Chapter 16 – The Pit – Part 1: Endurance
While I greet the wardens, the convicts try to exchange a few words behind my back.
“So, they made you take the drugs too?” whispers 32 in a rather high-pitched but gentle voice.
“Yeah. Fuckers. Turned us into muscled monsters,” replies 33 in its low raspy voice.
“Nah, you don’t look too bad 33. You look like an ox, man. They must be putting you through some hell.”
“No more than what they make you do. Ain’t no one that would mess with a body like yours. And please, don’t use the numbers, my name is -”
At once, 32 faces forward, blue eyes staring ahead. It straightens itself up, flexing its thighs and biceps. Its large pecs it heaves forward, its empty gut sucked in.
“Sir!” it shouts, loud and clear.
33 stops speaking, bewildered by this shocking display of discipline and control. I, on the other hand, find Jimenez’s methods flamboyant and unnecessary.
“There will be no fraternizing with the enemy, 32” says the former drill sergeant turned warden, walking away from the crowd and toward the convicts. The ex-army man stands nearly a foot shorter than his ward yet it obeys him unwaveringly. “Let me remind you that it is still State-Time which requires you to be on duty. You may speak to 33 when we are done here, depending on your performance tonight. Remember why you have been chosen?”
“Yessir, I will prove that soldiers make the best wardens, Sir!”
So the trash talk has already begun. “Bullshit,” I say, turning around to face the convicts and Jimenez. “Convicts make the best wardens! Your warden Jimenez is a drill sergeant, knows how to dish out commands but has no clue how to actually get work done. A convict has been through hell, has done its time, has the experience. And experience beats everything else when dealing with a convict”
“”We’ll see, Torque” says Jimenez smiling and slapping me on the back.
I take a nice long look at Jimenez’s convict. 32 looks like some Greek hero, Hercules or Adonis or whatever their names are. Its cropped blond hair only further highlights those piercing focused eyes and sharp jaw. Its youthful face certainly has been affected by the stresses of its incarceration. Grime and sweat sticks on the little stubble on its upper lip and chin. A fully developed Adam’s apple sits in the middle of its thick neck.
Gone is the scrawny body the convict once possessed. Instead, massive shoulders, deltoids, biceps and triceps can be seen bulging and flexing as it is immobilized on its cross. A powerful chest just like mine heaves up and down, pushing warm stale air into those lungs. A thin bit of fuzz flows from the middle of his chest down rolling abs to its cock and balls. Its thin waist is a mix of muscle and veins and bone, a little thin but certainly strong. Large legs hold up this impressive torso with ease, having also be put through much toil.
I order the music in the background to be turned off as the chatter of the wardens dies down.
I count about 30 wardens in here in this rather ugly, bare chamber, made up of two unused cells with the middle wall torn down. The air is hot and stuffy. Dressed in my leather chaps and a warden’s uniform shirt, with already visible sweat stains throughout, I hold the attention of both wardens and convicts as I slowly walk down the length of the room to the stacks of beer crates piled up on top of one another. Next to it, packets of chips and other finger food are placed on a table. I grab a beer and open it, taking a sip of the refreshing drink, before addressing the crowd, my smile betraying that I am rather enjoying myself at this party.
“So guys, you’ve probably already heard what the special entertainment would be for tonight . Some of you may know the silly banter between Jimenez and myself about who has trained up a better convict. So we decided to settle this matter tonight once and for all. Tonight, we are gonna pit these jacked-up convicts against one another in the disciplines of endurance, strength, and submission. So place your bets everyone! 20 bucks is the minimum wager.
One of the wardens acts as bookie as the they place their bets either on Convict 32 or 33. Meanwhile, four guards come in carrying two Penitent’s Collars, 32’s and 33’s retrieved from their cells.
The convict look nervous and I notice them whispering to one another, probably to assure the other to stay strong. Such camaraderie!
The 4 wardens proceed to release them from their crosses. Neither puts on a struggle to conserve their strength for the ordeal. Both are locked into the accustomed weight of the yokes and are brought to another part of the room. There in front of us all, are two millstones like the ones these convicts turn everyday for hours without end. The convicts are chained to the millstone via the yoke, as usual, but another chain is also locked onto the back of the leather harnesses they are wearing, allowing them to transfer more force from their pecs and lats to use for this trial of strength.
Once all the bets are in, the wardens crowd around the millstones, yet making sure to leave a lot of space for the convicts to move. The Warden-Mentors,Jimenez and myself, join them in the middle. Jimenez addresses us all.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Oops, I mean just gentlemen. Then again, you lot aren’t so gentle, eh?”
Even this corny joke illicites a little laughter among the wardens.
“Our Assistant Chief Warden Torque here thinks that just because he’s an ex-con, he naturally has the better skills to train other convicts! Well, I’ve been the longest serving warden here at SisPen, and I can tell you that my experience as an army man and a warden can beat any experience Torque has from being a convict. Tonight, our first event at the Pit will be the skill of endurance. My convict 32 vs. that pile of shit 33, will race to see who makes 100 rounds of the Wheel faster! A round of applause for the participants.
The wardens smile and clap their hands in mockery. 33 spits on the ground as a sign of defiance.
I now speak, addressing the two convicts.
“Jimenez and I were wondering how to spur you two on, in the event that you maggots wouldn’t work your hardest. So, we decided to instigate a reward – and a punishment. The winner of at least 2 of the 3 rounds we play will be given this!”
From my pocket I take out and show to the crowd what seems to be a dirty piece of cloth, no more than 40 inches in length and 15 inches in width, filled with holes. A few pieces of thread flay out of the far sides of the irregularly shaped cloth. It’s original color was white but stains fluids and grime have dirtied it into a sooty black.
“This loincloth will be given to the winner of the challenges to hide its obscene cock and balls for the remainder of its sentence, or as long as this cloth doesn’t tear.” Whistling from the crowd.
With my other hand, I lift up two iron pokers I’ve kept in my large side pocket, with the numbers 2 and 3 at their ends.
“The loser, however, will be given a further branding on its right glut, as a permanent reminder of its failure.”
The convicts look on in desperation. There was a now a prize to strive for, and a punishment to avoid.
Without further ado, the games begin. Jimenez shouts, “On your marks, get set, GO!”
Caught slightly by surprise, 32 lets out a scream as it feels a sharp pain on its right oblique as the sharp tip of a bullwhip tears off the skin on its hips, drawing blood.
“Move it, convict!” cries Jimenez.
Similarly, I reach for my remote control and give 33 a Level 5 shock to the balls, as I drive the convict to pull, while at the corner of my eye, I see 32 begin its trot around the millstone as well, supervised by the much elder, but certainly well-built, warden Jimenez.
I scream in 33’s ears as it struggles to use every slab of muscle to turn the Wheel. Sweat pours out of every pore and collects at its joints and asscrack as muscle groups flex and extend, pumping out the required strength needed to pull this heavy burden.
A painful cry can be heard as Warden Jimenez cruelly lashes 32. I notice then that 32’s back also contains many welts, though far less than the brothers we had just visited.
A moment later, I overhear “30” from the other side, meaning we’re leading…
-40! Come on convict!
I deliver a Level 6 shock. 33 stumbles slightly to the right from the pain, but manages to regain balance before another shock comes.
The cheers from the crowd become more exuberant. Apparently, we are now neck in neck.
-60! Don’t let me down, 33, or you will feel it!
The sweat of the convicts flinging in the air, the groaning of the granite Wheels turning, the cheering of the crowd, the lash and shocks of the overseers. An air of electric exuberance fills the room. The musky scent of sweaty men permeates throughout this underground chamber, stuffy and cramped as it is with so many wardens. And the focus of their attention: two large ox-men, naked and chained, forced to perform for the entertainment of these perverted guards. The exclamations of the convicts as they suffer driving the crowd to fever pitch.
The sweat pouring from 33’s brow blinds it. This it ignores, knowing that the path is simple: just keep going around. It closes its eyes while it groans in time with the turning of the Wheel. Another Level 6 shock to the balls, for good measure.
A third lash falls on 32’s gluts, drawing out a scream, and propelling it forward.
AAAIIII!!! I hear the scream of 32 as the cruel lash is laid upon it yet again. “PICK UP THE PACE!” Jimenez orders.
Just a little more, convict, I say. 33 grunts, knowing its ordeal will soon be over.
The screams from 32 continue to echo in the chamber, as Jimenez cruelly lashes him.
-100! Halt, convict!
33 collapses on the floor kneeling as the cheers of half the crowd are heard, while the other half grumble. This is followed by the cracking of the whip as it lands on the pitiful but strong body of 32 yet again.
33 pants heavily as sweat falls on the dirty floor from its head. I walk over, beer in one hand, remote control in the other. I pull the yoke up, forcing those blue eyes to my gaze. It notices that during its ordeal I have taken my shirt off and am sweating heavily as well. The frame of my body is well-defined despite the darkness of the room and I stand between 33 and the meagre light source, giving 33 only the contours of my frame, a sinister silhouette towering over it.
“Well done, 33” I say. Now, on the next round!