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Anneke Jacob

Owned and Owner

Far into the future is a world of men, a planet where the only women are rare and exotic pets. These few women, convicted of crimes, have chosen their punishment: slavery on Henth. The men who buy them know what they are getting: eager submissives, willing to accept the status of animals in order to be owned by men.

Etrin is a young woman who makes this choice; Garid is the man who buys her. Owned and Owner is their story; one of consensual dominance and submission, taken as far as the imagination can go. The story is one of unconditional slavery, told from inside a woman's bound and naked skin.

Once her choice is made, there is no turning back. Leashed, caged, auctioned, and handed over to her new owner, Etrin finds out what it is to be helpless in the hands of a man who knows exactly what she is, and precisely what he wants. She's raced as a pony, caged and punished, but the hardest adjustment of all is the chastity belt, and the discovery that teasing and denial are her master's right and pleasure.

An excerpt from Owned and Owner

I sat on my bed, waiting.

“I am going to men to be owned, to be owned, to be owned...” The words drummed softly but insistently through my head. Some part of me was amused at this need for drama. Still, I had to find a way to convince myself. There had been years of fantasies, some of them so intense they felt much more real than this. ‘This’ was a small locked room, hanging in space, waiting. Not much different from the cell I‘d lived in for months, or for that matter from my room at home. So although my rational side - such as it was - told me I was really on my way, there was some level on which I simply didn‘t believe it. I didn‘t believe that the world outside of me was finally going to match what had been going on so violently inside my head all those years. I wasn‘t sure exactly what I was going to, which didn‘t help. All I had was some official information, meant to put me off, and the pictures they had shown me briefly, six weeks before.

I could have cried when they took them away. If only I could have had them all to myself for a day or two! Instead I had to look at them with that dour, grey woman standing over me, muttering her disgust. I sat there trying to conceal my excitement, feeling almost paralyzed by the throbbing between my legs, pressing myself helplessly against the hard bench while trying to seem casual about my movements, my hands trembling as I turned over the pages.

I suppose they were hoping I‘d be appalled. As soon as I‘d glanced at them without a word, the woman snatched them away, not looking at me as she marched out, locking the door behind her with a clang. She wasn‘t stupid. I‘d proved myself once again to be beyond the pale. My shame made me long for the punishments I‘d seen in the pictures.

I sat on my bed trying to remember details in those pictures. What did the man look like who held the leash? The woman‘s expression - I‘d not had time to read it. The surroundings, were they familiar or strange? What was I in for? What had I done?

The judge had been grey, but not dour; a perceptive woman. That judicial eye had pierced my sullen armour more than once. Sullenness was my defence, at least in the psychological sense. (In the legal sense, I had none.) I‘d had such an attitude toward authority figures that all of them - mothers, aunts, teachers - had given up in despair. I raised attitude to an art form. I raised a lot of blood pressure, too. There had to be no chinks to my inner life. It was so habitual that the effort to drop it was wrenching, when that ultimate moment came in the courtroom.

Half the Reodir region seemed to have jammed itself into the long, low room, with its faint smell of ammonia, lurking beneath the sourbean odour of all the bodies and their breath. I refused to turn my head, but the intense half-hush of the crowd pressed palpably on every nerve I owned. The silence imposed by the judge‘s appearance was more ominous still.

“You have been determined to be incorrigibly irresponsible toward yourself and your community,” the judge pronounced. “I cannot recall a worse case. You have made nothing but bad use of the privileges this society accords its members. At every opportunity you have demonstrated that you cannot be trusted with citizenship status. You know your three options: rehabilitation, exile or slavery on Henth. What is your decision?”

For a long moment the words wouldn‘t come. They hung suspended in a tight, strangling web of silence. After a life of concealment, three words were going to show everyone my dreadful colours.

For months I‘d been rehearsing my response to prevent myself from losing my nerve at the last moment. I‘d planned to say the words by rote, without letting myself think or give them meaning. But my answer had to be forced through a constricted throat, and was addressed in a hoarse whisper to the table in front of me.

“Slavery on Henth.”

There was a sharp murmur behind me in the courtroom. No one had chosen the Third Option from my community in living memory. After a few moments the initial disbelief gave way to a roar of indignation. I clenched my sweating hands together, eyes fixed in front of me, my back to the crowd, trying not to cower. This was even worse than I had imagined. I was afraid they were going to lynch me.

“Etrin Aboia, let me be sure the court is not mistaken. State your choice again clearly and fully.” I swallowed with difficulty, and looked down at my hands. They were clenched together, but the thumbs made a small upward gesture, as if to tell me to get on with it.

Taking a deep breath, I raised my head and made my hunched shoulders drop. A kind of desperate calm came over me. For once I was going to say the truth about myself and not be ashamed. I made myself meet the judge‘s eye. The room went quiet.

I thought, this is it. Do it right, Etrin.

The words that emerged rang clear, across the court and back to me again, to echo around inside my skull. “I, Etrin Aboia, choose the Third Option, slavery on Henth, as punishment for my crimes of irresponsibility.” The voice sounded like it knew what it was talking about, and I was grateful. I could see by her expression that the judge, at least, knew the truth.

Still, I had to wait the required twenty-nine days before my choice was considered final. Twenty-nine days of hell.

At first I was elated at my emergence. I felt buoyant, without that leaden weight of constant concealment. I actually thought it might be possible to be who I was and say so. But my family was let in to plead with me, and their horrified reactions shut me down pretty fast. I went from glee to defiance, through to anger and resentment, then down into guilt. Soon I had to reassume my sullen armour, my only protection against their outpourings of grief and fear and anger, and my intense shame. By then I felt horribly naked and exposed, like a calibspod out of its shell, and I did my pathetic best to get my shell back on in a hurry.

Radiating disapproval, the authorities made sure I knew exactly what the Third Option meant. Although I heard some interesting details that I hadn‘t been able to pick up earlier, details which scared me more than ever, I didn‘t change my mind. The warder brought the photographs, then took them away again. Doctors made me go through another battery of tests to assess my sanity, very short with me for fooling them the last time. Sorry, sorry, sorry. They kept commenting on my intelligence, as if that mattered.

My family would have tried round-the-clock brainwashing techniques if they‘d been allowed. The ten hours they had each day were bad enough. They were losing me forever, and I should have been gratified that they found this so awful, in spite of everything I‘d put them through. But at the time I attributed it to their embarrassment over my appalling choice. Then of course I could reject them for their conformity to public opinion - a gibe that led to such a fight that the warders had to intervene.

Secretly, I suppose I wanted someone to understand and acknowledge my choice, someone to accept me as I was. Laughable when you think about it. Pathetically unrealistic, and far more than I deserved. I was bound to be disappointed on this one, because it was impossible for me to tell them just how long I had felt this way (forever), and how much I needed to go to Henth (indescribable). They thought it was just one of my self-destructive whims. The finality of it terrified them. Understandable; it terrified me, too.

I spent a lot of time with my arms crossed over my chest, glaring at the ceiling while they railed and pleaded. If even one of them had sat down and listened, I might have been able to tell them the truth. At last, driven to desperation, I grabbed one of my sisters by the shoulders and shouted in her face, “I‘m doing what I must; let me be!” Too little, too late. It didn‘t help. No one really heard me. They didn‘t leave me alone until the very last minute of the very last day.

At first the solitude on the spaceship was an unbelievable relief. I could put the guilt away and bask in the elation, having survived the ordeal. But the wait soon became boring, imprisoned alone in my little cabin, and at the same time brutal in the urgency of my waiting for the end of it. Finally, after those months in custody on Raniz, there was no peephole in the door, and no one demanding my attention. They brought me my food three times a day, that was all. I had nothing to read or screen. All I could do was think, try to imagine what was ahead, and relieve the pulsing demands between my legs, brought on by the memory of those photographs, and by the knowledge of what I had accomplished. The fear made my belly tighten with surges of excitement, the fear of what they would do to me, of whether I could stand it.

I spent hours looking at my body in the mirror. Was it pretty enough? I had no way of knowing what men would like in a woman. My body felt oddly detached from me, as if it wasn‘t mine at all. It occurred to me with a thrill of fear that soon it really wouldn‘t be mine, in honest truth.

I watched my hands hypnotically stroking the full, pointed breasts, the slender ribcage, the smooth buttocks. I ran my palms over the silky skin of my inner thighs, and my breath came faster. My eyes closed, and I thought of whips. I had never been whipped, or even slapped. Opening my eyes, I examined my face. Pale skin, reddish curls to my shoulders, the grey eyes shadowed and fearful. I was smaller than average, and I knew men were tall. Helpless, I‘d be helpless. The word made my belly contract with arousal.

There was nothing I could do about it now. Still, now that I didn‘t have to convince anyone else, I could admit to myself that I was well and truly terrified.

I was going to men to be owned...

All my life I had known that what I needed was not where I was. Just where it was located wasn‘t clear to me for a long time, but I knew, in a gut level, primitive way, right from the beginning, that something was missing from what I saw around me. Maybe it was the fact that unlike us, animals came in male and female, but I think it was more than that. There was something - actually, the absence of something - a gap, a chasm. Something indefinable, because I had nothing to go on. Everyone else seemed to feel complete and whole. I felt an ache of loss, and I didn‘t know what was gone, a yearning for I knew not what. It kept me separate and alone; it turned me silent.

I began to hear about a planet full of monsters somewhere, that used to have some mysterious and awful connection with us. Then the lesson in history class that focused the monsters into something even more fascinating: Men. I‘d always had vague fantasies, ‘stories’ I told myself each night before I fell asleep, or whenever I played alone. I knew enough to keep these to myself, that they were shameful. The new information fitted into the fantasies like a ship into its octagonal mooring - perfectly. Suddenly my imaginings had the right kind of hand on the whip, the right kind of body controlling and invading my own. My longings, now with an object, became the most agonizing of needs, but at least they were clear to me. And my need for secrecy became more urgent than ever.

I was an adolescent, desperately isolated by the split between the inner life I was living, and the ordinary one I walked each day, when I heard about the Third Option.

Just a library hour, like so many before and after. Classmates’ whispers all round; dull research on my scratched and clouded screen. A project for Community Ethics and Law had me scrolling through dry legal texts, not written or intended for children.

And there, in half a line in small print, at the bottom of an account of an embezzlement case, was the outcome: slavery on Henth.

I stared at the words, and stared at them, and everything else in my universe tipped and slid away into the void. Those three words were a seismic event, a watershed between Etrin before and after.

I found myself starting to misbehave.

My outward life ceased to be so ordinary. First my high marks in school went to dust, and I stopped being where I was expected to be. Then I started taking things apart, usually literally.

At first it was excruciating, doing something other than what was expected. I had been an inhibited, compliant child, so upset by disapproval that my tough womb-mother had shaken her head over me. After a while I got better at it, began guiltily to enjoy the turmoil I caused. I had never really belonged to these people, that is what I felt, so why should I care if I hurt them? Sometimes I hated them for not being what I wanted so fervently. I made damned sure that no one could get close enough to make the task ahead of me any harder. The shame I felt for hurting people fed right into my need.

After each incident I wished so hard for punishment, for someone to hold me immobile and hurt me. What was the matter with them? How far were they going to let me go? Why were they giving me all this freedom? I hated it. And the harder I pushed the limits of that freedom, the more disturbing the possible outcomes became.

Still, I didn‘t always know that I would follow the plan all the way through. I had a million ways to get off the path to Henth if I wanted to. Right up to the end of the twenty-ninth day... All through those years I told myself I could back out at any time, become responsible, that this was just a game I was playing. A game of tension and risk, toying with the unthinkable. Change was too much to hope for; this life on Raniz, hopeless as it was, was the one I had. How could I imagine that I could accomplish anything different?

Only at night, in the dark, with the belts tightened around my naked body, the rope pulled into my vulva and tied front and back, my hands stroking, pulling, my inadequate female hands punishing, did I know, deep in my very center, that I would put myself into a man‘s hands - a real man‘s. I would not turn back.

Copyrighted © 2009 by Anneke Jacob, all rights reserved.

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