Kemet 2: Chapter One
I woke up, an hour earlier than I’d intended, if the night skulking around the fringes of the desert was anything to go by. The clothes I’d carefully selected last night lay in a heap on the cow-shaped couch; I dressed quickly, pulling the black coverall over my outfit. Minimal jewellery that could be used to identify myself to others, or easily discarded if I desired anonymity. Boots with a low heel that could grip sand and masonry, the leather ties crisscrossing over the cloth to end in a knot below my knee, the cloth spilling slightly over the thongs. I flexed my fingers in my driving gloves; they barely covered my hands but provided a lot of grip. I knew I’d need it. My hair was simply braided so I would not be recognisable from afar; the gold hair clasps and most of the jewels were removed the night before. A leather band pushed my braids behind my ears except for a couple which hung down, obscuring my telltale ear piercings; I’d removed some of the more ostentatious jewellery but the gaping holes seemed to scream luxury. I did my make-up by the light of the oil lamps – after all, if I was seen, I wanted to look good doing it, didn’t I? I pushed my gold amulets onto my arms; shielded by the black cloth, they would protect me. I twirled before the full-length mirror, dancing with my reflection as she grinned back, pouting at me and shimmying happily behind the bronze. Then I checked my weapons; a knife in my boot, double-edged dagger in my belt. Oh, and the one inside the leather cuff tied to my left wrist. Just in case. I wouldn’t be needing them. The climbing knives hung in a small sack from my belt, next to the other bag with the magic powder in it. “When you look into this mirror again, it will be a few hours later and you will have had your revenge,” I told myself. The prickling thrill was beginning to roll over my skin; I took deep breaths of cool night air. I ran to the window, leaped out and slid down the rope, landing perfectly in the mahogany-coloured chariot. He was one of my favourites; Sekhmet’s Fire was his name, and he was the fastest and most manoeuvrable, though of course had little adornment on his body. My favourite ride Challenger 3, being made of gold, was too recognisable and heavy for a stealth mission. Taking the firebox and oil jar from the box on the seat, I set up a plume of smoke on the grass. An answering plume ascended some miles distant before I stamped it out. I jumped back into Fire, flicked the reins and the two horses, grumbling a little in their own language, started to trot. I wished I could have used my fastest horse, Charger, but he wasn’t trained to pull; instead, I’d had him stationed near the border in case I had need of him on the way back. Not that I would unless Fire was taken while I carried out my mission. Hopefully that wouldn’t happen, because then Nefertiti might find out. As the horses began to gallop over the plain, completely invisible in the receding blackness, I remembered the last time I’d seen him. It had been a cool day and so me, Hora and Terkan had been messing about in the sun, driving around aimlessly in the desert. We raced each other for a while, and using Sekhmet’s Fire’s agility, I could easily cut in front of them and weave circles around them. Terkan picked up his water skin and threw a jet of water right in Hora’s round face, and I laughed so hard I had to brake and come to a halt; Hora nearly crashed into me, blinking water out of his eyes. We had come to a narrow, shallow gorge not far from the palace. “I could jump that in Sekhmet’s Fire,” I said instantly. “No you couldn’t!” Hora said with certainty, peering gingerly at the depths. “Dare me,” I smirked, looking over at him. “No, it’s too dangerous!” Terkan snapped, ruffling up his hair, which hung down touching the beaded collar around his neck; some sand fell out over his red tunic. The herbs must have succeeded in softening his hair, because his fingers didn’t get caught in the curls. I wondered what I would look like with straighter hair. Hora was frowning into the distance, shielding his eyes with a muscled arm. “Look, there’s a dust cloud coming our way, maybe it’s a messenger from Ay. Maybe something happened.” The cloud disappeared. “A dust storm?” I wondered, pulling the cloth around my neck back over my mouth and nose.
“Anyway, I totally could jump that gorge if I wanted to.” “It’s impossible!” Hora exclaimed. “Yeah, I bet you,” said Terkan. “No, wait, Hora should bet you.” Hora was looking distinctly uncomfortable. “I don’t think you should do it,” he muttered, scuffling his sandals in the cracked earth. “Yeah, you’re crazy,” said Terkan, “We’re still a little way from help, what would we do if you got seriously hurt? It would take time to drive you all the way back.” “I just want to prove I can do it,” I shrugged. “Anyway it’s not a long way down, I won’t get hurt.” “You wouldn’t bet ‘Fire on it,” Hora challenged. “I would,” I said coolly, in my international-relations voice. “What do you want if you win?” I dismounted ‘Fire and strolled over to his chariot, climbed inside and whispered in his ear. “Well, okay,” he giggled, looking demurely at the wood beneath him, “I’m not that kind of man, I don’t put out like that. But there’s no way you will make it over so I guess, yeah, I’ll bet that.” “That sounds pretty much like a win-win situation for you,” I pointed out. “And you weren’t always a nice boy.” “That was a mistake. It won’t happen again,” he mumbled, staring at the red jewel in my belly button. I adjusted the thick straps of my sand-coloured top, savouring the quick darting of his eyes as my breasts moved. It was so amusing how I could play him like this. I touched the hilt of the dagger around my waist and instantly his eyes followed my fingers; I knew he could see the shape of my hips under my red skirt. “But it happened once, my fallen man,” I smiled, pinching his cheek. He was slightly darker than me, but I’m sure I had never blushed so fetchingly. I dismounted his chariot, strode over to ‘Fire, wheeled around in a wide arc and galloped full tilt at the gorge. I was flying! Wheels spun through air. The lip of the gorge was far – too far. The crevasse was much wider than it had appeared – I was falling-the ochre floor rushed up and slammed into Fire. Smashed wood burst apart in a creaking explosion as I was flung into the rocks. Slowly I crawled over the dusty rocks, trying to stand and then falling as I groped towards the wall of the gorge. I clambered up the pitted rock, scrabbling for handholds, urged on by the voices which called out suggestions about which rocks to put my hands on, until hands pulled me up over the lip and I was lying on the soil. Someone rolled me over onto my back and Hora’s face appeared, peering anxiously into my eyes. There was a ringing in my ears. Relief settled around me; I was out of the gorge. “You’re not feeling dizzy or anything?” asked Terkan, kneeling beside me. I shook my head, sat up and extended both arms-they were bruised but not badly. Terkan was saying something about using a rope to haul Fire out and dragging Fire behind one of the other chariots. Heat suddenly swept over me. I was shivering and panting. Hora put his arm around my shoulders. “It’s shock,” said Terkan, “We’d better get her back quick. Leave Fire, we’ll send people to pick him up later.” Hora’s eyes widened and Terkan turned round – a swathe of sand was flying up as a chariot braked, slewing to one side. Hora’s hand went to the dagger in the leather strap over his red cloth belt. Nefertiti jumped out, his straight hair whipping round his shoulders, soft opaque swathes of blue barely covering the pale but sensuous curves of his body. The way the cloth billowed then fell back, almost exposing his hidden charms every moment but never quite managing to do so, was hypnotic. The sun glanced off the gold around his neck. “H-How…? What are you doing here?” asked Hora, looking up at him. “I followed you,” Nefertiti stated. “I knew Fiera was going to do something stupid. She was talking about jumping the gorge a few days ago.” That was his pet name for me, from my name Kheferura. He strode over to me and knelt, exposing a lot of bare thigh, and examined the bruises on my arms, lifting my skirt and tracing the scratches and grazes on my legs. He ran his fingers lightly over the flatness of my bruised stomach as Hora and Terkan looked away, and muttered angrily to himself about typical female stupidity. As he lifted my arm, I saw the black thickness of my left side and grimaced, then an image of Fire, my Fire, shattered and broken rose behind my eyes. “Look at you!” Nefertiti snapped, “You’re covered in bruises. And for what? To jump over that gap in the ground? What’s the point of that?” “To prove I could do it,” I mumbled. His voice had a hard edge to it and I felt close to tears; a burning ache was growing all over me as the initial shock faded. “You could have been killed!” he yelled. The exotic thinness of his perfect lips were twisted in fury. He looked even taller from where I was sitting, half his face in the shadow of the acacia. I wiped my eyes. I knew he was right. “What if the chariot hadn’t absorbed most of the shock? What if you’d hit your head? And you two,” he raised his voice, “Encouraging her! This is-” “It’s not their fault,” I sniffed. “I wanted to do it.” Nefertiti helped me up and I walked stiffly, painfully over to his blue chariot Skychaser. He sat down on Skychaser’s floor, gold-coloured shoes firmly planted on the packed earth. “For your childish behaviour, you’re going to get a childish punishment,” he pronounced. “I’m going to spank you.”
I stared at Nefertiti, my mouth hanging open like an idiot. Hora giggled nervously, running a hand through his cropped curls. “I’m not a child! You can’t do that!” I gasped out. “You certainly deserve a spanking,” he stated evenly. “So you are going to be spanked.” I couldn’t believe this was really happening. I felt heat rise in my cheeks. He grabbed my wrist- I tugged myself away and stumbled, thrashing over the sand. Nefertiti’s slender but wiry arms slid around my narrow waist and he pushed me down slowly – my legs gave way under his weight and we crumpled in a heap on the ground. He was sitting on top of me. I punched him in his perfect face. He didn’t move, but his eyes bored into me over his high cheekbones. I went to punch him again but he flicked his head and I missed- his hair tossed and fell back into strands over his neck, in the way it always did. Nefertiti pushed down on my shoulders, his heavily ringed hands pinning me to the ground. “Don’t,” he said calmly, “You are trained in combat, don’t forget. If you attack me you might hurt me and I’ll be forced to hit you back. And I don’t want to do that because you’re already hurt.” I struggled but he was too heavy – I couldn’t wriggle or push him off me. “You can’t spank me, it’s not fair!!” I yelled. Still grasping my forearms, Nefertiti slid off me so he was kneeling on the sand, then rolled me over onto my tummy. I turned my head and saw his arm descend on the back of my skirt-it hurt enough to make me gasp a little – another smack landed instantly, then a succession of hard rapid swats. “I’m too old to be spanked!” I pleaded. He only smacked me harder, landing each spank on the same spot in the centre of my bottom. I wriggled and kicked desperately, clawing at the sand, but by the feel of it his knee was in the small of my back and I couldn’t get away. I blushed furiously knowing that Hora and Terkan were seeing me get spanked like a naughty child. “It’s not f-fair!” I sobbed, uselessly. Nefertiti started smacking me all over my butt so I didn’t know where the next slap would fall. Heat was building in my rear and both my buttcheeks were tingling all over. The sun was burning my head and I could hear the sound of his hand pounding into my rear; I was crying but he did not slow his pace. My behind was stinging and warming up.
“Come on, that’s enough,” Hora said anxiously, “Can’t you see you’re hurting her?” “Not enough, I’m afraid,” he sighed, “And the spanking will do her a world of good. Go and break a small branch off that tree, will you?” “Noooo!! I HATE YOU!!” I wailed. Another smack made me squeal. “You’re not going to beat her bottom with it, though?” “No. Of course not.” “Right.” I heard the crunching of his footsteps die away. “I hate you!” I screamed, “I’ll never speak to you again!” The sand was dark and wet with my tears but he still kept spanking, alternating between each side of my butt. I started to feel frightened of the worse pain to come; I was crying hard already and fiery heat prickled over my backside. Then Nefertiti’s hand slammed down on my sit spot, again and again. “I’m sorry!” I sobbed but the smacks continued to pelt my defenceless butt. I lay still, then threw myself forward but the fingers gripped my arm tighter. The knee drove me further into the sand. A flurry of spanks landed all over my bottom, then he resumed heating my sit spot. Then the rhythm changed and the smacks became slower and even harder, eliciting yelps and cries of pain no matter how hard I tried to remain stoic.
Suddenly the knee lifted and his shadow moved over me. I was free. I clambered slowly to my feet, rubbing my smarting and now very sore behind. I wiped my face with the sandcloth round my neck. “It’s not over,” he said gently, “But you are only going to get it worse if you don’t submit. Now come over to Skychaser and I’ll finish spanking you, and it’ll be more comfortable that way.” He brushed the dust off my clothes.
I nodded, turning to follow, then I jumped into the air and planted a firm kick in his back. He groaned and fell onto the ground and I was off, stumbling as fast as I could toward Skychaser – I jumped in, flicked the reins and was trotting away. Nefertiti leapt into the chariot and yanked the reins as I jumped out, rolling as I hit the dirt, and ran painfully in the direction of Hora’s ride. Nefertiti brought Skychaser to an abrupt stop, ran over to me and picked me up, cradling me in his arms. “Don’t hurt me! I’m sorry!” I gasped out. “I’m not going to hurt you, you silly little bratling. I’m just going to teach you not to endanger your life doing stupid stunts.” I felt a sense of creeping dread for my already hot butt as he carried me over to Skychaser and sat on the chariot’s floor. He pulled me over his lap as I wriggled desperately, trying to extricate myself from his grasp. The blue swathes that somehow revealed far more than they concealed felt as smooth as silks beneath my tummy. Terkan was just standing there, gawping at us. I wished he would go away. Nefertiti pulled up my skirt and bared my bottom. “What are you doing?!” I shrieked, “You can’t spank me bare! You – you just can’t! Not in front of them!” “You committed an act of sheer stupidity in front of your friends, so you can get your bare behind spanked in front of them too.” In a gentler tone, he added “They won’t think any the worse of you for it.”
“I’m not looking!” Hora called from up in the tree, disentangling a branch from his green kilt. “Yeah, we’re not looking,” said Terkan, turning his back to us. He glanced over his shoulder, met my gaze, and quickly turned his head back round. Hora gave me an encouraging little smile, and clambered carefully along a bough. “Please don’t,” I pleaded hopelessly, “I won’t ever do it again, I promise!” Nefertiti slapped my rear firmly, paused, and spanked slowly, rhythmically, every smack surprisingly hard, leaving a fiery tingle behind as his hand lifted. Fresh tears were forced out of my eyes and I started to cry openly as my butt heated up with stinging pain. “Nef, it hurts!” I wailed. A series of firm, paced swats heated my rear. “It really hurts!” I sobbed out, “Please stop, if you love me you won’t hurt me.” “It’s supposed to hurt. And I’m only spanking you because I love you.”
The spanking continued, more intense than ever, and I waggled my tail from side to side in a futile effort to escape the swats. The spanks thudded down like my behind was a drum and he was beating out the slow dooms to set the pace before the dancers begin their unearthly undulations. Hora came over, pleading with Nefertiti that I’d learned my lesson, and I wondered how I looked to him, getting spanked on my bare behind over Nef’s knee. Heat rose in my face as I imagined how babyish I must look. Then I heard Nefertiti coldly demand the tree branch. Hora refused, but in between the sound of his palm on my naked bottom, I heard Nefertiti’s soft persuasive lips framing words. Then suddenly the spanks were blows raining down hard and fast as I begged him to stop, each whack of the branch felt much heavier than his hand. The heat in my rear swelled to a fiery tingling that made me howl in pain. “I can’t take it no more, it’s too sore,” I wailed, barely able to speak. Still spanking, Nefertiti lifted my chin and looked at my face. “Well, I hope this teaches you not to be so reckless. And you’re lucky I don’t turn your bottom blue to match the rest of you!” he snapped. I could swear I detected a hint of good-natured amusement in his voice. He walloped the branch into my butt over and over. I bawled as he thrashed me and threw myself from side to side. My legs were scissoring the air and I no longer even cared that Hora and Terkan were watching; I just cried without restraint, as babies cry, and forgot the world – there was only Nefertiti’s branch and me, and nothing else. The spanking went on and on, no pause, no change of rhythm, and I could hear myself bawling. Gradually the smacks became slower, lighter, subsiding to gentle taps, and I was drawn into a sitting position, my buns burning as they scraped over the cloth and took the settling of my weight on them. Nefertiti ran his hand through my braids, stroking my hot head, and I laid my head on his shoulder, crying it all out and grateful that the spanking was over. “There, there baby,” he said softly into my ear, “You’ll remember not to be reckless now, won’t you. Or I’ll tan your hide again.” I cried into his shoulder as he rocked me. My hand strayed to my fiercely stinging rump but his fingers closed on it gently and guided my hand away, letting it drop into place over my stomach. He looked down into my eyes. “If you rub your bottom, I will spank you again.” I nodded miserably, more tears slipping out from under my lids. Nefertiti held me until my crying had subsided to mere weeping, and stood up, still holding me, and carefully deposited me on my tummy in Skychaser’s backseat.
Then he left to help the others tow Fire out of the gorge. I closed my eyes against Amon-Ra’s glare and rubbed my aching buttcheeks, wondering what He thought of Nefertiti spanking me. Nefertiti had thoughtfully left a waterskin next to me; I checked to make sure he was busy climbing into the gorge, then poured the wonderful coolness all over my hot butt. I sighed happily as the hot ache receded. I watched as Nefertiti clambered out of the gorge holding one end of a rope, which Terkan tied to the axle of Hora’s chariot. There was a horrible grinding noise as Hora raced off, then Fire came bounding wildly over the lip of the gorge and Hora wheeled round, slowing as he came to a rest behind Skychaser.
He stepped out and grinned at me, touching my bare butt and rubbing it slowly, teasing me. “You won’t get to sleep with me,” he said proudly, rubbing in a circular motion, his fingertips on my sit spots somehow waking my hot labia to a throbbing excitement. I pulled at the knot on his belt. Suddenly a shadow fell over me and Nefertiti smacked me very hard on my helpless bared butt. “What do you think you are doing? How dare you!” he shouted, “Hora is a just a boy – a virgin! And you would do all sorts of things to that boy. You’re a good boy, aren’t you?” he added gently, looking at Hora, who nodded, his eyes shining with secret delight. “He started it! He was asking for it!” I exclaimed. Nefertiti smacked my bottom three times and tears trickled down my cheeks. He leaned over and took something from one of the compartments at the front of the chariot, hiding it behind his back. “Enough of your excuses. Hora would never do anything like that. I see I’m going to have to spank you for taking advantage of an inexperienced boy and making him do things to you. I should never have left him alone with you.” “No! No! It’ll hurt so much!” I sobbed despairingly. “And it wasn’t like that at all!” “Or perhaps Hora should spank you,” Nefertiti mused.
“What?!!” I yelped. “You can’t do that!!” “Sit down, and spank her over your lap,” said Nefertiti encouragingly. Not for the first time, I was contemplating having him executed. A shy but smirking Hora came into Skychaser and Nefertiti pulled me up so Hora could sit on the bench. “It’s not fair! It’s not what you think!” I whined hopelessly. They manoeuvred me over his lap. “Hora, tell him!” I wept. My heart was pounding with anxiety but I knew better than to try to resist. My knees were on the seat, feet waving in the air over the edge of Skychaser’s body. I felt so helpless and it was most humiliating, lying over his lap with my bare red butt sticking up. I wondered what he was thinking as he looked down at me. “Hora, HOW CAN YOU? This is SO UNFAIR!!” I screamed. He rubbed my back gently. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…” he muttered. “Well, either you do it or I will. I know more than anyone how much she needs a few swats to her naughty behind for this kind of behaviour,” said Nefertiti. Hora pulled my skirt up a little and a smack hit the middle of my ass. I burned with shame. “Nef, this is so humiliating!” I whimpered. “It isn’t dignified – ow!” I yelped as Hora smacked my bottom. “- or appropriate – he’s my general – owwwww!!” “Well, it should bring you down a peg or two to be spanked by your own general,” Nefertiti observed, “And the humiliation she feels now will ensure the safety of your innocence, Hora.”
Hora began to spank, softly at first, the slaps getting faster and harder and going on and on as if he would never tire. He wasn’t spanking as hard as Nefertiti but the rhythm was relentless and measured, the loud smacks falling to the soft sound of Nefertiti’s low, sweet voice counting. After twenty smacks had fallen I was squirming, begging them both for mercy. The counting and spanking didn’t stop. Hora didn’t change his rhythm or concentrate on different areas of my bottom; instead, his hand was flying everywhere, meting out punishment to every stinging spot. “He’s not even a virgin!” I groaned, as hot tears streamed down my face. I was sobbing hard, then crying loudly as Hora’s heavy hand landed on my buns again and again. My feet were kicking by themselves as I cried. “That’s it,” Nefetiti nodded, “She needs her bottom blistered, so roast her rump for her. Teach that cute little rear a hard lesson. You’re doing great.” “Hora, stop it, please!” I begged, but the spanking just went on and on, feeding the fiery prickling in my bottom. I turned my head and looked at Nefertiti; surely he would tell Hora I’d had enough? He would, wouldn’t he…any second now… “Nefertiti! I didn’t – I’m sorry! Make him stop!” His face remained impassive. “It’s up to Hora when he wants to stop. My, isn’t your bum getting red.” Hora’s palm crashed onto my swollen cheeks monotonously. He was strong. Those muscles were really getting put to good use on my well-chastised butt. How could he go on for so long without changing rhythm? I almost preferred the harder swats that Nefertiti had given me. As Nefertiti announced “fifty,” Hora stopped suddenly.
The wild stinging burned on but the noise of the smacks had stopped completely. “Well,” stated Hora, as if delivering a military report, “I thrashed most of the naughtiness out of her backside.” Nefertiti bent his head to inspect my behind. “A job well done,” he conceded after several moments, “That is a well-disciplined butt. This should serve as a reminder and you will be safe from her advances. However, I think to be on the safe side, you had better take my scarlet-bottomed girl on another trip over your knee. We wouldn’t want your reputation compromised, after all. I certainly could never forgive myself if you lost your good name, and your virtue, in her bed.” Hora’s fingers tightened on my wrist and a barrage of swats smashed into my tingling ass; a short but very humiliating spanking was applied to my defenceless buttcheeks. Twenty smacks rained down on my behind and I squealed aloud and shrieked at each one, bucking over Hora’s lap, legs flailing wildly in the air. I was crying in real earnest, intense sobs wracking my whole body as I thrashed around over his lap. The urge to rub, just to soothe the fiery stinging even for a few seconds was so strong – I clasped my butt- Hora ripped my hand away and landed several stinging swats on exactly the same spot. Then he continued pounding my behind with his palm until I couldn’t even tell when one spank ended and another began. I threw my head back and howled. I writhed around uselessly. Then there were no more spanks. I dared lift my head a little and look at Nefertiti. Nefertiti gently examined my bottom with his fingertips. Hora waited with bated breath for the verdict, as if it were news of a triumph or defeat. “Now, that is a thoroughly punished little bum. I think Fiera has learned a painful lesson about trying to corrupt good boys.” He lifted my chin and looked into my eyes. “You have your way with the whores and leave the nice men alone, or you will be saying sorry over my knee if you touch Hora again. How would he ever be able to look his father in the face again, if he came home without his virginity? A man’s virginity is precious. It’s all he has and you’ve no right stealing it. Queen or not, Tari, you will have a spanked butt if you try anything.” He slapped my rear and let go of my chin. Hora patted my head, kissed me on the forehead and eased me off his lap. I couldn’t even look him in the eye. And Terkan must have seen absolutely everything; my tears, my bare butt. I sobbed hard into my hands and Hora slid his thick arm around my shoulders. He rubbed my behind, his fingers soothing and almost cool on my sizzling skin. “Don’t, or she won’t learn anything,” said Nefertiti. “But look, her butt is all red,” Hora mused, “What if she can’t sit down?” “Well, she should have thought of that beforehand. Shouldn’t you, Fiera? Besides, I came over here to punish you for resisting me earlier, anyway; don’t look at me like that, I told you you would get it worse if you didn’t submit.” “Nef, please no!” I wailed, burying my face in Nefertiti’s shoulder. He gripped my slender wrists and held me away from him, looking down his pointy nose at me. His eyes were level with mine even though I was standing in Skychaser. “I could have you put in the dungeons for this,” I sobbed. His hold on me meant I couldn’t even rub. He spoke slowly, clearly. “Go and kneel on the ground with your top half on Skychaser’s floor. Now.” I nodded miserably, tears spotting the wooden floor. Nefertiti let my hands drop and they flew to my butt and squeezed it tight. My side was still aching from the crash but it was nothing compared to the stinging agony in my butt.
Hands still clasped to my bottom, I forced my feet to step, once, twice, three times, and with Hora steadying me I stepped onto the dry soil. My legs were shaking. Nefertiti was standing with his arms folded across his chest, his lips pursed – a pomegranate slash in his impossibly pale face. Still gorgeous, though, even if he was mean. I gave him a pleading look. His left hand was behind his back. My behind tingled just at the thought of what he was holding. “Do it, lion cub,” he said sternly. Slowly, I turned round, squatting and then kneeling on the hot ground. I looked back. Nefertiti was tapping his foot on the ground. Terkan had an anxious expression on his face; next to him Hora appeared stocky and shorter than he actually was. He was grinning awkwardly. I laid my arms on the chariot’s floor and shuffled my knees closer to it until my chest and stomach were supported by the wood. Nefertiti’s footsteps drummed on the soil and my skirt was yanked and folded over my back, leaving my bare bottom exposed and sticking up in the air. I felt very vulnerable. My butt was completely unprotected and at Nefertiti’s mercy, and I had no idea what torments he had in store for it. His feet withdrew a few paces. I could see the wooden boxes and slots that had been nailed into Skychaser’s corners; one of them was overflowing with dates that were filling the air with their rotting perfume. There was make-up in one of the other boxes, a dagger in another, along with a hunting knife – but something was missing. My stomach lurched and my heart missed a beat. I turned my head round and Nefertiti was smirking at me, obviously reading my mind. He drew his left hand forward and the long, brown whip uncoiled itself over the ground. “You’re going to get twenty. And you’re going to count them in my birth-language, the tongue of the lands beyond the Sea. And if you jump out of position or don’t count or mis-count, I’m going to start from ‘one’ again. Ready?” I just stared at the wicked length and thickness of the whip. He can’t! He won’t use that on my bum, will he? Not my own Nefertiti? I shook my head.
He raised his arm and slashed the whip down on my behind. It sizzled across my cheeks and I shrieked and jumped, lurching forward. I lay there tensed, waiting for the next one, salty tears flowing over my lips. “The next one is ‘one’, Fiera,” he said, almost tenderly. There was a cracking whoosh as a line of fire laid itself over my butt, much harsher than the first. I howled and jumped a little but instantly pushed myself back into position. “O-One,” I gasped, then quickly “One,” in his language. I risked another look over my shoulder. Nefertiti nodded and drew back his arm, Amon-Ra’s light catching his bangles. I glanced at my behind; it was mostly dark red, with a few bright reds still visible near the small of my back. Usually there wasn’t even a scrape or pimple back there; lotions and ground herb paste kept the rounded cheeks smooth and soft. Another crack landed on my pampered rear and woke an agony in my sit spots; I sobbed “Two” and stretched out my hands, gripping the far edge of Skychaser’s floor to stop myself squeezing the pain out of my butt. The next stripe made the throbbing flare up in the centre of my bum and I could barely say “Three,” through the sobs that were heaving through my whole body. The whip landed on my butt yet again, a pulsing pain that raged over my skin and I jerked up, my hands clutching my cheeks. I bent forward a little, massaging the seared flesh, little trickles of relief going through me as I held my bottom almost lovingly. I flopped down on the wood, crying uncontrollably. “Four,” I sobbed out, but it didn’t sound intelligible and I worried that Nefertiti would discount it. “You moved, Tari. The next one is ‘one’. And push your little tushie up, yeah, up and out like a good baby girl.” I felt so mortified I wanted to die. But I pushed my bottom up, like it was begging for more. Crack. “O-One,” I wailed. “Use your hand. Just bang on the wood to count,” Nefertiti ordered. Crack. My palm hit the floor twice. Another slice of the whip ignited a blaze that rolled over the entire surface of my backside. Hold still. Hold still. Three times, this time with a fist. The fourth stroke made me yell out more loudly than ever, but I pounded the wood as I screamed. I stayed hunched in position. There was a puddle of tears soaking into the wood. Amon-Ra’s warmth touched my shoulders gently. The fifth did not change anything; maybe my butt was now numb. The sixth and seventh kept my rear flaming but I didn’t really feel them. Hope dared surge through me; maybe I was going to be able to do this. The eighth and ninth landed in quick succession and suddenly I saw Quinox’s plump face laughing down at me as a hot pain seared across my butt – Zannanzah was there now, sneering as he took the whip and raised his arm- “Tari!” a voice yelled. I jumped and looked up. The sky was the most stunning blue. “Tari!” the voice screamed again. It was Nefertiti’s voice, and I twisted round. My heart was racing. I held my burning behind. “The next one is ‘one’. And that serves you right for refusing to count. You knew what would happen.” I nodded with a kind of despair. Let’s just get it over with. I kept slapping the wood after each stroke, and after an eternity of lying there with a fire in my butt it was number nineteen and although I was still crying hard for all to see, I knew it was going to end soon. I rapped out the number slowly and the last stroke fell; I heard the noise but it could have missed me completely for all I was aware; the burning neither intensified nor waned. I tapped the wood, crying with relief more than pain now.
“My poor darling,” Nefertiti whispered, and he was right beside me now, kneeling. His hand was stroking my back, the whip was all bunched up in his other fist. “You only counted nineteen. The next one is ‘one’, but I won’t make you count them.” I felt like he’d just punched me in the stomach. I tried to move but he pushed down on my back and landed all twenty whacks in less than a minute, almost before I knew what was happening. It was an intense burning, intensifying every moment until it became unbearable. I just stayed frozen, completely in shock at the cracks that had just thudded down on my rear, my bottom a mass of frenzied prickling, like a flame was being held to my butt. Nefertiti helped me up slowly, laid his cool palm against my forehead and said “Okay, I think you’re alright. Now bend over and put your hands on the wood. This isn’t a punishment for resisting me, this is something you earned for that stunt.”
I obeyed, shaking even more now. I willed myself to stay in that most embarrassing position, yearning to escape and hold my throbbing cheeks. Wasn’t this ever going to end? “Fiera, you could have been killed,” Nefertiti said tensely, slapping my butt with his hand. “You could have been injured.” Smack. “You could have been crippled.” Smack. “You could have ended up unconscious.” Smack. “You were very lucky, but even with that amount of luck you are still bruised, and you’re going to be sore for days. You won’t be able to do the fun things you love, like go hunting or fishing and practise martial arts or swordfighting. I don’t even know if you’ll be up to driving around. So do you think it was worth it?” Smack. I shook my head. “And just think, if you hadn’t done such a silly thing, you wouldn’t have been spanked,” he continued in a gentler voice. He bunched up the whip again and thwacked it down on my ass. I yelped; he whacked me again and I squealed again, the cries melding into one as he beat my butt. The fiery pain swelled until I couldn’t bear it and I bawled and screamed; the torment was endless and I kept jumping slightly out of position. I wanted to tell him to stop, that I couldn’t cope with it, but all I could do was wail my humiliation and pain to the desert. Then it remained at that level – my butt was numb again – or at least smarting all over so much that I couldn’t register any new pain. It hurt so much, I didn’t know what was better – the numbness or feeling the spanks. The blaze blocked everything else from my mind. I clutched at my cheeks with both hands. The sound of the bundled whip on my ass was silenced and my fingers were prised off, finger by finger, until the whooshing and whacking noise signalled the return of the whip. The noise rose and fell to the beat of the sun on the desert, the sloughing of the dry wind as it sighed at the coolness of the day. Nefertiti rubbed my back and I realised he must have stopped spanking me but the heat back there felt like I was still being spanked. I was still bawling like a child; I tried to control myself and it diminished to a hysterical crying as he lifted me over his shoulder. He swayed from side to side, murmuring soothing words into my ear, and a sort of calm descended on my tired body. Terkan was staring at me. Nefertiti carried me into Skychaser and laid me on my tummy in the backseat. He held my hand while I cried, and stroked my braids. “You took it well,” he said gently, “I’m proud of you. The worst thing I can imagine is seeing you get hurt. I know what getting spanked and whipped must have reminded you of, but it was what they did to you that made me realise how much I can’t bear seeing you get hurt. That and the stupid escapades you insist on doing of course.” After a few minutes I managed to calm myself a little, but I couldn’t stop the tears. Nefertiti ordered me to kneel on the seat. “And since you like getting good men to touch your naked hiney, you can stay like that until we get within sight of Lukanen,” he added. Nefertiti began rolling up my skirt and tying my belt around the bunched cloth so that my soundly chastised bum was even more clearly displayed. He pulled my underwear down even further. I was crying and rubbing my butt; Nefertiti frowned as I massaged my buns but he didn’t say anything.
Hora was grinning at me from his chariot. Then he looked over at Fire, and I followed his gaze. The wreckage of my beautiful Fire was roped to the back of Hora’s ride. “Poor Fire,” whispered Hora sadly, stroking the little chariot’s splintered curves. “Well, you are mine now. Although,” he added, straightening up, “I really enjoyed watching you get spanked and spanking you. So I think that is payment enough. You and ‘Fire belong together and I couldn’t take him away from you.” The relief must have shown on my face because Nefertiti looked at me and rolled his eyes. Then I felt embarrassed that not only had Hora spanked me bare, he had witnessed the spectacle of Nefertiti doing it, and actually enjoyed it – like it was an entertainment for him. “I’m not laughing at you,” he said quickly, as if reading my thoughts. “It was just cute, that’s all.” “I thought it was cruel and pretty nasty,” said Terkan, looking at the ground. “Think what you will,” Nefertiti said archly, “I’m only trying to protect her from hurting herself.” “I don’t need protecting! It really hurts!” I sobbed. “Fiera, if you want another smack-” Nefertiti threatened. He untied the sandcloth from round my neck and dabbed at my face, then turned back round to face the front. The horses moved and we pulled away.
I knelt on the seat, rubbing my throbbing behind and crying into my hands. That was four days ago. Dawn was sweeping in from the East, chasing Fire’s wheels. The Border was approaching, and I touched my amulets, praying they would not fail; that Amon-Ra would still protect me in the foreign land, that his power could extend over that earth, the territory of the foreign gods. Don’t let me fail. If I must be caught, let me at least do what I came to do.