First she cut my eyelids off with a pair of nail scissors. She did this with a degree of speed and efficiency that immediately reassured me I was in the hands of a professional and that I had not spent my money in vain. So far so good.
I had arranged for a bespoke, two-day “dismemberment special”, though within an hour I was loosing so much blood from the lacerations on my back, with the amputations and cauterizations yet to come, that I wondered how she was going to keep me alive for the required length of time. I experienced the first of what was to be many tics of irritation at the idea that I would simply exsanguinate here on the plastic sheeting draped over every last square inch of the living room before any of the hacking and sawing had even begun. It did cross my mind that she could simply let me die at any point, and that of course it was in the nature of this business that dissatisfied customers simply weren’t around to complain. No testimonials page on this particular website.
I have to say that initially I had reservations about using the service at all, primarily because of its dreadful name: “Sexecutions!” This level of wordplay does not inspire confidence, but their website was extremely well presented and the moment I saw Jasmine I knew that she was The One. Checking the vital stats on her dedicated web page and discovering she was almost six foot tall, and would clearly tower over me in the heels I would request she wore, sealed my decision to go with them as opposed to their main competitor, the slightly hipper and more gothic (if rather bombastic) “ohgodpleaseletmediebeneathherfist.com” which was, finally, a little too self-consciously “rock and roll” for my taste.
Jasmine was no disappointment in the flesh, I must say. Staggeringly tall and Amazonian, dressed precisely as per my requirements in an extremely tight, low cut and micro-skirted rubber nurse’s outfit that set off her long legs and formidable bosom to its best advantage. I did experience a certain amount of embarrassment requesting such a trite outfit, but then I realised I might as well just look on it as a final bit of fun, a last bit of silliness.
As she began unpacking her equipment from a large black carry-all and laying it out on the dining table we made polite conversation and I was pleased to discover that she was rather well educated. We laughed a little about the company’s name, she told me she‘d been in the business for three or four years (and still so young, at only twenty three!) How had she got into this rather unusual field of work etc? She’d had an early fascination with domination that had gradually developed when an ex-boyfriend had got her into the whole extreme bdsm scene, eventually culminating in an interest in snuff and torture. This had just seemed like the logical next step. I complimented her on her beauty, she was half….? She was quarter Jamaican she explained. Quiet marvellous colouring, with her green eyes, this little tincture of Negro blood varnishing the supple curve of the muscles in her calves and thighs.
I explained to her that I'd had, as long as I could remember, so quiet some number of years now, a fascination with the idea of being slowly eviscerated and dismembered over a number of days by a voluptuous young women and that my entire life really had been lived in the shadow of this overwhelming, impossible desire. I had tried various ways to avoid it’s allure or to find both through games with various and variously willing and broad minded partners and other forms of “expression” some degree of release, but that finally I could not find any respite from myself other than through bringing this fantasy to life. I alluded to the fact that I was a writer and had been something of an enfant terrible when still young enough to qualify for such an appellation.
Would she like a drink first? She didn’t drink. A cup of tea perhaps? She politely accepted, but I noticed a certain reserve, a certain reluctance. Probably she didn’t like to build up too much of an emotional relationship with her clients as this made the process of torturing them to death more difficult and in the kitchen I chastised myself for having been so gauche.
When I came back into the living room I could not help but pause in the doorway to admire her as she stood with her back to me gazing at a reproduction of Miro’s “Harlequin’s Carnival” above the fire. With a discrete cough I put the tea tray down on the table and we sat and sipped Earl Grey for ten minutes or so until, with a polite smile, she suggested that perhaps we ought to begin.
Did I have any final questions before she gagged me? She would be cutting my tongue out at some point wouldn’t she? I asked, concerned. Yes, yes she reassured me and quickly checked her programme, a sheet of A4 in a plastic wallet. She had planned to sever my vocal chords first thing tomorrow, the tongue came out tomorrow night, but she could bring it forward if I preferred. She had thought I might like to try out a variety of gags, bits and restraints for the first few hours of warming up with some light-to-vigorous whipping and bloodletting. Yes, yes I waved my earlier consternation away. I was in her hands.
She approached me with the gag, a slightly grubby looking length of fabric that I hoped she wasn’t reusing form a previous job. Ah, yes, questions. I had just one: how was my body to be disposed of? Jasmine paused, twisting the gag gently between her long fingers and explained that she was only responsible for me up to the point at which I lost consciousness “for good” ( by which I assumed she meant “died”, but was chary of using the word) and that after that a crew of “cleaners” would come to the house and make sure there were no traces of the firm’s activities in evidence. That my body would then be “liquidified” ( I chose not to correct her catachrestic misstep here) in some way and that as far as anyone was concerned I had left for Beijing on an early morning flight the day before and had simply disappeared.
I was slightly disconcerted by this revelation, by the rather impersonal nature of what happened the moment I lost consciousness “for good”. I had imagined and had taken great delight in imagining a rather humid, tangily fragrant Jasmine, long limbs stippled with sweat sawing my torso up on the living room carpet, tenderly stroking my decapitated head perhaps, perhaps dancing around the dining room table with it and bestowing a last, possibly tender kiss, a la Salome. Ah I see, I said, a faint sourness creeping into it all. The idea that a pair of ham-fisted ex-criminals on the minimum wage would lug me around in the back of a Volvo in a couple of bin bags before “liquidifying” my last mortal remains struck me as a rather inelegant denoument. Still, business was business, I supposed. My own fault really, best not to ask, best not to peep behind the facade at the grimy old clockwork of it all. Yes. Life had taught me that.
I tried to put it out of my mind and concentrate on what was immediately at hand, two days of “intensive pruning”, as I had rather amusingly characterised it in my request. Start with the extremities and work in. I was also keen to be kept alive through a process of dissection should this prove a realistic request, though I assured them that if this was a practical impossibility I would of course understand. I also stipulated that of course I wished to be treated with extreme brutality throughout and that I was not averse to, indeed positively welcomed coprophagic, omophagic, and autophagic practices, in short I was a phagophile. One of “Sexecutions!” team, my own personal client manager, Ruth, very promptly got back to me asking for clarification of these terms “in order to ensure everything is as per your requirements on your big day.”
I had an idea that she would eat certain parts of me then regurgitate them or otherwise pass them through her system and that I would then consume them, my own disgusting corporeality alchemically transmuted inside her! But a flurry of email exchanges with Ruth revealed that Jasmine had drawn the line at cannibalism, on health rather than moral grounds of course. I hinted that I may go to one of “Sexecutions!” competitors: Ruth countered that, “the welfare and happiness of our girls is this company’s number one priority as it is of myself.” And so despite a couple of days of fairly intense bargaining over the price we eventually agreed that she would both defecate and vomit on me as well as feed me parts of my own body, but would not, alas, eat any of me herself.
Was I certain I was ready for this before we began? Jasmine asked me. I said I was. She smiled, I thought a little sadly. Once we begin there’s no going back. So be it I said, brave soldier that I am. The dismemberment special, she said absent-mindedly. I sensed the atmosphere in the room was shifting slightly. Darling, two days is nothing. A pause. I’ve been through a divorce I declared, then laughed uproariously. Old trooper that I am.
We got under way.
First the gag, then she cut my clothes off with a pair of rather blunt scissors and forced me down on my knees to worship at the feet of the goddess Jasmine and so on. Even through the fairly formulaic grovelling preamble I was immensely excited at the prospect of what was to come and this probably blinded me to her relative inexperience as a dominatrix. In the same way that I suspected Ruth had perhaps had more experience organising weddings and birthdays than the range of services “Sexecutions” offered I began to imagine that perhaps Jasmine supplemented her income as an aerobics instructor. I soon pushed this to the back of my mind however and concentrated on the strokes she was administering to my buttocks and back, though the dynamic was rather spoiled after ten minutes or so by her making me put all the plastic sheeting down myself, and while she did bark commands and flick at me with a riding crop while I scurried about I didn’t wonder if even at this early stage she wasn’t simply shirking. What’s next I wondered? Will she order me to cut my own legs off while she nips out for a cigarette? And so the surprising and rather deft eyelid removal, a little personal touch that I hadn’t thought to request myself but which nonetheless showed a certain amount of flair and imagination, served to quell my misgivings. Off we go.
The flogging proper, for which she produced, much to my approval, a rather ornate cat ‘o’ nine tails with a dark, lacquered handle worn smooth over time by the hot palms of several generation’s worth of full-throated flagellators, certainly was both vigorous and protracted and throughout I had the pleasure of watching Jasmine’s lithe, panther-like switching and stalking at my back in the full-length mirror opposite the fireplace. It is often difficult to strike the appropriate level of hauteur required for a truly imperious flogging, the line between haughty, aristocratic disdain for the floggee and the merely desultory often difficult to attain. But here Jasmine did rather well and I felt fully and gratifyingly worthless bent shivering beneath the twin beams of her withering green-eyed froideur.
It was around this point, with a welter of crimson tears weeping from my lacerated back, that Jasmine saw fit to disappear into the bathroom for ten minutes.
“That tea,” she explained re-emerging from the downstairs loo, still smoothing out her rubber skirt, then consulted her itinerary with a puzzled expression on her face. “The fingers, the fingers,” I tried to say through the now frankly rather damp gag but my muffled instructions went unheard. Eventually she rummaged around in her bag for the secateurs with which she was going to snip them off and, composing herself, stalked toward me. Then, spotting the small lagoon of blood pooling around me, turned back in a frenzy of self-remonstratory tutting for a handful of the heavy duty trauma bandages she had piled up on the table.
The wave of sparking pain that I was lifted on as the antiseptic bit into my raw back and the bandages went on simply took my breath away. A moment’s dizzying elevation, an exquisitely attenuated curlicue of white fire licking at the inside of my skull. Then I was back, with Jasmine bent over me slowly working my index finger into the secateurs cold, curved jaws and finding them too narrow. Ho-hum. Had I been able to smile indulgently I would doubtless have done so. She apologized and went back to get a larger pair, pulling a huge pair of forceps out of her bag and leaning them against the sideboard in the process. This was the one that would be used to get through the bones in my legs, presumably. It stood there gleaming dully, beak raised skyward, the exoskeleton of some fearful prehistoric bird, its beady hexagonal eye flashing at me.
Caught in its gaze I almost didn’t notice that Jasmine had returned and cut off my little finger. It fell into a hummock in the rumpled plastic sheeting and rolled there forlornly. The others soon followed and at first there was surprisingly little pain, the body mobilising a whole host of complicated opiates in my defence, I imagine, but the respite was short lived and as Jasmine worked away at the joint of my stubbornly opposable thumb the pain hit me, a pain the likes of which I had never before known, which soon redoubled and intensified as she moved across to the left hand, a pain that I felt in the roots of my teeth, in my tear ducts, playing in arcs of blue-white electricity over my lidless, swivelling eyeballs. Yes, yes! I had breached a boundary, was caught in some bright zone between worlds, spinning away from the profane toward a blinding consummation and I knew as I had always known, strange inversion! that my body was the gross, material shadow of that eternal, ideal form that came ghosting up through all the depth of apperception now to meet me.
Shall we have a little break there? Jasmine asked, dabbing at her damp forehead with the back of her hand and breathing heavily. Then with a smile she reached for the gag and pulled it down rather uncomfortably over my chin so I could respond. Perhaps we could do the toes first and then have a break, I suggested, somewhat piqued. We had barely been at it an hour. We still have quite a lot to get through I reminded her. She nodded. Any chance of some water? I asked. Thirsty work, she replied. No, no for my eyeballs, I explained. They felt as though they had been popped out, rolled in grit then replaced. I have some champagne to drink in the refrigerator. I rather fancy a glass.
While she was in the kitchen and I was distractedly inspecting the concentric pink and white rings of gristle where my fingers had been her mobile rang, buzzing angrily and describing circles on its back. Jasmine came hurrying back through the door saying so sorry, so sorry, turned it off and hid it away in her bag but not, I noticed before she had rapidly thumbed back a quick text message. She popped the cork and held a flute to my lips. I drank deeply, feeling the bubbles. At least she had chosen the appropriate glass. Then she sprinkled some water onto my eyes, a rather unpleasant sensation, before she quickly and to my mind rather perfunctorily, cut off my toes. Why all this unseemly haste? While it was excruciatingly painful, I had to ask her several times to move back a little as her head was blocking my view of the whole procedure.
I need to see everything that goes on I explained to her. Otherwise what was the point in you cutting my eyelids off at all? Sorry, sorry she said. I’ll make sure you see everything when I do the feet. Hands next, surely? I queried. She tottered off to the table, one leg slaloming out from under her as she hit a blood-slicked crease in the sheeting. It says feet here. No, I distinctly stipulated hands first. Well, you’re the boss she said. An unforgivable faux pas for a dominatrix.
I now had the stem of the glass pressed between my palms and was rather clumsily trying to drain it. Saw? She asked, dangling just such an implement from her left hand, or.. she gestured to the forceps with a faintly hopeful air. Clip it all off in twenty minutes and get away before last orders was called, that was the idea was it? Well no, she could damn well work for her money. This was after all costing me an enormous sum, robbing my children of their inheritance and so forth. I imagined she was being handsomely rewarded for her efforts.
Yes, yes. The saw, I insisted. My words slurred slightly. The combination of bloodloss and champagne was making me dizzy. You know how it is.
She had plugged in a large steam iron and left it to heat up on the table top, to use as an ad hoc cauterisation tool I imagined. I hoped it wasn’t going to mark the surface. I was about to ask her if she could slide one of the doilies from the sideboard drawer under it but just as I was about to say something she took me by surprise from behind and whipped a leather bit into my mouth.
Kicking my toes and fingers to one side Jasmine knelt before me and took what remained of my hand in hers, hacksaw momentarily clamped between her teeth, and assessed it. She laid the blade across my wrist at a variety of angles trying to decide on the best way to begin then pressed my palm flat to the floor and made a couple of preparatory nicks at the edge of my wrists but it was quickly evident that the only way she was going to be able to successfully saw it off was to hold it firmly between her legs.
This she did, straddling my forearm and clamping it tightly between her thighs, completely obscuring my view of the action. With the feet, you could definitely see, she said. I grunted and she removed the bit. Yes but that’s really something you should have taken into consideration, didn’t you bring some kind of chopping block or something? She smiled tightly. Or some kind of vice? I mean you have done this before haven’t you? I asked.
I mean usually, she said. Usually I just use the… the word forceps eluded her…the shears. Well. I was not some ovine Johnny-come- lately to be wrestled to the stocks, sheared and have his last mortal remains melted away to paste in some dingy south London basement and I told her as much. Did my itinerary not stipulate: hands to be sawn off? She checked as I knelt glowering. Just “remove hands”, she said. Well then clearly there’s a mistake isn’t there? As I was extremely precise in my stipulations. Well, you’ll have to take that up with my line manager, she replied, rather glibly. I let out a burst of cold laughter. Do you mean straight after I’ve lost consciousness “for good” or after I’ve been “liquidified”? I asked, wiggling the nubs of my toes.
There was a few moments’ silence as Jasmine chewed her top lip. Don’t you have any DIY stuff around the place? She asked. I let another gratifying burst of laughter break free. Do I strike you as the kind of person who would have “DIY” “stuff” around the house? No, regrettably, not being in the painting and decorating trade I do not have now, nor have I EVER had, such “stuff” on the premises, M’Lud. Do you have a policy that your customers should provide you, free of charge, with the means to carry out the services which they have contracted you to provide? A most curious business model. I paused for breath. As I had been speaking I’d had my eyeballs raised to heaven, entreating some higher power to intervene on my behalf and when I lowered them again I thought I saw Jasmine sneaking a look at the clock on the sideboard.
A pause. Shall we put the gag back on now? She asked, with an ingenuous smile, as though she were talking to an invalid. No “we” shall not, I should prefer to remain UNgagged for the remainder of our time together. Her forehead creased a little. Her nostrils flared. Attitude. You don’t have to like me, dear, I said. Just do your job.
And the hands? She asked. Your problem, I said. You know my requirements. Find a solution. That’s what you’re being paid for. She glanced around the room. And don’t even think about trying to use any of the furniture in here, I told her.
And I’d like another class of Champagne I said, gesturing to my empty glass and the ice bucket. She filled it and held it to my lips. I drank it down in one, a long, cold rivulet of foam escaping down my chin and tickling my throat. The moment I’d finished she pushed the bit back in, stepped quickly round behind me to tighten it.
No, no, no. I started shaking my head. I said without the gag. My tongue worked weakly at the black plastic ball. I started to get to my feet, felt that I had a terrible cramp in my calves, stumbled forward finding it impossible to get any purchase on the plastic with no toes. I went face first into Jasmine who pushed me back down with a thud. She had picked up the forceps.
No, no, no. This is not as per my requirements. I raised my arm up to ward them off as they came clacking and swooping in and watched in disbelief as my hand leapt free of those scything jaws in a sudden starburst of blood and powdered bone, shaking me to the core, my mind reeling and folding in on itself.
A pause, then it all came ribboning from my wrist’s broken spigot in two long claret-coloured arcs. I must have passed out for a few moments and it was the smell of charred flesh that brought me round to see the stump at my forearm’s end spitting and crackling against the smoking iron. After a few moments Jasmine pulled it away, a black cat’s cradle of congealed strands stretching out then snapping. Already, with a grimace of concentration and effort, she was prizing open the forceps one more time, angling them toward my left hand, which had come fluttering up to my shoulder.
No, No. Wait a moment I wanted to say. But the bit turned my words back unspoken into my throat. It isn’t supposed to be this way. Too fast. Too violent. Too real, I almost said. Old Contrarian that I am. This isn’t what I paid for.
The left hand went, then she moved on to my feet, her face full of anger and contempt.
And this is the nature of my complaint