Trigger Warning: This is a Halloween horror. A gothic ghost story set amid the Age of Pirates, readers may encounter taboos of a violent past, like rape, hangings and gory death.
Here be monsters, sensitive souls should proceed no further.
The night the tempest hit. I dreamt of an island made of bones.
Beside its idyllic turquoise waters, just beneath its strands of golden sand, lay bones. An endless stack of ivory white skeletons. Skulls and femurs, ribs and vertebrae, heaped high on top of each other, stretching all the way down to the abyssal darkness of the ocean deep. They were the mortal remains of all who’d ever been lost at sea, gathered and brought here by the ocean sweeping currents. Deposited together to form a grotesque pile of bones, disguised with palm trees and the trappings of paradise.
In my hubris, I thought I could outrun the hurricane. I had always loved storms, the astonishing violence of air and water. I loved to lie in my bunk, hearing the gales howl through the rigging and feel the boat lurch and tumble on a rollercoaster of swells. But this storm was different, a massive monstrous force of nature. As night fell, and I was plunged into a frightening darkness, I realised with horror that I had made a terrible mistake.
The hurricane tossed my yacht like a bath toy for several terrifying hours. I had to brace myself as my cabin repeatedly tumbled. Sometimes everything went almost vertical, producing a sickening moment of weightlessness before everything dropped, the whole vessel hurtling downwards into the trough of the wave, smashing back into the water in a shattering crash.
Until one time, my luck ran out. It must have been an enormous wave, enough to topple my entire world upside down, I felt myself go vertical, then fall backwards and the boat capsized. Something thwacked against my head, and everything went black.
I woke lying dazed on the ceiling of my cabin. The emergency lights shed just enough light to see that beneath me was a dark pit of churning seawater. My precious sanctuary had flooded, my boat was likely only moments away from being dragged beneath the mountainous waves.
I kicked the hatch open with the fury of someone utterly desperate to survive, and escaped into the tumultuous seas, gambling that the waters of the Caribbean would be warm enough to keep me alive. Only my life jacket kept me above the surface, as mountains of water crashed down relentlessly, pummelling me into unconsciousness.
But somehow I woke to see the dawn. Miraculously, the sea had spared me.
* * 1 * *
I lay on the sandy beach, choking as I struggled to clear my raw airways of salty water. My whole body was battered and aching, my head still throbbing from the accident. But I had just enough energy to crawl upwards through the surging surf, to reach the high water line. I lay sprawled amongst the seaweed watching the sky glow as the sun rose, the departing purple stormclouds illuminated with a golden light.
Hunger drove my initial explorations, and I found sufficient fruits and berries to replenish my energy. I discovered I‘d been washed up on a small deserted island. It seemed like a coral cay, fringed by golden sand, and covered with tropical trees. It did not take me long to walk around its perimeter, an hour at most. It was essentially flat, I could see its highest point was a slight rise on its southern flank. That would provide the best lookout, so that was where I made my home.
I spent my early days building SOS signs from driftwood, laying them on the beaches in the hope they’d be spotted by some passing vessel. I had been attempting to cross the Atlantic solo, and hadn’t even had time to send a Mayday call before I’d fled from my boat. I had no idea if anyone even knew I was missing yet. Let alone where to look for me.
But I knew I couldn’t afford to lapse into despondency. Survival and self-sufficiency were my immediate priorities. I discovered additional sources of food, teeming shoals of fish that were prolific enough in the shallow waters to grab with my hands and then dry in the sun. I constructed rain traps to harvest fresh water. I created a rudimentary shelter from palm fronds, where I could escape the maddening solitude and find solace and company amid the theatre of my dreams.
When alone, one takes comfort from such simple pleasures. I remember my joy when I discovered the tree with the paper-like bark. I was able to fashion my own quill from seabird feathers, and create a crude ink from ground fragments of coral, mixed with the blood of fish I’d caught.
What keeps me going is the hope that one day, someone else will read these strange scarlet scrolls. Writing keeps me sane, the blank page provides an audience, it gives me someone to talk to, to describe my thoughts and confess my fears. I hope I’ll survive long enough to be rescued. But if not, I hope these words will outlive me. After all, I have such a strange and unnatural story to tell.
It began as I was exploring my tiny new realm. That was when I discovered the bones. I found them scattered beneath a tree. Initially I thought they were the remains of a seal or a washed-up dolphin. But then I saw the unmistakable curve of a human skull, now denuded of flesh and bleached white by the scorching sun. Amid the bones were a few items of jewellery, which glinted as I rubbed the grimy residue of age away, several elegantly thin gold rings and gem-encrusted ear piercings. This seemed to be the remains of a lady, and an affluent lady at that.
It seems crazy to write this. But later, in the darkness, I met her myself.
That night, I was lying beneath the stars, listening to the waves break on the beach, surrounded by utter blackness. I was suddenly startled when I thought I heard someone talking to me. It was the first voice I’d heard since I’d left port, several weeks previously. I jumped up from my improvised mattress of foliage, but saw nothing around me but the dark.
It felt like I was hearing the bones talking to me. Beckoning me.
I walked under the pale light of the moon to where the bones still lay, undisturbed. She was waiting for me. The lady who must have died here.
She appeared as a ghostly apparition, as ephemeral as whispers. She glowed like wan moonlight, her eyes mournful, as if afflicted by deep melancholy. She was barefoot, and what remained of her clothes were ragged and dishevelled, barely covering her chest and her waist.
She spoke without moving her lips, yet her intense voice resonated profoundly through my own head, drowning out my own inner voice, displacing my own ability to think.
I AM HANNAH, the voice inside my head announced.
I HAVE BEEN WAITING HERE SO VERY LONG.
I recognised her voice as having an English accent, prim and aristocratic. It was somewhat archaic sounding too, like the kind of voice in vintage archive recordings.
The dim pools of moonlight where her eyes used to be glowered in my direction, but did not look at me. I felt the unsettling sensation that this visitor was only dimly aware of my presence, that she couldn’t really see me, like we were neighbours separated by some kind of wall.
What… happened to you? I thought instinctively.
The apparition answered, without me even having to vocalise my question.
SHE LEFT ME HERE TO DIE.
What! Who? How? I stuttered.
And then, under the moonlight, I began to learn her story.
* * *
I sat on a fallen trunk, and closed my eyes, and she showed me everything.
Hannah de Chésery was born during the reign of William III. A descendent of minor Swiss nobility, she received a cosmopolitan education from a series of fine European teachers as she grew up in England. I got the impression she was a headstrong young lady who had soon learned to get what she wanted. She had discovered the joys of a bare bottom flogging through her youthful misadventures, and actually enjoyed teasing her tutors into producing the cane. Her family mistook her secret appetite for discipline as wilful naughtiness.
Hannah was pretty and smart enough to become sought-after company in London society. She was married off to a dashing young man named Jonathan Fitzgerald, a London Judge and rising star in the Government’s Colonial Office. But the pair seemed to share a genuine affection. Soon, he was offered a prestigious overseas assignment, as the new Governor of a small Caribbean island.
She told me her husband discussed the prospective posting, and eager for adventure, she had readily agreed. She was remarkably candid with me, telling me she had elected not to bear children, and that they had practised martial relations in what polite society knew as “the Greek Way”. I presumed that meant he fucked her in her bottom. Quite possibly a spanked bottom too.
They left England to cross the Atlantic in 1720.
If I remember my history of this region correctly, the War of the Spanish Succession would have recently ended. I’d visited enough local museums to know these were turbulent times, with navies recalled and deployed, the Caribbean colonies became increasingly lawless. Pirates were raiding and plundering anyone without the means of defending themselves. Scared people flocked to port settlements, seeking the sanctuary that only the Royal Navy could provide. Stone walls in towns here often date from this period, those without them burned, those towns don’t exist anymore.
MAY I SHOW YOU?
WILL YOU SEE THROUGH MY EYES?
I am in a wood-panelled courtroom, on private benches reserved for dignitaries. I can see Hannah’s husband sitting on the highest seat, dominating the room in his full legal regalia. He will be judging this case, responsible for dispensing justice.
A dozen ragged individuals stand in the dock. Manacled in heavy iron chains.
A white-wigged clerk is reading out the circumstances of the case. It seems the Navy, after a fierce battle, had just captured a Lady Pirate, the infamous Dread Pirate Penelope. My eyes scan the dock, one of the defendants is indeed a woman, she’s dressed in male clothes, breeches and a frock coat embroidered with gold. She’s the only one of the prisoners without her head bowed. She seems to regard the charges being read as a valediction, not an admonishment.
I watch the trial progress through Hannah’s eyes. Skipping forward between her memories, the moments of greatest emotional intensity. I feel her heart thumping with suspense as the verdict is announced. I feel the heat between her legs, and how her clit goes stiff and swollen as she watches her husband don his black cap, and sentence all the pirates to be hanged.
The next memory I see was Hannah visiting his private chambers after the court had adjourned. Immediately, I could see the bulge beneath his ermine-trim robe. He says nothing to us, and my point-of-view abruptly changes, as he pushes us unceremoniously over his sprawling desk.
I feel him grab our dress, urgently dragging the copious fabric upwards until our split bloomers are exposed. I feel his hand reach between our legs, gripping our crotch, and spreading our wetness around our tightest hole. I feel the swollen knob of his stiff cock pressing into us. Astonishingly, I feel everything, the pain and exhilaration as he enters and plunges deep inside.
I see the room as Hannah once saw it, peering over the edge of the desk, her view shaking violently with every thrust of her husband’s hips. He was a tall man, with a physique more befitting a soldier than a bureaucrat. He had been assigned to this lawless land because he could take care of himself. And he could take care of others. I feel him reach underneath me, pinching my hood moments before we both…
I awoke, lying on the ground, with a start. And I found that I was soaked.
It had been so long since I’d felt such intimate sensations their intensity shocked me. But an instant after waking, they were gone, and my cunt had never felt so empty.
I cried, sobbing, yearning to dream the same dream again.
But nothing happened. No voice spoke to me, only the silence of utter loneliness enveloped me. I looked at Hannah’s sorry bones pleadingly, desperate to see her ghostly presence. But she was nowhere to be seen.
When at last I did fall asleep, I dreamt not of fuckings, but of a mountainous heap of bones, stretching a mile deep beneath my bed of leaves.
* * 2 * *
The next night, as I stared at the waning moon, Hannah visited me again. My heart soared to see her, despite her eerie phantasmal appearance. When she finally spoke, her prim voice shattered the silence, booming through my mind.
MY SOUL CAN NOT REST.
I HAVE COMMITTED TOO MANY SINS.
I wanted to shout out: No! To reassure her that anal sex was nothing to be ashamed of, that over the past three centuries our world had moved on to more enlightened times. But it turned out that wasn’t what she meant at all.
I NEED TO SHOW YOU.
The dark vanished, and everything was brilliantly bright. I was within Hannah’s memories again, staring at a sky of vibrant Caribbean blue. Hannah’s point-of-view is from a high window, which I guess is the uppermost floor of the Governor’s Mansion. Beneath us a crowd has gathered, their shouts and yells echoing within my mind. It is a noisy, excitable mob, corralled by red-shirted soldiers, razor-sharp bayonets glinting atop their muskets.
Then I realise where we actually are. This is the town square, and the soldiers are ringing a tall timber frame, from which an ominous-looking rope is dangling from the high crossbeam. This is a gallows, and this crowd has come to watch a hanging.
Through the seething crowd, I can see a cart drawn by two mules slowly approaching, its escorting troops pushing throngs of people out of its way. I can see a lone figure standing defiantly in the cart, hands behind his back and chains around his ankles.
I hear the Governor whisper into my ear. This will be the first of Pirate Penelope’s crew to hang, he tells me, the sadistic First Mate. The courtroom testimony of witnesses who’d survived this brute’s barbarity had been particularly harrowing. How he’d raped and slain an entire family. Slitting their throats and desecrating their mortal remains. And there seemed little doubt there had been many other heinous crimes that had left no witnesses.
Surveying the angry mob, I realise many in this crowd would have fled the pirates’ reign of terror. It was quite likely that some would have personally known his many victims. This isn’t mockery I can feel, but raw hatred; objects were being hurled at this prisoner, not just insults.
Now amid the jeers of the angry crowd I can hear the mournful beat of the execution drums, like a slow funeral march.
To anyone looking up at our window, I suspect Hannah would appear to be seated, with the Governor standing behind her. But unbeknownst to the crowds gathered below, she is bending over in front of him, her chest resting atop a high stool, a cushion providing some padding. She is naked beneath the waist. Her hands are tied behind her back, just like the condemned pirate.
I feel what Hannah must once have felt. A sharp ache beneath the tummy. I feel damp and very tender. I look down between Hannah’s legs. Her cunt is bare and red, wet with her own blood. Her husband is naked below the waist, his cock already stiff, poking between her open thighs.
I see the cart is now trundling beneath the gallows. The beat of the drums is getting louder, the abuse of the crowd ever more vociferous, as if they have so much more abuse to hurl, and their target is fast running out of their range.
The drums suddenly fall silent, and the crowd hushes for a moment. The town crier stands before the cart, unfurling a scroll. Hannah blushes as she realises she has seen this document before.
I witness her recollection, Hannah is sitting on her husband’s lap. He has a quill in his right hand, his cock deep in her bottom, and his left hand reaching around her waist to grip the hood of her clitoris. Ah yes, the Greek Way.
She rides him slowly, letting her thighs relax so her own weight lets her sink deeper. Her husband appreciates her initiative, having important matters of state to attend to. He is about to sign the first pirate’s death warrant. He pauses, asking Hannah when she next expects to bleed. She answers, and inadvertently sets the date of the pirate’s doom.
The original scene returns. A smartly dressed soldier has now climbed into the cart, he looks like an officer. He offers the pirate a blindfold, but he shakes his head to refuse it. The crier is reading out the long list of crimes for which the pirate has been condemned. Murder. Rape. Arson of several towns. Attacks on dozens of named ships. Piracy. I can feel the crowd’s anger building, their jeers now reaching fever-pitch.
The officer places the noose over the pirate’s head, tightening it around his neck, the thick knot of coiled rope behind his ear. He nudges the convict forward, until he’s standing on the very edge of the open cart.
The drums begin beating again. This time it’s a fast, urgent tempo, like a countdown to something climactic.
We feel the Governor shuffle forward, his cock pushing against her bloody entrance. He puts his hand past our ear, and out of the open window. I hear the drums rattle to a crescendo, and Hannah’s rapid heartbeat thundering in my ears. This feels both tremendously exciting and deeply horrifying. I can’t help wondering, is this justice – or is it theatre? Is the crowd here for restitution and closure, or revenge and entertainment?
I feel the hard potency of his authority, poised between my legs. His power over life and death. It excites me, disgracefully. His other hand slaps her bare bottom hard, several rapid smacks to the drums’ beat, hard enough to make Hannah yelp.
In front of my face, I see him clench his fist, at the very same moment his cock drives deep inside my cunt. Beneath us, a soldier whips the mules and the cart lurches forward. The rope goes tight, and I see the pirate fall.
I feel him thrust his stiff cock into Hannah’s bloody cunt. We writhe as he fucks us, as we watch the condemned pirate dance at the end of the rope. I sense Hannah’s thoughts, a deep visceral fear of losing her shield, her precious husband. How without him, she would be prey for the pirates, how her dying memory might be a brute’s cock stretching her bleeding hole, the cold sharp edge of a dagger scraping her throat as she pleads.
I can feel Hannah’s building excitement, as she watches the pirate dangle. My mind reels. How could she find a scene so horrible so arousing?
Hannah’s husband is now grasping her throat, tenderly tightening his grip as he thrusts deeper and deeper. I can feel Hannah gasping for breath, her eyes fixed on the dangling pirate, his legs still kicking in thin air.
Now I see something else. An earlier, even more terrible vision. Hannah is lying on a patch of grass beside a rutted muddy track. Her clothes have been torn from her, and her hands are tied behind her. There is a carriage nearby. Her driver is lying slumped on the ground, motionless, the breast of his ruffled white shirt now stained scarlet with his own blood. Above her, an unkempt brigand is leering at her nakedness. He has already pulled down his breeches, so his thick cock is pointing at her, threateningly.
The highwayman descends on her, his large strong hands grasping her throat, throttling her resistance away. His violation is bloody and excruciatingly painful, robbing her of not just her virginity but her dignity. But she does not show me all of this, some memories are just too agonising to remember.
The brigand left her for dead, in a bloodied heap by the side of the road. But he didn’t squeeze her throat quite tightly enough. She awoke in the rain, reborn as an avenging angel, yelling furious oaths as she swore that she would find him.
A sequence of more memories follow, tinted by a burning fury. Of the handsome young judge who defended her honour. He was the man who brought her violator to justice. Who led the troop of soldiers who captured him, and who sentenced him to hang. He was standing beside her as they watched him dragged to the gallows. He had his hand on the small of her back, reassuring her, as the trapdoor fell and the wretched bastard choked in the noose.
He was her guardian, her protector, her lover, and her husband. The only one who didn’t see her as tainted, but blessed by God. She had been given breath to live again, and been anointed with a righteous mission. To protect the weak, and bring justice to those who might prey on them.
Now I realise it’s the highwayman who Hannah is imagining dangling beneath her. That the hand around her throat symbolises all the formative forces in her life. Violence, violation, retribution, revenge, justice, arousal, excitement, protection, security, and love.
It takes several minutes for the pirate to cease kicking. The tender pressure on Hannah’s throat squeezing ever tighter, his cock pushing ever deeper. Until Hannah and I both experience an ecstatic climax, we go limp at the same time as the dangling pirate.
In that moment, I remember an old folk-legend I’d heard once at a Halloween party, as we’d been discussing the icky gross-out ingredients of witches’ cauldrons. One of those present was a girl who was most interested in crystals, mythology and arcane lore. She told us that when a man was hanged, he comes. That his semen drips beneath the gallows, and from it, the witch-root mandrake grows. But beware, any who dare pull this dread plant from the earth would be slain by its terrifying deathly shriek.
As I came I feel his seed dripping, then all goes black.
* * 3 * *
In the days and nights that follow, I meditate on all the gruesome horrors I’ve seen.
I try to make sense of it, reasoning that perhaps we eroticise what we fear. Even situations that might otherwise be socially or physically painful. Maybe that’s why the most common sexual fantasies feature authority and punishment, nudity and humiliation. By fantasising about violation, perhaps Hannah is seeking to control her fear, to bottle the lightning, to channel her powerful visceral anxieties into pleasure instead.
Yet I also needed to consider the possibility that these visions originated from my own mind, one driven mad by my isolation and the trauma of my shipwreck. They could be manifestations of my own unconscious fantasies, or intimations of my own mortality.
But if I was not imagining this, the implications were truly astonishing, It meant there was an existence after death. That some essence of us could survive, and return to this realm as ghostly apparitions.
I found myself wondering why had Hannah been condemned to remain on this desolate island? Was she not a victim of violence herself? Why had her soul been denied peace? Was it because she took such pleasure in the torment and demise of others? And if so, I shivered at what hideous Hell her husband might be suffering.
Or has Hannah become some kind of warning, of the fate that lies in store for me, if I give up hope, and die in despair on this island of bones?
Or perhaps fate is now teaching me a lesson in humility. Here I am, alone in the middle of nowhere, at the mercy of forces far greater than myself. I am trapped and weak. I have no guardian to protect me. But like Hannah, despite all the odds, I had managed to survive and breathe again.
For a month, Hannah did not return. Every night I prayed she’d come back to me. I began to regret judging her so severely. I had been given glimpses of cruel and savage times, and to my modern eyes, they were barbaric.
But in time I came to realise that the passage of time had made me a child of privilege. I did not grow up in Hannah’s world. I did not know what it was like to feel fragile, to live in mortal fear of rape and murder, to suffer such wretched violatation and be left for dead. To live beyond the cover of protective sanctuary that laws provide, to live in a world without a guardian to keep me safe at night.
It made me think about authority, why some respect it and others rebel. Here I was, utterly free, ruler of my own realm, at liberty to do anything I wanted. But my freedom felt like a curse. I realised what I craved was the certainty of authority, I wanted to be told what to do. I began to fantasise about discipline and punishment. Imagining what it would be like to be trapped on this island with a man like Hannah’s husband. Someone who could protect as well as punish, who’d cup my crotch with his big warm palm to make me feel safe, and place the same firm strict hand on my bare bottom to make me feel grateful.
Maybe the predilection to spank – or be spanked – was a manifestation of a basic human need. The desire for direction, for order, for certainty. After all, spanking was a measured, almost ritualised application of force, rather than an act of indiscriminate violence. A good spanking was impactful, but transient, just hard enough for authority to be demonstrated and obedience earned, with no lasting damage done.
And of all the regions of the body that could be smacked, spankings happened to be delivered through the very same nerves that transmitted sexual pleasure, and were delivered when the recipient’s most intimate regions were exposed. Spankings were corrective nudges, of stinging pain, inseparably intertwined with the tingle of pleasure.
Crucially, standing in the corner with a sore bottom afterwards was an opportunity for enlightenment. A chance for the spankee to admit to their behavior was improper and that rules existed for a reason. Those who had been spanked soon discovered something quite unexpected: that acceptance diminishes their discomfort, whilst resentment only exacerbates it.
Our minds seemed hardwired to regard legitimate discipline as pleasurable. Perhaps that quirk of our psychology helped civilise our species. Social order required good leadership and consensual obedience. Our need for structure and discipline was as fundamental as our need for companionship. Spankings were reminders that being good would bring its own rewards.
It was only after that moment of clarity, that I heard Hannah’s voice again.
I was lying on the warm sand of the beach one night, staring into the infinity of space, at stars whose light had started its journey across the cosmos whilst Hannah had once walked these very shores. Small waves lapped soothingly on the beach, their foam catching the weak moonlight. Until a voice in my head ruptured the quietness.
AM I WICKED?
I jumped to my feet. Hannah was several metres away, a faint glow, indistinct, like an almost forgotten memory. She was not looking at me, but out over the horizon, to where the countless pin-points of starlight were abruptly swallowed by the vast inky expanse of the ocean.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
I did not understand her question at the time. It seemed beyond my power to answer. But in retrospect, it was the most important thing she ever said. It took me months to realise she wasn’t even talking to me, but to another audience entirely.
I NEED TO SHOW YOU MY GUILT.
Memories began to wash over me again, like tumbling waves. I find myself watching through Hannah’s eyes from the high window once more. Bending over, with her hands bound behind her back, her husband’s thick cock is pressing against her tight little bottom hole. Another pirate is standing beneath the gallows, and the drums are rattling towards their fatal crescendo.
I see his fist clench, and he pushes into us both as the pirate topples, and dangles. I feel Hannah’s bottom stretch as the rope squeezes tight. He fucks in slow firm thrusts, his hand around his precious wife’s throat. It takes several minutes before the rogue ends his dance, time enough for him to take them both to the edge, and gasp climatically together.
* * 4 * *
It took weeks to hang the remainder of Penelope’s captured crew. They scheduled one public execution every other day, so the crowd wouldn’t get too blasé, and Hannah and her husband wouldn’t get too sore from their own secret macabre game of sexual satisfaction as they watched.
Hannah evidently didn’t remember much of these deaths, or at least she spared me the ordeal of watching them. Eventually though, there was only one sentence still outstanding, the execution of the Dread Pirate Penelope herself. The couple had debated what would be a fitting finale. It was actually Hannah who had suggested it, and to her surprise, her husband had agreed to it.
Now I was seeing something different through Hannah’s eyes, not the familiar view from their window over the square, but the white glazed tiles of a Georgian bathroom.
I wonder if Captain Penelope was surprised when, on the night before she was due to hang, she was taken from her cell in chains, and brought to the Governor’s Mansion. I witness Hannah’s memories as she tells the guards to wait outside, and takes her prisoner into the bathroom to take care of her ablutions.
Penelope is still manacled as she is undressed, bathed, shaved bare and given an enema. Despite all this, and her imminent fate, Penelope maintains her wise-cracking defiance, a strength of character I could tell Hannah was finding most alluring. She could sense the aura of leadership, her authority, and why the crew had followed her to their deaths. Penelope was beautiful, but I could tell she was a siren, as dangerous and treacherous as any Odysseus might have encountered.
Yet I could sense Hannah was beginning to be drawn towards treacherous rocks, how fascinated she was by the other woman’s slit, as her cut-throat razor slid across her mound and skirted around her more intimate places. Their conversation had become increasingly flirtatious.
“Do you shave every pirate you send to the rope? Or only those you wish to fuck?”
“You have a sharp tongue, Captain,” Hannah had observed coyly.
“All the better to lick you with, M’lady.”
I feel Hannah’s tummy flutter, and notice how she surreptitiously glanced at Penelope’s bare cleft. There was something about her awkwardness that suggested Hannah had never made love to a woman, but thought of it regularly. In that moment, it felt like a seed had just been planted, one that would grow to fascinate her.
Hannah wraps a cloak around her prisoner, and calls for the soldiers, who make sure the captive does not attempt to flee as we move upstairs to the Governor’s apartments. The guards remain at the bottom of the staircase, as Hannah guides Penelope through the door to their bedchamber. The room is large, its windows now shuttered against the night. It smells civilized, of clean linen and coconut oil lanterns.
“I have a gift for you, my love,” announces Hannah, removing the cloak of modesty from Penelope’s shoulders, and letting it fall to the ground.
The captain doesn’t flinch as she is exposed, but remains standing proudly upright, naked apart from her manacles. Her wrists are cuffed behind her back, her ankle cuffs connected by a short chain.
I notice how, as the couple’s eyes are roving across her, Penelope is scanning her surroundings. As if she was checking to see if any guards are present, or identifying potential weapons or routes of escape. She instinctively knew that anything that could be improvised in furtherance of her own survival. A motivation that became even more vital when she sees the noose hanging from one of the ceiling beams, and the wooden bench just beneath it.
“We are just planning to hang out this evening?” asks Penelope, nonchalantly.
“Your sentence will be executed here, tonight,” the Governor informs her.
“Shame. The crowd will be robbed of the show they’ve been waiting for, all this time…” she counters, in a deadpan tone that belies her predicament.
“You flatter yourself, pirate. You’re just another murderous bandit in a boat.”
“But such an exceptional one,” she reminds him.
“Besides, it’s better this way,” the Governor explains, “The townsfolk will awake to news that the Coward Pirate Penelope took the easy way out. That she was too afraid to face justice in public, and hanged herself in her cell.”
I could see Penelope scowl at the implication. She gave me the impression that she was an inveterate narcissist, one who’d rather been looking forward to a glorious finale in the public square tomorrow. A chance to be the centre of attention one last time, to become an anti-establishment martyr, to die a rebel’s death, and inspire dozens of ballads that would ensure her immortality forever.
“Do I get a last request?”
“I’d like to lick your wife’s cunt, and die with her taste on my lips.”
I could feel Hannah’s cheeks blush hot, and her skin prickle into goosebumps. She looks at him, and I see her husband smiling, lasciviously.
“What do you say, my love?”
I sense Hannah grinning, and in lieu of an answer, she begins to undress.
Penelope’s chains rattle as she folds to the floor, before looking upwards, open-eyed, obediently and expectantly.
The Governor turns to face us, placing his hand between Hannah’s legs. I can feel his fingers slip through her slick lips.
“Minx!” he cries, delivering a succession of hard slaps to her bare bottom.
“So keen to dance on a pirate’s tongue!”
The hot sting is still radiating through Hannah’s backside as her husband grasps her wrist and leads her towards where Penelope is kneeling.
Penelope’s nimble tongue licks Hannah’s bare slit like her life depended on it. Skillfully exploring every fold as an expert navigator would, sailing into every secret cove, surveying every landmark with tender kisses. Criss-crossing the island, climbing the little hill and circling the hidden hollow. Until a sudden storm breaks, and Hannah drenches Penelope’s pretty face with a sticky gush.
Hannah staggers backwards on trembling legs, sitting down on the edge of their bed. Penelope remains kneeling, with her hands bound behind her, she has no way to wipe her face, and wears the glistening mess proudly on her face, like a badge of honour.
Out of sight, I know the Governor is watching us. When he comes into view again he has undressed, and his cock is hard.
He drags his captive off her knees by her arm, towards the bench beneath the rope.
I’m surprised when he then sits down, pulling Penelope across his one of his knees, so she straddles his thigh, splaying her legs wide apart, exposing everything in between. He begins to spank her, with hard slow heavy slaps. As each smack lands, he scolds her as if she was a naughty little girl, for all the sailors her crew had drowned, and all the villagers they’d so cruelly robbed and murdered.
“Harder, please Sir! I’ve been such a very bad girl.”
He is smacking with considerable force, each impact making her chains clink and rattle, his large strong hands leaving bright pink patches wherever they land. Occasionally he pauses, dragging his finger between her open cheeks, pushing his fingers into her holes, rebuking her for being so soaking wet.
“Oh Sir! I wish you’d been there to discipline me in my formative years. I would never have been led astray!”
He reaffirms her sentence as he spanks her, guilty of piracy and murder.
“It is the sentence of this court you be taken to a place of lawful execution, and hanged by the neck until you are dead.”
He pronounces the dread sentence with a flurry of forceful whacks, as if he was rapping his gavel on the court bench, trying to restore order to a tumultuous court.
“No Sir! Please, I’ll be so good for you!”
I sense something new, something I haven’t felt from Hannah before. An empathy, a feeling that those spanked deserve forgiveness. It might even be pity. It is a feeling that intensifies as she watches her husband lift Penelope to her feet, and makes her step up onto the low bench. Then he reaches upwards, places the noose over her head, and tightens it around her neck.
“Come hither, my love!” he looks back to us encouragingly, “We shall enjoy this criminal before she strangles.”
Hannah is moving more hesitantly now, but takes her place before the standing pirate, bending forward so her face is in front of her bare cleft. She places her own tongue on Penelope’s swollen slit. The taste is so intoxicating she begins to wonder if this is the flavour of fear, of mortal jeopardy.
Perhaps her husband will allow her to choose another pirate to hang here, dangling as she keeps his hard cock in her mouth. Hannah had heard the Mandrake legend of hanged men’s seed too, and found herself pondering: whatever would happen if you swallowed it? And did women squirt with their final kick too?
As Hannah licks, I can see her husband between Penelope’s thighs. I see him placing his long stiff penis against her bottom hole, close enough for Hannah to push her tongue forward, and lick his shaft. We watch as he pushes slowly into our captive’s bottom.
Hannah continues to run the tip of her tongue up and down Penelope’s slit as her husband fucks her bottom. I notice how her legs, still manacled at the ankles, are trembling now, as she strives to keep her balance. What an end that would be, if she was to suddenly topple, she would dangle with the hangman’s cock in her arse, squeezing him tighter and tighter as she danced, milking him dry, and only releasing him from her grip when she fell still.
In between her moans, Penelope pleads for her life, trying to convince her captors she could bring them so much pleasure. And with a ship, a lot of treasure too.
Hannah curtails her pleas by pushing the tip of her tongue into the little bump of her clit. She sucks it eagerly, pushing her hood back with her lips, until Penelope’s staccato pleas are replaced by delirious moans. Then her knees buckle slightly, causing the rope to tighten and her voice to squawk. As Penelope begins to come, she grips his cock tight, which prompts Hannah to open her mouth and take her lover’s bare sac into her mouth. She sucks his balls tenderly, until our lips feel his spasms as he empties himself deep inside the pirate’s bottom.
“Spare me, Sir! M’lady! I’ll do anything for you. Make me your slave. You know how appreciative I can be.”
The Governor ignored her pleas, withdrawing from her, and walking over to a small basin of water to clean his member.
“No, pirate. When I am hard again, you will hang.”
Hannah looks up at Penelope, whose calm demeanour is slipping, she looks increasingly desperate. I can feel him moving behind us, and his limp member already swelling between Hannah’s thighs.
“We watched from our window as your crew of brutes were hanged. We fucked as the wretches danced, and now we shall do the same as we watch you,” he tells her nonchalantly.
I feel him hard between Hannah’s bottom, rubbing her wetness around her tight little hole. He begins to push inside us, stretching a leg forward until one of his feet is resting on the low bench on which Penelope is standing. He pauses, then pushes deeper, I feel Hannah’s bottom stretch, and her legs grow weak.
And then, a sudden thrust, and he topples the bench with his foot. I see Penelope fall, and hear the rope creak. Just in front of us, I can see her feet kicking frantically as the noose around her throat pulls tight
Hannah presses her tongue into her slit, eager to taste her final issue. He fucks us deeply as we watch Penelope’s desperate final dance. Her chains clinking as her fettered ankles kick and her hands struggle behind her back.
But then something quite unexpected happens.
Hannah abruptly comes, her body overwhelmed by waves of intoxicating sensations, and her legs suddenly buckle.
My view swims for a moment, as Hannah sways and slumps to the floor, just in front of Penelope’s desperate kicking feet. Then I feel the scratch of toenails on her back, and a moment later, a heavy weight pushing down on top of her, as the gasping pirate finds somewhere to stand just before it’s too late.
Quite unexpectedly, Hannah now had Penelope’s fate literally on her shoulders.
“Please…” croaks Penelope, teetering precariously.
Beneath her, Hannah is still panting. I sense her thinking, collecting her thoughts.
“I like this one. She has an eager tongue,” Hannah says at last,
Hannah looks over her shoulder to her husband, and then suggests: “Let’s keep her, my love. At least for another night…”
He pauses, contemplating his wife’s proposal. And then to my surprise, he reaches up to loosen the rope from around Penelope’s throat. She jumps down from Hannah’s back, then collapses to the floor beside her, planting a single kiss on her forehead.
Afterwards, the Governor had Penelope returned to her cell. His expectation was that he’d fuck her again tomorrow night, and watch her swing. But Penelope’s lithe beauty masked a devious and dangerous mind. She had returned the following evening with a plan to seduce the Governor and his wife. And as it happened, she escaped the noose that night too.
Through Hannah’s memories, I witnessed Penelope’s skilful transformation into a sexual Scheherazade, repeatedly delaying her execution, insinuating herself into their lives, until she became not an inconvenience to be rid of, but their willing and irreplaceable fucktoy. Penelope had survived, just like she always did, whether it was a tumultuous storm or a ferocious battle, Captain Penelope always came through. A born survivor.
After winning her life, Penelope set about winning her captors’ trust. She was given her own room in the Governor’s mansion. She was still kept in chains, of course, as any sex slave would expect to be. They kept her naked, as clothes might conceal things, but the hot sultry climate meant she had little need of them anyway.
Eventually, Penelope became a collaborator. The Governor began to use her skills to plan raids against pirate strongholds. He even granted her the privilege of watching from the upper window as her one-time rivals were hanged in the town square below. She enjoyed watching the bulge in the condemned men’s breeches as the noose was fitted, and the wet patch that appeared between their kicking legs at the end of their dance, just as the Governor’s own seed filled her bottom.
It was ironic that the restoration of the rule of law to the high seas owed so much to a pirate. But then again, Governor did believe in the redemptive power of discipline, he would regularly spank, strap, or cane Penelope, and she was always so gratefully appreciative for his generous correction.
Hannah also enjoyed putting Penelope over her own knee too. She liked to imagine that she was a strict governess, and her charge was just a silly little girl who enjoyed getting into scrapes with boys and playing pirates. A silly girl who needed to be spanked until her pretty little bum turned pink.
In time, Penelope was permitted to sail again, across the deep blue sea she’d missed so much. The Governor had her sent under guard on a raiding voyage to prove herself, it was a spectacular success, with the voyage returning heavy with plundered Spanish gold. Soon, she’d earned her own ship, albeit one manned with spies who’d slit her throat if she betrayed her duty. But still she remained loyal, returning without fail, often laden with treasure, to share Hannah’s bed.
Until, one month, she sailed, her ship did not return.
The seas could be so cruel. Hannah was heartbroken.
* * 5 * *
After she showed me the painful memories of Penelope’s shocking disappearance, I did not see Hannah again for several weeks. I was left alone with my thoughts, and all she had shown me.
I began to see Penelope in my own dreams. Walking naked out of the surf, as beautiful as Hannah remembered her, to seduce me. I would be powerless, kneeling obediently before her, eager not just for her approval, but her tongue.
Until one night, I heard Hannah’s voice again. Not booming through my mind this time, but distantly singing a lament so wistful I felt my heart might break. She sang in a language I could not understand. Perhaps it was a plea for mercy, for deliverance from bitter tears and the desolation of a vanished love. I wept at her despair, as her sweet voice faded in silence.
When she appeared to me again, it was to be the last time I ever saw her.
IT’S ALL MY FAULT.
WILL I EVER FIND PEACE?
I am looking through Hannah’s eyes again. This time I’m surrounded by an expanse of radiantly blue water. My heart leaps when I realise I am at sea again.
Strangely, Hannah appears to be entangled, I can feel the rough scraping of rope around her wrists. She is standing on a spar beam, several metres above the deck on a large frigate, its vast sails cluttered with rigging. Her back is flat against a thick mast, she seems to be tied to it. Her clothes are tattered and torn, and stained with what looks like soot and blood.
Beneath her a rowdy crowd of sailors are jeering at a manacled prisoner. A wooden plank is jutting out from the deck, and one of the crew has just walked carefully along it, to throw the yucky contents of a galley barrel into the water below. A red stain blooms in the still waters beside the ship, which is suddenly bisected by the unmistakable triangular fins of huge sharks.
I sense Hannah’s fear and desperation. The man below is her husband, captive and at the mercy of these pirates. Hannah looks beseechingly towards the quarterdeck, and I recognise the captain of this ship: it’s Penelope.
Now I see what Hannah remembers. How she and her husband left the island colony to return to England, only to be intercepted by a fleet of pirates led by Penelope. It seems some never change, underneath her beautiful face, she would always be a scorpion, duplicitous and treacherous.
Penelope had waited years for the chance to avenge her hanged crew, to finally break the shackles that had bound her. She had kept back a portion of what she had plundered, and used it to buy allegiances. When the pieces were in place, she contrived her disappearance in a storm.
And then she had waited, until the Governor and Hannah were due to return to England. Her fleet had ambushed the Governor’s lone vessel. She had instructed her crew to take him and his wife alive. After a fierce struggle, they were now the only survivors from their ship.
I have had time enough on my little island to contemplate the nature of fear, of what might be the worst horror a human being can experience. My primal mind has ancient fears, of becoming prey of something grotesque and overwhelming. Like being enveloped by the sticky rubbery tentacles of a giant Kraken, or having my blood sucked dry by an enormous hairy spider.
But my higher mind can imagine far worse terrors. Such as the horror of seeing a loved one die.
I realise that is what I’m about to watch. The pirates are laughing as they chain a small wooden keg around the Governor’s chest. A dribble of viscous red blood dripping from one side. They push him to the end of the plank with their cutlasses. His last glance is upwards, towards his darling wife. His everything.
That last glimpse is the most heartbreaking single moment I’ve ever witnessed.
And then he falls into the water. The keg of leaking chum keeping him afloat as he is torn apart by thrashing sharks.
Hannah screams so loud, everything goes black. As I finally understand what she has been trying to tell me.
* * *
Hannah’s subsequent recollections are joyless and bleak. Monotone memories, in bitter contrast to the vivid sensual experiences she once shared with me.
Penelope had kept Hannah alive, but for a different fate. She was brought here, to this very island, and marooned. I watch through her eyes as she stares mutely at Penelope’s receding ship, as it sails westward, into a golden sunset of sublime beauty. Alone and utterly abandoned. For social beings, no greater torment exists.
As a mercy, Penelope left her with a small net to catch fish, a small knife to gut them, and two buckets to catch rainwater. And then she threw a noose over the branch of a nearby tree, for when her isolation became too much.
I witness Hannah’s crushing solitude, alone on this tiny God-forsaken speck, disconsolate with bitterness and grief. She wakes every morning in hope of seeing the sails of a rescuing ship on the horizon, and ends the day wracked by guilt and sorrow. I feel her hope evaporating, as she begins to regard the island not as her prison, but as her purgatory. That she’d been put here to suffer for all the death she’d witnessed.
On the trunk of the tree where they’d left the noose, she’d scratched tally marks each morning, Until, eventually, there was no more space for her marks. That was when Hannah finally used the rope they’d left for her. She undressed, and stood on the bucket. Knowing one more footstep and she’d topple and fall – and for one glorious moment, she’d feel her husband’s loving hand gripping her throat one last time. Before everything went black.
Except she didn’t.
Rage had overtaken her. She refused to give wretched Penelope the satisfaction of victory. Her survival would be her triumph. She’d stay alive long enough to be rescued, to bear witness to the murder of her husband. She’d survive to see her violator hang, just as she’d seen the highwayman choke. She loosened the rope and elected to fight on.
I do not know Hannah’s final fate, whether she succumbed to hunger, or grief, or ill-health. Death did eventually find her, but it finds us all, no matter how far away we try to hide.
I am looking through my own eyes now.
Hannah’s apparition is staring through me, as if distracted by some infinite sadness. I want to console her, to hug her, but she seems barely aware of me. She continues to stare into the black starless night, as if surveying an unseeable horizon. Then she slowly fades away, until I’m left all alone again, in the dark.
When I finally realise the sin that condemned Hannah’s soul. It knocks me backwards, like a cannonball between my eyes.
I understand everything now, how Hannah is wracked by self-hate. How she has condemned herself, because her actions set in motion a train of events that caused the death of her one true love. Three centuries later, she has still not forgiven herself.
Her lust had kept Penelope alive. She had perverted the course of justice. Saving the pirate from the noose that night, when she should have pushed her off her shoulders, and left her to strangle.
I wonder, did Hannah ever escape this island? Part of me hopes she did, that she tracked down Penelope and had her revenge. Yet another part of me realises the futility of that fate, such retribution would never fully redeem the sorrow that wracks her soul.
My mind is swamped by questions.
What is this place? Why am I here? And whose bones did I really stumble across?
Are they Hannah? Or Penelope? Or some other castaway? Am I looking down upon the remains of my own corpse?
* * *
I am alone on a deserted island, surrounded by deep tempestuous seas. My reality is becoming slippery, often I awake cloaked in a misty haze. I am no longer sure who I am anymore. Did I live Hannah’s life once, or just experience moments of it?
My yacht, the storm, how I got here, it all seems so nebulous, as if all were figments of a story I’d once overheard. Did I really survive that hurricane? It now seems so unlikely, being lost like that in the middle of the deep blue sea. Perhaps I was dragged beneath the tumultuous waters, and into the yawning abyss below, disintegrating into bones, until I was gathered by the ocean, and became part of this mysterious island.
Yet my memories of Hannah and Penelope are still so vivid. I cling to them like a wrecked sailor hugs flotsam, they bring me such pleasure to recall in every intimate detail.
But I don’t think I sleep anymore. I can’t remember the last time I ate. I may have become eternal. Something beyond death. I may now be a mere vessel of memories, drifting languidly amid the doldrums of time. But perhaps that’s all that ghosts really are.
From my beach, I stare at the horizon, and watch a trillion dawns.
Time is accelerating, the sun streaking repeatedly across the sky like a searing meteor. Aeons pass, and I perceive the orb in the sky glow redder. Yet still no one has rescued me, because there’s no-one left on Planet Earth. I’m utterly alone, marooned beneath a dying, swelling sun.
I watch the sea begin to steam, then bubble and boil. Its waters receding, finally exposing the heap of bones beneath me, the bones I always knew were there. I witness the sand and ash of this scorched island trickling away, seeping into the eye sockets of ancient skulls. Until I’m left standing on the summit of a towering mountain of bones. High above what once was seabed, now sun-baked plains miles below,.
The doomed sun looms overhead, a giant incinerating ruby. No clouds exist anymore, just a colossal red furnace in a dazzlingly bright sky.
I find myself longing for companionship, the warmth of human touch.
The simple pleasure of a firm hand on my bare bottom.
Or at the very least, the company of ghosts.
And so here I wait, in the silence.
Alone on a mountain of bones.
Staring beyond an empty horizon.
Yearning for Hannah to return.
To whisk me away from here.
Into her sordidly beautiful dreams.
Originally posted at spankingtheatre.tumblr.com.