|Lavina, Canto 1: Lavina and the Prince (Part 2 of 2)|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  20 Sep 2007
People traveled little in those days, but one day a merchant
from little Halpytus journeyed on foot to the next town,
where he hoped to exchange some wares,
brought in bags and slung over an ass,
for other wares, or coin. Arriving in little Tibrium,
the young merchant found a sign
reading “home of our lord’s wife.”
Asking around, he even found a stone well, whereat
a sign proclaimed that Prince Guyesp had stopped
and wed, on that site, the world’s most beautiful girl.
This merchant made his exchanges as planned,
then returned to Halpytus with the strange news.
Some refused to believe and claimed the merchant
a maker of stories, a seller of tales.
As for the mayor, he suggested that
Tibrium had heard the tale of Halpytus
and sought to duplicate through fraud
the great honor bestowed upon his own town.
But the merchant recounted how the townspeople
had seen their marriage, or had heard of it at the time,
how Guyesp had stopped through on his trip throughout his realm,
how he’d blessed the little town of Tibrium.
Others did believe, and soon sent a man to Tibrium
who not only confirmed the tale, but heard told
of a man from Tibrium who had visited Ellritbom
and warned they too had such signs and such tales.
In all the tales, the local beauty had been renamed Isabel.
Poor Lavina! For after the prince had taken his pleasure in her,
he told her of the princess’s carriage, one even more opulent
than his own and which he had ordered prepared.
He dressed her and kissed her and escorted her out,
where he placed her in the care of his guards,
who were to walk her to her carriage.
Hers would be the last in the train, his the first,
but hers was even bigger, the largest of them all.
Truly, she thought, it must be a fantastic sight,
and she imagined all the silk and perfume and rarities
it must contain from all his wealth and travels.
The door was not wood but sculpted iron,
though she noted the lack of windows. But when
the door was opened – O, woeful sight,
she saw a dozen women, sweaty and packed tight,
each bound with a gag to keep them silent,
but their eyes screaming.
At this, the guards grabbed her and held her down
while others bound and gagged her with a roughness
she had only seen used for cattle. And then,
the newly deflowered Lavina was thrown,
still bleeding, into the rolling prison.
The women were unpacked and fed between towns,
and it was only then that they could speak –
but then only in hushed tones, lest the guards
beat them for talking. If any need piss or shit,
they had to do so in front of all the others
and the guards. Humiliated, Lavina learned fast
to honor the rules. Once, she had complained
of lack of privacy while she shat and was beaten
not by one but by six guards, eager
to train her in compliance lest she trouble them again.
From the whispers at such stops she ascertained
the others had gone through the same,
been married to Prince Guyesp, taken away and enjoyed,
then bound and thrown together in the hot iron car.
Sometimes before the feeding session, the prince
would await them as they disembarked;
he would pick one and lead her, still bound and gagged,
to his own carriage, where the restraints would be loosed
just enough to let him enjoy her but no more.
In his loveplay, these girls would no longer find
the wandering prince who had taken their virginity
as they dreamed of their life at court, but rather
a rogue who used them like the basest prostitute.
The chosen girl would be taken back by guards
to the assembled other girls, where the prince’s chosen
entertainment would have to eat quickly, lest
she be famished before they stopped again.
Lavina’s beauty was such that she was chosen twice
for this honor. In the first, she resisted, protecting
what chastity she had left
with a furor with which mothers might protect their cubs.
But he had her beaten until she bled from the mouth,
and then he sodomized her there, in the dirt.
She was not permitted to eat before being stuffed,
dirty and bleeding, back into the cart.
The second time, she merely cried.
After some weeks, the cart filled with cargo
was replaced with a fresh, empty one, ready to be filled,
while the old one was driven off to some secluded field
where it greeted other carts, now turned stables.
There, the women were fed daily, not just
between towns as before, and they took some comfort
in this. They ate and were allowed to piss or shit in shifts,
so that no group of a dozen and a half
saw another group, though they saw the other carts
and could tell, from the sounds inside and the rubbish out,
what dread contents they harbored.
By the time Lavina reached the camp, there were six carts
already, and by the time she left, there were sixteen.
The guards got more and more numerous as other carts
arrived, and with time they became increasingly savage.
When one girl, mad from the conditions, tried to escape,
she was beaten in turn by not a few but a mob,
who then decided to make a demonstration of her:
they stripped her and took turns raping her
in a procession so long that it lasted through all the shifts.
The next day, she sat through all the shifts,
wailing from an unrecognizable face and lying broken,
nude and bloody on the ground. The girls were forced
to urinate and defecate upon her, and those who balked
were beaten briefly before they agreed. After several
such days, the girl who’d tried to escape lay clearly near death,
silent and looking dead already, reacting only barely
as the hot urine or shit fell upon her. At last the girls
found her dead, though they were still forced to use her corpse
for a toilet. There were no infractions after that,
though no one but her own group ever knew her name,
and even then only from whispers during feeding.
After the sixteenth cart had arrived, half a month passed
wherein no new carts were brought – though
none of the girls knew why or dared to ask.
At last, the carts were strung together and the departed.
This caravan stopped only at dusk, beginning anew
each day at daybreak. In the dying light,
some carts would be emptied and cleaned, one at a time,
while their girls were fed some gruel.
Each cart was opened and cleaned, and each cart’s girls fed,
once every two or three days.
During the trip, one of the girls in Lavina’s cart died,
and all of them became sick with coughs and pains.
The body was not removed for over a day
until another feeding, during which her corpse was cleaned
with the shit and piss
from that iron box on wheels.
The body was simply dumped in the mud beside their cart,
and Lavina and the others had to step over it
to climb back inside.
Hours later, even in that windowless cage,
they smelled the burning flesh outside.
The caravan arrived in the capital city of Triemte at night,
where it rolled under armed guard
into the prince’s palace complex
before being unloaded, one cart at a time,
into a courtyard. There,
the bound and gagged women were led inside
into an enclosed garden, under a vaulted ceiling.
They were led to a large room where running water,
conveyed through a channel, fell in showers,
where they were stripped and set to bathe.
A doctor examined each, probing their every orifice
for infection, and prescribed the necessary
balms and remedies for each. From there, they were led
to large rooms filled with soft beds,
sixty beds in each room, and were told
to lie down and wait silently. There, for the first time,
Lavina encountered the women of other carts,
all of them young beauties, however exhausted
and suffering from infections. The beds filled in wave
after wave, and then the room’s iron door was shut.
Lavina could hear the heavy locks on the outside,
and all waited in silence until sure the guards had parted.
Then: an uproar of whispers, a cacophony of hushes,
as all compared notes.
These were young girls from the countryside, but even they
could guess their function: some kind of harem, as one
had heard told was the way
of kings to the east. Why else sixty girls
kept in a room after being chosen for their looks
and enjoyed? That night, the girls heard told
sixty tales of a prince who wed them and bed them,
taking their maidenhoods as a husband of fantasy
but raping them afterwards as a conqueror of old –
sixty sad tales of royalty granted only to be despoiled,
sixty strange tales of being rechristened Isabel.
These sixty girls at last could share their horror
at the girl who was raped before them by all the guards,
but they talked somewhat less of their complicity
in disgracing her dying body.
Some girls recalled seeing the corpse being set alight –
the same corpse dear Lavina had smelled burn.
They disagreed about the possibility of eventual escape,
knowing all would depend upon their conditions.
And they hoped their parents and their towns
would seek them out and right this wrong.
The next day, they were led into the garden
and saw that there were not one but four such rooms of sixty,
all of whom were gathered for the first time,
nude together amidst the trees and bushes and birds.
Onto an ornate balcony, overlooking the garden
stepped Prince Guyesp, who greeted them
with kindness and called them his wives.
“I have not lied to you,” he told them.
“You shall indeed have rich lives, fair treatment,
medicine and soft beds, fine foods and all the things
my powers may provide. In this, I honor you as my wives.
Now honor me, as you have pledged before God,
with your love and absolute obedience.”
He continued, explaining any resistance would be punished
“most savagely, for hath not a husband the right
to beat his wives?” And he introduced the bulky eunuchs,
armed with swords, who would guard them night and day.
He had them pass out pink veiled garments
made of fine see-through silk that covered the head
to the toe, and which the girls greeted with joy,
they being the only clothes available
and the first clean garments since their marriages.
He also explained the strange décor
surrounding the balcony: there was hung
the white silk handkerchiefs on which he’d caught
their hymens’ blood in that moment
when they were first taken on oriental satin pillows
as the virgin wives of their lord and prince.
He bowed to bid adieu and was gone.
From this point forth, the girls could talk and socialize freely,
guarded by what seemed a hundred eunuchs
and daily silent visits by Guyesp to the balcony.
The eunuchs indeed brought food, and the first batch
was filled with rare spices and cooked with a precision
the likes of which none of these girls had never seen.
They slowly settled into a new routine,
learning each other’s names,
and the soft beds were so welcome
after so much standing and bumpy riding
in carts filled with filth.
Almost every night, one or two of them
would be escorted out and return with tales
of meeting again their prince,
who demanded utter compliance to his desires
but spoke to them as if they were indeed his wives.
No chance of escape ever presented itself, and all
quickly gave up hope – such was
the staunchness of the eunuch guards.
In time, Lavina too had her turn with the prince,
though she shared him with one other –
a busty brunette from further south.
Lavina was made to sit on the other’s face;
the other tongued Lavina’s vagina while
Guyesp had his way with her. Then,
Lavina was made to lick clean
the prince’s member. Next, he bent her over
the side of the bed and made the other girl
sit on Lavina’s back. He fondled the other’s
big breasts while he had Lavina through both
orifices, but at length
he was finally sated
and talked with them a bit
before the eunuchs escorted them back.
The women tried to get information
about the world outside
from the eunuchs,
but it proved impossible:
the eunuchs slept just outside the harem itself;
they had no contact with the outside world to share.
The prince himself was the only one
who knew anything of the world beyond
and ever stepped foot in the harem,
and even that was only the balcony.
It was a world enclosed.
Finding that the eunuchs beat any girl
who tried to arouse them even with the slightest look,
the girls began to satisfy each other sexually –
a few even began in the first week,
but almost all would follow. Some became
recognized experts at tonguing a vagina,
and some became couples, caressing and licking
and sucking only each other. The guards,
who observed all, permitted it – so long as nothing
was ever inserted save a tongue or a finger:
no dildo or replacement for a man’s organ
would be permitted, lest those who used
even a stick receive a severe beating.
Lavina resisted but, at length, surrendered
and grew to enjoy giving and receiving pleasure
with the other women, though like most
she thought it a poor substitute for a man,
even if that man were Guyesp.
Still, most hoped for liberation at the hands
of angry country mobs or sympathetic magistrates.
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