She was barefoot. The busty brunette thrashed at her handlers. Her sandals flew off her feet when she kicked. She was through the back of a strip-mall office and into an empty warehouse.
They pushed her against a dark, dusty van and frisked her thoroughly. A man’s hands wove around her. They dove beneath her clothes. He handed off her keyring, cellphone, and sunglasses. She had a small change purse that held $13.67, Sunshine Kissed lip gloss, and her driver’s license. They took that, too.
She was Lucy. Lucy Bernard.
She screeched in protest. Pressure on points of Lucy’s body and odd holds on appendages competed with her adrenalin. She succumbed to them physically, after they conquered her fight or flight mode. She was a mess of herself. Lucy was on her knees, her arms pulled up behind her back. Her head bent forward like a P.O.W. She cried, her hair stuck to her face and her nose ran. She promised she’d be still.
The men who wrangled her kept a tight hold. They pulled her up into an awkward walking position. Her wet face streaked it’s way down the dusty van. They shoved her in the back, releasing her into the dark body of the dirty cab.
They made stops. They picked up more girls. Most of the women were drugged, unconscious, or barely lucid. The vehicle came to a halt. The women inside rolled towards the cab of the vehicle. Lucy was the first one in. She’d wedged herself between the hump in the back of the van, and the back of the cab. She tucked her knees under her chin. With every stop, the number of women grew. She pulled her arms inside her shirt and curled up, full of dread and fear. The bodies piled in.
The back of the van doors opened. Lucy was momentarily blinded by the harsh florescents. Some of the girls exited the filthy vehicle on their own. They wobbled and stumbled out, their mind’s muddied. Some women fell out and onto each other. They all cried out, either in fear or pain. Some had to be pulled into their new hell. A bald man dove in by the waist to drag out the terrified women.
The bald man was short and wide. His fat was hard. It was thick. His thin comb-over was a joke. He smelled of cigars and piss. Hair easily found every part of him except the top of his head. His entire body was covered with thick, hairy sweat. A gritty filth.
Lucy scooted out of her hole with the intention of exiting on her own. The circulation in her legs disagreed with her. The familiar feeling of pins and needles ran up her legs. Just as her ass lifted, it fell. Her ankle became prey to the fat man’s onslaught. The wife-beater he wore was rolled-up over his big belly. He drug her down the length of the van. He juiced Lucy’s bare leg with his thick, hairy sweat. It left a sheen of stink to set into her already dirty skin.
The scrambling and falling of bodies kicked up the dirt on the ground. When her ankle was free, Lucy fell, too. She landed hard, on her hip. Before she could get off a reactionary rub, a metal cuff came to a grinding lock across her wrist. A fog of men in dirty workman’s uniforms pulled the women up and cuffed their wrists over a long horizontal pole made of thick metal. It ran the length of the warehouse.
Every few feet were sectioned off with three walls of wet concrete and drains in the bottom. The men cut off their clothes. Protests fell on deaf ears. There were women who cried. There were women who begged not to be touched.
The women were sent down the line. The warehouse men had different responsibilities. There were two in front of the line, and two behind. Four of them cut away clothing. Women were sent further on to be hosed down. Each of them were sudded-up. Their hair, inside their ass cheeks, cunts, feet, in between their toes. The men took no sexual liberties with the women. They might as well have been putting together cars. It was a job. The women were all rinsed clean. The men unlocked their cuffs. A warehouse man allowed Lucy and the others to towel dry at gunpoint.
The women were given clean grey sweatpants, sweatshirts, and flip-flops. As they dried off and changed into the clothes, the bald man read a list of all their names. Like roll call in school, each woman answered “here” or raised their hand when their name was called.
“Lucy Bernard!” The bald man yelled out over the mumbling.
Lucy tentatively raised her hand.
Once he was finished with the list, the bald man grinned.
“Ok, ladies… listen up. In about 15 minutes, a few SUV’s are going to arrive to take you to your new owners. I don’t get the rest of my money until all orders have been delivered! So you bitches sit down and shut-up,” he announced.
Lucy was on the third knot of the sweatpants, trying to keep them on her hips. She paused momentarily, listening.
We were ordered?