At nineteen years of age, Pennie Irvine was too young to be pulling beers in a wine bar, in Adelaide or anywhere else. But, her boss recognised her easy manner with the customers and was not reluctant to take advantage. His clients liked it when the pretty and vivacious Pennie took their orders and, those orders came more frequently. The clients also came back more often.
The only down side was that it was after eleven each night when she walked back to her rented room. It only took around ten minutes and the streets were well lit. Mostly, she enjoyed the walk and the cooler night air after being in the smoke-filled bar for a few hours. She never felt there was any danger in her walk. Until that night.
As she walked home the previous night, she’d seen that another street lamp had burned out. That meant two in a row and that stretch of road was left quite dark. This night, somebody stepped out of a doorway behind her and put one hand over her mouth while using his free arm to pull her in tight.
“Keep silent, bitch, and I won’t have to kill you.” He removed his hand from her mouth but stood ready to slap it back on if she tried to scream. His other hand still held her pressed tightly to him.
“What do you want?” she said, as if she couldn’t guess. “Don’t hurt me, please.”
“That’s up to you. Are you going to behave?”
She nodded and, before she could react, he slipped a loop of rope around her neck and began to pull it tight.
“Now, you are my bitch. I’ve got you on a leash, just as all dogs should be. Keep quiet, and heel.”
He pulled her roughly along and she could feel the noose tightening. They got to an alleyway and he pulled her deep into the darkness towards the end. The moon was out but only a little light penetrated into the alley. She had no doubt he intended to rape her.
‘Try to trick him into thinking he’s got you beat,’ her friend Frank had taught her. He was a street fighter and had insisted on teaching her some of his moves when Pennie told him she was leaving home. Now, Pennie relaxed as much as possible, knowing there was no point trying to scream. It wasn’t going to get help to her fast enough.
They reached the end of the alley and he manoeuvred her behind a large bin. Then, he used his forearm pressed hard against her throat to hold her against the brick wall. “Get your pants down,” he growled.
She obeyed him but made sure they went all the way down, not left tangled around her feet. ‘Always, be ready to use your feet, even if only to run away.’ Frank’s words, again.
“Now, we’re going to have some fun, right?” the man said. A flick knife was in his other hand and he flashed it close to her eyes. “You want this?”
She shook her head and forced tears from her eyes. “No,” she croaked.
“Good then. Stand still.”
He thought he had her, for sure, and he casually took half a step back to drop his own trousers and underwear. He didn’t care they pooled on his shoes. It wasn’t his feet he was planning to use! There was enough light for her to see that he was only semi-tumescent. She watched his right hand go down to his cock, so he could pump some more life into it but, before he could do so, she brought her right knee up hard, into his balls. He was standing too close for her to kick, which Frank had taught her would be her best defence. A girl has to improvise, sometimes.
He grunted and bent at the waist, cradling his injured manhood with both hands. He was in pain. Pennie shoved him away from her and watched as he tripped over his own trousers, just as she hoped he would. He fell, hard. “You bitch,” he grunted.
She could have just run but Frank would have been disappointed. Instead, she took the noose from around her neck and, as he still writhed on the ground, managed to slip it over his ankles. She pulled the noose tight and then pulled the loose end up behind his back. He spun around to grab the rope but that left his groin unprotected. She jumped on him with the boots Frank had given her when she left. She watched him pull into the foetal position again before she delivered a kick to the back of his head. Breathing heavily, she stood looking down on him. It didn’t look as if he was getting up. She turned then, and ran.