I awaken to the intermittent lapping of water against the hull. There is no specific rhythm and as such, I am reminded that we have moored in a new harbor as of last night. A different sound altogether than the regular pattern of tidal waves that were more typical when anchored off some shore. I stretch and roll onto my side. Your side of the berth is barely disturbed and You have slipped out quietly, as per usual. I look up over my shoulder and smile at the blinking eye of the camera. Whether You are watching or not, it is always on and I like to think You can always see me, from anywhere onboard.
I slip off the bunk and slide my hand through my hair, ruffling the longish bangs and tucking strands behind my ears. We had not been to any harbor for some time, perhaps You would allow me to wander around or maybe even get my hair trimmed. I run through a list of supplies in my head that I want to write down, so as not to forget, as I methodically go about straightening the bed. Then, I head down the short passage which goes past the single door to the Head and past the Galley/Living Quarters/Navigation/Everything space. I don’t even need to consciously remember to duck my head anymore before passing through the doorway. A few months ago, I thought I’d never remembered and would potentially develop a concussion if I continued to whack my head so frequently. I giggle to myself about my silliness while taking stock of what action has already taken place in the Galley. The single used tea bag suspended on a spoon over a small bowl tells it’s own story. I walk to the ladder and climb up, my head only emerging into the early morning light of dawn to see You lounging quietly with tea in hand, enjoying Your solitude. I wait for You to acknowledge me, which You do with a slight smile.
“Refresh Your tea, Master?” I ask quietly. You nod and move me forward with Your hand, while I quickly look from side to side before ascending the rest of the ladder onto the deck, naked. “Are we ever going to get you past your self-consciousness at being naked in public?”, You ask rhetorically. I bite my lip and say, “soooo, no t-shirt for when I bring Your tea back?” You chuckle and reach out to hand over Your cup with one hand, while cupping my breast with Your other hand and then pinching the nipple between Your thumb and forefinger, increasing the pressure with slow and measured intensity, maintaining eye contact to watch my pupils dilate until I gasp in delighted pain. You pull on it harder to extend the breast out from my body and your thumbnail digs a crescent moon into the soft pink tissue inspiring me to draw a hiss of air in through my teeth. You pull me forward and bite the fleshy underside of my breast, making me cry out sharply. You release, but trail Your hand down my side and across my rib cage. “Let Me inspect your marks,” You say matter of factly. I nod and assume an upright posture with fingers interlaced behind my neck and legs spread wide apart.
Your gaze shifts from my neck down over-tanned and freckled, but otherwise relatively unmarked breasts (excepting the raised outline of Your teeth reddening up against the paler underside of the breast) to the spreading outline of bruising on the inner thighs, faintly cross-hatched. “Turn around”, You state. I twist 180 degrees and imagine You drinking in the almost imperceptible lashings across my back, down to the deep purple blossoms of Your recent attention to my ass. You slap my ass sharply, causing me to rise up on my toes and yelp. “Tender?” You state with amusement. “Yes, Master”, I say. “Mmmmmm”, You respond. “This rotation is working nicely.” Your comment. I nod. “Don’t you think?” You ask. “Yes, Master”, I respond. “Yes, I agree.” You state, “Although, I don’t like that You get a sense of the order” You ponder. I remain silent. “No, we can’t have You anticipating,” You say. “No, Master”, I affirm. I feel you stand up behind me and You smack my bruised ass again with more sting. “I suppose this means I may just have to work on an area that’s not quite ready yet”, You say. I look back over my shoulder at You upon noting the shifting tone in Your voice and I see the glint in Your eye. “Yes, Master”, I whisper. We continue to look at one another and then You nod. “Go get my tea and one for yourself” You state. I smile and head to the ladder to descend down to the Galley with Your cup.
The day continues in keeping with the routine of many days before this one: morning ablutions, breakfast, chores and/or assisting with tasks around the boat, lounging in the sun covered in sunscreen while desperately attempting to get a tan to color other than red. Today is somewhat different however, as being in harbor, there are additional tasks that require attention. I provide You with a list of needed provisions that I had compiled earlier, based upon my having taken stock of the Galley and Head. You review it and stroke Your chin lightly before pointing to the line which reads razors, with an indicator for two packages. “Get more than that”, You state. “Four?” I ask. “Fine.” “See whether You can find a treat or two”, You say. I smile and nod. I pull down nervously on my shorts hoping they cover the bruising on my thighs. You catch me twisting my lips and raise an eyebrow at me. “Problem?” You ask. “No, Master”, I say. “Good”. As I move to step onto the dock, I stop and remember my thought from this morning. “Might I look to see if I can get my hair trimmed Master?” You remain quiet for an extended moment and then say, “No”. “Oh”, I respond with slight confusion. “Am I growing my hair Master?” I ask. Your nostrils flare slightly and You state, “No, does not require an explanation”. I swallow and whisper, “Of course not Master”. Your look softens slightly, “You’re fine, now go!”
I arrive back in relatively short order, large cloth shopping bag laden with the listed purchases. When i step onto the deck, i note that You have been busy with Your tools, as the box is open next to the main hatch. i call out, “Hello?”, as i approach the ladder and do not hear You. i descend into the boat with the heavy bag and begin to store things away in the Galley, stacking the items for the Head on the counter for the moment. i smile brightly to myself, as i unpack a brown papered flat package and slip it into the small refrigerator, assured in my belief that You will be pleasantly surprised with what i discovered. i hear footsteps above and the shift of the toolbox as it’s lid is closed and it is moved to be stored. You step down the ladder with quickness and ease and seem to fill the small space with Your energy. “Finished putting things away?” You ask. “All but these items”, i state indicating the few things on the counter that need to go into the Head. “Leave them, strip and go kneel in front of the bench”, You state. i nod and then note that there is a thin cushion on the floor, that must have been there this entire time i had been unpacking. i tilt my head quizzically towards You and You point to the cushion.
i make my way past You and strip off my t-shirt and shorts, folding them onto the bench before kneeling on the cushion, legs spread apart and fingers interlaced behind my neck. “Brace your hands on the bench” You state quietly. i move my hands to lay flat on the cushion of the bench seat, with elbows extended forward. i feel You slip a length of rope around my upper thigh and cinch it before slipping it loosely around my ankle and pulling it upwards slowly until my calf muscle is taut against the back of my thigh. You secure it and then move to the other thigh and ankle, repeating the same actions so that i am balanced slightly forward on pointed knees. You slide Your hand up my back and fan Your fingers into my hair before pulling back on it firmly, extending my neck back harshly. You look down at me and barely above a low toned whisper You say, “I think you need to practice unquestioning deference.” i swallow and blink my eyes. You look at me intently and continue. “For the next two days, you will only crawl…throughout the boat, for all tasks…” You lean down very close to my ear and go on, “I’m going to help to you remember…do you understand?” Unable to nod, i breathily whisper, “Yes, Master”. You stroke my neck and cheek with Your fingertips and then reach around with Your other hand and press my mouth open at the corners before slipping a short, thick leather strap into my mouth. “You’re going to need this”, You state simply. i blink slowly and breathe in deeply, in mental preparation. You slap my face hard and i bite down spontaneously onto the leather. You then push my head down and forward and seemingly without pause, i feel the first strike across the tender inside of my left sole, followed quickly by a corresponding strike to the right sole. The blinding white pain shoots upwards through my body so that my back arches involuntarily and You push my head down again, crisscrossing the next set of strikes across the first. i bite down hard into the leather bit screaming and grasping at the bench cushion with my fingers. i hold my breath with tense shoulders and You remind me to breathe. i shudder a breath through my nostrils and relax my shoulders just as the next set of strikes hit down. My ankles pull harshly back from my thighs yanking on the rope ties and my thighs quiver, as i shift ever so slightly from knee to knee as tears well forward from my eyes. You trace the red stripes causing me to whimper and then strike again in crosswise paired fashion, causing me to sob and move my forehead to press further into the bench cushion and move from side to side. i gurgle the intake of air through my bit filled mouth and snot-filled nose while screaming out between breaths. “No questions for two days, do you understand?” You growl in my ear. i nod my head repeatedly, mumbling incomprehensibly onto the leather bit what must only be a garbled “Yes, Master”. You pull my head back, flip the bit from my mouth with one hand, and command, “Scream”, as You strike my soles with another pairing of quick motioned hits. i scream out loudly, filling the cabin with the gurgled cry, gasping for air as the shooting, blinding pain radiates through my brain. You cup my cheeks with Your hands, looking down at me, compelling me to look at You, as we share a silent communication with one another. “Yes” You state. You continue to maintain eye contact until my breathing normalizes and then You calmly direct, “Go wash up”. i fumble myself to the floor and crawl to the Head slowly, shaky, with thighs and ankles still bound one to the other.
I reach up and take down a washcloth, wetting it, before washing my face haphazardly. My soles throb as though on fire and I dare not extend or flex my feet. i attempt to balance myself on the hard floor, but am still uncoordinated from exertion. I feel Your presence behind me, but I do not look towards You. You slide a hand into my hair and I close my eyes. I then feel a cool, sharp object slip against my scalp and hear the rasp of metal against metal, as you shear a large swath of hair cleanly and efficiently away from my scalp. I open my eyes and see the reflection of your faceless body, strong scissor wielding hand and fingers move to another section of hair and cleanly shear it away, dropping the feathered strands into the sink. I watch entranced as You move across my entire head, leaving only short jagged wisps in the wake of the flashing stainless steel blades. When You have finished, You lean into my back in the small space and reach around to fill the sink with water. You cup some in your hand and spill it over my head, the action lending itself to a feeling of baptism. You remove a razor from the packages only just purchased and slowly begin to shave away the remaining wisps of hair with steady hands and purposeful action. I close my eyes and feel the blade moving slowly over my head, removing the final outward indication of my self-defined identity. I get lost in the sensation and meaning of this act, such that i don’t recognize it has been completed until I hear the sounds of the water draining from the sink and feel your hand smooth across my bald head. You tilt my head back and i open my eyes to look up at You. “What are you?” You ask. “Your property, Master.” I reply, without hesitation. You nod.