The afternoon sun was making its way into the sky, it was a hot day. Beads of perspiration gathered on her forehead as he covered her face with a thick black cotton hood.
Her hands were cuffed behind her naked back and there was a thin but strong chain that originated at the cuffs and led to his fingers through the middle of her legs.
There was a hill, objectively quite an easy hill to climb; well laid out paths, not many rocks, not too high either.
As the position of the sun marked the onset of the noon, they began to walk. He led her on and she followed silently. She did not know where she was being taken, that was not for her to know.
She realized she was walking on twigs and stones as she felt their effect on her bare feet. They were warm, the stones, often hot from the sunlight. Taking an instant to rub her feet against her legs was not an option that was available to her. Each time she fell even slightly behind he’d pull harder, often forcing her feet to be dragged against the mud and stones. She could feel the forces of the forest act upon her; the wind touching her body, violating it by gaining access to the deepest crevices of her being.
She could hear the birds and the insects chirping and asking her what she was doing. She could hear them break into song to ask her why this was being done to her.
They were watching her uncovered self wade through the obstacle course that nature had laid out for her.
Her limbs ached as he urged her to climb faster and higher; the sun that had truly felt comforting against her skin began to bite. She could feel the colour of her skin change.
She could feel the sweat drip from her neck to her back and finally down her legs. She could hear him quench his thirst as she walked parched and unable to completely perceive her surroundings.
When they did finally get to the summit, she could feel herself be tied to a tree; she could feel the bark attack her overexposed back. She could feel the look of morbid satisfaction on this face just like, she was sure, he could feel the look of sufferer’s euphoria on hers.
The blanket that envelops us all had turned to orange and then to a clawing purple, just as it was ready to continue down the road to blackness she was pulled out of the pond that along with miscellaneous creatures and plants now housed her blood, sweat and tears.
They prepared to descend, although the preparation required was not as elaborate as earlier. There was no hood on her head, in the dark she was allowed to see. There may still have been a collar around her neck but there was no chain required to lead her on, she already had access to the entity without which she would lose her way.
The path down seemed shorter, it would have seemed even shorter if sexual desire had not led to the need to see each other contort in the familiarly sweet agony of gratification. And as they reached the lowest part of the hill, the one where the stones had earlier assaulted her feet, the abject blackness of the night sky was split by the first instance of the coming dawn, they parted just as they had met; he was covered from head to toe and her nubile self as bare as her name day.