The ground was cold, and hard, too hard if you were asked an opinion, but right this moment no one cared about your comfort. You ached all over, though you weren’t quite sure why. Even breathing was a struggle, like trying to draw breath through a narrow polystyrene tube tied into multiple knots, and packed with metal shavings. Through the fog of pain you grasped for some sort of sense of where you were, and what had happened. Slowly at first fleeting images came to you. They were disconnected with no sort of cohesive semblance as to what had happened, or why, but as you tried to shuffle your memories into order, things started to become clear. A flash of fear. A feeling of being discarded? No, abandoned. You were beaten? No, suddenly you remembered you’d be tossed aside, like so much rubbish. You had been deemed worthless, a waste of money and time. Sold? Yes, sold. For a moment you contemplated why someone would sell you, but then the flood gates of your memory burst wide open, the images coming freely now, drowning in sensations and emotions that threatened to overwhelm you.
A desert town had been the place you called home. You had been just another worker, belonging to a small company. For the most part your life had been simple, with no real complications - eat, work, sleep, repeat. You had honestly loved your job, and you were good at it. You got to play with tools, building dedicated machines of entertainment, with delicate circuitry that you were suited for with your slender hands. While the Masters appreciated your talent, your Boss had seen you as a threat. He’d been convinced you were there to take his job, and he wasn’t about to be replaced by some female! It had taken him some time, but eventually he’d won the war and none of the other workers had stood against him; to fearful for their own jobs and well being, they had turned a blind eye, though they grumbled behind the Boss’ back at your unjust treatment. It didn’t matter, you were broken, and the Masters, who had once praised your skills, had casually tossed you aside.
Shaking your head you tried to stop the flood of memories, trying to raise yourself to hands and knees, but it was no use. Bringing your blurry vision into focus became easier once you picked an object; a simple bed. The steal frame was basic; legs and a base. The mattress normally wouldn’t have been something you’d have lain on; perhaps that’s why you were on the floor. There was a threadbare piece of fabric as an excuse for a blanket, and something lumpy that you guessed passed for a pillow, at least that’s what you were hoping it was masquerading as. The rest of the room was bare, just four walls with what must be a door panel in one, and the bed, nothing more, nothing less. But what was this place? Lit panels were scattered across the ceiling, providing a soft light that wasn’t flattering in the least, but it was hands down better compared to the odor that hung heavy in the air. The smell was a cross between rust, a locker room, and feet; enough to make even the most stalwart threaten to lose their last meal. You gave the room a second glance, searching for a distraction from the stench, only then noticing what must have been a view screen or a monitor of some sort, the surface appearing dark and inactive. More memories started to return, and you brought your hand to your forehead as if the gesture alone could stop the sorrow and pain that came with this batch.
Normally when you’re done with a tool you put it away, but if it no longer works what do you do? Usually someone would just throw the defective tool away, and that’s what had happened with you. Of no more use, your Masters sold you for whatever they could get. As a female no longer good for physical labor, that left only a couple options, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise when you were purchased by a Mistress who ran a brothel. The rules at the brothel had been simple, and following the rules meant rewards; fail to follow the rules, and the consequences were severe. Oh beatings weren’t something you had to fear, not unless that’s what the client wanted, but there were things far more devious your Mistress had come up with as ways of punishment. For starters food became a privilege, not a right. Initially that didn’t bother you. You’d always been strong willed, determined, an alpha-type personality, or as the Mistress referred to you ... Stubborn. Stupid Stubborn. At first it was just food that was taken from you. Then you were chained. Heavy manacles on both wrists that could connect to one another, and an uncomfortably tall, heavy collar to match. The collar forced your chin up high, causing your neck to cramp so you couldn’t relax your head, let alone look down. Neither collar or cuffs were padded, or properly sized, and would chafe’ with even the smallest amount of movement. Frequently your wrists were connected by a chain to your collar; sometimes in the front, sometimes in the back, both were various shades of discomfort. To make matters worse a second chain would be attached to your collar, and then to a ring in the wall of your pen. Yes, that’s right, you didn’t have a room. The guests got rooms, but the working girls had pens or cells.
After enough torture you had managed to fall into a bit of a rhythm, finding a way to mentally hide yourself away while you let yourself be used. It was only your body, not your soul; that was something you would never surrender. Every so often, if the guest was too lewd, you would refuse, and another girl would be brought to satisfy the customer. As a result you would get the night off, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t without punishment. To refuse a guest was one of the few times the Mistress would hurt you. With that dreaded collar tight around your neck so that the steel cut into your flesh if you let your head sag even an inch, you would find yourself gagged and stripped bare, bound flat on your back to a bed. The Mistress would then take her slender cane and crack it across the soles of your feet till the blood ran freely. But it didn’t end there unfortunately, that was only the beginning. While the rest of the girls worked the Mistress worked on you. Even the bouncers, burly men hired for their muscle and ill temperament, were permitted their way with you. Mistress permitted them to hit, and they liked to, though at least they never broke any of your bones.
You blink a few times at that memory as the bile rises in the back of your throat, your hand moving to relieve the phantom pain of the collar still around your neck. Your fingers brush at the scar just below your hairline, a hint of shock that it is skin instead of cold metal. You shudder, then again, till they rack your body as your mind reels, remembering what you’d endured, the things you did, performed on command like a trained animal waiting to be thrown scraps for a job well done. But while your body may have submitted, your soul never did; you were a survivor, and you did what you needed to.
One night you were assigned to a guest, a special guest. Like any night that any girl worked you had been scrubbed almost raw, scraped clean of any unnecessary body hair, powdered, perfumed, painted, and dressed in a scandalous manner that really left very little to the imagination. The usual attire for the girls was a slender band of fabric around the bust, and a skirt of sorts; tonight you wore one that was more like a loin cloth, connected by delicate chains on either side. Your hair had been twisted and pinned up at the nape of your neck, save for a few tendrils, and the white lock of hair that fell to either side of your face. You slowed your breathing, mentally steeling yourself for what was to come, and forced what you hoped was a seductive smile to your lips. You opened the door and there in the flickering light of the candles you got your first glimpse of whom you’d be entertaining this evening.