Dottie's Arabian Nightmare - part 3
“Mister Carr, if you will just take a seat...”
“Why should I? You made us shoot that fake news conference, but it’s been a week now, and my kids want to know where their grandmother is!”
“I understand your frustration, but we are in a very delicate situation here. Your mother has somehow been taken just as we were getting ready to shut down the biggest slave trafficking ring in years – our fault really.”
“Well, it’s good of you to acknowledge that at least.”
“We are getting reports regularly from our agent inside, and although she has had some hard times she is alive and well. We just need a little more time...”
“What happens if he walks in?”
“The brother - the one who kidnapped my mother in the first place?”
“We will have time to respond – as I said, Mister Carr, just stay calm...”
Dottie opened her eyes as the cool sea breeze blew over her sweat coated face. She felt the ache in her arms from where she had been hanging, but now she was on her back again, lying on a marble table in the courtyard of her captor’s palace.
She slowly sat herself up, noticing the red lines on her arms where the ropes had held her in place, and stood up. Her gown was torn and stained, but at least she was still wearing it, which was always a good sign. There seemed to be nobody about, so she stood up and brushed the fine sand from her dress.
As she did so, she noticed that someone had slit the skirt up the sides. A thought crossed her mind, but there was no sign that anything else had happened, so instead she started to walk round the room.
“Good morning, Mrs Carr.”
She turned and saw Nelson standing there, two veiled harem girls at his side. “I see you have recovered somewhat from last evening. My master has asked me to convey to you that he will not tolerate such ... displeasure again. These ladies are to bathe and change you before you see him again. I hope you enjoy the pleasure.”
“What will he want from me this time,” Dottie asked as she looked at his muscular torso.
“All in good time Mrs Carr – for now, prepare her.”
Once again Dottie was led to the scented alabaster bath, and as she was stripped and helped into the steaming and aromatic waters she allowed herself to indulge in her own private fantasy – an escape from what was probably to come...
The two sisters opened the cell door and stared into the dark, damp interior. “Your master Saladin has not paid the ransom for you,” they said aloud, “So we have been sent to educate and chastise your wrong thinking. You will do as we say, young woman, will you not?”
“Please, I do not know who you are talking about; I was merely buying food when I was taken...”
“Silence,” the taller nun said as she walked in and grabbed Dottie by the arm, “You are dressed in the Mohammedian style, and you are one of that godless rabble. We live by the biblical doctrine of our lord, and we will not spare the rod to satisfy your feelings. Up!”
Dottie was forced to her feet, and a chain that was fastened around her wrist was unhooked from the ring that was set into the wall. Blinking as she was dragged into the torch lit stone corridor, she was pulled along the floor, the second nun following her and mumbling prayers as she fiddled with a rosary in her hands. They passed a number of iron wrought doors, behind which she could hear sobbing and crying from other captives, but the nun in front of her said nothing as she dragged her towards a door at the end of the corridor.
Opening the large oak door, she forced Dottie to descend a long stone staircase into a large room, again lit by torches set at intervals along the wall. Stopping in front of what looked like a water wheel, the nun threw the chain over a beam above Dottie’s head, pulling her arms up so that her chiffon skirt lay in front of her crotch between her legs as well as behind her. The cold air made her nipples harden, chaffing against her metal top as she hung there. The second nun took a length of leather cord and quickly bound her ankles together, leaving her dangling as the skirt furled out around her legs.
“Do you renounce the devil and all his works,” the taller nun said “and do you accept our lord Jesus Christ as your saviour and master.”
Dottie wanted to shut up, but instead heard herself say “I have but one master, and one god, and his name is Allah the merciful, Allah the almighty...”
The sting of the whip across her legs took Dottie by surprise – even more so than the realisation of what she had just said. She looked down in shock, then over at the nun as she stood there, her face laughing as it was encased in the white wimple.
“Pray for her soul, sister,” she said as she pulled on the leather tail of the whip, and as the other nun started to pray she brought the whip hard against Dottie’s legs again...
The door was forced open and the sheikh came in, his Nubian bodyguard by his side. “Take her, Nelson,” he called out as his army rushed in and grabbed the nuns, dragging them out of the room as Nelson freed Dottie from her bounds. “Are you all right, Princess,” he said in his deep voice, the note of concern tender and true.
“I am now,” she said as she fell into his arms, her sheikh by her side as Nelson carried her out of the dungeon...
“Whoa,” Dottie said as she sat up and opened her eyes. “A bit rough there.” She looked at the two maidens as they stared back at her. “Sorry,” she said, “A nightmare. Can you speak?”
“When there are no males present, yes,”
“What do you know of Nelson, the sheikh’s bodyguard?”
“He is a kind man, in his way – he replaced the former bodyguard some six months ago. Where he came from, we do not know, but he is kind and respects those of us who serve. I think the master has plans for him in the hierarchy, but beyond that...”
The door opened, and the two women fell silent as Nelson entered. “Dress Mrs Carr and bring her to the royal chambers,” he said before he turned and left the women alone.
As the large doors opened, Dottie was surprised to see that she was not the only woman to be in the presence of the sheikh. At one of the support pillars of the large room was – well, someone who seemed to be made up to look like her, her head down and her eyes closed as she was held up by a chain that kept her manacled wrists attached to the support. The dress of her long white robe was lying on the floor, showing her white stocking clad legs as they trailed off to the other side.
Dottie stared at the woman, wondering why she did not respond, when she heard her captor say behind her “It is a remarkable likeness, is it not, Mrs Carr? I had my finest craftsman work at it, and I think they have captured your beauty. Take it away and have it placed in my private quarters.”
Looking closer as the two guards manacled the body and lifted it, Dottie was amazed to see how well her likeness had been captured in wax. Nelson looked on, unmoving, as the sheikh took a seat and looked at his “guest”.
“I must say, the latest gown you have been given is a testament to your beauty, Dorothy.”
Dottie had the grace to blush – the gown of cream embroidered silk fitted like a glove, while the skirt fell elegantly in fort and behind. “I thank you for the compliment,” she said with some warmth.
“Ah, it is such a pity you will be leaving us soon.”
“You are releasing me?”
“No – but my brother arrives today, and he is most anxious to make your acquaintance again. In the meantime, I desire to admire you once again – and perhaps you will forgive me the indulgence of the way I view you.”
“What do you mean by that?” Dottie said, but in no time she found out the answer as a metal cross was wheeled into the chamber. Two guards took Dottie by the arms and lifted her up, securing her arms to the metal crosspiece with metal bracelets and fastening a leather strap around her neck. “I apologise for the fact you must – hang around a little longer, but I wish to view you before I make final preparations.”
Dottie tried to make herself comfortable, but the strap was pulling back on her throat. She was about to complain when she caught a tiny shake of Nelson’s head, and decided to try and suffer in silence. As time passed, she closed her eyes and started to imagine herself elsewhere again...
“Well, young Dorothy, what do you have to say for yourself?”
Dottie raised her head and looked at the Mother Superior, her dark eyes staring back at her. “I know I have done wrong in your eyes, Blessed Mother, but is it really so wrong to wish to spend company with a handsome young man such as he is?”
She fidgeted with her tartan skirt as she sat there, the short sleeves of her blouse covering her shoulders as the cold air blew in from the window. The elderly nun stood up and walked round the desk, standing in front of Dorothy and staring down at her.
“You know the rules of the school, Miss Carr – no contact with any boys at any time. It is a severe breach of these rules when this happens, and you must be punished accordingly. Sister Agnes!”
The door opened and a second nun walked in, her eyes shingling as she looked at Dorothy.
“Take Miss Carr to the punishment room, and prepare her. Sisters Agatha and Hannah will join you shortly.”
“Are you sure, Mother,” Sister Agnes said as she looked from Dottie to her convent leader.
“Have I not said so, Sister? Now, do as you are asked, and pray that Miss Carr here learns the error of her ways.”
“As you command, Mother. Come, Dorothy,” Agnes said as she helped Dottie to stand up and escorted her out of the office. They walked down the corridor, and as they passed the other schoolgirls they all cast a worried look in Dottie’s direction before lowering their heads and walking on.
“In here, child,” Agnes said as she opened a door, “Go in and wait, and pray for the next hour that you might endure.” As Dottie walked in, Agnes closed and locked the door behind her. The room was bare, save for a long length of rope which hung from the ceiling, like a bell pull. Dottie looked at it, wondering what it was for when the door opened and Sisters Agatha and Hannah walked in.
They were two of the younger nuns that ran the convent school, and in their hands Dottie could see a length of rope and a birch twig. Sister Agatha stood in front of Dottie and said simply “Strip.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Take you clothes off, child, and come into the centre of the room.”
Looking at the two nuns, Dottie quickly removed her blouse and skirt, standing there in her pants and vest. “All of them,” Sister Hannah said in a stern voice, and soon Dottie was standing completely naked in the cold room. Taking hold of the rope that hung from the ceiling, Sister Agatha waited as Sister Hannah took hold of Dottie’s wrists and raised them above her head, then passed the rope around and between so that Dottie was forced to stand there with her toes barely touching the ground. To her dismay, Sister Agatha then pulled the rope up slightly, so that she was left hanging there.
“Now, child,” Sister Hannah said as she picked up the birch twig and waited for Sister Agatha to take the rope, “You will say twenty Hail Marys while we chastise your body for your sin.”
“Please don’t” Dottie screamed as the twig came down hard on her bottom, but she started to say “Hail Mary, full of grace,” as the rope and branch came down again and again and again...
“Bring her down.”
Dottie was relieved as Nelson released her from the rack and helped her to stand in front of the sheikh.
“We are almost ready for the arrival of our guests,” the mans said as he stood up, “And we must prepare you as well. My brother will be most anxious to see you again, Dorothy. Nelson?”
The tall African-American took Dottie back to her chambers where she saw lying on the bed a long purple robe, and a set of nipple tassels. “Strip and put them on,” Nelson said, before whispering “We are nearly ready to come in, Mrs Carr – play your part well.”
Dottie nodded as she removed her robe and affixed the tassels to her breasts, and then wrapped the robe around her neck. Nelson returned, carrying a set of brass manacles, and fixed them over her wrists before placing a matching chain belt around her waist. “It is necessary to silence you,” he said as he held a small cloth in front of Dottie’s face. She nodded as she allowed him to push the cloth into her mouth, before sealing it in place with a piece of flesh coloured plaster and then placing a muslin veil over her lower face. “Come,” he said as he led her back towards the antechamber.
They had only been gone a short time, but as Nelson handed Dottie to a guard she saw that a number of people had entered the building. For a moment, she thought she was in an old magazine cartoon, as they turned and looked at her, but a tug on the chain between her wrists reminded her that this was not a fantasy, but an all too terrible reality.
In the courtyard, Dottie was surprised to see another woman, with long blonde hair, who must also have been a “guest” of the sheikh. Although she was smiling, it seemed to Dottie to be a fixed grin, which given her rather uncomfortable position was probably not a surprise. She was astride a wooden beam, situated between a golden arch to which her wrists and ankles were fastened in a spread eagled manner. Her top barely covered her ample breasts, while the skimpy chiffon of her skirt was pulled behind her back, so that there was little protection for her legs. A crowd of men were gathered round, while the sheikh seemed to be speaking. As she was brought closer, Dottie realised with a growing horror what he was saying.
“Eight hundred, Eight fifty... Nine Hundred, I have Nine Hundred, going once, going twice....Sold!”
The group of men clapped one of their number on the back as the sheikh came round and looked at Dottie.
“Come, Mrs Dorothy Carr,” he said, “There is someone who is most anxious to meet you.”
He led her to an alcove, where there was sitting...
“Ah, my dear Mrs Carr, we meet again. I have long wished to, how do you Americans say, ‘Catch up and chat’, hmmm.”
Dottie had recognised him instantly – the man who had kidnapped her at home, and held her hostage, even starting to attack her before the police arrived.
“Unable to say... Oh, I say, my thoughtful brother has considered you to be too noisy. You may remove her gag.”
“Nelson!” the sheikh called out, but there was no sign of his manservant anywhere. “I will have to do it myself,” he said as he lifted the veil and removed the tape, allowing Dottie to spit out the sodden cloth mass into a bowl.
“I hoped I would never see you again,” Dottie said with a sense of real anger, but the prince just laughed. “Your petty laws do not apply here, Mrs Carr – you are in my domain now.
“She is in my domain, brother,” the sheikh said with a hint of anger, and the prince bowed with mock respect. “Never the less, you are mine now, and I will take great pleasure in making sure you pay for the insult you bestowed upon me, Mrs Carr. Have her prepared for transport, brother.”
The sheikh clapped twice, and the handmaidens appeared again. Removing Dottie’s manacles, the placed a silver belt with red cloth hanging down around her waist, and bracelets on her arms. The prince stood up and pulled Dottie towards him, saying “I will start by teaching you the true role of a man” as he did so. Dottie had been scared up to this point, but the thought that he was actually going to attack her in that way made her struggle. “Good,” the prince said as he held her, “I like a woman who fights back; it makes it more entertaining to tame her.” He pulled her closer, his breath on her face, and Dottie closed her eyes, fearing the worst. There was a loud explosion, as if something had banged close to her ears, and then nothing as she fainted away...
“Mum? Mum, can you hear me?”
Dottie opened her eyes to see her son looking down on her, a worried expression on his face and her hand in his. “Wha... what happened?” she croaked. “I thought – OH god, I thought I’d; never see you again.”
“So did we, Mum – but it’s over now, you’re safe and in the hospital.”
“How long? A week – and I’m sorry that we could not get word to you. There will be time for explanations later – for now, rest...”
It was several more days before Dottie was able to have more visitors than her family, but eventually she opened her eyes to see a tall, dark skinned man sitting next to her.
“Agent Nelson isn’t it?” she said as she sat herself up. “I should thank you for saving my life.”
“Not just me, Mrs Carr – when we assaulted the compound to arrest the slave traffickers, it was the whole squad who helped. I was merely their entrance path – their way in. How are you feeling?”
“I still don’t understand – why...”
“Why were the CIA watching the sheikh? We had known for some time that American women who went missing in the area went through his hands to other places, and we had planned to bring him down at this time. What our friends in the FBI failed to tell us about was you and your experiences with his brother – and by the time they did tell us, they had already captured you. It was all I could do to stop him from killing you ort sending you on sooner than he did. It took months to get to a position of trust where I could do that, but in the end we rescued you and broke up the trafficking ring.
“In all other circumstances, I’d recommend you for a Medal of Honour, but this comes under the covert operations banner, which I’m afraid means apart from the grateful thanks of the President, all I can offer is rest and recuperation.”
“What about the prince?”
“Gone, I’m afraid – but we’ll keep an eye out for him. As for you and your family, we’ll fly you back in a day or two – we told your friends you fell ill and had to spend time in hospital.”
“Some truth in that, I guess. One more thing.”
“Yes, Mrs Carr?”
“Please call me Dottie. Agent Nelson, I would like to see you again, one day – if that is all right.”
“Recover first, Mrs C... Dottie. And yes, I would like to see you again – one day.”
Three Months later
“Oh, I’m so sorry your holiday ended like that, Dottie. Still, maybe you can go another day.”
“I don’t think so,” Dottie said to her colleagues as they sat at the lunch table. “The food put me off going there for life. Anyway, it’s closer home for me in future.”
As the group gathered, Dottie looked at the cartoon in a magazine that was lying on the table. It showed a stylised Arabian street, with a piper making a young slave girl appear from his basket. She smiled as she read the caption, and stared for a moment at the page, imagining herself as the slave girl.
“God willing, it will stay a fantasy from now on,” she said to herself as she walked away, rubbing her wrist as she did so.
Return to the Dottie index
Return to the main index