Story Inspired by the art of Georges Pichard

The harvest of 1896 had been poor and with a wife and seven children to feed and clothe through the winter, Piotr Nikolaevich knew that there was only one way for his family to survive the coming winter. His three sons were strong and he needed them to work on his farm and his other girls were too young, so although he loved his oldest daughter, Yelena, he had no choice but to sacrifice her in order to save the others. Without telling her what he meant to do, he arranged for her to be sold to a wealthy Cossack merchant in the nearest town, reluctantly agreeing to the man’s demands that Yelena be delivered to him naked, in chains, with her nipples and clitoris pierced and fitted with rings. Saddened, but knowing what he must do, Nikolaevich returned home and took his sons into his confidence, explaining his decision and the reasons for it. They were equally as unhappy as he, but saw the logic of his arguments and agreed that the deed must be done. To save eight, one must suffer an awful fate.

Knowing nothing of what was to come, Yelena was unsuspicious when her father told her that he needed her to help him in the barn and it was only when he bolted the door and she was confronted by her brothers, that she felt a first tremor of unease. By then, it was already too late for her and although she fought and screamed for help, she was quickly overpowered by her muscular brothers and gagged with rough cord wedged between her teeth. Shocked and frightened, she tried to plead with them to let her go, but they would not meet her eyes and held her firmly while her father hurried to a corner of the barn and picked up a strange-looking square of thick, iron-banded wood with three holes cut into it. She couldn’t begin to guess what it was for, until he brought it over and hinged it apart along the centre-line.

Gazing into her wide eyes, he told her sadly that she must be brave for the sake of her brothers and sisters who would die of hunger and cold if he did not carry out his side of the bargain struck with the merchant, then explained what he had done. Yelena couldn’t believe that her own father had sold her, but as he lifted the heavy frame and her brothers forced her neck and wrists into the semi-circular cut-outs, she wailed in appalled despair, realising the awful truth of his words. Helpless against the strength of her brothers, she wept and sobbed when the two sections of the device were pressed together to trap her wrists and neck and when her father passed a large padlock through the hasp and snapped it shut, she shuddered in dreadful anguish with the knowledge that she could not free herself or escape the fate to which he had condemned her.

Even then, she could not find it in her heart to blame him, for she understood why he had done what he had and knew that he loved her and was only doing what he must to save the family. He had had no choice and neither did she, for her sale was the means by which her father could secure the lives and future of her brothers and sisters. Bowing her head, she accepted what must be and as her father caressed her cheek tenderly, she tried to prepare herself for whatever the future might hold in store. It was wasted effort, for as he sadly informed her of the manner in which she was to be delivered to the merchant, her mind recoiled in horror and she screamed and fought madly against the heavy wood and iron that held her captive.

Understanding her terror and deeply ashamed of their reluctant participation in her plight, her father and brothers restrained her struggles as gently as they could, kissing her cheeks softly and doing their best to calm her until she ceased to fight and stood still with her shoulders heaving and tears streaming from her eyes when she was forced to confront the inevitable. Only when she finally regained a measure of self-control did her father send her two younger brothers out of the barn in an effort to minimise her humiliation and shame at what she was to have to endure, then, with tears in their eyes, he and her oldest brother began the final stage of preparing her to meet her new owner.

Carefully, using their sharp knives, her clothes were cut from her trembling body to leave her utterly naked and as iron manacles joined by thick chain were locked around her ankles, Yelena’s last hope of escape and of somehow avoiding her fate, crumbled to ashes. A longer chain, to the centre of her hobble, presaged the final, shocking chapter of her preparation and while her brother held her, it was her father who used a needle-pointed awl to pierce a hole through the delicate bud of her exquisitely sensitive clitoris then clamp a large ring through her living flesh.

The pain brought a scream from her gagged lips and an expression of overwhelming sorrow to his haggard face as he begged her forgiveness, but there could be no going back if the family was to live through the winter. Despite her garbled pleas and the shaking of her head, he forced himself to continue. Thankfully for all three, Yelena fainted when he began to pierce her right nipple and by the time her eyes fluttered open some minutes later, the task was done, her ordeal was over and matching rings dangled from her breasts. Although unable to see her humiliating adornments because of the wide frame securing her wrists and neck, Yelena was in no doubt that they were in place. The smarting of her newly-pierced flesh added to her despair when she felt their weight and the weight of the chain descending from her ringed clitoris to the hobble between her ankles.

Naked as she was, they were all too obvious to the merest glance, marking her as owned property; the chains and manacles reinforcing the message of the rings that she was no longer free to choose her own destiny. Telling his son to leave, Nikolaevich waited until he and Yelena were alone, then fetched a long chain and fastened it to the ring on the front edge of the restraint locked around her neck, then with the end of the chain gripped in his right hand, he told her gently that it was time for her to be taken to meet her new owner and gave a sharp tug.

The chain drew taut and Yelena gave a shrill squeal of despair, her naked body trembling wildly and her fingers clawing in a futile attempt to reach the padlock when she was forced to stumble forward; the hobble between her ankles rattling and clinking. She couldn’t resist his strength and although she protested and begged as much as the gag permitted, he kept his back to her and pulled her towards, then through, the open door of the barn and out onto the rough track that led towards the distant town. For several kilometres, father and daughter trudged along the track in silence, meeting no-one, the only sounds the clinking of chains and her muffled sobs while she shuffled along behind him; a helpless captive.

Two thirds of the way to the town, a heavily-bearded man dressed in a thick fur coat and tall boots with a sword at his left hip and a long coiled whip of braided leather hanging on his belt, stepped out from behind a tree onto the track and stood waiting for them to approach. Yelena’s gasp of horror and shame brought a thin, cold smile to his lips and when his eyes devoured her exposed breasts and belly, she tried to jerk the chain from her father’s grasp and flee from the stranger’s menacing presence, but she was brought to her knees by a hard yank on the chain and stared numbly upwards when the stranger strode forward and to her complete, overwhelming despair, embraced her father warmly. She realised instantly that this must be the man to whom she had been sold ... and, far worse, that he was a Cossack!

The dreadful horror of her plight swept over Yelena like an icy wave, for like all peasant children she had been told awful stories of the cruelty and mercilessness of the Cossacks at her mother’s knee and had grown up to fear and hate the men from the East who had brought war and famine to her people for centuries. Her eyes bulged in anguish when the Cossack pulled a fat purse from his pocket and poured a stream of coins into her father’s hand, for as he handed over the chain in return, Yelena knew that she had been sold and now belonged to the stranger. She was paralysed and could not even move when her father bent to kiss her cheek, then whispered that he was sorry and hurried away without a backward glance. Kneeling on the hard earth, she watched miserably while he walked quickly back down the track until he was lost to her sight around a bend, and only then did she turn and lift her head to gaze fearfully up at the man who now owned her.

The Cossack’s eyes glittered with cruel delight and anticipation and while he stared boldly at her breasts and pierced, ringed nipples, Yelena whimpered and bent forward to hide her shame. With a whistling hiss and a sharp crack, the leather of his whip lashed across her unprotected buttocks, his hard voice cutting across her squeal of pain when he ordered her to straighten and display her body to her Master. For a second she hesitated, her mind reeling at the ruthless immediacy of her punishment and the stunning implications of his demand, then she squealed again when a second lash burned into her flesh and he snapped that he did not intend to repeat his orders to a slave he had paid out good money to buy. His harsh words and the stinging heat of her whipped flesh confirmed her worst fears and she jerked erect, eyes filled with terrible dread when she was forced to obey his command.

The Cossack gazed down at her naked breasts and nodded in satisfaction, then prodded her knees with the toe of his boot. Yelena shuddered, recognising the unspoken command and slowly inched her thighs apart. Too slowly, earning herself a third lash from his whip and a threat of many more if she failed to obey his orders instantly. Fully exposed before him, she fought to control her terror and humiliation when he squatted to examine her sex and the heavy ring transfixing her clitoris, but was unable to hold back a gasp of pain when he tugged on the ring to satisfy himself of the strength and security of the piercing. Standing up, he released the chain leash from the front ring of the heavy restraint around her neck, but even as Yelena dared to hope that she might be freed, he crushed her momentary optimism by re-attaching it to the rear of the device. With a sharp jerk of the chain, he ordered her to her feet and when his whip curled around her belly to snap at her left hip, she had no choice but to stumble forward along the track towards the town.

The wood and iron locked around her throat made it impossible to turn her head, or to anticipate when and where a lash from his whip would land. Her buttocks and thighs and belly and even her breasts became targets for the cruel leather, and she wept and gasped and squealed in pained anguish. The Cossack remained silent, making no demands but correcting what she could only imagine he saw as her errors, until at last, she realised the frightening truth. He whipped her solely because he wanted to and regardless of how perfectly she might obey, he would continue to do so whenever he chose. There was nothing she could do to prevent it, for she was his possession and his slave, bought and paid for.

As her owner and Master, he could do anything he wished to her and no-one would deny his right to use and discipline his own property in any manner he felt necessary. Faced with the inescapable reality of her plight, Yelena knew that she had only one slender defence against his overwhelming physical and legal authority over her.

Her body and the pleasure it could provide for him. If she could tantalise him, excite him, arouse him and inflame his passions to the point where he could think of nothing but her, she might, perhaps, be able to persuade him to treat her more gently and lessen the severity and frequency of his use of the whip. Unfortunately, though, she had little experience of men, or how to use her body to achieve her ends and was severely handicapped by her bondage. All she could think of was to point her toes and place each foot directly in front the other at every step, resulting in her naked, whip-striped bottom swaying from side-to-side in what she could only hope was a seductive manner Her face flushed pinkly to a low, coarse chuckle from behind her when her Cossack Master noted the provocative wiggling of her hips and she gulped when he sneered that he was pleased to see that she was beginning to act like the slut he had bought her to become.

It was a start, he added cruelly and although she was clumsy and lacked grace, that was to be expected of an ignorant peasant girl and he continued, when he had locked her in her permanent chains, he would soon train her to walk, stand and kneel in ways that would enhance her beauty and display her body for his pleasure and use, both in and out of his bed. Yelena whimpered and her steps faltered when her fate was made clear, then squealed shrilly as his whip burned lines of scorching heat into her defenceless flesh, urging her on towards the town and the sexual servitude that awaited her as the slave of her pitiless Cossack Master.

Naked, gagged, chained, with her breasts and belly bearing the rings he had caused to have fixed through her flesh, Yelena shuddered and wept while she was driven over the bridge into the town, her humiliation unbearable when the clinking of her chains and the crack of his whip attracted a crowd of townsfolk to witness her progress through the streets to her new Master’s home.

Many jeered at her tear-streaked face, some laughed as his whip striped her buttocks with red and others watched in silence as she passed, but none made any attempt to protest or assist her, for as they and Yelena well knew, slavery, though rare in the land, was not illegal. The Cossack was a powerful and wealthy man who it was unwise to challenge. No-one would help her, for she was a slave, and as Yelena was forced to accept that she would never escape his absolute power and ruthless domination, she knew her freedom was at an end and she would spend her life in chains. She would serve her Cossack Master with her body in any way he commanded and be subject always to the whip he would not hesitate to use on her if she failed to ensure his total satisfaction.

The heavy door of her Master’s home slammed shut behind her and when he slid the bolts across to imprison her, Yelena sank to her knees, arched her spine and spread her thighs to display and offer her breasts and belly to her Master as the slave she was and always would be. He gazed coldly at her, then removed his clothes and when she was seized and pushed onto her back on the hard, unforgiving stone floor to begin her enforced servitude, Yelena pictured her parents and brothers and sisters at home on the farm that she would never see again.

Thanks to her, they would all have the warmth and food that would enable them to survive the winter and when Spring finally came, would be able to buy the seeds to begin the planting once again. Their future and happiness had been secured at the expense of hers, and while her eyes filled with tears, she knew that, by then, she would have become a chained, obedient, life-long slave whose only purpose would be the sexual pleasure and gratification of her Master. Her only shred of comfort was the knowledge that her sacrifice had saved her younger sisters from sharing her terrible fate ... unless the harvest failed again .....

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