Chapter One


"Have you heard about Gulina?"

"Of course I haven't."

"She's been taken to the Confession House."

"What did she do to deserve that?"

"She was found with one of the younger men doing something she shouldn't."

"What something?" asked Talin.

"I've no idea, but it must have been dreadful. Not only is she being punished in the Confession House but tomorrow they're taking her to Menon Island to be sacrificed.  I've never heard of such a thing happening."

Talin herself had been warned endlessly by the overseers that if she did not mend her ways she would be sent to meet the great God Volca, via the Field of Punishment. Exactly what sin might bring this about was never made clear to her. Now another young girl had committed such perceived evil that this fate was hers. Talin was relieved it was not herself in this situation, but soon found her thoughts overtaken by anger for Gulina's inescapable death sentence.

"It's obscene how they treat us like idiots and decide our lives without a proper explanation. That other business about sending one of us to Volca when a man dies I've never thought right. What good is it? A young innocent and a dead man are hardly going to have a good time together."

Suraya's wide-eyed dread was hidden behind her veil.

"Ssshhh, someone will hear you."

"Why should it be so bad to think?"

"You know the teachings are strict and to me they're the truth and the light in our darkness."


"TALIN!" Suraya yelped. "If the God of Volca hears you ..."

"I've said things like that loads of times and nothing has happened. It's all a load of crap."

Suraya's eyes were straining to pop right through her veil.

"We ... we ... we must start another line. We can just get it done before the lunch bell."

Talin realised the stuttering change of topic must mean an overseer was heading their way. The two girls quickly dug into their sacks and began throwing seeds over the furrows.

"You two won't get a break if you don't stop that idle chat and get some work done."

The girls tried to give the impression they were working hard with various grunts and groans as they tossed the seeds into the air with more vigour.

The overseer wandered off, no doubt with the intention of catching someone doing something really bad. The men were in charge and the girls, between eleven and eighteen, did virtually all the work on Terra Island. That was the way it was. That was the way it had been as long as anyone could remember.  Although Talin obviously held strong objections to the situation, Suraya could not help liking her. It was a worry that one day those outbursts would implicate the two of them.  Suraya put up with this fear for the only friend she had, someone who could make her laugh and who accepted her despite being different.

The two girls carried on with their work, their thoughts un-shared. The silence was only broken when Talin stopped dead in mid-throw.

"OH MY," she suddenly exclaimed,

"What's the matter, Talin? Aren't you feeling well?"

"I don't think I am."

"Perhaps you're feeling hungry. It will soon be lunch."

Suraya's sympathetic words were well away from the true problem. Talin decided to clear up any confusion.

"It's nothing physical, Suraya. It's just that I've realised it's my birthday in a couple of days’ time."

At this Suraya stopped spraying seeds as well.

"OOh. You mean you're eighteen? How wonderful."

Talin could not help but smile to herself and shake her head.

"I wish I had your blind faith in this life of ours."

Suraya began throwing out seeds again, happy at the news. Unlike Talin, she believed it was a glorious moment, as her friend would be going to Menon Island.

"I shall miss you, but then we can meet again when I go there in a couple of years’ time."

Talin too took up the scattering of seeds, her masked smile turning to fear for Suraya. If in the meantime her friend was not chosen to sail off with a dead man to Volca, if she did not fall foul of some unexplained rule and that frail body was not abused beyond its limits with the fierce punishments meted out. Even if she survived all the pitfalls along the way and made her eighteenth birthday would the realisation of going to Menon Island live up to her expectations? Talin feared they would not for such a different creature. Suraya's belief was all that kept her going. It would not be right to question it any further. Her deep-seated fears were left unsaid. 

"I shall prepare the way for your triumphant arrival."

"Oh, that would be wonderful of you."

Talin hated the way her life was planned out for her, but with no other girl that she knew voicing descent, it had come down to surviving the system.

A loud bell peeled out across the field, dragging a sigh from Talin.  It was the only time during their long working day when they were allowed to take their veils off. Even at the dormitory they only saw other young faces when eating, then had to go to their tiny little single cells to do their various ablutions in total solitude.

It was yet another hot sweaty day and the two sat beneath a tree to eat their food. The coolness was a pleasure and Suraya's sensitive eyes could be unveiled, protected by the shading leaves.  Their long heavy black gowns were intolerable to wear in such weather and most of the girls did not bother to put anything on underneath. This would have been all right but for the fact that the material was extremely coarse, irritating their young bodies beyond belief. The garment went from their ankles to their neck with long sleeves and a hood to which the veil was attached. The veil covered the whole of their faces, it only being possible to see through a narrow slit of net sewn into it. With the heavy boots, it did not leave much to see, so about the only feminine body any of them knew was their own.

Talin had been highly interested in the changes taking place through her teenage years. Her shape now included luscious curves. Breasts had developed from little bits of fat to firm outstanding mounds with nipples that stood out whenever she teased them with her fingers. The growth of hair, the same night black as was cascading from her head, formed in rich thickness beneath her arms and, more significantly, in a sensitive triangle up from between her legs. When her periods started, like so many of the young girls, she thought that there was something dreadfully wrong. The men reminded her that this had been explained when she was on Yofem Island by the women teachers. She then recalled the vague terms in which it had been couched, something about this being a sign that they would soon be sent to please the agents of Volca. The suggestion was that this could be taken as an accolade to their existence, the first signs of blood being lauded in prayer to the Almighty.  Talin did not always like those special times. They changed how she felt so violently that she was not sure it was something she wished to suffer every month. Like one or two others she would get terrible, crippling cramps in her stomach, yet the overseers made no allowance for this. She had to carry on working, a thick towel tied in place between her legs to catch the enormous flow of blood she personally had.

In stolen moments of discussion, she discovered none of the others produced such copious amounts of blood for so many days as she did. When she returned to her cell in the evening, the towelling was often absolutely sodden, causing dribbles of blood to escape and flow half way down the inside of her thighs. It was only at these private times that she did enjoy her curse. She became strangely excited, taking a reddened finger from between her legs and running it under her nose to breathe in the strong, unique scent. She would then lick the finger clean, savouring the taste of herself. Over the months she became more and more eager to have every drop she could get assailing her senses, plunging her whole hand into the sticky mess oozing from her sex lips, then noisily slurping and sucking her fingers which she rammed ever deeper into her mouth. She could not quite understand why this was so pleasurable or why the rubbing of that blood drenched slit sent exquisite shudders rippling through her body. What she experienced she was sure would lead to severe punishment if anyone found out, so it remained a pleasurable secret.

She noticed too, the change in the looks she got from the men. It was as if they could smell her from afar. She felt like a hunted animal at times. Her temperament was harder to control as well, and she often gave vent to her anger at inappropriate moments. The overseers showed no mercy, sending her frequently to the Confession House for punishment.

How they treated her when penance was due changed dramatically as she became a woman. Initially she had received a simple spanking with her gown still on. Later, they had insisted on her putting a blindfold on after which they would remove every stitch of clothing. They would put a ball in her mouth and keep it there with a piece of tightly wound cloth. Then she would be led, in her blind, silent state, to lean her stomach over a padded rail. Her legs would be spread wide, captured and restrained at each ankle, her wrists tied in front of her and pulled straight forward. She hated their demands on her to be in this position, yet after a while strange sensations would filter through her body. Her attention would be taken by her breasts hanging full and heavy from her chest, nipples tingling at the kiss of fresh air. She would be intrigued by the sense of openness letting air circulate between her legs. It seemed sinful yet exciting. She could spend a long time waiting for her punishment to begin and the laughing and interspersed words of her tormentors were beyond her comprehension.

"Looks good."

"Can't wait to get back to the village. She makes me so hard I hope I don't spurt before I get in my woman."

"Yeah. It would be nice to be on Menon when she comes of age."

"So tempting to have her rather than that boring cow I've got with me."

Talin understood about the village, a place that none of the young girls were permitted to go near, but she was not sure what all the talk was about other women.

When the first strike of the cane landed on her exposed bottom it would hurt like hell, as would the next six or seven, but as the blows mounted one on the other they imbued a warm glow deep inside her. She could not resist pulling on her bonds and wiggling her ass. The warmth would build to a raging fire. She knew at these times she wanted something else but had no idea what it was. Then a fluid would seep from her, easing the griping pain from her period.

The men would comment on this.

"She wants it."

"Makes that blood flow quicker when her juices start, doesn't it?"

They all appeared to like what they saw although Talin could not come to terms with how blood and fluid dripping from wet pubic hair was so pleasant for men to see.

The strikes at her upturned bottom forced groans from her.  As these intensified the strikes came faster, falling one upon the other, giving rise to her belief that there were two men hitting out at her. She wanted it to go on. She wanted more and yet she was so abhorrent at the beginning.

When the overseer announced her punishment completed, she would be kept waiting for release from her bonds. Not until her wriggling and muffled moans had died away would freedom be offered. Despite knowing this, Talin could not stop her writhing and gain early release. There was a force driving her, over which she had no control.

It was good of them to wipe away the dripping fluid and their intimacy with her restored the sensations she was so enamoured by. That they faded again only served to increase her sense of frustration.

At the end, one of the overseers would say something like, "Let's get her dressed and out of here so we can get off to the village."

The towel, gown and boots would be thrust on her, the ball gag and blindfold being ripped away as she was shoved out the door and told to cover her face and get back to work.

It was only then that she would realise what a beating she had taken. Her stride would be short and stuttering accompanied by yelps of discomfort. She could hardly wait for the day to end so she could get to her cell and dunk her bottom in cooling water.