The Novices

Fiction
The Novices (Chapter 1) by John Warren
The dungeon was lit only by flickering torches that cast little light and no heat at all. But it was not the chill that caused the two novices to shiver and cling together. They had been caught sneaking back into the convent after a tryst with a most handsome farm boy. It might be 509 AD, but such things were still outside the pale of acceptability. And the Mother Superior was a stickler for acceptability.

The door opened and they blinked against the unaccustomed light until a dark form blocked out the light. The young girls strained their eyes trying to make out if there were any forgiveness in those eyes, but they could see nothing except two tiny sparks of light from within the cowl, specks that were as cold and distant as the stars at night, as cold as the voice that came from the figure.

“Remove your clothing!”

Without a thought of argument each slid the simple sack over her head and dropped it on the ground. The sparks within the cowl shifted from one perfect body to the next. Marie was the taller of the two, by only an inch, just topping five feet. She was fair and even her intimate hair was a pale as cornsilk and her nipples were so pale as to be almost invisible. Ann showed her Southern European heritage. She was the illegitimate daughter of a bishop the Pope had banished to this English wasteland for a lust that was considered excessive even for the sophisticated Roman circles. She was dark and compact with breasts that might soon begin to sag but now stood proud and erect topped with dark maroon confections.

“Marie, you will shackle Ann to the wall. She will watch your punishment before suffering her own.” The voice was sharp but rich, like a fine riding crop.

Ann gasped as the heavy shackles went around her wrists and then louder as the felt the chill of the wall against her back. Her task finished, Marie came forward and sank to her knees in front of the woman she feared most in the world.

“Please, please, forgive me, Reverend Mother. It was not my fault. Ann lured me out.”

This brought a gasp of protest from the dusky wench which was silenced by a imperious wave of the Mother Superior’s hand.

“Then, she shall have to do double duty. However, you must pay for your sins first.”

The gloved hand picked up a riding crop from a nearby table. She took the shivering girl’s neck in one hand and forced her head toward the floor as the other hand slashed the crop down on the exposed back. Marie screamed as the crop hit her once, twice, three times.

Ann’s eyes widened as she watched and saw her own future. She tried to look away, but the horrified fascination was too strong; her eyes returned to the black figure and its naked victim with the inevitability of a rock falling to earth.

The Mother Superior kneeled beside her trembling charge and forced the blond girl’s head down against the straw-covered stone. The crop rose and fell across the taut cheeks and a pattern of parallel red lines appeared marching down over the gentle rise toward the puckered lips that peeked shyly from between the thighs. When the crop hit these, Marie shrieked and flung herself flat on the stones. The Mother Superior stood looked down at the slight figure writhing on the floor. Marie’s hands reached out, grasped the Mother Superior’s boots, and she pulled herself toward them until she could press her cheek against the unyielding leather and her tears made little tracks in the dust that coated the boot.

“Please, please, I won’t do it again. I was burning inside; the need was so great.”

A sister of the order, passing the door of the dungeon, heard the words and smiled to herself as she hurried to inform her sisters of what was happening — and what would happen.

In the dungeon, Marie looked up with fearful eyes, shocked that she had made such a confession, and thought she could detect a flicker of a smile in the blackness within the cowl.

The voice still gave the impression of sword steel but now the sword was no longer at her throat.

“None of us here can know men. Those are the rules. If you break them again, you will be cast out.” Was there a bit of softening in the next words? “But, you do not know everything.

“Now, release your fellow; you will take her place for a while.”

Marie fairly flew across the room. Her fingers were clumsy with haste, but she removed the cuffs from Ann. Who looked with wide eyes at the dark figure across the room.

“Ann, why are you standing there? Put Marie in your place. Now!” The last was spoken only slightly louder than the previous words, but the dusky woman jumped as if she had been struck. Marie backed against the wall and gasped when her backside touched the cold damp stone. However, her gasp of shock was mixed with one of pleasure. The cool stone was not unpleasant against the fire the raged in the soft flesh.

Ann attached the manacles and then, head lowered, walked across the dungeon. Without being told, she dropped to her knees and lowered her head to the flagstones.

When the Mother Superior’s glove touched the back of Ann’s neck, she jumped. But instead of holding her down, the hand grasped her long dark hair and pulled her roughly to her feet.

“That is not for you, my child. Come.” The Mother Superior turned and walked toward a stone table set in the center of the room; she did not look if the girl followed. Naturally, she did; she had no choice, but fear filled her eyes. She had been frightened by the beating the Marie had taken, but now she was going into the unknown — and the Mother Superior had said she would have to do ‘double duty.’

“Lie on the table.” Ann climbed on the cold stone and gave a small cry as she lowered herself face down onto the icy surface.

Wack! The riding crop stung her thigh. “On your back, you silly girl. Now!”

Ann fairly spun herself about and noticed with dread that the momentary contact with the cold stone had caused her nipples to grow to the point where they looked like tiny mushrooms. She realized that they had not escaped the notice of her tormentor when the Mother Superior gently touched each with the palm of her gloved hand. Some corner of Ann’s mind wondered why, if the cold had made them grow so, why did the delicious warmth make them grow even more?

She felt her hands being pulled above her head and fastened. Then, she watched the Mother Superior spread her legs and fastened them with soft leather straps.

The dark-clad woman turned away from the table for a moment, and when she turned back, Ann thought she was simply repositioning the thick white candle so she could see better. This illusion was shattered when the Mother Superior upended the candle directly over Ann’s left breast, and the molten wax cascaded over her.

For a moment, she was lost in a vortex of agony. Somewhere, far off she could hear the sound of a woman screaming. With a jolt, she realized that it was her voice. Then, as the came back to the world, she felt the wax cooling and tightening around her breast and realized, in a strange inexplicable way, pleasure was mixed in with the pain.

With a start, she realized that the Mother Superior was talking to her. In her confusion, all she could do was gasp, “What? What? Please, what?” The woman bent low over her, grasping her chin and moving her head so that their eyes met with less than a foot between them. This close, Ann could see the patrician features that had been hidden by the shadowing cowl.

“Which of you did the boy have?”

“Have? Have?”

“Sex, you, silly fool. Which of you did he have sex with? Or was it both?”

Ann thought she could see bit of a smile on the sensual lips barely visible in the darkness, but it could have been a trick of the shadows — or of her hopes.

“Neither, Reverend Mother.”

With a smooth motion, the Mother Superior upended the candle again and a fresh cascade of hot wax descended, this time, on Ann’s right breast.

“Ahhhaaaa! Please, Reverend Mother, we had scarcely touched him when he shook and the seed came forth. After that, he, he was not … capable.”

Again, the candle rotated. The wax descended where a darkly curling fleece offered no protection. This time, Marie added her voice to Ann’s in sympathetic horror and apprehension of what was to come.

When Ann could speak again, she said, “Please, it is the truth. On my immortal soul, it is the truth.”

The voice was cold and disbelieving. “When the Supervisor of Novices caught you climbing in the window, you both were laughing and giggling. This is not the behavior of woman who have been deprived of pleasure.” The candle twitched but did not turn again.

Ann’s voice was desperate. “He gave us pleasure in another way; he…” Her voice trailed off and her cheeks became crimson. She opened her mouth but couldn’t seem to speak.

From the wall, Marie screamed, “He kissed us. He kissed us between the legs until we shook and moaned. But we did not have sex with him. Reverend Mother, it was just a kiss.”

“Just a kiss.” Now, the voice fairly bubbled with amusement. “I shall have to learn about this kiss.” As she spoke, she pulled bits of cooling wax from between Ann’s legs. Then, she strode across the dungeon and unfastened Marie from her bonds.

Like one in a dream, Marie returned with her to the stone table.

“Up, up, get up on the table.”

Marie began to climb on the table when the Mother Superior roughly pulled her about and made her mount to that her body was in the opposite direction to that of her friend’s. Dumbfounded, she passively remained on her hands and knees astride Ann.

The Mother Superior moved to the foot of the table, and holding Marie’s eyes with her own, took the young woman’s hands and pulled them toward her. Marie fell forward. As she felt her hands being fastened to yet another set of straps, she realized where her face had come to rest.

“No, no! Please!” she begged. When she felt her ankles being pulled sharply back and strapped into place, she didn’t need the touch of Ann’s breath to realize how they had been arranged.

“Now, you will show me what the young man did to make you so happy.” When neither moved, the Mother Superior did. The crop struck first at Marie’s already welted posterior and an instant later at Ann’s bare foot.

Both women screamed, not so much from the pain as from realizing that they had no choice. Tears of shame welled up on both their eyes as they set to work. Minutes later, all reluctance had been forgotten as the two writhing bodies moved in an eternal dance of bliss.

Forgotten, the Mother Superior threw back her cowl and watched, eyes alight with debauchery.

A bit longer she watched and then said sharply, “Stop.” Both women were so engrossed in their mutual pleasure that neither responded until she brought the riding crop into play again. It took several, hard blows, but when she had their attention she said quietly.

“Now for the rest of your penance — First, you will remain here until the setting sun shines through that window. The Supervisor of Novices will be along shortly to see to it that you do not slack from the ‘demonstration’ I have set you. If either of you stops… Well, I would not recommend stopping. Second, for the next week, you are confined to your cells where you will be available to any sister who wishes to have you demonstrate your new skills. Some of them may require repeated demonstrations. Finally, tonight both of you will come to my cell to show me, one at a time, how skillful you have become in this little activity.”

The Mother Superior turned and strode out of the dungeon while the two women needed no urging to return to honing their new skill.