Welcome to Spank or Treat 2016, a multi-blog story extravaganza with teasers of the upcoming anthology Spank or Treat. You’ll have the chance to win goodies while visiting authors’ blogs.
How do you play?
- Visit each blog between Friday, October 21st and Sunday, October 23rd to read the stories.
- Leave a comment on each blog. You must demonstrate that you have read the entire story. Copy-and-paste or inappropriate comments will be disqualified.
- Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on Sunday, October 23rd!
For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.
- Like Spank or Treat on Facebook!
- Join the Spank or Treat Event on Facebook for a weekend of fun!
- Tweet #SpankOrTreat on Twitter!
- Come to the Event to visit with [author name] October [date], [time] Eastern.
For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.
In my country, Terris means star. It’s an odd name to give to the youngest daughter of a non-inheriting second princess, but my mother insisted. Strange, because she never insisted on anything.
“She will be a star,” Mother told the midwives while she labored to bring me forth. After easy births for all of her earlier children, she groaned and wept for seventeen hours. My tiny feet protruded from between her legs, and screams ripped us apart. “Fiery, all-consuming, and aloft in her own place in this world.”
Later, when the midwives bathed Mother’s forehead and laid me at her breast, she couldn’t remember her words. “Terris? We have no Terrises in our family.” My elder brothers and sisters were named after aunts and uncles, grandparents, and esteemed ancestors.
The midwives touched their foreheads. A curse. Some women, crazed with the pain of birthing, lost their minds and delivered curses from another realm. Others feared passing madness from mother to child, and any early signs warranted an elaborate cleansing ritual from our shamans.
When Father heard the story, however, he declared I had been marked by the gods. Terris, the eastern star, shone brightly enough to guide the entire world. He told me other countries followed a star in the north, but I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone follow a northern star? We looked to the East, where Mother Sun welcomed us each morning before beginning her journey across the sky. North meant foreigners who worshipped strange gods and women who had no more rights than a child. If a wife displeased her husband, he could divorce her with a single word. If a man slept with half the tribe and fathered an army of illegitimate children, other men slapped him on the back for his “good seed.”
A wife, if she entered into the discussion, would be chided for failing to do her duty. Had she made herself attractive? Had she scolded her husband? Had she neglected him, become frigid, or in other ways displeased him?
No, the North was not where anyone wanted to live. North meant barbarians. My country looked to the East, to Terris, and to the daily renewal of life-giving warmth.
I, Terris, was named after the sky-sign we all revered. How could I have been born for anything but greatness?
Because my birth had been heralded by the gods, Father gave me privileges usually reserved for sons. I studied the ancient Scriptures at his knee, first by rote memorization and then by scratching childish lines into the dirt. Our god’s name was too powerful to speak aloud, but Father taught me the basic principles: love, honor, and order.
Another youngest daughter of a non-inheriting princess might have learned dancing, sewing, and music to attract a suitor. Instead, Father insisted I had a destiny beyond ordinary family life. While my older brothers and sisters were married to suitable prospects, I stayed at home. By the time I reached twenty, people stopped asking when I would marry. They muttered about Mother’s selfishness in keeping a daughter for herself, but they refused to believe I remained a spinster at Father’s decree.
You, Terris, have been marked by the gods.
We said gods, you see, instead of god because we could not name the ultimate being who controlled our destiny. Other tribes in our land gave the name “B-sti,” but we were not so foolish. To name him or her invited undue attention that could lead to madness, devastation, or death.
I? I could not imagine lying with a man, growing heavy with child, and chasing after shrill, screaming creatures such as my sisters and sisters-in-law produced. I carried myself tall and repeated each day, “I am marked by the gods. I am Terris.”
That was before I knew the price the gods demand.
Looking back, I wonder. Would I rather have had a babe in my belly and another in my arms, surrounded by the blessing of marriage to a man chosen by my parents? Given a choice, would I have opted for ordinary instead of gods-touched?
* * *
Years later, I stroke the cheek of the girl trembling before me. “Little daughter of Nahan,” I croon, silencing her cries before she utters them. “You are now the fourth wife of Jakal the Northerner, but your life is not over. You will learn, as I learned, how to survive.”
Her cheeks redden, and her body droops. She opens her mouth, but I rest my finger on her lips.
“You will learn how to keep him happy, and you will receive everything you desire.”
She trembles, this tiny daughter of a common land. She, too, thinks she has lost her way in coming here. She believes herself better than us, and better than the life of a multiple wife. After all, so did I. She was brought to us yesterday, and she sees only what I saw when I first arrived.
I could list all of the reasons she is mistaken, but I would waste my breath. Why should she believe me? I am her senior, and I benefit from her submission. Her second son will become my own, and her daughters will serve mine. The words linger, unspoken, between us.
“I’d rather die,” she whispers, teeth clenched as she grimaces. She expects the blow, and I deliver.
“Your life is no longer yours to forfeit,” I remind her.
I kiss the cheek I slapped, patting the imprint of my hand. She stares at me, wide-eyed. She expected a beating. A calculated, dispassionate administering of discipline such as Marel gave her the night before. Instead, I give her skin-to-skin contact as a husband would cherish a first wife.
She touches the angry mark, blinking repeatedly. “But you…I…” Her whole body tenses in confusion. “I…”
This time, I trace the outline of her jaw with my thumb. “Does this not feel good, little daughter of Nahan? Would you like me to stop?”
She breathes heavily, frozen in place. Unconsciously, she leans toward me when I remove my thumb.
“Or would you like me to continue?”
This time, the red in her cheeks has nothing to do with the slap. She licks her lips, poking the tip of her tongue out in an unconscious invitation. Warmth rushes through me, and I take her by the hand.
“Marel gave you her welcome last night, little daughter of Nahan. It’s my turn now.”
At this, she gasps and draws back. Marel is legendary in her discipline, and the beating last night would have been thorough. Painfully so, and correct in every detail.
I draw this new sister wife back to me, stroking her quivering back. “Shh, little one. Last night, you learned about duty and respect. Tonight, you will learn about pleasure.”
Her eyes widen, and she speaks in a tremulous voice. “Pleasure?”
Sliding my grip upward, I grasp her under the arms and lower her to kneel beside me. Then, as I seat myself on the finely woven rug given to me by Marel on my wedding night, I take this new bride across my lap. Lifting up the back of her skirt, I survey the vicious, crisscrossing lines. “The switch?”
She nods, giving a tiny yelp as my fingers explore each red line. “Please don’t…I can’t…”
She should not protest, this fourth wife. She is subject to my order, more than to Marel or Jakal. Jakal disciplines Marel, who disciplines me. I take care of the rest of the household. I can strip this new wife bare and thrash her until she screams for mercy. Or I can coddle her and treat her as my plaything. As long as she produces an heir for Marel in due time, this girl’s life is mine to savor as I wish.
And I do wish.
“Tell me your name.” It is a command, but I take a leaf of aloe and squeeze its healing juice onto her marked buttocks. She jerks at the cold touch, but she relaxes as I rub in the medicine.
“Altrea,” she whispers. “Will you beat me, too?”
She knows the answer already, of course. She is only playing for time before the inevitable. “Yes, little daughter of Nahan. You must be welcomed into the tent of Terris before anyone else will accept you.”
She whimpers, curling her toes and fingers in a helpless gesture of self-protection. She is long past the age of marriage, and such weakness is an affectation. Back in our home country, a wife who displayed such resistance would risk instant divorce. I slap her buttock cheek, loud and hard. She gulps, fights for breath, and hesitates. She knows what is expected of her, just as she did last night. The entire camp heard her wail as Marel thrashed her, and the entire camp smiled in satisfaction. Rumors had circulated that Marel was getting too old to do her job, but the hearty cries had reassured everyone.
“Cry.” I make my voice sharp. “You may do it now of your own free will, or you may wait until I force it out of you. Then you will submit to me.”
After last night’s beating, that single slap would have sent waves of pain through Altrea’s body. She is strong, though, and gasps in determination. She defies my authority, but it will only happen once.
Pressing down on her back, I select the thick wooden spoon I’ve saved for years. Our third wife proved biddable, but this new one is made of sterner stuff. If entreaty won’t work, I have other methods.
The instant the wooden spoon lands on Altrea’s bottom, she screams and kicks. I almost wish I had brought her outside for the spanking, as her tears and distress prove enchanting. Ah, then. It was not stubborn pride that held her back, but a deeper need. When I saw her fifteen years ago in the marketplace, my instincts were correct.
She is one of us.
And she is mine.
By the time the spoon lashes Altrea into a sobbing, gyrating mess, she has lost control of all societal self-consciousness. She launches herself at me, kissing hungrily as we unfasten each others’ dresses. When I teach her pleasure, she moans quietly into my ear.
“How did you know?”
“You are mine,” I repeat, and it is so.
What if heterosexuality were a crime?
In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?
In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.
In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?
Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.
Why is love a crime?
Bastia Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2emjZoS