The first day at the labour champ was bad enough but the second was far worse.
They were awoken at dawn by the not so gentle tones of their female guard and far from gentle wraps of her rattan cane.
“Get up you whores. Outside in fifteen minutes, the last one out will feel my cane.” She hissed quietly. “And that means you too fang.”
They stumbled together to do their toilet ablutions getting in each others way in the predawn light that filtered through the little windows. Juliet decided she would go out last as she could barely feel the cane through her tough hide. She was lying of course they all knew that but none wished to argue with her at least not this early in the morning.
Once outside they endure role call after Juliet duly got the cane across her buttocks, it must have hurt more than she expected as a tear came to her eye but other than that she was silent. She wasn’t going to give the guard the pleasure of knowing she was hurt. Women from some of the other huts were not so sanguine and cried out when they were beaten.
Once the roll call was completed they were marched out of the camp and up a dusty road north while some of the others went south, east and west. Any thoughts of overcoming the guard they had was soon quashed by the arrival of three burly female guards under the command of the young lieutenant who looked very ill at ease. Dannia stored that away for use later at that moment her main concern was to keep up with the others to avoid a beating.
When they arrived at where they were to work Dannia just froze. Before them was a mine digging for iron ore but it wasn’t that sight that made her heart turn to ice it was the emaciated figures that were leaving the mine entrance. Figures so thin that you could see every bone, every sinew, as they shuffled out of the mine like so many zombies blinking in the morning daylight. With the sun rising they were forced to strip and enter the flickering candle lit world of the mine. Children were entering from another entrance and Dannia’s group scanned them for faces they knew but could find none that were familiar. In that dark world they were allocated their tasks. Dannia was to crawl down quite steep shaft’s dragging a large trough affair on runners behind her to the miners in the main shaft below. Once there she would pick up a full one for the return trip back to the girls, where they would sort and load the rock on to wagons which Juliet would drag to the surface. Juliet’s task would normally be carried out by three or four people but she had to do it totally alone which was a strain even for her.
Dannia paused in the first shaft she descended and pulled a long loaf from her leg pouch and swiftly ate a piece. Dannia knew that in these conditions she would swiftly loose condition and that could equally swiftly lead to death in this environment. Down the shaft she crawled, the stones digging in her palms and knees as she went. When she reached the bottom she found a small girl of around eight sitting by a door lit by a solitary candle that guttered in the cold breeze that blew down the shaft. When she drew near the child looked up revealing a tear streaked dirty face.
“Is it sunny outside miss?” She asked plaintively. Yes Dannia replied it was and that it would, in all likelihood, be very hot. The girl nodded and told her that she was the first adult she had seen doing that job as it was normally the boys. The boys were nice to her, she said, and would play with her and make her feel nice. Would she?
It took a moment for Dannia to understand and when she did she was appalled, wasn’t the girl suffering enough without the boys taking advantage of her. But then again how could she blame them for getting some solace some pleasure in this bleak world of their existence. When she declined the girl opened the door and let her through.
“If you want to come back knock on the door three times and I’ll let you in.” The child told her as she went through into a larger shaft. If she had any idea of escape it was soon squashed by the sight of leather clad overseers armed with whips and clubs patrolling the main shaft and striking out at anyone who faltered or hesitated in their task. It was like a scene from hell. Against one wall two of the overseers were raping most cruelly a young blond girl in her middle teens. Their combined shadows thrown eerily on to the wall by the flickering torches.
“When you have finished with that whore I want you down shaft eight as relief.” Another called obviously in charge of the guards.
Teenagers dashed forward and took the empty trough and harnessed Dannia to a full one that was piled up with jagged stones for the return trip. With considerable effort she got it to move toward the doorway. She knocked three times and the child let her through to begin the ascent up the narrow tunnel. When she reached the women above her hands and knees were bloody from small cuts caused by the sharp stones that littered the tunnel floor.
“Are you alright little Angel?” Beatrix called in a pause between Juliet pulling a full wagon away and putting an empty one in its place. Everyone shone with sweat as they toiled at empting and sorting the rocks in the troughs the boys and Dannia had delivered into the larger wagons for Juliet to pull away.
And so it went on hour after unrelenting hour with nothing but tepid water to drink and a bucket to pee in, and that had be done in front of everyone.
The guards laughed at them and treated them like some lesser species, tripping Juliet over twice to see if she could get up again before the wagon she was pulling ran her over.
At last as the sun began to set their shift ended and they were allowed to give themselves a rudimentary wash with buckets of cold river water before dressing and being led back to the labour camp totally exhausted.
As they entered the compound, following other work parties they became aware of the women in the opposite hut weeping profusely as they were struck by canes and driven into their hut.
Beatrix lifted a questioning eyebrow which Dannia replied with a shrug as they were lined up before their own hut for role call.
“Right you whores you’re going to have to do better than that tomorrow you need to increase output by twenty five percent.” Their guard told them. “But it’s not bad for a first day and certainly better than the previous occupants of this hut ever managed. There is food inside and I suggest you rest as your going to do it all again tomorrow.” There was no humour in her smile just pure unadulterated venom. “Oh and you better not be last out tomorrow fang or you will all suffer.”
Once inside they dragged their weary bodies to the central table where a hot pot of porridge sat along with a half loaf of dusty harsh bread, but no knife or butter, met their eyes.
“Is this it?” Fran moaned.
“It looks like it lass.” Beatrix replied. “I don’t think we’re going to survive for very long if this is all were going to get.
“I think that’s the general idea. They are going to work and starve us to death. While we die we help their war machine.” Dannia muttered as she tried to get the many little cuts on her hands and knees clean.
“Are you alright Angel? Here let me have a look?” Beatrix asked. She collected some water from her washing ewer in a bowl and began dabbing the cuts and scratches while muttering some sort of prayer under her breath. When she had done she looked tired and drawn even her lips were cracked and dry as for the water in the bowl it had gone. The cuts and scrapes on Dannia’s hands had gone too, they were perfectly healed.
Beatrix looked at the others.
“Any of you need healing?” She asked but apparently none did thank goodness as Fran brought her a mug of water to drink.
“I can do healing massage if any of you need it.” Fran offered. “What about you little Angel you’ve been crouched over all day.
Dannia had to agree that her muscles were cramped and aching, especially her back, and could do with gentle manipulation to loosen them. Under instructions she stripped off and laid face down on a long bench in the bathing area before Fran did her work. Fran’s long fingered hands kneaded, stroked and pushed against the muscles that ran from her buttocks along her spine to her neck, easing any tension she found there. Dannia sighed in pleasure from the heat the woman’s hands generated and the almost euphoric feeling the freed muscles gave her. The fingers massaged her legs and buttocks slipping up her inner thigh almost to her seat of pleasure before retreating again. Dannia turned over to receive a healing massage to her temples to find Fran equally naked, her pert young breasts dangling above her face. As the girl massaged her forehead Dannia lifted a hand and with the back of her fingers gently stroked with feather like touches the rosy nipples that swung back and forward above her lips. Fran stopped what she was doing and looked down questionably into Dannia’s up turned features her mouth slightly open. Dannia snaked a hand up over Fran’s neck and drew her down into a warm kiss, her agile tongue exploring the girls mouth and twisting around the tongue it found there.
“Ahem! Ahem!!” Beatrix coughed to get their attention. Reluctantly they parted to find Beatrix perched uncomfortably on the other end of the bench.
“Now girls don’t be too hasty in your, err endeavours shall we say. We are in an unusual set of circumstances, women thrust together so to speak and it would be surprising if emotions didn’t run high and that could land any of us in a situation we could regret later. Just hold fire awhile till you’re more certain it’s what you want.” The poor cleric was going red with embarrassment.
Dannia trotted over to the bunk unit she and Fran shared and after pulling herself up she pulled out an apple from under her meagre bed clothes, a red juicy apple. It was one she had recovered from the bag attached to her leg earlier and intended to eat later when every one was asleep.
“Don’t ask where I hid it you don’t want to know, but on second thoughts you better wash it first.” She threw it down to Fran who caught it deftly. “I don’t know how you’re going to share it fairly between the eight of us especially as we don’t have a knife.”
“Where did you hide it Angel?” Juliet asked. “Here?” She asked pointing upward into her anus, “Or here?” she added pointing upward once more this time in the area of the vagina.
Dannia replied by pointing at her front passage which wasn’t far from the truth.
They sat quietly for awhile as they ate before Dannia asked whilst licking the juices of her fingers.
“That lot of walking corpses from the inner compound do any of you know who they are? Come to think of it any idea of what happened to our witch Louisa and mage Katrina?”
The other women looked a little shame faced as if reluctant to answer for fear of upsetting her.
“They are mages and sorceresses Angel and they have been rapidly reduced to that state so they don’t have any energy left to store or use magical energy.” The druid explained. “As for Louisa she was at the back almost as desiccated and enfeebled as the rest.”
“But how, she was as vital as us before we were caught?” Dannia asked with an attempt of wide eyed innocence as it occurred to her how it could be done.
“They probably used a poison or drug maybe even magic of their own to reduce them to shambling husks.” Beatrix conjectured. “By keeping them like that they neutralise any threat they could pose. Now I think we should all rest if we’re going to survive tomorrow.”
None could deny they were exhausted but Dannia was worried. With out proper food and training she was going to lose her form and edge and that simply meant death in her trade.
She had been in her bunk only a few moments before Fran joined her. Dannia smiled up at the young woman quite happy to take advantage of what was on offer after all she told herself any port in a storm will do. Her lips caressed the druids rose nipples whilst her hand ran down her back. Fran lay back as Dannia straddled her rubbing herself against her. A moan escaped Fran’s lips as Dannia’s foot explored the other lips she possessed.
“Shut up you pair, if you’ve got to fuck, do it quietly for all our sakes.” Juliet whispered hoarsely. “But better still save your energy for tomorrow.”
Dannia had to agree to the last sentiment as she slid off her new conquest and laid her head on the girl’s breasts.
“Sorry Fran, I’m just far to tired but it was nice though.” She said sadly. “I think you better go back to your own bunk or we will end up with cramp.”
The young druid didn’t reply. Dannia lifted her head up and looked at her face to find she was in a deep exhausted sleep. She cursed under her breath as she realised she had made a rod for her own back. There was no way now to get up into the roof space and get out of the hut to explore with the young woman asleep beside her. Dannia suddenly realised that her head was dropping and that sleep was trying to overtake her. Tiredness would be her enemy out there in the dark making any excursion suicidal. With that thought she fell into an exhausted sleep.