This is part 7 of an 11-part series (click here to read the first blog in the series).
Sophie could feel the fire’s warmth radiating over her naked body. The comforting crackle of embers sizzling. The scent of dragon-fire. The aroma of magical potions brewing. And the feeling of being chained to the wheel, once more. Cuffs holding her limbs in a splayed X. Her eyes wobbled open. The great disc was set next to the campfire and the Circus Master stood watching from across the flames. She let her body hang limp. So relaxing: being pinned in position. She didn’t mind the cuffs biting as they held her weight. The shackles were a strange temperature – the metal couldn’t decide whether it was hot or cold.
His walking cane was ornately engraved with fine scales, like the metallic skin of a black dragon. He removed his heavy branding ring and set it into the rod’s handle. The two objects had clearly been designed to lock together. He turned the cane upside down and plunged the ring into the middle of the fire, propping the staff between two logs so it stuck almost-vertically into the air. Could see the glow searing and broiling around the black steel as it heated up.
The Circus Master kept his focus fixated on Sophie as he approached. She batted her lashes dreamily. Could just make out the dark shapes of the other circus performers sitting around the clearing, distant from the fire and from each other. And could feel the weight of their eyes watching.
‘They’re here to witness the renewal of your vows.’ The Circus Master explained. Sophie nodded in understanding, her lips mumbling to begin the chant. ‘Not yet.’ He shook his head slowly. ‘You need to be impurified first.’
He strolled around the fire. Her focus sleep-walking after him, until he moved out of view, behind the wheel. Everything rocked as he stepped onto the shelf at the back. The feel of him looming above. Suddenly the world strickened cold as a bucket of icy water sploshed over her head and body. The shock of full awareness fountaining. The fire fizzled and spluttered as the water sprinkled, an angry seethe of steam hissing into the atmosphere.
The Circus Master strode back to take up position across the fire from his trembling prize… whip rolled up in his hand. He drew the corner of his lip up to bare white teeth. A little, sucking clack as he moved the saliva around inside his mouth. A pitter-patter as the long, serpentine weapon uncoiled onto the forest floor. Sophie’s upper body was frozen but the fire’s hot breath warmed her legs to glow. Chill scalding in the clash.
The whip slithered along behind as he turned and walked towards a shadowy figure, who watched from the edge of the clearing. The Fire-Witch whispered some kind of sorcery, then he marched back towards Sophie. Fierce face full of violent intent. Blood-red brow and ghoulish white jaw. He swept his arm and snapped his wrist. She flinched as the whip shot out to thwack against the wooden wheel, just by her flank. He positioned himself a couple of meters away, with the flames dancing between them.
Consuming her with carnivorous eyes. The beautiful shock shivering in her pretty, round face. Wet curls of black hair slaloming down her soaking cheeks. Melting-caramel skin flushed fresh and cold and quivering in the naked night. Breasts hard as ice with nipples bristling. The succulent curvature of her waist splaying into her hips and undulating down her legs. Body prone and spread wide. She could feel her pussy blossoming like a flower as the blood pumped into her vulva… lips like parted petals.
The whip sprung from his hand, his arm yanking it back like a fishing line, so only the wiry tongue struck – clipping her spot-on the nipple. Sophie howled, the iciness of her skin intensifying the agony. He repeated the movement to lash thin leather across her other nipple. She repeated her screaming response. Cuffs biting into her wrists and ankles as she squirmed on the rack. He stood back and swung again. Just the tiniest dash of the tail flicking across her thigh, but the pain sliced like a knife. Everything clashing hot and cold, especially the Circus Master’s face.
The thrashing continued, blows cutting across her stomach, the top of her curling haunches, the sensitive inside of her upper arm. Each time, he expertly flicked his wrist so only the tip of the tongue struck. Nipping and biting: slashing slim, red marks all over. She screamed and swung about, cavorting around in her bonds as the pain whizzed and whooshed everywhere.
Tears blurring her vision, but she could see the Circus Master raising his finger. The whole world began spinning, head over heels… down and around. Maybe one of the lionesses had started the rotation on his command. Or perhaps he was using magic to control the great disc directly. Possibly the wheel wasn’t moving at all… and it was only Sophie’s mind spinning. Although she could feel the heat gushing over her upper body as her head whirled past the fire. Flames fizzing as water droplets spattered from her flesh.
Whole universe focusing to centre around the demonic figure of the Circus Master, once again. Appeared as if he was standing in the middle of the conflagration… rising with the smoke as the flames lapped around him. The lashes kept coming. An agonising rain of leather streaks over her breasts, flanks, arms, thighs and calves. Tongue even slashing over the soles of her feet as she swung upside-down. His whole body moving gracefully with the thrashes of the whip. Weight shifting as he stepped back, head rocking, broad shoulders rolling. Muscles gritting and sliding over one another as his torso kinked and his arm swept a looping arc, before gliding forward to attack. Dextrous flicks of the wrist, yanked back on themselves to deliver the pain with pinpoint precision.
The wiry whiplash kissed the sensitive plump at the top of her inner thigh and she howled loud. He let the weapon’s tail drop into the fire. Only drawing it out slowly, so the leather slithered over the glowing embers and caught alight. The magical whip bursting into flames, right the way down to the handle… but not melting away. As he swished it around, the burning glow cut lines and shapes in the air – fiery phantoms hanging in the night. The intense heat searing as the lashes fell about her, blows burning into her skin.
But the acuteness of the pain blurring into one. Spindly cobwebs of hurt expanding into one another. She could no longer feel the difference between hot and cold. Everything was twirling and spinning and the pain was just more movement. Agony dancing with the flames… to the music of the whooshing whip. It was just Sophie and the Circus Master now: as ever before, as ever after. Their centres were one – unmoving and still together in the midst of all this heat and motion.
All she could truly feel was the eerie calm in the eye of the storm. She could only hear the pain… and it sounded beautiful. He moved with the elegant and emphatic gestures of an impassioned conductor, orchestrating the whole universe. Each of his movements drawing one from her, leading her tortured dance. The fire-whip tracing trails of phantom luminescence to afterglow in its wake. Everything fuzzy and pretty, atmosphere exploding with rainbow glitter.
Could sense the rotation gradually decelerating and the lacerations dying down. The wheel stopped with Sophie pointing upright. Dizziness yammering, teeth chattering, but soul becalmed as the Circus Master approached. The rocky cliff-face of his chest over her face, could hear his heart beating inside. The bite-mark, she’d gouged into his pectoral, felt like a profound romantic gesture. A lippy, purpling scold surrounding two whitened furrows of dents. He un-cuffed her limbs, one by one, until she was just holding herself on the cross. She felt unbalanced and insecure… the precariousness of not being bonded.
He circled his finger and Sophie moved to change positions. Swapping her limbs around on the stakes to face inwards. The fire’s warmth tickling her heels. The Circus Master’s dragon-fire breath gushing over the back of her bristling neck. He clinked the cuffs around her wrists and stooped to lock her ankles. The feeling of security flooding through her body and she leant her cheek against the comfortable wood as if settling down for bed.
As he resumed his position on the other side of the fire, the great disc resumed its motion. World spinning like a surreal dream. She heard the flaming whip flourish and the tail snapped out to crack across the round of her buttock. She gobbled down the pain whilst she could still feel it acutely. Ass-cheeks squirming as the flames lashed her plump flesh. Long, strict lines drawing across her back… criss-crossing.
The pain hazed and dazed. Her own screams felt invigorating – like spears of intense life thrusting through her. Air zinging with snicker-snapping leather. Cruel, thin tongue licking and lacerating all over her buttocks, flanks and shanks. She danced to the throbbing beat of the agony – rolling with the cringes, swinging with the recoils, bouncing into the blows and letting them rain long stripes of red. Biting to break the skin. She sung her screams to the high heavens – heartfelt hallelujahs. Holding onto the merry-go-round of the wheel and whirling happily as her monstrous Master moved like a shadow behind.