This story is a work of fiction. All resemblances to persons and situations are coincidental. Author assumes no responsibility for persons attempting to recreate situations described in this story.
The writer sat down in the stiff-backed chair provided to her while the man went to go get her subject. The journalism major was having serious second thoughts about this assignment, but she needed a good story to make up for all her slacking, and anything racy would impress the old fart who was her professor.
It had been a nightmare making arrangements for this interview, and more than once, she was ready to throw in the towel on the whole affair until her contact called her earlier that evening. Sheíd balked at the blindfold, but the woman had said it was a requirement for her to do this. It had only been removed when she was led into the small, windowless room, and she sat waiting for her subject to arrive.
Finally, the door swung open, and a hooded man appeared, leading a tall, blonde woman on a chain. She was dressed in a leather bikini, over which was a harness of some sort. A steel collar was locked around her neck, and her hands were cuffed behind her. Her booted feet were also shackled, and she took short, careful steps as the man led her inside and locked the chain to a ring set on the wall. "One hour," was all he said before leaving, locking the door behind him.
Carolyn struggled for words to begin the interview, but the woman saved her the trouble. "So, you wanted to interview a sex slave for a college assignment, eh? Well, here one is," she said evenly, as she knelt on the floor before her. The student felt incredibly awkward as she looked down on the woman.
"Uhhhhh, I. Damn, I, uhhhh, really donít know where to begin. I suppose I should start with your name, huh?" she stammered out, her notepad dangling from her fingertips. The woman rolled her eyes before replying,
"I donít have a name, dear. My master only refers to me as a number. #41, because thatís how many Ďslavesí heís owned. As a matter of fact, Iím not even supposed to tell you what my real name was. Iíd get whipped for sure, and we are being listened to. By the way, got a smoke? This is normally my break for one, but I have to talk with you for now," she asked calmly. Carolyn fumbled in her purse for a pack and produced one for the woman, lighting it up for her. The man had re-cuffed her hands in front of her, and she was able to take it out to talk.
"Thatís more like it. Now, I suppose you want to know how someone ends up like this in the twenty-first century, right?"
"Yeah, sure. You have to excuse me, but this is so far off my weird meter Iím not sure what exactly to ask you..."
"And you expect to be a journalist? I donít know about you, girl. Anyway, I ended up like this because I made a little bet with someone I trusted. I lost. Now, here I am," the blonde said flatly. "I used to be married, had a great job, house, the whole nine yards, but sometimes things change, especially in this world. Once upon a time, I was what was called a Ďdommeí, or dominatrix. You know what that means?"
Carolyn nodded, remembering some of her research into the lifestyle before this interview. "Good. Like I said, I was a domme for years, had a great business going, used to make thousands a week, reliable, dependable clients. I used to vacation in Europe, Hawaii, the Bahamas, you name it. Cars, clothes, jewels, you name it, I had it."
"What happened? I donít know precisely what goes on with what a dominatrix or whatever does, but I did find out they make a lot of money doing what you do. How did you end up like this? Isnít this illegal?" she exclaimed, a sudden fear in her chest that she may be in danger. The chained woman snorted derisively.
"Technically, my master is breaking a few laws, but for the most part, I allowed myself to be here. You see, I had a little problem with cocaine, and I didnít know of any way else to clean myself up. I allowed my now ex-husband to sell me to another dominant to hold me until I was clean, and then for another few years to make sure of that. I tried regular rehab, but it didnít work. This did. The only downside is, now I have to serve out my time as his slave before heíll let me go free.
"I donít understand," Carolyn interjected, scribbling furiously. "You mean to tell me you did this voluntarily to get off coke? And you arenít a real slave after all? Serve your time?"
The blonde took another drag from the cigarette, letting the smoke out decadently as she settled back on her haunches. "Yes, voluntarily. And as for the Ďreal slaveí part of the equation, technically my status is Ďindentured servantí, as I signed a contract for five years with my current master. Aside from that little semantic difference, itís no different than any slave historically would expect. In simple terms, I do what Iím told, when Iím told, and how Iím told. And also with whom Iím told, but we wonít get into that now," she winked, her chains tinkling musically.
"Oh wow... I mean, all right, I understand what you mean, Miss, uh, Ď41í. So, youíre an Ďindentured servantí then, I see. What exactly does that mean, in relation to this lifestyle you lead before?" Carolyn said, trying to at least sound like a real reporter.
"Hmmm, good question. As for what I used to do, it means I donít get to boss around businessmen in my dungeon anymore, and I donít get to travel or even leave this place as I please like I used to. I donít have any money anymore, but then again, I donít have any bills, so it works out. In a way, itís almost relaxing, as long as I go with the program, that is. Oh, and itís just Ď41í, not ĎMiss 41í. ĎSlaveí works too, but I donít expect you to get that comfortable with the term in less than an hour."
"Okay. Sorry. Itís just that this is so far out of my experience I donít... Never mind. So, this is essentially an alternative drug rehabilitation program for you then? Forgive me, but I could think of ways to kick the habit that werenít quite so... rigorous. Was this... your choice, or someone elseís?" the young woman asked. #41 sat back farther, resting her legs from the kneeling position sheíd been in. She motioned for another cigarette, and the girl obliged, lighting it up for her and one for herself as well.
"I know I shouldnít do this while interviewing, but I canít get the feeling that..."
"You might end up like me? Relax. The Guild rarely ever Ďcollectsí someone like yourself, especially when doing something like this. You will leave this place quite unharmed, girl. If they were going to take you, it would have already happened," the chained woman reassured her. "Now, where were we? Ah, yes, whose choice this was... Well, to be honest, while I ultimately agreed to the terms of the contract, it was really several of my friends who staged an intervention about a year ago. My husband wasnít involved, since he was one of the main reasons I got addicted in the first place, but he was convinced to grant me a no-contest divorce, providing I not reveal his complicity. That reason is why Iím here now, so he doesnít get into any trouble over this. Wasnít he nice?" she asked sarcastically. Carolyn had a funny look on her face as she attempted to digest that.
"But isnít talking to me going to make that point a little moot? I mean, my contact did explain to your, uh, Ďmasterí that my article might appear in the college newspaper. Wouldnít that violate your agreement?" she asked carefully.
"Seeing as you donít know my name, I donít see how, and my master has no doubt weighed the consequences of allowing this to go forward, so I donít see any problem at all," #41 said casually. "As I was saying, my friends felt they had to intervene before I killed myself, and Iím glad they chose this way. Iíd actually done a couple of 28- day programs before this, but they never did much but expand my circle of sources for coke. This was the final resort before I burned up, you see."
The student scrawled furiously, her cigarette dangling from her lips. "Interesting! And you say youíve been here for a year? Tell me, what was that like and how much longer will you have to stay here?"
#41 thought for a moment before replying. "Well, to be honest, the first month was pure hell. Here I was, used to doing what I pleased, whenever I pleased, almost a living goddess, especially with my clientele. And then, I find myself straitjacketed for almost a week straight, with the screaming DTs, wishing I never agreed to the contract. Looking back, I know how bad I was getting. Iíd mortgaged my house for blow, lost my car, and half the time Iíd charge for sessions in cocaine. I was a physical wreck when I came here, but Iím better now."
"So, would you say this would be a good way for someone to kick the habit? I donít know about you, but I donít think I could handle being chained like you are right now," Carolyn exclaimed. "Isnít this all kind of extreme?"
"Of course it is! And as for the average druggie, I would say this would be too much, but you have to understand, Iíve been in this scene since I was nineteen, and Iím used to things like this. Someone as vanilla as yourself would probably curl up and die doing the things master put me through, but for me, itís de rigeur. I wonít say I like all the things Iím put through, but whenever I start thinking like that, I remember the last night I spent partying, and waking up in a pool of my own urine, still dressed in a four thousand dollar dress and a mink coat. Believe me, college girl, I was in bad shape when they intervened."
"I see. So, in light of your addiction, this was the best outcome you could have chosen? You said you did rehab before, and it didnít work. Could you expand on that, please?" Carolyn fumbled, still trying to understand the womanís ambivalence regarding her situation.
The chained woman laughed softly as she recounted, "Oh yes, I did. I knew that I needed help, but a domme isnít used to taking orders from those she regards as inferior. A little psychological quirk latent to the profession, I suppose. I was too used to giving the orders, not receiving them, and those namby-pamby counselors failed to take that into account. I managed to fool them all, even though I entered the programs freely. After a day or so of those mindless exercises and group discussions, I decided that I was too good to be there, and proceeded to dominate them like I did everyone else. It worked, because within hours after leaving, I was high as a kite. Do yourself a favor, and never start, if I can give you any advice at all," she added, grinding out the cigarette on the concrete floor. Carolyn stood up.
"Would you like to sit down here? That floor must be painful."
"If I did, Iíd be flogged Ďtil I glowed in the dark. No, thanks, but Iím not permitted to sit in chairs anymore. I either stand, kneel, or lay down. I can sprawl like this, too, and Iím fine with that. And donít say he wonít know, weíre being watched and listened to, I remind you. Anyway, I was back doing all my old, bad habits. My husband was making sure I had my nose filled, thinking it was the best way to keep me around, but he was killing me slowly with his Ďkindnessí. So, a few of my friends in the Guild decided it was up to them to act or lose me forever."
"The Guild? Youíve mentioned that before. What is it?" the student asked, writing again.
"Ahhhh, the Guild. The Slaverís Guild, more precisely, which happens to be a low-key trade organization for dominatrices and dominants who Ďowní slaves. And before you get excited about that, most of our Ďslavesí are simply people who pay for the dubious privilege of being dominated by folks like me. Occasionally, they also own indentured servants, and even real-life sex slaves. Donít write that down, or you wonít leave with your pad. Anyway, they had a meeting, and decided that I needed to be stopped for my own good. They also knew I wouldnít follow through with any normal program, so they chose drastic measures." She pantomimed another cigarette, and Carolyn obliged, putting hers out at the same time.
"By this time, I was in really bad shape. Between what I was getting from the husband, Iíd lost all my cash-paying customers, and the only clients I had paid in product, as it were. Iíd had more than one black-out during sessions, and I looked like hell. Apparently, two of my male friends were tasked with abducting me from what was left of my business, and locking me up in the basement of our club. I was livid, let me tell you, but no one was paying any attention to me anymore. They set me down on a stage and read off everything I was doing, and where I was going if I didnít stop. There I was, naked, bound and gagged, while one by one, my friends and associates read off the things I had been doing. At the same time, a few of the burlier ones were having a little chat with my ex, and convinced him that it was time we parted ways. It was actually quite legal, seeing that most of the members are lawyers and the like. And then, they decided for me. I was to be kept at the club until they made arrangements with my current master regarding my disposition."
"Are you saying they held you against your will? Or, did you at least grudgingly agree?" Carolyn asked, processing what she said. The blonde shook her head.
"One thing about being a Guild member means is, you have to honor a code of conduct and a set of very strict rules. Not only was I in violation of both, but I was a real hazard to the rest of my friendís livelihoods, and risking going to a real jail. I was careless and crazy, doing things no respectable dominatrix would do, acting like a common street whore for my coke. And one thing the Guild doesnít tolerate is anybody threatening their bread and butter. I was suspended indefinitely, and given a choice to get my status back. Either agree to a term of indenture or end up sold off overseas into prostitution. You can see what kind of choice I had, eh?" she smirked.
"Yikes, what a choice! I canít believe anyone should have to make a choice like that ever! You mean to say your friends would have actually sold you into real slavery? Isnít that illegal? I mean, more than this?" she exclaimed, forgetting what sheíd been told earlier.
"Of course," came the unperturbed reply. "The Guild buys and sells slaves every day, all over the world. I would have been duly auctioned off to the highest bidder, anesthetized, boxed up, and shipped overseas. Without getting into details, it wouldnít be pleasant. Much less pleasant than this, I might add. Iím a little long in the tooth for most of the markets, so it wouldnít have turned out well for me at all."
The student fell silent as she took in what the shackled woman said, still not believing what she heard. Taking a deep breath, she continued on a different track.
"Okay, I understand that. Now, how did your Ďmasterí end up getting you? Did he volunteer or what?"
"Oh that was easy. The Guild chose several candidates who would be the best suited for my re-education, and then held a lottery. He drew the short straw, so to speak. Unlike a Ďnormalí indenture, he didnít have to pay out a fee to be put aside for me," #41 replied.
"A fee? I donít understand. Youíre saying that normally he would have paid for you, but because of your position, you were given to him for free?"
"Almost. Normally, an indenture contract is made to provide the servant with a sum upon completion of their term. Many of them sell themselves to repay debts or to make themselves a bankroll. Quite a few are college students seeking to pay off their loans, and some are just attracted to the lifestyle and the prospect of a pay off at the end is tempting. But for me it was different. I threatened the Guild by my actions, and as penance I had to serve a term for nothing more than the return of my property and status within the Guild, although by the time it happened, I didnít have a lot left for them to bank. Like I said, I lost my house, and was doing sessions at clientís houses or motels, like a common whore. All I had left were some of my costumes and equipment, some cash Iíd overlooked, and a nearly empty address book. All I have left to regain is my status, and with it comes everything I lost. If I pass this test, that is."
"What do you mean by Ďpass this testí? Do you mean this interview or what?" she asked, tapping her pen.
"My term. You see, if I donít start over from the bottom again, and work my way up, I wonít ever get my Guild membership again. I wonít be sold, but I wonít be anything more than a slave in their eyes anyway. Iíd be turned away, and have to live my life in the Ďnormalí world. I donít think I could ever do that. If, by the end of my indenture, my master says that I didnít accomplish what he set out for me, I would have a choice: out of the circle altogether, or accepting the status of a submissive and hope a member takes me into their stable as a common slave. Then Iíd be still in the circle, albeit lower than Iíd like, but better than nothing." #41 said nonchalantly, as if discussing the weather.
"So for you, being in the Ďcircleí or the Guild is better than your freedom? I donít get it. I can see where your friends wanted to help you, but I can think of a lot of different ways to go about it than... this..." Carolyn said, gesturing around the windowless room. #41 laughed softly, as she stood up and stretched.
"Iím sure you can, and every one of them would have failed dismally. Itís all in how Iím wired. I needed strict discipline, the kind even prison canít provide, for me to defeat my demon. My master took on a Herculean task when he agreed to take possession of me. Iím stubborn, independent, and spoiled. Iíve had everything handed to me from childhood on, and when I came of age, I learned how to parlay that into a high-paying career. Iím not used to being told no by anyone, and it took quite a bit to calm me down enough for him to even consider allowing me to speak with one of my peers, let alone yourself. Not only did my addiction further alienate myself from normal society, it also distanced me from the society I chose, and our kind takes care of its own. Call it tough love, or what you will. It worked, and is still working. Even if I never get beyond what I am now, Iíll still be where I want to be, not turning tricks in third class saloons for another fix, do you understand?"
Carolyn thought about what she said for a moment, scribbling furiously before replying. "So you would consent to remain like you are... forever, if it was the only way to stay in this... society? Doesnít your freedom mean anything at all to you? Was this really the only way?"
The chained woman merely shrugged as she flexed her legs, still chained at the ankles, her worn knee-high boots scuffing and tapping on the concrete floor. "I hold my freedom dearly, but it was that freedom that was killing me. I never learned about self-control, only controlling others. There was no balance there, no gauge for me to know when Iíd crossed the line. Like I said before, I had become a liability to the Guild, but before they removed me, they gave me one more chance to redeem myself. Please, I donít expect you to understand completely tonight, but someday, take what I say and hold it up to what you hold dear, ask yourself what youíd do."
The student was silent, staring at the naked woman standing there, chained to a wall and talking about freedom like it was the worst thing in the world. Ordinarily, Carolyn only smoked when she drank, or rarely when she needed a boost, but now she clumsily extracted yet another one and lit it. The blonde merely looked at her helplessly, and she handed her another one.
"Okay, I wonít ask you to expand on that. New subject? You said before that you were Ďcontractedí for a certain amount of time. How long is it before you can leave here?" she asked carefully. #41 took her time answering, taking a long drag on her cigarette first.
"Well, the Guild sentenced me to three years indenture, but that can be extended to five if necessary, depending on my behavior. They held me at the club for at least a month before my master could take me, and I think itís been a little more than year since I arrived, so maybe in two more years or so? I have to go on what he tells me, because Iím not supposed to know what day or month it is, and please donít tell me, he told me that was one of your conditions to speak with me."
"I wonít. What if he doesnít think youíre ready? Another two years?"
"If I agree. When the three years are up, I may choose to leave, but I could never return to this life again. Only playing around could I come close, and if I tried to set up as a domme again, Iíd be the target of some very unfriendly people. And if you are about to say Ďwhat if he decides to keep you anywayí, you need to understand what it takes to keep a slave. At a bare minimum, it costs ten to fifteen thousand dollars keeping a slave in your home, more or less. When he needs to work, he needs to get a sitter for me, and he is required to ensure my health. Otherwise, the Guild would punish him, severely. Murdered captives donít make good press for our culture, you know. Unlike the amateurs and psychopaths in the world, the Guild expects slaves and indentures to live long, productive lives, not fill shallow graves. Heíd suffer a terrible fate for allowing me, or any of his other slaves, to die or be injured severely due to his negligence. Think of one of the functions of the Guild to serve as the equivalent of the SPCA. Masterís home and properties are considered open for inspection at any time, and all sales and trades have to be reported. The guild keeps track of the status of every property bought and sold within our... their domain."
"What if it was something uncontrolled, like a heart attack, or an aneurism? What then?" Carolyn asked, shrewdly.
"If necessary, they would arrange an autopsy to be performed. Everything the police would do, but they cut out the middleman. They handle problems like this quietly and effectively, and it doesnít matter if its true slave, me, or some businessman with an executive pass vaporlocking during a scene, they investigate, and if necessary, punish offenders harshly." #41 replied.
"Perverts with ethics..."was all Carolyn could say. "Sorry. I can tell you believe in this... system. I will say it sounds fair, to a point. But I still canít see how you could just surrender yourself to a stranger just to remain in a group that ordered you to be a... slave. The concept is so alien to me"
"You have to live it to understand it, student reporter. And believe me, I donít like everything about this. There are times I hate this place, and I act up, then the master comes and changes my attitude. But then there are times that I revel in my bondage, the feeling of comfort and security that Iím protected against almost anything. A dominatrix has to make that armor herself. Here, itís provided every time I get locked up or tied to something. When Iím worked..." Carolyn interrupted her then.
"Worked? You mean youíre prostituted out? Or something else?" she said quickly. #41 winked at her, blowing a cloud of smoke.
"Well of course Iím worked that way! Iím an adult entertainer, and I like what I do. It helps keep me in room and board, and whateverís left over goes to luxuries now and then. My masterís a married man, and his wife is one of my friends, so heís never had me. If I want to get laid, I have to be tricked out to clients, and believe me, when thereís nothing else to do getting fucked sure beats the boredom around here. Fortunately, sheís a domme as well, and can provide me with a supply of willing slaves to keep me going. It works out both ways, you see," she grinned. "Otherwise, itís just house and yardwork, working in the leather shop, or stripping in the private clubs. Hey, a girlís gotta earn her keep, right? Itís not like I can go back to dominating men anymore," she said, punctuating her statement by jingling her chains.
"It doesnít bother you then, I see. Okay, after youíre Ďworkedí, whatís your everyday life like? Where do you sleep? Where do you take meals and such? What I mean is, how does your daily life compare to what you were used to and how it compares to what a Ďnormalí woman would live?" Carolyn asked, now thinking of a track to follow in her questioning. #41 smiled and nodded.
"Very good, student reporter. Questions like that Iím better at. As for everyday life, Iíve already told you about Ďworkingí out, and I really canít get into details there, but other than that, my day starts later than youíd expect. Master and his wife are late workers, by the nature of our Ďcultureí, and we generally get up around three in the afternoon most days. Then, itís basic housework for me, like cleaning the upper house and the dungeon, maybe some outside work after the sun goes down, not an awful lot of menial labor. Think of a foreign domestic and what youíd ask them to do, and thatís my daily job description. As for my Ďbedroomí, it depends on how Iíve performed each day. On good days, I have a cell that for all intents and purposes is merely a bedroom with a sturdy door, but when Iím bad, it could mean anything from a dog cage to being chained like this to the wall. When theyíre doing Ďvanillaí entertaining, I am housed in the shelter, an old Cold War bomb shelter under the house somewhere. As it compares to my old life, itís day and night. I have to ask permission to enter rooms, to retrieve tools and supplies, even to go to the bathroom." Her answer was interrupted by a male voice speaking firmly through a hidden speaker. "Thirty minutes left."
"Where does the time go?" #41 quipped. "Anyway, as for a Ďnormalí like you, imagine going to the strictest jail imaginable. You arenít allowed to speak freely, use the phone, watch TV. You have to wait for permission to use the bathroom, wear what youíre told or nothing at all, things like that. Other than that, Iím not sure how a Ďnormalí woman thinks. Sorry."
"I understand. You said earlier that you are occasionally Ďworkedí outside this house. Without breaking any rules, what is that like exactly? How do you travel, and what kind of places do you travel to?"
#41 thought about that for a moment. "That is a bit hard to answer without getting into trouble, but Iíll try. When itís time for me to be worked, either Master or Mistress will cuff and hood me after letting me dress in the eveningís outfit, and that changes from day to day. Then itís into the back of the van for the trip to wherever. Sometimes itís somewhere Iíve been before, most times not. Iíve been to bike rallies, private parties, and nightclubs, and have been in conditions from merely wearing a collar to full shackles and chains, depending on the job. Without knowing precisely where Iím being taken, I couldnít say how far Iím taken each time, but Iím reasonably sure I havenít left the state on any outside trips. Will that do?" she asked, looking slightly nervous.
"Yes it will. Let me ask you this, do you feel uncomfortable being here, naked and chained in front of a stranger? And what would you hope is the outcome of this interview today?" Carolyn asked, looking at her watch quickly.
"Hmmm, well, as for the Ďnaked and chainedí part, itís actually pretty easy, considering it was how I got into the scene in the first place. Years past, when I was still in school, I had to take the bottom part at first to earn my place and get recognized. This part of it I deal with quite well, and as for being seen like this by you, itís not a problem either. I was an exotic dancer for a while as well, and every week I get displayed to strangers as part of my penance to the Guild. As for what may come from an article that may never be printed, I canít tell you, but if it exposes a slice of our worldview, I suppose that would be good. At least maybe the normal world might understand what makes us tick, and that we arenít necessarily bad people, just different."
"I guess that will have to do then, #41. Is there anything else you feel like you wish to talk about?" Carolyn asked, having come to the end of her written questions. The blonde returned to her kneeling position, and she offered another cigarette, which she refused.
"Other than it is nice to speak with someone who isnít issuing commands, I canít think of anything at all. If youíre done, you can always call the master and leave, as you are here in the middle of what is considered my bedtime," she said politely. The student reporter blushed and nodded.
"Iím sorry. Yes, I am, and I would like to say thank you for speaking with me, and I hope that this all works out for you in the end. Maybe someday we will meet again and can go back over this?"
"Perhaps we can, student reporter. Master? This slave is ready to return to her cell!" she called out to the ceiling. Shortly afterward, the door unlocked and swung open, and the hooded man returned with the blindfold for Carolyn. "Good-bye, #41! Take care of yourself," she said, as he led her out. "You as well, student reporter. Another time!" came the reply from the chained woman on the floor. Wordlessly, the man led her out of the house and into a car.
They drove for almost twice as long as it took to get there, stopping at last. "You may remove your blindfold, miss. Have a nice day, and please remain facing the wall until I blow my horn," was all he said. "I understand," she said, keeping her eyes squeezed shut as well until she heard the honk. He had dropped her off a few blocks from the cafť her contact had arranged the meeting at, and she walked briskly towards it, her mind racing with the possibilities.
"Either the professor will give me an A or heíll swear I made the whole thing up," as she riffled through her notes. "But if they print this, what a story it would be! Maybe I can do a series based on this, too!"
Entering the cafť, her contact had long since departed, but the waitress motioned her to the counter and handed her an envelope. "That fella you were here with said for me to give this to ya, honey. Coffee?" she asked, brusquely. Carolyn nodded absently as she tore open the envelope. Inside, it read,
I hope you enjoyed your meeting today. If youíre interested in learning more about us, enclosed is a guest pass for one of our clubs. Good luck on the assignment.
She folded it up and tucked it into her purse as her coffee arrived. Maybe a series based on this might not be such a bad idea after all, she thought, reflecting on her experience. Thereís more here that I need to find out about...