Mind And Body

Entry by: Tauren

7th June 2017
Amelie gasped aloud when she regained her senses, the last strains of the music registering with her as she did, no, no, no, not again, she thought. Looking down, her dress, a pale blue silk nightgown billowed around her waist before settling in the water as the last of the air escaped; her shoulders sagged, not for the first time she resigned herself to her fate and slowly turned around.

Alexander was, as the girl expected, sitting cross-legged on a nearby boulder, his head cocked to one side as he studied her. The flute: which he claimed to have made himself from the horn of a unicorn he`d killed with an enchanted arrow given to him by the god Hephaestus, resting in his lap.

“Amelie, Amelie, Amelie, whatever am I going to do with you, you really must stop this foolishness. I am beginning to lose my patience, and you wouldn’t want that now would you?” there was no rancour in his voice; he spoke instead in the tone of a parent disappointed with an especially slow witted child.

She lowered her head and mumbled, “I`m sorry.”
And she was sorry too; sorry that once again he`d been able to stop her from killing herself. Her plan had been to swim out into the centre of the lake; it was well known that there were mermaids in the deeper parts just waiting for the unwary or the suicidal.

“Come on now, come out of there before you catch your death,” he was smiling as he unfolded his legs and slid off the rock; she shuddered as she watched his cloven hooves settle on the grass.

Alexander was unlike any Satyr Amelie`d ever seen before she`d arrived at his estate. The three that lived near her village had been grotesque stunted creatures, cursed with hunched backs and badly misshapen teeth. Alexander on the other hand was tall, more than six feet in height and more than passably handsome. True he had the massive hairy legs of a goat and his skin was sallow to the point of being permanently tanned, but his horns were barely more stumps, though some of the other girls swore he filed them down each night. His teeth were straight and white and when he wanted to, he could be quite charming.

He held out a hand to her and with no small amount of reluctance she struggled towards him, the mud at the lakes bottom making movement difficult as it worked its way between her toes sucking at her feet.

Amelie had been brought to Alexander’s estate when she was eleven years old. It had been a three day journey in their ox drawn cart, her parents sitting silently slump shouldered side by side up front as she and David rode in the back, sprawled out on a bed of straw. At night her brother would point out the constellations to her as they swayed and jerked their way in one long unbroken drive, their parents refusing to stop as if afraid that once they did they wouldn’t have the strength to continue. She only realised the truth of this years later when the true horror of what they had done to her became apparent.

At first she had been both elated and devastated when they had told her that she would be living on the estate until her twenty first birthday, it was then that whatever bargain they had made with the handsome Satyr would be fulfilled and she would be free to return home.
Even at eleven Amelie understood that their smallholding wasn’t growing enough to food to sell and feed the family. After the last unseasonably dry spring she had lain awake listening to long and furious whispered conversations coming from her parent`s room when they`d thought she and David were asleep. Now she watched as the Satyr handed her father a leather purse as large as his fist, lumpy from the coins within, no doubt payment for her ten years of servitude, she hoped it would prove to be enough.
As her mother knelt before her, wiping the girl’s tears from her cheeks with her thumbs she said, “He has promised to treat you as if you were his own daughter and that you will be returned to us unharmed.” There had been no trace of doubt in the woman’s eyes when she`d said it, but as Amelie had looked over her kneeling mother`s shoulder at her father, she noticed he was wringing his hands the way he always did when he was nervous. As the cart had lurched into motion, beginning its long trek home, David had stood solemn faced in the rear of the cart, gripping the side with one hand, waving at her with the other until they were out of sight.
Her parents never once looked back.

She had known of one other girl from her village that had come to live on the estate, and when she had returned home, she came laden down with jewels. The girl claimed she could remember nothing of her time there, becoming more and more agitated whenever anyone persisted with their questions.

For the next five years Amelie worked as a dress maid, she had nimble fingers and an uncontested ability to stitch a straight line. But as her sixteenth birthday approached she noticed the older girls, who had always been so friendly and helpful, become more distant towards her. The day before that awful event, Marcia, who until then had been her best friend, snapped at her for no obvious reason, calling her a half wit. Such was her fury, she raised her hand as if she were going to strike Amelie, then the older girl crumpled into a ball of tears and begged her forgiveness before running from the sewing room. Amelie didn’t see her for two more days and by then she understood Marcia`s behaviour. When the other girl tried to apologise she brushed it aside, after all what could she have said to prepare her for what was to come.

The day of her birthday was greeted by Alexander as a day of celebration, an announcement that was greeted by Amelie and the younger girls with joy; but with apprehension by the older ones. There were cakes and sweetmeats, some of the centaurs that tended the gardens played lutes and drums as she and the other girls danced in new dresses made especially for the occasion; Alexander all the while sitting on his throne of gilded gold, clapping along in time to the music, laughing as gaily as the girls. She was even allowed to have some wine, quite a lot of it actually, and here the older girls were suddenly full of encouragement.

As the night wore on and the moon climbed high in the sky a drunk Amelie made her way back to her chambers, dreamily tracing her fingers along one wall, humming a tune from the party, occasionally tripping over her own feet, then apologising to herself before falling into fits of giggles when she realised what she`d done.

Later; much later, she was roused from sleep by the sweetest music she had ever heard coming from the hallway, and when she went to investigate, found Alexander slouching against the far wall just outside her chamber door, a sly fox grin on his face. “Did I disturb you my dear?” he asked.

Unknowing of the danger she was in she smiled back at him and said “No, not at all, that was the most beautiful tune you were playing just now. I didn’t know you were a musician master?”

“Oh, you like how I play my instrument?” he said, his smirk widening.

She nodded, “Will you play some more?”
If only she had known the trap she was entering into.

“For you my dear anything,” and he raised the strange flute to his lips and started to play once more.

Amelie woke the next morning with no recollection of what had happened after the first few notes. Her bed sheets were streaked with blood; she had strange bruising between her legs and when she examined her back in the mirror, found it was covered with livid welts as if some animal had clawed her while she slept.

Before she had time to call for help two of the older girls, Dina and Saphyra, who she knew were soon to turn twenty one and be free to return to their homes, entered her room. Their hands were burdened with pots filled with salves to help ease the pain from the scratches, and oils for the bruises between her thighs.
Neither of them seemed surprised nor shocked by her injuries and it would be deep into the evening before she would begin to wonder how they knew to come to her aid at all.

As the weeks went by she came to dread the sound of the flute outside her door, always waking the next morning aching and scrawled. Innocent as she was, it did not take her long to work out what was happening, what he was doing to her.

It would be another year before she resolved to free herself from the torment, knowing she could not, would not, survive another four years of his abuse. And bound by the pact her father had made with the Satyr not to leave the estate until her twenty first birthday, made her first attempt at suicide.

She tried everything she could think of, first by blade, then hanging, after that various potions, and now the lake. But each time he seemed to sense her intentions and she would wake to find him nearby, the last notes of a tune dying in her ears and that cursed flute in his hands. He would be sitting or standing nearby, his head cocked to one side, a puzzled frown on his face as if he were trying to understand what was driving her to do these things to herself.

Eventually he tired of her attempts to thwart him. He told her that it would be necessary to punish her for her ingratitude if she continued in this way, and she soon discovered that that infernal instrument knew more than one tune. On those occasions he would use it to control her as before, but this time he kept her aware, forcing her do unspeakable things, things that would make her wake in the night to the sound of her own screams, knowing, feeling every sordid thing he made her do. Worse he would bring other girls to help him, get them to tie her down, make them do the unmentionable while he watched, his breathing becoming harsh and ragged as he did.

Alexander reached out a hand to her as she exited the water, the silk dress clinging tightly to her torso and legs, perfectly contouring her now adult body, and she shuddered as his eyes travelled downwards, she could almost feel them drinking her in, devouring her. As he moved closer, wrapping his cloak around her trembling shoulders, an act of almost genteel tenderness, she smelled his musky odour, reeling slightly as it swamped her senses, bringing on the longing for him deep in her belly, the furnace between her legs igniting once more.
And this was the worst of it, the thing that drove her; she wanted to die not because she didn’t want him inside her, but because she did.
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