[Author's Note: This chapter (Part 1 and 2) contains graphic material pertaining to the torture and mutilation of people. Read at your own risk. You have been warned!]
For a moment General Wholawski’s eyes bore into Sarah’s, but she stood her ground. Then at last he smiled. “Come,” his voice turned sickly sweet, “let us move to where it is warmer. There is more to show you. James!”
James fell into place behind Sarah as the General escorted her back though the entrance into the Great Hall. It wasn’t hard for her to figure out where they were going once they’d done a one eighty and had entered the guard tower.
Pulling herself up to full she walked with as much confidence as she could. At least the men didn’t dare look at her as if she was a piece of meat this time. Of course, she wasn’t naked this time. Not that Sarah wanted to return to the Dungeon again, but that was where they were.
“What do you think James?” the General asked as he turned to them, his hand upon the left door. “Will she faint upon seeing the Wall of Bodies?”
James studied Sarah for a moment. Sarah narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms.
“I’m not a fainter,” she stated. Her brother’s had learned, not long after their father’s death, to call Sarah to tend to their injuries, not their mom.
Wholawski chuckled. “We shall see.”
He opened the double doors wide and the stench made Sarah gag.
“JAILER!” Wholawski’s bellow brought silence as he strode forward.
The man at the other end looked their way, his whip limp in his hand. Sarah remembered him from her stay down here. He dwarfed Wholwaski yet he looked scared.
“I thought I gave you explicit instructions to have these maggots and their refuse cleaned up by supper!” Wholawski yelled and in one swift motion, he’d drawn his sword and slashed the jailer’s chest, twice. “It is already past supper and I was looking forward to showing a properly kept dungeon to my latest Guest.”
The jailer swallowed audibly in the silence as did Sarah. Well that explains why he looked terrified. She put her nose in her elbow, to breathe through her sleeve.
“Go Eat,” Wholawski commanded, “and if this place isn’t spotless before night fall, you will join Major Chantey on the whipping post.” The General spun upon his heel and walked back to Sarah. “I am sorry you had to witness that,” his voice calm and he sounded oddly sincere, “or be subjected to the smell, but come, let us tour it anyway.”
Taking Sarah by the arm, he escorted to the middle of the hall as if they were on a garden stroll.
Turning her to the left, he spoke, “Behold, my Wall of Bodies.”
Sarah would rather have not beheld it, but there wasn’t much else to see. Men lined the wall, hung by chained arms, their manacled feet barely grazing the floor. Some of them were completely naked, others had ragged clothing and a few looked to be dead. They must welcome death, she thought.
Everything she saw explained moans and groans she’d heard when cell bound. The men were pock marked with scars of all sorts. Some clearly from a whip, others from a sword, and some were missing body parts. Realizing all the naked men were missing their dicks, Sarah swallowed her bile and looked away.
Wholawski chuckled. “These are all men who have stood in my way, not followed my orders or otherwise annoyed me.” He pivoted Sarah to face the other way. “But, it is not just men I punish so.” There was a gleam to his smile. “I have my collection of women too.”
This time Sarah’s body convulsed as she fought not to throw up. The wall of women might only be half the length of the men’s, and broken by a door, but the atrocities were worse. Wholawski stepped up to one girl. Only the shallow rise and fall of her chest indicated she was alive.
“Lady Amalita had such energy when she first arrived.” He ran a finger down the girl’s breastless chest. “I had to beat it out of her.” He looked sadly at Sarah. “She didn’t know when to stop fighting and cooperate.”
Sarah bit her tongue as Wholawski’s eyes bored into hers. He laughed.
“AH, but see I am offering you the chance to bear me a son and rule with me. None of these,” he gestured wide, “rated such a chance. Not even the Moyther.” He moved to the other side of the door. “She bore me four girls, so I had to take her womb.” He stroked a dead woman’s cheek. “But see, I’m not all that cruel, she has her daughters for company.”
Turning from the sight Sarah supported herself with her hands on her knees. Her stomach convulsed and she couldn't keep from throwing up. The image of the dewombed woman was burned into her mind along with the four decaying newborns that were chained together to dangle around her neck.
Wholawski’s snicker brought Sarah back to her senses. Quickly forcing her stomach to lie still, she wiped her mouth and turned to face him. If looks could kill, he would have died on the spot.
“I think you have seen enough here.” He smirked as he opened the door behind him. “Let me show you my work space, I think you will find it much more pleasant.”