© Copyright 2015 - Wingco - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; archaeology; sarcophagus; silkgown; cuffs; collar; belt; encased; winch; emtombed; arrested; M+f; abused; stripped; tormented; straps; jail; sentenced; prison; cons/nc; XX
It was Emma who awoke first, cradled in her husband’s arms. Seeing the sun rising over the wonderful Cairo skyline. She sighed and snuggled closer to her man… knowing… knowing…
Knowing this might be their last day alive!
In the months after her surprise release from the casket by Rashid Feroz and his men, she, and her husband had endured a living hell at the hands of the Egyptian authorities.
Yet at first it seemed to have been all right.
Emma had stood in the sarcophagus for what seemed hours, convinced now that she was permanently entombed, when suddenly her ears heard a ‘thump’
“Surely… not?” she whispered, then minutes later her eyes blurred with tears as the faint sounds of what appeared to be digging reached her. “Oh Emma, I’m sorry… they’ve come after all!” she wept, part wanting freedom, but also now wondering if this was Tony alone as it got louder. But why was he digging anyway? The sarcophagus only had to be hooked up then winched out, unless that had somehow broken.
Gradually she could hear voices… not just Tony when he’d yelled, hoping for her to reply. Trouble being that Emma didn’t want to be freed now if it was not just something between them. The idea she’d get opened up like some exhibit terrified Mrs Cline so the girl didn’t reply.
“Please Emma, fight for me… ” she sobbed, those veils soaked with tears and sticking to both cheeks now.
Tony was relieved when they arrived there. Himself and Rashid Feroz, plus two men from the museum but the Professor’s wife Fatima was also here; brought by her husband to look after Mrs Cline if she’d survived.
Feroz was amazed when Cline showed him the room and his eyes swept the walls, the Brit however was appalled to find the place empty! “But it WAS here Rashid. I promise you… IT WAS HERE!” he said, jabbing at the floor. The two workers looked baffled, their boss guilty as he stared at Cline. “My turn to confess Tony… ” he said.
Only Cline’s professionally trained responses to a crisis stopped him killing the Egyptian right there when Feroz told him about the police report. Simmering down after he finished, his boots scraping around and eventually finding the edges of the hatch. “OK, guess we’re as bad. But let’s not waste any more time.”
So they began. Cline assembling his winch while the workers dug. Feroz preparing a drill to make some air holes. The three local men’s eyes widened on hitting the top of the sarcophagus. Cline just relieved and it was he who started yelling to his wife, praying for her to respond. Not knowing she was weeping quietly below.
The sound of the drill was terrifyingly loud as it bored into the top. Feroz easing it down, worried that he might end up killing Mrs Cline himself. So he did holes in the corners away from where her head should be, several now showing darkness against the sandstone. He stopped after doing ten. Lying on the edge then banged on the top.
“Mrs Cline, its Professor Feroz. Are you alright… ?” he said. Everyone listening intently…
Twice more he tried and was about to admit defeat when…
“Yes Rashid… I’m fine… Is Tony there?” they heard faintly. The two workers looked stunned, each hugging the other, as it appeared their mission was successful now.
Cline was in tears, his face buried in both hands before he went and embraced the two men. Fatima standing to one side looking amazed. Her lips moving as she prayed thanks to her God for the deliverance of this lady.
Delivering Mrs Cline to the surface took another hour. Now she’d accepted the idea of freedom Emma began to talk to her man as he briefed her on what had happened. She took it well, knowing they would be in Rashid’s debt for many a year now. Either financially or something else. More holes were drilled around the top, obliterating the face now then the whole front part of the head fell away, revealing…
The Egyptian group stared at the sight of the white veiled figure inside as they looked down. Tony had not told them about Emma’s attire and he knew the level of embarrassment would get worse as more of his wife’s lovely body was revealed.
More digging from the side now and soon they were down halfway. Her chest visible now and the workers stunned as they stared at her breasts. Her face inside rocking slightly, that gold collar around its neck and she was still crying as well. When they stopped for a break everyone except Tony went outside. Leaving him to cradle Emma’s face and try to unlock the first of her restraints.
Searching for the lever brought a puzzled look.
“They fell out, all six of them,” she shrugged on being asked. Then Cline heard the rest and it made him shudder. Realising that they were going to have to smash the whole sarcophagus apart, in-situ and his heart sank… .only to see her suddenly starting to smile at him.
“What’s so funny… honey,” he began, smiling now at the rhyme. She grinned back, trembling as he crouched down and the couple had a long kiss. Emma’s eyes beginning to water again at the thought of freedom seconds away.
“The pins are all upright. Now you remember that surely Tony? You put the restraints on. It’s easy. Just put your hands under my arms… and lift!”
His head fell against hers and they kissed again before he bent down, sliding his buckets, firstly over those breasts making her squeak before getting into position. Under her armpits and…
Emma Cline squealed as she felt herself rising. Neck, back, the legs and her wrists all suddenly loose from their pins. The weight coming off her feet for the first time in ages was SO good as she clung on. Bursting into tears as he brought her up and out of the sarcophagus and laid her down on the sand. Grabbing a blanket that Fatima Feroz had been sitting on while the others had worked. Wrapping Emma’s torso to protect her modesty as she kicked off those shoes with a groan.
“Bit late now, those two have been staring at them ever since that big chunk came off. Which, unfortunately is more than can be said for my ‘jewellery.’ They all tightened again after the sarcophagus was closed. Then the handles fell out too. You’re going to have to grind them off!”
The collar was going to be the problem. Far too tight to cut from inside out and the other way would risk slicing into an artery. It took Tony long enough to remove the veils, at first feeding them through. Before ending up chopping the material apart from above with a knife then tugging the fragments away.
NOW they could properly kiss. Lips locked together and it felt so good as he stroked her cheeks. Dabbing them dry with a hankie, amazed that despite her ordeal Emma still looked lovely, if a little red around the eyes. Make-up was smudged too. “You’re a bloody mess!”
She laughed now, hugging him tightly, the tears soon restarting however and that was how the others found them. Locked together and only a polite cough split the couple apart.
Rashid Feroz was amazed to see her free. Staring at the gold loops around her limbs, the collar too. Thankfully the blanket covered her body but those long slim legs were clearly visible through the material of her dress. Fatima just looked shocked, but eventually came closer and was hugged by the ‘victim’ as she still thought of the girl.
The other two men looked on impassionless now. Seeing as their job was done. Feroz spoke to them both and lots of nodding was done. Cline came up and personally thanked them, then Emma staggered to her feet, wincing in pain but walked over with Fatima’s assistance. Taking their hands and kissing them on both cheeks. It seemed to satisfy the pair, Cline noticing the younger guy had stroked Emma’s ass! They packed away the winch then left, taking the truck with them. Tony intending to drive the other two back in their jeep.
Firstly they had to get those restraints off Emma’s body and led her out of the dig. The girl breathing fresh air, even though it was way after dark.
Two long hours later Emma Cline was genuinely ‘free’. The last loop cut into three segments lying on the workshop table. She picked up the bit marked ‘Emma’ and briefly kissed it before Tony brought in a suitcase and his wife went alone next door and dressed herself into… well something a little less revealing!
Fatima Feroz held Emma’s robe and cradling it to her face with a sigh as the girl returned. Rashid saw this and grinned, his wife starting to blush and she turned away. Mrs Cline taking it from the lady, folding it carefully then ‘presenting’ it with a bow. Feroz saw a look pass between them then the ladies hugged again. The Egyptian’s wife looked to her man and he nodded. An embarrassed smile on Fatima’s face then they all laughed as she went red.
She tucked it into a bag then suggested it was time they went home. Cline looked at his watch and winced. Nearly 10pm now and he guessed the hotel ought to be told they were going to be very late. He asked Feroz to call them and the man did, but during the conversation Tony realised something was wrong. Rashid jabbering away then he nodded, seeing Fatima too appeared to be agreeing with him as the call ended.
“They thought you were not coming, especially as most of the other guests couldn’t get there either because of the accident.” The two Britons looked puzzled before he explained “Sorry Tony, but a container ship broke free from its moorings and hit your boat, splitting it in two! It’s OK, nobody got killed as the tour hadn’t started receiving guests. The crew is fine too. Some a bit wet, as they had to dive off the back. But it means no vessel, as the company only have the two and the second is up river.”
Emma looked disconsolate now, only cheering slightly as the Feroz’s invited them to remain at the house as their guests. Cline didn’t want to impose but it was Fatima who insisted. Rashid going along with it, though he did laugh and asked Emma’ if she’d like to return to her sarcophagus instead!
That cracked everyone up and they departed, getting to the Feroz apartment just after midnight. Rashid saying he hoped that they would stay the weekend… as he wanted a longer look at the extra bits at Neen-Al Tudlobry. Now he had the ‘experts’ he hoped more interesting artifacts would appear. Tony looked at his wife and she glowed, the girl intending to be more honest and reveal the existance of the storeroom.
So that was agreed and on the Friday afternoon the Professor and both Clines’ returned. Fatima was at work so was unable to come. “Some of us have proper jobs. Unlike you three playing games,” she’d said with a twinkle when they’d prepared to depart. A great day was had; Rashid astonished as he saw the storeroom then asked what else they knew about. Slightly dismayed to find this was ‘it’. As far as the couple had got. “However,” Tony said. “We’re not due to be back in Cairo for six days. If you want, as the cruise is off we’ll do some exploring until then. Get all these documented as well, yes?” Pointing to the hieroglyphics on the wall.
Rashid Feroz was delighted, agreeing to that so everyone went back to Cairo where Fatima was told of the plans. Mrs Feroz taking Emma off to go food and supply shopping for the British pair. She was still amazed at what Mrs Cline had endured and they had a ‘girlie’ chat about what it had all been about. Emma finding out that her host had a wonderful sense of humour and they’d enjoy their day out together.
A dinner for four at a local restaurant then back to their place. Emma and Tony sitting outside late on as the others had retired early. Going past the couple’s bedroom to use a bathroom Mrs Cline couldn’t help listening. Returning to her own she saw her hubby and slyly grinned.
“I think Fatima’s getting full use of my ‘robe’” she murmured.
Sunday saw them departing Cairo. Hugs and kisses all round before Tony drove his wife away. The pair now armed with enough stuff to last the week, but also official permits and translated documents from Rashid’s office allowing them to be there too. “I wasn’t able to speak to the police but show them these and you’ll be alright. Good luck… and don’t get stuck again!” he joked and they all laughed at that.
The rest of the day the couple worked hard in the room. All the hieroglyphics were photographed and e-mailed to Rashid. Getting a ‘well-done’ in return. They had dinner in the open, sitting outside looking up at the stars once the sun had vanished. “You know Tony, I really thought my time had come, will not happen again,” Emma said cuddling him. Turning in later on he came to the dormitory to see his wife dressed in…
“Might have guessed. You’ve been waiting all day to get into one of those haven’t you Mrs?” he grinned. Emma now blushing as she sat on the bed waiting for Tony’s wandering hands that were heading towards her breasts.
Monday dawned cool and clear so after breakfast Emma dressed conservatively in her blue maxi-dress, this time without the jacket. Trainers applied and Tony had nodded in approval. Now she was striding towards the dig entrance long after lunch when she heard a jeep coming along the track. It drove right up to her and two policemen got out. Promptly grabbing the girl and naturally Emma screamed as they started yelling at her. When she didn’t reply one of the men slapped her hard across the face and she fell backwards and tumbled to the floor in a cloud of dust.
Tony heard the commotion and hurried up the passageway, emerging to see his wife being handcuffed then dragged to the jeep and hurled against the side. Shouting at the cops to stop he advanced. Only for one of them to draw a pistol, ordering him in Arabic to raise his hands. Well, the gesture appeared to be that so Cline obeyed. The driver now got out, obviously the senior man and it was Tony’s turn to get the treatment. Of course being a physically imposing specimen he too was cuffed before the couple were led to the dormitory. The policemen seeing the footprints leading to and from the building and knowing where any other people might be found.
Both Britons were told to sit down. Emma looking very scared as she was ‘dusted off’ by wandering hands then she was helped to a chair by the two smirking young officers. Her cuffs digging into the wrists and she was already worried about nerve damage as they were far too tightly applied.
Cline did his best. Indicating where Feroz’s permits were and one of the men grabbed the file. Leafing through them and muttering something to the boss. He shrugged and nodded. To their relief both sets of cuffs were removed and the pair allowed sitting next to the other. Emma’s hands being cradled by her husband. Mainly to stop them seeing how frightened they both were. A bottle of water appeared and was tossed across. Cline’s great reactions preventing it striking his wife’s face as she recoiled.
The language barrier was an obvious problem. Neither of the Clines spoke Arabic and if their captors knew English then they were not letting on as they rabid on for ages. The chief was getting cross now and eventually pointed to them, then the door and Tony guessed this might mean trouble. Emma stared in shock at the gesture to stand up then put her arms behind. Slowly doing so then the officers produced their handcuffs. She made to move towards Tony for protection but a loud command made her freeze.
Emma trembled as the cuffs were applied, wincing, as again they were too tight before he pointed to the door and she was led outside. Tony stood helpless as she vanished, hearing her start to cry before her footsteps had faded. A loud squeal of ‘No!’ made him glare at the boss… who drew his own pistol and cocked it!
One man returned… smiling and jabbering to the boss. Who now grinned then Tony was led out, the guy surprised not to have been cuffed. To see only the jeep and their own. No sign of his wife and he turned, getting angry now.
“Where is she?” he stormed. Itching to go to the police vehicle, as she must be in the blacked out back. But he was forced at gunpoint by the boss to get into the driver’s seat of their own jeep then indications were that he was to lead, the others would follow.
Emma was terrified as she’d been bundled into the vehicle and made to sit on the bench. One of the men followed and Mrs Cline shook as he grabbed more cuffs and her ankles were secured together. Another set was applied to a strut below the wooden slats and it’s other loop attached to her restraints between those trembling legs. Pinning her into position. A shout to his mate getting in up front and the driver fired up the engine. She didn’t hear Tony at first then his voice, making her smile briefly before a slap wiped that off her face. Emma made to kick him, only to gasp as the cuffs did their job, digging into her skin and she yelped. A wagging finger from the smirking officer made it worse.
Away they roared. Emma trying desperately to hang on, grabbing the slats as the driver tried to keep up with Tony and once more Em wished he wasn’t trying to be a rally-driver. At one point she almost slid off the bench. Only the officer’s hands grabbing her torso stopped Mrs Cline doing that. Of course it gave him an opportunity for a grope too and Emma squealed, making the Egyptians laugh. A barrage of chatter flying between them, before the driver said something in English!
“We’ll see you alright Mrs… ” then laughed in a way that made the girl shiver…
Emma was shocked; launching into a right rant, going on for a few minutes as the pair just grinned at her. Making Mrs Cline furious now. She threatened to tell their boss what they’d done to her while he was out of view. The one in the back stuck his face close to hers.
“We haven’t done anything to you,” her captor grinned… “Yet.”
She lost control now. Aiming a head-butt that only just missed as he ducked back. That was a serious miscalculation on her part. More jabbering as he leaned against the partition at the front then said something sharp to his mate.
The driver stood hard on the brakes and no way could Emma Cline hold on. Launching forward she tumbled off the bench smacking headfirst into the divider. The anklecuffs digging harshly into her legs and Emma screamed. Shaking her head at the blow and falling to the floor as he accelerated again. The guy in the back moved swiftly now as she rolled about face down, unable to help herself get up.
He unlocked the cuff from the strut and tugged upwards. Emma’s feet lifting before he pulled forward and bent her legs towards the wrists. Easing the loop around and relocking it in a hog-tie. Now Mrs Cline panicked before her chin was grabbed and he shoved an oily rag in there, wrapping another over the top as Emma went berserk.
This was intolerable but there was precious little she could do except scream. But like Abdul it just seemed to be spurring her assailant on. He laughed to his mate, the driver turning to look and that was SO frightening as the jeep swerved and wobbled over the road.
Now she quietened down, hoping this would be enough but young policeman had other ideas for pretty foreign lady. She had things he and Rasul, his mate upfront didn’t. Lifting underneath Emma’s armpits he hauled the girl up onto her knees then forced Mrs Cline back onto her haunches, facing the front away from him. NOW he could get to work.
Unzipping Emma’s dress, ignoring her frantic squeals as she realised this was only the start of some serious abuse. He eased the shoulder straps down over her arms, pinning them to her torso. Revealing the lacy black bra and the twin treasures it contained. Deftly that too was undone and her perfect 36C’s were laid bare for them to ogle. The driver guffawing as his buddy placed both hands and squeezed.
Emma screamed now as he manipulated them, the driver saying something to him. Pointing to the traffic that was building rapidly in front as they came down the valley into Cairo. The earlier braking had already seen Tony and the boss pulling away and it seemed these two bastards were in no rush to get to the station as he laughed in reply.
Mrs Cline would later describe this as ‘Traffic Tit Torment’ as she was fondled in time to the movement of the jeep. Any left turn and that breast would be grabbed. Go right and the other would get it. Braking or acceleration would get both nipples pinched and the girl was soon in agony, not knowing they’d been past the Police station at least three times already!
Eventually he tired of this and she was roughly redressed. A sigh followed by a squeal as he let go, pushing Emma forward and her body slammed into the floor, banging the side of her face as she tried to brace for the impact.
She was relieved when they pulled through an armoured gate and the jeep parked up. The door opened and her tormentor undid her leg cuffs then dragged Emma out. Marching her past a bunch of his mates, playfully slapping away at least two wandering hands that reached towards her. Arriving in what she assumed was the custody area of course her first intention was looking for Tony as she was made to stand in the corner.
Her muffled cries attracted more looks, many officers coming in to see what was occurring. The driver tossed Emma’s handbag across. Mrs Cline mortified as it was tipped onto the desk and a couple of them started going through it. Keys, passport, phone and her purse were all examined. Laughing officers showing pictures to each other of herself and Tony that were some of the first they’d taken as a couple. It was SO private yet now she and him was the butt of humour.
Eventually Emma was allowed a drink. Her wrists were unlocked and she was given a chair in front of the big desk. Ripping out the gag and coughing as fresh air hit her dry throat. Earning her more sniggers as she gulped down the liquid. The boss of this area sat down and spoke, surprising Mrs Cline that he was using reasonable English. Another man translating for the others who’d gathered round.
Having never been in trouble with the law Emma found this so intimidating. Even watching cop shows was nothing like this. Name address and suchlike were easy. Reason for visiting Egypt ‘Honeymoon’ got a quizzical look and she sighed. “Wedding, marriage,” pointing to her ring, immediately regretting this as the band was grabbed from her hand and examined. She sighed silently as it was returned and Emma quickly slipped it back on. Cradling her fingers over the top. All this was written down and he paused.
“You ready to answer… questions… ?” he asked and it was Emma’s turn to look puzzled.
He sighed. “Why you been detained. Damaging sacred site. Tombraiding, all type of nasty work. Yet so pretty. You very naughty girl… ” he said to laughter and there were some worrying signs that these guys were itching to have their say or possibly worse.
So THAT was why they’d been arrested and she protested their innocence. Somehow Rashid’s paperwork wasn’t enough. Either wrong or perhaps these officers just didn’t believe her. If only Tony was here. Emma asked for him and the guy just shook his head. “Mr Tony… very naughty man. Speak very badly to chief earlier before you come. Him now in cell… asleep.” A chorus of chuckling at this had the girl trembling. Emma thinking he’d probably been knocked out or something.
“May I see him… Please Sir,” she said. Getting a little emotional now as he looked sternly at her.
“Not possible. I said he is asleep. He wake tomorrow… or maybe not,” a shrug as if he didn’t care.
Now Emma did cry, a few sighs of impatience from the men but the boss muttered something and soon everyone was smiling at her again and that really got her shuddering.
He looked at his watch. It was nearly ten PM, probably going off shift soon, she thought seeing a couple of men doing the same. “You lady, it time for… bed. We talk more tomorrow. So now choice for you. Want bed in cell, or comfy bed not in cell? Very lucky here, we have both!” The fact everyone had grinned when he said ‘comfy’ put her on alert. But Emma was so tired she didn’t care.
“Do I really have a choice?” she snapped. Glaring at him and he shrugged then grinned at her as the others tutted.
“Yes. Only one cell left; has no padding on metal bed. ‘Comfy… does. You able to stretch out.” He said, lifting his arms out above then dropping them. Indicating to his watch that she better decide quickly.
Emma Cline sighed then said ‘comfy please’ a ripple of noise making her instantly regret that as a couple of the men smiled again. But she was surprised, shocked even when he reached into the drawer and extracted a bunch of keys, took one off and tossed it to her!
A man entered the room carrying what looked like a one-piece suit. Two towels draped over his arm plus a blanket and pillows too. Well it cannot be that bad Emma thought as they were handed to her. An indication that she was to follow was obeyed and Mrs Cline sighed as she was directed to a female toilet. Pointing to his watch then it appeared she had ten minutes to change into the suit and do ‘lady-stuff’ as he’d wait outside.
Mrs Cline rushed through her ablutions. Relieved that if they were treating her like this, perhaps it’d all be written off as ‘an honest mistake’ and she’d be let go. If only she knew how Tony was. Using a finger to rub her teeth, as there was no stuff to clean them with. The suit was a little baggy as she zipped the front and definitely kept her underwear on. No way was THAT going to be examined by any more of these people!
A knock on the door soon came. Time was up and Emma emerged, the man holding his hand out, indicating he wanted her dress and nervously she handed it over. Surprised when he deftly folded it up and that earned him a polite nod, that returned with a bow.
They went upstairs and paced along a corridor, it even had carpet on the floor. Arriving at a room looking like a normal hotel one as he gestured for her to unlock it. Emma did, pushing the heavy door aside… and screamed…
She’d been suckered big-style. Seeing the ‘bed’ was actually a padded leather table with straps at each corner. It’s use obvious and she was terrified. Dropping her stuff Emma rushed back down the corridor. Stopping partway as several very burly officers came clumping up the stairs ahead of her. Mrs Cline froze… trapped by her own stupidity again as they closed in. Dodging her flailing fists, grabbing Emma’s arms and legs. Dragging the screeching girl back to the room and inside. The guy who’d brought her pillows laid them at one end then left, locking the door behind him.
Six against one was hopeless and they soon had the girl on the table. Stretching the weeping Emma out and starting to strap her down. They had to tug; she wasn’t as big as the table was normally used for and adjustments were made before the last two were done. Spread-eagling their captive then grinning as she sobbed. The pillow was shoved under her head; blanket laid over the top then the guys walked to the door. Knocking on it and they were let out.
The pillow man came over, said something that Emma didn’t know. Unlikely to be ‘sweet-dreams’ then patted her cheeks before following the others and the lights went off. Leaving Mrs Cline to contemplate the next few hours of what could be a very painful time in her life.
Emma Cline barely slept that night. The leather straps digging so tight into her limbs and the girl prayed for the new day to arrive. Despite what that might entail and her tears were frequent and long. She sighed hearing footsteps in the corridor at last and shuddered, as her door was unlocked. Wincing as the light was flicked on but she kept quiet as one man came in, another locking the door behind him. It was the pillow guy from last night, loaded down with towels and what appeared to be her dress again, also her handbag, coming closer and Emma got another cheek rub and what ever the ‘good morning, hope you slept well’ comments in Arabic before he undid the restraints.
She scrambled off the table, trying not to scream as her muscles relaxed after so long in one position. Watching as he went to the other door she’d hardly noticed and unlocked that, waving Emma closer, pointing to her towels and outfit. Nervously Mrs Cline obeyed and was led into what she was amazed to find was a well-equipped bathroom!
He pulled Emma’s watch from a pocket and gave it to her. Seeing it was six am in the morning as she slipped it onto her wrist. He waved at it, two full circles then held up eight fingers, so she assumed that whatever was needed to be done in here must be finished by 8 o’clock. Emma nodded so he marched out, closing the door behind him, a key rattling in the lock.
Emma sighed, praying Tony was all right, perhaps she’d see him today… the girl starting to cry at that ‘might wake-up’ comment from yesterday. But now she had two hours, well less than that now so she had to get cracking. First stop was a bath and Em steamed the whole room up running it so hot. She wondered if the big mirror was a two-way one like the spy movies, so when it got warm with condensation she grinned, getting one over on these people.
Whilst the water had poured in, Emma amazed to find the cupboard had bubble bath in it, she checked her bag. No passport or phone, but her purse was intact if a little messed up, all the money still there and she stared at those photos of her and hubby. Crying softly and praying for her fella. She stepped into the tub, wincing as it really was hot but Emma didn’t care. Luxuriating in the water and carefully washing all over. Listening to noises coming from the room she’d been held in last night. Sounded like stuff being moved about, she thought. Staying in til nearly seven by her watch then getting out. A towel down followed and she changed her underwear, thankful for always keeping spare stuff in her bag. “Tony wonders why it’s so heavy. There’s his answer!” and for the first time she smiled, preparing to wash her hair.
Make-up was applied though she did grumble at the lighting in here but was ready and dressed bang on 8 when a light tapping came and the door was unlocked. She opened it and was astonished. Walking out to find…
A proper bedroom!
A single sized bed had replaced that so-called ‘comfy’ bed/torture table. With her suitcase from the jeep sitting on the floor by a cupboard, partly open and her clothes inside unpacked. On the other side of the room was a table, set for breakfast and a stunned Emma saw it was for two people. Her heart leaping as the man knocked on the outer door then was let out; to be replaced as Tony was ushered in.
Emma promptly squealed and rushed over into his arms as the door was locked behind him. He looked, well in very good condition as she clung to her man. Wrapped in his arms as he too was quietly crying now. They held each other for ages before she waved to the table suggesting they eat.
Sitting down, finding cereal, bread and jam, a steaming pot of something and soon they were working their way through it with gusto.
“So what the hell is going on then?” she said at last. Tony pausing, mouth full of meusli and he nearly spat it out trying to answer. Making Emma smile as he patted her hand.
Saying he’d been here all night, answering questions from the officers about their work at Neen-Al-Tudlobry. It appeared that Rashid’s permits were not enough, there should have been another, authorised by the Government. “I’ve spoken to him an hour ago, he’s mortified at what’s happened. Promising to contact our Embassy and get us out of here. Mind you honey, seem’s you’ve had a rather more luxurious night than I have!”
Emma Cline glared at her husband. Definitely the ‘death stare’ all wives have perfected since time began. He paused then she revealed what had happened since she’d been taken to the jeep. Tony was shocked, looking around, peering through the bathroom door, opening the cupboard and seeing her stuff. “Are you serious? They put this all together while you were in there?”
She sighed and nodded. Reaching under the bed expecting to find the straps, but it was a normal single person divan and the girl’s heart sank. “I’m not lying honey. They strapped me to a table IN THIS ROOM then left me all night!”
“OK, but for the moment I think we better keep quiet. Please Emma, if… well just write it off to experience. If Rashid comes through with the guys we’ll be a lot better off not rocking the boat.” Grudgingly she agreed, sitting on the bed allowing Tony to cuddle her body. Feeling Emma trembling as he looked at her watch, tugging her jacket sleeve back and seeing a red welt on her wrist that she’d tried hard to rub off in the bath.
“Emma… what’s… ” he began, surprised as she snatched it back then sat there. She nodded sadly. “Yes… both have got them, and my ankles too. It was horrible… ” she whispered, tugging her socks down and he saw the same marks. Now he was angry too, realising these guys were playing some sort of game with the pair. Nothing else happened until 11 when the door was unlocked and they were ordered to follow the officer. Emma also told to wear a headscarf as well. She complied and they were led downstairs into another room, to find a very embarrassed Rashid Feroz sitting at the desk.
He was relieved they looked all right, having heard bad things about Egyptian police in the past. Only a faint trembling of Emma’s hands indicated she was still very scared. Feroz began.
“OK folks. I’m truly sorry for what’s happened here. It’s my fault. There is a new permit required for ancient digs, came out last month, even I didn’t know about it. Neither do other university guys I know when it broke that you’d been arrested and why. We’ve applied to the Justice Ministry to get the charges dropped. Should be a formality… ” he said but paused when Tony asked what the pair had been accused of anyway. The list was thankfully short.
Theft of artifacts.
Illegal digging at a sacred site.
Plus one that Emma alone was being charged with.
Gross indecency in a sacred site of religious importance.
“That folks, is the one we’re going to have the problem with.” He said, as Mrs Cline looked stunned. “I’m sorry to ask, but what were you wearing?” going red as she stared back.
Emma Cline pointed to her dress. “This, and my trainers. Didn’t have the jacket because it was so hot. The headscarf wasn’t needed because I’d be undercover and out of the sun. Is that what it’s all about?” she stammered. “Or is it what I was wearing when… ” she stopped abruptly as he waved his hand to silence her.
“Quiet, sorry folks but nothing is known about that here. There is something however you should know. The two men that were on the rescue with us never returned to Cairo. The truck was found at the bottom of the ravine where that broken fence was. It appears they crashed for no reason and the men have vanished!”
The Cline’s were appalled and Emma was on the verge of tears. Thinking two men were hurt because of what she’d allowed to happen.
Tony thought for a while. “We’re not under some curse or something, are we? You know, like the old days and the guys who dug up Tutankhamun. If so guess you ought to watch your back,” he joked. Emma glaring at him, another death stare perhaps but that faded as Feroz grinned wryly. “Very funny Tony. Bit late for that. I’ve accepted a civil-charge for that permit mistake and have been fined $1000. Fatima’s furious with me as we cannot go to Luxor now.”
She did relax and smile now, saying they’d help him with the cost as it was their fault and he thanked them. But his time was up and he promised the pair he and some people he knew at the Ministry would try and have answers by this afternoon. Leaving them alone before the couple were returned to Emma’s room and locked in again.
Not much was said over lunch, served in there but it was decent quality stuff and least her appetite had improved now. Emma’s plate clear at the end without help. At 4pm they were taken downstairs where Feroz and a lawyer greeted them with cautiously good news. All charges against Tony had been ditched, but importantly that extra one against his wife had been downgraded to plain indecency and the religious word had been dropped too. This meant the formalities would be easier as the court will impose a fine. “Probably the same as yours Professor. We call it Grand Justice. Any civic misdemeanour and it’s a thousand dollars, thank you and don’t do it again!”
Everyone smiled as the lawyer said this, Emma starting to hope this would be the end of the matter. The man said she would appear before a Judge in the morning. Tony asked if he could remain with his wife but didn’t say why. “She is my responsibility,” he said at last. The lawyer went to ask but returned shaking his head. “I’m sorry, it is not allowed here. In central Cairo maybe, but there is no room for you to wait.”
She trembled; thinking of another night here but there was no choice. Rashid suggested Cline to stay with him at the Feroz residence. There were no hotels within a mile of the station. Reluctantly he agreed and the lawyer prepared to start his release proceedings. Also suggesting that under Egyptian law if Tony was willing to admit responsibility for Emma’s actions then he’d get a small fine and her own would be reduced to the same. The couple stared at each other then Cline accepted the offer.
The two men left leaving the Clines alone for a while. Then Tony was summoned to the desk, a female officer going to sit with Emma. The girl surprised, as this was the first time she’d even seen another woman at this station. But trying to start a conversation proved fruitless, as it became apparent the lady spoke no English.
Tony finally returned and the female officer departed to wait outside. Once alone they shared a long embrace. Cline feeling his wife shaking badly now. “Be brave sweetheart. I’ll see you at 9am tomorrow and they have accepted that offer of me paying an equal fine. Doubt we’ll be there half an hour,” he said. Emma amazed he was taking this so calmly. She nodded, promising ‘to be good,’ a gentle smile before she hugged him tightly again. A knock on the door and Miss Silent returned with a male colleague and the pair led out. Tony to the desk, his wife to the corridor that led up to ‘her’ room. Shivering as she got there, still possessing the key and she let herself in. Silently relieved it was intact. The lock clicked from outside and she was left alone for an hour until another meal was brought.
Emma Cline ate in silence but gradually relaxed. Tensing slightly when her door was unlocked at 7pm. She was waved out and followed, pausing to lock it again and pocketing the key without it being demanded from her. Led back down to a different room where she was photographed and fingerprinted. Assuming this was part of the charging process. A different man finally appeared after she’d waited somewhile in the corner, nearly an hour in fact.
Seemingly the boss on this shift as Emma was seated at the big desk back in the main office having used the bathroom when it was offered. He began, speaking in accented English and slowly read out the single charge and she listened carefully. Making sure he’d got it right. Yes, no ‘gross’ and ‘religious’ wording used so she nodded. He signed the document and she did the same. Worried slightly as only the charge was written in her language. The form was slid into a file along with her mugshot. Handing it to another man who tucked the documents into a box with a few others then left. Emma assumed he was a courier as a motorcycle helmet was picked up from a nearby desk.
No offer of ‘comfy’ or ‘non-comfy’ was made. “Room key?” he asked, getting the ring from his desk. Emma produced hers and made to hand it back but it seemed she was supposed to have it when he tossed the others back into the drawer. Miss Silent reappeared and Emma was allowed to go, following the officer back upstairs. Thankful that nothing seemed out of place Mrs Cline unlocked her door and removed the key. Nodding politely to her escort then walked into the room and reached for the lightswitch as it was off.
The door was already closing behind her as Emma flicked the switch on… and screamed again at the sight!
A stunned Mrs Cline stood paralysed with fear, six burly men… that table awaiting her and nothing else in here. She turned and hammered her fists into the door but to no avail. Emma tried to insert her key but it was obvious Miss Silent had left hers jammed in the lock for that reason. Turning back she saw the men had not moved, all smiling but waiting for whatever the captive wanted to try next. Eventually one stepped forward and pointed at her.
“Strip, now… then bed,” he said.
Emma Cline screamed even louder now. Bursting into tears as she pounded the door, begging to be let out but of course there was silence. Hands finally touched her and Emma’s nightmare evening began. No attempt at disguising their actions as a struggling girl was forcibly divested of her clothing. She fought well, fists lashing everywhere and she scored a few painful blows. Even breaking one guy’s nose! But still there were five and soon everything was removed. Then the shrieking figure was dragged bodily to the table and secured with some relish. They stepped back and paused, Mrs Cline assuming they were either wondering what to do or were waiting for someone. The guy she’d hurt was treated by one of the others.
The door was unlocked and the boss arrived. Smiling at his men, then looking down at Emma. Naked and strapped spread-eagled across the table, crying too. Unable to comprehend why they were doing this to her, yet making Tony and anyone else think she was being treated fairly. He leaned closer then up at the injured man, still holding a cloth over his bleeding nose.
“Did you do that?” he asked with some menace. Emma was terrified as his hands hovered near her breasts. She finally nodded. “He deserved it… You all deserve to suffer for what you… you’re doing to me… ” Emma wept as he grinned at her. Finally his fingers brushed over her nipples and she shivered now… surely only a matter of time.
“Naughty girls’ get punished… severely,” he said at last.
Tony Cline was at the courthouse by 8am. Feroz and another museum guy with him. The lawyer too arriving but the guy seemed puzzled. Saying he’d been to the station but was unable to see his client. A message instead that she would be there on time and he should proceed to the building without her. Rashid Feroz conferred with his man and the guy left to make calls from outside. Cellphones being banned from the courthouse like most round the world. Eventually a police vehicle was seen approaching as they stood on the pavement at 8:45. Rashid having his last smoke before they entered. Cline was amazed to see Emma in the back alongside a guard. A white headscarf on her head but a brief look and she wasn’t wearing the dress used yesterday as they swept past. It looked more like her bridal suit! Now why would she wear trousers and possibly high heels while on an indecency charge? Every local woman he’d seen while in Egypt dressed in a similar fashion, even Fatima covered up and had said to Em on their shopping trip that she should do the same.
So what the hell was Emma playing at!
Entering the court they all submitted to a rigorous search before the lawyer went in to see her, having now been told she’d arrived. He walked into the room where she was sitting upright at the table. Staring straight through him as he sat down. But it was her eyes that alerted him and the guy knew that sign. A total lack of emotion…
“You better tell me… ” he began but Emma Cline raised a hand.
“I’ll only speak with MY husband. That’s all.” She replied then folded them into her lap.
The lawyer was appalled and pleaded with her to relent, but Mrs Cline was adamant. No hubby, no talking.
Cline was soon told there was a serious problem but not what. The time was ticking but he was forbidden to see the girl before the case was called. They sat in the courtroom and waited.
Emma was marched to the dock and made to stand while her ankles were secured to the chair. The visitors shocked to see she was handcuffed too, bindings clearly visible on her wrists. She looked around and saw Tony in the room and he made to wave at her, but was stopped by Feroz. “Don’t move Tony. There is something very seriously wrong. They don’t do this for a simple case like hers should be”.
It was frustrating as they waited, Tony seeing his beloved just sitting there. Looking beautiful in her suit. Make-up perfect and he remembered that day a month ago when she’d appeared at the registry office like that. Now Emma was motionless until finally… finally she looked for her man again. Seeing Tony next to Feroz and she stopped. Cline looking back at her.
Now he too could see pain in those eyes, barely twenty feet separating them. The bars of the cage surrounding the dock being the only thing stopping him from rushing to her. Plus a dozen policemen also in the room. Her fingers moved, left hand making a circle with her thumb and index finger. The same digit on her right slowly sliding towards the hole, repeating this and Tony realised what she was signalling. He leaned closer to Feroz
“Rashid. I think Emma’s been raped, or at least assaulted. Look at what she’s doing.”
The two men conferred and Emma’s heart secretly leapt that her secret signal had been understood as her man nodded then speaking to Rashid. Seeing Feroz briefly leave to speak to a guy at the back then return. Patting Cline’s shoulder and moments later the court was called to session as the Judge arrived.
Everyone stood. Emma with difficulty as the cuffs dug into her ankles and she winced. Trying to stay upright on three-inch heels not helping. But she’d chosen them so suffered alone. Trying to prove to herself that whatever these people did to her, that she was British and a Brit can withstand anything!
Remarkably the night before they hadn’t raped her though she was sure the men had wanted to. Instead she’d endured the savage groping of her body. Ending it seemingly hours later with an electric cattle prod produced. The boss had grinned as he’d plugged it in then turned the switch. Emma shocked as the sparks flew between the tiny points at the sharp end. He closed in and held it right above Mrs Cline’s nose. Her eyes widening as it hovered barely an inch away. Then he reached down and Emma gasped, as it was sloooowly inserted where she’d always feared something, or someone would end up.
He violated her with it for ages as the others waited with baited breath. One even asking his boss a question, like ‘you going to turn it on?’ sort of thing. A groan of disappointment when he withdrew then ordered someone to unplug it. Emma just sobbing as the blanket and pillows appeared and she was covered. The group departing soon afterwards leaving the girl helpless.
Next morning she’d been freed by the pillow man, the guy surprised when he’d tugged the blanket back to see Emma naked. She shuddered when his eyes narrowed, but sighed when he tossed it across her midriff again before undoing her restraints. Nodding to her then pointing to the bathroom. Making the same indications as yesterday. Her dress had been torn apart by the assailants last night so Emma didn’t know what to wear as everything was missing. She lay there waiting for him to leave then got up once the door was locked. She assumed that once time was up she’d come into her ‘bedroom’ to find the place like Tony had seen. So it proved, hearing stuff being moved though she didn’t bother to open the door and catch them in the act.
After her bath and hairwash she listened again, eventually the noise ceased and she nervously emerged. Yes, the bloody room was perfect! Breakfast for one awaiting her and for a moment Emma smiled. Trying to keep her spirits up. Seeing her bridal suit hanging with the other stuff she grinned now.
“I’ll show you… bastards up!” she said then dressed herself into it. Feeling a million dollars as she buttoned the jacket over her silk blouse. Stepping into the shoes then reaching for breakfast. Somehow surviving not spilling any jam on herself before the door was unlocked and Miss Silent reappeared. She scowled at Emma, seeing what she was wearing now. Mrs Cline glaring back as she held the officer responsible for luring her here last night. The woman went to the cupboard then snatched a white headscarf and threw it at Emma. Jabbing her watch indicating the Westerner needed to get moving.
Coming downstairs the office quietened to a hush, the clicking of Emma’s heels SO loud she almost cringed. Looks of surprise from a few men, glares from some. But one guy even nodded and quietly winked at her! Somehow she was able to refrain from smiling back. Emma Cline was led to a vehicle and driven off to face justice. Arriving at the court however she realised what could be happening soon and she began to tremble.
The preliminaries took a few moments once the Judge sat down. Everyone except her doing the same. Questioning began, in Arabic and translated for Emma to understand. She admitted quite freely that she’d not been covered, tugging her headscarf, saying that as they’d been alone then surely it didn’t matter. A murmur from the audience as these comments were repeated soon made her think otherwise. But she’d admitted her guilt now so could Judge Whatisname fine her a thousand then let her go?
He paused and it seemed so as he wrote something in a book. Looking around the room then drawing breath.
“Emma Leanne Cline,” she heard from the guy whispering the translations just outside her cage. “The court finds you guilty of indecency. You are summarily fined the sum of two thousand dollars… ”
She winced at that. A look towards Tony, the guy listening as Feroz translated for him and he too looked surprised. But if two grand got her out then so be it. Least she’d get these damn cuffs off. She nodded in acceptance and his gavel banged down. He made to stand up, everyone else rising too but he then paused as the Clerk of the Court stood from his position and walked across, handed a sheet of paper covered in writing to him.
Time ceased as he read, turning it over then staring at it, rereading it from top to bottom more slowly. Raising an eyebrow as he looked at the defendant. He spoke again and she listened as the guy behind began…
“This is an allegation against you Emma Cline for the attempted murder of a Federal Police officer last night. How do you intend pleading to this charge… ”
She was appalled. The court gasping in shock, Cline staring at his friend as a rapidly paling Rashid Feroz translated that. “What the hell… ” he murmured but Emma was quicker.
“No I reject that charge… your Honour. Those men tried to assault me first… !” she yelled. The court murmuring loudly as her words were understood.
Tony Cline shuddered as it sank in. So THAT’s why she looked so distressed. Something had really kicked off down there and he cursed himself for not insisting he remain.
The questioning continued. Emma really worked up and she saw Tony lowering his hands in a ‘calm-down’ signal. But she wanted the truth to emerge so told all. How she’d been treated the assaults and everything else. Pulling the sleeves back and showing the red wheals on her left wrist. After ten minutes of this the Court was adjourned and she was led away. Cline seeing Em wobble in her daft shoes as the door slammed behind her.
A man arrived behind him and Rashid, leaning closer and speaking to the Englishman, Feroz listening in. “You are her husband, yes?” Tony nodding. “You made offer to pay equal fine?” was his next question and again Tony said yes. He was responsible for her and that had been accepted at the station. He looked up as another two men arrived. “Very well. You will come with us.” Cline looked at Rashid Feroz, the man not understanding what this was about but then it dawned. “Wait… Tony… ” he began but he was told to stay put as Cline was ushered away. He had to alert someone that Professor Cline was about to be charged with attempting to murder a man he’d never seen!
Downstairs Tony was led into a room, his beloved Emma sat in a chair. Looking shaken as her wrists were cuffed to the framework, a glance down and her ankles were also secured. She stared up as the door was closed and locked behind him.
“What are they doing to me… ?” she began. Tears glistening on her cheeks. Trying to comprehend why things had changed as her man rushed to Emma’s side and kissed her. A feeling she’d thought never to have again. “What you said out there. Is that all true honey?”
She scowled and glared at him. “Not you as well. You know perfectly well how they tricked me. Did it again after you ran away… ” she snapped. Stopping when Tony grabbed her chin.
“I did NOT RUN AWAY!” he hissed. Making Emma squeal as his fingers gripped before Tony realised what he was doing. Apologising and taking her hands as he moved the table and knelt before his wife. Promising that Feroz was already planning to talk to the Embassy about this ‘stitch-up’ She nodded and gripped his fingers as he kissed her again. Going to sit nearby and wait. It didn’t take long and both were shaking, as the door was unlocked. Two men came in; one freeing her limbs as the other stood aside.
Emma was led out first, Tony following and to her surprise the couple were soon back in the dock. This time together and he quietly took her hand; relieved they’d not been secured this time. Resting it in his lap as she shuddered so violently that the bench was creaking below them. “Please honey. Whatever he says just accept it. This is Kangaroo justice here. We could be in real trouble now.” Tony said and she gripped his fingers hard enough that he winced. Looking around, seeing Rashid Feroz arriving back, making a ‘phone-call’ signal plus a wink so the Embassy must know now.
The Judge arrived and everyone stood. A footstep behind and Tony saw the same guy who’d translated Arabic for Emma was now in position as the boss cleared his throat. What he said caused an international storm.
“Emma Leanne Cline. This Court had investigated your claims and finds them unproven… ” she tensed up hearing that but listened as the man continued. “However. The allegations of your assault on Officer Ahmed Wasir have are confirmed by multiple witnesses of impeccable standing. You are therefore convicted of attempted murder… ”
“NO I DID NOT!” she screamed, leaping forward and gripping the bars, face jammed against them as Tony stood stunned. If she was guilty… then why was he… oh my God… he thought as it struck home. He too walked to the front, grabbing his wife as she continued to protest her innocence. Turning Emma around and holding her tightly against his chest as she collapsed in tears. The court waited a moment until she stopped, Tony ordering her to sit down. He then tried to address the room but the Judge demanded silence.
He obeyed and you could now hear a pin drop.
“Anthony Charles Cline. You too are convicted, in your case of allowing your wife to commit this crime. Thus you will share sentence. You originally offered to pay a fine?” he asked and a shaking Tony nodded as his words were repeated in Arabic.
“I did your Honour,” he said firmly. Waving to Emma to shut up as he could see she was about to erupt again and she’d said too much already.
“So be it. I sentence you both to one year and one day’ detention… ” they heard the translator say then the man’s eyes widened as the Judge continued talking for a moment. He looked pale now as everyone else in the Court gasped before the gavel went down. Cline looked up at Feroz, the shocked looking guy talking to his subordinate who left in a hurry. Emma glared at the man behind them. Surprised to see several policemen arriving at the dock exit. “What else did he say?” she snapped, seeing the guy trembling as he was handed a sheet of paper then reading from it.
“His honour said. ‘On the first day of your second year, you Emma Cline will be taken to a spot within the walls of the prison then buried up to your chest. Stones will be cast at you until your life is extinguished… ”
“NOOO… ” she shrieked, Tony grabbing hold as she fell against him. Surely they couldn’t do that… could they?
The hubbub continued as guards were ushering everyone out. The Judge had already left and soon only the Clines’ and the translator was nearby. The policemen gathering ever closer as she finally dried up.
Cline looked at the man, the guy now pale under the most stress as he held the paper.
“What about me then,” Tony asked, feeling Emma gripping him harder.
The man shook his head sadly as he read directly from the note. “You Anthony Charles Cline, as you have agreed to take responsibility for your wife’s actions… will serve one year and one day in detention.” He looked ashen as Tony guessed what might come and he tried to cover Emma’s ears to stop her hearing… the most outrageous words he’d ever imagined could be said to another human being.
“On the first day of your second year you will be taken to a spot within the prison walls. There you will bury your wife up to the chest then cast stones until her life is extinguished. Once that is completed you will be considered guilty of murder. Thus your life too will be ended. You will be taken to the gallows and hung by the neck until life is extinguished. So is the will of this Court. May God have mercy on your souls… ” and with that he bowed and departed.
The two Britons stared at each other. Tony white-faced now as she looked up at her big brave fella. “Is it that bad then sweetheart?” she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks and he nodded, gripping her body as Emma’s legs gave way and he had to sit her down.
Now the guards approached them. Tony was trying to make them wait until Emma could stand up. But they had their orders and seized her arms, roughly cuffing her wrists behind her back as others reached for her husband. “Noo… ” she squealed as they led her down and Emma lost it. Kicking out, screaming, crying, begging for mercy as her ankles were secured, one man caught by her flailing heels reeling away, his face covered in blood.
Tony stood helpless in utter shock as she vanished. Her voice, that lovely voice of Emma’s now fading away. The last “Tooonnneeee… ” making him shudder as the door slammed shut behind her.
He shrugged and turned, nodding politely to the guards so they didn’t touch him as he walked behind. Coming downstairs to silence. Emma’s vehicle already roaring away from the courthouse. He was escorted to the van and followed hers to the same prison but their experiences once there were so different.
It soon became apparent that guards and inmates alike sympathised with the ‘polite foreigner’ once news swept round why he was here. A sense of injustice and he was treated well. Allowed his own cell he was allowed to mix freely with the others. Teaching English with help from the prison system soon found the months flying past.
Emma Cline faced her torment alone.
Arriving after her man she was taken to a wing where Emma was forced to strip naked in front of a leering crowd then a new series of mug-shots were taken. The fact the guards were smiling as the camera was held close to her breasts and midriff made the girl think this was only the start of her year of abuse… but she’d be wrong.
Given a blue jump-suit with the letter ‘C’ on the back, Emma assuming it meant ‘Condemned’ she was taken to her cell then briefed on the daily regime she’d face.
Once locked the door would not be opened until 4 o’clock on the day of her execution itself. This would happen 2 hours before sentence was to be carried out at 6pm, so she could be ‘prepared’.
Emma shuddering at the thought of standing helpless in the pit but listened as the rules was read.
Her food and any clothing or towels would be slid through the hatch in her door.
No speech or any noise would be permitted, nor would anybody be talking to her.
That was it!
She nodded politely then the three guards marched out. The door was slammed shut but Emma couldn’t see that. Face buried in her hands as she sobbed quietly. The clunk of the lock, the thunks as four bolts followed drove daggers through Emma’s brain before the footsteps faded away.
Once silence had fallen she dried up and looked around her new quarters. Surprised to find it well appointed by jail standards, not that she had any experience of this.
A bed, shower cubicle, a toilet too had been provided. There was even a wardrobe in one corner and opening it Emma was amazed to find all her clothes that they’d brought on honeymoon were there. Even her handbag was present, quickly checking the contents and finding it intact. Make-up bag, her purse, still with all the money in it and those wonderful photos of her and Tony. Emma breaking down seeing that hunky face beside hers as they’d posed at some party. Thinking the next time she’d see him he would be trying to kill her brought even more tears.
Glancing at the wall she saw a calendar and pencil attached. The date of December 25th marked in orange and the girl was heartbroken. Remembering that today was Christmas Eve. So in a last dark sense of humour the couple would be executed on Christmas Day!
Another chart listed times for lights on and off. Feeding and prayer schedules as well and Emma looked at her watch, having found that in her handbag as well. Only five minutes til her first meal.
Which again surprised the girl as it was tasty! And plentiful too so after the first week Emma soon needed to start doing exercises on her floor to keep fit. It would take time but she had plenty of that!
She behaved impeccably during her incarceration. Always returning her food trays on time. Even washing the plates and spoons before sliding them through the hatch. Her clothes came back washed and pressed. She hadn’t worn the jump suit since the day the door was locked, preferring her own. Even the skimpy red number was returned and she’d grinned at that. Wondering what the staff had thought when that was taken out of her box.
But all the time Emma could see that day getting closer. The summer passed… well quietly.
They even celebrated her birthday, the girl getting a tiny cake with one candle on it. She nearly called out ‘thanks’ but restrained herself just in time. The day of Tony’s and their wedding anniversary passed without incident. That being the most painful as it meant there was only a month to go.
Her last week dragged interminably. Even the ceremonial ‘ticking-off’ now proving how little time she had left. Tears more frequent now and soon it was the 24th again. Now Emma couldn’t face the thought of lining out that one. Trying to persuade herself there was always another day to come.
Since her incarceration Emma’s hearing had improved. Always listening to the screech of the key in the badly oiled lock of the far door, then the rumble of whatever trolley was coming round. Food three times daily. Or on Monday the day when she’d get fresh bedding and towels, plus her previous week’s washing returned. So it was a surprise when she heard that sound… not at a normal time. Looking at her watch, seeing it was 3:55pm and Emma paused. Her eyes flicking to the calendar… as many footsteps came closer… then stopped outside her door.
The first bolt was banged across, Emma leaping to her feet in panic.
They WERE A DAY EARLY! Her mind screamed, trembling now as she tried to calm down.
More bolts followed and by the time the lock clicked Emma was hiding in the far corner. Face pressed against the wall like a child hoping not to be found. The door opened with a loud creak… the long pause then it was closed again.
Mrs Cline breathed a sigh of relief, then jumped as a voice spoke to her
“Emma honey, it’s time to go… ”
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