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Hard Time by Diana Philbrick

EXTRACT FOR
Hard Time 
(Diana Philbrick)


Hard Time

Chapter 1

 

The sun’s half-light flickered through the trees casting an eerie yellow patina over the crowd. No one moved; there was no morning breeze, no birdcall, no cricket noise...nothing. It was as if the swamp and everything in it was holding its breath. Dread was the only word that applied.

This was exactly what he wanted. The more these young minds dreaded what was about to happen, the more shock and awe they felt, the less he would need to resort to such extreme methods in the future. Porter hated waste especially when it came at such a high cost. He needed to apply every ounce of terror and pain that came out of these affairs with maximum effect, wasting either was a sin.

 His eyes wandered down the line of inmates. No one moved or spoke; they kept their eyes fixed, straight ahead. Some were holding their breath; others were breathing hard and fast. Everyone seemed tense, but surprisingly accepting of the ceremony. It always amazed him how the Swamp’s girls reacted to punishment. Sure, they were afraid, but they never questioned the need for it. In the five years he had been warden at the Swamp, he had never had a prisoner object to punishment on principle.

When they did object, it was because they didn’t want it to happen to them; which was exactly the response he wanted. Deterrence...it worked. He stared at the lovely frightened faces closest to him and felt their fear, their sympathy...their anger. The girl they were about to punish had broken the rules; she had brought this on herself (and on them) for no reason other than selfish pride. Who was she to put her interests above theirs? Who was she to...

The hut’s door opened with an ominous creak and a burly guard stepped outside. He stared at the assembled inmates then turned back towards the doorway and nodded. A willowy girl stepped hesitantly outside onto the roughly hewn porch. She looked like fairy princess with pale skin and long silver-blond hair. A second stocky guard followed.

She was naked, perhaps 20 years old, with the freshness of youth glowing from her skin. Her guard had tied her long hair in a high ponytail to keep it off her back. Somehow, it made her seem taller, more regal. They had also cuffed her arms tightly behind her back at the wrists and elbows forcing her full breasts to stand out with exaggerated tautness.

She didn’t try to hide her nudity. She stood straight, defiant almost, with her head high. The gentle curve in her back, accentuated by her bound arms, seemed to present a righteous counterpoint to her pointed nipples, her high mound, her black triangle of pubic hair, her hard round ass. Mingled in with her defiant posture were moments of fear and confusion; the conflict of emotions made her seem more vulnerable, more pathetic.

 Porter felt his cock straining inside his pants. He appreciated beauty, but he admired spunk even more. She was fighting her fear, defying it, suppressing the natural urge to flee. He knew how difficult it was to control your instincts, your emotions. It was nearly impossible for a normal man to control his lustful urges at the sight of a beautiful woman, naked and bound, destined for a sure and severe punishment. He could feel blood throbbing in his ears. Men were vile creatures indeed, he thought. She looked so vulnerable, so deliciously helpless. He swallowed the saliva gathering in his mouth.

The guards each took one of her thin arms and slow-walked her to the wooden stage in the center of the square. He had had his men build it from local hardwood then ordered them to shellac it to a gleaming finish. The color and shine conveyed its enormous strength. It was another element of his all-important stagecraft.

The obvious purpose of the stage was equally intimidating. At one end was a double pillory; at the other was a rectangular frame. The frame consisted of two thick posts about eight feet high and five feet apart. A line of metal cleats adorned the outside edge of the upright posts for tying off ropes at various heights and lengths. The rail across the top extended out beyond the two uprights perhaps four feet on either side. These extensions allowed the guards to suspend and whip three girls at the same time.

The girl, Tory, stared up at the frame then mounted the steps. Porter watched the arch in her feet, the sharp outline of her calf muscles as she rose up on her toes. She stared at the overhead rail as one of the guards removed her wrist cuffs and replaced them with long leather manacles. He worked quickly then knelt and began to do the same to her ankles.

Suddenly, she lost it. The manacles reminded her that she was about to be suspending by her long limbs and whipped. She screamed and kicked out frantically. The second guard pulled back viciously on her ponytail until his pull controlled her breathing. He squeezed her nipple at the same time to remind her that all pain was relative. With her elbows still locked behind her back, she was helpless.

Her body stopped jerking and the first guard finished strapping the manacles on her ankles. Without any delay, he tied a rope to one at her wrist manacles, threw it over the top rail with practiced expertise, and released her elbows. The rope end swung back striking her bare leg. She squirmed away from the hold and twisted her body as if to run, but it was too late.

The first guard grabbed the rope end and pulled hard. Her bound arm flew into the arm, forcing her to her toes. He let her twist for a minute like that then knotted the rope end around a cleat. In seconds, he had a rope on her free arm then pulled it over her head until her wrists were level and her feet were a foot above the ground.

Her screams seemed to piece the morning stillness then echo back from the trees. Every panicked yell, every anguished plea reverberated inside the square. Porter had originally ordered prisoners gagged until he realized that their sounds were just as effective as the visuals in striking fear into the assembled prisoners. He could hear many of them moaning softly in their throats--feeling her terror, anticipating what was to come.

The guards each grabbed one of Tory’s ankles and spread her legs until they were positioned in a perfect split then they strapped her ankles tight to the posts. Her mound, already swollen and red, looked huge and open; her tits seemed to be popping out of her chest. She had stopped screaming, but her mouth continued to move, her full lips forming a silent protest, a wordless appeal for mercy.

The guards moved to the outside of the posts and waited. Porter also waited patiently. After a few minutes, the girl’s twisting stopped. It took incredible strength to move your body when spread this way; he was waiting for her pointless twisting to stop. She would writhe when the real pain came, but this writhing would be different; it would come from a different place, a deeper place.

The inmates stood silent, horrified, watching her pitiful struggle.

Captain Porter walked to the front of the stage and looked up at the girl. Her cunt lips were trembling, her head shaking, her mouth forming the word “no” over and over. He turned back toward the crowd and stared at them. He never spoke at these occasions, never issued any warnings or threats. It was better this way--everyone knew why the girl was here, why they were here; everyone knew they would suffer the same punishment for breaking the Swamp’s rules. The only thing left to do was to remind them of what it was like to be publicly whipped, to have a leather strap strike your bare, wet skin.

Porter raised his hand and the belts appeared magically in the guards’ hands. He lowered his hand and they lashed out. One landed on the girl’s plucky ass the other on her exposed inner thigh. Her scream seemed to tear open the morning sky. Her stomach muscles clenched impossibly hard exposing her rib cage as her body arched forward. Her toes pointed straight out to the side, and her feet curled. Her pain reached out and touched everyone.

The guards waited until her pain subsided then they continued alternately striking every inch of exposed skin on her front and back. She screamed and writhed in utter agony for a long time then stopped. They stopped as well then rubbed her down with wet cloth from a nearby water pail. In a few minutes, she was awake and alert again. The second round with the belts was shorter but more vicious. This process continued for almost 30 minutes until she was numb.

Porter gave the signal to stop then turned and walked away. The guards untied Tory and carried her back into the cabin. She would spend the day recovering. The inmates stood in shock then slowly began to disperse. Soon the square was empty. Only the faint echo of her hideous screams remained, echoing among the trees.

 

***

 

Captain Glenn Porter watched the headlights approach, winding their way slowly over the causeway’s serpentine road. It was a dangerous drive, harrowing, especially in the dark. One small mistake, one missed turn and the heavy prisoner van would slide over the side into the shallow waters.

Below the shallow water was mud or peat. Both could suck a small truck under in seconds like quicksand, trapping everyone inside, condemning them to a hideous death. Even if help reached the vehicle in time, there was little they could do against the sucking strength of the bog. The driver might be able to kick out the windows and free himself, but the prisoners shackled in the back had no chance. The mud would slowly bury them alive. It was horrible, then again, is any death pleasant, he wondered?

He had seen many people die; each was horrible in its own way. Even the quick and relatively painless deaths were traumatic affairs when you took into account the victim’s family and friends. The amount of pain associated with any death was enormous. His old job as head of the Miami Police - Drug Enforcement Division was all about death.

However, death wasn’t even the worst of it...

The worst of it were the “living dead” as he called them--the addicts, the families of addicts, their friends, and all the people who tried to help. Then there were those innocents caught up in minor drug and drug related crimes that society could not forgive. They were the reason he had left the force. He couldn’t bear to witness their unjust suffering. Condemning them to prison, to hard time, sometimes for decades was a torture society refused to acknowledge. At some point, he had had enough, and just decided that he just could not send another innocent kid into that Hell.

That was when they offered him the job as the Swamp’s warden.

He glanced at the girl at his side. She was a tight package, a body-type that conveyed strength and agility...and enormous pleasure. She sat on her haunches by his side also watching the slow progress of the van’s headlights.

Surprisingly, being the warden for the Swamp, the Florida Correctional Facility at Okefenokee, was easier on his conscience then running Miami drug enforcement. There was a lot of pain here as well, but the pain in the Swamp had a purpose. Most people would not agree with his logic; in fact, most people would call him a monster for what he did here, but most people didn’t understand the alternative.

This was why secrecy was so important; why he insisted that all prisoner pickups and deliveries occur at night despite the road’s dangers. He didn’t need a story about the Swamp appearing in the Miami Herald...no one did.

He turned back to the girl, to Carrie. She was a good person, intelligent, and a rare beauty. Saving someone like her was worth the risk, he thought. She had come to the Swamp a year ago with an attitude. That attitude had brought her a lot of pain, a lot more than they would typically dispense for her crime, but she had learned albeit the hard way. She had corrected her behavior and the board had paroled her. Another year in a halfway house and she would be free, free to continue her life.

He recalled her punishments, her terrible time on the frame--her lean and muscled body twisting in agony as the belts delivered their...

Whatever...whatever she had gone through her in the Swamp; it had resulted in a significantly better outcome for her than a decade in prison. He thought about some muscled freak abusing her chiseled body; about her mind slowly dying with the shame and despair.

Not that she was completely innocent. Carrie had killed her husband while he was beating her. He knew the man; he was a low-level drug dealer with no conscience. She would have gotten off for self-defense except they found his drugs in their apartment. The quantity suggested she was an accessory to major trafficking. At least that was the way the district attorney had spun it.

It wasn’t true. Her husband was a low-life who had trafficked since he was in junior high. He didn’t need or want partners in his drug deals, especially a neophyte like Carrie. In any sane system, she would have received a suspended sentence, but the law was clear and the judge sentenced her to a mandatory ten to twelve years. It was a ridiculous miscarriage of justice, but there was no appeal.

“Stand up, Carrie,” he said quietly.

Instantly, she scrambled to her feet. She wore a standard prison tunic that covered her legs to mid-thigh. Behind her back was a “come along”--the most frequently used restraint in the Swamp. It was a metal bar with a leather neck collar at one end and a hard-rubber asshook at the other. In between the collar and the hook, welded to the metal, were four shackles, one each for her elbows and wrists. It was an extreme restraint, but everything they did on the Swamp was extreme.

Their job, his job was to return these girls to society as quickly as possible with an appropriate amount of punishment for their actual crime. Warehousing them for years was not their purpose; their purpose was to deliver appropriate punishment in the shortest possible time. He had put her in the come-along on this, her last day, because he wanted her to remember what she had endured here. He wanted her to remember that her actions always had consequences.

“Remember what you learned here, Callie,” he said evenly. “If you are smart, you will take your probation seriously and walk out a free woman. If you don’t, if you fuck it up, they will send you back to prison to finish your sentence...a decade of hard time. You only get one chance in this program, don’t throw it away. I would hate to see your luscious body rotting in a cell. Girls like you don’t survive in general population for a decade.”

She stared at him for a moment.

“I’m not going back there, Captain,” she said with conviction. “I’ll kill myself first.”

He nodded then unhooked the bar from her collar. This took the pressure off her asshook and she sighed in relief. He gently pulled it out of her asshole. In a few seconds, he had her out of the shackles.

She stood perfectly still in the standing-rest position. He moved behind and pulled her tunic down over her ass straightening the fabric. His fists pressed against her thighs and he remembered the way her hard body had felt against his, the way her swollen mound had sucked him inside, the way her pebble-like nipples had trembled in his hands, the way her jutting tongue had...

“Don’t forget,” he added quietly, leaning down to whisper into her ear. “Your probation is contingent on your good behavior for another year.”

She nodded invisible in the dark as the prison van glided to a smooth stop.

“The state of Florida doesn't appreciate it when someone spits in its face, Carrie,” he added as a final warning. “As painful as it was, the Swamp saved your life. Be grateful for that.”

The driver stepped out and walked towards them holding out his hand.

“Captain Porter,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

“Sergeant Franklin...”

“I got another one in the back for you.”

He handed over a manila folder.

Porter smiled and pointed his chin at Carrie.

“You can take this one back with you. She is for the halfway house. Make sure she gets there without incident. Okay, Sergeant?”

The man nodded and smiled.

“Pretty...” he said with a leering smile.

Porter’s face turned into a frown. He didn’t like it when outsiders got involved with the affairs of the Swamp. It was necessary, but he still didn’t like it.

“Drive carefully, Sergeant. Wait until you get to a safe place before... I don’t want to be putting up a tombstone for you along the side of the causeway.”

“No worries, Captain.”

Franklin turned to the girl.

“You can ride up front with me, ah, Carrie. It’s a long ride, we can talk.”

Franklin took her arm and walked her back to the van. She sat in the passenger seat staring back at Porter. He had seen her hand brush Franklin’s crotch. He understood. The girls they treated here in the Swamp usually left in a state of hyper-sexuality. It was the nudity, the punishment, the loss of control and power. Trying to turn their sexuality back to a normal level of intensity would take time. This was one of the main reasons for the halfway house--to restore sexual balance. The girls needed to work out their sexual issues for themselves.

He knew Carrie would be fucking Sergeant Franklin before they were ten miles from the causeway.

Franklin walked to the rear, unchained the girl inside from the truck’s ankle bar and helped her out. She was still in cuffs and shackled. Her chestnut hair and beautiful golden skin clashed with her orange prison jumpsuit.

“I’ll get the cuffs and chains back next time, Captain, as usual,” he said, climbing back into the van.

Porter nodded then watched him drive away quickly...too quickly. Despite his warning, Franklin was too sexually excited to be careful over the causeway. He shook his head in frustration. Sex was both a help and a hindrance to him. He turned towards the new girl.

“My name is Captain Glenn Porter. You can call me Captain. Welcome to the Florida Correctional Facility at Okefenokee,” he said evenly. “We just call it ‘the Swamp.’”

He glanced through the manila folder--manslaughter--then stared at the girl. It seemed impossible that this lovely creature had committed manslaughter. He would read the entire file later and try to get a sense of how much punishment she deserved for the crime. It wasn’t his job to assess the inmates “degree” of guilt, but he always did it anyway. The whole idea of the Swamp was to ensure that “the punishment fit the crime.”

“We have an orientation program for new inmates,” he said softly. “It helps if you understand the Chasten Program and the Swamp’s rules quickly. The officer in charge of orientation is CO Charles Vincent. I will take you to him.”

The Chasten Program was the official name of the program they followed. 

He picked up the come-along. The girl’s mouth fell open when she recognized the asshook.

“We can do this easy or hard,” Porter said, “which would you prefer?”

She just stared. He stepped behind and pulled her shackle chain through her legs until her waist bent then he secured her wrists to her ankles with a lock from his pocket. With practiced easy, he pulled down her orange pants and inserted the greased hook into her ass. She moaned as her sphincter slowly accepted the intruder. In another second, he had the collar secured around her long neck.

“Stand...”

She straightened her body painfully. He released her cuffs and pulled her arms behind attaching them to the come-along bar’s shackles. She stared at him with barely contained outrage.

“Can you pull up my pants, please, Captain,” she hissed. “This is just wrong.”

He looked into her gorgeous eyes.

“Let me give you some advice, Jody Martin. Forget everything you have every learned about right and wrong. You killed a man and we are going to punish you for it. I hope you will accept this and submit to your punishment without a lot of drama. You are also here to learn some better habits so you don’t get into trouble again. I hope you will accept this teaching as well.”

She stared at him, unsure what to say.

He knelt down, released her transport chains, and pulled off her pants along with her prison issued underwear. Using a scissors, he cut off her shirt and prison-bra. She stood naked before him, her arms bound behind, still silent. What could she say? He grabbed the bar in back and steered her down a path to a small utility vehicle, the kind a gardener would use.

The mini-truck had a wire cage in the back. At the top of the cage was a chain, which he hooked onto the top of her bar. It held her in a squatting position on her bent knees. The chin was too high for her to sit on her legs; the cage was too low for her to stand. Every bump in the road jammed the asshook deeper inside.

This was it, Jody thought as the hook savaged her ass. The end of the road, the bottom of the barrel, the lowest point a human being could reach. It was ironic that a simple act of sexual pleasure had been the cause of her descent into this new, even lower level of Hell.