|Lavina, Canto 7: Lavina at Sea (Part 2 of 2)|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  18 May 2008
Within hours, as the sun approached its noon heights,
Hireneld crept down into the cargo hold
and pried apart his crate. He had hoped to take her
immediately, but he found her cramped and exhausted.
She needed water, and she had been holding her urine.
Hireneld said he’d be back with some water,
and he left her there, sneaking out.
It seemed to her that he was gone for hours,
but he returned, bringing some wine
in a large jug of dented metal
with a large rim that flared outward at the top.
She drank the wine and felt it hit her stomach,
but she needed the fluid. When she was done,
he told her to piss in it, and at first
she was horrified – but then, he said he would take it
and throw it over the side, that this would help
conceal her presence. She agreed,
and she did not complain
when he watched her squat over the carafe
and empty her water into it.
He took the container and propped it between two boxes,
that it wouldn’t spill if the ship tossed,
and then he bent her over a heavy wooden box
and pushed himself into her, unapologetically,
her mind swirling with wine
and beer from the night before,
her body aching from lack of movement
and from holding her urine.
He told her to stay out of sight,
that she must promise she would not mention him
if she were discovered, and then he left,
taking with him the carafe
and throwing its contents over the side.
A few hours later, with the boat far from shore,
the sea turned violent, the rocking worse
as the ship swayed in the choppy sea.
In the hold, Lavina stumbled and hit her head,
then sat down behind some crates.
She felt her stomach’s hunger
and wondered when Hireneld would return.
It took him a few more hours;
it was early afternoon when Hireneld
opened the thick wooden door
and called out to her by name.
At this, she revealed herself
and saw that he’d brought water
and stale bread.
She ate it eagerly.
The water came in another dented metal carafe,
and she wondered briefly if he’d washed it
since it held her urine,
but drank anyway.
“Squat,” Hireneld demanded,
and she gave again her water.
“I’ll be back later” was all Hireneld said
before he took the metal jug and left.
It was evening by the time Hireneld returned;
Lavina could see the sky through tiny holes
high against the hold’s curved wall of timbers.
She could all but smell him
before he opened the door; he’d been drinking
and he swung the door open wide
until it scraped still against the floor,
imperfectly straight as it was. “Lavina!”
he called out, and she stepped into view.
“Lavina!” he shouted again, now louder,
not having seen her emerge.
“There you are, woman,” he slurred
and staggered towards her. “No,”
she told him instinctively – it was too much,
this drunken assault. But he grabbed her
with his big hands, and pushed her hard
against a crate edge, ripping her blouse.
I don’t have another, she thought, stupidly,
as he tore her underwear down,
no more than a foot, just out of his way.
She struggled, but his hand pressed hard
against her back, pinning her to the splintered crate
on which he’d take her. But
he couldn’t get fully erect, and so
he slapped her ass, hard, then harder.
She whimpered just enough to excite him,
and he forced himself inside.
He finished quickly but brutally
and pulled out of her, suddenly disinterested.
But the sound had attracted others,
and they arrived to see Hireneld
stumbling, nude between Lavina
and the door. For her part, Lavina
was still against the crate, recuperating.
The other men, clearly drunk themselves,
shouted and mocked: “Look,
Hireneld’s keeping a wench down here!”
“Don’t keep her all to yourself,”
one told Hireneld, who watched impassively
as all four accosted young Lavina,
tore off her remaining clothes,
and took her one at a time
while Hireneld watched.
They laughed as they held her down
and took their turns with her flesh.
When they were done, they hauled her by the hair
above-decks, where they called the captain.
He was still drinking, and resented the interruption,
but when he saw her, he was pleased.
“You’ve brought us some company, Hireneld?”
he joked. He caressed her all but nude body,
on the deck in the black night,
as the ship rocked back and forth.
Lavina, looking all around, saw the great expanse
of sea is all directions, and knew
she was well and truly trapped.
The captain molested her breasts,
then reached his hand between her legs
and pulled it back, dripping with semen.
“You’ve had your fun with her, I see,”
he told the men. “Shackle her.
Tonight, she’ll serve as the good Anarolyni’s masthead.”
One began to strip her, further tearing her clothes,
but the captain stopped him:
“Leave the clothes, boys. Those rags’ll make ‘er look
like some old statue up there.”
The others brought out shackles for her neck
and both ankles, connected to long, thick chains,
then pulled her to the bow.
The bow jutted briefly out over the water,
extending horizontally; they made her sit astride it,
then ran the ackles’ chains
under the bow and back up the other side,
keeping her in place. Her wrists, they stretched forward,
running the chains around the front of the bow
before doubling them back to be tied against the ship,
to pull her arms taught forward.
For her collar, they pulled her chain leash back,
tying it to the mast, so that her arms were racked forward
while her neck stretched strongly backward.
The effect arched her back and projected her breasts,
which the sailors noted and tore down her dress
enough to expose and let bathe beneath the moon.
She looked like some wooden statue,
a masthead twisted dramatically for effect,
save for the chains, the flesh, and tears.
“None may touch her tonight,” the captain said.
“Nor give her food or drink. We don’t have women on this boat
for a reason, boys. Now let ‘er beautify sweet Anarolyni.”
For all their crudeness, these sailors were artists,
inspired by that night’s caprice and utter indifference
to the suffering of this prisoner girl
to make of her a feast of beauty, their missing masthead.
Holding the position hurt: her neck ached
beneath the collar, and the taut outstretched arms too,
her legs twisted around the ship’s cock, locked in place.
Her vagina, torn and bruised, sat direct against the splintered wood
of the outstretched bow, and rocked with every wave.
The waves splashed up upon her face, wetting, freezing
her ripped clothes in the cool night sea air.
She could not sleep, nor turn her head,
but merely had to hold herself aloft,
to stare blankly out at the eternal sea beneath the moon,
to cry and hope the next wave would not send
her body painfully to one side or the other,
or her genitals sliding hard against the unforgiving wood.
The night was endless, punctuated only
by the men, who, one by one, took their nocturnal turns.
They snuck to her, sometimes finding each other
enjoying the woman on their ship’s bow
and waiting, out of sight, for their turn.
A few times, two or more were waiting,
laughing together when they met
as they sought to hide in the same place.
To take her, they had to lift her rump up from the bow
and pull her back off of it, yielding them just enough room
to have at her, but in the process
using up all the slack in the chains
so that her neck bent back, her face to the sky,
in order to chance a breath between thrusts,
her arms stretched near to breaking.
She could not bend to see her attacker,
only smell them and feel their beards against her neck,
wet with splashes of sea water
as they manhandled her breasts
and slid themselves inside her, hard against the bow,
hard against the chains, freezing.
Each man but the captain had her that night,
aiding the cold and her position in keeping her from sleep
save for moments when she drifted off within the pain,
bound in chains and bone-chilled.
In the morning, as she shivered with illness,
the captain unshackled her
and drug her into his cabin.
She was barely conscious.
He slapped her and slapped her and slapped her,
asking her how she’d gotten aboard.
She told him everything.
He pushed her onto the bed, stripped off
her last remaining, sea-soaked clothes, and
beat her, for fun this time, before he at last took from her
what his whole crew had enjoyed before him,
the first also the last.
“Can I have some water now?” she begged,
her voice dry, broken, all but inaudible,
but he ignored her. “A blanket? I’m freezing,”
she tried to add, but still he said nothing.
When he was through getting dressed,
he calmly told her that he was going to kill her,
to dispose of this cargo he’d not been paid to transport.
She ignored him, asking only, “This boat is named
after your king?” He scoffed, as if the question
were evidence of profound stupidity.
“I knew him, Anarolyni,” she said, but still the captain ignored her.
“He had me,” she added. To this, at last, he spoke:
“Really?” the captain asked incredulously. “A dock slut like you?”
Lavina had nothing to say, no comeback to proffer –
nothing would convince the brute.
She felt death near, and welcomed the release.
The captain lifted her and brought her onto the deck,
still nude. He walked her to the ship’s edge
and, with his men watching silently, threw her to the water.
“Why’d you do that, captain?”
a crewman asked. “Well, we ain’t gonna feed ‘er,”
was his only explaination. The crewman hesitated
to question his captain further, but after a few seconds
dared observe: “We don’t have ta feed ‘er
ta fuck ‘er, captain.”
But the captain just stood there, looking at Lavina
floundering in the sea, drifting further
and further away from the ship.
Eventually, he could see her no longer.
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