50 days since my abduction. My resolution to escape this nightmare did not fade, it felt like it is a sort of victory on Renneville, because it is most probably what he would have expected that I submit … what I have seen in a few of the girls who arrived after me … they submitted to this silly new condition that was proposed to them. Not me, my parents always tells me I am a stubborn, I think they are definitely true, but in such a situation, this is definitely a strength. Actually, it was also a question of survival, I have seen some of these girls, who shared my condition and accepted their fate quickly, vanish … no more trace of them … I had no idea what happened to them, but I had no intention to experiment it by myself, so better to resist a little, at least I was kept here: it is easier to escape from a place you know well.
I perfectly remember that day, it was sunny outside, I could see the rays of the sun filtering in the barn, I could even consider this to be beautiful … even in this hatred barn. In a nearby stall was Darla, another girl who arrived apparently a few weeks before me. This at least, what I caught from a conversation between Renneville and Honey. Darla was a kind of favorite of Honey, she spent a lot of time out of her stall being trained and making Honey proud of her. I was quite the contrary actually, and I felt Honey did not appreciate me very much. Still, I was not jealous of Darla. This feeling would actually be a non-sense, this is them we put us into this situation, and I would never consider trying to get the attention or favours of our captors. Never!
Renneville arrived, whistling in the barn, apparently in a good mood for a change. He stopped by Darla’s stall and opened the door. She gently followed him, expressing her happiness, as she usually does, by mimicking horse sounds. It has always sounded ridiculous, but I know for sure, this is what Renneville wants and likes. One of his numerous ways to humiliate us and make us feeling more like the beast he would like us to be. This is why I always refused to do that. They stopped by my stall and Renneville displayed his usual smirk when he spoke to me.
-“All right Emily, we are finally going to train you at cart pulling. You will be partnered with Darla who is quite skilled into it, you are very lucky you know.”
I faked a smile, he knew all too well that I was provoking him, but he did not react, he simply stared at me longer than usual. I shivered, I knew he had something in mind from this moment, and I felt it was not going to be good, not at all. He finally opened the door of my stall and installed a leash on my head harness. No doubt he did not have the same confidence in me than he had in Darla. Despite his madness, he is quite smart.
He led us to the parking where all the carts are and stopped by a 2-ponies one … of course. He started by me and secured me to the big cart, I looked behind me, and started to fear the heavy cart. “What if I fall, and the heavy cart roll over me?” I thought. Happily I was better in my hoof-boots, I would not say I could run with them, but at least I could walk without falling or hurting my toes in them. He must have detected my fear as he smiled and said:
-“Don’t worry Emily, you will be fine. It is always impressive the first time, but you will have Darla by your side.” While saying that, he was securing Darla on the cart as well. She seemed quite happy and did not seem to worry … actually it felt a bit reassuring.
Renneville did a last check on the ties and smiled probably satisfied.
-“We are good to go!” he said slapping my bottom. I slightly jumped. It is sad for me to admit this, but I get into the habit of it. At this moment I really felt like the beast they wanted me to be: I was nearly naked, dressed in this ridiculous tack making me look like a horse, bits in my mouth, a tail fitted in my bottom and finally tied to a cart with a fellow mate who seemed to enjoy her fate. It strengthened my resolution to try to flee as soon as I can.
He get onto the cart and took the whip and the lead in hand. The brake creaked as Renneville loosened it up and I could feel then the weight of the cart pulling us backward. Immediately Darla arched herself to prevent the cart rolling and I mimicked her.
-“Good girls!” I heard him say. “Now Emily, you let Darla drive the ride, and better behave if you don’t want to feel the whip.” One second later, he cracked the whip just above my head, and Darla arched and pulled, and I did the same. Slowly, at the expense of intensive efforts, we put the cart into motion. The whip cracked quickly a few times again above our heads, making me to bend my head in fear of being touched, and Darla pulled the cart to the right, towards the tunnel, as if she responded to a sort of command, which I realized was probably a sort of code with the whip.
We slowly maneuvered and finally entered the tunnel where a few more cracks made us to actually accelerate and soon I was running besides Darla, pulling the heavy cart and Reneville on it. I was really frightened to loose balance or slip on the smooth tiles of the path, in particular with those crazy hoof-boots. We reached the end of the tunnel, and I was already out of breath. Pulling the cart was really physically intense, Darla seemed to go fine though … I wondered how I could continue longer like this. As if reading my mind, Renneville cracked the whip again, this time to order us to slow down. We were approaching a descent and he made us to halt just before we went down. I was breathing heavily, Darla looked at me as if to support me.
-“All right Emily, I let you one minute to catch your breath. Emily, you will not try to hold the cart in the descent, it is too heavy, you just run, letting it push you until you reach the end of the descent. I will activate the brake to avoid it to accelerate too much. If you try to hold it, you will fall, you understand?”
I stomped once to acknowledge.
-“Good girl!” he said, appreciating I answered him this way. “Ok, we take the path down and then we stop. Ready girls?” Darla stomped, I sighed and stomped as well a few seconds later. He cracked the whip again and Darla pulled and sent us in the descent, just after I could feel the strong push of the cart, I was terrified and focused to run as fast as I could, I gasped when I fell my right foot slipping on the tiles. I do not know how I managed it, but I did not fall and we reached the end of the descent. A few seconds later we were arching ourselves to stop the cart. He clasped his hands behind us.
-“Good girls! Congratulations, you are getting it Emily, soon you will be as skilled as Darla. For today, we will just do one tour of the estate.”
The whip cracked again and I and Darla pulled on our legs to make it on the move again, it was exhausting. He made us exercise all along the path: run, walk, stop, run again, enjoying each time the fact that we had to make huge effort to maneuver the heavy cart. I was heavily sweating and all my muscles were aching. I never thought as myself as a sporty one, but this, was beyond sport, it was physical torture, nothing less. One of the worst moment was the last long ascent of the course … he made us accelerate at full speed one hundred meters before the ascent, I was already exhausted then, and then we had to try to maintain the cart moving all along the ascent, I thought we would never succeed. It was without counting with Darla, who definitely gave all her strength, and was able to make us to reach the top.
Renneville drove us to the parking where we maneuvered the cart one last time. He jumped down the cart and stood in front of us, his hands behind his back and smiling. I did not dare to stare at him, I was too exhausted to try to fight him in his little humiliation games, the only thing I wanted then is to be brought back in my stall and be alone.
-“I am very proud of you girls. You have done an amazing job.” He marked a pause. “You are now trained enough to be considered true ponies of the ranch.” He smiled marking a second pause. I shivered, feeling something bad was about to come. My instinct was definitely true. “It is time for you to be branded.”
I screamed in despair despite the bits in my mouth. I could see Darla turned white as well, but on the contrary of me, she remained, at least apparently, very calm. Renneville untied Darla and attached her lead to the cart. He then approached me with a half-smile and untied me, he seemed to wait for my provocation or my revolt, he was definitely enjoying my distress, our distress, I could feel this, I could read this in his mad eyes. There was no way, I would let them do that to me. I have seen the horrible scars let by the branding on many of the girls, as if we were cattle. In his mind, we were, there are no doubts about it. I could only imagine the pain it must be, the iron burning the flesh.
I felt my anger growing inside, and soon I was out of control. I pulled at my lead and tried to kick him and to escape. He chuckled while dodging, he was expecting me to react like this. He was all too happy. He pulled hard on the lead, which made the bits to trigger an unbearable pain in my mouth. I fought him but there was no hope of winning.
-“Calm down Emily!” he shouted. “You calm down now or you will be punished!” he continued pulling on the lead even harder. I was as much in fear than in panic, I finally successfully kicked him, and the hoof-boots are actually a good weapon. He screamed in pain and let the lead falling. This was my chance! I dashed to the tunnel not knowing really where to hide, but I had to tempt this. I unfortunately slipped on the tiles and this time I heavily fell. Renneville was on me seconds later. He harshly put me on on my legs and pulled on leash, dragging me in fury along the barn.
-“You should not have done that Emily, ho no, you are going to be isolated now.” We approached the isolation unit and I knew what was on for me now. I screamed in terror, and pulled on the lead. He slapped me hard on the face and I fell hardly on the floor. He pushed one of the button of the console and I saw the infamous glass cells appearing from underground.
He played with the console again and one of the unit opened itself. I tried to resist his catch but, once again, I had to conclude he was stronger than me, and he threw me in. I jumped on my feet, but too late, the door was closing … trapping me in this tiny space. I started to cry and gasp, I panicked, there were not enough fresh air, I will die asphyxiated.
The worst was to come, I fell the floor vibrating and the big machine was now burying me alive. I screamed in horror, kicked the glass cylinder with my boots, but no, it was robust. It was designed to resist any human assault. I saw the sunlight disappear, soon I was in the complete dark.
I sat down, shivering. I took my head in my hands and tried to control my phobia. I slowed down my breathing rhythm, inspiring deeply. I tried to convince myself that I would not miss fresh air. I do not know how much time I stayed immobile like this, but I gained by the control on my nerves. I stood up in the dark, waiting. I could hear noises outside … hoof-boots and horse noises … I wondered if it was Darla.
The more I wait, the more my fear was strong … and if he actually wanted to asphyxiate me … all those horrible scenarios of dead turning in my head, I was terrified. The temperature in the little cylinder was increasing slowly and the air was definitely less and less breathable.
Suddenly, all the system vibrated again and I fell I was moving up to the surface again. I blinked when the sunlight entered again in the glass cell. I could see that Honey joined Renneville, and Darla was still there. Finally the door opened and I could breath the fresh air again, I jumped outside. Renneville intercepted me and caught my lead. He looked at me with hate.
-“Are you going to fight me again?” I shook my head terrified. “Good, good, Honey joined me as you see. We are going to brand you and Darla …” he marked a pause and smiled devilishly … “Now! Understood?” I stepped back and gulped terrified. I nodded. He slapped my face. “Stomp! This is how a ponygirl communicate!” I stomped. “Good”.
Without any care he grabbed my lead and led me where I knew was the branding station (from my visit the first day on the island with Honey). Honey was following us, pulling Darla behind her. She looked terrified, her face white, and her expression frozen. We passed by the fire, Renneville and Honey apparently did not loose their time while I was trapped underground, they prepared everything, the iron was laying in the flames. This is when I lost my nerves, I burst into cries, unable to control my fear anymore. Renneville threw me on the wooden post designed especially for this cruel task, bent me over and tied me tight on it. I could feel the ropes burning my ankles, they were so tight, but I guessed the goal was precisely to prevent me from moving, which it was actually doing very well. I was shaking in fear, I could not control it, I was terrified.
-“That will be over in a minute Emily, don’t worry I will not make you wait for too long” he said while walking towards the fire where he grabbed the iron. The iron made a terrifying noise when extracted from the flames, whistling while in contact of the air, it was red, am horrible flashy red. He came back to me brandishing the menacing iron. He placed himself behind me and I could feel the heat radiating on my naked bottom. I tried to yell but my throat was so tight that I could only manage an inaudible whine.
-“We are doing you a great honor Emily” he said in a formal tone as if giving a pitch to a crowd. “You will soon be branded, and will have to proudly wear those marks. Are you ready Emily?” I shook my head like crazy as an answer. “That does not matter” he said just before I felt the unbearable pain on my buttock, it made a grilling noise and I could smell the odor of a grilled chicken … it was no chicken, it was my flesh burning under the iron. I nearly fell unconscious and yelled so loud that I broke my voice in the process.
I do not exactly remember what happened next, but apparently Renneville quickly untied me and threw me sitting in a bucket of cold water. Was it supposed to ease the pain? I have no idea if it was the intention but I can tell you it was not the case. I was completely knocked out, my vision blurred, I could barely hear what Renneville was saying. The pain was terrible, it was as if the red iron was still against my poor flesh. I felt nauseous, they did not only hurt my body, but also my self-esteem. I had to concede their will-breaking process is well thought, I was at this instant utterly dejected.
After a few minutes sat in my bucket of cold water, Renneville and Honey helped me to get on my feet. The pain was intense, the caress of the air on the injured skin was intolerable. Honey knelt by my side and studied the scar carefully.
-“The burn is neat, it will fully heal in 2 or 3 weeks” she concluded. No doubt, she has a lot of experience in that domain.
-“Good, good” nodded Renneville. “You will look stunning with that mark on Emily. You are now one pony of the cattle forever.” he chuckled. He used the word cattle on purpose to put me down even more. I was too hurt to fight back.
Honey now led Darla to the post and tied her in the same position I was earlier. She was so impressive, you could read on her face that she was living a nightmare, but she did not resist or react. She did not cry or let anything apparent, she was fully in control. I wish I could be as courageous as she was in that moment. Honey took a lot of time and talk to her with soft words, I am not sure Darla was listening, she seemed lost in her mind. Renneville was watching me, gauging my reactions … my face was probably displaying a deep aversion. As finally Honey approached with the iron, I looked away. Renneville slapped me.
-“Look!” he snapped. “I want you to look Emily!” I shivered and stared at the scene again. Just looking at the scene, made my burn to feel worst, and then Honey, with a skilled movement, pressed the iron against Darla skin. I could see the poor girl arching under the pain, but she did not let out one sound. Her skin was burning, smoking even, it was horrible to see, I was getting ill, the world started to spin around me. Renneville slapped me twice.
-“You are not going to faint Emily, are you?” he said in a mocking tone. I could smell the same horrible odor of grilled skin. Darla was at her turn installed in a semi-conscious state in the bucket of water. Honey was saying to her kind words of comfort that sounded ridiculous to me after what she had just done. I jumped as Renneville pulled brutally on the lead. “Let’s set you back in your stall Emily” he said. I was exhausted and I followed him. As he one time told me, I was happy to come back to my stall, I was enjoying the perspective of being alone, to myself, without to worry about his cruel games. I was broken and exhausted.
He closed the door of the stall behind me, after having untied the lead. He looked at me with a satisfied smile.
-“You know Emily, you are now officially a pony of the BBF ranch. We will have to train you intensively, I am quite sure you can win some prizes at horse shows. You will earn some values and soon maybe I will sell you to an investor … or … maybe I will find you a well-hung stallion, and I will sell your baby pony.”
He left me broken, crying in my stall, he laughed all he could while leaving the barn. The sliding door shut down itself in a sinister knocking sound.
TO BE CONTINUED…