation through the gentle swinging of the bells as he guided her to a place where the two of them could be together alone. Her breath was coming faster, she didn’t know how much was because of her arousal or just sheer exhaustion. The feeling from the bells gave way to an orgasm. As its waves washed over her she never broke stride, she never varied her gait. But as she neared the end of the lap Willow thought her lungs were going to explode. Her legs wanted to give out. Her legs were starting to cramp. Her body was screaming for her to stop, but she would not. He might be watching. She would not stop until she was signaled to stop or she dropped dead on the track.

There was the signal, slow, first to a trot, shortly thereafter to a walk. She was breathing heavily, no, she was panting, no, she was actually gasping. She tried to maintain her composure and keep her posture straight. It was a losing battle; she slumped forward as she struggled to fill her lungs with air. There was a cramp in her right calf. But she did not fall; she managed to keep walking, the cramp hurt. In another life she would have sat down and massaged it. Here all she could do was keep walking and try to walk it out. Walk or rather limp she did although her knees were certainly not meeting the required lift. But her trainer was cutting her some slack. There was no snap and bite of the whip. As she walked her breath started to return. The cramp started to ease and her limp went away. She started to feel better. She started to lift her knees again. They walked a complete lap of the track before returning to the paddock area near the entrance.

Her body was soaked in sweat. The wet tropical heat kept her from drying off. Her trainer tied her reins to a post, and then she walked back to Willow and watered her from a plastic bottle. Willow took the water effortlessly. The trainer gave her a pat and put something into her mouth. It was sweet and her taste buds exploded in ecstasy at the almost forgotten flavor. She had done a good job. She knew it and her trainer knew it. She was not sure what was sweeter, the syrupy flavor in her mouth or the stroke to her ego from her performance. She held her head up in pride, but also so as not to lose her prize as she worried it with her tongue enjoying each lick.

Her trainer moved off to talk to some other people. They had clipboards and a stop watch. Obviously they had been watching her performance, had he? Was he here? Willow searched all around – he was not to be seen. Why was he not there? Didn’t he want to see what she could do? There was a lot of training time before the race, but this was the first time she had run for him. And let there be no mistake she had run for him. She looked at the trainers huddles about 30 feet away. What did they think? Were they impressed with her? Would they tell him what a great job she had done? Certainly they would. And in time he would come. He would watch her. She would impress him. She would win for him. She knew it. But for that to really happen she needed Misty to perform too.

She looked around for Misty. She had not seen her on the large track. She had not passed her during her run, and certainly she had not been passed by her. Where was she? Then she saw her. She was on one of the small tracks. She was also hitched to a single pony sulky. She was trotting. The movement was not smooth. Willow could see the sulky yawing back and forth. And for a trot, which was easy to maintain with an almost upright posture, she seemed to be leaning forward. It wasn’t necessary to lean forward for a trot, maybe a run, but not a trot. And the bounce of her breasts was too much to be explained by just the movement of the trot. Her head and neck were moving from side to side and from front to back. She was breathing heavily. Then to Willow’s horror Misty’s foot seemed to slip and she went face down on the track. The sulky bounced and stopped, but did not flip over. Misty and her trainer were quite a ways away, but Willow could make out the trainer shaking on the reins and encouraging Misty to rise. Nothing was happening. Willow saw the whip go back and then fall. Willow could hear the snap all the way to where she stood. Misty jumped, but did not move to get her feet under her. A second stroke, the sound of the snap arriving just after the action was observed. Willow could hear the cry from the downed pony. Her feet and legs were starting to move now. A third snap and another scream issued from the track.

“Give her a chance.” Willow mumbled to no one. Lying on her stomach, connected at the hips to the yoke arms, with her arms uselessly held behind her back, Misty was having a very difficult time getting up. She was trying to get a knee under her to lift her body up but she kept slipping forward and falling back. Each failed attempt was greeted with another snap of the whip and another scream from poor Misty. Finally she got a knee even with her waist and was able to shift her weight over onto it. Then she was able to lift herself back up to a standing position. The beating stopped, but she was not allowed to catch her breath. Instantly the reins where shaken and Misty was required to start forward, first a walk, then a trot, and finally even a run, albeit a very slow run. Jen’s heart was pounding for her friend. They had run her to exhaustion and then beaten her when she had fallen. As much as she wanted Misty to perform better this was really not fair.

Something wet touched her cheek. Jen looked up and noticed that the blue sky was completely gone. In its place thick dark grey clouds cast a deep shadow over everything. Where had those come from? And as quickly as the clouds arrived it started to rain, gentle at first, but quickly increasing. One of the trainers walked over to the sulky and threw a cover over the seat. Then the trainer moved under a protective wooden canopy with the other trainers. Jen was left hitched to the rail standing completely in the open. The rain fell on her and there was no protection. She looked around for some cover. There was a stand of trees not too far from her but far enough away to provide her with no cover. She had not been hobbled, but her reins were tied to the post. She tried to shy away from the rail but her reins would not budge. She stomped a foot which splashed in the puddle that was assembling around her feet, then she just stood and let the rain fall onto her and run down her body to the ground. At least it was warm, in fact once soaked, a very quick process, it started to feel very good. The only continuing problem was the water running into her eyes which underscored her inability to wipe it away.

As quickly as it came it was gone and within half an hour the sun was once again shining. Her skin dried quickly, but the leather straps and bands of her harness took longer. The wet leather was not comfortable against her skin, but there was little she could do about it. The edges of the harness that constricted her breasts now seemed to be cutting deeply into them. She tried to twist her body inside the harness – it would not move. She shook back and forth to see if it would relieve the pain around her breasts – it did not help. She tried to leverage against the attachments from the harness to the yoke of the sulky, but that did not work either. Everything was measured so precisely and connected so tightly to her form that it was if the straps were a part of her. She wondered if the water would loosen her arm cast. She tried to twist her arms inside the cast – nothing. She tried to look back at it hoping to see its integrity compromised. She could only see the portion on her arms, but it was completely intact and from the appearance of the small beads of water left on its surface it was water resistant.

Jen knew it was only the middle of the afternoon, but she was very tired. She had not been able to sleep well anchored as she had been all night in a standing position. She had been sold at auction. She had been run for miles on a track. She had been left to stand in a tropical downpour. What would be next? Abby pulled her sulky up next to Jen. Her trainer got out and secured her reins to the rail a few feet away. Jen looked at the bright red marks on Abby’s back, buttocks, and legs. There were a lot more of them than could be accounted for in the events of the fall that Jen had witnesses. The trainer must have been laying on the whip even before that. Abby’s head drooped. She looked at Jen her eyes were glassy and distant. There was a pain there that made Jen gasp. Jen knew it was much deeper than just the reaction to the physical pain betrayed by the many marks on her body. She had never seen her friend look so despondent. The look of fear that she had seen in her on earlier occasions was gone. It was replaced instead with a something that felt like dark desperation. It was the look Jen expected from someone who had completely given up and was ready to take their own life. But even that road to escape was denied them. They absolutely had to get out of this place. Jen didn’t know how, but she knew they needed to get away.

Jen hoped that she and Abby would be stabled close together so they could talk after their bits were removed. They had to come up with an escape plan. And, if nothing else at least she could try to provide some comfort to her friend. This was truly monstrous. Jen’s thought returned to the PPA woman. “Humane . . . humane my ass.” She would like to see that bitch hitched to a sulky while someone unmercifully whipped her ass. She wondered how humane she would think that was.

The trainer had returned. She removed the cover from the seat of the sulky. Shook away the water and carefully folding it put it away in a nearby cabinet. The sulky seat, unlike Jen, was dry and after retrieving the reins the trainer climbed inside. “Wouldn’t want her to get her ass wet.” Jen thought.

There was a pull to the right and a shake of the reins. Jen was exhausted, her hair was matted, her wet harness cut into her body, her legs felt like tree stumps rooted to the wet ground. There was another pull and shake on the reins. Jen looked over her right shoulder toward her trainer and glared; then she twisted her head straight forward lifting her chin in a deviant gesture as she snorted through her nose and mouth. Her legs remained planted. But then there was the snap and the bite of the whip. The fire seemed to run through her entire body. Her knees moved slightly but she recovered and held her pose. Then there was a second snap. Did they know different places to hit? This really hurt much more than the last strike. Reluctantly Jen stepped out to the right and started to walk. The track was wet and slippery. The sulky felt like it had gained at least 100 pounds. She didn’t know if it was her tired condition or the muddy track, or a combination of both, but it seemed to take great effort even to move it forward.

She was guided toward one of the smaller tracks. Although still an effort the movement started to smooth but it was taking all she had just to move forward at this slow pace. Certainly her trainer was not going to expect more – but she already knew the answer to that question. It came only a short distance into the small track. There was the shake and the signal to increase pace. Jen stepped up her pace, held the trot for about six steps, and returned to a walk. It just was not in her. The snapping pain delivered the message of who made the decisions. She tried again. She was having trouble controlling her legs; they felt like they were going to collapse. She was certain she was going to fall to the track in utter exhaustion. She remembered seeing Abby struggling in the dust to rise from her fall as the trainer put her to the whip. Fear surged through Jen’s body and with it enough adrenalin to keep the trot.

Fortunately the trainer had some recognition of her condition. This session was not extreme. Although they trotted an entire lap it was a much smaller track and after each lap there was a lap of walking. And, somehow it became easier as they went on. When she was finally guided off the track and directed toward the stable area she could not have been happier. She only hoped that they did not stop until they reached the stables. She was not sure she could get her legs moving again once they stopped, even for a minute or two. She had never been so tired.

They did not stop until they had returned to the barn. There the trainer disconnected the sulky. Then the trainer gave her a quick visual check and handed her reins to a groom who had come into the barn. It was not the groom Jen had had in the warehouse and on the boat. It was not someone she had seen before. She had the look of the grooms, small in stature, she was naked except for metal cuffs locked on her wrists and ankles and a collar. But there were no chains connecting any of them and she appeared, unlike ponies, to have complete freedom of movement.

Jen was led toward the stable area. She forced her legs to move and stumbled forward behind the groom. She could not wait to get to her stall. The stable was a long building. An open corridor led up the center. One opening faced toward the sea so that the breeze from the bay would provide some cooling to the building. Along each side of the corridor there were stalls. The first two were larger, about 18 feet wide and separated by a rail fence. Each had some type of frame standing in the center, the purpose evaded Jen. Then began the regular pony stalls. It looked like there were eight on each side. The stable could hold sixteen ponies. There were signs on the doors to a little more than half of the stalls. Most were carved wood, but Jen could see the cardboard sign ‘Willow’ up ahead on the right. Happily, ‘Misty Night’ was on the next stall. They would be together.

The gate to her stall was opened and she was led inside. It was similar in size to Jen’s first stall back at the warehouse. The stalls on the ship had been smaller and more cramped. The floor was concrete, the walls wood, and the feeding and watering troughs were connected to the wall just inside the gate. The water was self filling like the trough on the ship. That was nice. There were several hooks on the wall to accommodate tack, but they were set high enough that she would not accidentally knock into one and hurt herself – or, of course be able to use it to aid in removing any gear. The gate to the stall was just over five feet and when closed was secured with a heavy bolt with a flange that had to be lifted as the bolt was slid to the closed position and then dropped over a metal loop that could be padlocked. The gate was wooden, but sturdy in construction. The stall was clean, reasonably comfortable, and secure. Each wall extended up about eight feet and then had about four feet of lattice extending to the ceiling. This allowed air to move freely thought the stable but provided no view from one stall to another.

Due to Jen’s condition it took the groom a great deal of time to perform her evening tasks. She removed the bridle and bit; she produced a wrench and loosened the constrictions around Jen’s breasts; and she removed Jen’s boots. Her skin was washed and oiled. Her leather was cleaned and conditioned. Her hair was washed and brushed. Her leg muscles were carefully massaged. At first this was very painful, but Jen could quickly feel relief from the effort and began to enjoy it. Jen had tried to talk to the groom, but she had been shushed. She was just too tired to persist. Finally, satisfied with her work the groom filled the feed trough and left. Jen heard the rasping and then the clunk of the bolt on her door as it slid home confining her to her stall. She wanted to lie down and rest, but she knew once she did she was going to have a lot of trouble getting back up. She needed to eat first.

Jen wanted to talk to Abby, she wanted to see how she was holding up, but after eating she had curled up on the floor and almost instantly fallen into a deep sleep. Bird calls and sounds awakened her. Jungles are not quiet places and the stables were built on the very edge of the jungle. Jen did not know what time it was. There were no clocks she could see. The groom was back. It was the same groom, so maybe this was to be her groom. She missed her little groom from before. She wondered what had happened to her. Had she been sold at auction also? Was she bought by one of the stables or was she off to some other life on this strange island? Jen felt bad that she had not forced herself to stay awake and talk to Abby. She had looked so down and broken. Now it was too late and she would have to wait until the end of the day.

As Jen tried to move every muscle in her body complained. Every movement took twice the effort and was accompanied by extreme pain. This was going to be a very difficult day. The groom seemed to anticipate this. Before anything else her muscles were massaged and liniment was rubbed into them. Jen had to admit, this was working, the muscles were beginning to loosen up a bit – but only a bit. This was still going to be a difficult day.

With her teeth cleaned, her hair brushed, her skin cleansed, and her leather polished she was beginning to feel better. Finally, the groom replaced her bridle and bit, tightened the constrictors that encircled her breasts (Jen could very well have done without this), attached her reins and led her out of the stable and toward the barn. She heard sounds from Abby’s stall, but could only catch a glimpse of her and her groom over the top of Abby’s gate as Jen and her groom passed by.

Seemingly recognizing the effects of the previous day’s activity this was an easier day. Stiffness, knots and kinks were worked out slowly and once again Willow began to feel one with the sulky and the track. She recognized the importance of the training, the need to develop endurance for the race. They had trained hard, but the schedule was short and hard training was necessary. She had made a promise, not stated but a promise none-the-less, to him that she would prevail and that meant hard training. She was up to the task. Even when the rain came in the afternoon it did not darken her spirits. This time they were on the track trotting and the rain actually felt good as they continued their pace unabated by what Willow came to understand as a normal pattern of the weather in this place. It seemed like every morning was bright and sunny but every afternoon was visited by showers. When it rained it rained hard, but it never lasted for more than twenty or thirty minutes, the rain was warm and actually pretty refreshing, and although remaining humid the signs of the rain quickly disappeared.

That evening after they were groomed for the night Willow did get a chance to talk to Misty. But it did not go well. Willow found herself becoming upset. Willow could not understand Misty’s attitude. Misty was obsessed with how she believed she was being mistreated, even though it was her own fault. She couldn’t stop complaining and feeling sorry for herself.

“We have to work hard so we can be a team and win the race.” Said Willow.

“What has happened to you? Are you crazy? I am not going to willingly submit to being owned and whipped.” Misty retorted.

“This is here and now. We have been bought by a good stable. He didn’t bring us here, but he spent a lot of money making us a part of his stable. He has confidence in us and he is putting resources behind us. He cares for us and we have to show him that we care and that we can do it.”

There was no reply, only silence and the sounds of crying from the other side of the separator. Willow tried to talk to her a few more times, but Misty was no longer responding.

Over the week they continued training on the single pony sulky. Willow was fearful that Misty was being too resistant and that Willow’s hope of them being a team was being undermined by Misty’s bad attitude. Willow’s endurance was clearly increasing. She could now easily follow a trot of several laps of the large track with three laps at a run and then go back to a walk as if she did this every day. Well, now she did do this every day.

It was halfway through the second lap of a run, on the far side of the track that Willow glanced across the field and saw. She could not be sure, but it looked like it has him. It seemed to take forever to make the turn and come onto the stretch that propelled her toward him, but as she did her hopes were confirmed. It was him, elegant in his white suit and perfectly pressed shirt. Standing next to him was a woman. She was clearly not staff, well coiffed blonde hair, dressed in a white lacy dress and protected by a parasol against the sun. Standing next to her, holding the parasol was a slave girl her wrists loosely linked with golden chains that were also loosely connected to her collar in front. There was sufficient length to the chains so as to not restrict almost any motion. It was more as if the chains were there to remind the wearing of her status.

As Willow and her trainer passed the stand area where he stood Willow saw one of the trainers with a stop watch. They were going to time this lap. She was going to make it a fast lap. She increased the pace, just a little. Her trainer noticed but did not make any effort to slow her. Instead she seemed to join in the idea that this would be a show lap. The trainer moved Willow close to the rail. They had practiced this; there was no more fear of stumbling or catching the sulky. The uprights holding the rail began to flash past. The sulky was moving very fast. After they had made the last turn and came onto the straightaway moving toward him she could see all eyes on her. But most important, she could see his eyes on her. He was smiling. She pulled in gasps of air and pushed with all she had into the last furlong. As they came across, the trainer signaled and Willow eased up just a little. Although they were now all behind her she could hear the woman clap her hands.

It took half way to the turn to reduce speed from the run to a trot and finally to a walk. Willow wished they could just turn around and go back to him, but she knew they would walk the entire balance of the lap, almost an entire mile at a walk before she would get back. She prayed he would wait. She had put everything into showing him how much she cared and how hard she had worked. Please let him wait for me. On the back stretch, she could finally see. He was still there. He was talking to the other trainers. The woman had moved over by the rail and was intently watching Willow. Willow, for her part, was strutting with her head held high, occasionally tossing her mane, as if leading a victory parade up the Via Appia. But soon she was past the center point and no longer able to see what she hoped was an appreciative audience.

As she came around the far corner and into the home stretch she could see that they were all still there. Certainly now they would wait. But he wasn’t looking at her. He was still talking to the other trainers. She wanted him to look at her. She needed him to look at her. She needed to join eyes with him. She wanted his smile. She wanted to feel his touch. She needed him to recognize her.

She hoped they would not go by. She hoped that they would stop. But as they came closer Willow was fearful that her trainer would take her past them and continue on to some other task. Her heart began to sink, but she abided by every signal from her trainer. Then, there was the signal. Willow was guided right up to where he stood. And as they closed the last twenty feet he turned and looked at her. He smiled. You can’t smile with a bit in your mouth, but joy exuded from every pore of Willow’s body. She strutted right up to him and then stopped keeping her eyes locked in his. She wanted so much to touch him, but she did not want to soil his perfect suit with the glistening sweat that coated her body. She nodded her head and moved it from side to side hoping it would draw his touch. It did. He reached out and stroked her face. Electricity surged through her. It was the most heavenly touch she had ever felt. Then he reached into his pocket removed something and put it in her mouth. A reward, he had given her a reward. The sweetness of the treat was almost overwhelmed by the identification of the giver. He had recognized her. He had given her a treat. Even though he then went back to talking to the trainers (including Willow’s who had now joined the small group) she was thrilled. In the fashion she was learning she held her chin high and used her tongue to keep the treat in her mouth, worry it with her tongue and collect and enjoy its sweetness.

Willow was lost in the enjoyment of her treat when she felt something. Her right breast was being stroked. In the surprise she dropped her head and turned quickly to the right. What was left of her treat fell from her mouth to the ground. She had lost his treat. She looked around and saw the remnants of the small white cube on the ground next to her feet. She was terrified that he might think she had spit it out or rejected his offering in some way. She would never do anything like that. She had been surprised and the surprise had caused her to lose her treat. Angrily she looked to her right and saw the woman that had come with him. The woman now had both hands on Willow’s body. She was manipulating her breasts and playing her fingers over the nipples, flicking the rings in each of them. Today Willow was not belled. Willow recognized that the movement was supposed to be sensuous, but it did not feel sensuous to Willow. It had made her lose her treat. Had it been his hands she would have been in ecstasy, but they were not his hands. He owned her, not this woman, and Willow did not want this woman touching her. Especially out here in front of all of these people.

Willow had become use to people touching her breasts. The harness showed them off nicely and it seemed that the natural thing to do was to give them a squeeze. But this was more. This woman’s touch was not meant to be an acknowledgment. Her actions were not meant to be just affectionate. Her actions were meant to be sexual. She was doing her best to arouse Willow. From her face she was doing a pretty good job of arousing herself. Willow twisted her upper body to pull her breasts from the woman’s hands, but as she did one of the woman’s hands moved to between Willow’s legs. Her fingers were rubbing up and down over Willow’s sex. A finger was starting to dart between her labia. The invading finger was now flicking the ring at her clitoris. Willow looked all around. Nobody seemed to notice how she was being invaded. He was still turned away from her talking to the trainers. If he noticed certainly he would stop this. Willow tried to say stop, but it sounded like nothing more than a snort.

He did turn his attention back to Willow, just as the woman withdrew her hand from between Willow’s legs, although she continued to stoke her breast with the other hand. He walked over to Willow, put his hand to the side of her head and looked her straight in the eyes. He gave her a big smile, a couple of pats to the side of her head, and then he turned and walked down the path. As he turned to leave he took the hand of the woman guiding her to join him. Willow hated that woman. She had made her lose her treat, her treat from him, she had put her hands on Willow, but most importantly, she had left with him. He had taken her hand and she would certainly feel his touch. As best she could in the restrictions of the sulky yoke her eyes followed them. She wanted to go with him, but Willow could only watch as he walked away, holding the woman’s hand.

Willow had a difficult time concentrating on her training for the rest of the day. She still performed well, but she knew there was more in her and she couldn’t quite reach down and get it. How was she going to get his attention?

That night, back in her stall Misty tried to talk to her, but now Willow did not feel like talking and did not answer. She quietly ate and then tried to sleep. Usually she had no trouble getting to sleep, even with her arms permanently locked behind her, even on a concrete floor with only a light coat of straw, but this night her mind gnawed on the image of him walking away hand in hand with that woman, that horrid woman. Willow could not find any comfortable position.

Willow was tired the next morning, but a good morning of training seemed to make her feel better. At some point in the night she had decided that she was going to be the very best he had ever seen. She was going to make it impossible for him to not take notice of her. Her trainer seemed pleased with her and she even earned another treat, although it had not been delivered from the hand she so desired. The training for the rest of the week also went well.

Late on a following morning as it came close to the time they would usually take a break Willow noticed a two pony surrey coming up the path toward the rest area. Just as Willow was coming around the back turn and into the final stretch it stopped. Willow saw the woman – the one that had been with him, the one who at touched her and made her lose her treat – get out. Today the woman was dressed in tan shorts and a yellow halter top. Her feet were shod in high top boots with heavy socks folded down to the top of the boot. She wore a wide brimmed hat as if she were ready for a jungle expedition. Even though she was driving a two seat surrey there was no one else inside. Her slave girl had been made to run along behind, attached to the back of the surrey with a line that connected to her neck collar. Her wrist cuffs were fastened together and to a ring in the front of her belt. When the surrey stopped so did the slave girl. She stood there with her head down just to the rear of the surrey. Her mistress left her there as she hobbled both ponies and walked over to the rail in time to watch Willow come by as she closed for the clock on what had been a three mile run.

The run had been fast, not her fastest, but respectable. After they had past the rest area she was brought to a walk. Seeing the woman made her think of him. She wished he was here and not her. Maybe her arrival meant he was coming. She tried to look back over her shoulder to see if he was arriving from somewhere, but the action caused her to stray from her line and a corrective tug on her rein and crack of the whip in the air near her buttocks straightened her head. She went back to concentrating on her breathing, which she knew was an important part of her walk after the run.

She was not able to get a look back at the rest area until they had completed the stretch and come all the way through the turn. It seemed like forever. She was sure the arrival of the woman must mean he was coming and that as soon as she was around the corner and into the back stretch she would see him. But he wouldn’t have been able to see her run. He would only have the reports from the others, including the woman. Willow was sure that she would not be kind in any evaluation she gave. As they turned into the back stretch and she was finally able to scan the far side of the track she saw no indication that anything had changed. He was not there.

She lost sight of them again after as she moved into the far end of the back stretch and did not get a good look at the people until she was in the back turn and the final stretch walking toward the rest area. Willow knew they would stop there so that her trainer could confer with the other training staff that manned that station. She carefully examined everyone who was there looking for him. Maybe he was nearby and she just hadn’t seen him. There was another sulky from the Sun Stable stopped in the rest area and that trainer was conferring with other trainers and the evaluation team from the Sun Stable. There was the evaluation team from the Palm Tree Stable, her stable, talking and looking at their clip boards and there was the woman standing near them, close enough to hear the conversation, but apparently not a part of the conversation. He was not there.

Willow’s trainer guided her to a stop in the usual spot. Willow glanced at the other pony resting there. It was Gullfaxi. She shot Willow a defiant look. Willow snorted and tossed her mane. They had not been allowed any type of competition in the training thus far. She could not wait to show this arrogant Norse pony what speed was. Gullfaxi responded by shaking her head and upper body and straightened to her full height. She wanted to make sure Willow realized that she was taller than her.

Willow’s attention was pulled away by a touch to her breast. She looked to her side and saw that the woman had approached, and once again was putting her hands on Willow's body. She was massaging and stroking her breasts and tweaking her nipples. Willow tried to shoot her a withering look, but it did no good. She tried to shake her upper body to pull her breasts free from the hands, but that did not work either. Then once again one of the hands descended to between her legs and started to play with the ring through her clitoris.

Willow heard a snort to her left. She looked over to see Gullfaxi looking on with mirth and satisfaction. Rather than empathizing with the plight of her fellow pony she was enjoying every moment of Willow’s distress. Willow looked back at the woman with fire in her eyes. It is not easy to bite with a bit in your mouth. Your teeth do not meet because of the dowel portion that sits between them, but if you can get some flesh between the dowel and your teeth – well; she did, just a bit of upper arm, but enough to make the woman squeal and jump away. This, accompanied by a well placed kick to the woman’s shin, did the job. Thankfully they rarely saw the need to hobble the racing ponies during rests at this facility. And Willow was not now hobbled.

The woman massaged her arm and then her leg. She took a step toward Willow, but then she stopped and backed off. She looked over at the training staff; they were involved in their own business and had not seen anything. The woman removed the hobbles from her team and got back in her surrey, her slave still chained and leashed to the back jerked into motion as the woman cracked her whip and the surrey started to move. As she left she laid the whip to both ponies. Willow smiled knowing she was the pony she really wanted to whip. That would show her. “Keep your hands off the merchandise.” She thought to herself.

The rest of the day’s training went well and Willow returned to her stall that night with a sense of satisfaction. She gave only brief thought to the woman and then only with regrets that he had not been there to see her perform. She was able to get to sleep quickly. In her dreams she had won a big race. She was wearing a horseshoe of flowers around her neck and he was walking her proudly to the winner’s circle as the crowd cheered.

Something was happening. Her body was being pulled. She opened her eyes and could see that there was somebody in her stall. She had been pulled around so that her back was near the end of the stall and now this person had just connected a line to the link at her right ankle and was securing it to a ring in the side of the stall. Willow tried to sit up but was jerked short in the effort. She had been pulled onto her back and her collar connected to a ring in the back of the stall. With her right leg held to the right side of the stall and her neck anchored to the back all she had was her left leg. Her assailant was attempting to get a hold on her left leg. Willow could see the line in her hand with which she intended to clip and secure that leg. There was no artificial light in the stables, but there was enough moonlight to clearly make out the position of this person. Willow let go with a vicious kick. Had it connected it would likely have changed the contest, there would have been a horse shoe mark that would have lasted for days, but it did not. The attacker grasped at her leg extended in the kick, but also failed to get a hold on it.

In this action Willow got a better look at her assailant. It was the woman who was becoming her personal tormentor. Now she really wanted to deliver a good kick. The woman moved to the far left side of the stall. With Willow’s right leg secured and pulled to the right side of the stall she could not exert any power to the left side and the woman was able to move past the striking range of her hoof. From this position the woman was able to grab her upper left leg and then, in spite of the kicking and flailing of that leg, to work her way down the leg intending to clip the line to the ring at Willow’s left ankle. Willow’s legs were very powerful now and she was able to buck and shake the woman about, but eventually she succeeded in attaching the clip. The woman then fed the running end of the line through the ring on the left side of the stall. With that done, she began taking up slack. Willow fought back, but the woman would wait for her to twist or move and then collect the precious inches of slack given up by the movement. The woman was patient and Willow’s strength was not insurmountable to sideways movement. The further her legs split the harder it became for Willow to use her strength to fight back. Finally, the woman was satisfied and the line was tied off. Willow was secured on her back with her neck linked to a ring in the end of the stall and her legs spread wide to each side. She was completely helpless.

The woman came up to her and with her face only a few feet from Willow’s suddenly shoved something into her mouth. It was a wedge shaped gag. “You like to bite. Let’s see you bite on that.” She said as she secured it around Willow’s head. Then stepping to Willow’s side she produced an allen wrench and began tightening the constrictions in the harness around Willow’s breasts. These were normally tightened to make her breasts firm, but the woman continued twisting beyond the normal setting. Willow watched as first her left and then her right breast grew dark as they became swollen with blood. The woman tested the tightness of each by flicking Willow’s nipple with her finger. Only when Willow flinched from the pain did she finally stop tightening. Willow was afraid that her breast was going to burst under the extreme pressure.

Satisfied that her victim was ready the woman returned to the gate area and produced a ridding crop from a small bag she had obviously brought with her. Tapping the palm of her hand a few times she smiled as she approached and knelt down between Willow’s extended legs.

“You may be his prize pony, but you will learn to respect your betters.” The word “betters” was punctuated with a stroke of the crop to Willow’s inside right thigh. Before the pain even finished shooting through her body the left thigh was struck. Willow looked down and even in the dim light of the stall could see a red mark evidencing each stroke. Then she began working up and down the inside of each thigh sometimes returning to hit the same spot previously struck. Willow howled into her gag and tried to twist out of range, but she was held tight and completely vulnerable to the attack.

“You are my property too, and if I want to touch something I will do it.” With that comment the crop landed directly on her sex. “Do you understand?” This was also punctuated with a strike landing on Willow’s clitoris.

Willow said nothing. She could say nothing; all she could do was shake her head back and forth trying to make the pain stop. Her eyes were open wide and must have looked wild to the woman. “I asked it you understood.” Again the strike to the most tender part of Willow’s flesh. The pain was extreme. If she was not gagged she would have pleaded for it to stop. All she could do was shake her head up and down. This did not prevent another hard strike to the same part of her anatomy.

“Ok, I trust you will be respectful in the future. But just to make sure you remember I am not going to ignore those wonderful breasts.” The crop fell on her right breast. Tightened at the base to almost exploding Willow’s breasts had become very sensitive. The pain was severe. Unlike anything she had ever felt, except maybe the attack on her vaginal area. There was nothing Willow could do to make it stop, and she knew that it would not stop until the woman was satisfied that the lesson had been learned. Willow could feel the tears in her eyes. She closed them not able to watch the fall of the crop on her tortured breasts. She thought she would lose consciousness under this attack, but she did not.

“I have decided not to be too severe with you this time. But I trust you will remember this lesson.” This final admonition was punctuated with another swipe to her sexual region. But then it finally stopped. The woman’s hand then went to Willows vagina and Willow felt fingers probing her insides. She withdrew the fingers and began to flick the ring at Willow’s clitoris with her finger. “But don’t worry. It will not be all pain. I know how to bring pleasure as well. But, as you will learn, that is something you will have to earn.” With that she withdrew her hand, but once again provided a final reminder with a dead center hit to Willow’s sex.

Willow lay back exhausted from the ordeal. The woman released the line from her collar, and then did the same with the two securing her legs. Willow pulled her legs up toward her chest and cried as the gag was removed from her mouth. As if to make her final point the woman massaged and caressed Willow’s right breast, still tightly constricted and painful from the recent beating. Willow did not move. She lay quietly on her left side on the floor of her stall. She had been attacked and punished in her own stall. It was painful and it was humiliating. The woman gave her right nipple a painful twist and then she stood up and walked out of the stall. Jen could hear her humming some tune to herself as she left.

Jen was still crying an hour later when she looked toward the stall gate, light was coming in from the side. She looked again and noted that the gate was not closed and secure. About two inches of space showed between the edge of the stall gate and the frame where it was normally secured. The light was increasing, but it was still night. She got to her feet and walked to the gate. She carefully pushed against the door, it moved open a little further. Through the space she looked up the corridor of the stable. There was no sign of movement. The woman had forgotten to latch the stall when she finished her “lesson”. Was this her chance? If she was going to do anything she needed to do it quickly. The grooms would be appearing before long. She pushed the gate all the way open and looked up the corridor in the other direction, still no sign of any movement. She stepped out into the corridor. She had never been here without being held by reins.

Jen looked to the gate on Abby’s stall wondering if she should attempt to rescue her. She could see the heavy bolt closed and dropped over a hasp. There was nothing locking the bolt down, but she would not be able to slide it back to open the stall gate without first lifting it free of the hasp. “Abby are you awake?” She whispered.

“What just happened?” Abby asked. “It sounded awful.”

“It was pretty bad, but she forgot to lock the gate and I am out. I am going to get you out too.” With that Jen tried to use her tongue to get under the bolt and lift it up. It was too awkward and heavy for her tongue. She would raise it just a little and then it would slip off and fall back over the hasp. She knew she needed to get it into her mouth, but she could not seem to get a grip on it. Just then she heard sounds near the barn at the end of the stable. Someone was coming.

“Forget me. Just get out of here and get help.” Abby directed.

Jen quickly looked toward the sound. She still did not see anyone. She gave up her efforts to move the bolt and quickly ran the two stall distance to the far end of the stable. As she went through the open doorway she turned toward the jungle and away from the buildings and the track. She had to pass by another stable before she got to the jungle area. She peeked around the corner looking down the corridor, there was still no sign of movement, she dashed across. Crossing about fifty yards of open field took her to the edge of the jungle. She had thought she would disappear into the heavy foliage and then work her way toward the ocean, but the jungle was far too thick. She was able to gain some cover in the edge but could not penetrate more than about 10 feet before the tangle of vines and bushes and trees became impenetrable. If she kept this up she would become entangled and be stuck.

She had as much cover as she was going to get, and it was getting much lighter. Things would start happening very quickly and part of that is that her groom would come to her stall and find she was gone. What would happen then she did not know, but she was sure they would come looking for her. She was an expensive piece of property. She had to get away quickly. But where was she going to go? This entire town seemed to accept the concept of ponies as property. If found she was not likely to be rescued. She would either be returned to her owner or taken by her finder. Without her arms almost anyone, even a child, could control her. A simple tether to her collar and she was theirs. She could picture herself pulling a plow through some farmer’s field. Her only chance was to free her arms. As long as they were encased behind her she was clearly marked as a pony and most importantly clearly marked as property. But before she could work on that she needed to put some space between her and the stables. As the day brightened she would become more and more visible in the fringe of the jungle.

She started to work her way toward the beach. Maybe if she got to the beach she could follow it away from the town. Could there be other towns or villages on the island? What would their attitude be toward these things? Certainly someone must believe that what was going on here was wrong.

Then to Jen’s right she saw a path heading into the jungle. It was very narrow, but it must lead somewhere. She was a little fearful of the jungle. She knew there were things in the jungle that she did not want to meet. She was terribly afraid of snakes for example and jungles were great places for snakes. She would have to be very careful where she stepped. At that moment she bumped a tree and a cloud of something fell. She looked at her body and saw that there were hundreds, maybe thousands of ants running all over her. The tree had obviously been a nest of some sort and even this slight bump had caused a large cloud of ants to fall. Even worse the ants were in a state of alarm and they began to bite and/or sting her. She wasn’t really sure which and did not care about the technicalities. It seemed like pin pricks were assaulting every part of her body. She tried to twist and shake them off, but that was not working. She tried to rub against the bushes and brush, but the biting or stinging continued. She bumped against another tree. This time she felt a stinging pain in her right shoulder where she had hit. When she looked back at the tree she saw that its trunk was covered with black quill like thorns about an inch and a half long. Looking at her shoulder she could see half a dozen or more quill ends protruding from her flesh. This place must have been designed by Dante.

She twisted in the opposite direction watching any tree, but noticed that the ground was starting to descend. She could hear the sound of a stream nearby. She started to lose her footing. She fell back onto her seat and then she was sliding. She tried to dig her heals into the soft dirt, but she there are no heels on a horse shoe and she could not seem to make contact with the metal part on her hoof. Fortunately it was not far, only about twenty feet before she came to a stop in a small swift-running stream. Closest to her was a pool that slowly swirled, a side eddy to the main stream. The ants were still stinging and biting so she jumped in. She hadn’t even thought about how deep it might be, but as it turned out it was only about four feet. She was able to stand up in the pool. Then she was able to push her body into the fast moving stream. She welcomed the quick water as it washed away the ants. When the biting and stinging finally stopped she rolled back through the pool, managed to leverage her body onto the bank and roll out of the water.

She lay there to catch her breath and give some thought to what to do next. She looked up the slope she had slipped down. It was only about twenty feet, but it was very steep. On the opposite side of the stream another similar slope, except heavily vegetated, greeted her. She was in a small clearing area no more than four feet across. Upstream was nothing but a tangle of vines and tree trunks so interwoven as to make almost a solid wall. Downstream was not much better. A person with a machete could probably hack their way through. A small sleek cat could probably wind through the small openings. But to a pony it might as well have been a stone wall.

At least she might be hard to find down here. She looked around for a large rock that she might be able to use to break off her arm bindings. There were rocks in the stream, but she did not see how she could angle herself to use any of them to knock against the epoxy/fiberglass case that enclosed her arms. She did find an old tree stump. With her back to the stump she tried to throw herself backwards so that her arm case would hit the wood of the trunk. After several tries, each of which jarred her back at the point where her arms crossed, she tried to wiggle or move her arms – nothing. Then she tried hitting the edges of the case, where the metal loop extended from her elbow, against the trunk. She chipped out large chunks of wood from the trunk and left brown marks on the case, but nothing cracked, nothing loosened, it did not even chip and she could still not even move her fingers. It was pretty clear that she alone was never going to be able to free her arms.

As she leaned down next to the stump she noticed several dark colored things about an inch and a half long on her upper legs. They were alive and slimy. She knocked her leg against the trunk smashing one. As it squashed against her leg blood ran out. It was her blood. She had picked up leaches in the pool. Jungles were formidable places. They were more than formidable for someone without arms. She was no match for this place. She needed to get out of the jungle.

Jen started to climb back up the bank, her eyes focused on the spot she had slid from. The dirt was soft and she was wet and as she attempted to climb it turned to mud and slipped out from under her. A normal person would have to use their hands to grasp the vegetation, or even the dirt, in order to pull themselves out of this place. She had no hands so that was not an option. Instead when she lost her balance she fell forward into the hill and then slid face down back to the bottom. Three times she tried to dig footholds one after another to move up the slope. The metal horseshoes on the bottom of her boots were good at carving out the earth, but not very good at trying to get traction on the soft muddy hillside. Her efforts would work for five or six feet and then a foothold would start to give way and she would once again fall forward and slip to the bottom. She was not even able to reuse the footholds previously made as the action of her body slipping through them would obliterate any useful purpose. In addition, the repeated attempts only made the slope more slippery as she often ended up in the water at the end of her slide. She tried to plot a path using vegetation but although the slope was heavily vegetated there was always a spot where she had to move over nothing but muddy dirt and it proved impossible to keep her balance; the result was always a slow slide to the bottom and usually into the pool. She was so caked in mud she could not even see the leaches anymore.

Jen thought of getting into the stream and trying to work her way down the stream. But the tangle of fallen trees and brush left only a slight clearance above the water. In order to even try she would have to fully immerse herself in the stream and wiggle below the many branches. If she became ensnared, which was likely she would have no way out. Jen could also tell from the water marks on the trees at the bank that the water could raise a couple of feet higher than its present level. Jen assumed this might happen during the afternoon when the rain came. If she were trapped in the streambed as it presently existed she would be below water and would drown.

Finally, she once more, rolled up out of the pool onto the small area near the bottom of the hill and just lay there. It seemed that there was nothing else to do. She would either be found or rescued and recaptured, or she would be prey for some other formidable creature that might be able to negotiate this jungle, or she would stay here growing weaker and weaker until she died. She did not even know if she could drink this water without becoming sick.

She thought of home and wondered if anybody had noticed that she was gone. Everyone expected her to leave and not be back until the start of school next fall. Some of her friends had certainly tried to call her or to text her in the time she had been gone. They would be surprised that she had not contacted them back. Some of them may even be a little peeved with her for not responding, but she could think of no one who would be alarmed. If anyone would be missing her it would be her parents. She was reasonably close with her parents, but it was not at all strange for a week or two to go by without any contact. It was now quite a bit longer than that. They would be at least concerned, maybe not yet in panic, but concerned. But where would they look? The timing had been such that there was no specific place that she was supposed to be that she was not. School was done; she had checked out of the dorms; she had not found a job. And even if they were looking for her now how would they ever find her here? They may find the plane tickets to Long Beach for her and Abby, but from there the trail would get very cold very fast. They would puzzle over why the girls had gone to Long Beach, but there would be no answer. They would have left the airport and vanished into thin air.

And now, she was stuck in the jungle with little or no prospect for escape or rescue. She would resist drinking from the stream until thirst drove her near crazy, and then she would drink the water, probably get sick, dehydrate and die. Her body would be consumed by the predators and scavengers of the jungle. They would, of course, start on her even before she died. Her bones would sink into the mud or be washed into the sea. In a few months there would be no sign that she ever existed.

Even though the jungle created a complete canopy above; the position of the sun could be estimated based the brightest place in the green roof above. Jen estimated that it was close to mid-day. Had she really been stuck here that long? No wonder she was so tired. And the jungle seemed to be adjusting to her. She could hear birds almost everywhere. She could not see very many, but she could tell from the sounds that some of them were very close. That was ok, birds she was alright with, and maybe the sound of the birds meant that there were no big predators nearby. She pictured herself being swallowed by an anaconda, or ripped to pieces by a panther. She was already serving as lunch for a bunch of leaches. She had tried to scrape a few off by rubbing against the tree stump and then given up. She could make out at least three on her breasts; she did not want to be the main course for something larger.

Then there were sounds above. “Here she is. The GPS was correct.” Said a voice. There was a man in the standard khaki shirt and shorts standing at the top of the slope looking down at her.

“Bring a line; we are going to have to pull her up. What a mess.”

Two of them came down the hill. They came down the sides staying well clear of the area in the center that Jen had turned into a mud slide. One of them had one end of a rope. The other end was being held by someone standing at the top of the slope. The rope was quickly tied to her collar. The two who had come down hoisted her to her feet and the slack on the rope from above was taken up. Then the two individuals standing near her each connected a line to the rings at the ends of her elbows. They moved off to the side and the rope from above started to be taken up. As they started to pull her up from above the other two moved to the side and started up the slope. They would move up pulling on the vegetation until they reached a point they could plant their feet and then use the guide ropes to help move her up the slope. After two steps up, as she had on so many prior tries, she pitched forward, but this time she did not slide down the hill, she was held by the three ropes. She thought they would let her down and try again, but they did not. Instead, she was hauled up the slope like a bag of goods. As they pulled her toward the top she tried time and again to get her knees down under her, but there was no traction and she was back on her stomach as soon as she was up at all. Branches and rocks scrapped her shoulders, breasts, stomach and legs. Her breasts, now purple from having been tightly constricted for so long, stung with every contact with anything.

When they finally pulled her onto the top of the slope she was even more of a mess than when they found her. From her forehead to her boots she was coated in a layer of tan sticky mud. She hoped they would wash her off, but instead she was led held by the three ropes attached to her collar in front and her arms on each side out of the jungle and across the field toward the training area and the stables. It was quickly obvious that she was not even going to be led around the training area, but paraded right through the middle for all to see. She wondered what was next. Would she be punished? She remembered that back at the warehouse punishment was supposed to be very severe. But she already felt punished. She was battered and bruised. She had leaches connected to her thighs, sides, stomach, and breasts, a condition she could do nothing to mitigate, although, as she looked down at her body she saw one, now engorged with her blood, drop from her lower abdomen to the ground. In its wake was a line of flesh showing through the mud leading to a bright red circle with a bubble of blood in the center marking the previous location of its mouth.

Other ponies took some notice as she was led across the training area toward the stable, but at least they did not stop and put her on display. Jen did her best to avoid eye contact keeping her eyes cast down as she walked slowly across the field. There was no pop or crispness to her step as she usually executed when walking. Instead, she stumbled along on the end of the lines connected to her at three points.