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The Crucifixion of Aila

Captain Mathias squinted into the desert glare as he threw back the curtain covering the shade
canopy. Nearby, the horses of his men were tethered under their own canopy, somnolently drowsing
in the heat and guzzling gallons of water from the portable troughs set before them. Good thing he
had thought to bring along an entire supply wagon loaded with water, Mathias thought. This cursed
desert sucks the liquid out of a man faster than a whore could suck him dry. Behind him, he heard
the low mutter of his platoon as they tried to find comfort in the blast furnace that was the
Zangorean Desert.
At least they've got the shade, Mathias thought. Not everybody here today was that lucky. He
glanced over to the spot, twenty yards away, where a tall cross stood alone in the desert, its
occupant a nude young woman, head hanging low, face hidden by a mane of what was now lank
and scraggly hair, her nubile young body stretched to its limits as she hung, nearly senseless, from
the spikes through her wrists. Mathias strode out from under the canopy and walked over to the
cross. She was in a bad way, he thought--no shade, dehydrated, and bearing the scars of a morning's
worth of intermittent torture. Around her head was a tight, woven crown of thorns, which had
plowed bloody furrows in her brow as the Bishop had jammed it down on her head, under threat
from the Queen. Shakily, he had intoned the ritual phrase, with a small added twist: "I crown thee
Queen of Hell." Mathias, who had been present in the throne room when this had happened, had
admired the young girl's steadiness and resolve as the crown had bitten deep into her head, and
rivulets of blood had cascaded down her face.
"You sought to take my crown," the queen had icily intoned to the unfortunate naked, bound girl
kneeling before the throne. "But you now have a crown of your own, in keeping with your crime.
Guards! Take her away and carry out the sentence."

Mathias and his platoon had brought her out here, stumbling in her bare feet with the crossbeam
bound across her shoulders, and had nailed her to her cross this morning. The cross stood alone
now, baking in the hot sun, bearing its bloody burden. Mathias ran his eyes over the nubile young
body, noting the hours of turture she had endured. Beside the crown and being crucified, she had
also been whipped repeatedly as she struggled vainly; multiple red welts criss-crossed her torso,
some of them weeping blood. Two sharp leopard fangs had been run through her nipples, in the
meaty part of the aeroloa, and twin rivulets of blood ran down her shapely breasts and meandered
down her naked body. Mathias noted how some of the blood had settled in her bellybutton. He
looked back at the canopy and squinted to see the hourglass sitting on the rude table inside. It was
half empty. When it ran dry, her torture would begin again.
Mathias was no stranger to crucifixions--he had crucified many malcontents in his lifetime. They
had all been criminals, well aware of the fate that awaited them if they got caught. And yet, they had
gone ahead and committed the crimes anyway. Mathias felt no remorse for nailing them to crosses;
it was the punishment they themselves had chosen by committing their myriad crimes.
But this one was different. Mathias knew that the young girl hanging on her cross, rib cage
stretched out and etched on her torso, muscles stretched out along her arms, was innocent of the
treason she had been accused of. But the Queen had believed otherwise, and sentenced the young
beauty to this fate. For the first time, Mathias felt remorse at what he was doing to her, and pride for
how stoically she had borne the punishments inflicted on her quivering and helpless body. He
picked up the spear with the sponge impaled on it which leaned against the cross, and plunged the
sponge into the tepid water bucket beside it. With the sponge dripping on the spearhead, he held it
up to her dry, cracked lips. She made no move to drink, so Mathias pushed it against her mouth. Her
eyes fluttered open, and she opened her mouth and took in the sponge, greedily sucking it dry. Then
she had groaned and pulled herself up on the beam, weight bearing down on her impaled and
bloody feet, sucking in great lungfuls of air. After a few moments, she had sagged back down on the
cross and closed her eyes again. Her glistening skin, soaked in sweat, was now a firece red, as the
glaring sun burned down on her unmercifully.
Mathias returned to the tent, where the hourglass was now empty. Time for another session, he
mused ruefully. Something seen from the corner of his eyes brought his head around, instantly wary,
the instincts of the trained soldier pulling him to instant attention. All around him, the horizon lay
bare and empty, heat waves glimmering in the distance, an occasional small dust devil moving
languidly and listlessly through the dry heat. But to the east, from the direction of the city nestled in
the foothills of the Zangorean Mountains, a cloud of dust could be seen rising into the still air.
Horses, Mathias thought, and probably wagons, too. Someone was coming, but who? The
possibility of a rescue attempt occured to him, but he doubted it.
"Look alive, men," he said over his shoulder. "Company coming." His men bustled to their feet,
gazing out over the shimmering sands at the dust cloud, already noticeably bigger. "Who in their
right minds would come out here on a day like this?" Corporal Danko muttered next to him.
"I don't know," Mathias answered, never taking his eyes off the cloud. "But it'll be awhile before
they get here. In the meantime, the hourglass has run out. We have time for another short session
before they arrive."
"Yes, sir," Danko had replied, and motioned to the one of the solodiers to proceed. The soldier
grimaced at the prospect of going out into the heat, but he obeyed, taking along the whip which he
weilded so well. Mathias heard the whip repeatedly flailing against the nude body, and heard her
groan as she shifted and struggled on her cross. Her cried are getting weaker, he noted. She wouldn't

last too much longer in this heat. The whip had fallen silent, so Mathias turned to see the soldier
mounting the rough footstool positioned in front of the cross. Taking her left breast in his hand, he
fondled it roughly for a second, then positioned a long, sharp rod against it. With a shove, the rod
was pushed through her breast, exiting on the other side, where it was promptly pushed through her
right breast. More blood trickled from the scarred and skewered orbs. She hadn't made a sound.
Indeed, she had barely reacted to the agony. The soldier climbed down, wiping her blood off his
hands on her quivering thighs, and returned to the canopy. It was only the beginning, Mathias knew.
Within minutes the glaring sun would heat the exposed ends of the rod to an intolerable
temperature, and the heat, running into the length of the rod now buried in her breasts, would begin
to burn her breasts from the inside.
Mathias returned his gaze to the dust cloud. He now could see figures at the base of it, shimmering
in the heat waves. Wagons. And horses. Squinting, he could barely make out the colors on the
pennants hanging limply from the lead wagon. His jaw tightened. "It's the Queen," he said, and his
soldiers muttered their astonishment. "What's she doing coming out here?" one asked. "To gloat?
Maybe to have mercy on the poor girl?"
"I don't know," Mathias replied, "but we'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, look alive and
don your armour. We must receive her in proper order."
Groans ran through the tent as the soldiers reacted to the prospect of standing at attention in their
glittering armour in the baking sun, but they all did as they were told. They assembled outside of the
canop0y in parade rest formation, and all eyes turned to look at the procession headed their way.
There was no doubt but that it was the queen's carriage out front, followed by at least one wagon,
and surrounded by the horsemen of the Imperial Guard.
"Showtime," Mathias muttered. "Now we find out why she's here."
With a squeal of harness and thudding of hoofbeats, the dusty caravan swirled to a stop before
Mathias and his men, standing at attention. The carriage door opened, and out stepped the queen.
She wore a simple dark blue robe, with a monk's cowl that hid her face from view. Striding swiftly
and regally, she approached Mathias and his men, who went down on one knee and removed their
helmets. "My queen," Mathias said, "as ever, I am your servant."
"Rise, Captain Mathias," the queen intoned, in a voice as cold and icy as the clearest mountain
stream. "How goes the execution?"
Mathias and his men rose, with all but Mathias replacing their helmets on their heads. Mathias kept
his tucked under his arm, and replied, "It goes well, my queen. She is young, healthy, and strong,
and holds up well."
The queen raised her face to Mathias, who towered a good foot above her. As the cowl fell back, he
gazed into the steeliest ice-blue eyes he had ever seen. This was a woman to be reckoned with.
"And how much longer will she survive?" she asked.
"It's hard to say, my queen. As I said, she is young and healthy, but the desert sun is taking its toll. I
predict she will be dead of sunstroke well before nightfall."
"I see. Come with me, Captain." She spun on her heels and approached the nude women hanging
limply on her cross. Mathias hurried to catch up. The pair stopped at the fot of the cross, and the
queen carefully surveyed the nude body hanging above her. The girl's body was criss-crossed with
the welts and lash marks of the severe whippings she had endured with each turn of the hourglass,

from thighs to breasts. Her crown of thorns held her disheveled hair in place with a mat of dried
blood. Her breasts had had two sharpened leopard fangs shoved through the meaty base of her
nipples, twin rivulets of blood coursing down either breasts and dowwn onto her abdomen.
Additionally, she had had a long metal rod shoved horizontally through both breasts; the hot sun
was heating the exposed ends to an unbearavble degree, and the heat was conducted inside the
breasts, burning them slowly from within. her wrists and feet were soaked in blood from the ugly
spikes that protruded through them. The girl's breathing was thin and ragged.
"Can she speak?," the queen asked. "With some water, she will," replied Mathias, and once again
he held the spear with its impaled sponge up to her mouth. She raised her head without opening her
eyes, and sucked the sponge dry. The queen waited a few moments, and then said "Daughter."
The crucified girl raised her head, eyes opening to a blurry world. The eyes rolled a moment, and
then focused on the pair below her. Her eyes grew wide with astonishment, and she croaked out,
For, indeed, the crucified girl was the queens daughter, her only child. "Daughter," the queen said
again." "I have news for you."
"Mother," the girl cried, twisting on her cross. "Mother, I'm innocent. Take me down. Please,
mother, I would never betray you. Take me down." She started crying--for the first time today,
Mathias noted--and began struggling, trying to pull herself free from the cross. The queen waited
for her to quiet down, which, exhausted, she soon did. "Yes, daughter, I know you are innocent."
She turned and gestured to the supply wagon that had accompoanied her out here, and two
solodiers leaped forward, reaching for something inside. They pulled a litter out of the back, on
which was a cloth-covered figure. They carried the litter to the foot of the cross, and one of them
pulled the cloth aside. Mathias' eyes narrowed as he beheld the burned human corpse laying there.
He looked at the crucified princess, and her eyes were filled with horror and wonder. "Who--who is
it, mother?" she asked through trembling lips.
"It was my Grand Vizier--he who produced proof of your treason. I trusted him. I shall never trust
another man again." She tur5ned to the crucified girl. "When you were led away, he smirked at you.
It caught my attention, and I had him arrested and tortured. He confessed to his crime and betrayed
his accomplices. I had him burned at the stake, and we are now rounding up his accomplices for
further punishment." She jerked her head to the side, and the soldiers picked up the charred body
and carried it a little way out into the desert, where it was unceremoniously dumped out. Before the
soldiers had even returned with the litter, a horde of the circling vultures descended on the
blackened body and began devouring it.
"Then--then you know I am onnocent.!" Again the Princess Aila began struggling on her cross.
"Take me down, mother! Take me down! Your physicians can heal my wounds!" She was crying
and sobbing, struggling futiley to pull her wrists free from the spikes.
"Your wounds," the queen mused, "Yes, my physicians tell me they can heal the wounds to your
body. They cannot, however, heal the wound to your heart. And that presents difficulties."
"Mother," the girl whispered incredulously, "what do you mean? What are you talking about? Take
me down!"
The queen made no move to do so, and an incredulous Mathias stared at her. The queen ignored
him, coninuing to gaze at her crucified daughter--nailed to the cross on her orders.

"As long as you are alive, no matter how well you will heal, you will always carry the wound I
placed in your heart by ordering you crucified. And there are others who will use that wound to
attack me. I cannot permit this to happen. My throne is everything to me, and I cannot afford to let
anyone get to me through you and your emotions. I cannot be seen as weak or indecisive. I have
ordered you crucified, and on the cross you will remain." Turning to Mathias, she said "Continue
with the execution." The she turned on her heel and waslked back to the tent, where she gazed down
at the pelvic spikie laying on the table.
Once again, she turned to Mathias as he caught up with her. "I am not entirely without mercy,
captain. When I leave, apply the spike. It will end her suffering sooner.
That it would, Mathias knew. The shock and blood loss would kill the princess within the hour.
The queen entered her carriage without a single backward look, and the caravan roused itself and
began lurching back to the city.
Mathias looked at his men. They returned the look he was sure he was giving them--incredulity,
astonishment, and horror. He picked up the spike and a hammer, turned, and went back to the cross,
where he kneeled before the crucified girl. She was gazing at the retreating caravan, whispering,
"My princess," said, and stood up before her. Please forgive me for what I am about to do."
her eyes focused on him, and for a moment he saw the same icy, gleaming eyes that her mother
had. The princess siad, I forgive you, captain. You must carry out your orders. To do otherwise
would be to place yourself at risk, and I'll have no man suffer on my behalf." She gritted her teeth
and pulled her sweating body up on the cross. "Do what you must."
Mathjias reached out and pulled back the labia on her vulva. Carefully, he slid the spike into her
vagina, as she groaned and trembled, attempting to hold herself up. When she squealed in pain, he
knew that he had pushed it in as far as it would go. Gritting his teeth, he forced the spike into a
horizontal position, as she groaned and shuddered on the cross.
"Forgive me, my princess," he whispered, and, raising the hammer, struck the first blow that would
hammer the spike through her body and into the wood behind.