The Cage

The Cage
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ISBN:  9781780803357
Author:  John Cole
Word Count:  24,433
Format:  eBook

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'I want you to enjoy yourself,' said the man in the white jacket standing by the bed, the owner of the first voice. Suddenly his tone became more implacable. 'You are going to have a great time. You are going to suck my cock. You are going to sit on my face. You're going to yell obscenities and beg me to visit unspeakable delights upon your person. In short...' he took Magda's purse from his pocket and looked inside it, '...Magdalene, you are going to fuck like a stoat and climax prolifically. Otherwise we might as well put your "loved one" straight into the freezer. N'est-pas?'

Adam and Magda are a happily married couple, most of the time. Magda has been known to play around, and Adam doesn't mind. In fact it rather turns him on. But they do have their quarrels - what with Adam being so faddish and his lovely wife being so house-proud of their quaint and secluded country cottage. His latest obsession - with the circus - inspires him to restore a dilapidated animal cage, and having the beastly thing cluttering up the love nest sparks another spat of bickering.

The petty squabbling soon comes to an end, however, when their would-be rural idyll is shattered by the arrival of three uninvited and malevolent 'guests'.

Suffused throughout with an atmosphere of unspeakable menace, The Cage is a tale of fear, fornication, seduction and submission in which dark and shameful passions are aroused and a mundane item of circus equipment becomes an apparatus for humiliation and torment.

A startling loudness erupted behind Adam as the kitchen door was smashed against the wall. He felt a sudden, sharp toothache, followed by a coldness spreading deliciously across the back of his head. A blindness of bright light gave way to an image of teeming throngs of people, alien, timeless, ceremonial, the sound of their music reverberating in his ears. They go. Blackness. Nausea. External, bodily discomfort. Oppression. Utter blackness.
Eventually, reality pricked at Adam's dulled condition. Inwardly he began to articulate an unspeakable fate. Things became horrifyingly tangible. The dimness of his brain, occasioned by prior smart contact with a blunt object, simply accentuated the horror. He was naked. He felt a little dirty. It was terribly dark but he felt there was a light coming from somewhere. It caused him excruciating pain to use his neck muscles and to raise his head. Once he had grimaced his way through this manoeuvre he realised he was lying on his side with his knees tucked up to his chest. His hip hurt and he realised the reason for this was that the entire weight of his leaden body was supported upon it. He spread his feet out upon the floor and twisted, better to look up at the light source.
   What were those thin black streaks across his field of vision? They were bars. Why had he been thinking of bars recently? Bars, bars. Bars? Something about bars. Ahh, yes - animals. Animals? The animal... Yes. Animals.
   No. Is it a joke? Magda?
   No.
   He began to feel a more familiar consciousness flooding back into him. And flood it did, like a wave whipped up by a tempest revelational; cacophonous; irresistible; and equally barren of sustenance, comfort or hope. Nevertheless, he was still not quite there. Noises off kept jarring on his concentration as he tried to take full stock of his circumstances. Someone, it seemed, had knocked him out, stripped him naked, and deposited his person, together with a few armfuls of straw, in the freshly restored cage. Moonlight shone into the conservatory, whence the cage had not been removed, and the stout iron padlock, sourced at length from an antique mongers, incarcerated him. The curtains between the guestroom and the conservatory were drawn but Adam became aware that there was a light on behind them and that the sharp mêlée of sounds obtruding on his semiconscious condition was also coming from there.
   Most of what he heard involved the trudging of feet: from the floorboards onto the rug; back onto the boards. Also there was the occasional thud of heavy, unidentifiable objects against something else, or one another, or who knew what? As he became gradually more alert he began to hear coughs, laughs, voices; then mainly voices. He realised that if he could snap out of his torpor he would probably be able to pick up what was being said. He shook his head and it hurt. He sighed, caught his breath, belched; sighed more gently; and listened.
   A man's voice. Cackling. Lascivious. The sound of material tearing: a couple of staccato cracks; then a longer rip, like a fart. The voice speaking in gruff but strangely hallowed tones. 'She's got a lovely bottom.'
  There was more shuffling of feet, then a rustling sound. A female voice emitted a breathless, stuttered yelp. It sounded like Magda. The male voice growled wetly. It said: 'Two perfect, firm, white globes. Silky.'
   A second male voice entered the recitative. 'What're her tits like?'
   More shuffling, followed by tearing fabric again, this time louder, faster and somehow more clinical. And another faint yelp.
   'Oh, heavens,' said the first voice, 'beautiful. Beautiful breasts. So big and... oh... so firm.'
   'What the fuck do you want?' said Magda.
   The first voice howled with laughter. Adam thought it sounded like at least two other staves joined a savage chorus of apparent mirth. It stopped abruptly. The first voice cleared its throat with an ancillary half-chuckle.
   'Your phraseology is deliciously ironic. Your question anticipates your immediate future so prophetically, if a little lacking in the niceties of grammar and intonation. It should have been: "What? Do you want the fuck?" The answer is "Yes, Madame, I do". I and my colleagues here need to billet ourselves with you for a time and, while we are here, I intend to make love to you. Quite frequently and, I think you will find, with some style.'
   Adam would have liked not to have believed his ears. The voice, for all the menace of what it conveyed, struck a note so urbane. The delivery was like that of an actor on a stage, engaged in the performance of some classical piece. He dearly wished he could attribute the unfolding verbal drama to the effects of concussion. He dearly wished this and as he dearly wished it he felt the sharp quills of the straw needling his flesh, he felt a sickly stirring in his lower belly, and he heard Magda's voice, speaking sharply, yet rumbling out the words from her guts.
  'There's nothing I can do about it, so go ahead, but I hope you don't think there's anything clever about it. Three cowardly chicken-shit bastards armed with guns and knives can quite easily rape a woman they've already got strung up to the rafters, but you're only going to find it in any way rewarding if you're all totally perverse animals. Which I suppose you are.
   'So go ahead!' Magda screamed. Adam heard her spit. It was definitely Magda who spat.
   'You misunderstand me.' The original male voice sounded calmer and more dulcet than ever. 'I am not going to rape you. I am going to make love to you and you are going to enjoy it.'
   'Fuck off,' said Magda.
   'Oh, but you will. You must respond to my blandishments.'
   'You can force me to submit to your violence, but you can't make me "respond".'
   'Oh, but I can.'
   'Enjoy it?' Again she spat. 'What can you do to make me? Kill me? Are you keen on necrophilia?'
   'We were listening to your bickering little love-talk before we made our presence felt,' said the voice. 'I gather you want the cage out in the barn.' Adam had a sudden grotesque vision of the voice coming from the mouth of some reptile. 'And he thought it was too cold to work on it there.' The voice slithered across the floor. 'Well, now he's in it. And maybe we should make your every wish our command and put the monstrosity in the barn. Along with its somewhat bestial contents.'
   'But he'd freeze to death,' said Magda gently, feeling instantly that to speak was to enmesh herself.
   'I said you would come to see that you will have to enjoy making love with me.'
   'Fuck off,' said Magda.
   'Okay, let's wheel 'im out,' said the voice.
   Adam was sucked, breathless, into the vortex. Suddenness and chaos were all about him: inside his brain; outside his body. Noise, light, nameless phenomena engulfed him as the curtains were harshly whipped apart. Blinking into the hazy brilliance, his pupils gaped painfully and a profusion of percussionists seemed to enliven their primitive instruments against the inside of his skull. On the other side of the French window from his unfocused but now unobstructed view, Magda was kneeling on the guestroom bed, her wrists bound together and suspended above her head from a length of rope which had been hoisted over one of the ceiling joists. Her skirt lay like a rag on the bed beside her and her tee-shirt had been frontally dissected, so cleanly that it must have been with a blade. It hung like a waistcoat either side of her chest.
   There were three men in the room: one standing by the bed; one apparently having just tugged open the curtains; one reaching to open the French windows. They were all somewhere in their twenties. For a few moments Adam was absurdly transfixed by their attire. All three were dressed casually and neatly like people out for a Sunday stroll. Or people convalescing in a nursing home, he thought. Or visiting the circus? Would you dress that way to go to the circus?
   The succulent curves of Magda's backside protruded from the pearl French knickers she still wore. The man by the curtain held an automatic rifle and another similar weapon was leaning against the wall. Magda was still wearing her ankle socks. A large bone-handled hunting knife lay on the bed in front of her knees.
   Like Adam, she shuttled along lines of absurdity in the effort to heave her thoughts onto the rails. That tedious cage just had to have a key part in this nightmare, didn't it? How typical! That! I hope they don't make me have sex in the cage. As long as they don't make me do it in the cage...
   As the man near the French window grasped the handle she yelled: 'Okay!'
   The three intruders came to a silent stop. Adam shuddered and Magda looked down. Both reactions were momentary. She threw her head back immediately, tossing her hair from her face to reveal the supreme defiance in her eyes. Two large almonds, glowingly painted with unassailable dignity. 'Okay. What do you want me to do?'
   'I want you to enjoy yourself,' said the man in the white jacket standing by the bed, the owner of the first voice. Suddenly his tone became more implacable. 'You are going to have a great time. You are going to suck my cock. You are going to sit on my face. You're going to yell obscenities and beg me to visit unspeakable delights upon your person. In short...' he took Magda's purse from his pocket and looked inside it, '...Magdalene, you are going to fuck like a stoat and climax prolifically. Otherwise we might as well put your "loved one" straight into the freezer. N'est-pas?'
   Adam thought she was going to spit as he had heard her do when he was benighted. But she just wrinkled her nose disdainfully and looked almost bored. Adam felt an unwished-for swelling between his legs and considered himself most exposed on several fronts.
  'What about the other two creeps?' asked Magda, thinking she might as well hear the worst. One was quite slight of body, slender of limb, like the White Jacket, but much shorter, and with a distinctive piercing stare. The third was much bigger all over than the other two and looked wicked and brutal.
   'Well if you get really desperate I might let them fuck you as well,' said the White Jacket and he set up once more his howling and chortling, doubling up beneath its torrential echoes, his companions rousing again to a deafening pitch of jollity. This time it went on and on, unbearably for the prisoners, but to the multiplying festivity of the participants who were soon beside themselves with delight.
  'We'd like to have her anyway, whether she's desperate or not,' said the man with the piercing stare breathlessly, between heaves and convulsions.
   The White Jacket was wistful. 'Okay. If you wish. Have to be fair.'
   The other two continued to laugh as though they would be consumed by their merriment louder and louder, higher and higher.
   'Okay, I'll let you know when it's your turn,' snapped White Jacket. 'I'm sleeping with her tonight so get out.'
   The two minions shuffled mechanically out of the room. It was like some repulsive pantomime. The man with the piercing stare threw a nasty glance at... was it at Magda? Or was it at the White Jacket, the apparent captain of the band? White Jacket followed them to the door and closed it. The suspended Magda looked down-heartened.
   'I think it's about time I saw you smile,' said the White Jacket returning to the edge of the bed. Magda snapped her face into a puerile and very foolish-looking grin. She held the pose for a second and then reverted to her look of glum resignation. The man hit her with most unwarranted force, using the open flat of his hand, across her cheek. After riding the blow she left her head bowed, her hair completely curtaining her face. A second or two later she lifted her head and flicked back her hair to reveal a mischievous but devouring leer, her almond eyes flashing sternly.
   'That's better,' said White Jacket. 'I want you to smile at me for a few minutes. I like that. Keep looking at me like that for a while.'
   Magda followed his movements and rolled her head around rhythmically as he approached her where she knelt. He took hold of the elastic around the top of her knickers at the hips and snapped first one side then the other. He cast the silk aside to reveal her profuse bush of pubic hair and a certain view of her sex and, still, she smiled down at him leeringly.
   Adam's sensations over the course of this drama had passed through the gamut. Yet this passage barely registered upon him. Internally and externally he felt that he had been aware of nothing. At the same time he knew he was aware of everything. He thought shudderingly that he was totally unprepared for all of this and then his head, his hands, his feet, his whole body swelled with anxiety and he ground his teeth as he enquired aggressively of himself as to how he could ever have been prepared for this.
   He shivered despite the almost tropical heat maintained constantly in the conservatory to preserve its winter garden. His guts knotted and churned, convulsed and seemed to echo, as he felt himself sucked once more toward the eye of the senseless maelstrom. His bonded wife was suspended from the rafters of his own cottage and was about to be violated in elaborate fashion by a complete stranger with a voice like honey who had stripped and beaten her. He fell back onto a small pile of straw. He was penned in an animal cage in the conservatory. He made a few porcine grunting sounds of which he himself was only dimly aware. A heavy spinning set up in his head. He felt heartily sick. At some point the lights in the guestroom were extinguished but Adam was far beyond knowing the difference. He was penned in a cage and someone was about to copulate with his wife. Was he vomiting? He did not know whether or not he was vomiting. A great pain pressed into his eyeballs as he squeezed his eyelids together and he saw a distinct and brilliant repeat image of the stranger wrenching off Magda's underwear. He was overwhelmed with a solitary sensation, running from the root of his belly to the base of his skull. His body told him that what was happening was erotically exciting and his mind was not even capable of ringing the clangs of horror. Greater became the chaotic heaving in his intestines. An electric metallic lash seemed to slap across his brain as oblivion inked itself over his consciousness, leaving his corporeal remainder still twitching like a fresh victim in an abattoir.
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The Cage
Saturday, 6 April 2013  | 

A good premise, but unfortunately the novel is told entirely from the point of view of the male onlooker who is not having nearly as good a time as the female "victim." There is a scene where the husband starts defecating while watching his wife - it didn't work for me! The story is written in a rather florid and pretentious style as well, which wouldn't matter so much if the eroticism was there, unfortunately though . . . .


Response:

Thanks for your review, John. I take your point about the scene which includes defacating; I deliberated long and hard during the edit whether to take it out or not. But for the sake of realism - taking into account the length of time the husband spends in the cage - I decided to leave it in.


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