NOTE: THE STORY DOES NOT ADVOCATE SLAVERY, QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
A tale of slavery during in the US during WWII. The grandson of a slave owner, one with fantasies of those olden days, finds he actually has one in his possession and that it’s not exactly the way he envisioned it. Sort of a story of the tail wagging the dog. Don’t expect much sex after the first few pages.
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"Oh, baby ... baaaby. Come'on, hon. Off with the panties."

"Jus'a min. Hee-hee. C’n I keep a blanket on? I feel funny, mister."

A door slammed open and an angry three-hundred-pound older woman stormed.

"What the fuck you doing with my baby, you fucking pervert? Shreeeeek! She's only fourteen."

"I ... I.... Goddamn." He stumbled in getting out of bed. Feet entangled in a bed sheet sent him sprawling onto the floor as the angry woman picked up a table lamp.

Fearful of the advancing giantess, he scurried across the room on his knees as she slammed it across his back, dropping him face-down onto a dirty cracked-linoleum floor. Blood flowed from many small cuts, even as glass crackled under hands, elbows, and knee-bones as he crawled away. Head running into a wall, he curled up, one hand protecting his manhood. “Don … don’t! I dinna knowed, I dinna.”

"I'm calling the cops, you fucking perverted bastard. Don't you dare try leaving." She dropped the remains of the lamp. Reaching into a dresser drawer, a pistol appeared in her hand. "I'll see you dead or in jail ... fucking bastard."

While he remained sprawled on the floor, trying to pull up his trousers in that position, both females fought an urge to laugh at his antics. Instead, the girl muffled a fake scream while the older woman occasionally kicked him in vital and painful places.

"You'll PAY for this," the larger one screamed. "I'll see that you PAY for violating my little girl’s precious virginity." She paused before roaring, “And she’s only fourteen.” Actually, she was a slow-developing eighteen at the time, though he didn't know that point.

The words must have gotten through to the victim. "Yes. I can pay. Look," he pleaded, "I have a good job and ... and savings."

"You think you can solve this with money? Fuck you. You stay down there while I call the police. You white bastards think your money solves everything. Not this fucking time."

"Mama. Mama. We need the money, Mama. Please?"

"Wait till they take him away, MaryJane. Then I'll deal with you. What did I tell you about these white men? They use you up and throw you away. Like fucking trash."

"Mama. Stop and think a minute, Mama. The RENT Mama."

"Please, ma'am? I'm not that way. I have a wife and three kids. I didn’t know she was underage. Please don't do this. I'll give you ... maybe a hundred dollars? I have that much."

"Take it, Mama. We need it."

"Not for two-hundred. No. You stay on that fucking floor or I'll kill you myself. You hear me?"

"Three.... No. Four hundred? Cash. I can borrow it."

She lowered the pistol, still aiming in his general direction. "Today? Right now?"

"Yes. As soon as the bank opens. And ... and I can get the rest out of the office safe and put it back before the end of the month. I have it ... right now. Please? Please? I'm sorry. She said she was seventeen."

Did you tell him that, MaryJane? Did you?”

The girl, still clutching the sheet across tightly bound breasts, looked away. “I dunno, Mama ... maybe?”

"We'll both go with you. No tricks. We do need the fucking cash. You try anything and I can still call the police. Remember that." She raised the gun again. "Give me your wallet."

Taking the man's driver's license out, she copied his name and address down, then gave it all back to the mark, allowing him to get up and finish dressing.

"Now for you, you little tramp. You get your ass dressed and don't clean anything off. If he's got any of his slimy cum or sweat on you, I want it there if he doesn't pay up. The cops have ways."

On the way back from the bank, the two stopped at a grocery, then a liquor store. Their last stop was Mama’s heroin dealer before going home to celebrate. It was only one of the scams they used to survive during the Great Depression of the late twenties.

***

That was MaryJane's childhood, running scams to pay the rent and furnish her mother with drugs. Her father had been killed running away from the police after an aborted liquor store robbery. A couple years later, when she was twenty, her mother was caught in a police sting and jailed.

Hardly a virgin by then, the girl turned to prostitution, avoiding pimps by choosing random corners -- normally near a bus stop in housing areas and away from the usual strolls. MaryJane found that it took about a week to attract customers at each unsuspected location.

First, she'd have to buttonhole and solicit a few customers, sometimes running across the street or from one corner to another to accost them. When word got out that she was there it became easier, them coming to look for a little recreation before work or returning home from their labors. Then, after awhile, neighbors would complain and cops cruise by every hour of so, eventually chasing her away to a new location.

When WWII broke out, with men joining the army or being forced into uniform, her business dropped off. What that meant, with them fighting in Europe and the Pacific, was her leaving the suburbs and inching toward the inner city. She found that white areas were the most lucrative but she stood out more, meaning a black hooker walking around white neighborhoods attracted police sooner than in the black sections of the city. And she didn’t want to deal with pimps of either race.

To her credit, MaryJane tried for the burgeoning war-production jobs but had several strikes against her. They were her police record, lack of an education and, of course, race. She was screwed and forced into continuing being screwed for a living.

Then, her life took another crippling turn. It happened one night when she neglected to get her money up-front from a steady customer….

"MaryJane. Babe. I'm a little light tonight," Jethro Trump admitted while cuddling up afterwards in a cheap fourth-floor walkup.

Pushing him away, she crawled from a filthy straw-filled mattress to dress and then berate Jethro. "You fucking bastard."

"Honey. I'm good for it. You know me."

"That's the fucking trouble. I do know you, you cocksucker. All your money goes in your fucking arm or down your fucking throat. When you ain’t injecting it, you're popping it."

"You said you gotta cold, MJ? Least I can do is give you something for that." He reached into a bedside drawer.

"Fuck you and your fucking pills." She glanced around his room for anything of value, so her time wouldn't be a complete waste. "That watch. It's mine now." Anger reducing to a simmer, the girl changed her tone. "What's that you got for a cold?"

Trying to get back in good graces with her, he poured out a handful of pills. "Keerful a these, MJ. They's powerful shit."

Both satisfied and on good terms again, she crossed to a filthy sink in the corner of his crib for a glass of water, gulping down several of the strange pills. After a couple of drinks of vodka and soda, she got up to go home. Maryjane figured to sell the watch later, not knowing bronze from gold. At least it was something. The woman wasn't into the habit of passing out her favors for nothing.

On the way home -- feeling light-headed, woozy, and happy -- she was accosted by three teenage boys. They, too, were out for profit and not wanting to go home empty-handed. A lone woman walking the streets late at night figured to be a hooker or -- at the very least -- easy prey.

"Now, what we done got here, Rufus?" Jackboy asked, nudging his friend.

"A playmate, Jackie ... a playmate.”

From long practice, they spread across the sidewalk, leaving a small path between Rufus and their large companion, Twinky.

MaryJane, tipsy and feeling the effects of an overdose of who-knew-what on top of alcohol, drifted in a dreamland of her own as she shoved one dainty shoulder forward to squeeze through the open space. As she approached, that space closed. The girl found herself stopped cold between three large male bodies -- Jackboy having hurried around the edge to fold himself in behind her.

Rufus laughed. "How's ya suction, honey?"

"Five bucks and I'll show you," she mumbled from professional reflex, their faces swimming back and forth in front of her as if in a shifting fog.

"We's gonna find out, sweetie, and you don't gotta pay us the sawbuck, neither," from Rufus.

His remark brought laughter from the three of them, along with giggles from MaryJane. She wasn't aware of why they were laughing but felt so good she joined in.

They had no problem steering her into an alley.

While Twinky held her hands behind her back, Rufus shoved himself at the girl, his hand forcing itself down her trousers. Meanwhile Jackboy, more pragmatic, searched her purse for valuables. Finding nothing worth keeping, he pulled out a switchblade, snapping it open to cut her clothing off.

"Hey, man. Don’t cut her clothes. They's my sister's size an she needs some," from Twinky.

"Get her shit, Jackboy," Rufus ordered around his tongue, it being halfway down her throat at the time, hand still exploring.

Ain’t no shit ta get, man. Hey! We gotta share? Flip a coin or sometin’? Get her clothes off first.”

Unwillingly, Rufus let the girl go and stood back while Twinky undressed her, unusually careful with his huge hands. Jackboy found a large cardboard box, kicking it flat with his feet. It was better for their purposes than a garbage-covered alley floor.

Throwing her down, they had their way with poor MaryJane, her coming to her senses halfway through. Twinky was last, throwing his huge weight onto her, impaling her with his own two-inches. His weight threatened to collapse her lungs, dropping her back into a painful semi-consciousness.

MaryJane didn't try to fight back until they got to her undies, which Twinky really wanted for his own kinky reasons. All that did was add to their excitement, leading to the fun of beating and kicking the crap out of her. They were growing boys and felt they needed the exercise.

"We gonna leave her here, man?" Rufus asked, the toe of one shoe nudging her compliant head back and forth on the dirty alley floor. "Fuck her."

"Just did," Twinky replied, laughing while picking up MaryJane’s clothing, by then filthy and spread around the alley.

Jackboy, standing at the entrance to the alley, saw a delivery truck stop at a market across the street. Two large and burly white men -- the bare minimum needed at that time of night and on that street – stepped down, grabbed crates from the back and went into the building.

"Let's throw the bitch in the back'a that truck," he said, "an shock a shit out'a those guys?"

"Yeah. Sort'a a Christmas present in June." Rufus liked the idea, imagining the delivery guys' faces when they found her.

***

Andy Thompson finished milking Bella, his milk-cow. She was one of the few animals left on what up till recently had been a producing farm. His father, Elmer, had died two years before.

Fed up with farming, Andy sold most of the livestock, excluding the cow, two dogs, and six cats. He also sold most of the land. All he had left were five acres containing the family home, a barn, an ancient slave quarters building, several unsaleable wooded sections and a few sheds.

Andy fed the cow and released her into the yard to help trim grass. Then he carried the milk out behind the one remaining slave-quarters building and dumped it into a sparse patch of brownish sunburned grass as a bit of fertilizer.

Andy hated milk but loved the old cow, and it had to be milked. When he'd been a kid, his grandfather had forced the liquid on him -- three meals a day. The day the old guy died was the last time Andy drank milk. Instead, he took pleasure in throwing it away.

Unlike his father, the grandfather had been an entertaining old cuss, especially to young Andy Thompson. The man had fought in the Civil War as a lieutenant and had himself owned over a hundred slaves -- right there on Andy's land. Looking back at the decaying old building, a mist came to Andy's eyes. Those must have been the good old days he reminisced....

*

Boy,” Grandpa said, the two of them sitting on the back porch of the house, eyes on the large split-log ex-slave quarters.

Boy. You'd have loved those days. No electric stuff, but we had us running water an inside shitters. Me an my three brothers an two sisters had a hell'a a good time back then. No school, but a teacher would live with us four months out'a the year, then teach somewheres else for awhile.

He'd sigh loudly, puffing on a corncob pipe as he remembered. “Yes, Andy boy, we had it good. We owned maybe a hundred slaves back then, and us boys could have our way with them. Daddy wouldn't continence our screwing them, though. A shame, since little Jennie liked to tease me all'a time. She knew she was safe. Least until Daddy got the ass an sold her to Miss Petty, a dyed in'a wool girly-girl. I stayed hard for a week, just'a thinkin’ bout her an little Jennie doing IT together.

When I got twelf'er’ thirteen, Daddy hitched up a wagon an took me to the Johnson farm, down a road a bit, so's I could have me time with Mr. Johnson's girl slaves. Mr. Johnson's son, Johnny, he'd come to our place for a same thing.

Never, Andy, never screw with your own slaves. Then they want privileges an favors. Always go next door was a good rule back then.

It was fun for us youngsters, though. Daddy din't care what else we done with them. We growed up playing with the slave kids, but never, ever, let them think they was the same as us. We dined on steak while they ate salt pork. We rode in carriages and they walked beside us. We always won when we played games.

I ‘member onc't in'a winter. Me an big brother Jim, we loaded up a bunch'a slave kids on our little sleigh, pulled by two mules. For the fun of it, we raced down a narrow path out back, ever'one yellin' an'a laughin'.

Jim, he nudges Peter, a scrawny little eight-year-old. He says, 'Peter. Jump. Now.'”

Peter, he gets almost white, shakes his head. Jim reaches over to shove the kid off. I looks back to see Peter bouncing 'round for he slams in'ta a frozen tree, while Jim, he laughs.

Anyway, Jim, he forces all the slave kids ta jump, one after the other. When they finally gets home, two got broke legs, one nine-year-old had her hip busted to hell, and all'a them was smashed around.

Boy, did Daddy light in'ta Jim for that.” Grandpa laughed at the memory. “He had to stay in his room for two weeks. It cost Daddy hundreds of dollars. The veterinary patched them slaves up all he could, but two of them never did work for shit after that.”

***

Anyway, Andy valued such advice from the old man. Grandpa soon became senile. All he did was sit on a rocking chair out back and dream. At night, Andy and his daddy had to put grandpa to bed after Andy's mother forced a little soft food into the old man, prying toothless jaws open with a big wooden spoon.

Before that war, there had originally been four large barracks-style buildings to house their slaves, but three had been torn down before Andy’s time and the area plowed under for crops. The last slave-quarters building had been used for house slaves and been in better shape, so Grandpa had kept it for its memories. Now a storage space for farm implements, it still held much of the old chains, padlocks, and other slavery paraphernalia stored inside. As a child, Andy would often go in to sit in the dark and dream of the old days.

In the house were photo albums and papers from that period in history. Andy would pore over them for hours at a time as a kid. There were no Negroes in his school in rural Virginia and he made a point of never associating with what he considered the "Negras" while in town. He’d never spoken more than a sentence or two to a black person in his life.

Except for that, he did carry on the family tradition of religion, proud of never missing a Sunday sermon in over thirty years. He attended a church in nearby Pickleville that still taught the philosophy that black people were fit only for slavery, using Biblical passages as proof.

Largely a recluse, living on family savings as well as proceeds of land sales, Andy puttered around the house and barn, his only companions Old Betsy and the smaller critters.

That was his state of mind when he went out to the mailbox one June morning to collect his mail and was surprised to find a real slave sorta standing in the driveway. To the lonesome white man, it was a lifelong dream come true.

***

Maryjane was still unconscious when the truck from "Acme Products" driven by Jeffery Adams, approached Pickleville on its way home. His co-worker heard loose crates bouncing around in the back.

"We better stop, Jeff. Some of those boxes have glass bottles in them. One of those damned straps must'a come loose."

"Shit. Don't take all frickin' day." Jeffery pulled over to the side of the narrow one-lane asphalt farm road and stopped while the other man got out. Slamming the door, the passenger unhooked a back ramp, looking in to see spilled fruit cans sliding around a bare human foot.

"Hey! Jeff. You better come back here a minute. We got us a frickin' problem, man."

"So? Clean it up. They's a five-gallon water-can back there some’ware’s. Scrape the mess into a ditch an slosh the back out."

"No. Not that. A frickin' human body."

"Damn. Tell him to get off. We ain’t got all day here."

"A dead one."

"A what?" in a rising inflection.

"A frickin' dead body. That's what we got. Get back here."

"My god! Hold on a minute." Jeffery got out and slammed his door, hurrying around to the back.

"Damned if it ain’t. Get in an make sure."

"I ain’t getting in there. You check. It's your truck."

Cursing, Jeffery hoisted himself inside. Tentatively, he reached down and felt MaryJane's face, not having the least idea on how to tell if she were alive. When her eyes opened, he jerked upward, slamming his head against the side of the truck and almost falling on his ass. "She's alive and naked. A black girl. Beat all to hell."

"What we gonna do with her?"

"Damned if I know," Jeffery answered with a shrug.

"We should turn her over to the cops in Pickleville?"

"Ain’t no cops in Pickleville. Only a mom an pop grocery an'a post office," Jeffery replied, scratching his banged head.

"They can call the state cops or something."

"And we'll be there all day, explaining. Me and Janice gotta go to some damned church thing this afternoon. Damn. I ain’t got time for this shit."

"Well ... why not lay her down in this here driveway? Nobody has to know it was us done it." Jeffery grinned. “Someone gonna find her.”

So that's what they did. MaryJane was awake by then and semi-conscious. They brought her down and led her to Andy's mailbox, where she stood by herself, leaning across box and post, bare ass drooping.

"Now, girl," Jeffery told her, seriously, "listen up, now. You go ta' that there house, an the people there gonna get you some help."

Leaving her, they returned to their truck and, spraying gravel, sped away.

She was still standing, moaning and soothing her head against the cold metal of the mailbox, when Andy came out to check his mail.

***

Andy's pre-Civil War attitude often conflicted with patriotism. When WWII started, he'd been in a bind, both wanting to serve his country in its need and not wanting to help the Federal government. He didn't hate Yankees, or anyone, actually. He simply disliked the Northerners that ran the country. Like many in the old Rebel states, he felt he could do a better job himself. And, of course, he was fed up with his father's patriarchal attitude of working his ass off. In the end, after a particularly bad ass-chewing by Dad for falling asleep in the saddle and running a tractor into a tree, Andy tried to enlist.

Can't take you, Thompson,” the recruiter, nifty in dress uniform, told Andy. “Fallen arches, the doc says. No good for marching. You'd hold the others up. Sorry, man.”

To belie that condition, Andy made a point of trotting back and forth down a long and winding dirt path to his mailbox.

The lane being lined by trees his grandfather had planted as a youth, Andy came huffing and puffing around the last bend, catching sight of the road and the strangest sight he had never ever expected to see.

Panting from physical effort, he saw a naked black woman leaning over his mailbox. Her weight was threatening to snap a thin metal pole holding the green receptacle in place.

"My God!" he muttered to himself. "How the hell...?"

Gingerly and nervously, he crept closer to inspect his prize. Where the hell, he thought, did she come from?

It took long moments, heart beating fast, for Andy to get up enough nerve to touch her to see if she were alive. "Who would leave a dead body here?" he muttered. Living alone, with only a few animals around, he was used to talking to himself. He figured the process was okay as long as he didn't answer. "But, then, who would throw away a perfectly good Negra? She must be dead."

As with Jeffery the delivery driver, Andy jerked erect, shocked when partially-open eyes swung his way, proving she wasn't deceased ... yet, anyway.

Carefully he pried her from the mailbox, forgetting all about the other mail and, holding a warm unresisting hand, tried to walk her to his house. However, Andy wasn't all that strong, with her slowly slipping through his grip to fall to the earth in a heap. The man's heart almost leapt from his chest as she looked up at him, pleas for help seeming to drill from half-open eyes to his brain.

Shaking, he told her to, "Wa ... Wait here. I'll be back."

Heedless of prior and present exhaustion, Andy turned and trott.... No. He sprinted back to the house, falling heavily into the cab of a blue pickup truck. Having to pause, head and arms draped over the steering column, to catch his breath and wait for a near-bursting heart to slow, he started the vehicle and sped back down the lane, hoping she hadn't been an apparition and would still be there.

She was. With much effort, especially in his current state of mental and physical exhaustion, he managed to hoist her to the passenger seat and drive back to the farm. Slamming on the brakes near his front door, he turned off the engine. The silence seemed deadening.

Wait a minute, Andy thought. Did he really want a Negra in his house? He didn't trust them. She might wake up, find a knife, and kill him in his sleep. The girl looked beat-up and weak, but who knew what she'd be like when recovered enough to walk?

His grandfather's words came back to him. "What'er you does in this life, boy, never trust a one a those black bastards. Ain’t a one at won't kill yor’ ass fer a nickel. You drops yor' guard fer a minute, you's dead meat."

Andy looked closely at his passenger. “You ain't got no knife, do you?” he asked. She only moaned, eyes half-shut.

She sure does look helpless and frail, he thought. Uh, uh. I'm not taking any chances. Instead of his house, he started the truck and drove a short distance to stop in front of the old slave quarters building.

She was heavy, so it took him a while to carry and drag her inside. Clearing off an old metal bedstead, he dropped her on top of a filthy chicken-feather mattress. The thing contained as many colonies of various insects as it did decomposing feather-parts.

The sight of her lying there brought sensations to his groin area. She did look nice. Only the condition of the mattress and dislike for her race kept him from abusing her. Shaking badly, he wondered about going out for a doctor? First, though, he figured to see what he could do himself.

Andy realized that if he drove her to a doctor they'd put her in a hospital or something. The more he thought about it, the more he considered keeping her for himself. Having a slave had been Andy's daydream ever since Grandpa had told him about the days of his own youth.

He knew he'd never get another chance. People didn't often leave them at his mailbox. It was, he decided, a gift from God. Even if God did do it again, the next one would probably be a big "buck" which he wouldn't be able to control. No, Andy finally decided, he'd better keep the one he had.

Andy wasn't a trained physician. However, he had taken care of his Granddaddy, Mama when she was sick, and Daddy in his last years, so he knew a few things. When it came down to medical knowledge, in the forties most farmers took care of their own sick animals. To Andy's thinking, a sick slave was basically the same thing, really.

He was busy over the next few hours. He brought in a spare mattress and bedclothes from his father's old room, along with jugs of water and medical supplies. Also, he hauled over an electric heater for chilly nights.

Some of the medical items came from the house, others from where he'd stored pills and liniments when he'd sold the livestock.

All he had was a small amount of people salve so, after he cleaned her up, he used horse salve. He fixed MaryJane up as best he could. Most of her trouble was the results of alcohol, unknown pills, and a slight concussion from the rapes and subsequent beating or being thrown into the truck. It had happened only two hours before he’d found her in his driveway.

Although Andy tried, he couldn't force himself to wash her genitals. He was a virgin and had rarely seen a naked woman. His only real experience had been when he and little Mike had secretly drilled a small hole between the male and female restrooms in the church basement.

During Sunday school, when a good-looking girl would leave the room heading for those basement stairs, the boys would follow to peer through the hole while she "did her business." That only lasted a month, for four Sunday schools, before they found the hole sealed along with a new metal partition between the two rooms.

When he finished, MaryJane looked clean and presentable. She did have a black eye and swollen nose but Andy knew those were only superficial. He sat back, finally relaxing and having time to think.

Well, he certainly didn't want to, as Granddaddy would say, "look a gift horse in the mouth." If he reported her to the authorities, Andy knew she’d be gone forever. The thought about a mouth reminded him of what Grandpa had said about inspecting a slave before buying. That it would help him decide.

Some'a those slave dealers,” the old man had told Andy, “they stops in'a woods an fattens'um up for a couple'a weeks on some kinda stuff they knows 'bout, then uses heavy oil to make the Niggers shine and cover small scars. Then they likes to come in just afore sundown when a light's not so good.” He'd grinned, taking time to fill and light a corncob pipe before continuing.

The one thing they can't hide is the condition of a Nigger's teeth. Those not treated right at their old home, they's teeth is always bad from bad food and eatin' a lotta dirt there. Always check the teeth afore you buys.” He'd grin, taking a long puff of tobacco. “Good teeth means good treatment.”

With that thought, Andy moved his chair over closer to the girl and, spreading her lips, inspected her teeth. He felt around in her mouth for a moment, eliciting a cough followed by a moan from the sleeping female. They seemed alright to him.

Other advice from the old reprobate was to check a slave's arms and legs for firmness. A good firm body meant exercise and a good worker. Soft flesh indicated a slave had spent a long time lying around in a slave pen or sick bed.

Sitting back up, he patted her on the thigh as though inspecting a horse. She did feel nice and firm, Andy thought, sliding his hand gently up and down the silky skin of one leg. There it went again, that throbbing in his groin.

Well, it was a clean mattress this time, he considered. Maybe ... maybe...? No! Even if he decided to keep her, he couldn't do IT to a sleeping female, even a Negra. It just ... it just wouldn't be right.

Since she seemed to be slumbering peacefully, Andy found a couple of spare lamps in the piles of junk. He plugged them in and turned them on.

There you go,” he said, satisfied, “just like home … if you even got electric.”

The farmer then went into the house to find a Bible. He had half a dozen of them lying around. While making such a major decision, he would look for relevant passages in the Good Book.

Andy's search for vindication was easy, as there were many bookmarks and underlined passages. His granddaddy, a slave owner once himself, had put them in many years before. For example, Genesis 1:24, which said that God created animals long before he did Adam and Eve. That meant "cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth," which, according to both Grandpa and Reverend Felcher downtown, included all inferior races. Grandpa had explained that black people had survived the flood by being included in with the beasts Noah had collected.

Noah's son, Ham, was supposed to be the father of the black race. As punishment for seeing his father naked, Ham’s descendants had been sentenced to be servants to white people forever.

Other literature his father had collected, mostly from church handouts, showed that Biblical interpretation proved that God had originally created "Mud" people -- the color of mud and without souls. They were to serve later people created in His image, meaning white Adam and Eve -- obviously white since she'd come from Adam's rib and ribs were white.

Those facts had been drummed into Andy throughout his formative years. Some of it was confusing to him, like how Ham was the father of the black race when there were already black people around before that? But then, to Andy most of the Bible was confusing. He often wondered how it was that if Adam and Eve were the first people, how did Cain and Able marry women from "the Land of Nod"? Where did those people come from?

In any case, reading over those old pamphlets and books served to vindicate his choice to keep the girl as a slave. Besides, he really wanted to.

***

Mind finally made up, Andy whistled as he fixed a good dinner for himself and his new possession. After eating, he made up a tray and took it out to the slave-quarters building for his captive. He figured he'd nurse her back to health. After training, she could do the cooking and cleaning.

MaryJane slept peacefully while her body was in the process of throwing off the effects of previous mistreatment.

Andy set down the tray as quietly as he could.

Figuring he better do it while she slept, he smiled while searching through piles of rusty chains from the old days. He had newer padlocks, complete with keys, in the house. Picking out the best of the chains, he used an eye-bolt in the floor from slave days for one end. Dragging the other over to the sleeping girl, heart beating wildly again and with a nervous hand, he gingerly forced it around her naked waist. He then snapped a padlock closed. Fully committed, he had his new slave.

Andy sat for an hour, watching and trying to dredge up enough nerve to shake her awake. The woman looked so peaceful and vulnerable. Once, he even dared to stroke her thigh again, edging toward a triangle of kinky black hair. Touching it, he felt himself get hard and backed away, remembering his Grandpa's advice. Eventually the man tired of watching and went back to the house. He'd been thinking. What if she became angry and attacked him?

Andy realized he had to read more about how to treat a slave.

***

When MaryJane finally woke, her first sight was of a strange lamp, proving she hadn't made it home. Damn that Jethro Trump, she thought. He must'a got me drunk and kept me all fucking night. A girl ain't about to get rich giving it away. She much preferred selling it to sitting on it. She tried to sit up on the bed.

That was when the pain hit. It felt like her back and both legs were broken. And a splitting headache didn't help. Feeling something heavy around her waist, she reached down idly for the cause.

"What’s this, a chain? A FUCKING CHAIN?" she screamed. "How the fuck did I get a fucking chain? JETHRO, YOU PRICK."

Even while jerking at the restraining links with simmering anger, MaryJane's head cleared a bit as she realized being in a strange building of some sort. The length of chain extended from the bed, then out of sight in the distance. Try as she might, she couldn't slip it up past her chest or down over her hips.

"And I'm bare-ass naked!" Pain took over, especially in her head, and she flopped down onto the pillow. She knew she had to get up but, even as the thought hit her, nodded off again.

***

When Andy returned to check on his captive, he brought a radio. It wasn't his best one, but small enough to carry, anyway. Seeing her lying outside the covers, he spread them back over her and turned on the electric heater for the night.

He also saw that she hadn't touched her meal and put the tray down on a straight chair in front of the heater to warm it up. Having a magazine in his back pocket, Andy sat under a lamp to read. Still fearing her when she woke, he eyed the chain, mentally measuring it, and moved his chair back to where she couldn't grab him.

Rarely having even talked to one, black people made him nervous. Very nervous. He knew that eventually he'd have to train her and wasn't sure he could do it. Since there had once been millions of slaves, and he had all the time in the world, he figured it would work out eventually. Preacher Felcher said it was their natural state, sorta built-in. Grandpa had told him to be firm and fair. That you should take charge and don't let them tell you what to do. The white man was the master.

An hour or so later, MaryJane woke again. With the effects of those strange pills worn out of her system, she felt a little better. Moving her head, though, still brought an intense pain. Reaching up, she found her nose mushy and swollen. Trying not to move her head, she looked around, seeing a movement out of the corner of one eye. Steeling herself, she chanced moving her head, not being able to suppress a moan in the process.

She saw a strange man getting to his feet. Fearfully, the girl jerked upright, bringing on an irrepressible urge. A torrent of vomit consisting of old alcohol and stomach acid shot from her, splashing onto her chest and the top sheet, then to the floor.

Andy, hearing the moan, dropped a Popular Mechanics magazine, leapt to his feet and ran over, only to meet the second surge of sour puke, it hitting him across his crotch.

"Jeez!" He jumped backward.

As MaryJane finished then collapsed onto her back, still hacking, Andy grabbed a spare sheet -- folded on a table -- to clean her face. When he touched her sore nose, she swung at him, right hand connecting at his left shoulder.

"It -- it's all right. I -- I'll get it. You, you just take it easy."

As he cleaned, first her face then the mess on the floor, she could only manage to lie on her back, breathing rapidly, and watch. She felt so weak. Her head was throbbing with pain and she couldn't fully understand what was happening.

"You ... you better try to eat something," he said. Picking up the food tray, Andy set it on the bed and began spooning lukewarm mashed potatoes and peas into her mouth. She swallowed in reflex while trying to think, to get her thoughts together.

When she wouldn't accept any more, Andy took off the dirty top sheet. The bottom one looked okay to him but vomit was splashed over her breasts, down her tummy and into ... and into.... Oh, my god, Andy thought.

Wrapping the cleanest part of the dirty sheet over his hand in a thick clump, he finished wiping vomit off her.

Maryjane couldn't help being amused as Andy's face reddened when he came to the junction at her crotch. The damned fool even closed his eyes near the end, she saw, forcing a smile. What the hell, she thought, have I gotten into?

Smile still on her face, she drifted off to sleep.

***

Again, Andy was perplexed. He went back to the house to read those damned books and papers again. That night, he stayed up late to reread a novel about life on a slave-breeding plantation. Fighting off a natural urge to masturbate, Andy jotted down notes instead. He really needed to learn how to treat a slave, and quickly. When the sun came up, he was only halfway into the novel.

The next morning, while fixing breakfast for both of them, he remembered reading what slaves ate back in the “good old days.” After his own breakfast, he boiled cornmeal into a cereal. He knew he shouldn't, but mixed in a liberal helping of sugar. The book said slaves needed little sugar, even drank their tea black. Too much sugar, the writer said, made them hyperactive and rebellious.

***

Damn, MaryJane thought, rubbing a sore nose. Her right eye didn't seem to work right -- a little blurry. When she touched and rubbed it, she found the area tender. Where's that idiot? Or was it all a fucking dream? The "clink" of a chain as she swung her legs over the side of the bed brought her back to reality.

Motherfucking Jethro. Did he sell me to this idiot or something?” MaryJane's one eye blazed. “I'll kill that son'a bitch.”

Feeling human again, she wondered what the fuck those pills were ... besides being nasty shit. Slowly the gang rape and subsequent beating came back to her; but only hazily and with no clear faces.

Bastards.”

Fighting an urge to fall over onto her side she, instead, braced elbows on knees and sat, head in hands for a few minutes, feeling her body sway and trying to recall the night before. There was a flash memory of being dragged out of something, to stand against something cool. And, of course, the strange man moving around the room.

This room?”

Raising her head, the large space seemed strange, yet familiar. Forcing both bare feet firmly against the floor, MaryJane reached over with one hand to a bedpost, using it to pry herself to her feet, ignoring a loud “squeak”. After a brief period of disorientation and wooziness, she was able to stand alone.

She saw a large space, maybe 20x50 feet with wooden walls, looking like pictures of those old-time farm buildings. The massive ones where logs were cut in two, lengthwise, with the round side outside and the flat one inside, then mud or something to fill the cracks. Her end was a dirty space holding a bed, table, and a couple of wooden chairs. The rest of the room contained jumbled piles of furniture and boxes, not even a path between them. It smelled of mold, mildew, and animal shit. She could see a couple of narrow slit-windows less than a foot across with what looked like bars as seen through layers of dirt.

"Where the fuck am I?" The woman looked around for clothing, not seeing any.

"How the hell did I get here?" She picked up a sheet from beside the bed, throwing it back down as she caught the smell of puke.

"Fuck."

A rack of clothes across the room caught her eye. A little unsteadily, she made her way toward them. "Son'a bitch." She'd caught a splinter in a big toe. Favoring that foot, the woman stopped in front of the hanging clothing. They consisted mostly of men's suits, with a few work-clothes at one end.

"Screw it."

Anger building, she jerked a pair of woolen dress-trousers from a brown suit. Bracing by one hand on a stack of wooden animal-feed crates, she managed to get them over her hips and under the chain. Not seeing any belts, MaryJane did find a necktie to secure the large trousers to her waist. It’s not much, she figured, but better than fucking nothing. It did make her feel more human.

There were several pairs of assorted shoes and slippers lying in a pile at the bottom of the rack. The slippers were too large but at least stayed on when she walked.

"Ouch. Fuck."

She had to carry the one slipper as she made her way back to her corner to sit on a chair. A few tries and a small amount of increased pain got the splinter out. On a whim, she spread a little butter from a nearby plate onto the bottom of the sore toe and wrapped a clean piece of napkin around it, sliding the slipper over the whole mess.

By that time, MaryJane was fully conscious, becoming angrier by the moment and ready to kick some ass -- whether it be that asshole Jethro that gave her those pills or any swinging dick available. A mother-fucking cock-sucking son'a bitchin' ... CHAIN. Chaining her like a fucking DOG. She gripped the base of one of the electric lamps, jerking it from its plug, ready to smash any son'a bitch....

Which was, of course, when Andy chose to open the door, carrying a bowl of cornmeal gruel. A fitting meal for a slave.

Stepping into the room, holding a large bowl of cereal, Andy was surprised by a lamp smashing on the wall next to his head, glass shards splattering him and the floor. He almost dropped the covered bowl, holding on although hot cornmeal splashed onto his hand. Occupied in holding the container, he was in no way ready for a screaming banshee in over-sized mans trousers flying at him.

Even before the limited extent of her chain brought the girl to a halt, the long trousers tripped MaryJane, causing her to slide on her face to jerk to a stop a foot from the standing slaveholder. Growling like a rabid dog, she tried to reach his leg, forcing Andy to back into the closed door.

"Get this mother-fucking CHAIN off me, you son'a bitch. I'll tear your fucking cock off and shove it up your fucking as--"

In shock and shaking like a twig in a strong wind, Andy inched along a wall to set the bowl down on her table. He then backed himself into a corner behind a stack of feed-corn sacks where she couldn't reach him. Anxiously, he peered around a bundle of empty sacks to watch MaryJane climb to her feet, retrieving the broken lamp for another attempt.

"Cocksucker. Where you go, you bastard? I'll fucking kill you." She hefted the lamp. Seeing his head peeking out, she let it fly to "thump" against the sacks, falling to the floor out of her reach.

The two of them stood, her glaring and Andy catching his breath.

This can't go on, Andy thought. I gotta take control. I just gotta.

After pacing back and forth while spitting out invectives, MaryJane ran out of steam and seemed to wilt. Then the tears came, unbidden but forceful. Squatting over a filthy wooden floor, she clasped hands to face, a picture of intense dejection.

"You ... you better get used to it." Andy called out weakly from his hiding place. "To ... to ... well, to belonging to me. Fighting ain't gonna do you no good."

"Just.... Damn it. Just what the hell do you want? You wanna fuck me? Is that it, you creep? You wanna screw me? Come on, asshole. Take off this fucking thing and let's get at it, okay?"

Eyes dropping, Andy shook his head, barely visible around the pile of sacks.

"Then what the fuck DO you want? A blow job? Hurry up, I gotta get home. Where the shit are we, anyway?"

"Your ... your new home." I gotta say it, Andy thought, I gotta get it out. Standing straight and stepping out, ready to duck back behind the bags, he told her. "You belong to me. You ... you're my slave."

"Your WHAAAT!" She tried to talk, sounds coming out as a sort of blubbering.

"S -- Slave. Like you gotta do anything I want."

"I gotta kill your fucking ass. That's what I want."

Andy ducked. It was a good thing he did because within moments the air above his head filled with flying objects, most smashing against the feed sacks. During a lull, he peeked out to see her at the junk end of the room, sorting through items and trying to find something good to throw -- such as a Civil War hand-grenade.

Panting with exhaustion, she hefted a bottle of his dead mother's cheap perfume, figuring it would have a good effect. That thought and her reverting to a reasoning human, caused her to pause. "Damn it. Just what do you want of me? And cut out that slave talk. I ain't got no money for ransom, and no family or friends to get any. If that's what you're after, forget it. If you want sex, tell me what you want and we'll get at it."

"First," Andy said, edging around the other end of the stack toward the door, "you'll clean up this mess. You made it, you clean it up."

"Okay. Makes sense. Then you'll let me go. Right?"

He reached the door. One hand on the handle, he replied. "No. Then you'll do any ... anything else I tell you. You ... you will. Sooner or later ... you will." He hurried out the door before she could throw the bottle.

"Cocksucker. Cowardly bastard. You just see if I will." Realizing she was talking to a closed door, MaryJane shut up.

Finding a broom among the junk and needing to work off at least some of her fury, MaryJane started sweeping. It isn't because of that bastard, she told herself, but if I gotta stay here for awhile I might as well live like a human.

It wasn't until she finished the major part of her mess that she sat down at the table and saw the bowl of boiled cornmeal.

"Mother fuck!" Laying her head on the table, frustration turned to tears. Finally, starving for sustenance, she turned to the gruel as the only food in sight.

***

It was Saturday. Since Sundays meant the general store in Pickleville would be closed, Andy dressed in clean clothes and went to town for his weekly shopping. While there, he picked up an assortment of cleaning supplies and a few items for his new slave. He chose clothing like trousers and womens’ underwear, guessing her size. At first, he didn't think about cosmetics, only a couple sticks of deodorant to keep her from stinking. Grandpa had said blacks stunk pretty bad, sorta like skunks.

He'd heard that black people didn't bathe and wondered if he'd have to teach her to use toilet paper? His friend, Samuel, had told him once that Negras used leaves for that purpose. Jungle bunnies, was the way he said it. Well, he didn't see any sacks of leaves, so the ones at the farm would have to do. Maybe he could stop on the way home and pick some? He had a 25 lb sack of cornmeal at home, enough for quite a while, so food wasn't a problem.

"Hiram," Andy asked the store's owner, "this here chain strong enough to hold a ... calf? I got me one that keeps trying to get through the fence and on’ta the road. I think I'll chain it in the pasture."

"They use that same chain on the state road-gang. Chain'um ta each other to keep the bastards from running. Thin an light as hell, an it'll hold a calf, easy."

"Gimme about," Andy said, pausing to consider, "sixty feet'a the stuff."

While he was waiting for Hiram to total his purchases up on scrap paper, Andy looked around. His eyes caught a picture of a Negro girl advertising shampoo. Hiram did have a few Negro customers in the area. They'd be waiting at the back door before he opened for business. He'd make certain they were out before white folks began arriving, though.

As far as Andy knew, none actually lived in town or came into the church on Sunday, but had a few homes within spitting distance. The girl in the ad did look good wearing that stuff.

"Hiram. Why not throw in some woman stuff? The kind they put on their face." He regretted it immediately, as Hiram's eyes jerked upwards.

"You got a girl, Andy? I can't believe it. Is it that Dotty what sits behind you in church? I seen her eying you ‘stead a Reverend Felcher."

Well," Andy said, blushing, "kinda."

"You ain't livin' in sin, are you? You can tell me. I ain't gonna tell Felcher."

"Of course not. Only one living in my house is me."

"Oh, and I almost forgot, Hiram," Andy said, standing next to the picnic supplies. "Are these things ... sanitary?"

"Guess so. They's in that wax-paper. Must be."

Andy threw a couple of packages of dinner napkins on the counter with his other purchases. He'd remembered his mother sending his father out for sanitary napkins.

***

MaryJane spent a little time trying to get the chain off. There was a partial barrel of grease within her reach, but it didn't work. Although she searched through the junk, she couldn't find anything to cut the chain. She did find a few hammers but the lock at the far end was a huge device made to keep slaves locked in. The hammers bounced off. The small hammer did the same thing to the one on her waist and she couldn't get herself to slam a six-pound sledgehammer that close to her belly. She tried picking both locks but found the effort useless.

Arms trembling from those efforts, the woman retreated to the table to go over a stack of dusty magazines she'd found. What she needed was a drink. She had no watch or clock around but knew it was the longest time she'd gone without a drink in years, ever since her last stint in jail for criminal assault and prostitution.

***

Late that afternoon, Andy brought MaryJane two paper sacks containing the things he'd bought for her. He wasn't sure what kind of reception he'd get, so was careful on entering.

She was at the table, reading issues of magazines from twenty-years before featuring women in clothes from the '20s. When MaryJane heard the door open, she turned and tensed her legs, looking on the table for something heavy to throw.

Fuck it. The woman relaxed, butt returning to the chair. What's the fucking use? He'd just go behind those sacks again, were her thoughts. "What the fuck you want now." She tried to hold in her anger, knowing it wouldn't do any good. She'd tried the stick, now would come the carrot.

"I.... I brought you this stuff. I hope it fits." Andy looked around near his feet, then over his head, trying to remember if there'd been any bear-traps in his grandfather's stuff. Seeing nothing but a swept wooden floor, he was still careful as he approached. "If you need anything else, let me know. Even if a sl ... you know, you're still a woman."

"Glad to see you noticed. Bet you enjoyed wiping that puke off my snatch. It must have given you a hint ... that I'm a woman." MaryJane was still looking at a magazine and missed his blush. She turned her head to look at him. "Did you fuck me when I was out?"

"I'm not that way. I've never done that to a woman in your condition."

"Admit it, you perverted bastard. You've never done 'that' to a woman ... period." MaryJane grinned. "Ever get a fucking sheep pregnant, or corn-hole a cow? Just fucking curious, is all." Somehow, her anger had evaporated at the sight of that stupid hick bastard. "Come on. Let's get it over with? I'll show you how easy it is."

Andy was tempted, sorely tempted, but remembered his grandfather's advice to never have sex with your own slaves. That if he did, it would make her hard to control. When horny, Grandpa had said, he'd go to a friend's place and screw someone else's slave -- never his own. His friend would do the same. They had businesses to run. But, as far as Andy knew, his neighbors didn't have slaves. Did that make it alright?

"Uh, uh. Can't."

"Can't? Why, ‘can't’? You have that thing cut off or somethin'? You pee out'a a fucking hole? Lemme see."

"No. It's not that. It's.... I just can't."

"Well. Anyway. What you got there?" She stood and looked through the bags. "Damn. Pants. These fucking things don't fit worth a shit."

Without a word, MaryJane slipped the knot on her necktie belt, dropping his father's trousers to the floor. Ignoring his embarrassment, she tried on the new ones, finding them a little tight but serviceable.

The cosmetics weren't what she'd have chosen, but Hiram had put in a complete assortment. He had enough experience with female customers to know what to pick.

What perplexed her were the potato sack of various tree leaves and two packs of table napkins.

"What the fuck are these? They ain't fucking tea leaves. And the napkins? I don't need that many to wipe my nose."

"Well. Well, the leaves are ... don't you know? You know? For when you're done."

"Done what?"

"After you go?"

"After I get out'a this fucking chain, I ain't gonna need no fucking leaves for nothin'."

"I mean, go ... to the toilet, over there. That's a toilet." He pointed to a large porcelain pot under the bed.

"I know what the fuck that is." Confused, she thought a minute. "No! It can't be. A fucking bigot. You. You're a fucking bigot. My Mama told me that joke when I was a little ... he-he, a little pickaninny.

"No, sir. I don't wipe my ass with leaves, or make butter out'a tigers."

Still giggling, she asked, "And what's the napkins for?"

"Women are supposed to need those things. Those are sanitary napkins ... ain't they? Hiram said they were?”

"That Hiram, whoever he is, is a fucking fool like you."

"Anyway," Andy wanted to change the subject, "you did clean the floor. I'll bring you two bowls of cornmeal tonight."

"And what's with the fucking cornmeal? Wait. Don't tell me. Hiram said that's what us Niggers eat. That right, fucking bigot?"

"No. Grandpa. He said it."

"You tell fucking grandpa to piss up a rope. Us Niggers eat other things, like fried chicken and watermelon. We eat the same shit you do. So stop with that fucking cornmeal. Speaking of shit, you better empty my shitpot or take off this chain. I can't do it myself."

"Then you shove it over here first." A thought hitting him, he edged toward cover behind the sacks.

"You don't trust me? You think I'm gonna smack your punkin' head with it or something?" She shoved the commode toward him.

Andy emptied the chamberpot outside and slid it back in, closing the door behind himself as he left.

"Hey! You! Bigot! Game's over. Let me loose," she called toward the closing door.

***

Encouraged by his captive's attitude, Andy fixed a nice meal for both of them. To keep her placated, the meal consisted of delicious fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and chitterlings -- with watermelon from the neighbor’s field for dessert.

Tomorrow, he thought while cooking the chitterlings, after church I'll have to speak to Reverend Felcher about the girl. Felcher was also the head of the local KKK chapter. Andy didn't belong to the organization, himself, but the reverend would have literature to help him with Andy's own slave. He'd often offered it along with a membership card to Andy.

The KKK was one of only two social groups in the immediate area. The first was a veterans' organization consisting of mostly vets from the Great War – WWI. They both threw parties once or twice a year, which most residents attended. Well ... come to think of it, he'd never seen a Negro at any of them. But, then, there weren't many of those people around and they kept to themselves a lot.

***

MaryJane felt much better once dressed in women's clothing that fit, and could even fix up her face a little. At first, she almost didn't use the makeup. But, she'd considered, it might help seduce the bigoted creep and help her gain her freedom. He didn't seem very bright, though the bastard was determined to keep her.

Proper clothing also helped get her confidence back and the woman figured it was only a matter of time before she'd be free with him behind bars or paying her blackmail. Meanwhile, she'd relax and enjoy herself by making life difficult for that son'a bitch. And it did feel nice to lie around for a change, away from hectic activity inthebig city.

MaryJane was losing money but thought a smart girl like herself could end up owning the hick farmer, making it worth her while. That was her old con-woman attitude speaking. Find a "mark," size him up, move in quickly and make a score -- then get the fuck out'a there. Her mother had taught her.

First, though, she needed a drink. It was evening of her second day without one, and she had the shakes in both hands. From experience, MaryJane knew snakes would visit in her bed that night. Getting hold of booze, she smiled at the thought, would be her first objective. Like a test.

When Andy came in, smiling as he shoved the door inward while holding a large tray of food, MaryJane looked up from her magazine.

He set the tray down with a flourish, whisking away a cloth that hid the meal.

When MaryJane saw it was "Nigger" food, anger again swelled in her breast. "You...." She clamped teeth firmly, biting her tongue in the process. It took an effort, but she stayed cool and even smiled.

"Thank you, Mr. Bigot. By the way, I don't even know your name?" It would be nice to know, she'd realized ... to tell the police when she escaped from the son'a bitch.

"Sorry. Andy."

"Andy?"

"Thompson. Andy Thompson. I own this farm ... and ... and you."

She gave him her most enticing smile, long practiced and effective to catch prey on the street. "That's nice ... Andy. Is Andy all right? You don't need Master, or Mr. Thompson, sir?"

When he didn't answer, she continued.

"My name's MaryJane. MaryJane Adams." She held her hand out for him to shake.

Automatically, like any man would, he clasped and shook it. It could easily be argued that it was a defining moment of their relationship. After all, Grandpa would never have done such a thing.

"I -- I brought you something to eat."

"So I see. Why don't we talk while I eat? I can tell you all about myself. You might find it interesting ... Andy."

He was perplexed. On one hand, he would like to know more about her. On the other, he was smart enough to realize he was losing control. What, he wondered, would Grandpa do? Shaking slightly, he stiffened his shoulder.

"May ... Maybe later. We'll have plenty of time later. Right now, we ... I have to decide your duties. Since I feed and clothe you, you have to do some work."

Feeling rejected but not at all beaten, MaryJane turned to the food, finding it was a good enough meal.

"And what do I have to do for my 'work'? You must have something in mind."

"To start with, there's cooking, cleaning the house, washing my laundry, and all that other household stuff. I'm not a hard master and....” How was it Grandpa had worded it? “And don't believe in beating my slaves unnecessarily."

"Have you ever beaten a slave before?"

"Not yet."

"Kinky. Let me tell you about one of my customers."

"Oh. You worked in a store?"

"In a store?" She laughed. "Well, since I sold something, I guess you could say that. More like a renting store, since they had to give it back."

"Then what did you sell, or rent?"

"Myself." MaryJane stared into his eyes. "You wanna rent some? I can give you a discount, but only if you take this chain off?"

Looking into her eyes, Andy felt weak. As before, he almost gave in but managed to control himself. Grandpa was right, he realized, that a slave will do anything to get out of work.

Instead, he crossed his legs to hide an erection, knowing he'd have to get rid of it soon or soil his shorts. Even Andy could understand what she was talking about. He wasn't too bright, but not all that stupid.

"Don't talk like that. What about the customer? Remember?"

"Well," MaryJane said, sighing, "you should have seen some of them. Some was real fucking kinky. And, I gotta admit, Andy, that I do enjoy a certain amount of kink." She stopped to bat her eyes at him. "You got you any kinks you'd like unkinked? We can work on them if you want?"

Imagination rising, among other things, Andy shook his head, avoiding her gaze.

"Things," she lowered her voice and continued, "that you'd never, ever, imagine." Her purpose was, of course, freedom. The more she knew of his sexual preferences, the better. "There was one business owner that brought huge diapers over with him. He'd lie on the kitchen table and jerk-off while I changed him and told the idiot how bad a boy he was. Then," she raised her voice, laughing, "he'd cum with his hand still inside and piss in the diaper. After I changed him again, he'd pay and go home. And he was a big fat man, too."

Andy shook his head, trying to picture Tom, at the church -- who was fat -- doing that stuff and couldn't.

"Why did you do things like that? It just doesn't seem right that a ... well, a pretty girl, even a Negro, would do it."

"Money, honey. It makes the world go round."

"But why do girls do things like that? You're pretty enough to get a job, maybe go to school or get married."

"Andy, baby. There's many fucking reasons why girls get into hooking. Some have a bad childhood, like me, and simply do it as the easiest way to make a living. I know housewives that show on the street once in a while for rent money."

MaryJane took time to tell him about her own childhood, where her father had been killed by the police while robbing a store, and she'd been used by her mother to con money from wealthy white child molesters. With that background, she'd naturally gravitated toward prostitution.

"All of them become ... you know?" he asked, wiping wet eyes. “Caus'a that?”

"Hardly. There's as many reasons as there are girls, sorta a cross-section of pussy. Some are forced, some do it willingly. Some like the safety of pimps while some, like myself, avoid the bastards. A pimp takes care of a girl, but also her money, which can be good or bad -- usually bad. Sometimes they're married to the girl. I know some pimps that never or rarely mistreat their women. Others beat them constantly. Those guys have their uses, and can sometimes make the job easier for a working girl. But I know it's not for me.

"Some girls, the ones that avoid drugs and booze, can become wealthy and retire. Some of us never get ahead. A few even marry rich men, but not many. It's a dream we all have. Hey! You ain't rich, are you, Bigot?"

Andy shook his head.

"Anyway, a lot of us get into drugs and alcohol to escape the daily grind, if you know what I mean." She giggled, bouncing her butt off the chair in a grinding movement while eying him suggestively. "Others do it for the excitement. And it is exciting to go into dark alleys and get into cars with strange men.

"At first, talking to them, I try to size the fuckers up. Some might be cops, you know? I'll get up real close, into their faces, while my hands search for both weapons and hard cocks. One is good, the other bad. Cops aren't normally hard, since to them it's simply a job, and a gun usually means a cop. Or at least a good reason to refuse to go with them.

"Us street girls have a choice. In a house, we don't. In general, a house is safer. It has organization and at least one armed bouncer. But you gotta take on all comers, no matter how perverted, and share the money. I like the street, cause I can always walk away if he doesn't look right.

"But, sometimes," she said, memory bringing a shudder, "the street can be dangerous. That's why I prefer working outside the normal areas. The dangerous freaks prefer choosing between many girls, checking out the big strolls. That’s why I use quieter districts where you might only see an occasional working girl.

"I think a good corner between a residential street and a bus stop is best. Men walk by on the way to and from the bus. 'Hey,' they think, 'maybe a quickie?' Most of the time, those are regular working men, on the way to or from work -- safe and with cash.

"My problem there is the housewives. They see me, too. Although I can watch for and fool cops, another woman can tell in an instant -- and call the police. So, I'm forced to move around a lot."

"Can you really prefer living like that, doing something against the law and hiding from the police?"

That question had an immediate effect on the girl.

"You're one to talk, you bastard." She straightened up to glare at him. "This is fucking kidnapping, you know that? Jesus Christ. Talk about the pot calling the fucking kettle black."

MaryJane couldn't help it. Her cool had changed to hot lava. She almost knocked him off his chair by jerking on her chain, slamming it against his legs. With nothing else to do, she'd been practicing with the chain. "Get this fucking thing off me, you hear?"

Andy thought it was time to go, skedaddling out the door.

Damn, MaryJane felt like kicking herself. She'd forgotten all about the booze.

***

Later, after a restless nap during which he manually relieved himself, Andy fixed a snack. While rummaging in his icebox, he noticed a partial bottle of whiskey in the bottom, almost covered by the melting block of ice. Andy didn't drink often, but felt the urge.

After one drink, while carrying the bottle back he thought that MaryJane would like some. It might placate her, he thought.

Quietly opening the door to the slave quarters, he saw she was sleeping. Tiptoeing in, Andy set the bottle on the table and left.

***


As she'd thought, the night and lack of alcohol brought grinning snakes and dancing spiders crawling over her skin and into fevered dreams. MaryJane woke often and finally, shakily, planted both feet on the floor, thinking that walking around her prison for awhile would calm her down.

That was when she saw the whiskey. The first long gulp felt wonderful, slamming down and into a waiting void. Stomach settling, she took time to pour a glass, topping it off with water from a can her captor had provided.

Sitting at the table, her thoughts meandered through the past, including early memories of a father who both beat her as an infant and molested her at the age of ten. Although she couldn't tell her mother, she'd been secretly glad when the police informed them he'd been killed robbing that liquor store.

Her mother. Yes. Her mother hadn't been any better, forcing the teenager to entice men into trying -- and occasionally succeeding -- to screw her. She remembered times when Mama was too high to intervene until too late. One such time was when the man simply slapped Mama down and took her gun, coming back to bed to finish raping the girl. How frightened she'd been to see his hulking figure returning, her mother -- her only protector -- lying on the floor, senseless.

It had been a hard childhood. Hard to see what passed for normal children beating on each other on the dirty streets. At least they hadn't had guns, which were now becoming numerous -- maybe because of the war going on in Europe and Japan? Back when she'd been a kid, there were gangs, but not like now. She'd seen the use of clubs and rocks accelerate to knives, now turning to firearms.

Living in that environment, she'd grown up hard as a rock. Conversely, in other parts of town, white people lived peacefully, children walking to school without fear and coming home to loving parents and good meals.

MaryJane sat in semi-darkness, moonlight filtering into the large room through filthy barred windows. Compared to her small room in the city, even the mixed odors of mildew, old oil, and the lingering smell of animal manure smelled fresh. Indeed, a considerable amount of fresh air did circulate through cracks in the walls between split logs. Her room, a cubicle sectioned off from a larger room, in the city tended to smell of sweat, piss, cabbage, and onions with little or no ventilation through one small window. Unlike the present rural quiet broken by occasional animal cries, city ghetto life was a constant litany of babies screaming and adults arguing.

She sat, quietly pondering her current fate at the hands of that fucking farmer. That and the thought of going back to the city to return to a life as a public receptacle for semen, from one hell to another.

Thinking it over, she realized something truly shocking. That where she was, as a prisoner, she had less to fear from this bastard than in her normal lifestyle. She could easily handle the son'a bitch, and had no doubt at all that she could get him to release her.

Maybe, just maybe, she thought, she was enjoying fucking with the stupid fool? It was a change from fucking for a living. Owning a farm, he probably had money hidden around there somewhere. After the recent depression, people didn’t trust banks. If she played the fool right, she knew she could get it.

***

The next morning being Sunday, and his never missing a Sunday service in thirty years, Andy dressed in his finest, and only, suit coat over clean bib overalls and drove the blue pickup to the Pickleville Church of the Son. Before the sermon started, he approached Reverend Felcher.

"John," he said, looking down at the man's tie, "you still got that stuff? You know, all about the white race and stuff?"

The preacher was busily leafing through notes on his coming sermon. He looked up. "You wanna join the Klan, Andy? About time. I've been thinking about that space behind your sheds. It'd be a fine place for a firing range. I was gonna ask."

"Jeez. I dunno. With this war on, I wanna plant vegetables there. And the Kaplonski's. You can see their house from there, a straight shot. I don't think they'd like their property shot up."

The preacher sighed. "The only other choices are Jonah Goldstein's and Jerry Samson's place. I don't think a Jew would let the KKK set up a firing range on his property. And Jerry's place is pretty narrow. We can get a bulldozer and build an embankment behind yours."

"You got that stuff, though?"

"What stuff?"

"The booklets on how to treat Negroes. You know? You wanted to give me some, before."

"Oh! Sure. In the green cabinet in my office. Help yourself, Andy. And, as a white landowner, you really should join us. We get together every Friday for a few drinks and a little bull. You'd like it."

Andy thanked him and started to leave.

"Hey, Andy. If you're not gonna join, what you want the stuff for? You got a slave or something?" he joked, surprised as Andy blushed cherry-red.

"Y -- You kn -- know me, John. On -- Only curious."

Now, what the hell's that all about? the preacher thought. Later, over a beer, he would tell some of the other KKK members about Andy's strange reaction. One of them would be Hiram, who owned the town general store and remembered Andy's strange purchase of womens clothing and other goods.

***

With nothing to do, MaryJane explored as much of the long slave-quarters room as she could reach. For one thing, she'd already run through that stack of dusty magazines or at least looked at the pictures. The room was longer than her chain, so she couldn't reach one hell of a lot.

Most of it was farm equipment from when the place had been producing; things Andy hadn't wanted to throw away or couldn't sell. Broken and rusty whiffletrees vied for space with a mule-drawn corn-picker.

She made several interesting finds. The first was the hundred-year-old pile of slave chains from his grandfather's day and before. She couldn't help shuddering at that find, backing away. Looking closer, however, there was a black trunk half-hidden by the chains. Behind that stood four clay jugs with dusty brown tops and dirty white bottoms, looking like they contained at least a gallon each.

Having finished Andy's whiskey in short order, the jugs drew her attention, even if she had to move fifty pounds of rusty chain to get at them. They looked for all the world like those brown-and-white moonshine jugs she'd seen in “Snuffy Smith” comic strips.

It took effort, but she finally sat on the chest while trying to pry a cork out of a jug. It did, she'd noticed, feel like a liquid inside, splashing too much to be motor oil.

MaryJane couldn't get the tarred cork out and was afraid of breaking the clay of the jug, itself. Excitedly, she searched around, finding a triangular projection on the corn-picker that might work. It did.

The liquid smelled like alcohol. Dripping a little onto one palm, MaryJane tensed and dipped a finger into the pool. She touched it to her tongue.

"Whoooooie!" she cried. It tasted awful, but was homemade whiskey.

Standing, jug in hand, she looked down at the trunk. It wasn't locked, so she pried up the lid to find it filled with papers and business account-books. Taking the open jug and a handful of literature, she returned to her table to drink and examine the papers.

The booze was palatable when watered down. The ledgers turned out to be business records and correspondence from the farm's slave days. They told of profits and losses on various projects, as well as names and some history on the slaves, themselves. "Jeremiah, twelve-years. Son of Bertha and Peter of the Ames Farm, purchased July, 1834. Fieldhand," and so on and on. Some had dates of death, others sale dates. To MaryJane, it was both interesting and frightening. That people's entire lives could be condensed into the space of a line or two.

There was even a Mary Adams, telling of her children being sold away from her, to a "Tenderson Auction Company" in Memphis. Being born near Memphis, MaryJane realized those kids could be her ancestors. And, she also realized, she hadn't done much better, living from day to day, week after week with nothing much better to look forward to; a future almost as dim and useless as that other Mary Adams’.

Throwing that particular account book across the room and feeling the alcohol, she virtually fell from chair to bed, crying herself into a fitful sleep and dreaming of what it would have been like to be a real slave.

***

Upon returning, Andy changed into work clothes and fixed meals for the two of them. Carrying one to the slave-quarters building, he found MaryJane passed out.

Glancing briefly at the table, he saw the jug and paperwork. It only took a few minutes for him to find out its substance and devine its origin. It took a little longer to find the trunk and carry it outside to another shed. Personally, he'd never been interested in the trunk's businesslike contents. Since it had belonged to Grandpa and might be valuable, he'd simply stored it, unopened.

But the chains reminded him of the new set he'd purchased for her. He went into the house to find the sixty-feet of new shiny supposedly incredibly strong but light chain. It was, he figured, a good time to change them.

Trying to be quiet, he unlocked her old chain and ran the new one under and around her waist. It was not only long enough for her to clean the entire room, his first job for her, but to step outside into the sunlight. She could even go out to empty her own chamberpot.

While wrapping the new one around her waist, he had to slip his hand under his slave, leaning close enough to feel heat from her body and smell an unwashed womanly scent. She smelled nice and sexy with Hiram's perfume, he thought, fighting back a sense of remorse and guilt as he clicked the padlock shut.

Let her have her drink, he thought. But, after that -- no more. He had to wean her off the stuff.

***

When MaryJane woke, the first thing she noticed was that the account books were gone. The next was her new chain. It was lighter than the other, so she returned to her hammers where she'd hidden them among the junk. Damn. She discovered the new chain was stronger than the old iron one. The hammers did no good at all. But it was much longer, allowing her to sit outside on the steps. She hadn't realized how good and warm the sun felt on her skin. Normally working evenings and nights, she wasn't used to much sunlight.

Partially to take advantage of the sun, and partly to fuck with Andy, she took off her blouse. MaryJane still had hopes of using her best weapon, her sexuality, to win freedom.

When Andy appeared, it was with a handful of cleaning equipment: lye soap, vinegar, water, and rags..

"I'm sorry you found that stuff in the trunk. I never read it, myself," he told her, not commenting on her bare breasts. "How do you like the sunlight?"

"You're sorry? It was your family that did that shit, you know? The world would be better off if the Yankees had castrated all you fucking bastards. What's all that shit you got?"

"I want ... I order you to clean that building up and rearrange that junk."

"When your lazy ass grows trees, I will."

"No more food until you do."

"Granddaddy tell you to say that, fucker? You gonna sell me for four goats if I don't?"

"You will. If you want to keep that whiskey, you will."

"Bastard. You think I can't do without it."

"We'll see."

"Okay. Motherfucker. I'll bet you would fucking starve me. Christ, I feel sorry for any female ape that would sleep with you. No real woman would dirty herself."

Since he refused to feed her until she complied, late the next night the hungry young woman set to work, swearing a blue streak as she swished a broom as though trying to force it to fly, stirring up and moving more dust than she collected.

Tired of secretly keeping an eye on her through a window, Andy came in and watched from the table in her corner. It did feel good to actually order her around and get a little work done. He had to establish his authority. Both his Grandpa and the preacher would have said she was too "uppity." A little forced labor would, he figured, bring her down a peg or two.

After watching her for an hour or so, Andy became bored. Hell, the climax of a dream should be more exciting, he thought.

"You can take a break," he called out, receiving a glare in return as she slammed the broom down on top of the corn-picker. "Don't break that thing. I'm going in to fix us some lunch."

Ha, he thought on going out the door. That'll teach her who's in charge here.

"Shove it up your fucking ass, pervert," she called after him before turning back to her jug.

***

That's the way to handle a slave, Andy thought while washing dishes that night. I'll soon have her doing this job. But, he wondered ... how?

He'd often dreamed about a slave doing housework but, even with her chained, did he really trust a Negress in his house? Keeping her in the old slave quarters was one thing, his home another. And he could hardly keep transferring her, chain and all, back and forth. Why, Andy realized, his home was not only filled with potential weapons,but she’d obtain easy access to his sleeping body. How long before she could kill him?

But if he didn't keep her in his home how could she cook and clean? There wasn't any sink or anything in the slave quarters. No way for her to do laundry, even. He realized that if he had to carry water back and forth, as well as his laundry -- not to mention moving that heavy washing machine -- it would be more labor than doing it himself.

What the hell good was she? With him cooking and cleaning for her, just who was the slave? Here he was, working for her while she sat out there, drinking Daddy's whiskey.

This slave stuff wasn't what he'd imagined. What he could do was.... No! It wasn't right to ... to sleep with a slave. His own slave. Grandpa would turn over in his grave. She'd want special favors. Like ... well, like him doing her laundry. And, he realized, soon he would have to do her laundry, since it had to be done and she couldn't do it.

Damn.

He'd have to bring her into the house. At least, that way, she could help out. He could always take his father's pistol to bed and lock the door so she couldn’t sneak in and knife him in his sleep.

***

The next day, Andy went back to the general store and asked Hiram, "You got any of those big bolts here? The ones with the eye on the end that I can fix a thick cable to? I'll need four of the things. My henhouse is shaky and I wanna tie it down."

"What you need is a new henhouse. Shit, Andy, you ain't got but a dozen chickens. They'd find shelter in a storm. No need to go to all that trouble."

"I still wanna do it. You got any of those things?"

"Yeah, out back someplace. We call them things 'slave bolts.' Ain't sold any since old Henry Simpson was scared his new tractor would blow away. Stupid idiot. Hear he never did use them."

Hiram went out back and hauled four of the bolts in, rusty from lying around out there. They were so heavy it took him two trips. "Only thing they's good for is for slaves," he joked. "You ain't got some slaves, do ya?"

"What gives you that idea, Hiram?" Andy looked over his shoulder, making sure no one was listening, but did keep from blushing. "That ain't legal no more, is it?"

For the rest of the day, he left MaryJane alone to drink herself senseless while he installed the bolts through floorboards in his house. It took him roughly three hours apiece to find places to put three of them. Parts of the floors in his home were too thin or termite infected. Then, not being much of a carpenter, Andy also screwed up quite a bit.

Finished, he threw his mother's old mattress onto the floor in a hallway and went outside to get his slave.

He found she was too drunk to walk.

"Wa' you wan'? Come'on, we fuck. Then I go home. COME ON, les' doit?"

Andy didn't have any choice. He had to get her inside the house and secured so he could go to bed, himself. First, he unlocked the chain around her waist, figuring there was no way she'd run away in that condition.

Next, he grabbed her legs, swinging them to the floor.

"Wear we goin', Annnnnndy? You wan' me, Annndy, yes you does?"

She felt so soft and limber as he grabbed her around the waist. Bracing himself, he pulled her to her feet, finding he was hauling dead-weight. He had to tighten his hold as she threatened to fall through his arms.

The only thing that saved her from falling was that she threw both arms around his neck, reaching up to kiss him on the lips.

Andy was in a bind. He didn't want to drop her, and was frightened of what she was doing to him. Despite his resolve, Andy's groin was stirring, getting hard.

It took what seemed like hours to get her into the house and flopped down onto the hall mattress. Breathing hard, Andy looked down, fighting an urge to join her.

Resisting unbidden emotions, he forced himself back to the slave quarters to roll up the chain. The old Civil War lock gave him trouble, taking almost half an hour to get back to the house.

"My God! Oh, my God," he exclaimed. She was gone. His slave was gone.

***

Fighting panic, Andy ran back outside. He drove his pickup truck up to the road, lights off, looking for her. Damn, a black girl in dark clothing on a moonless night, he thought. Why isn't she white? But, then, if she were white, she wouldn't be a slave, would she?

He searched the grounds for over an hour, even running his truck up and down the road for a mile each way, hoping to find her.

What if she goes to the police? he thought, panicking. He'd probably go to jail for a long time.

Finally, he remembered that he hadn't searched the house. That was where he found her, sleeping peacefully in his own bed. At least, he thought, the chain would reach.

He was so tired from the search that he slept in the hallway, on his mother's mattress.

***

On that first morning in the house MaryJane found Andy sleeping, pants off, on a mattress thrown down in a hallway between kitchen and living room. She put her city savvy to work. Using blocks of firm lye soap from the kitchen, she took impressions of both sides of all the keys on his ring. Hiding the soap, she nudged him awake.

Andy woke to a pressure on his nuts. Looking up, he saw MaryJane looking down, one big toe pressed into his manhood.

"What's this shit?" she said. "Why'd you move me here? I do like my new bedroom, though. You gotta let me fix it up. More feminine, you know?"

Andy hurriedly got to his feet. He searched for his pants and found them nearby. The man felt relief in finding the key ring intact and still in a pocket. Noticing she still wore her chain, he relaxed a little.

"I'm hungry. What we got for breakfast, Bigot?"

"I'd like hotcakes, but eggs are okay. They're in the icebox," he said.

"No shit."

"Well. Whatever you want to fix is okay with me. You must know where the kitchen is by now. Get busy."

"Me?" She laughed. "Me, cook?"

"Of course, you. You're the slave."

"I don't know how to fucking cook. I never learned. We must have a restaurant around here somewhere? I'm a fucking city girl, you know?"

"Darn it. Now I gotta teach you ... I guess."

Andy spent a couple of hours teaching his slave how to mix hotcakes and fry eggs. She screwed up two eggs for each one that came out edible. Despite watching her closely, she still managed to burn the hotcakes on the outside while leaving them liquid in the center. And the kitchen was a mess with dropped eggs and batter splashed on the stove and stinking up the kitchen.

MaryJane loved it, though, happily flipping and stirring while hoping he would give up and take over the job himself.

Then came another obstacle he hadn't thought about. Where were they to eat? He was certain Grandpa would never sit down to eat with a slave. But there was only one table in the kitchen and he didn't have a dining room. The kitchen counter was too high to eat from, the chairs being too low.

Hungry, he gave up, setting two places at the table while she was still trying to fry hotcakes. At least, he thought, he could sit across the table from her.

Andy was also annoyed when she insisted on talking while eating. Being a bachelor, he was accustomed to giving all his attention to the meal.

"Good shit," she mumbled through a mouth stuffed with egg and buttered bread. "What you do for a living, Bigot? Bet you're rich, cause you sure as hell don't have a fucking job."

"Now, let's get something straight ... MaryJane. Since you're now in MY home, you have to follow MY rules. Number one, stop that swearing. I don't like it."

"You kidnapped me. Why should I give a flying fuck what YOU like? You gonna beat me, Master?" She gave him a smirking grin. "Or fuck the shit out'a me? You can, you know, if you take off the fucking chain."

"I will beat you ... if I have to. Keep it up. Did you see that slave-strap on the wall in my ... your bedroom? It's my Grandpa's."

"Sorry, Massa. I's gonna try ta be good, Massa Andy. You sees if'n this poooor slave don', Massa sir." She leaned across the table to laugh in his face. "Fuck you up'a ass, Massa."

Even Andy had a limit. More than a month of anger and frustration coming to the fore, he reached out for the woman, jerking her upper body across the table -- in the process sending food and condiments tumbling to the floor. Belatedly, MaryJane realized she'd overstepped some forbidden line.

Growling like a rabid beast, he held the girl down on the table with one hand while spanking her trouser-clad rear with the other. All his repressed anger at her came to the surface, flowing down his right arm and into that one iron-hard hand.

No matter how she struggled, angrily jerking and trying to find something to bite, he held on, beating her butt as tired fingers turned to a fist. Soon, her anger turned to panic, then fear and pain. Shrieks and curses changed to tears and pleas.

Finally, his own hand hurting as badly as her sore butt, he had to stop to catch his breath.

"Now you clean this mess up, and I don't want to hear any more fucks coming from that filthy mouth."

"Bastard."

"You want more? No bastard's, either. Now get your butt in gear," he told her. When she didn't answer, he turned and strode into the living room.
***

Their relationship changed, at least a little. MaryJane kept up the jibes, though trying to watch her language. Andy didn't beat her for every "fuck" but the fear of it forced her to a more ladylike demeanor. During the next couple of weeks, he taught her how to do at least some of the household chores, enough to pull her weight in that respect.

On her part, MaryJane adjusted -- at least somewhat. Their relationship wouldn't have been approved by Grandpa, but suited Andy. She still had it easy compared to the hectic hustling pace of prostitution. At times, MaryJane thought of getting out of that chain and leaving during the night. What kept her was her knowledge of her captor and finding out he WAS wealthy. Also, with him around most of the time she hadn't had an opportunity to make a set of her own keys.

"You never did say what you do for a living?" she asked one night while they were both sitting in the living room, reading and listening to a radio. It was a peaceful rural setting for the ‘40s, entirely different than what the girl had been accustomed to in her past frantic city life.

"I don't need to work. Before the end of the Civil War, Grandpa was smart. The South was still winning, but he knew they didn't have a chance against the rich industrial North. So he sold most of his large uh, holdings, for a good price in gold. He snuck over the line into Ohio and invested the gold in northern war industries."

"Not very patriotic of him, was it?"

"Guess not, but he made enough profit that I don't have to work. If I don't spend too much, that is."

"I bet you have a lot of money lying around?"

"Enough."

With that admission in mind, she figured she'd stick around awhile to see about finding his stash. It was easier and more peaceful living there than selling her ass. If all else failed, she could always get away and blackmail the bastard. In one sense, the girl missed the city. On the other hand, an occasional rest from it felt good.

He even let her keep his bedroom, moving his things into another room.

Hey, Bigot. Don't forget that damned strap. I don't want it on MY wall. I call it a Bigot Beater.”

He hurried in to take the strap down and hide it in the attic.

***

During her third week inside the house, MaryJane discovered a ring containing old keys. It was in a lower dresser drawer in her, once Andy's, bedroom.

With all those spare keys, probably not having been used for many years, she set to work. Over the space of a week, the girl compared keys to soap impressions. While living in the slave quarters, she'd found a small metal-file. It hadn't been any help on her chain, but worked wonders on those otherwise useless iron keys.

Some of them were close to the patterns of Andy's. A few hours of filing each one and she had her own set of heavy but reasonable duplicates. As she finished each one, MaryJane tried it on the padlock holding the chain around her waist, eventually altering a key to fit. She could get loose anytime she wanted. One of them might even fit his truck. Although not knowing how to drive, a smart girl could figure it out, she thought.

Being able to escape did make the girl restless. Although she'd already searched as much of the house as possible while tethered to a chain, she’d only found small amounts of money lying around. There was about fifty-dollars in one drawer, a large amount in 1944, but she wanted the jackpot.

Her problem was that Andy was a homebody, rarely leaving the house except to go to church on Sunday and a rare trip to the general store in Pickleville. Although he did go outside once in awhile to feed the milk cow and chickens, that didn't give her much time to look around.

When possible, MaryJane would make furtive searches of attic and basement, careful to replace everything she moved around. Those searches were restricted, in that she was rarely certain how long he'd be gone and she'd often have to wash up before re-chaining herself. And she still had sheds and grounds to search. It was frustrating.

"What would you do if the war caused the banks to collapse again?" she asked.

"I'd lose money, but I learned from the '30s. It's not all in the bank or stock market."

That exchange brought on another flurry of searching. Often, while he was inside the house, she'd sit on the porch, wondering if the "treasure" as she called it, was buried? If so, where the hell was it?

Meanwhile, she tried her best to get along with him, even limiting her drinking to when she considered it safe, which wasn't often. If he caught her with whiskey on her breath he'd know she could get loose. Once in a while, like when he'd left for church, she'd sneak over to the slave quarters to have a sip or two.

MaryJane found it surprisingly easy to slow down her swearing, maybe because it did seem out of place in such a peaceful setting. In the city, most of her friends swore constantly. Since the habit was ingrained in her nature, she couldn't stop completely. It did seem better to say something like, "It's a nice day today," than, "Fuck, but it's a nice motherfucking day."

Not to say there weren't arguments between them.

"Why didn't you wash those clothes?"

"I've been busy. I'll get them later, okay, Bigot?"

"Not okay. Here it is, Saturday afternoon, and my good going-to-church overalls are still dirty. Put that magazine down and get your butt moving."

"In a few minutes. I ain't no slave."

"The hell you ain't. Get going. I need them in the morning."

"You know where you can stick that shit."

"You want me to get that strap out and use it?"

"You wouldn't fuc ... dare. Would … you?"

"Try me." He advanced, grabbing the magazine out of her hand while avoiding an ill-aimed kick. "Move."

She gave in, though not willingly. She was thinking of that hidden money. Besides, the last thing she wanted was him staying home on Sunday morning, a guaranteed two hours and her best time to search.

***

In town, Reverend Felcher was having a little trouble. He still hadn't found a place for a KKK firing range. Because of the noise and inherent danger, it had to be out of town. Some of the available sites weren't friendly with the Klan, while others were owned by Kikes and out of the question. One, up by the lake, was in escrow so that he'd have to go before a court to get permission, with little chance of being approved.

The best place still seemed to belong to Andy Thompson, who hadn't, Felcher recalled, actually said “no”, only commenting on a proposed vegetable garden and flack from his neighbors.

Felcher made a visit to the neighbor in question, the Kaplonski family. George Kaplonski, though not wishing to join the Klan, was an avid hunter and had no objection if a sturdy earthen berm were built at his end of the range -- and they let him practice there. His wife, Ethel, was hard of hearing.

The preacher did have access, through his church, to a bulldozer. If he could solve Andy's garden problem, he thought, he might get his firing range. Feeling it better to have a good look at the place before confronting Andy, Felcher felt he had to get the man off his property for awhile.

That Sunday, as part of the service, there was to be an announcement of an event in a nearby town, given by the VFW. To that end, he had to lie. Although God frowned on falsehoods, Reverend Felcher felt a little judicious redirection wouldn't condemn him to eternal damnation. As a matter of fact, he was quite practiced in the art -- to help the Lord in His work, of course. And a firing range would be helpful in the training of the armies of the Lord.

"The VFW in Hicksville expects a good turnout for the event," he told his congregation. "And to all of you interested -- like our Andy Thompson, here -- there will be a large 'slave days' display. So, if you're not doing anything that day, be sure to show your support for our state traditions. Dig out those old relics from that war. They bring top prices at these events."

That should get Andy away for a few hours, the preacher thought. Andy often mentioned all the memorabilia in his shed. With him gone most of the day, they'd have time to estimate the cost of a range and see any problems before making an offer. Hell, the land might not be worth a darn for a range, anyway.

***

The hours between sundown and bedtime were when the two of them got together socially in Andy's living room. It was a large space with a couch and several stuffed chairs. The centerpiece was a massive Motorola radio containing AM, FM, and a half-dozen shortwave bands. At the moment, it was tuned to a news report. “......RAF blasts Dusseldorf with large incendiary bombing. Laugh of the week. Hitler speaks to his nation and boasts that Stalingrad will soon be taken. Wait for it, he-he. Gonna be a long wait......”

Say, you, Bigot," Maryjane called to Andy. "What you got against me anyway? You against me personal, black people, or any woman? You queer?"

"Watch your language. It's the way I feel, the way I was taught, is all. I don't wanna talk about it."

"I do. What's wrong with talking about it? I ain't gonna tell your friends -- if you even got any friends. Ain't too damned many queer bigots around that I knows of." MaryJane laughed. Goading her captor was a way to break the monotony. "I know one I can introduce you to if you take this chain off me. He's got one'a those huge black coc--"

"Shut the hell up, woman. I'm not queer."

"Then why don't you fuck me? You say I'm your slave. White masters always fuc ... did it to their girl slaves." She put down her novel and walked over behind him, continuing to joke. Bending down, MaryJane whispered into his ear, "Come on, Massa Bigot? You don't know I can hear you through that wall, a jerking off at night. That iron bedstead goes 'squeeky, squeeky, squeeky'."

"Grandpa … Grandpa … he said a slave-owner never does it to his own slaves. Then you'd want favors and get lazy."

"What favors you give me, uh, Bigot? Not your dick, and that's for sure?"

"Now cut that out." He jerked forward, away from her hot breath. "You're black, that's why."

"Ah, the bigot calls his'self a bigot. Bigot, bigot, bigot. Come on, Massa, take off this chain and give me some." MaryJane bent over farther, clasping hands around his ear and under his chin from the rear, then bending her head down to kiss Andy's cheek.

As he jerked forward to get away from her, Andy pulled the laughing girl over the chair, both of them landing in a heap on the floor, chain stretching over the chair back.

Having fun and being on top, she pinned his arms and wouldn't let him get up. The woman laughed as she grabbed Andy around the waist while nibbling on one ear.

MaryJane shoved a hand down and inside his pants to clasp his manhood, rubbing with one finger and feeling intense pressure on her wrist when his body twisted toward her to avoid the pain.

"What's this, Massa Bigot? Something hard under here? This feel good, Massa? Bet it do."

As his face turned to hers, mouth opening, maybe to object and maybe to speak -- she'd never know -- she covered it with her own.

That night, Andy reclaimed his own bedroom. Actually it was shared, though he didn't remove the chain, which sometimes made making love difficult. The links had a propensity for winding around both their legs during certain gymnastic exercises.

Andy had never thought he'd be raped by his slave, and wondered what Grandpa would have done in that case? He was definitely having second thoughts about the entire project, regretting chaining her like that -- but saw no way out. If he took off the chain, would she leave and go back to the city? Or, even worse, turn him in to the state police? He had no way to know. The man was backed into a corner with nowhere to go.

*

Well, Andy thought in the morning, he might as well prepare for that Civil War shindig in Hicksville. Those events included visitors showing off and trading their own relics of that long-gone war. Andy wanted to trade a few things, himself.

Maybe he could get rid of at least some of those chains in the slave quarters? How about trading for something lighter that wouldn't rust away? And he had that old cavalry revolver. Hell, he thought, if he tried to shoot the thing, it would probably blow up in his face. He didn't even know for sure if it was loaded, though there did seem to be something in a few of the cylinders that might be charges or old spider nests.

***

MaryJane was in the living room listening to a soap-opera, "Stella Dallas," when Andy came in. He'd unlocked one end of her chain and had it coiled over his shoulder. That end was around his own waist and locked.

"Come on, honey. We have some work to do outside."

"Can't it wait until this is over, Bigot?"

"I have to go to Hicksville this morning and I need help loading the truck."

"You have a fucking wheelbarrow, use that."

A turn of the chain around his hand and a sudden jerk had her stumbling to her feet, swearing. "What the fuck you think you're doing, you bastard? You're the 'man,' the fucking boss, You load the damned truck yourself."

Andy didn't bother to answer, simply turning and walking away, her stumbling behind him, still swearing a blue streak.

It did, though, feel good for her to be walking around outside for a change. She never had gotten to the point of inspecting the outbuildings for her captor's supposed treasure, or even been inside any of them except the slave quarters building -- which was where they were heading. The truck was already backed up to the doorway, meaning they had to slide sideways between it and the entrance to get inside.

"What's this bullshit? I don't wanna even touch that shit. It has the ghosts of all those poor slaves your family killed."

"They didn't kill them."

"Might as well've killed the poor bastards, the way you treated them. I read your sorry-ass grandfather's account of selling their kids to get drinking money. What you gonna do if we have a fucking kid, sell or eat her?"

"You cut it out. I'm taking these with me to Hicksville to get rid of them."

"Make damned sure you take the ghosts with you. I can't stand ghosts.”

"We ain't got no ghosts in our house. I'd know by now if we did."

"I swear, Massa Andy, siiirrr, 'at I'll haunt you ass if'n you kill me. And if it's 'our' house, take this fucking chain off me. I don't wanna wear no fucking chain in MY house."

"Cut it out, MaryJane. I'm not taking that chain off. I can't"

"Why the hell can't you?"

"You might run to the cops and I'd go to jail. I can't take the chance."

"What if I promise? Don't you trust me any? For Christ's sake, I've been here for months and ain't tried to run ... yet."

Andy shook his head and threw a coil of dusty rusty slave chain over his shoulder.

"You untangle and feed it to me while I take this end to the truck. Try to smooth it out a little while I pull from there. Throw the small ones like leg irons in that wheelbarrow and I'll take them out later."

The chain had kinks in it but whoever had piled it up long before had been careful, so she had a fairly easy time of it. In an hour or so, it and other relics were loaded and the tailgate up.

Standing alongside the truck, Andy looked in his wallet. "Darn it," he muttered to himself, "I'll need a little more cash in case I want to buy anything at the showing."

Taking her chain from around his own waist, he padlocked it to the back bumper.

"Wait here. I'll only be a couple of minutes. Go inside and have a drink if you want."

MaryJane watched as he walked over to, and then inside a small barn across the courtyard. Ah, she thought, so that's where he has his money hidden? She hurried inside the slave quarters to watch that building through a window until he came walking out, looking as though putting something in his pocket.

After lunch, Andy headed for the bathroom to shave and get ready for a trip to Hicksville. While waiting, MaryJane tried to read one of his mother's old romance novels, hoping the cacophony from Spike Jones and his sometimes raucous band on the radio would mask the beating of her heart.

Now that she knew where her captor's money was hidden, she could get it and escape back to the city. With any luck, it would be worth spending the time with that fucking idiot. Damn, but just think of all the booze and pills I can buy? And the fool can't even go to the police. I have him by the short-hairs.

She heard him walking back through the hallway. His footsteps stopped behind her, almost giving the girl a heart attack.

Andy bent down and kissed her cheek. "I'll be back in a few hours. Behave now, and don't make me sorry I left you alone."

"I won't, Massa Bigot. Have a good time." She shifted forward, returning to the novel.

Hearing the truck start, MaryJane dropped the book and, heart beating fast, hurried to a window to watch the blue pickup until it turned a corner in the driveway ... out of sight.

She ran to the kitchen, searching under the sink for her homemade keys. With shaking hands, MaryJane unlocked her chain and ran into the courtyard then across to the barn where his "fortune" must be located.

Since Andy had left footprints in the dust, it didn't take her long to find bundles of cash hidden in a large paper bag at the back of the bottom drawer of a huge dusty cabinet.

"Hooo, boy," she exclaimed, "I'm out'a here."

Grabbing the bag of cash, she hesitated a moment before jerking out a large handful of bills and shoving them back into the drawer. Pausing at the unaccustomed audacity, MaryJane almost took them back, wondering why she'd do such a damned-fool thing. A fool was a fool, and she wasn't no fucking fool.

But she didn't. Leaving the barn, she turned and ran back to the house to get her things together prior to leaving.

As she stood on the side porch of the house, reaching for the knob to go in, MaryJane heard a shout.

"What the hell you doing here?" It came from a Cadillac parked on the other side of the open space. "John, look! A Nigger goin' in Thompson's house."

"He wouldn't let a Nigger in his house."

"Must be a thief."

"Get her. Andy'll thank us."

"Careful, Pete. If she bites, you might get distemper."

Those shouts followed her as she ran inside, locking the door behind herself. Heart threatening to break out of heavily quaking breasts, MaryJane wondered where to hide. And, the money? What could she do? Could she explain? How could she ever explain the fucking money? At that time and place, hanging black thieves on the nearest tree wasn't all that unusual in Virginia.

Frantically, the girl shoved the paper bag of cash deep into a recess under the kitchen sink. She had to hide it. How could she prove she wasn't a thief if she had that money with her?

They were already banging on the side and front doors. If they got in they were sure to search the house, meaning there was no good place to hide.

She saw that all-too-familiar symbol of slavery lying at her feet. With the chain, which would reach across the porch, she might be able to fake it -- at least not be seen as a thief. Let that fucking idiot, the bigot, explain her to his friends.

Quickly, one eye on the front door and having trouble with sweaty hands, She locked the chain back around her waist. Forcing herself, MaryJane reached over and opened the door.

"What'a hell you doing in Andy's house, bitch?" the first man in roared, grabbing her shoulder.

"What the fuck you doing in MY fucking house, asshole," she yelled back, spittle flying across the five-inches separating their faces.

"Your hou...?"

"Hold it, George," Reverend Felcher ordered. "Now, what is going on here? What ARE you doing in Thompson's house? He didn't tell me he had a housekeeper." He paused, then asked, "And where is Andy?"

"That's none a your goddamned business."

"Young lady, you better stop taking the Lord's name in vain and have a good answer," the preacher stated, hand dropping from her shoulder to cup a breast.

MaryJane slapped his hand away, causing all three intruders to laugh.

"Come on, bitch. What you really doing here? You help him out by cleaning, like with his plumbing?" one of the men asked.

"Fuck off. Andy's on his way to the VFW in Hicksville, if it's any of your business."

"Which gives you time to come in and clean him out, uh?" George asked, a smirk on his face.

"Hey, John," one man said, "look'a the chain. He's got her chained."

"Why'd he do that?" Pete asked.

"So she don't steal him blind while he's away. Andy's too smart to trust a Nigger bitch alone in his house." George giggled.

"Sweet Christ," the reverend had figured it out. "Andy does have his'self a slave. That's why those big bolts from Hiram, the womens clothes and the literature.

Where he buy you, girl?" He smiled. "Just kidding. How much you charging for letting him use a chain? If you're into whips, too, let me give you my number. You gotta sister? I like threesomes."

"John!" George looked over at the preacher, flabbergasted. "I didn't know you were into that sadistic shit."

"A lot of frustration in my job, George. If I can't preach the hell out'a you guys, I can at least beat it out'a Nigger hooker."

"What makes you think I'm a hooker?"

"This, baby," Pete said, grabbing the chain around her waist to pull her closer. A large man, he bent down, forcing his lips over hers.

George, not to be undone, standing behind her, kissed her neck as he tried his best to get into her pants from behind.

"Gentlemen! Hold it. For heaven's sake, I'm a Man of God. You will NOT do such things in front of a representative of the Lord."

George, a town elder, stared angrily at the reverend and Pete froze his hand in place inside her belt-line. Preacher John grinned, shook his head in sadness, and stepped back out onto the porch -- closing the door behind himself. The Reverend Felcher grinned, turning to return to his Cadillac to wait.

That was the situation as Andy drove back into the driveway. Seeing the reverend's car and the preacher walking toward it.

"What you doing here, John?" he asked on his way to the porch, a smile on his face. "I forgot something."

"I -- I thought you were going to that VFW thing."

"I am. I forgot Grandpa's old horse pistol. I'm going to see if I can sell or trade it. I'll keep his revolver, though. What's going on? Something wrong?"

"Andy ... uh, I ... I thought I'd come see that place behind your barn, for a KKK firing range. I ... I ... hold on a minute, Andy." He raised his voice almost to a scream on the last sentence, trying to alert the others.

"It has to be later, John. I ain't got time right now. I gotta dig out that pistol. We'll talk later. What you so nervous about, anyway? It's not that important."

"Andy. We gotta talk now. You ... you can't go in there right now."

"What the hell you mean? It's my house." Andy pushed past the man, twisting the doorknob.

"I gotta go. I didn't have anything to do with it." Reverend Felcher almost flew off the porch, touching only one step on the way down and hitting the ground running, all the way to his car.

As Andy entered he saw Pete, having heard Felcher, zipping his pants, both ends of his belt drooping. Although Andy couldn't see inside the fly, something there was also hanging limp.

Big George was a little faster, almost to the back door leading to a long-unused outside crapper. George ran right off that small porch, landing on his knees on a muddy patch of earth. Jumping up, he didn't even pause as he ran for succor in the preacher's car, it even then in the process of turning around.

Andy staggered backwards as MaryJane jumped him, arms around his neck while wiping tears off her face and onto his.

"What the hell you guys doing here? Pete? Damn it. Get the hell out of my house. I'm calling the police." Twisting around in MaryJane's arms, he helped Pete through the door with a kick in the butt.

Without taking time to think it over, fuming, Andy turned and ran to his pickup, then hurried to a neighbor's telephone. He instructed the operator to get him the State Police, telling about three burglars and possible rapists. That they'd tried to rape a house guest. Hearing they would send an officer to interview him, Andy slammed down the phone.

That was when it hit him! He was screwed for sure. A police investigation would bring it all out. Depressed, he drove home to talk to MaryJane.

***

"You got me, honey. Let me get that key for you. Looks like I'm going to be gone a long time."

"Don't bother, Bigot." She used her own key to release the chain. "I'm not going to turn you in. In my business, we hate cops." MaryJane hugged him. "You just give me a ride to where I can catch a bus and I'll be on my way."

"That's all? Sure? I'm really sorry. It seems dreams should remain only dreams."

"Oh! Learned a lesson, did you, Bigot?"

"Yes ... I did. Don't you want to change clothes first?"

"I can't leave right now. We both gotta talk to them. I wanna see those bastards in fucking jail."

"Thanks," he answered in a whisper.

"Don't you think you should put this fucking thing away first?" She kicked the chain.

"You ... but you had a key? Why didn't you leave when you had a chance?"

No appropriate answer coming to mind, MaryJane could only lower her eyes and shrug.

Before long, the police came and left. They'd filled out forms, saying they would have to, "Interview the reverend and the other upstanding members of the community." The policeman gave the impression that it would be the word of the three miscreants against one lone farmer and a black woman.

"They ain't gonna do shit to those fuckers," MaryJane so aptly put it after the police left.

"What more can we do, honey? We can't fight city hall. You better get ready. I might as well drop you off at Hicksville and visit that showing. I can let you off at the Greyhound station there."

Epilogue:

"Well, this is it. You have enough money for a bus?"

"I think so." MaryJane showed him a paper-sack. Digging into it, she pulled out a five-dollar bill, showed him and paused. It was against her nature, but she put the sack on the seat between them. "Here, sucker." Wiping wet eyes, she continued, "This is your's, fucking bigot."

When he reached over to kiss her goodbye, she ignored the act and stepped down from the truck.

As Andy slowly pulled away, tears in his own eyes, MaryJane jumped back up onto the truck's running board.

"Let's go home, Bigot."

When he reached over to open the door for her, she told him, "First, though, you gotta buy me a good expensive dress an a thick gold chain. You can take me to church with you next Sunday. That'll show those sons'a bitches."

The End.
Charlie – hvysmker