Authors: Don Winslow
Two buggies were readied, each to be pulled by a team of three girls. Now the stable doors were thrown open and the newest set of Spaulding’s ponygirls were led out into the sunshine of a bright June day.
With the successful conclusion of our spring campaign, the Bernesium garrison was ordered to stand down and immediately retire back to our barracks. We were relieved in more ways than one; thanking the gods to be alive and more or less intact. We were all looking forward to a well-deserved rest. The Germanic hordes had finally been beaten back, at least for now. Of course, we knew it would be so. It was just a matter of time. No people on earth could stand against the power of Rome, once the decision was made to unleash the legions against them. It was a familiar story: barbarian tribes rebelling, then steadily pounded into submission, one after the other.
And so with a summer of peace before us, army life settled into its usual dull routine. And if things lacked excitement at our little outpost on the northern fringe of the world’s mightiest empire, well, at least there was no shrieking mob of dirty, foul-smelling savages trying their best to get at you with the intention of lopping off your head! All in all, peace is so much more desirable than war -- even if it does make army life a bit boring.
Truth be told, there was not much to do at Bernesium. Between visits to the Gratius’ whores, Lucius and I spent most of our time at Filo’s, one of two local taverns, gambling, wrenching, and solving all the problems of the Empire. With the aid of the heady local wine, our problem-solving went on till the wee small hours of the morning.
The room was warm; the crowd lively and raucous. Lucius, in his cups, was at that point in the evening when he was loudly swearing to all around us, that he and I were the best of eternal comrades, brothers in arms. With one arm slung around my shoulder, he closed in on me, breathing his wine-saturated breath in my face, while filling my cup with the other hand.
“Marcus, my friend, you must come with me to the parade grounds on Thor’s day. The word is Kimar intends to exercise his slaves in one of his famous chariot races --
is something you will not want to miss.”
I had heard of these extravaganzas from old-timers at the post, but I knew them only by reputation, since no such games had been held since my posting to Bernesium.
Those were the days when Rome seemed to need an endless supply of fresh slaves, and the slave traffic, in spite of bandits, hijackers, and savage tribes, was very lucrative indeed! The slave caravans normally bypassed us preferring a more easterly route, but it so happened that during my tour of duty at Bernesium, they were diverted to the north by one of those frequent dustups with the quarrelsome Scythians.
It was our good luck that slavers choosing this northern route would seek safe haven in Bernesium after the long and dangerous hardships of their mountain crossing. Under the shelter of our garrison, they could rest their drivers and their precious human cargo, and replenish their supplies before pushing on to the eternal city. And so it was that one of the wealthiest and most renowned slavers of all, a crafty worthy by the name of Kimar, arrived with his caravan and was now encamped on the grassy plains just outside the walls of the town.
It was a pleasant June day, warm with a slight breeze. A festive crowd of soldiers, farmers and town’s people had gathered to watch the various games which pitted slave against slave in athletic competitions. The crowd delighted in seeing athletic young slaves, their healthy naked bodies straining and sweating in the sun, as they were put through their paces by burly slave drivers. But these games were only preliminary events for the highlight of the day -- the chariot races in which slave girls would be enlisted as ponygirls, with “red” and “blue” teams competing for the honors. Of course, the racing “chariots” were hardly the heavy armored war chariots such used by the legions, but rather specially made lightweight traps, nothing more than a delicate frame of saplings mounted on two spindly wheels.
As the time for the races approached, the crowds began to gather around the track, an oval of beaten earth from where they might cheer on their favorites. The reason for the popularity of Kimar’s races was well-known: he specialized in the most exquisite sex slaves, beautiful girls and pretty boys kept naked but for their high collars and the leather straps that banded wrist and ankles. These lovely creatures were far too valuable to serve as common domestics, or as laborers in the fields. No, their labors would be of a very different nature, performed in the bedchambers of Rome’s elite.
Lucius and I plunged into the crowd. People here quickly stepped aside for a Roman officer out of respect and the high esteem in which we were held. One of the benefits of service in such an isolated outpost is that officers, even minor ones such as ourselves were treated with a respect and deference the mobs of Rome would never show to a junior officer. We made our way to the platform that had been set up under a canopy. Nearby, stood the tent where the ponygirls were being readied. Cushioned seats had been provided for the various dignitaries with whom the old slaver meant to curry favor. We took our places besides the handful of minor officials and tradesmen who constituted the local nobility. From our vantage point we could get a clear view of the proceedings, and we watched with interest as the preparations were made for the main event.
Our host now mounted the platform, and proceeded to greet each of his guests. Kimar was a scrawny fellow with big ears and an ingratiating grin, whose bald head bobbed up and down comically as he bowed before each seated dignitary while taking his hand in greeting. The man was a well known ass-kisser, fawning over any Roman he met, if he thought the fellow might possibly be of use to him. Now he took his place to one side, waiting for silence like an impresario about to present his production in a premiere performance. He stood there overlooking the mob with surprising dignity, prepared to wait until he got their attention. Kimar was a showman, and this was his supreme moment. Such performances were his way of showing off his slaves. Kimar knew the crowd would be dazzled by their graceful beauty, athletic prowess, and precise discipline, thus adding to his considerable reputation as the purveyor of the finest goods. He clapped his hands twice, and the flaps of the tent were drawn back to allow the passage of a parade of six beautiful girls who stepped forward in single file onto the grassy field.
There was a moment of stunned silence, then a murmur of wonder broke out in crowd: the girl’s naked bodies had been dyed, colored from head to foot in the colors of their teams; three ruddy red girls emerged, followed by three whose bodies had been tinged with blue! The crowd broke into wild applause, which our grinning impresario acknowledged with a deep bow of his head.
We saw that each girl wore leather straps banding her arms just above the elbow. Prior to making her entrance, the girl’s arms were drawn behind her and these cuffs attached to each other. This enforced a rigid posture with chest arched out and arms well back at their sides as they strode into view. The little parade continued as the contestants passed in review, circling the grassy area in front of our grandstand, walking with heads held high, and breasts proudly displayed.
The red team came first. Red I was a tall, striking beauty, with long shapely legs, whose full, heavy tits rose in flattened mounds that lolled on her proud chest. She possessed the straight blond mane typical of Germanic woman. Red II was thinner, and all but flat-chested. Leaner than Red I, but just as tall, she also one of those Nordic beauties with that typical narrow, sleek body, and hair that formed a helmet of white spun gold. Red III was slightly built, with playful little titties, and a cute, saucy bottom. Her limbs were straight and narrow, and her chestnut hair formed a loose mop cropped short over her youthful features.
Blue I, like the Red leader, was a well-built, long-legged girl. But unlike the northern girls, she had a gorgeous mane of thick dark hair which suggested a southern ancestry. From the dark sensual eyes, large breasts, wide hips and generous bottom, I guessed that she was from one of the Latin tribes. Blue II was lean and hard-bodied with a splay of tawny hair. Spare and athletically built, her tight conical breasts stuck straight out, swaying before her with a certain insolence as she strode by. Blue III, with her close-cropped brown hair, had a tight, compact body. Her firmly rounded tits sported up-tilted nipples. Her strong sinewy legs and robust thighs suggested hidden power.
As each passed by, Lucius and I compared the girl’s attributes; a wager was laid. While I thought Red I’s tall rangy body and long strides would give her an edge, perhaps a commanding lead in yoke with her red sisters, Lucius was of the opinion that while the leaders were equally strong, the blue supporting team was athletically superior to their red counterparts, and they might well carry the day.
Slaves must be taught to present themselves properly. To demonstrate, the girls now formed a line facing the platform and came to attention before their overlord and his esteemed guests, legs together, heads held high, shoulders squared, hands behind their backs. Their lineup gave us an opportunity to further evaluate their naked bodies. Like all sex slaves, they had been shorn of all body hair. Unlike those who followed the latest trends however, Kimar allowed his slaves to keep the hair on their heads. There were those slave drivers these days, and even quite a few owners whose slaves were completely denuded, or went about with head hair that had been reduced to a fine stubble. But Kimar was a traditionalist: he believed that feminine beauty was enhanced by a girl’s crowning glory, so Kimar’s girls were allowed to keep their hair.
At a gesture from one of the overseers, the six slaves obediently bowed to the stands, and held the position, bending low from the waist, while the audience applauded. Kimar gave a little wave, the girls straightened, and the overseers came forward to begin the task of preparing the ponygirls.
I was quite taken by the imperious manner of Red I, and watched in fascination as the proud beauty was harnessed up.
One of the handlers, a stocky, bearded fellow in a leather jerkin, approached her with body harness in hand. I admired the way Big Red stuck out her chest, brazenly flaunting her big-nippled breasts for all to see. Well-disciplined, she never flinched an inch as he laid the leather straps on her rigid body.
The groom went about his business methodically. First he buckled on the waist cincher -- a wide leather belt that had rings attached at the hips, and a narrow strap hanging down from the front. The purpose of the hanging strap was not immediately apparent, but the rings were clearly useful. With the belt in place, the lead girl could be attached to her companions on either side; the belts of the outer girls would be, in turn, attached to the chariot’s shafts. I watched as the dour groom tightened the cincher belt, further constricting the tapering waist of the tall red body. Now I saw that a single strap ran up the girl’s back to meet a thinner crossing belt that would pass around her body high up under the arms. Once in place, this upper cross-piece was buckled down to loop her upper body just above the breasts.
By this time, all the grooms had set about inspecting the fit, buckling straps, tightening belts, and of course taking the opportunity to enjoy themselves by running their hands over the brightly colored bodies of the naked ponygirls to assure a snug fit.
When next I turned my attention to big Red, her groom had thrown a tangle of straps over her proud head. This turned out to be the head harness, which he was now adjusting into place. A thin band looped the crown of her head, crossing her forehead. From this head band an inverted vee angled down on either side of her nose, to hold a wooden bit that she docilely accepted between her strong white teeth. The last strip ran from ear to ear over the top of her head; the ends, dangling down on either side, were to be gathered under the chin and buckled there. He tightened the chin strap to make sure the head gear fitted snugly, imprisoning that blonde mane in straps of leather.
Once all six of those hard young bodies were bound in leather strapping, the ponygirls were led, with straps dangling down between their legs, to their chariots. At the prompting of their overseers, each team stepped into the light wooden frame formed by the shafts and crossbar, and waited, standing hip to hip. At a word of command they reached down simultaneously and picked up the crossbar raising it to hip-level just in front of them.
While their arms remained bound together behind them, there was with just enough slack left so that they could bring both hands forward to clasp the crossbar. They would be pushing on the bar while driving forward, keeping their upper bodies erect with shoulders drawn back and chests arched out in front, raising their breasts in proud display.
The chariot’s traces were next attached to the harnesses along their flanks. The grooms now set about attaching the reins to the bridle, and drawing the leather straps back over the ponygirls’ shoulders to lay the leads in the seat of the little chariot.
Now we saw that as a further display of the team’s colors, each girl was to be supplied with a “tail.” These were plumes made of horsehair, dyed in bright red or vibrant blue, and sprouting from squat wooden plugs at one end. Once the plugs were inserted, the plume flopped down limply over the girl’s bare bottom. A well-trained ponygirl knew how to swing it by giving a little wiggle as she pranced.
The ponygirls waited in the correct racing posture: chins raised, heads held high, shoulders back, chests stuck out, and most importantly, backs arched so as to present their hindquarters for the whip or, in this case, for the insertion of the tails.
The Red leader stood patiently, ready to accept her tail. She leaned well forward over the waist bar, her rich breasts falling forward to hang heavily under her, while she thrust her rump back in offering. The poor man couldn’t help himself. Although it was frowned upon for the hired help to handle the merchandise, he couldn’t resist those voluptuous tits.