Danny had spent most of the winter planning the upcoming trip and as it got closer he became more and more excited. I had to smile every time I talked to him – his enthusiasm was contagious!
I had met him in late fall of last year and we hit it off right from the start. I don’t like the bar scene so it sometimes is tough to meet guys, but Danny and I literally bumped into each other in the supermarket. He accidently hit me with his cart and as I spun around to swear I found myself gazing into the deepest brown eyes that I had ever seen. I must have just been staring because he started to flush with embarrassment and stammered an apology. It only took a few minutes of conversation before we found ourselves setting up a time to meet for coffee. We had been seeing a lot of each other since then. Sometimes you just click. We had been fast friends, since.
We had shared a few secrets with each other and had some fantasies and fetishes in common; but we never explored them together. We did, however, spend quite a few hours detailing our favorite fantasies – left me hard, but frustrated.
One of his passions is backpacking and he just lit up when he talked about the trips he had taken; especially the one last summer. He finally convinced me that we should go on a pretty long hiking trip – he would take care of the arrangements and gear. All I had to do was hit the treadmill at the gym to get into shape for the walk.
I had a ton of vacation time stored up my company encouraged sabbaticals for its managers, so I decided to take advantage of it and took May through August off. I was really looking forward to it as I really hadn’t had a vacation since graduating from college.
In late winter Danny came over with a pile of maps and a load of gear. We sat down and he showed me his plans for the trip. He had selected a very remote area out west where there was a great trail system. We would have to ship our gear up to a hostel at the trailhead then fly up. The last leg of the trip would be a couple hour drive from the airport to the hostel – their shuttle van would meet us. From the first hostel we would hike in for three days to a second, more remote hostel for resupply, a shower and a soft bed. Then it would be a five day hike to a third hostel. Where, we would decide if we wanted to continue deeper into the wilderness or take a few days and hike out to “civilization.” Danny was worried that I wouldn’t like the trail hiking and rough camping, so he wanted to try this route first. If I did enjoy it we could continue with additional hikes up there for the better part of the summer – coming into to “civilization” every 5 or 6 days to resupply and refresh.
I thought it sounded like fun – would take some getting used to, but I was up for it. Then he pulled out some of the gear that he had brought along so that I could become familiar with it. He went through the tent set-up. Showed me the water filter, little cook stove, etc. The backpack seemed huge, but I guess it had to be if we were hauling everything we would need for four or five days at a time. He helped me to put it on and adjusted the straps and belts. The padded shoulder harness on the pack, the thought of nights in sleeping bags in the tent that was barely big enough for two, and all the time that I would be spending with Danny made my dick spring to life. The mesh shorts that I was wearing did little to hide it and Danny smiled when he noticed and said that he got horney thinking about all the gear too.
After the pack was adjusted, he took it off and opened it up. He pulled out a bunch of clothes and hiking boots. He said that he had taken the liberty of buying all the clothes that I would need for the trip – though it would be easier, since he knew what we would need and what we could do without. I was excited about the fact that he was taking care of everything – even the clothes that I would be wearing. Some of the clothes were his, he said, used on previous trips but still in great shape – the fact that I would be wearing some of his clothes made my dick hard, again.
Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and we were at the airport waiting for the hostel’s van to pick us up. He had shipped our gear ahead, so all we had were small carry-ons and the clothes on our back. Somewhere along the way it had occurred to me that nothing that I had with me or in the rest of the gear was actually mine – he had provided everything (and wouldn’t take any money for it). Everything I was currently wearing, in fact, were clothes that he had preciously worn and handed down to me (even the underwear). Weird, maybe, but it still aroused me.
The van arrived and we set off. It didn’t take long before “civilization” became scarce. We passed a few small towns but mostly forest. It was beautiful and I started to relax. The next few weeks would be carefree and I was looking forward to it. We arrived at the first hostel at dusk and ate a quick dinner in the common room before turning in for the night. Our gear was waiting in a bunk room for us, so we unrolled the sleeping bags – teasingly argued over who gets the top bunk – and quickly fell asleep. At daybreak we were on the trail. By the end of the first day I was silently cursing the weight of the pack, but had enjoyed the trail and Danny’s comfortable companionship. We set up camp and crawled into the little tent. It was warm so we slept on top of the sleeping bags, he was wearing only a pair of shorts and I admired his chest and eventually snuggled against him.
He started asking me to describe my bondage fantasies for him after the second night. Wanting more details and always making me go back over each one. I could only assume that it turned him on because I really only had two and I would have thought that he would get very bored of listening to them over and over.
The next couple of days passed in much the same way. We made it to the second hostel late on the third day. It felt great to take a shower (even if it was cold) and Danny made it more fun by sneaking in so we could shower together. We restocked our packs from the hostel’s supplies (I guess Danny had arranged payment for everything in advance so there was never any question of payment) and bedded down early. Since we had a room to ourselves we shared the bottom bunk together. I was growing very accustomed to the warmth of his toned body next to mine.
When we reached the third hostel it was decision time. We could take a trail that followed the supply road and be in civilization in two days. Or, if I wanted, we could hike deeper into the wilderness. It was a full six day hike to a very remote camp. All the supplies for that place were flown in by float-plane. He told me that the outpost also served a few other purposes, but never went into detail. If we went in-it would be a bare minimum of 12 days in and out – more if we spent a few days at the outpost. I said yes before I knew it – the thought of being with him – alone – for that period of time made the decision for me. We set off the next morning after resupplying. The packs were heavier, but I was stronger too.
“Remember those fantasies we talked about?” He said the first night out. I thought I would make it come true for you tonight, are you interested?”
Not knowing what he had in mind, I shyly said yes. He flicked on a flashlight and showed me a pair of handcuffs and a leather gag. Being imprisoned and held against my will was the thing that I had always wanted to try. I said that I would love it if he would cuff me and keep me locked up.
“Are you really sure this is something that you want to try?” he asked again.
I said, “Absolutely, you know that I want to be locked up!”
I rolled over onto my stomach so that he could lock the cuffs on and he wasted no time locking them in place. Before I knew what was happening he had the gag in place and I heard a padlock snap shut as he pulled the leather strap tight. My dick roared to life and he laughed as he pushed be back onto my side and saw the erection. “I’m glad you like it! Sleep tight!” and he switched off the flashlight.
The next few days were the same, beautiful scenery and easy hiking and nights in the tent being handcuffed and gagged. Every night he would ask if it was really what I wanted and every night I assured him that I not only wanted it but was beginning to yearn for it. In the morning he would release me and we would set-off. I never once complained. I was enjoying it. I told him often how much I was looking forward to being locked up for the night.
I could hear the sounds of hammering and other construction noise long before we could see the outpost. Danny told me that he read that they were enlarging it so that it could accommodate more guys. It had been a long hike and I was very tired – I was looking forward to relaxing at the outpost. The woods were really thick and we were almost on top of one of the outpost buildings before I saw it. It was set close to the shore of a large lake and there was a float plane tied up at the dock. As we walked up on the porch two good looking guys came out to meet us. They were both ruggedly handsome and well built – and wearing faded camo BDU pants and olive colored T’s. They welcomed Danny by name, which surprised me, but I didn’t get a chance to ask as they seemed in a rush to get us inside and “settled.”
One of the guys had pulled me to one side of the lodge room, which was much smaller than I was expecting based on the size of the building, and was helping me take off my pack before I had a chance to say anything or really look around. Danny was on the other end of the room with the other guy talking. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but they both kept glancing at me and I was starting to get a little paranoid. The two guys left the room with our packs and Danny walked over to me and said that he was just making sure all the arrangements were in order. The guys were busy as they had a bunch of work going on and wanted to get us settled as soon as possible. They returned a few minutes later and the guy that had taken my pack handed me a bottle of water and said that we could get to our rooms in a little while. I chatted with Danny for a few minutes while I drank the water, noticed I was getting a little woozy and then I must have blacked out.
When I came to I was disoriented and my head hurt like hell. I was dizzy for a bit and realized I was laying on a thin mattress. At first I thought I must have just passed out from exhaustion or something, but as my eyes started to focus I saw that I was in some type of cell. It was dimly lit, concrete walls, the mattress was on a concrete ledge, there was a rusty sink and an old toilet – and metal bars running along the opening to what appeared to be a hallway. I was trying to get my head around what the hell was going on when I noticed that I was wearing what looked like a prison uniform – bright orange jumpsuit, no pockets, “Inmate” was imprinted down one leg, and I realized that I wasn’t wearing any underwear. What the hell was going on?
A few minutes later Danny came to the cell bars – flanked by the two guys that had met us. I jumped up and yelled at him trying to get him to tell me what this was all about, but he wouldn’t answer until I sat back on the bunk and calmed down. The two guys just stood there stoically, at what looked like the military “at ease” pose. I swore at him but sat down – I needed to know what was happening.
He finally said, “We talked so much about your fantasies that I thought it would be great if I could really find a way to satisfy your lust. This place isn’t a getaway for hikers, as you might have already guessed; it’s a prison work camp. Guys from the state pen are brought up here for the summer to work – and they work their asses off every day. The time they spend up here comes right off of their sentences. If they screw off or disobey any of the rules they are sent back and time is added back on – they run a tight ship here and they realized a few years ago that there was additional business to be had by imprisoning “volunteers” who wanted to experience this type of thing for themselves. The “volunteer” prisoners earn their keep.
Danny stared at me for a moment and then continued, “I couldn’t think of a better place for you to spend the summer. I wanted to make sure that you were really up for something like this, so I kept testing you along the last part of the hike. Every night you were given the chance to say no to being handcuffed and gagged, but every night you agreed. You even told me you yearned for it. That just reinforced what I already knew – this is absolutely what you want – and now you get to live it. Really live it”
He stepped away from the bars and walked off down the hall. One of the two guys – or I guess I should say “guards” – moved forward and said in what can only be described as an ominous voice, “For you there will be no special treatment. You are now a prisoner of the State. There is no escape from this camp. There is no reprieve until your sentence is complete. The rules are simple and I will tell this to you only once; if you fail to obey an order from any guard or fail to perform any task assigned to you satisfactorily, you will be punished. You do not want to experience that, so do as you are told.”
He stepped back from the bars, “Tonight you can relax in your cell. You’ll need to sleep off the drug that we gave you earlier, anyway. In the morning you will be formally inducted into the camp and put into the work rotation. You will also be assigned to a permanent cell. I suggest you get some rest – this will be the last time that you will be anything but a prisoner, anything but a number.”
Both of the guards walked away and shortly after I heard the slamming of what sounded like a heavy steel door. The sound of the lock echoed down the hall just before the lights went out.
I managed to find the toilet in the dark to take a piss before laying back down on the mattress. There was no way that this was really happening – a prison work camp and I was going to be locked up here for the summer? Danny must know these guys and it must be a joke of some sort. Then again, how does that explain the cell that I was currently locked in?
No escape, no reprieve, punishment. The words floated around in my head. If this was really a work camp with real prisoners how could they really keep “volunteer” prisoners? As I thought about it, I was horrified to realize that my dick was getting hard. Danny was right, this was my number one fantasy – imprisoned, no escape. If this was real, I still wasn’t sure that it could be, how would I be able to handle it? How hard would the work be? Were they really able to keep me here against my will? All of this ran through my head as I drifted off.
I was startled awake by the slamming of the metal door at the end of the hallway and the yelling of the guards as the screamed at me to present myself “front and center” at the bars to the cell. I apparently didn’t move off the bunk fast enough as their yelling increased in volume and became more rapid-fire – they sounded like military drill sergeants. My heart was racing as I rushed to obey their orders and they man-handled me out of the cell and were dragging me down the hall before I really even knew what was happening. They brought me into a dimly lit small room with a workbench of some type at one end and told me to get undressed. I hesitated and they just about ripped the orange coveralls off of me. Once I was naked and standing at attention another guard came in and used an electric razor to cut my hair; he did it so quick that I could only imagine the hatchet job that it must have resembled. They then yanked me by the arm to the workbench. As we got closer I could make out sets of iron shackles on the work surface and all I could think was how heavy and solid they looked. I tried to yank away from the guard, but the other two were already behind me and forced me to my knees.
“We told you last night that you would be initiated into the camp this morning. We think you’ll like the new ‘jewelry’ that we have ready for you!” They all laughed at that as the third guard took some type of large iron ring off of the workbench. He brought it closer so that I could see it and I realized that it was a collar! As he showed it to me he said, “Take a good look prisoner. This collar will be locked on for the duration of your sentence.” He turned it slightly in his hand, “See this plate right here? It contains all the information that any guard ever needs to know about you.” The only things etched on the nameplate were “Prisoner Number 02158.” He turned it around to show me the words “State Prisoner” which were also etched directly into the metal of the collar.
“Memorize it right now. You are 02158 from now on.” He opened the collar and placed it around my neck – it was heavy and fit very close to my neck. This was something that would be hard to get used to without a doubt. My head was spinning as he snapped it shut and secured it with some type of tool. “The locking mechanism was specially design for us. Without the proper key the only way to get the collar off is to cut through an inch of solid, tempered steel. By the way, every cop and warden in the state recognizes these and where the prisoners who wear them belong. Just remember that if you think you can escape.”
He then grabbed a set of the shackles form the workbench and bent down to place them on my ankles. They were just as heavy as the collar and linked by a heavy chain that looked like it would allow only limited movement. They, too, were locked with the same tool. As he locked them I could see that the entire locking mechanism was recessed into the shackle and would be inaccessible without the proper tool.
This could not be happening. It was sinking in that this was not a joke. The collar and shackles were very real and there would be no way for me to (ever) remove them. What the hell had Danny gotten me into? I was too confused to think clearly – the thought of being locked into these metal restraints for the entire summer scared the hell out of me. The guards pulled me forward and I followed without resisting. Somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that I had turned instantly docile. The guards must have seen it before as one of them smirked and said, “The truth is sinking in isn’t it? No escape. No reprieve. Nothing, 02158, until your sentence is completed.”
With that they shuffled me out of the room and led me through a series of heavy metal doors that were unlocked and relocked as we passed through. It was damp and felt like we were in a basement. Eventually we came to what must have been a cell block. Heavy doors lined each side of the corridor – each one of them had no openings except a locking, rectangular hinged door set near the floor. Every one of them had a white stenciled number and I knew they had reached mine when 02158 came into view. They unlocked the door and pushed me inside. “Get dressed and get used to your new home. We’ll be back for you in a couple of hours. We have other prisoners to deal with.”
The door slammed and locked behind them and I was left in the dim light of a concrete cell. It couldn’t have been more than 6 feet long and was only maybe 4 feet wide. A concrete bunk filled the length of the left wall and a combination sink and toilet was crammed into the far corner. A thin mattress was rolled-up on one end of the bunk and there was some orange clothing folded near it. I picked them up and started to get dressed. No underwear and the pants reminded me of the “tear-away” kind the basketball players use while on the sidelines. Sets of snaps running along the entire length of the inside and outside of each leg right up to the waist – basically a back half and a front half that snapped together to form a pair of pants – would have been impossible to put a regular pair of pants on with the ankle irons locked on. The shirt had only snaps and a pair of slip-on sneakers (also orange.) The pants and the shirt had “Inmate” on the front and back and both also had 02158 stenciled boldly on them.
Once dressed, I unrolled the mattress only to find it was stained and smelled of urine. There was an old wool blanket rolled up inside – no pillow. I sat on the bunk and looked around again. Grey poured concrete block walls – no paint – the floor was poured concrete that was stained with who knows what and the ceiling was unfinished concrete, as well. A dim light bulb was surrounded by a heavy metal cage above the door. The shadows reflected on the walls looked exactly like the light shining through the cell bars from the night before. I guess this was it. I could have cried but what the hell good would that do? I was starting to hate Danny for this – sure I had fantasies about something like this, but that is just what they were – fantasies.
I shuffled around the cell for a bit; trying to get a feel for the range of movement the shackles offered – not much. The collar was already rubbing on my shoulders and I knew that it would eventually rub them raw – the damn thing was heavy and prevented me from lowering my head. Oh shit, this was miserable and it wasn’t even an hour since they put it on. I tried to imagine what it was going to be like staring at these same walls for the entire summer and my heat just sank in my chest. I sat back down on the bunk and sobbed.
After a while my sobs subsided and I just sat there staring at the grey wall. It occurred to me that I had not heard a single sound from outside of the cell. No slamming doors, no yelling or talking, nothing. The steel door was thick, but I didn’t think it could block out every noise completely. I walked over to the door and inspected the section that opened near the floor. I guessed it was for a food tray or something – wasn’t sure what else it would be used for.
The shackles were bad enough, but the collar was driving me nuts. I laid down on the bunk and tried to get some rest – I didn’t know what else to do. I rolled the blanket up to use as a pillow but the urine smell from the mattress was all that I noticed. Sadly, I imagined that I would eventually get used to it.
Nothing changed. No noise, the light bulb never dimmed or flickered, no sound of water running in the pipes – nothing. I couldn’t have been locked in here for more than a few hours and I was already going stir crazy. I though again about Danny and how cruel he had been to just toss me in here like this thinking that it was what I really wanted. I had known the guy less than a year – I had thought he was such a great guy. I guess I was wrong. However, when I thought of snuggling with him in the tent my dick started to come to life.
I jumped when I heard the key in the lock and the door was yanked open. I was already on my feet but the guard yelled at me to stand in the middle of the cell with my arms at my side, my eyes always on the floor and to remain at “attention” until I was told to move. This was the way that it was to be every time a guard spoke to me. I was never to make eye contact with a guard – never. I was also to wait like this when the cell door was opened and remain like this when I was returned to my cell – until the door was closed and locked. His final words were the order that I was to address the guards as sir at all times and every sentence will start with and end with “Sir!”
I just stared at him until he barked at me, “Do you understand 02158?” I wasn’t fast enough in responding and he was in my face in a second, “I said. Do you understand 02158?”
I mumbled, “Sir. Yes, sir,” but he made me repeat it for what seemed like hundred times until he was satisfied. “Sir! Yes. Sir!”
He then grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the cell. As he was dragging me through the door at the end of the cell block I finally saw another prisoner. The guy was dressed exactly like me, was collared, and shackled too. His uniform was muddy and soaked with sweat and I could smell him from 20 paces. He stood at attention, eyes downcast, in the connecting corridor and I caught a glimpse of another cell block as we passed. The corridor was lined with guys standing at attention outside the cells. Every one of them was collared and shackled. If these guys were real state prisoners, how did they get away with keeping them in chains like this? Somehow I thought that it was illegal or inhumane or something. Who would ever notice, though, in this remote area?
The guard dragged me along until we came to a set of barred doors. Off to the side there was a guard in locked room. As he saw us, the first door’s lock buzzed open. Once between the doors, the first one locked shut and the second one buzzed open. We were in another short hallway that led to a set of concrete steps – heading upward, at least. At the top of those stairs there was another set-up like we had passed through a few moments before – another guard, another set of electric locks, another feeling of hopelessness that there was no way to get out of the cell blocks below.
Eventually he led me out into a large courtyard. The sun was setting (rising?) so it was mostly in shadow, but it was definitely light enough for me to see what was going on. There were three rows of prisoners (maybe forty or fifty guys) all standing at attention off to one side – every one collared and shackled – and most were filthy and their uniforms soaked through with sweat. We stood there for a few minutes and the first row of guys was ordered into the building that I had just left. They all marched in unison – heading down to the cells below. The guard didn’t say a word, but I knew to follow as he led me further into the courtyard. He led me up a set of stairs that led to a second floor deck that ran around three sides of the area. Guards stood at various points along its length – and all were armed. When we got to the end of one of the longer sides of the courtyard he told me to stand at attention and take a long look around – just so that I could get a feel for the place. Off into the near distance, beyond the courtyard area, there was a lot of construction work going on – long pits were dug and sacks of concrete were stacked everywhere. There were a few prisoners rinsing out the hand-crank concrete mixers and cleaning up.
It became obvious after a few minutes that all that was being built was more cells! The pits were the beginning of new cell blocks. I could see the walls of cells that were almost completed at the near end of each of the three pits and there was an area that was covered in freshly tamped dirt – where the completed cells must have already been recovered. There was no heavy machinery visible so every pit must have been dug by hand – no wonder the guys were all filthy. I looked back and noticed that the courtyard was surrounded on three sides by rustic lodge buildings – but every window was barred and the doors were all heavy steel.
The guard finally moved closer to me and said, “This is the only ‘tour’ that you will ever get. We do it for each new prisoner so that you understand what it’s all about. These lodge buildings are the guard’s and staff quarters. No prisoners are ever allowed inside. There are several generators that provide the camp with power and supplies are flown in daily via floatplane. The courtyard is used for assembly at the beginning and end of each workday. It is also used for discipline and punishment, which is a very public event here. It serves as a reminder to each and every prisoner that the rules are to be obeyed.”
“The original cell blocks were built under the lodge buildings and we are adding more cells to accommodate the influx of new prisoners that we will see next year. The construction out beyond the courtyard is three more cell blocks. Built like basements, dug by hand, everything concrete. Eventually it will all be covered over and replanted – a year or so from now and it will look like a natural clearing – there won’t be any indication of the cells beneath. No casual observer will ever know.”
“Although I will never understand freaks like you, 02185, that volunteer for this work and even pay for the privilege; there is no shortage of state prisoners that need to be housed. We will be able to fill this place up in no time. Now 02185 you are going back to your cell so that you can rest for the night.” I just stared out at the work being done and guessed that it had really only just started and there would be more than enough to last the summer – I dreaded the work that I would face.
He slapped me hard across the face and got my immediate attention. I had stopped standing at attention and I had not responded when he had stopped speaking. Belatedly, I returned to attention and yelled, “Sir, I am sorry, sir!”
I realized that I was also looking him straight in the eye. His eyes drove into mine as he snarled, “What the hell are you looking at prisoner? It doesn’t appear that you are a very quick learner. Too bad for you. The dumber they are the harder they fall.”
“Sir! I will try to do better, sir”
“That you will. But tomorrow morning you will experience a taste of what punishment is like around here so that you remember your place.”
“Sir, yes sir!”
He grabbed me and led me back to my cell. The door slammed shut and I sat on the bunk wondering what was in store for me tomorrow. After a little while the slot-door opened and a tray was thrust in. Most of its contents spilled on the floor when the tray hit the concrete. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had eaten or drank anything. The food was tolerable – I don’t think I tasted it anyway I was so hungry. I had scarfed it in no time and I was startled when the slot-door flew open again and I heard someone yell, “Tray!” I shoved the empty tray and water bottle through the slot and said, “Sir, thank you sir!”
The voice on the other side of the door was gravely, “Don’t ‘sir’ me dumbass – I’m locked up in here just like you.” The door slammed shut. I sat on the bunk, worried. The same thoughts kept running through my mind. This was the second day since we had arrived – assuming that I had only been unconscious for a few hours. I had at least three and half months based on the time I had taken off of work. Would I be released by then? How the hell was I going to make it?
I sat on the bunk waiting. The light never went out so I had no idea what time it was or how many hours had passed. I couldn’t sleep – I was too upset and nervous. All I could think of was Danny and how he had totally screwed me into this. Eventually I heard the cell door being unlocked. I stood in the center of the cell at “attention” staring at the floor – I didn’t want to make things any worse than they already were. The guard told me to move out of the cell and stand in the corridor. As I did so I could see all the other prisoners in the cell block were also waiting outside their cells. When everyone was in the corridor we all lined up and walked out of the cell block. The other guys were still filthy from the previous day’s work (or maybe more) and smelled of sweat. I stood out in my clean uniform.
When we reached the courtyard a guard yelled a number – it took me a while to realize that it was me. I was roughly grabbed and pulled out of the line and led away from the group. The guard from yesterday was waiting. He told me to get on my knees and I waited for all of the other prisoners to arrive in the courtyard from the cell blocks below. There had to be over 60 guys – I wondered how many “volunteers” were among them.
There was a counting off by number and when that was completed the guard turned to me. “Just so you know we don’t make big speeches. Every prisoner here knows what this is about. You fucked up and are being punished. Every prisoner knows that if they fuck up, they’ll be next.”
I heard the footsteps of several guards behind me and I was roughly held down by the shoulders has they pulled something over my face. It was some type of heavy-duty muzzle with a large built-in gag. They took no time in being gentle as they shoved it on my mouth and pulled all of the straps tight. Why I was being gagged I didn’t know, but I knew that it couldn’t be good. They pulled me to my feet and roughly locked my arms behind my back with a set of heavy handcuffs – I guessed that they were made just like the ankle shackles as it seemed that they were locked in the same manner.
They dragged me along the courtyard and out to an area not far from the main construction work. We stopped in front of what I thought was a manhole cover and they again forced me to my knees. The cover was held in place by half a dozen large bolts and, once removed, revealed a heavy grate. They removed the grate and proceeded to place me down in the opening. I struggled but it only made the manhandling worse. I was being placed in what can only be described as a drum – slightly larger than a 50 gallon drum – that was set in the ground. Once I was fully shoved inside the grate was securely locked in place. I was squatting and hunched over. The grate pressed hard against my shoulder blades and my knees were almost tight to my chin. There wasn’t any room to try to sit down or turn around – I was crammed in like a sardine. I would have laughed at that thought if I hadn’t already started to panic.
The guard must have knelt down to speak to me. “This is a reminder, 02185, that you will always do as instructed. We do not repeat orders. You are never to look one of us in the eye again. I think this will also serve as a nice introduction to your new life here with us – I don’t think that you have fully accepted your imprisonment, yet.” I was then plunged into darkness as the manhole cover was slammed down and the bolts were screwed back in place. I couldn’t move at all.
My first thought was how long they would keep me like this. As my eyes adjusted I could see a little bit of light – there must have been small openings in the manhole cover. It didn’t help reduce the growing feeling of claustrophobia. As time passed I become more and more aware of how tightly I was crammed into this drum. My arms started to ache from being pulled back in such an awkward position and my knees were beginning to hurt. Soon, I knew, my lower back would start to hurt from the strain of the weird angle I was squatting in.
I began to panic and started to scream into the gag. Even in my state of fear, I knew that no one could hear me even in they were standing right on the manhole cover – the gag was too effective. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that this was a pretty severe punishment for a few simple slip-ups on the first day of my confinement. I could hardly imagine what type of punishment a more serious offense would bring.
As the day wore on the drum began to get warmer. It was located where there was no shade at all and, even thought it was buried in the ground, was getting hot rapidly. The heat only added to the torment of the claustrophobic prison – I was finding it harder and harder to breathe and sweat was running off of me. My body was in agony from being forced to squat in the tight confines of the drum and I was starting to fade in and out of consciousness. Eventually I noticed a change – it was the lack of noise from outside. I didn’t realize it, but all of the construction work had been noticeable in the background – but now it must have stopped. Did that mean it was lunchtime or was it already the end of the workday? How long had I been crammed in this hell hole? As time passed I also noticed that I could no longer see any light at all. It could only mean that it was dark outside and had been in this drum all day – I struggled and screamed again – they couldn’t possibly leave me in this thing all night. There was no way that I could make it. I was sure that I was already dehydrating and the heat was not dissipating at all.
I barely realized that the manhole cover was being removed – the daylight blasted into the hole making me grunt into the gag. I could hear talking above me, but couldn’t make out the words – I could only hope that they were going to remove me from this drum. As the grate was removed the pressure on my shoulders was released and hands grabbed me under my arms and started to pull me out of the pit. I moaned in pain as they dragged me onto the ground and dropped me hard on my side. I didn’t have the strength to stretch out although my joints screamed for it. I was roughly hauled to the place in the courtyard where the same guard was waiting. Several guards held me upright as he announced to the other prisoners that the workday was about to begin – he must have pointed at me as he said; “I assume that no one wants to take 02185’s place in the pit today? Get to work”
I don’t remember how I got back to my cell, but I regained consciousness on the cool concrete floor. I was wet and there were bottles of water on the floor – they must have hosed me off before bringing me back. I tried to move but my joints screamed. I struggled to get some water – I was so thirsty – and my jaws ached from the gag. Eventually I was able to stretch a little and ease some of the worst stiffness. My one attempt at standing got me no further than rolling onto my side before I collapsed on agony. I wasn’t so sure that I would ever be able to get up.
By the time the cell door opened again, I had managed to crawl to the bunk and had propped myself up against it – still sitting on the floor. There was no way that I could get up to stand at attention as ordered, so I simply looked down at the floor. All I could see were two sets of combat boots. “Prisoner 02185 you will be ready to report for work detail first thing tomorrow morning. It is now 15:15.”
I managed a weak, “Sir, yes sir.”
“The fact that you are not standing at attention is noted and will be dealt with at the time of any further disobedience. Is that clear?”
“Sir, yes sir”
“You will present yourself at attention in the morning and be ready for work detail. Any slack and further punishment will be administered. Is that clear?”
“Sir! Yes, sir!”
Both guards left, locking the door behind them. I couldn’t even stand, how the hell was I going to be able to work in the morning? I struggled to raise myself off of the floor and stand. After some effort I was finally able to get upright and stretch – my knees, back and shoulders were in agony, but moving was starting to loosen them up. I drank more water and was able to eat when the dinner tray was shoved into the room. I felt a little better after that and paced a few times in the cell to continue to get my muscles working again; then collapsed onto the bunk and passed-out.
Although probably not as fast as was acceptable, I managed to get to attention shortly after the cell door was opened. My body was screaming in pain. But there was no way that I wanted to see that hole in the ground again. We were marched out to the courtyard, counted off, and I was assigned to a work group leader. He knew that I had been on the pit and gave me the job of gopher for the day. By noon I was feeling OK – my muscles were sore, but I was able to get around without too much pain. It was hot and there was no shade; I knew that I was already sunburned before we were able to stop for a quick meal. I had the job of cleaning up after everyone in our workgroup so I was the last one back in to the courtyard for the evening roll call. We were marched back to the cells and locked-in for the night.
Every day was more of the same. We were outside working first thing in the morning and didn’t stop until after sundown. Since it was summer I guessed that it was from about 5:30 am to about 8:30 or 9 at night. We worked all day every day. We always heard the floatplanes before we saw them flying low over the camp before landing in the lake. At least two times a day they came in bringing in supplies that the camp needed. One day a large, flat barge was floated to the lodge. There were so many interconnected lakes that it must have come from the city – which was several hours away as the crow flies. It was filled with rebar, bags of cement, and other building supplies. The other prisoners said that the main supplies came in this way. It took us almost a full day to unload everything under the close supervision of the guards who did nothing to hide the fact that they were armed.
There were never any showers – once every few days we were able to get hosed off and get clean uniforms. Most of the time I stunk worse than a million locker rooms – it got so that I didn’t even notice it. The rainy days were the worst – working in the trenches pouring the concrete for the new cells became nothing but a muddy mess. There was no stopping the work, though, rain or not. After a downpour we spent hours shoveling out the mud so that the work could continue. Slowly cells were added one-by-one. Special work crews did the plumbing, the electrical, and a group of guards set the cell doors in place as each was completed.
Every few days one or more prisoners would be waiting in the courtyard in the morning for the head guard to dole out punishments.
A few weeks passed (maybe more?) in a blur. We were heading back to the cells after another work day. Everyone kept their heads down and watched the feet of the prisoner in front of them. I had just passed through the first set of double-locked doors on the way down to the cells when I heard my number being called. I stepped out of line and stood at attention against the nearest wall – making sure that I was staring at my feet. The guard’s boots came into view as he stepped closer. I felt him reach out and grab my collar. “This collar really does suit you. Don’t you think?” My head jerked up before I knew what I was doing and I looked right into Danny’s brown eyes. He was wearing the camo BDU’s, combat boots, and olive t-shirt that all of the guards wore. What the hell was this all about?
“Prisoner 02185 will be going on report for failing to obey. He is looking me right in the eye even as I speak.” Danny said to another guard just down the corridor, “I think that he also has a previous infraction that was let slide, but let’s make sure we put that on this one as well. I wouldn’t want the prisoner to think that we were letting him get away with anything.” His grin was humorless as he looked at me. “02185, you are still looking at me.”
I slowly dropped my eyes, “Sir, sorry sir. I was surprised to see you, sir.”
“Prisoner 02185 was surprised to see me. I would have thought that he would have suspected that I would be here in the camp.” He leaned in closer so that only I could hear him. “Prisoner 02185 I sincerely hope that you are enjoying your imprisonment here. Something you always yearned for is how I think it was phrased to me. We’re such a short ways into your sentence, but I already wish that we could make it longer for you. I’m not sure that you will get the full flavor of imprisonment in such a short time. I think it is fair to tell you, however, that I have made sure that you are treated specially – you will always receive the harshest punishment for any offense. I would hate to think that you missed out on anything while you are here!”
He leaned back, still holding onto my collar. “I don’t get to work with the prisoners directly, but I thought that I would see how you were doing. Too bad you failed to obey the simplest commands, though. Hope you enjoy the rest of your sentence!”
As he turned to walk away I lashed out at him, but the other guard stopped me before I could even reach him. I was dropped to the floor by a blow to the side of my head and saw Danny’s smiling face as he bent down. “That was pretty stupid. Hitting a guard will definitely get you all the special attention that you crave!” He walked away leaving the other guards to drag me deeper into the cell block.
I struggled against the guards but it only made them that much rougher. I don’t know what I was trying to gain – I knew that no matter what I wasn’t going to be able to get away from them and even if I did I wouldn’t get more than a few feet. I swore but eventually just gave in and let them drag me along the corridor. If I was expecting to be thrown back into my cell, I was sorely mistaken. Before we reached the cell block they pulled me into a side passage that was secured by two sets of heavy steel doors – each closing and locking behind us before the next would open. The corridor that we entered was dimly lit and smelled of mildew, urine and sweat. It was short and there were only a few cell doors on each side of the hall – they seemed heavier than those in the cell blocks and rust was evident.
We reached a small alcove set in the wall and they pulled my uniform off before forcing me to my knees. There was a workbench in the alcove and I could see various sets of shackles and other equipment in the work surface. They locked on a pair of heavy wrist cuffs that were joined by a short chain, removed the ankle shackles and replaced them with a heavier set that also had a very short chain. After pulling me to my feet they proceeded to connect the leg irons to the wrist manacles with a short chain that was also attached to the collar. When they were done I could just barely stand upright and would only be able to walk in a slow shuffle. Even if I could take longer steps, the weight of the irons themselves would make it difficult to move very fast. The last thing they locked on was a muzzle similar to the one that I had been forced to wear in the pit those weeks ago; the gag filled my mouth so completely that I couldn’t even move my tongue. My gag reflex kicked in but there was nothing that I could do but wait it out. No matter what happened to me I knew that they would not remove the muzzle.
I was then led to one of the cell doors which opened into what was basically a cement block closet. They turned me around and pushed me ass-first into the small chamber. There were short chains bolted to the back wall that were locked to the collar, the ankle irons and even to the wrist cuffs. Without saying a word they closed the heavy steel door which ended up only inches from my face. I was plunged into complete darkness. It had all happened so quickly that none of it really registered until a few moments after the cell door was locked – I was naked, chained inside a concrete cell that allowed no movement to speak of, and unable to make any noise above an agonizing moan. The dampness settled on me and I started to shiver. My feet were already cold on the raw concrete floor. I knew that I would be in this cell for a long time.
There was no noise and no light – I was effectively cut off – and no one would come for me except the guards. I was helpless and become increasingly more agitated. I knew that I shouldn’t have tried to hit Danny or fight against the other guards. I accepted that. But how could I not have looked up into his eyes when he had spoken to me? I was surprised to hear his voice, surprised to see him dressed in a guard’s uniform, and (I think) some small part of me wanted to drown in his deep brown eyes. How had I gotten myself into this whole mess? How could he have done this to me? His pleasure at seeing me as a prisoner was obvious in his eyes – even for the few short moments that I had gazed into them. He must be a sadistic bastard to think that I – or anyone – would enjoy being treated this way. How had he misinterpreted my fantasies into believing that this is something that I yearned for?
I pissed on myself – what choice did I have? It would be a long time before they would release me to use a toilet; of that I had no doubt. The smell mingled with the mold and damp making the word dungeon come to mind. I was able to rest my head against the door by leaning slightly forward. I guessed that eventually I would pass out from exhaustion and would sleep standing up. Left in the cold and dark with only my thoughts – I ran through the last few weeks over and over. Once I had gotten into the work routine it really hadn’t been that bad. The collar and shackles were a constant reminder of my status as a prisoner but they were tolerable. The thought of never being able to escape until my sentence was completed had, for some reason, settled into the back of my mind as exciting. I had endured the torment of the pit and it made me conform to the rules with great caution. I realized that I had become very compliant and even subservient – the guards were the masters and I was their slave. As these thoughts ran through my head I was horrified to feel my dick grow erect. What the hell?! Slowly I came to realize that Danny had been right; I did yearn to be treated as a prisoner with no chance of escape. But now I had fallen into something much deeper and I was very fearful of what was in store for me.
Time became irrelevant. I was cold, sore, and growing more thirsty by the moment. The gag was a constant torment and my mouth had grown so dry that I couldn’t even swallow. There was nothing to take my mind off of every point of discomfort and I grew more and more despondent. I had thrashed against the chains but succeeded only in wearing myself out. I faded in and out of sleep. Waking with a start, disoriented, until I remembered where I was. No sound. No light. No respite.
As time passed the agony grew. I was beginning to believe that they might just leave me here until I died. Who would ever know what happened to me? The other prisoners had no idea where the guards had taken me. Because of the strict policies and solitary cells there was almost no communication between the prisoners, anyway – so no one even knew who I was. Did the guards just want me out of the way? Did Danny’s comment about making sure I experienced the worst mean that I was truly meant to suffer this much?
I strained to hear any noise from the corridor, but could only hear my ragged breathing and the clinking of the chains as I moved – trying to reduce the discomfort even a little. Eventually I was startled by the sound of the locks on the door being opened. My heart leapt – I was going to be released from this hell. I knew that I was broken and would no longer attempt to resist or disobey. I wanted nothing more at that point than to beg for forgiveness for my screw up – even though in the back of my mind I still thought that it didn’t warrant such a harsh punishment.
The meager light form the corridor was blinding after being in the absolute darkness for so long. The guards just stood and stared at me for the longest time and I was pleading with my eyes for release. After some unspoken agreement they began to unchain me from the cell’s walls. I fell heavily to the floor and they made no attempt to stop me. The impact of the fall sent shockwaves of pain through my body – my joints burned from the long period of restraint and I had no strength. They let me slumped on the floor for a while before dragging me down the corridor. The concrete scraped my legs and knees and they could have cared less.
Surprisingly, they removed the heavy restraints and replaced the ankle irons with the pair that I had been wearing since arriving. Of course, the collar wasn’t removed. I couldn’t stand on my own – let alone walk – so they grabbed me under the arms and dragged me down the corridor. The skin on the tops of my feet was being ripped by the rough concrete floor as we went. We didn’t go far, though. A cell door a few dozen paces down was open and they dragged me inside. There was a cot on one side and a table on the other. There was water and food on the table – my mouth would have watered, but I was dehydrated and the gag was still filling my mouth.
The sat me on the cot, undid the gag and removed it – my jaws were on fire as it was pulled out and I was able to close my mouth for the first time in what seemed like days. They left the cell, leaving me to slump on the cot. I didn’t have the strength to sit-up or pull myself further onto the mattress that felt like heaven. It took me a few moments to realize that the cell door hadn’t been closed and a few more moments to notice that someone was standing in the opening watching me. My eyes still had not adjusted to even the dim light so I couldn’t make out any of his features. Slowly he walked into the cell and bent over me. “02185 you’ll stay here until you are recovered enough to walk. Then a decision will be made regarding what will happen to you.”
I recognized the voice. The tone was hard, but it was Danny. “A prisoner that strikes a guard isn’t fit for the general population of this camp, but work needs to be done. There are, however, work details for disruptive prisoners. You, 02185, will most likely find yourself in one of those details. Certainly they are less pleasant, but there is a need to continue the punishment for your misconduct. It is now necessary to continually remind you that you are not a free man, you are not in charge, you do not have rights, and you must learn to obey the rules.”
He bent closer. “Sadly 02185, this also means that your sentence has been extended.” He turned away and left the cell. I tried to say something to him, beg him to let me go – but I couldn’t make a sound through the dry desert that was my mouth.
A guard returned leading another prisoner into the cell. The guy was muzzled as I had been, so we couldn’t speak. He helped me to drink and eat. They brought him back once more to help before leaving me to recover on my own. All I could think of were Danny’s words about my sentence being extended. What did that mean and how could they just keep me here – I had a life to get back to. My vacation days would be gone soon enough and if I wasn’t back at work I wouldn’t have a job.
The scrapes on my legs, feet and knees scarred over by the time they came for me. I hadn’t been able to wash for who knows how long – I had no desire to waste a drop of water on hygiene while I continued to recover. I had been naked so long that I no longer even noticed. They frog marched me through the maze of corridors until we came to an opening to the courtyard. The sun was setting and there were no other prisoners in sight. The sun burned into my retinas like a laser, but it felt so good on my skin – which had grown pale. They hosed me off like an animal but it felt wonderful. I was allowed to dress in a prison uniform – it was neither new nor clean, but served its purpose.
A few minutes later a group of 5 other prisoners was led out into the courtyard. We were lined up and told that we would be working in the new trenching area. As they expanded further they were running into areas of large rocks and the needed them broken into smaller pieces to be removed. I couldn’t believe it; we were actually going to be breaking rocks. What the hell! The guards locked us together be pretty short chains to the ankle shackles then marched us to the trenching area that we would be working on and told us to get comfortable; we’d be sleeping out here from now on. Nothing but the ground to sleep on. This was so we could get started at first light and work until it was too dark to see.
And that is what we did. Very few breaks were allowed and the sledges we used were heavier than hell. Luckily the weather was getting cooler – fall was in the air.
It was a full week or so later that things began to change around the camp. Work slowed on new trenching as the previous sections were built-out and covered over. I could see groups of prisoners being marched out of the courtyard as float planes took them back to whatever prison that they had come from. Each group had their manacles removed and I began to hate them for their freedom.
I knew that I had exceeded my vacation time as the leaves turned; it had to be into mid-September already. I was sickened by the fact that I had more than likely lost my job. They kept us working every day as more and more groups were flown out. I kept searching for Danny in the groups of guards hoping against hope that he would finally end this nightmare for me. I hated him for what he had done to me. Any previous thoughts and feelings that I had somehow wanted or needed this experience were long gone. I had started to beg the guards to have Danny come and talk to me, but they told me to shut up and cut a break out of the day as punishment. The other guys that I was chained to despised me for that and went out of their way to add to my misery.
When there seemed to be no other prisoners left the guards brought us in. By that time the nights were getting cold and we were actually huddling together to stay warm while we slept. I had thought I was miserable before – now I knew it could always get worse.
I was separated from the other guys when we were finally unchained. They were led toward the main cell area and I was left in the courtyard, forced to kneel, watched over by a lone guard. Eventually the other guys came out – showered and in clean uniforms without their shackles locked on. There were a few nods in my direction as they were led outside. A short while I heard the roar of a floatplane engine as they, too, were flown out.
I began to realize that I was probably the last prisoner here. My hope was that Danny was getting ready to leave and they were making me wait for him – and that he would take me with him. And he did come. In the twilight I saw him come out of the guard’s quarters and walk toward me. He was still in is BDU’s, which worried me.
I quickly dropped my eyes to the ground – a reflex now. “Who are you?” he asked.
“Sir, prisoner 02185, sir” I replied quietly.
“And have you enjoyed your summertime confinement?”
“Sir, I cannot say that I have enjoyed it at all, sir”
“And what do you think should happen now?”
“Sir, I was hoping that I had earned my release, sir”
“Mmmm, earned your release. Interesting phrase. Do you think prisoners can actually earn their release? Or do you think that they serve their time based on their sentence?”
“Sir, I guess they have to serve their time, sir”
“Exactly 02185. Do you think that you have completed your sentence?”
“Sir, I do not know because I do not know why I was sentenced or how long I was sentenced for, sir”
“Fair enough. I will tell you, though, that your original sentence was brief. I did make sure that you were under a magnifying glass from the beginning. Every minor infraction was punished pretty severely. But you really didn’t learn from your mistakes. Yes, you were surprised about this place and being imprisoned here, but you also should have been able to follow the rules.” I was staring at his boots as he walked closer. “That is why your sentence was extended and then extended again. And now you think you have served your time?”
“Sir, I hope so, sir”
“Well, 02185, you haven’t completed your sentence. Even after it all, you still were begging the guards to come and get me – causing the other prisoners to be punished along with you. That, too, added time to your sentence. Like I said, you never seemed to learn or maybe you thought you were somehow special – I really don’t know”
“Sir, I didn’t think I was special. I was just overwhelmed and scared, sir”
“Doesn’t matter. A small crew of guards and staff remain at this camp over the winter. Making sure everything is kept up and the generators are running to keep the heat on – whatever. So you will remain here to as our first official full-time prisoner. In a year or so this place will be full with inmates all year around and you will always have the honor of being the first. Exciting isn’t it?”
I think I knew this was coming, but it stung me just the same. My life was over as I knew it and this asshole ruined it. There was no use in even getting upset; there wasn’t anything I could do. Who would care that I was here unfairly anyway? There wasn’t a prisoner in the world that didn’t profess his innocence. And I was sure that somewhere there was paperwork with my name on it proving that I was incarcerated here for some reason or another. What difference did it make?
“Sir,” I said, “I will honestly say that it is not an honor. I do not think that I belong here any longer. Please, Danny, please tell me this is a bad joke, please!”
“02185 this isn’t a joke. Even now you still screw up. Calling a guard by their name is a serious failure of respect. It seemed that your sentence was going to be over in spring. Although I don’t make those decisions, I would guess that you will be here through next summer at least. You realize that I do have to report this breach of discipline, don’t you?”
“Sir, yes, sir”
“Good. I’ll be leaving with the last group tomorrow morning. If it makes you feel any better I will be thinking about you. You do not have to answer that.”
He turned to walk away calling to the other guard, “Take 02185 inside and get him cleaned up and in a new cell. He has earned that privilege.”
The last I saw of him was his back as he closed the door to the guard’s quarters.