“Help?? Polly?”

Dennis woke on his cot. The cot was more comfortable than the metallic floor of the cell. Except for the blanket over top of him, he was naked.

Turning to the wall behind him, he used his thumb to scratch a diagonal slash through four upright lines he had put there on previous mornings. A quick count of the sets of five and he estimated thirty days in the cell. Being the only light came from a single bright white ceiling tile that never turned off, it was a best guess. The only other gauge he had was the loud roar followed by the floor vibrating that seemed to happen once per day. The vibrations would help him fall asleep and it was now his habit to lay down when it happened.

He stood and padded over to the small toilet and sink sat in the corner. With no privacy he went about his business. Standing at the sink he splashed water all over to clean himself. He used the cot blanket to dry off before tossing it against the bars. He then dropped and did one hundred push-ups followed by one hundred sit-ups.

As it was every time he woke, at one corner of the bars lay a tuft of bread, what appeared to be a celery stalk and a cold cooked slab of meat. The meat was delicious, but Dennis had no idea what it was. He sat on the floor and slowly ate his food.

As he sucked on the not quite celery stick, he listened to someone down the corridor crying.

There were other prisoners. The voices were in languages that he did not recognize. Sometimes they screamed and yelled. Sometimes they spoke quietly. Most days, however, like Dennis did his first night, they just cried. During his 30 days, Dennis had not seen another soul.

Dennis picked up his meat and started chewing. Even cold it still melted in his mouth. He stroked his goatee which seemed to have stopped growing.

The crying stopped suddenly. A few words were followed by a loud clap and a scream. Then nothing.

“This is new,” Dennis whispered to himself. He stood and looked through the bars. His cell was at a tee connection with a corridor running along the front and off both directions, and another running straight ahead.

With the echoing from these walls, he had no idea where the noise had come from. Lights in the corridor running straight away from him came on with a blinding flash.

Dennis shielded his eyes, but was still unable to keep them open. He waited for the pain in his eyes to subside when he first heard the footsteps.

With his left hand still shielding them, he opened his eyes to a squint.

He saw her. The goddess of his dreams with her black curls and leather boots nearly up to her hips. A long leather coat licked at her boots and sat over a white tunic. Her skin was pale as a ghost and contrasted with the blood read collar around her neck.

Two black dobermans flanked her. No leashes on either, but both had red collars that matched hers. Their paws padded towards him, nearly silent.

“Polly?” Dennis called.

“Silence!” the goddess barked as she got close. She stopped and studied him.

The dobermans both sat on either side of her and did the same.

Dennis supported himself against the bars with rigid arms. He was keeping himself back, just in case. His body was in better shape than it had been in decades.

The goddess said something in a different language to the dobermans.

Both dogs snapped to attention and backed away.

“You will come.”

Dennis nodded, “Yes, m’lady.”

The goddess glared at first, but her gaze softened quickly realizing he was not mocking. She reached inside of her coat and the cell door rolled aside. Her hand returned with a leash. Her hand reached in again, and returned with a ring, about an inch wide and a metal hook.

Dennis backed away from the bars to allow her room.

She walked in and grasped his limp penis. The ring slipped on quickly and tightened, making him erect. The leash was then attached.

Her hand released him and she turned to walk down the corridor, once again flanked by the dobermans but this time tugging Dennis along behind.

Dennis followed, enjoying the sensation of the penis collar being pulled along. The corridor turned right where he saw another cell. A large mass of hair lay on the floor with a liquid leaking from it.

This morning’s crier.

Further along, a door slid away along the right wall of the corridor. Turning and passing through that door, Dennis got his first look at the night sky in more than a month.

…or so he thought.

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