After a short distance Tyra staggered and fell to her knees. She knelt here momentarily trying to balance the heavy burden across her shoulders, but couldn't. She fell forward onto her face. Two soldiers had to put her back on her feet and the on-lookers laughed. The procession moved on. When she fell a second time, the centurion became worried that she was so weakened by the severe flogging that she could not carry the patibulum from the Praetorium to the site of the crucifixion and still have enough life left her for a good show on the cross. So one of the on-lookers was summoned to carry he... Continue»
Judith is one of those lapsed Catholic girls who always wants to get back at her upbringing. She hates the self-righteousness, the paternalism, the hypocrisy. Before she could even spell those words or deconstruct the messages, she was a fervent non-believer. But the hidden messages of The Church still have a powerful resonance to her. A religion built around death. One that had dispensed it in quantity, too, through most of its history. It had an undertone of eroticism, a fascination for her that she's never shook off. And like many others, she'd obsessed over the weird and fetishistic deaths of the Saints. "Slice and Dice gone crazy, the Book of Saints," she'll say, with a shake of her head, and a rueful smile.
But more than anything else, she's also been hooked on the strangeness of crucifixion. Ever since she was about eight years old, and had a menacing, semi-transsexual nun teacher describe her own thinking about the physiological agonies of this form of execution, Judith has thought about it at least once every day. And often, it's when she is entertaining herself alone in bed, assuming all kinds of passive positions and spread-eagling herself dreamily. One day.
Now thirty and single, she sits in bra and panties watching a newscast from Mexico. Easter Friday, and some kooks in some dingbat southern province are putting on a bizarre ritual that points out the wackiness of the Catholic church and its peculiar entangling with Mayan and Aztec Indian concepts. In the blazing hot sun, three impassive Indian-featured guys --- with the dopey look that comes from being well-d**gged or totally ecstatic -- are hauling huge wooden crosses through the crowded streets of some provincial town. On their way to some re-enactment. Judith has clicked her video recorder on, and has turned down the volume of the dopey commentary. She sits entranced as the brief clip shows a close-up of one of these men's bl**dy, well-whipped back. Flagellants, like the Middle Ages. Then, hands roping him to the cross, dressed only in some cloth wrapped round his waist. Then, hauling it skyward. She finds herself sweating and trembling.
That night, in the darkened room, nude and bathed in sweat. She's watching the film clip over for what must be the fiftieth time. She stops rubbing herself, takes a belt of bourbon, lights a cigarette with trembling hands. She swears to herself, her time has come. She'll wait another year. No more.
Judith is immensely rich. How? The old-fashioned way. She inherited it, just a couple of years ago. She doesn't work now, but still has several close female friends from her software development days. Guys? A few, but she keeps them at a distance. Partly because she doesn't want them hanging round her just because of the smell of money. And partly because...well, she's not finding the kind she wants to be with for any length of time either. Her live-in girlfriend, Pia? She's kind-of-serious, but they have a pact not to be too intense, not to be too jealous. They could go permanent. Or not. How it will develop, they can't say. Pia is older, rather ascetic. A divorcee with a pragmatic attitude who's "good for her."
Did we picture her yet? Judith is quite small, in keeping with her Mediterranean genes. About 5' 4," slim from constant aerobics, abstemious diet. Not more than 100-lb. Longish, straight dark brown hair that falls to her shoulders. The things that men notice: slim calves, dainty feet, a warm smile, a friendly, but hearty laugh. And women: Delicate movements, sensitivity, clear, fresh skin, quite pale. She doesn't sunbathe or go to tanning salons. Bright, animated eyes behind her glasses. And both see: small, firm round breasts, a rounded, feminine backside that hasn't been over-exercised. Not quite a beauty, and never a model, but attractive. Someone given to sudden moments of quiet, of withdrawal. And what is the nature of "Judith's thing"? It's only partly defined. It's something she's still wrestling with. It's something she hasn't shared in great detail with lovers. But she flirts with it. She reads about it, all the time: for a woman, her pornography collection is remarkable. She thinks about it as she touches herself to sl**p. In doctrinaire moments, thinking feminist thoughts, she shakes it off. Male dominance. Female passivity. The curse of our time. Poison of relationships. The paradigm that has infected and warped all forms of popular thought. And yet... she wants it. She wants to be controlled. So her weakness has been men who ask a bit too much, without giving her what she wants. A little male snottiness and do-as-you're-told is fine, provided she can get a buzz. She's had one or two who'll play light- hearted bondage games with her. But not to her satisfaction. She wants it rougher than they've been prepared to give. She daydreams of being Exhibited. Admired-and-Mocked. Of feeling deep shame. Of how good it could be to be... Punished. Oh, how much she'd like that... and wouldn't that -- the Mexico thing? -- be the ultimate?
She's already thought 'Mexico' through, in great depth. She knows there's no way that the pious, if completely deluded campesinos are going to let a woman become part of their bizarre ritual. Especially some foreign woman, a complete outsider. It's a guy-only, freaks- for-Jesus only, thing. Oh, she can see the hidden dimensions, and guess the secret pleasures and motivations of what they do. But have an outsider join them? Not likely. And not within her timeframe. It's a shame, because the locale, the players are so appealing. But it can't be helped. For the same reasons, she rules out two other batches of fanatics she comes across. One in the Philippines, in San Fernando. There, a dozen of these guys let themselves be crucified each year. Another set of them in Poland, of all places. The San Fernando bunch give her particular encouragement, in their own way, though. One of the participants has been nailed each year, for a dozen years. That's right: and they don't stint on the detail work either. Helpers dressed in Roman legionnaire outfits, bare-back whippings before they go, even some poking and prodding with real sharp looking spears. And the nails aren't a fake: right through the hand, with a big fat hammer. With the squirts of bl**d to prove it. When her local video library turns up some footage of this after a search, she's amazed. Oh, isn't Catholicism wonderful? she thinks to herself as she watches it in a trance, both hands on her vulva.
So, find a substitute, babe. There's time, and she'll need it, because she needs to plan carefully.
A few weeks after the TV epiphany, she's told Pia her plan in quite a bit of detail. The woman is simultaneously shocked and yet anxious to help Judith. Why? So as to not have her make more of a mess than necessary. Judith won't be deterred, she knows. Pia in turn has been permitted to confide in two or three friends. Between them, they'll do the work. They begin their search by E-mail, by phone. Adverts are placed, answered. Replies are screened. Soon, they're meeting potential players. Interviewing. Assessing. Reporting back. Background checks. References. Former lovers. Always careful to preserve her anonymity.
Then, with the bills mounting fast, field trips. Negotiations. Contracts, even. Ones her lawyer won't even think of approving. So, she doesn't ask. Pia finds another, amenable female paralegal, a bondage aficionado, to draft them.
Judith so wants it to be Mexico, but, frankly she doesn't care. She'll pay almost any price, go anywhere. Just so long as it's right. La Gringa Loca. That's what they're calling her. Her request is crazy. Not to mention blasphemous, obscene. Just crazy. There are shrugs, doubts. Outright contempt. Pia's negotiating skills are tested. But in the end, who can resist the kind of money that's being offered? There's plenty to go around, it seems. And anyway, it's a chance to be part of Hollywood, with these cameras set up and all. Yes. Judith wants this immortalized on film.
All over the Third World, you'll see hands stretch out and grasp, grins erupt, principles get quietly forgotten, rules broken, age old customs change. All for the dollar, and the chance of video fame.
A dusty little town. Not Mexico, but close enough. It's hot in February, and on the edge of a furnace in April. Good Friday dawns. Judith arrived late last night with Pia. The film crew, the other players have been here for a few days, setting up, rehearsing.
The battered cab stops at the third place, around 7:30AM. Pia, dressed in her best Banana Republic chic, hops out. She's very prim, very businesslike. The briefcase full of dollars impresses the Chief of Police. Fat, balding, unshaven. His uniform a crumpled mess. He fondles the money, weighs it, counts it again. He nods. "There will be no interference. You have a deal, senora." Before the police? The cathedral. The mayor. The final payments.
Back at the cheap hotel, Pia meets Judith in the garden. Under the shade trees, they take coffee.
Judith tells her with a smile: "Everything will be fine. You've done well. Did you get it, by the way?"
Pia cocks her head.
"You betrayed me three times before the day really got started..."
Pia can only say, suddenly rather anxious, "Jude, I hope everything will be okay. Stop now, if you don't think it will. The money doesn't matter, does it?"
Judith shakes her head and smiles. "Not a bit. It's not been that much, anyway..."
She pauses. "Let's go ahead. No, listen for one more minute, Pea, baby ... don't be so damned anxious, okay? It's all been planned properly, and it's what I want. Understand?"
Everything happens quickly now. It's a blur. A half-dozen cops muscle their way into the garden, start shouting at her. Handcuffs are waved. Judith submits and is led away.
She's under arrest, being taken to the police station. Down to cellar. Strip searched by four dike cops who take the opportunity to paw her, put their fingers in her vagina, then seeing how wetly she responds, to fistfuck her. When they're through, they smirkingly hand her over to a half-dozen guys in a cell for a rough gangbang, with Pia and three or four girlfriends numbly watching through the bars. It only breaks up when the cops return, throw in her clothes and tell her to get dressed for a magistrate's court appearance, right now. She's rushed upstairs for a rigged pre-trial hearing for blasphemy, obscenity, public indecency, prostitution. The prosecutor's story is that she is there with the idea of making some vile porno flick. A fortyish, disapproving lady judge (an actress) agrees there's a clear case. Rather than waiting on a jury, the gathering crowd outside - getting quite hysterical -- is allowed to decide her punishment. She looks shocked as they call out: "Crucify her! Crucify her!"
As their contribution, a group of scowling nuns take her onto a balcony above the courtroom steps and give her a public scourging, bare to waist... Then, barebreasted like that, she's made to drag a wooden cross -- huge and heavy: brought in from a truck by three big guys, and 15-ft high and 6-ft. across -- through the streets, crowded as a Middle Eastern market, pursued by yapping dogs, some teenage urchins -- and up to the top of the hill overlooking. Three teenage schoolgirls, encouraged by nuns, and armed with birches, get the job of hustling her along. She's jeered, spat on, pelted with food and trash.
It's noon, and blazing hot. The crowd waiting there is huge, and in a festive mood, anticipating a fun day out. There are colorful umbrellas and sunshades, picnic tables, food vendors. There's a concrete plinth with steps leading up. She's given a little help getting the cross up there: it's just too heavy. It's laid over some trestles. Judith is filthy: She's hosed down, knocked to her knees by the jet, and sobs with frustration.
The Chief of Police appears, a cameo role he'd insisted on. Through a loudhailer, her numerous imaginary crimes are briefly recounted, the list growing by the minute, to booing and shouts of approval as her sentence is confirmed. He's happy to give his blessing, and makes them happy by concluding: "In keeping with her crimes, it's got to be 'Naked' for her."
To steady slow handclapping and jeering, she's dragged to her feet. Her clothes are torn off: she's made to turn round, bend over and otherwise show herself, to prove she's really nude. It gets an ecstatic reaction from the crowd. The guys are cheering and slobbering, the women look content at her getting her comeuppance. She's tied spread-eagled between a pair of stout wooden posts, her skin incongruously white in the bright sunlight, and whipped some more. She's pleading for mercy, then yelping with pain. But it's only the beginning. Pia has brought along a beaded cat o' nine tails, a long bullwhip, some bamboo canes, all handpicked by Judith. They're handed out and used on all this temptingly bare skin, by a succession of volunteers. Her backside and legs, yes, but also her belly, breasts and pubis. It's done out of pure vindictiveness, and their cruelty and delight in prolonging her suffering shocks Judith. She's slapped and punched, has her hair pulled, gets her nipples pinched, and is viciously clawed at by some of the women who join their guys in tormenting her. They're spiteful. But it's all done with Pia's vigorous approval. "It's in the spirit of what you wanted," she says with a shrug. "You'd be mad at me after if I didn't say yes to them helping." It's true. But it hurts. By the time they're through flogging and thrashing her, Judith is half-stunned, bruised and sore, bleeding from numerous cuts and welts. She has a fat lip, a blackening eye, a bl**dy nose.
Now, something to worry about: crucifixion. Tight ropes, straps, holding her arms outstretched. With a little more ingenuity, she's strapped with ankles together and knees wide apart, to show her sex as vulgarly as possible. But the straps on her legs will give minimal support. The hot sun is bothering her, and she's greased with sun lotion. Flies are buzzing around her, ants are crawling, because she's sweating and bl**dy. Dildoes are put in both her orifices and left there for a while, loosely taped in place. There's a stink of arousal, and she's dripping on her thighs. She hears lots of ribald laughter, unsympathetic comments as she twists and moans. She comes, to the amusement and contempt of the circle of tormentors. They're amused to see that Judith has neatly trimmed her pubic bush, and completely shaved her labia and underbelly to make a better display of herself. Looking at photos later, Pia will see that some S&M prankster briefly attaches clips to Judith's swollen nipples and labia at one point when she's not paying attention.
Pia is in close attendance to monitor the final touches. With the help of a doctor, and a proper CAT scan, they've pre-marked with indelible ink the precise points on the palms of her hands they want, so they'll miss bones, tendons, nerves. A paramedic is here to help, too. With no anesthetic, long thin nails -- highly polished surgical steel, no more than one-sixteenth inch in diameter -- are driven through them with a mallet, deep into the wood. Her shrieks are disturbing, but it doesn't stop them. She's given a stiff drink of brandy, laced with painkiller and some mescaline. Pia consults with her, and decides Judith doesn't need a gag.
A final jibe: A barbed wire crown is rammed down on her brow, along with a garland of wilted flowers and a rosette bearing the slogan Crazy Bitch...then the cross is tilted up, higher and higher in the air, and locked into a preformed posthole in the platform. She's way off the ground, maybe six feet or more. Her ankles are at eye level for most. Her weight is supported by the straps, not the nails. As she hangs there, she can hear the voice of the nun from her c***dhood, talking about the asphyxia, the dehydration, the muscular cramps, the loss of bl**d, the shock. She pisses with fear, splashing the Police chief, to the immense amusement of those below.
The clothes she was wearing -- and every shred of underwear, clean and dirty, from her luggage -- are auctioned, along with swatches of cloth dipped in her pussy juice, held up to her on a pole. Souvenir sellers are doing gangbusters trade. And the local portrait artist. Judith sees a number of guys -- and several women - surreptitiously masturbating at the sight of her there.
Pia briefly visits, climbing a ladder leaned against the back of the cross and whispering in her ear. Despite her moans and shudders, she wants to stay, she feebly tells her.
There's a steady stream of watchers who want to have their photo taken at the foot of the cross, grinning happily, in f****y groups, pointing to her proudly, young men goggling at her naked genitals, some more sensitive souls repulsed by the trickles of genuine bl**d. Her cries fade.
Nearer sunset, the crowd senses nothing much new is going to happen. Just the inevitable, maybe. But so what? That's her problem. Meantime, they're getting hungry, and the real action is long over. It starts to break up. The Police Chief braves a trip up the ladder, this time carrying a hefty staple gun. Explaining that there's been "far too much n*********a at the local morgue recently," he zaps fat copper packaging staples through her labia, then threads a wire through them and crimps on a police seal. Judith is too stunned and too hoarse to do more than sob weakly.
At nightfall, Pia declares the ordeal completed. But before the cross can be lowered and Judith dumped on a stretcher, a second bribe has to be made: the Police Chief, unamused about being urinated on, says with a scowl: "Let the bitch die." It could happen, if he wants it to. They don't have much choice. Money soon changes his mind. Half-u*********s and hallucinating, she's rushed out of town, and medevaced to Miami by private plane, for a week in an ICU to recover.
Her first question, the following Friday: "How's the film look?" Pia can tell her quite honestly that the first cuts and rushes she's seen show it's going to be stunning, disturbing, erotic, all the things Judith wanted it to be. Spoofing, she tells her: "You were just divine." In a few weeks, she can start earning her investment back by retailing it to pornoloving pervs, if she wants. They talk about it for an hour or two, then Pia leaves her to catch up on her sl**p. A doctor stops by. Her stigmata are prominent, and may need a little cosmetic surgery, if she gets bashful about them. Judith doesn't think she will. She's a little anxious about her pudendum: she's allowed to take a look. She's been shaved, but she's acquired some interesting new scars. They'll fade, she's told. But if she wants a pair of the piercings replugged and kept open for labial rings, she should say so soon. Oh yes, she says, she definitely does. She shows him a chain round her neck that Pia just brought: three trophies -- a naked female on a cross, and the Police seal, silver plated. And a small gold medallion that reads: "This attests that the notorious pervert Judith Christina Martinelli was publicly crucified, naked, at San Marcos on Easter 1993."