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Checking In For Punishment

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Quiet Paul

Assistant executioner
Joined
Apr 30, 2014
Likes
3,567
Location
Sussex
#21
Jessie drove home to her apartment, rushed past her boys' toys in the living room to her bedroom in the back, and opened her drawer. Her boys were with her mother across town - she'd taken them there the night before. She dug through her collection of intimate garments until she found the blue tanga panties she was looking for. They were at the bottom of the drawer, because she found them uncomfortable and never wore them. She was sure she would be allowed to wear them, though, and that was what mattered. She changed into them and tossed the white panties they replaced in the hamper. She paused a moment to consider that she would not be washing them, and neither would anyone else. Maybe she should have put them back into her drawer instead? Silliness - she had to get back to the Ministry of Correction.

The knot in her belly tightened as she threw a last glance over the apartment before shutting the door for the last time and locking it from the outside.

When she returned to the Ministry of Correction, it was almost 7:20, and there were four or five men and a woman in line. A second receptionist had appeared to help process them. From what Jessie could overhear, it sounded like most of them were here for bastinado - probably drug offenders. The usual punishment for drug possession was between five and ten blows on the soles of the feet - usually in private.

When Jessie's receptionist finished with one of them, she craned her neck around the line to call to Jessie:

"Ms. Aguilar?" Jessie came forward. "I'm sorry, we were going over the apparel restrictions, and I forgot to give you the breakdown of your bill." She handed Jessie some stapled pages. "Usually we send this in the mail afterward, but obviously that won't work in your case. I need to help these gentlemen, but I can answer any questions you may have in a minute."

Jessie sat down in the waiting room chairs along the wall and scanned the papers.

Processing fee - $75.00
Torture fee - $1,250.00
Pre-execution handling - $700.00
Crucifixion fee - $5,000.00
Torture fee - $500.00
Dog handling fee - $1,000.00
Materials - $2,000.00
Tending fee - $3,840.00 (estimated)
Site rental - $150,000 (estimated)
Misc. - $500.00
TOTAL - $164,865 (estimated)

Everything in Jessie wanted to scream. But she knew better. She took deep, shuddering breaths, waiting for the receptionist to be free, then approached, face composed, quickly whisking a tear from her left eye. The receptionist looked up with a helpful, questioning look.

"Did you have some questions?"

"Yeah... Um. What is site rental?"

"Yeah, everybody always wants to know what is that, cause it's like - that's the most expensive thing on here! What am I payin' for?" She smiled at herself briefly. "So, site rental is reserving the actual spot on the Plaza where you'll be executed. That's prime real estate, right, so they charge for you to use it for your execution." How could Jessie respond? She stood wordless, for a moment, looking at the bill for lack of courage to look the woman in the eyes. "And its estimated, based on having your body hanging on the cross for 30 days. Of course that could vary, for public health reasons, or if the spot were to be needed for another criminal. But they'll keep treating your, your - body, uh, for as long as they can, and it could be up there for a few months if it doesn't rot too bad."

"Ok," Jessie said blankly at length. "And... Why are there two items that say torture?"

"Let me look," the receptionist swiveled the paper around to face her. "Yeah - let me pull up your master list real quick..." she said, turning to click and type. "Ok. So you're getting 25 lashes at the beginning... Those are $50 each, so that's..." she turned back to the bill, scanning with her finger, "yeah - that's the $1,250. Then..." she turned back to her computer. Jessie began to wonder why she was bothering with this. She supposed would feel like a victory, if they found a mistake. Or maybe it was her only way of protesting the bald injustice of the world without deepening it to swallow up her family as well.

"Yeah, you're getting cane strokes," the receptionist said, changing her voice slightly to read: "Ten strokes with the rattan cane upon the bare buttocks, five from each side." She turned back to Jessie. "That's right before you're lifted onto the actual cross," she explained. "That's gonna be..." her eyebrow was raised and she looked out of the corner of her eye at her screen, as if bracing herself. "Yeah," she finished. "And you'll be on the cross with your butt like, rubbing against it...!" as if the thought were just hitting her. Her face was a pained, sympathetic grimace. It wasn't helpful. "I actually got 5 with the cane for accessory to shoplifting when I was a teenager, so I have an idea." Then she finally snapped out of it. "I'm sorry - did you have other questions?"

Jessie shook her head. None she wanted to discuss anymore.

"Ok, well if you just want to have a seat, they should be here for you any moment."
Brilliant, clinical, fabulous. Never mind the torture and execution, you’re setting up Jessie’s anticipation and fear wonderfully
 

jedakk

CARNIFEX MAXIMUS
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Likes
10,915
#22
She dug through her collection of intimate garments until she found the blue tanga panties she was looking for. They were at the bottom of the drawer, because she found them uncomfortable and never wore them. She was sure she would be allowed to wear them, though, and that was what mattered.
I don't have your command of women's lingerie terminology, so I have to google terms like "balconette bra" and "tanga panties"! Those panties ought to be ok even for the most discriminating executioner! :devil:

"Ms. Aguilar?" Jessie came forward. "I'm sorry, we were going over the apparel restrictions, and I forgot to give you the breakdown of your bill."
And here I was thinking that she might be expected to pay the executioner before they crucify her! Instead of that last horrifying responsibility, paying the executioner to torture and kill you, she gets an astronomical bill that will crush her family financially. Nice twist!

"Yeah... Um. What is site rental?"
Site rental! Is there no end to the bureaucracy? Someone in addition to the executioner is making a killing off of the crucifixion business!

"Ok, well if you just want to have a seat, they should be here for you any moment."
Yeah, sit down and relax for a minute or two before they come to take you away to torture and kill you! LOL! What she would really want to do is run away, even if it only put off what they're going to do to her for a few minutes. But whatever they are holding over her family will force her to keep complying.

Great, looking forward to more whenever you're ready.
 

Frank Petrexa

Assistant executioner
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Likes
508
Location
United States
#23
There was no one else in line when Jessie Aguilar strode up to the counter at 6:45 in the morning.

“Can I help you?” asked the young woman with chocolate brown skin, looking aside from her computer screen.

“Yes… I’m…”

“You here to check in?”

“Yes.”

“Alright,” the woman turned back to the screen and clicked a few times. “Last name?”

“Aguilar…”

“Ok… Jessica?”

“Yes.”

“Here to be crucified?”

Jessie nodded. The receptionist’s brow went up and her eyes widened for a moment, in acknowledgement of the severity of Jessie’s sentence.

“Can I see your I.D.?” Jessie brought her purse in front of her and fished out her wallet, then fumbled through it to find her driver’s license, hands shaking. The receptionist squinted at it briefly, looked Jessie full in the eye, and went back to her computer. “Thank you,” she said, typing.

“Ok…” the receptionist said, transitioning from her computer to a stack of manila folders on her desk beside her. “I got several things for you to sign before we get started.” Jessie nodded as the woman opened a folder labeled “Aguilar,” took out the first document, and slid it in front of Jessie. “So since you are being put to death, all of your handlers, torturers, and executioners will be men,” she said, with the rapid clip of a flight attendant reciting well-worn phrases. “As a woman, you would normally be punished by female officers, but since you’ve been condemned to death you must waive this right.”

Jessie signed, the receptionist took the document and replaced it with another.

“Thank you – now this is the waiver of your right to a quick and painless death… Says you understand that your death will be slow and you will suffer.”

Jessie looked over the document:

“I, Jessica Aguilar, hereby waive my constitutional right to a quick and painless death. I acknowledge and accept: That my death will not be, and of a right ought not to be, either quick or painless; That instead my death will be, and of a right ought to be, prolonged and painful; That I will be, and of a right ought to be, tortured and made to suffer in various manners before I am nailed to my cross; That after I am nailed to the cross I will hang, and of a right ought to hang, for multiple days on the cross before I die; That during this time I will be, and of a right ought to be, in extreme and constant pain, without relief. All of the above I acknowledge and accept as appropriate, just, good, right, and proper as punishment for my crime.”

Jessie looked up at the woman. How could she sign this? The woman’s brow was raised, not in impatience, but in invitation of a question.

“Do I have to sign this?” Jessie asked, voice quivering. She knew not to push very hard – her family’s lives were at stake.

“Yeah, it’s the standard one that we have to get signed for crucifixions, so…” the receptionist answered helpfully.

Jessie signed.

“Ok, and this one is the waiver of your right to death in private with dignity… Says you understand you will be executed in a public place in a manner intended to cause you humiliation…”

Again, Jessie read:

“I, Jessica Aguilar, hereby waive my constitutional right to be put to death in private and with dignity. I acknowledge and accept: That my death will not be, and of a right ought not to be, private, nor will be accorded any dignity of any kind, nor of a right ought I to be; That I will be, and of a right ought to be put to death in as public a place as is possible; That no opportunity shall be, nor of a right ought to be passed up to humiliate me, degrade me, and cause me shame; That no amount of humiliation, whether arising from insults, nakedness, intimate physical contact, or any other source, shall be deemed excessive. All of the above I acknowledge and accept as appropriate, just, good, right, and proper as punishment for my crime.”

Jessie siged.

“Thank you… Now this one is your transfer of sexual rights. Says you give your handlers, torturers, and executioners the right to abuse you sexually…”

“I, Jessica Aguilar, hereby transfer ownership of my body to the State, and to all agents authorized or employed by the State. Specifically, I renounce all right to legal recourse in any case wherein I feel I have been sexually harassed or abused in any way. Furthermore, I acknowledge and accept that in the course of my execution, I will be, and of a right ought to be, sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, and otherwise sexually abused. Any verbal abuse, penetration, or sexual contact of any kind I acknowledge and accept as appropriate, just, good, right, and proper as punishment for my crime.”

A tear fell on the document as Jessie signed.

“Ok, and it’s got two addendums. This is the first one – says you understand you will be penetrated anally…”

“What?” Jessie wiped her eyes to be able to read the document before her:

“I, Jessica Aguilar, understand that by transferring ownership of my body to the State, I have transferred ownership of every part of my body, including my anus and rectum. I acknowledge and accept that the State therefore reserves the right to penetrate my body anally with any instrument it may choose. Furthermore, I acknowledge and accept said anal penetration as appropriate, just, good, right, and proper as punishment for my crime.”

“What is this for?” she asked the receptionist.

“Oh, it’s for, like when you watch a crucifixion and they get tired, and they’re not breathing real well anymore?”

“I don’t watch executions.”

“Oh – I guess I’m just interested cause of my job and all. But all they’re gonna do is they’ll just stick this wooden, like, stick thing up your butt and attach it to the cross to support you. Helps you breathe better so you live longer.”

Jessie signed.

“Thank you, Miss Aguilar. And the second addendum… Wait – are you gettin’ canine rape?” Jessie looked clueless. “You don’t know? Here, let me look, cause they had it in your folder, but I couldn’t remember if it was on your master list. They don’t always give that one…” She scanned her computer screen. “Oh yeah. Yup, you are,” she set the document in front of Jessie. “Ok, last one! This is for canine rape – says you understand you will be sexually assaulted by a large dog, and you agree not to struggle.”

Jessie looked down in disbelief. The judge had not mentioned this.

“I, Jessica Aguilar, acknowledge and accept that the State, as Owner of my body, has decided to submit my body to a male dog for sexual intercourse. I acknowledge and accept that the State has every right to do this. Furthermore, I acknowledge and accept that said sexual intercourse is appropriate, just, good, right, and proper as punishment for my crime. I therefore hereby swear that I shall offer my entire body, and most especially my buttocks, vulva, and vagina, to the aforementioned dog without protest or struggle of any kind.”

Jessie sighed, barely keeping herself from sobbing, then signed.

“Ok! That’s all the paperwork! You’re supposed to be down on the Plaza for your whipping at 7:30, so you got some time… Let’s see – what kind of underwear you got on?”

Jessie looked up bitterly. “Why?"

“Well you know you’re allowed to wear a garment over your nipples and a garment over your pussy for the morning, right? But they gotta be approved.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well after your whipping you’re gonna spend the morning on parade, right? You’ll be handcuffed between two officers wearing sandwich boards to advertise your execution at 12:30. So during that time you can wear your bra and panties if they’re approved.”

“Approved by who?”

“Well, they just can’t cover up too much. Like your bra can’t cover your WHOLE breast, can’t cover your shoulders, minimal coverage of the back, stuff like that.”

“What if they’re not approved?”

“They’ll make you take them off. But I can check yours for you if you want, and you probably got time to change if you need to.” The woman’s manner was friendly and helpful, so Jessie agreed. “Yeah, just lift your tee-shirt up…” Jessie obeyed, showing her round, tan breasts set in a blue balconette bra. “Yeah, that will be fine, because a lot of your breasts are still showing.”

Jessie pulled her shirt back down, self-consciously. By now there were officers filtering through the waiting room and in and out of the halls.

“Want me to check your panties?”

“Like, just right here?” Jessie asked.

“Yeah, just pull your jeans down and let me take a look,” the woman said, stretching her neck to see over the counter. Jessie reluctantly unfastened her jeans and slid them halfway down her thighs to reveal her white panties. “Ok, turn around for me…? Yeah, they’re not gonna let you wear those, cause they cover your whole butt.”
View attachment 543519
“Really??” the stress of anticipation had already taken Jessie’s nerves too far.

“Yeah, you can cover your pussy, but all other coverage has to be minimal. You got something that doesn’t cover your whole butt like that? It doesn’t have to be like a thong or anything, it’s just gotta show some.” Jessie just stood weeping. “It’s ok, Girl – you got time to run home and change, I bet.” She was honestly trying to help.

“It hardly matters,” Jessie wept. “I can only wear them till 12:30, right?”

“That’s correct – yeah, at 12:30 when you’re actually nailed to the cross you will have to undress completely and be crucified, uh, in the nude, yes.” The business tone was back. After a few moments of watching Jessie cry, the receptionist came back to her friendly tone: “You know what – go on home and pick out some sexy blue bikini bottoms to match your bra, ok? It’ll make you feel better. When you come back we’ll be ready to get you down the Plaza and get started.”
This is a fantastic story. I'm really getting off on it, haven't been able to get it out of my head. I hope there will be more. (Apparently there really is a fight club female performer named Jessica Aquilar.)
I'm not into rape so much, but to each his own--I can skip what I don't like. What I do like is the anticipation. And the dialogue is brilliant. The writing is fairly terse and hard-hitting. And you understand bureaucracy very well. Employees are supposed to follow the rules--emotional reactions and even ethics are secondary. "I'm interested 'cause of my job and all".
Maybe some people recall "The Caine Mutiny". Bogart is the captain of a minesweeper, and Van Johnson is his executive officer. They are in the fleet during "Halsey's typhoon"--apparently the admiral didn't have much respect for the weather and the fleet paid. The seas are high and the ship is likely to go down.
Johnson: "Captain, we have to maneuver." Bogart: "Fleet course is 7-5-0". Johnson finally grabs the wheel and saves the ship--hence the mutiny and the court martial.
Something similar really did happen to President Gerald Ford. He was on the escort carrier U.S.S. Monterrey during Halsey's typhoon in World War II. The planes in the hold broke loose and fuel ignited. The captain reported the fire to the flagship. "Abandon ship." The waves were forty feet high. Fortunately, the captain had less respect for bureaucracy than Bogart's Queeg and sent Ford and a crew down to the hold and they were able to put out the fire.
 

Juan1234

Assistant executioner
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Likes
1,942
#24
Thanks to all for your support!! I'm enjoying your feedback immensely. Originally (as you might guess from the title) I had not intended to actually describe the whole execution. The point was more the bureaucratic process and the clinical environment - the build-up. But it looks like I may have to go further. I don't get on to CF as often as I'd like, but I'll write more soon. Thanks again!!
 

jedakk

CARNIFEX MAXIMUS
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Likes
10,915
#25
Thanks to all for your support!! I'm enjoying your feedback immensely. Originally (as you might guess from the title) I had not intended to actually describe the whole execution. The point was more the bureaucratic process and the clinical environment - the build-up. But it looks like I may have to go further. I don't get on to CF as often as I'd like, but I'll write more soon. Thanks again!!
My original assumption was that it was the opening for a longer story, but then I realized that the title implied that this was about "checking in" only. So what you've written already is probably appropriate for that, but there are some unanswered questions, like what was her crime? What is it that the state holds over her family to ensure that she will comply and present herself for her execution?

You could take this into a fairly lengthy story, or you could opt out and leave it as what you originally intended it to be.
 

Juan1234

Assistant executioner
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Likes
1,942
#26
A man with a clipboard appeared from a back hall, and Jessie's heart raced. He glanced at the clipboard and read the name: "Mike Smith?" A long-haired, unshaven, unbathed scarecrow of a man got up from his seat. Jessie thought it was worse than if he had been coming for her.

She waited. Her nerves filled her bladder, as nerves can do. She thought for just a moment, then, having nothing else to do, and too keyed up to do nothing, she went to the desk to ask about a restroom.

"Straight down that hall and to the right," the receptionist said cheerily.

Almost immediately, Jessie heard her name called. "Jessica Aguilar?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, said the receptionist. Once they call you you're not considered a person, so you can't use our restrooms. You'll have to talk with them."

Jessie was shocked and shaking, unable to reply. She somehow made her way toward the man who had called her, and he led her down the hall to a small holding room where a second officer waited. They were both young, strong men.

"Ms. Aguilar," said the first, "My name is Trevor, and this is Jack. We will be preparing you for your crucifixion this afternoon." Then he lifted a radio to his mouth and spoke again: "Austin, this is Trevor - we've got Aguilar in holding."

"Ok, good," the radio crackled back. "I'm talking to the media, I'll be right with you."

Jessie stood there for a moment, trembling, facing the officers, who were looking her up and down.

"Can I use the restroom?" she finally asked.

Jack went behind a desk, produced a small bucket, and handed it to her. "You can go in there," he said casually. Jessie looked at him in disbelief.

"Where do I go?" she asked, hoping with everything in her that she didn't already know the answer.

"Right here," said Jack.

She thought for a moment, then refused, handing back the bucket. The officers chuckled.

"So Austin," Trevor said into the radio, "with a female crucifixion, can't we just like, fuck her as much as we want?" When there was no immediate response, he added with a smile, "Cause this chick is hot, Man!" Jack laughed.

The radio responded: "Well you could, but we're supposed to have leather on flesh by 7:30, and the media is asking for an interview beforehand, so you need to just bring her straight out."

"Oh, MAN...! Come on, Austin!"

"Should have come to work earlier, Boys!"

Trevor and Jack each took Jessie by an arm and marched her out of the room, down several hallways, and out onto the streets. Within a minute, they arrived at the Plaza. Jessie immediately saw the whipping post and the small crowd of uniformed officers around it, as well as a two-person camera crew.

"Here she is!" said the man who appeared to be in charge - probably Austin, Jessie thought.

"Oh good!" said a very made-up young brunette with a large news micrphone, "Thanks so much for giving us a minute - we'll be quick!" Then she started discussing with her cameraman where she would stand and what angle he would shoot. "Ok!" she said, finally, "So... She's going to have to take off some clothes for this, right?"

"Yeah, she'll be stripped down to the waist."

"Ok - let's do that first, and we can have her doing the interview topless."

"Sure," said Austin, nodding at Jessie, "Take off your shirt and bra." Jessie's piercing green-blue eyes filled with tears as she obeyed. (Most of her features came from her Brazilian, Caribbean, and Mexican herritage, but a great-grandmother had been Irish, so her eyes contrasted with her tan complexion.) She handed her discarded clothes to the officers and they positioned her next to the news host and told her to stop covering her nipples with her arm. Her face was stoic, but the tears were falling. Before she knew what was happening, the camera was recording.

"Welcome back to Torture Nation! Bringing you the very best of crime and punishment from across the country, every day! We've got something really special for you here today. I'm here with Ms. Jessica Aguilar," (she could see the camera back up slightly and turn toward her to include her in the frame, and she felt her dark, naked nipples get hard) "Tell me, Ms. Aguilar, why are you standing out here in public, topless, showing us your bare boobs on national television?"
 

jedakk

CARNIFEX MAXIMUS
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Likes
10,915
#28
"Can I use the restroom?" she finally asked.
Although excretory functions are not a turn-on for me, I've written these kinds of scenarios over and over. This is just one more humiliating thing that a condemned person had to suffer - being made to perform their bodily functions in public, which is what Jessie is headed for since she chose not to use the bucket. The only question is whether she will lose her bladder during the whipping or at some point during the crucifixion process.

"Yeah, she'll be stripped down to the waist."
Surprised, I thought she'd probably be naked for the whipping, but as you told us earlier, she's supposed to receive some additional caning on her bare butt just before being crucified.

"So Austin," Trevor said into the radio, "with a female crucifixion, can't we just like, fuck her as much as we want?" When there was no immediate response, he added with a smile, "Cause this chick is hot, Man!" Jack laughed.

The radio responded: "Well you could, but we're supposed to have leather on flesh by 7:30, and the media is asking for an interview beforehand, so you need to just bring her straight out."
I like it! The standard formula would be for the guards to bang her raw and drag her out with a ten-thousand mile stare to be whipped, crucified, etc. Can't rape her, there's a schedule to keep!

Good writing!
 

Juan1234

Assistant executioner
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Likes
1,942
#30
A very good and interesting story you write very well.......I just wish you hadn't put the thing with the dog in. Not my cup of tea at all and kinda spoils the story.
Sorry, Joker. :/ I cant say it’s a huge thing for me, either, it just seems incredibly humiliating and degrading. You can easily skip that part and it won’t affect the story.
 

Juan1234

Assistant executioner
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Likes
1,942
#33
Jessie took a shuddering breath to stop her tears and prepare to answer. It was such a deep question. How had this happened? How had she ended up here, on a Friday morning, topless in front of a news camera? She wanted to tell them everything. She wanted to go out with defiance.

She opened her mouth twice before finally speaking. "I'm about to be whipped."

"And why are you about to be whipped?"

"I'm going to be -" she stilled her trembling jaw and finished, "crucified."

"That's right - it's a crucifixion, everybody!" the host said to the camera, "This lovely young lady will be nailed to her cross at 12:30 eastern - and she won't be wearing jeans, I can tell you that! We'll have full coverage all day here on Torture Nation. Now, Ms. Aguilar, why did you have to come here and be crucified today?"

"Because if I didn't come, my family would be punished." Her heart was pounding. She knew she was treading the line. The news host laughed nervously and looked to Austin out of the corner of her eye.

"Don't - don't use that," said Austin, and he glared at Jessie until he knew she was scared.

"What - what did you do, Ms. Aguilar?" Jessie clenched her jaw, deciding. The host was visibly nervous, and checked her watch. "What were the charges?" Maybe that would be easier.

"Terrorism."

"Ah - you supported a terrorist organization, so now you're paying the price." Jessie didn't nod. A few more tears fell. "You deserve to die on the cross, don't you?"

Jessie looked up at Austin, you was staring at her fixedly. "Yes," she said softly.

"Ok - just one more question, and we'll let you go get tied to the post. You were sentenced to death almost a month ago. What has it been like waiting for today, and what is it like now that you're here?"

Jessie fianlly broke down for real. "It's been awful!" she sobbed, lifting her hands to her eyes. "Trying to explain that to my boys? Like..." she shook her head.

"Oh, and how did you explain it?"

"I just told them," she regained her composure somewhat, "that we didn't have much time left together, and I had to go away, but I would see them in Heaven."

"Well that's ok - I'm sure they'll find out the truth about you sooner or later. Ok!" the host turned to the camera, "the terrorist who thinks she's going to Heaven! We'll be following her day closely today - don't go away!"

"Ok!" said Austin, obviously gald for the sake of time that the interview was over, "get her tied up! We've got less than two minutes."

She stood in a daze and let Jack and Trevor do what they wanted as they tied her hands firmly together with thick ropes, pinched her nipples and fondled her face. Already more than a dozen onlookers had gathered to watch.

When her bare arms had been hauled up over her head and tied to the whipping post ring, Austin addressed her and the onlookers, reading from a clipboard.

"Ms. Aguilar, you have been sentenced to 25 lashes on your bare back using a six-thong leather whip. The public exposure you are enduring now, and the torture you are about to endure, are violations of your constitutional rights. Please confirm that you deserve to be punished in this way, that you have willingly waived your rights, and you now willingly submit yourself to the punishment."

Jessie closed her eyes and let fall another tear. "Yes," she mumbled to the post.

"I'm sorry, we need an audible response for the record," said Austin.

"That is correct," she said, head turned toward him, voice raised, flexing her fingers, bracing herself for the lash.
 

jedakk

CARNIFEX MAXIMUS
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Likes
10,915
#34
"Because if I didn't come, my family would be punished." Her heart was pounding. She knew she was treading the line. The news host laughed nervously and looked to Austin out of the corner of her eye.

"Don't - don't use that," said Austin, and he glared at Jessie until he knew she was scared.
Reminds me of the television series The Tudors, where those condemned to death by hanging in chains, beheading, burning at the stake, boiling in oil, etc. always made sure to praise the king, the fairness of his justice, whatever they had to say to avoid the threat of reprisals on their families afterward. Apparently Jessie almost blew it.