Saturday, 6 March 2010

Miss Adventure

This is 300 words or so I first wrote a couple of years ago. At various points I looked at it and thought it would be good to add more, make it a more rounded story. But I think it would be tiresome if the basic conceit was overextended...


She was lying on the floor of the cage, hands roughly tied behind her back. She had no idea how she'd come to be in this position, and wondered if it would become clear in a page or two. Probably not, she decided. Porn always tends to cut straight to the sex and the pain, not lingering on preliminaries.

On the other side of the room, her torturer (at least, she assumed that would be his role) was parenthetically assembling his tools. Squinting through the curled bars of her cage – were they supposed to look like question marks? – she could make out commas, together with one fat semi-colon; and he was laying out a series of exclamation marks, as though they were different weights and grades of flogger!

After several sentences in which he ignored her, concentrating solely on the tools of his trade, he turned. She felt exposed, not by virtue of being tied and caged, but because, as she came to realise under the gaze of description, her skirt had ridden up as she twisted on the floor, exposing her thighs.

'Well now, Miss Adventure,' the man said, 'I think it's time to begin.'

So she had a name. Not, of course, that it was useful to her at that moment. It was merely a convenient proper noun. And he was wrong about it being time to begin. Her captivity, her vulnerability, his ability to do whatever he wanted to her, had begun four paragraphs earlier.

As he approached the cage she gasped involuntarily. In his right hand he held a short but wicked-looking en-dash - and she remembered reading, in a previous story, how badly those damn things could tear into text – leaving it flayed – almost as if dissected –disarticulated – abstracting her from any semblance of sense or sensibility.

She tried to protest, but the gag in her mouth reduced speech to an ellipsis of full stops…

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