Punishment in a foreign land
The metal door banged open and two dark burly figures appeared.
“Hey, thank goodness. Please…”
Instead of replying, the men yanked me off the stone-cold floor and twisted my hands behind me. The same metal rings cuffed my skin as my hands were handcuffed together. A dark hood was draped over my head, causing me to kick and scream louder as they half walked, half dragged me out. After a few minutes, I was sat down and one ring of the cuffs was removed, but seconds later I heard another click. Only then was my hood removed.
I found myself staring at two figures, one a rather lean guy with a moustache and, next to him, an older lady. I was about to speak when the man started rattling off in a strange language I could not comprehend. I was in some newly independent Eastern Country, where I mainly get by with hand-signs and broken English. His rant continued on for more than ten minutes, then stopped. Again, I tried to respond, but this time the woman spoke with a thick accent.
“You were found with this. No?” She pulled my handbag open and inside were the pearls I bought at a local shop.
“Yes, that’s what I…”
“They have drugs!” She yanked at one of the pearls, not the string, and it cracked open to reveal powder.
“I didn’t know this! I bought it from a local shop,” but my eyes told a different story.
“You liar!” She screamed.
“I-I demand to speak to the British Embassy,” I said defensively. This would help.
They both looked at each other, then burst out laughing, nearly bursting my ear drums.
“British? Your country choose to leave EU. You no longer friends with us. You leaving.”
“There’s still an Embassy here,” I protested.
The woman calmly pulled out a phone and switched on a clip. It as a grainy video, but I could see police escorting vans away from a building where the sign read: ‘British Embassy.’
“No Embassy! You smuggle drugs! You get 10 years!”
“10 years?! In prison?! “No, please, NO!!!” I shouted several times until she reached over and slapped me.
“Shut up,” she yelled.
They then got up and left. Handcuffed to the chair, I started sobbing. I couldn’t do 10 years in prison in an unknown land. And I couldn’t contact the British Embassy. I couldn’t even contact my parents. Why oh why did I agree to do something stupid like smuggling drugs?
The door banged again and only the woman sat down.
“We be nice. We no, we don’t have evidence for, how you say? Court.”
I heaved a sigh of relief.
“But, we cannot let you drug people free. You still must be punished. You pay…” She quoted the sum in local currency.
“But, I-I don’t have that much money! You have to let me contact my parents! They can…”
“If no money, you do prison.”
“Or…” She flipped through the file and mentioned something in her dialect.
“What did you say?”
She simply handed over the file and I leaned forward to see the words. It was accompanied with a picture that immediately shocked me.
“Is that sp…, I mean, caning?”
“Ah yes, caning. You do caning, Or 10 years.”
Caning?! They will beat me? The last time I was spanked was as a young teenager and that was for under-age drinking. But this was for a crime, well, an alleged crime. I didn’t believe countries caned people for crimes anymore.
“So, you do caning? Yes?” She stared at me.
What choice do I have? No way I would spend 10 years in a foreign prison; the jail cell was horrible enough. But could I withstand a caning? My parents used their hands on my bum to spank me; what would they be using?
“Madam, how many strokes?”
She looked at the file again and then held up her hands. Six. My favourite number. Or now, the dreaded number.
“You do, yes?”
I shivered then nodded. With a barked command, two burly men came in and again hooded me. Then they escorted me out. Five minutes later, I found myself in a room with some device shaped like a narrow X in front of me. The burly men left and in came a tall guy, around six-foot, with large biceps.
“Your clothes off,” I heard the lady say.
What? Off? She barked the instruction again and this time I shivered as I unclipped my dress, immediately covering my black bra-covered breasts.
“Those off!” She pointed at my knickers.
“No!” I couldn’t believe they wanted me to… I felt a hand reach forward and my black bikini knickers were yanked down! Shocked, I made no attempt to resist as she escorted me towards the frame. I had to climb onto to it so I was lying face down and then my wrists and ankles were cuffed to the sides, keeping me secured to the X shape.
I heard the command, and the first stroke of the cane came.
“OW!” I yelled.
The second came harder and I screamed louder. With the third stroke, my head jerked forward but the woman immediately came and pushed it back. With the fourth stroke, I was yelling like never before, spitting on the floor. Then the fifth stroke, and then finally the last stroke came, but by then my throat was parched from my ear-piercing screams.
I barely could move as they unlocked me from the frame. Some water was passed to my lips, but the first sip told me it was dirty. My underwear and dress were tossed at me, but my bottom felt so sore against the silky knickers that I didn’t bother to wear them. They gave me little time to compose myself, instead handcuffing and hooding me again. I was escorted out and half thrown against the pavement, with the lady saying I should never set foot in this country again.
As I rubbed my sore bum, I pledged never to or engage with drugs again.
© Avena 2018