The Captive

CW: this is dark, twisted stuff depicting non-consensual abduction, imprisonment and abuse. It’s not smut for titillation, but written to challenge. If that will distress you, please read no further. Always take care of yourselves and each other.

I should have known he was more than the average slightly obsessive fan. From the second time he showed up at the stage door, pen in hand, greeting me like an old friend; I should have known.

There’s a shackle locked around my left ankle attached to a chain, just long enough to let me reach the tiny wet room. Heavy, cold metal against my skin, weighing down my foot. A reminder that even if I could ambush him, knock him out or something; I can’t make a run for it. He doesn’t bring the padlock keys down with him. He’s disturbed, not stupid.

I have rope burns around my wrists.

He doesn’t want to have to hurt me, he said. It’s the “have to” that sent a chill down my spine. As though there’s no choice in the matter, that violence is a natural outcome of my resistance. “To protect you” he explained tenderly as he tightened the ropes that bind me spreadeagled by wrists and ankles to the iron bedframe.

I screamed, but there was no-one but him to hear so I stopped when my throat became sore. He fed me sips of water, cradling my head and gazing with adoration into my tear-reddened eyes.

I spat, the only way I could think of to convey my disgust and contempt for him. He wiped his face – and licked his palm, face abeam with ecstasy.

I bit, and for the first time I saw a hint of anger in his eyes. Unwanted steel in his straw doll, a sharp, harsh note in the smoochy ballad that plays inside his head. “I don’t want to have to hurt you” he said, and stuffed my knickers into my mouth, covering my lips with his hand as he stroked and kissed my unwilling flesh.

Resigned, I lay still and waited for it to be over. Ignored his crooning and heavy breathing, fixing my eyes to the cracked concrete ceiling of this basement cell. Hated him a little harder with each slow thrust inside me, wished him dead a little sooner with every breathless kiss he tucked into the hollow of my neck.

It’s never been my style, this gentle tender lovemaking; even when I am a willing participant. I like it rough, clawing weals into skin, sweaty and urgent and animal. To be taken down fighting, to growl and yelp and gasp with the sheer excitement of fucking; hands grabbing, tongues duelling, limbs an urgent clinging tangle. Combative carnality, that’s what does it for me. All of these soft whispers and light touches would be boring under any other circumstances; here and now they are pathetic and infuriating.

After a while, I couldn’t help myself; I snarled into his ear “harder for fuck’s sake! Put some effort into it you fucking wimp!”. He was surprised, discomforted by my words. He tried, I could feel that, made some effort but soon slowed back to his usual tentative, dreamy pace. “Fuck’s sake” I muttered when he dismounted, having clung to me post-orgasm like a baby monkey to its mother. I shouldn’t want satisfaction from these encounters, can’t reconcile my involuntary physical needs with my degrading captivity. He didn’t look at me as he untied me and left, scurrying up the stairs in wordless retreat.

I’m bored.

He wants an illusion of me that bears no relation to the reality. He’s mistaken my sweet features for a sweet nature, my soft curves for a warmth and comfort I can seldom muster even for those people I actually like. He fell in love – as far as you can characterise this cowardly, moony-eyed obsession as love – with a woman-shaped mirror that he thought would reflect back to him the man he wishes he were.

What he got was me. Not what he expected at all.

What does he see of himself in my eyes? I think he was hoping to find a powerful, fearsome force; or perhaps the lost soul of a warrior-poet seeking rescue from the battlefield. He’s been sadly disappointed – I’m not scared of him. I’m afraid of what he might do to me, out of desperation or pique, in the same way I might fear choking on my own vomit while drunk. I do not look at him with awe or respect which might have substituted for affection in his view. I sneer instead. Contempt, malicious amusement, incredulity at his many inadequacies. Revulsion for his soppiness, boredom with his adoration, frustration with his ineffectual attentions. He is not angry. He’s puzzled, hurt, confused, unsure of himself.

I’d laugh, if I weren’t chained to a wall underground, god-knows-where, enduring the daily pawings of this overgrown mummy’s boy.

Instead, I yawn. Roll my eyes. Mutter “oh get on with it” and “is that all you’ve got?” when he’s making his feeble attempts to arouse me. Snort with derision when he rolls off me, sigh with impatient resignation when he returns and disrobes.

He wanted me to fall in love with him; feel his adoration, admire his devotion. He was ready to soothe and reassure, to cherish and foster Stockholm Syndrome as a substitute for genuine affection. He was unprepared for indifference and while I might be the one imprisoned, restrained and abused; he is now the one whose suffering is the greater.

This morning, I awake to find a key lying on the pillow beside me. The door at the top of the stairs stands open. There is silence from overhead, none of the usual daybreak footfall or kitchen-clattering. I am alone.

And I am free