Copyright 2004 to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Please respect this copyright. Don't distribute or
archive this story in any way except for personal
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In our room last summer, a length of rope hung from the
rafters. It didn't stand out very much until after I noticed
it the first time. A basic white nylon. Strong-looking,
fitting in perfectly with the rustic beams.
Deceptive casualness masked the tightness of its knot.
The rope could have been hanging there for years, left
over from some forgotten DIY. Or a relic of some former
tenant's misguided storage system.
It could have, but it hadn't.
I knew that without being told. Because I know you, I
knew that rope had another purpose. That it was the first
link in a chain. Or chain-knot if you'd rather. I became
haunted by it. Each night as my beloved slept beside me,
I'd imagine that length being used in new ways.
And not on me. On you.
What sort of a friend am I, imagining you stretched like
that? Your arms raised to their fullest height, your perfect
dancer's body bared for flogging? Or even, crueler, whipping,
with your skin pulled tight?
Did you know I thought of you like that?
My friend, I imagine you saying, that's nothing I wouldn't
want for myself. You have always been forgiving. Nothing
in my imagination could horrify you. Or so you have always
But that rope hung heavy in my imagination.
In my fantasies.
Yet it wasn't my body in my mind's eye during last summer's
sleepless nights. It was yours.
I used you.
My mind built a platform from sawhorses. Dressed you in
thin shifts and stood you on it, red crop marks bleeding
through the thin white fabric. I invented a cruel, uniformed
man to order your thin neck through the noose.
The noose which hung from that rope, tied tight to the
Sometimes, my friend, you were blindfolded. Your hands
tied behind you. Struggling to obey, to find the noose,
while small, stinging flicks of the crop raised red welts
on your graceful calves.
I could hear your brave whimpers.
Honestly, my friend, most nights I saved you. Imagined
I saw this because of stumbling on the scene at just the
wrong moment. Making everyone fall out of character. All
of us smiling at the seriousness.
I imagined tracing your welts with my fingertips, wiping
them with lotion. Helping. Healing.
Are you nodding chica? Am I such a good friend?
Or, do you wonder, doth the lady protest too much?
There was the last, worst fantasy. The one where nothing
goes right. Where your hands are tied too tight to save
you. Where the blindfold blocks all light. Where the noose
cuts off your safeword. The one where the rope hangs tight
from the rafters. And you, lost to all of us.
Unspeakable loss. Unmentionable pain.
Like splatters of bright red against new snow.
[This isn't my scene -- I'm not into flogging, or rope
or even bondage. And judical scenes are interesting, but
not my thing.
However, I'm told by reliable sources, that one can never
have too much rope. <eg>]
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