The Photographer was lingering in our bubble, softly, tentatively. I liked it. I knew the game, I knew the chase, but I caught myself- it was up to Red, and I whispered that I needed her to make the final call. We chatted idly for a few minutes, us three, and then The Photographer leaned over and said,
“If you want to be punched, come find me.”
We deliberated, and not thirty seconds later, made our way to her in the dark.
They ordered me up against an intricate chainlink web, ensnared in the middle as they conspired alongside. My smirk persisted as I watched two transbois fuck, watched them roll and smack and scream in anticipation for what I’d receive. They whispered and every so often, I saw one of them staring me down, staking me out. My balance is countered by the taut stretch of the chains. I’m sweating, but I’m clenching them, battening down the hatches for the assault to come. Her hands come down with a power, a force that rattles me and reverberates through the web.
I cry out for the first time, forced past my lungs as she starts in on me with her fists, warming my skin, bringing the blood to the surface with quick, savage punches to each shoulder blade. My flesh pierces through the links, my face bisected as the force drives me into the web, absorbing all the pain and drive. She goes quickly, short punches that turn into lingering smacks against my skin as I cry out, bending my body to loosen the sinew. Red is in front of me. She is watching, and slips two fingers into my mouth. Her slaps are hard across my face and I go numb, focused precisely on her eyes. The silence unnerves me, and I crane my neck to watch her disappear from my point of view, only to be shoved back against the wall. They’re not moving, and I can only feel the shudder of my own skin before each hand grabs a harness strap, they yank me down to the ground and pull me up by the scruff of my neck and loop of leather, pressing me back up and down again. It’s disorienting, feeling this small and powerless, and my struggles are meant with a power vicious and sweet.
They smash my face into the chains and then pull me down for an extended time, kicking me relentlessly. I don’t know who is driving their heel into my face, whose boots are stepping harder and firmer on my pale, curled fingers. I see feet on the ground, paused and riveted, but I don’t know who is watching me cry. I’m in the dark and the light beats down on me for all to see. Hands pinch cruelly on the softest parts of my body, on the vulnerable underbelly of my forearms and underneath my shoulders. Fingers wrench open my mouth, attack the plush, pliable lips and beat me into the ground. They wrench me up again. They are cohorts, bullies, conspirators, shadows circling closer. Sharks. When I look down, my shoelaces are tied together, and every time I trip, they catch me.
The things that don’t matter fade from my consciousness– my vulnerability, the bellows of scenes happening around us, the shake of my legs, the people savoring us at the edges of our space. All that remains is the red-warm blood heat of my back, the solidity of knowing that I can take the punches where they land, the taste of musky sweetness in my mouth, metallic as I scream out, grins spread across my face. I see them smiling back at me in the darkness, I see them all smiling back because they know and I know and we know that I am in love with a feeling, in love with what it stretches me to do.
My gravity disappears as they kick my feet out from under me, sharp kicks that leave the impression of boots and imploring fingers branded into my skin. I’m wrenched onto my back, my hands yanked above my head and my skin pierced with nails. Red’s hand grabs my entire face through the web, forces a finger down atop my tongue, holding me open, drooling and wet. Their interaction was seamless. I couldn’t help noticing the devil in all of their details and the implicit communication circling around me as they played. It was delicious to see, satisfying to know and hold in my chest, and made me feel safe against the barrage. Red’s hand unbuttons my shorts and I kick out at her, met by The Photographer’s hand across my neck and chin, holding me fast in place, pinned like a butterfly to their exacting desires.
She slips in seamlessly, my body expanding to accommodate her. I’m cleaved right down the middle, feeling the pulse and pleasure of her fist rocking against my core and the sharpness of The Photographer’s nails, the pressure of her knees atop my flesh and bones. Red’s voice is distant but cuts through my mental fog as she tells The Photographer to order me to come, and their faces shake above me as I howl into the evening, quivering but held so very, very still.
I am blissed out when we finished, after I whisper, ‘one round more, please’ and feel the air whip through as yet another punch sails into my back, sending me careening into consciousness. I curl up between them, I feel the shock shiver through my skin and I wake up sore, but so content. Cognizant. This is my awareness, this stretch of my muscles, taut and tender across my mottled skin, the stripes of sun as they snake across my back and warm me from within.