© Copyright 2006 - Andreabound - Used by permission
Storycodes: Sbf; enclosed; slave; cons; X
#8 Andreabound revisits the Oubliette – Part One
After the success of my jail cell I wanted to spend more time locked in the basement of my new house. Unfortunately, no assignments came up at work that would give me an excuse to stay at home for a week or more. Any less time than that simply wasn’t going to work for my needs.
After a few frustrating weeks I decided to try something different. My hands had recovered from the grievance done to them whilst lifting and handling the rough, heavy cinder blocks. So it was time for more building. I missed my oubliette, left in the attic of my previous home. I wondered if the new occupants had found it yet and, if so, what they had made of the strange construction. I decided this new oubliette would be made of stone and should be smaller and even more confining than the last one.
There was a couple of cinder blocks left over from the construction of my cell but I would need more So I ordered more blocks to be delivered, along with a few paving slabs that I would use for the roof.
When the bricks arrived a week later, I built two new walls out from the back wall of the basement and parallel to the side wall of my cell. There was a gap of two feet between the new walls and they were only two feet high. I laid the paving slabs on top, bridging the two low walls and forming the roof of my oubliette. Boy, were these paving slabs heavy! I now had a tunnel two feet high and wide, and six feet long, that would become my new even smaller and more confining oubliette. Since the oubliette now obscured the hole in the cell wall near the ground where the hose for my cell’s water supply entered, I placed the water tank onto the roof of the oubliette and drilled a new hole higher up on the cell wall for the hose.
On the end of one of the low walls at the entrance to the oubliette I bolted a four foot high piece of two-by-two that had a slot cut into it. A similar piece of wood was bolted to the other wall so that the slots faced each other across the opening and would allow a thin board to be slid in from the top. The slots allowed the board to be slid up and down across the entrance to the oubliette effectively sealing it off. I cut two ankle sized slots in the bottom of this board so that if I were lying in the oubliette and the board was dropped across the entrance my ankles would be trapped on the outside of the oubliette by the board, preventing my escape.
Holes drilled in each of the slotted frames just above the tops of the walls would allow bolts to be pushed through the frames to block the slots. With the board raised the bolts wouldn’t be able to be pushed all the way through to the other side of the slot but once the board dropped below the level of the holes, the bolts would automatically slide down and through the hole on the other side of the slot preventing the board from being lifted until the bolts were removed. . I drilled the holes at an angle so that the bolts would slide easily through the unimpeded holes. I sawed the heads off two long 3/8ths bolts I’d bought for the purpose and greased them up. For good measure I also greased the inside of the holes I’d drilled. I pushed the ends of the bolts into the holes and let go. They slid right through and landed on the floor. I tried this several times blocking the passage of the bolts with the board and then letting the board down. Each time the bolts slid through and not once did they get stuck in the holes. My plan was to freeze an ice cube onto one end of each of the bolts which would prevent them from sliding all the way through until the ice melted.
To be safe I decided to test this with me outside the oubliette, so once the bolts were frozen I put a block of wood under the board to create a gap and pushed the ends of the bolts into the holes. The bolts hung there in the holes unable to pass through the board that occupied the slots. I slipped my feet under the raised bottom of the board and lined my ankles up with the slots in the board itself. I yanked on the string I’d attached to the block holding the board up and the board slid the rest of the way down to the floor trapping my ankles in the slot. I could see that the bolts had now slid all the way through the holes and try as I might I couldn’t push the board back up by using my legs. I tried pushing and pulling on the board too and there was a little give in the thin board. I resolved to add an extra slot across the oubliette entrance on the floor for the board to drop into. That would prevent me from pushing on the board enough to bend it and snap it out of the slots at the sides. I waited patiently for the ice to melt and for the bolts to slip out of the holes and onto the floor. Lying back on the cold floor, I closed my eyes and imagined what it would be like to be doing the waiting on the inside the close confines of my very narrow oubliette instead.
For this experiment I had only frozen a small amount of ice onto the bolts and so it wasn’t long before I heard the first bolt fall to the floor. The other bolt fell out a minute or so later, but I lay there for a while trying to calculate how much ice I would need to freeze onto the ends of the bolts to provide for a decent length of entrapment in my new oubliette. The only thing preventing me from using the oubliette now was finding a free weekend and the time it took to freeze a decent amount of ice onto my bolts.
Now I was really for it! After my last encounter with the Magistrate I had been locked in the castle’s dungeon to cool off. I obviously hadn’t shown the correct degree of contrition on my release and so the magistrate had taken one look at the undisguised hate still showing in my eyes and said the only thing guaranteed to keep me incarcerated indefinitely: “she’s obviously a witch, take her back to the dungeon and make her confess!”
And so it was back to the oubliette; this time one in the deepest, darkest dungeon of the castle. As I was stripped of my clothes, I realized even this harsh treatment was just a prelude to the real thing; a means of weakening me ready for the inevitable tortures and trials that lay ahead. Of course I wasn’t a witch, the magistrate knew that too, but who would believe the word of a simple peasant girl over that of the town’s most powerful and learned man? Even if they did, who would dare stand against him for the cause of a girl who clearly couldn’t control herself?
I had managed to find a free weekend and so it was time to test out the oubliette. This time there would be no comforts. No pillow and a rough concrete floor to lie on instead of wooden floorboards. To provide even greater torture I threw a couple of handfuls of rice into the oubliette and decided to go naked.
So the only things I took into the oubliette with me this time were a pair of handcuffs, the thumbcuffs that had finally turned up and the string that I would use to pull out the block to release the board. The block was taller this time as I had to maneuver my body through the entrance under the raised board and not just my feet.
This was my first time as I hadn’t tried the oubliette out yet and although I’d deliberately made the new oubliette on the small size I hadn’t realized what a squeeze it would be. It must have taken me over ten minutes to wriggle up the tiny passage and I was glad I wasn’t claustrophobic. I had also cuffed my toes together with the other pair of thumbcuffs and that made progress even more difficult. Eventually I could tell I was in the right place and I reached behind me to slip on the hand and thumbcuffs.
Once they were on I gave the string a sharp pull and was rewarded by the sound of the board sliding down its slots. Of course it landed on top of one of my ankles and I yelped with pain. I instinctively moved my ankle sideways and, finding its travel no longer hindered, the board slid all the way to the floor, coming to rest in the new slot I had fixed there.
Here I was; an innocent girl accused of witchery, already striped of my clothes and dignity. Now they had pushed me into this dark, cold, stony hole in what seemed like the bottom of the earth. And it was cold; the concrete of the floor I was lying on wasn’t going to warm up anytime soon. The rice had been pushed up the passageway by my squirming into the hole and most of it had unfortunately come to rest right under my breasts where it was starting to really dig in. I wished I’d noticed this before cuffing my wrists behind my back, but I probably couldn’t have done much about it anyway as the passageway was too tight to allow me to move my arms up and they were stuck at my sides, cuffs or not.
Having my hands behind my back also meant most of the passageway was blocked by my body making it harder for fresh air to circulate. I’d left a couple of small gaps in the brickwork to ensure I wouldn’t suffocate but I’d wanted to have to work for my breathing; it seemed in keeping with being in a real hole in the ground.
It wasn’t long before I was really uncomfortable. I was stuck lying on my stomach as the slots trapping my ankles prevented me from turning over. Not that it would have been easy anyway in such a confined space. I’d wanted an authentic experience and I was certainly getting it short of the damp the inhabitant of a real oubliette would undoubtedly suffer. Wait a minute, I was getting wet. There was a definite dripping on the back of my thighs. I assumed it must be the ice melting then realized it was too far away for the entrance to be caused by the ice. The only other source of water was in the tank that I had hoisted onto the oubliette roof; sitting right above my bottom. I hoped that it hadn’t sprung a leak.
My worst fears were realized as I felt the water continue to drip onto my thighs, run round my legs and start to form a pool on the floor. At least the drips didn’t seem to get any worse but the constant dripping of the cold water on my legs was a form of Chinese torture. Even more worrying was that the tunnel of the oubliette obviously ran slightly downhill; instead of staying where it fell, the pool of water was slowly making its way up my body towards my head.
Once it reached the end of the oubliette, the water had nowhere else to go, and so after a while, there was pool about a quarter of an inch deep around my head. Not deep enough to drown in but deep enough that I had to keep holding my head up to avoid lying in the freezing water. Lying as I was on my stomach, my only choices were to lie with my face on the ground which meant my mouth was in the water, lying with my head on one side which allowed the water to seep into my hair or, hold my head up and out of the growing puddle. Something I couldn’t do indefinitely. I could feel water at my ankles too, now meaning the slope couldn’t be too great. This meant the water wouldn’t get much deeper at my head. But then of course the board at my feet would stop the water going any further in that direction and that meant most of the water would be trapped in the oubliette.
As the water level rose I started to panic a little and pulled and pushed against the board with my ankles; all to no avail. With my hands cuffed behind me, there was no way I could gain any purchase against the floor or walls to aid my efforts. I realized how absolutely trapped I was in here. And suddenly the confining walls, the absolute darkness and the rising danger all combined to cause me to be terrified. I didn’t want to drown in here and for a minute or two I thrashed insensibly in my narrow prison.
I only stopped when I came back to my senses and realized that all I had achieved was to give myself a liberal covering of grazes and scratches and one broken nail as I beat against the rough brickwork. The water was now over half-an-inch deep and I had lost track of time. I had no idea how long I had been in here and how much longer I had to endure this torture. My neck was stiff from trying to hold my head out of the water and I was reaching the limit as to how much longer I could manage that.
Eventually I had no choice but to lower my head into the freezing water. I put my head on one side and my hair was immediately soaked and I started to shiver uncontrollably. The leak had obviously spread and the water coming from above had started to find new routes into my subterranean prison. It must be seeping through the gaps between the paving slabs I had laid as a roof and I now had water leaking on to my back and shoulders, as well as my thighs. The water level didn’t seem to go up though, as it had risen above the strips of wood I’d used to create a slot across the doorway and was obviously slowly pouring out of the slots in the board where my ankles passed through. I lifted my ankles the half inch or so that the headroom in the slots would allow and that seemed to help the flow of water to the outside.
I couldn’t keep my ankles in the air like that for too long and so I had to keep lowering them every now and again, only raising them when I thought he water was getting too high to bear. It was during one of these times lifting my ankles up that I found the board seemed to give way slightly. I pushed harder and realized the board was loose at one side. Obviously one of the bolts had slid through and that meant the other wouldn’t be far behind.
A few minutes later the other bolt fell to the ground and this time I heard it fall. I pushed the board with all my might and I felt it lift. There was no mechanism to hold the board up and so I would have to support its weight with parts of my body and try to slide underneath it as I wriggled out of the oubliette. I hadn’t planned on this being easy. It had been hard enough squirming into the oubliette with the board held out of the way and with the limited use of my hands to push against the walls at my side. With my hands pinned uselessly at my back and made even more useless by the thumbcuffs, it was going to be a hard and long journey back out of the tunnel of my oubliette.
The water didn’t help either; it made the floor slippery and difficult for me to get any purchase. Whereas the journey in had taken ten minutes or so the journey out was at least three times as long. By the time I emerged in the gloom of the basement I was covered in scratches, grazes, bruises and splinters from the where the board had scraped along the back of my legs and back. The worst moment, ironically, was as I was nearly free. The board scraped along my shoulders and then settled over my neck to trap my head in the oubliette. My neck had slipped into one of the slots in the board meant for my ankles and being a little larger than my ankle had got stuck there. It took several minutes of straining my head up and a few more bruises before I finally wriggled free of the tunnel.
Once I’d removed my cuffs, I stood up, stretched, and mostly out of curiosity, looked to see where all the water had come from. It turned out that I hadn’t fixed the hose to the water tank tightly enough and that during my struggles into the oubliette must have caused the tank to shift slightly causing a leak where the hose was connected. I couldn’t work out how I could have done this as the tank weighed a ton when full of water and the hose was well out of reach of the inside of the oubliette, but I couldn’t come up with a better explanation.
A warm bath was in order, and there whilst tending to my bruises, I could continue my fantasy about being the young girl accused of witchcraft. The trauma of the rising water had all but destroyed the scenario for me at the time, which just meant of course that once I’d fixed the leak and given the oubliette time to dry out, I would have to do it all over again.