I am conscious of the room in which I'm standing, spreadeagled; my feet, a meter apart locked to vertical posts - the same posts to which my wrists are shackled high above my head. I can't see the room but, although I'm in a world of almost total silence, I can sometimes hear it: just the occasional knock of a water pipe as he uses a tap in some remote part of the building. The sound is severely muffled by the hood enclosing my head, but it is unmistakable.
It's strange how a single thickness of black leather can alter one's perception of the universe: normally one's consciousness (depending where one is) extends to the four walls of a room, or to the distant hills visible through the haze on a sunny day, or even as far as the stars as one lies on a grassy bank, looking up - but if someone zips and buckles a leather hood onto you, then the limits of your world immediately close in to the extremities of your body, and the blank, black wall of leather pressing tight across your face. If a tree falls in the forest when no-one is there, does it make a sound? As I stand here, with everything that is me - my personality, my memories, my being - enveloped by that hood, does anything outside it really exist?
I jump as the pipe knocks again and I'm aware that indeed it does. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach exactly like the one I used to get when I was at school, and was waiting outside the headmaster's study for punishment; the same feeling I used to get in the waiting room at the dentist's. Its name is fear.
I move my left foot. The floor covering feels like rubber - it's cold against my bare skin - and I think the posts are made of wood - I rub the side of my foot against it and feel the warm roughness. The leather restraints around my ankles have warmed up now (they were cold when he put them on when we were upstairs). They feel friendly and comforting somehow, as they grip my ankles smoothly. Inside the hood I smile ruefully as I wonder if I'll think that later, when they're making it impossible for me to protect myself as I struggle against the torture.
Torture. A shiver runs down my back as I contemplate the word. How would I define it? Any definition which limits itself to the concept of pain is too narrow, as I know from experience. The use of controlled suffering? Closer, probably. The infliction of suffering so intense the victim is unable to stand it? Closer still.
I hold my breath, listening intently. When will he come for me? Think of something else. I stretch, and rotate my right wrist in the leather cuff. It's not hurting, but I need something, some small stimulus, to focus my attention. I breathe out and notice that as the leather hood inflates slightly and moves away from my face a little, my world of blackness is pierced by a tiny, out-of-focus spot of light. I go cross-eyed for a moment as I try to see through it - but it's far too small to admit any kind of image. lt disappears as I breathe in again and the air hole goes back under my nose. My breath whistles as it enters and leaves through the leather.
I imagine him moving around in another part of the building. Is he thinking about me, about how I feel? Has he forgotten I'm down here, waiting? No. He'll be having a drink, reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, watching TV. Or will he be getting ready? Putting on his gear - I picture him sliding into the tight teeshirt, pulling on his clinging black leather jeans, zipping up his leather jacket, fastening his bike boots, putting on the thin leather gloves, and the leather mask. Why does he have to wear a mask when I'm hooded and can't see a thing? He says it's because it makes him feel more pervy, more horny, more sadistic. It makes him want to torture his victims much more intensely.
Am I here voluntarily? In a situation like this the answer is by no means clear-cut. I was, but now I'm not. I agreed to come here, knowing what was going to happen to me, but now - if someone offered to release me there would be no question - I would immediately accept. I want out of this. But I know perfectly well that there is no chance of release. Whatever happens, whether I want it or not, I am here until he decides he's had enough of me.
I'm conscious of the air in the room moving against my bare skin. Every part of my body is naked except for my head and the area covered by the loose white running shorts he's made me wear. My cock is hard, and I can feel the dampness at the end of it where it's pushing the shorts out at the front. Occasionally it jerks - sometimes I make it happen intentionally, other times it does it on its own. When it moves, I can feel the thin material slide across my thighs slightly. As my mind returns to thoughts of what he is going to do to me, I feel approaching panic. I pull at the restraints, but they hold me fast of course. Forcing myself to calm down, I reason that my wrists are restrained with leather cuffs, which have buckles. If I could unfasten just one of those buckles, I could free myself. Unfortunately he's thought of this - my hands are enclosed in stiff leather mitts. As I bend my fingers I can feel the buckle under them, and were it not for those damn mitts I would be able to open it - but as I try to grip the metal fastener, the inflexible leather causes it to slide away. Again and again I try, but I just can't get a grip on it. The mitts are doing exactly what they were designed to do (and why he put them on me in the first place) - they are making it impossible for me to escape.
I close my eyes. (Why, even in the total darkness of a leather hood, is there a difference in the quality of the blackness when one does this?) I laugh humorlessly at my ability to consider scientific (or philosophical?) questions even in such circumstances as this. I am being held captive, waiting for an expert serial torturer to start working on me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not be able to take it (that he will, in fact, make very sure that I can't); that before long I will be lying strapped down to a table and screaming at the top of my lungs; that I will have no way of stopping it, or of knowing how long it will continue or how much worse it will get - and still, although I'm shuddering with fear, I have an erection you could fly a flag off.
There is nothing more dangerous in this world than a torturer who loves his work. Throughout the ages there have been men who have developed talent in the art for reasons of duty, money, or suchlike - but to love one's work, to be obsessed with it, as he most certainly is, gives one patience, finesse, and an expertise and drive to see one's victim suffer over and above any endowed by lesser reasons. And I stand here, helpless, blind and vulnerable, in the full knowledge that shortly just such a man is going sit down by my side, turn up the lights, flex his fingers and begin his long, slow and unbearable attack on my nervous system.
I cannot stand pain - at least not real pain inflicted by the likes of Torquemada et al. Were I to be tortured like that I would... what? Die? Faint? Go insane? Torturers always make sure their victims don't die - it spoils the fun. Even fainting is frowned upon - it's an escape route no victim should be allowed access to. As for insanity - there is a real chance of that. But in any case, today I do not fear pain. Pain is the least of my worries. I know I will be comfortable. He will make sure I am comfortable, that no restraint pinches, that no limb has cramp, that circulation is good at all times. The table I am strapped down to will be padded so as not to hurt my back while he works on me. But even this comfort will add to my torture: I know there will be times when I will pray for a pain somewhere, to take my mind off the unbeafable suffering he is inflicting - the exquisite, excruciating torment of....
No! Don't think about it! Don't mention the word. Think of something else. I struggle to control my mind, to direct it to imagine other forms of torture - not that... not...
But as if it were working for him, obeying his orders to undermine my defences, my brain produces the phrase. It frames the concept in crystal-clear, unambiguous terms and presents it in glorious Technicolour right there on the black screen of leather in front of my eyes:Tickle Torture.
At once my entire body starts to tingle. How is it that a major organ, which is supposed to do right for its owner at all times, can suddenly turn traitor and make its host's body unbelievably susceptible to the very torture it itself fears most of all? Because that is exactly what my damn brain is doing now. A moment ago I was just my usual, horrendously ticklish self - but now, I know that a single touch anywhere on my body would incapacitate me totally. The very thought of strong fingers gripping my thighs just above my knees, or probing into my sides or scratching across my bare soles is enough to induce wild panic. I would be hyperventilating now if the tiny air holes in the hood permitted it - as it is the leather is ballooning out and in rapidly as I strain for air. A positive feedback loop is setting in: the more I think about being tickle tortured, the more ticklish I become; and the more ticklish I become the more my fucking brain makes me think about being tickle tortured. I desperately try to break this loop, to think of something else, but a side-effect of all this is that I'm getting hornier and hornier. And that's something else - by his orders I haven't cum for six days, so that he can play with my desperate need for orgasm, build it up, encourage it, tease and torment me with it until I'm out of my mind with the imperative, urgent need to cum. And I know of no-one more fiendishly skilful at preventing ejaculation than he is. The cool, precum-lubricated cotton of my shorts is rubbing lightly over the end of my straining cock, teasing it, and I realize I'm fucking the shorts, my hips thrusting urgently forward and back.
I freeze, keeping perfectly still, with the second realization that I haven't been listening for the door's opening. He may be in the room with me right now! This is enough to break the loop and turn my self-torment into sheer terror. I pray that he doesn't arrive before I've got control of myself enough to calm down and be in a less hypersensitive state than I've got myself into at this moment.
I release my breath (I'd been unconsciously holding it) and strain to listen. A drop of sweat runs down the left hand side of my face and without thinking I move my arm to wipe it away. This reminds me forcibly and suddenly that I'm helpless and hooded. The feedback loop threatens to begin again - but I manage to control it this time and continue to listen. Is there a presence in the room with me? Will I feel a shattering, heart-stopping, tickling touch on my skin at any moment? Blindfolded and partially deafened by the leather, my remaining senses seem to expand to fill the input void, trying to detect movement of air, vibrations through the floor - anything, to tell me whether he is here.
I almost cry out loud with relief when the water pipe knocks again. He is still elsewhere. With a shuddering exhalation, I relax.
This time, I scream as leather-gloved fingers suddenly tickle my exposed and unprotected armpits then work their way down towards the most ticklish spots on my body - my sides. They hover there for a moment, stroking lightly, settling into the perfect position directly over the most supremely sensitive square millimeter, letting my nervous system know what is going to come at any second. My body, tense as a drawstring, vibrates with fear; and my brain, my accursed enemy within, gleefully turns up my level of ticklishness until the needle is off the scale.
The water pipe knocks again, and in some remote, unimportant back corner of my brain flickers the brief realisation that he has a dishwasher.
His fingers stiffen, in preparation for the devastating torture and, with my face a mask of terror beneath the black leather hood...