Bring Out the GIMP (Girls in Merciless Peril)
Stories


A LONG STRETCH

By Kirsten Smart


The First Stage

Sarah Ashley slumped against the cell wall. She was naked: her bare back rested against chill stone, her buttocks on packed earth. Her wrists were locked in heavy iron fetters above her head, connected by a short chain to a ring in the wall. When they had first chained her, she had yelled and shrieked, rising to her feet and pulling with all her might against the fetters. She had braced her bare foot against the wall and hauled on the ring, twisting her hands in the shackles, tugging to get free. But she was secured, and eventually she had sat, defeated, and allowed the fetters to draw her arms over her head.

That was a month ago. Since then, she had half-lain, a prisoner of the fetters, not allowed to lower her arms. Her hair was tangled, her face grubby. A cold river of waste ran from beneath her to a drain in the middle of the cell. Chained like this, she was sometimes brought food, but not once had her wrists been freed from their confinement.

Sarah accepted her imprisonment, now. At twenty-four, she was a beautiful young woman, black-brown hair to her shoulders, dark brows, dark hair under her arms, between her thighs. Her figure was feminine, soft, small-breasted, broad hips. Her skin was pale, dusted with freckles across the shoulders and arms. Her nipples were brown. Her face was pretty, high cheekbones, a delicate mouth, slim nose, brown eyes. Many were attracted to her, and it was that fact which had led to her imprisonment.

Bewitchment.

The word sounded so harsh, the punishment it carried harsher still.

She had been four years in the employ of a farmer and his wife, as house-maid and cook and nanny. It was their son, eight years old when she began, now twelve, who had supposedly fallen under her spell; but his was merely a crush, the innocent lust of pre-pubescent youth. It was the jealousy of the farmer's wife, her bitterness at Sarah's lithe young form, her rounded breasts and supple limbs, that had led to accusation.

They had arrested her quickly, dragging her to the Court House with wrists bound behind her back and a leather gag in her mouth. She had been stripped of her clothes and thrown into a cell, there left while a trial was arranged.

The trial itself had been a farce. Dragged on to a stage in the town square, naked, she had been accused and condemned without the gag being once removed that she could speak.

Now, a month later, her time had come.

The Second Stage

Keys rattled in the cell door, the lock undone. The door creaked open, and three guards in armour entered. To see them, Sarah slowly shook her head, her eyes filling with tears, but the Sergeant fitted a stout key to the manacles above her, opening them.

“It is time.”

It was four weeks since her wrists had been enclosed in iron, and she felt oddly naked without the restraints. Her arms dropped to her sides, and she numbly complied as she was laid on her belly. Her bare breasts squashed to the floor as her arms were pulled behind her back, wrists bound with rope. She did not struggle, knowing it would be pointless.

The guards lifted Sarah to her feet, marched her from the cell. A labyrinth of long, dim passageways, endless spirals of stone steps, countless iron doors marked their slow progress from the dungeons to the chill autumn day outside. The swelling lump of dread in Sarah's belly grew ever more difficult to ignore as, finally, they appeared at the top of the Court House steps.

Perhaps three hundred people had gathered in the Town Square. Central to the wide open space was a platform, twenty feet by twenty, upon which several people stood. But the most awe inspiring feature of the platform was the rack. It was huge, nine feet long by four wide, sturdy oak, a barrel-sized wheel at its head, sturdy iron rings at its feet, a well-oiled mechanism of gears and ratchets. It resembled a bed – in a sense, it was. A bed of pain.

Sarah's brown eyes fixed on the machine, and fear swept her body.

“Oh, god …” Her legs nearly buckled. Nobody noticed the tiny trail of urine that leaked from between her thighs, a yellow trail to her ankle. The guards urged her forward, and she started down the steps. A shout of excitement exploded from the crowd, and a path parted through the people, a direct line to the platform. Sarah began to tremble, and kept her head low as she passed the gathered townsfolk. Eyes were on her naked body, her back-turned arms and bound wrists, her small breasts and the hairy thatch between her legs. She tried meeting the eyes of others, but all she saw was condemnation.

The wooden steps were rough to the soles of her feet as she climbed to the platform.

“Stand.” The Sergeant held her elbow as, standing beside the rack, she was freed from her bonds. Though she was shaking uncontrollably, she clambered on to the chill wooden bed, and lay on her back.

“Sarah Ashley, you have been found guilty of bewitchment.” The Bailiff, employed by the Courts for such occasions, began to read aloud from a scroll. At the same time, guards took hold of Sarah's hands. They lifted her arms over her head, stretching them to the huge roller at the rack's head. Thick ropes were wound about her wrists. Her feet were placed widely apart at the rack's base, ropes binding her ankles securely to the rings. “For this crime, you have been sentenced to be placed upon the rack, and stretched until you are dead.”

Sarah bit her lip, fighting the tears. Worse, almost, than the fear of death, was the humiliation of lying so exposed up on this platform, her breasts and armpits bared to the open sky, roped so that, even if she tried to escape, she could not.

There was a long time of silence. It was cold; Sarah lay shivering, frightened beyond words, weeping silently. Awaiting the beginning of the end. Beyond the point where she could free herself and escape her slow death, but not yet on her way to execution.

Finally, the hooded executioner stepped to her side, uttered a brief prayer that she might not faint before death arrived. Sarah squeezed her eyes shut against fresh tears. There came the faintest creak as the executioner took hold of the rack's lever.

The Third Stage

With an awful, creaking, grinding sound, the rack began to turn. At once, Sarah felt her arms being pulled towards the roller. Her back shifted on the wooden surface, the ropes braced against her ankles and heels. She clenched her teeth. She had no idea how much it might hurt, being stretched to death, but it did not sound like an easy way to perish.

A second turn. She felt the tension take in her limbs. Her ribcage lifted, her back arched, her body beginning to stretch. The crowd was utterly silent, waiting, watching, listening.

A third turn, and the ropes began to tug hard at her wrists and ankles. As yet, it was no worse than stretching in the morning, a comfortable pull on her limbs, but she knew that it would soon get much worse. Already the first slight twinges had begun, deep in her armpits.

A fourth turn, her breasts rose slightly, her belly hollowing, her arms and legs drawn tauter between the rack's head and foot. The ropes creaked. Sarah turned her head, looking past the horizon of her own arm, at the crowd below.

It had only been a minute, so far.

Another turn, and she winced as the pain in her shoulders grew, mirrored by a slight ache in the small of her back. A splinter had caught in one shoulder from her body's shifting. Tears now began to spill from Sarah's eyes, a terrible sadness that this was her end, her last view would be of those who had come to watch her die.

Another turn, and her spine popped. There was a reaction from the crowd. She felt her limbs drawn to their limit, and knew that she would not be able to endure many more turns. Still, the executioner forced the lever, and the roller clicked around, stretching her harder.

Another turn, and the pain surged in her shoulders, sparking in her hips, her mouth opening in reaction. With the next notch, her chin lifted suddenly, and the crowd cooed. She had already been stretched two full inches, and they knew she was close to true pain. Sarah's fear swelled, with the realisation of how much this was going to hurt.

Another turn, and the pain worsened. Sarah clenched her teeth. It hurt, particularly in her arms, but along her spine, and in her hips, too. Another turn, and her shoulders cracked loudly, her elbows popping. Sarah's eyes flew wide, her mouth opened.

Another turn, and savage pain flashed the length of her arms. She gave a cry, and the crowd roared its approval. Another notch, and the pain worsened. Sarah cried out, frost riding her breath in the chill air.

“No! No, stop, it hurts!” But bound, lying on her back, she could do nothing as the executioner forced the roller again. The pain grew, forcing another shout from Sarah's lungs, hot discomfort spreading down her sides, her belly, in her hips. This was not the sudden, sharp pain of a wrenching injury, but an absolute, engulfing pain, the product of gradual and deliberate increasing force drawing her wrists while her ankles remained locked in place.

Another notch, and Sarah shrieked aloud. The pain flashed from her forearms to her chest, hot agony at the base of her spine, fire all down her legs. The executioner forced the rack another turn, and Sarah's helpless body was stretched. She screamed in pain.

The gathered crowd was cheering, now, applauding every click of the roller, every new yell from the woman slowly stretching. Sarah was truly suffering, from the soles of her poor bound feet to the tips of her roped hands. Another notch, and her ribcage lifted higher still, her breasts shifting rapidly as she fought to breathe against the growing tension. She had been stretched four inches, her body drawn by more than a hand's width.

Another notch, and a sickening series of creaks and groans reverberated from her body. Her mouth was wide, her tongue flat, her scream full-bodied and agonised. Sweat polished every inch of her bare skin, glossing her breasts and heaving belly, her long and taut limbs, her throat and face. Droplets clustered the creases in her armpits, collected on the tiny hairs along her arms and thighs like dew, oiling the skin.

Another notch, and she was shaking her head, bellowing in agony.

“Please!” She managed to shriek. “Please, have mercy! Please, stop!”

But the executioner forced another notch, and the pain worsened. Sarah threw her head back, screaming at the empty sky. It felt as if spikes had been hammered into her shoulders and hips, elbow and knees. Her muscles felt as if they were being ripped from the bones to which they were anchored. The pain was terrible, and yet she was helpless to stop it. The rack turned over again, and Sarah tossed her head from side to side, yelling and howling in agony.

“SLOW! SLOW! SLOW! SLOW!” The crowd had begun to chant, over the screams of the woman on the rack. It had only been ten minutes, so far, and they wanted the executioner to slow his turns, to let her suffer more between each tightening. Sometimes, a victim's death could be prolonged by hours, and they were keen to see Sarah's ordeal be so magnified.

The executioner obliged, waiting a long while before forcing the next notch. Sarah's new scream was welcomed with a shout by the crowd, her voice trailing into an endless wail, tears wetting her face. The agony was overwhelming: she just wanted to die, to escape this bed of torment, to find some way of easing the pain.

But in five minutes, the next notch increased her suffering. Her joints were beginning to loosen, and the creaks and pops could be heard below by the hungry crowd. The strain on her body was terrible. She could not stand the pain, and screamed and screamed in agony.

Five minutes. Another notch, and Sarah stretched further. Her body was splendidly laid out, drawn fiercely out on the rack, her arms framing her twisting head, her long legs stretched hard to the rack's foot. Sweat polished her bare skin.

Another, slow notch. Sarah threw her head about, shrieking in agony. It was becoming more difficult to breathe, every shift of her ribcage sending fresh explosions of pain through her tearing shoulders, down her burning spine. But she could not stop screaming, drawing breath, screaming again. It had been half an hour, a lifetime of pain, an endless eternity. Sarah would have welcomed death long ago. How much would she have to endure? Surely she would lose her mind, lose her voice to screaming, before too much longer? Did they truly mean to make her suffer for hours more?

The executioner, eventually, forced another notch. Sarah's screams escalated to a new, frantic pitch, horrible yells of agony as the most excruciating fire exploded into her arms. She lost all control, urinating in a spray that drew shrieks of delight from the crowd, as, with a sound like wet twigs breaking, her shoulders slowly began to dislocate. Bile lurched in her throat, forcing her to gurgle briefly, and when the executioner turned the roller again, two loud and sickening cracks! echoed through the square as her arms popped fully from their sockets. The pain was indescribable, so severe that Sarah was on the verge of passing out.

A moment later, the executioner tightened the rack again, stretching her dislocated arms, and Sarah roared in agony. The crowd gave a cheer, delighted at the quality of torture. Mouth wide, face wet with tears, Sarah screamed in pain. Sweat shone on her throat and bare breasts, pooling in her heaving navel. The pain was unbelievable, overwhelming, destroying her ability to think or speak: all she could do was yell.

With the next notch, ominous cracking and creaking sounds came from her hips. The ropes were screeching with strain, her hands and heels lifted off the rack, her body taut like strained wire. While Sarah gave a long, lung-deep roar of pain, the executioner found the next notch, and her hips slowly, surely began to dislocate. A fresh cheer from the crowd. One more notch, and with two loud cracks! like wood breaking, her hip bones popped free of their sockets.

Sarah drove her head back onto the rack's surface with such force that light flashed in her eyes. She screamed and screamed, both legs and arms now dislocated, the agony a hundred times greater than before. Her breasts quivered atop her heaving ribcage, rivulets of sweat streaking her goose-fleshed sides, her arms and spread legs shining.

For a long time, she lay suffering, until her screams began to die to whimpers, her eyes half closed, her face pale, the unending agony taking its toll. Below, some of the crowd dispersed, their intention to perhaps to eat, before returning to witness the end of the execution. It seemed surreal that others lived their lives with such nonchalance, while every passing instant of time was an ordeal of such horror and pain for Sarah.

Eventually, the executioner tightened the rack again. A fresh scream was ripped from Sarah's lungs as her already-broken joints were extended further, the full strain borne by tendons and ligaments, tearing muscles. For such a simple device, the rack caused its victims greater and more prolonged suffering than even burning at the stake.

Five long minutes, and another notch. Sarah gave a scream, the first squeaks of failing ligaments sounding deep in her elbows. It was becoming ever more difficult to breathe, the pain flaring with every slow notch, her body slowly, but surely, being broken on the rack.

It had been an hour since she first lay down on the rack. An eternity of suffering. She had been stretched nearly seven inches, a racking severe enough to kill.

But Sarah was far from dead.

Another notch, and her arms seemed to explode. Sarah yelled in agony as, with a loud groaning and popping sound, her elbows dislocated, joining her shoulders. The pain savaged every nerve from wrist to shoulder, matched by the flaring pain in her knees as they, too, neared breaking point. The strain was destroying her body now, ligaments no longer able to retain their anchorage on bone. But her body was reluctant to succumb without flashing the nightmare warning of extreme pain from every joint.

Sarah could do nothing but scream as the executioner tightened her another notch. This time, with two bangs! as loud as muskets firing, her knees dislocated, the most terrible agony blasting the length of her slender, stretched legs. Sarah was momentarily silent, unable to comprehend the magnitude of torture, her mouth open, eyes bulging.

Then the executioner forced the next notch, and, creaking and grating, her dislocated arms and legs were stretched further. That broke the dam, and Sarah began screaming and shrieking in fresh agony, sweat literally running from her tortured body.

Viewed from afar, the rack was an oversized, dark wooden bed, the pale X-shape of a woman lying upon it, wrists and ankles linked to its head and foot by ropes. In contrast to the cream of her skin were the dark patches of hair between her parted legs and in her armpits, the dark strewn hair about her face. It seemed improbable that sheer brute force could dismantle a woman's body so effectively, ripping it limb from limb over the space of several hours.

The iron ratchet clinked over again. As the big drum cranked in a little more rope, Sarah's nude body stretched further on the rack's bed, and she gave a fresh scream of agony. A series of cracks like breaking sticks reverberated from her spine as vital ligaments began to separate. Sarah turned her head, coughed up a small quantity of bile: it spilled over her upstretched arm, trickling down to the rack's surface.

After five minutes of heaving and screaming, Sarah was stretched another notch. She wailed in pain again, fresh groans coming from her torn body. The blonde down that covered her naked belly was patterned by rivulets of sweat. Steam wisped from her body in the autumn air. Sarah's wet lips were stretched wide, her agonised cries coming from deep in her chest.

The next notch clicked, the drum turned, Sarah stretched. She threw her head from side to side, her screams now limited to short, breathless shrieks. She was finding it difficult to gain enough air, the trauma of suffocation now adding to her torment. The fire in her arms and legs was worse than ever, and, with every turn of the roller, the maddening agony of her torso being ripped asunder grew.

Another notch. More groaning as the muscles in her back caught fire. Sarah wailed thinly, throwing her head back. Along the gully formed by her own parallel arms, elongated and dislocated, half pulled from her body, she saw the rack's heavy roller. It shifted again, and Sarah stretched, another weak cry of agony as the pain worsened.

With the next notch, the first bang! of her vertebrae separating echoed around the square. Stunned by the tremendous surge of pain through her body, Sarah was silenced for a time. Then, all she could do was groan, fighting to draw breath, hideously stretched. Below, the crowd was pressing closer to the high platform, all eyes on the woman laid out on the rack, all ears listening to the echoes of her agony.

Another turn. Two more vertebrae separated, more tearing as her arms and legs were pulled from her torso, little more than ligaments and tissue holding her together. Her spine was coming apart like beads on a string. It had been almost two hours, now, and all knew that death was not far away.

For her so-called crime, Sarah had been truly, and thoroughly, punished.

Another notch, and the sound of her wrists breaking crackled through the crisp autumn air. Still her head tossed weakly, sweat covering her drawn body, a fresh dribble of urine escaping from between her shining thighs. Her ribcage barely seemed to move, her breathing desperately shallow, her groans feeble.

The next notch came after an eternity of waiting. More than two hours of suffering, and still it was not over. Her spine cracked again, one ankle snapped with a violence that made the rope quiver, caused Sarah's head to jerk back, her eyes wide in agony, her mouth stretched open.

Another notch. Her body stretched. The tearing of her abdominal muscles heralded the approach of death, though the agony was no less. She coughed, fought for air, and blood flecked her lips. Her head turned again: her armpit was now level with her eye: beyond its taut, hair-matted gully, she saw the crowd, anticipating, waiting.

Abruptly, her view disappeared as the rack turned another notch, stretching her, and she squeezed her eyes shut. The fresh explosion of pain flashed down her arms, through her torso, along her stretched legs, and again she threw her head about, groaning in agony.

Another notch. The sound of her back breaking in the half-dozenth place filled her ears, and the pain blasted into her head. She had hoped that paralysis might bring relief from the torture, but the opposite was the case. Her breathing was so shallow as to be almost non-existent. Her head was spinning, ears ringing, her eyes losing focus. She heard the creaking of ligaments in her own armpits, felt the unforgiving red-hot agony of muscles detaching from her pelvic bone and ribcage.

The executioner forced another notch. Sarah's fingers spread as a new, unbelievable agony filled her chest. Those below heard the dull tearing sound as her diaphragm tore. Sarah suddenly found herself unable to draw breath, unable to scream. She stared at the sky, knowing that her body was completely broken, every joint dislocated, her spine torn apart, muscles ripped and tendons ravaged by two hours of slow, methodical torture, and that now, finally, it was over.

Her heart was pounding, trying to find oxygen to feed her slowly-asphyxiating body. Her breasts slowly sank as her lungs deflated, a faint gurgle of escaping air in her throat. A crimson trickle of blood escaped the corner of her mouth, dribbled down to her ear. The fire of agony was as ferocious as ever in her broken body, but now, as the blood pounded in her head, the world began to spin, her view of the sky granulating, fading.

The crowd gave a cheer as the executioner, weary, stepped from the rack's lever. The Machine had won over flesh and bone: a lingering and painful death had been inflicted on the beautiful Sarah, and as her unseeing eyes locked on the passing clouds, her heart shuddered and ceased its beating.

Wet with sweat, broken, her naked body lay upon the rack. Stretched more than thirteen inches, ripped apart at the core, publicly tortured to death.




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