First chapter of Chozen: Part 1

(Headspace series)

Prologue

Players Kingdom: 2016

 

My breath came in short gasps as I waited for the man to step forward and inspect me. The pain in my body was no longer what I worried about, not when it meant I was still alive. The fear of death had become my constant companion, Macintosh telling me daily that he’d decide on my fate.

“You’ve trained him well,” the nameless man said as his dark, soulless eyes ran over my naked body. The suit he wore was expensive. His hair was cropped short, and once upon a time I’d have thought he was attractive, but I’d learned to look past the outer shell to the man beneath. The eyes didn’t lie. If you looked close enough you could see the monster lurking underneath the polished exterior. There were so many men that wore that same mask of deception, and they all came to Player’s Kingdom in search of the depravity their souls seemed to crave.

The monsters in the stories my mother had read to me as a child were no longer fictional characters, but living, breathing men who wore suits and pretended they weren’t evil bastards.

As the man stepped closer, the overpowering scent of his aftershave filled my nostrils. I didn’t move or twitch; those things weren’t permitted. Some days even taking a breath was forbidden.

This was my life because that was what Macintosh had made it. He ruled my world. He owned me. He’d told me that fact so often that I believed him. He’d made sure it was the only thing I could remember. The happy boy who’d been snatched off the street was long gone. In his place was a robot, one that knew what would happen if those who played with me didn’t get the right reaction. These men were worse than spoilt children, because when they lashed out, they left scars, some that would never heal.

“Was there any doubt when he belongs to me,” Macintosh answered, sounding smug. He had every right to. He’d given me what he called his ‘special treatment.’ I shut down the negative thoughts, thinking only of my safe place—the room in his home that was my cage, but had also become my sanctuary. When I was locked inside no one got to touch me, not even Macintosh.

Doing what was expected, I gave the merest of nods while maintaining the perfect pose. My arms didn’t tremble. I’d been trained to understand that my master wouldn’t want that.

A cold hand ran over my chest, and I sank into the place inside my mind where these men couldn’t touch, the place I went to often in the hope that one day I’d never have to come back.

“Beautiful,” the man whispered as he trailed his nails over the scarred flesh on my chest.

The marks on my skin showed that I wasn’t the one in charge, that no matter what the internet said about submission, I had no power here.

“Remember he’s not for sale. My sub is special,” Macintosh reiterated, the room suddenly filling with a tension that I recognised would not end well.

The man didn’t remove his hand, his nails digging into my flesh deep enough for blood to drip down my chest. I breathed slow and even, the mantra already starting to play over and over in my head. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t. Move.

 “Weren’t you the one who invited me to play?” The man’s hard gaze moved from Macintosh to me. “He’s perfect. And now you’ve shown him to me, did you think I wouldn’t want to sample his delights?”

“That may be so, but you forget yourself. I’ve already shown you the selection we have on offer. My sub is not part of the deal.” Macintosh appeared to be sitting casually on his chair, but I knew better. He could strike as fast as a panther. His eyes glittered with warning as he continued speaking. “The power you think you have doesn’t extend to my world. Or have you forgotten that?” Macintosh’s voice was dark and dangerous, rippling outward like the leather of his favourite whip. 

It was a struggle to maintain my pose while the battle for domination happened right in front of me. My jaw ached as Macintosh slowly rose to his impressive height of six-foot-four. He was taller than the other man, but within the confines of the room they both appeared as big as each other. The battle for power was real and extremely dangerous. I’d come to understand that these high-powered men didn’t care who the casualties were in the fallout.

My heart thudded painfully against my ribs, and I struggled to show no outward signs of distress that might draw attention to myself as the atmosphere in the room continued to thicken. The four men stood behind Macintosh watched with a lazy interest, the bulges beneath their suit jackets nothing to do with fat. They didn’t seem in the least bit concerned about what might happen next, while I was way too close to both of the men not to be concerned.

The stranger puffed out his chest, his eyes narrowing to slits. “I forget nothing. It’s you whose memory is short.” He gestured around the massive playroom designed for numerous kinds of BDSM play. The walls held multiple brackets for an assortment of equipment which contrasted in a macabre fashion against the white backdrop. “Your large mansion, your businesses, they are only possible because I allow it, and you need to remember that.”

The guy took hold of my throat, his large fingers shutting off my oxygen supply before anyone could react. His gaze was still on Macintosh, who hadn’t moved. “I own you and the sub.” As if to prove his point, he squeezed harder. I shut out the world around me. The pain clawed at me, but to give in and break the pose was forbidden. If I survived this then the punishment for disobeying would be far worse. The fingers dug in hard enough that the edges of my vision became fuzzy. Was this it? Was this man going to succeed where others had failed?

“Let him go, now.” The words spoken with such deadly conviction filtered past the buzzing in my ears as I struggled to maintain my perfect pose. Tears leaked from the corners of my eyes and defeat came in crushing waves, my hands lifting to claw at the hands which wouldn’t let go.

There was a shout. Then the sound of an explosion, liquid hitting my face. Seconds seemed to pass in slow motion as I stared into the man’s soulless eyes. The hand around my throat fell away as a river of dark red ran down his face, and then he collapsed towards me. His misshapen head looked like an exploded melon, brain and bone revealed for all to see. The coppery scent was overpowering, blood dripping into my mouth as I opened it to scream. The fear of retribution was overridden by the sight, the smell, the taste, and the feel of death on my skin.

His body pressed against mine, the dead weight taking me with him to the floor. The loud thud and bolt of pain as we landed barely penetrated past my terror as I was immersed in death. Pinned to the floor beneath him, the screams started, and I wasn’t sure they’d ever stop.

Dead.

Dead.

Dead.

 

****

 

Dom’s Haven: Present Day

 

Music thumped through the speakers, though not loud enough to block out the tortured sounds which came from all around the room. The dungeon was full tonight, something about to happen on the stage that currently stood empty and in darkness. I’d learned to read the signs for what was coming.

The walls had gaps where the naked subs were removed from their shackles to play. Only this wasn’t about fun—far from it.  I shuddered, shrinking down as far as the chains holding me would allow. The metal rubbed at my already raw skin, but that was preferable to what was happening to those who’d been chosen.

I’d been fortunate not to draw any attention to myself this evening, but the night had only just begun, and I’d long since given up hope of things that would never come true. In this world, a sub was nothing. There was no power exchange, no contracts, and there was definitely no conversation. These men didn’t care what a sub wanted. It was all about their needs, their wants. It was a lesson everyone learned in hell. 

Hell was a dimly lit cellar used to conceal the full truth of what the men who came to this place wanted when they sought their pleasure. The clang of metal caused shivers to race over my naked body. Lights cast eerie shadows over the chosen as yet more subs were unchained and led over to a torture device.

Pillories, St Andrew crosses, spanking benches, racks, and many other toys were placed around the cellar. They’d kept the wall space for us to be displayed, using two large stands to house everything a Dom might desire to use on a sub.

The chosen, because that’s what they were, stared with terrified eyes at what those stands held. Their eyes revealed everything that their tormentor wanted and needed—bone-deep dread. The kind that stole their ability to do anything but obey because the consequences were something no one wanted to pay.

These Dom’s had paid for the privilege of our terror. It was no special honour when they did everything in their power to get every penny back through our agony.

This was the stuff nightmares were made of. Only there was no waking up, and there was no escape. There was no knight in shining armour to come to the rescue. This place was our personal living nightmare, with those that should have protected us, the ones who wanted us to bleed, to cry, to scream for all to hear. 

I dipped my gaze. Had I been staring? My heart fluttered at a rate it had grown accustomed to. The rule was never to stare at the men watching from the sidelines. They might be content watching now, but they’d get bored and come to pick their playmate for the evening soon enough.

Everywhere I looked there were naked subs, their skin gleaming macabrely under the lights. Rivers of red ran from their wounds to turn black. Blood dripped onto the floor as boys howled and cried for mercy, but there was none to be had. This place wasn’t for the merciful.

The scent of fear was infused with the coppery smell of blood and sex and it sickened me. There was no evading it. It seeped into everything it touched, leaving us hopeless and helpless to what was coming next. Night after night, it was the same routine until there was nothing but horror with no beginning. And no end.

The air seemed to crackle with anticipation as men… monsters, made those they’d picked for the night tremble in fear. They basked in the glory of it. This scene was no different from any other, only the person delivering the pain changing. Although the face of evil wore many disguises, the eyes were the same. They revealed what the face couldn’t hide, the depravity, the need to steal our humanity through agony, through humiliation, through suffering. Until what remained wasn’t a person, wasn’t a human being, but a thing to use for their ultimate pleasure.

Time had spiralled away from me, stolen by one act of bravery which had left me in a hell where devils came to play. Until all I knew was the agony of eternal pain. The world I’d once embraced with open arms had stolen everything I’d been before—everything I could have been. Now all that was left was a hard shell that I’d learnt to hide behind in order to… survive.

Every day I questioned why I bothered, why I tried, when the hope of someone—anyone—seeking me out, waned, leaving in its wake the reality that death might be better than this. Had I not lived a thousand small deaths already? Did I need to continue to be punished for my own stupidity?

The sounds in the room lessened and my skin prickled. Against my will, I lifted my gaze to the stage as it lit up, the air becoming stuck in my chest. There was a man on it dressed in black leather trousers, a harness crisscrossing his bare chest as he flicked a huge bull whip. The sound as it hit the stage sent icy chills through me. The eyes of the devil scanned the room, my heart stopping beating with a mixture of hope and fear. This was the Dom everyone feared. He held the power to take life, and had before without any hesitation. Would he pick me and give me what I was now starting to crave? An escape into the darkness, forever… 

Copyright © 2021 by J Paton