Rafe arrives at his former home - once the master but now a slave - and is greeted with a welcome committee of neighbors and slaves.

Changed Circumstances - Chapter 9: 'The Homecoming'
by Chrisus
Series: Changed Circumstances

After the humiliation of running naked alongside Norge through the city, I'd thought nothing else could cause me greater embarrassment. But I am wrong. Returning to my "home" is to prove far more traumatic.

The house that had so recently belonged to me is located in a quiet, exclusive cul-de-sac known as "Barrois Close". It is named in honour of one of my very distinguished ancestors, but soon it will change to 'Maratier Close' as the Barrois name is quickly expunged from all official records.

Our Master has slowed Norge to a walk and as we turn into Barrois Close, I'm dismayed to see a group of my male neighbours waiting for our arrival. News of my downfall travelled fast and once acquainted with my changed circumstances, they'd hurriedly got together a "goodwill committee" to welcome my Master into the area and to assure him of their continuing good wishes. The instigator of this friendly gesture is the elderly doyen of the neighbourhood, Major Thomas D Swanston (Ret.).

A stickler for correctness and protocol, Major Swanston, was a long-time friend of my grandfather and I'd known him all my life. As a small boy, I'd spent many happy hours visiting his house-adjacent to our own- looking at his impressive collection of military memorabilia and listening in boyish awe to his many swashbuckling stories of a brilliant, army career. He is a man I've always liked and admired and when my grandfather died, he'd replaced him as a 'de facto' grandfather figure. Increasingly, I found myself seeking his advice or opinions on any matters troubling me and I greatly valued his no nonsense, military-style approach and undoubted wisdom.

On my way out just after lunch, I saw the Major working with his slaves in his gardens-of which he is inordinately proud- and I'd paused Norge so that we could talk about my concerns with the court summons I'd received that morning. In his usual, level-headed manner, he'd convinced me I shouldn't be too concerned and that it was most likely something "trivial" and simply a matter of clarifying some minor point in my grandfather's will. In any case, he made me promise to visit him that evening and over drinks, tell him what had transpired at the courts.

Re-assured, I whipped Norge into action and continued onto the courts.

Now my appearance before the Major as a naked, branded slave unnerves me.


Guy Maratier is pleasantly surprised by this warm display of friendliness from his new neighbours. In fact, he has been overwhelmed by the many expressions of good wishes he has received this afternoon. They began with Judge Matthew's warm deliverance in handing down the judgement that saw him restored to his rightful place in society and these continued as he left the courts and drove through town. But to be so warmly greeted by these people who are now his neighbours is unexpected. He thought there would be some resentment from them for the part he'd played in the downfall of their neighbour, Lucien Barrois. But this isn't the case and their welcome is most cordial.

Wrongly, he'd supposed there would be widespread opposition to his claiming the Barrois estate and he'd been surprised when this hadn't happened. Firm in his belief that the Maratier family had been unfairly treated and that he, as the oldest, male descendent of the Barrois family is the "true" heir, he'd remained strong in his resolve to claim what is rightly his and he'd never faltered. And as he looks at his new slave, Rafe he has an intensely satisfying sense of "revenge sought and found".

From his earliest years he'd known he had Barrois blood in his veins and that this came to him through his paternal grandmother, Charlotte Maratier (nee Barrois). Charlotte, who'd been cruelly rejected by her parents for making an "unsuitable" marriage, never forgave the family for its repudiation of her and her son -Guy's father-and never missed an opportunity to remind her grandson of the Barrois' "treachery". It was inevitable then that Guy Maratier grew up with a deep seated hatred of his great-uncle and his distant cousin Lucien.

Bitterly, Charlotte watched from a distance as her brother lavished all his love and money on his orphaned grandson, Lucien while she and her family languished in near poverty. Her simmering resentment of Lucien festered beneath her otherwise calm exterior and reached flashpoint on the death of her brother, Jean-Claude Barrois. Even at that late stage, Charlotte had hoped for some reconciliation with the family; she'd always hoped that her grandson would share in the estate and inherit a sizeable portion of the immense Barrois fortune. When this didn't happen and Lucien emerged as the sole beneficiary, all the years of her resentment and pent-up anger exploded with volcanic force. It was at that time she began to work relentlessly to bring down the "upstart "Lucien by any means at her disposal.

It was Charlotte who unearthed the dark secret of Lucien's birth-that he was slave born-and it was she who "encouraged" Guy Maratier to pursue the matter through the Court of Disputations. Guy sometimes doubted the truth of this story of Lucien's birth and wondered whether it is a carefully concocted lie born out of his grandmother's all consuming hatred. He suspected the latter but didn't really care whether Lucien was slave-born or free. Did it really matter; after all he is now the sole inheritor of the Barrois fortune and he doesn't intend to share it with anyone. But he does enjoy the notion of there being some doubt that Lucien is genuinely the offspring of a slave woman. If so, Guy appreciates the grim irony of Lucien now being the slave Rafe and the thought that he could be wrongfully enslaved only adds to that enjoyment.

One day, he'll ask his grandmother for the truth or otherwise of Lucien's birth. If it's true that Lucien wasn't born a slave, then at some time in the future he will taunt the slave Rafe with this fact. But not until Rafe has been broken in spirit and suffered as a slave should.

He has plans for Rafe and setting him free isn't one of them. Quite the contrary, he'd spent many hours contemplating Rafe's future as a slave.

In his mind's eye, he'd seen his cousin working naked in the fields at "La Foret', bent double and sweating under the overseers' whips or strung up on a whipping frame and punished for some infraction of the rules-imaginary or otherwise, it didn't really matter. On some occasions, he'd imagined he'd delivered the chastisements himself and "saw" Lucien's naked body squirming under his cane or whip. Of course he'd never seen the former Lucien in his naked state and it was left to his imagination to visualise the body he was punishing. But now he has seen the slave, Rafe in all his naked glory and he is enraptured with his new slave's magnificent body.

Having Rafe run alongside Norge has given him the opportunity to observe that body in action. He admires the strength of the slave's back as it sweeps concavely down from the broad shoulders to the narrow waist and the convex curves of a perfectly rounded arse. As Rafe ran, Guy watched the display of this muscle power; the rippling of the back muscles, the undulating movements of the buttocks and the flexing of the corded muscles of the legs. He was intoxicated with his new power over the slave and lovingly "caressed" Rafe's body with his driver's whip.

It had been his intention to send Rafe to the unrelenting hard labour and strict discipline of the fields at "La Foret". Guy had decided that Rafe was to truly experience life as a common work slave and once his spirit had been broken and his body honed to rocklike perfection then and only then, would he submit his slave to the ultimate humiliation. He planned eventually to sell him at public auction. The thought of Rafe publicly displayed and paraded before the buyers before standing on the auction block had fed his imagination and whetted his appetite for revenge. But now he isn't so sure.

He'd watched Rafe run alongside the pony -what's his name, Norge yes that's it-and was struck by the similarities between the two slaves. Naturally, Norge is at the peak of condition-his training as a pony is obviously responsible for this-but Rafe is less so. Still Rafe's body does hold promise of at least equalling the pony's strength and stamina and the two look good running together; both of the same colouring, they are a perfectly matched pair. Now Guy has a sudden change of heart.

He'll still send Rafe to "la Foret" for service in the fields. There the hard labour and rigours of servitude will prepare him for his new role as a pony and it will serve to darken his hide to a more agreeable colour and remove the ghostly white of his midriff. And while he's at "La Foret", Guy will have the slave broken to harness and trained in endurance carriage pulling before pairing him with Norge.

The thought of using Rafe as a naked pony is one that excites him. This image of Rafe straining in his harness and running under the whip is a powerful one. He imagines the shame and humiliation of the former Lucien Barrois-now the pony Rafe-as he is made to pull his Master publicly through the streets of the city.

In the interim he'll have a special, two pony carriage designed and made to his specifications; one that better reflects his new status. And of course, he'll need new sets of matching harnesses for his two ponies. What colour harness would best match their colouring? Red? Blue? What about black with silver embossing? Possibly all three? Why not? With his newly acquired wealth he's now in a position where expense is no longer a consideration.

Guy knows that Rafe is twenty-one and he guesses that Norge is of a similar age. He'll drive them till they are twenty-five-or until he grows bored with them-and then send them to auction. Before then, he'll make it his business to find out the true circumstances of Lucien's birth. Should it turn out that Lucien isn't slave-born, he'll acquaint Rafe of that as he delivers him to the slave-dealers. He chuckles at the delightful irony of this and at Rafe's continuing despair of knowing he's been unjustly enslaved.

Guy thinks fondly of his grandmother and the enormous debt he owes her and he plans to re-instate her to her proper place in society. Tomorrow he intends to show this gratitude and will instruct his solicitor, Simon Barrow to purchase a suitable property for her and to staff it with enough slaves to allow her to live in the comfort long denied her by her parents and brother.

But for Charlotte Maratier (formerly Barrois) the greatest reward of all is seeing her late brother's name disgraced and his upstart grandson reduced to the level of a common slave. Added to this is the personal satisfaction of seeing her grandson, Guy Maratier and his son, Etienne restored to their rightful places.

That the once illustrious Barrois name is now disgraced and will be replaced by her married name is bitter-sweet revenge.


Our Master commands us to stop and both Norge and I are happy to comply with his order. After the long, exhausting run out from the city centre we are both tired, me more so than Norge. Our sweat bathed chests heave from our exertions and our trembling legs barely support us. I think of the numerous times when unthinkingly, I'd forced Norge to run at this pace and energetically encouraged him to do so with my whip. Then, I'd never given any thought to his discomfort; now I share his pain.

I watch as my Master is surrounded by my former neighbours who cluster around him slapping his back and pumping his hand as they offer him their best wishes on his sudden good fortune. He stands at their centre and beams broadly. I on the other hand stand apart with Norge and thankfully they ignore me; I really don't want their attention. My sense of shame at returning to my former home as a naked slave is devastatingly obvious. Perhaps out of a sense of mutual embarrassment, they will not want to acknowledge my presence among them. However, I am to be disappointed.

Now that all the hand-pumping and good wishes are out of the way, the men in the group turn their attention to me. Their curiosity aroused, they ask my Master's permission to examine me and it's a permission that's readily given. The first to approach me is my "de facto" grandfather figure, Major Swanston. In the best military tradition, I am authoritatively commanded to,

"STAND UP STRAIGHT, BOY! Don't slouch. You know better than that. A slave stands to attention in the presence of a free person."

I'm shocked at the callousness of his command. Here is the man I've known all of my life and with whom I've spent so many happy, boyhood hours now speaking to me as if he doesn't know me and I am just a slave he's encountered for the first time. And in truth, that is exactly the situation. I am now a slave and this is our first encounter as free man and slave.

I'd been in his company often enough to observe his treatment of his own slaves. Always the martinet, he handled them with firm resolve and it would be fair to say his slaves lived in a perpetual state of apprehension. Impatient and quick to temper, he spared them neither the rod nor the whip. He'd erected a whipping post and a flogging frame in his backyard and it's doubtful if a day passes without them being put to use. I have been present at some of these punishments and he'd always impressed upon me the necessity to be firm with a slave and to chastise him for even the smallest infringement. Now he's addressing me in the exact, same manner as he does his slaves. My humiliation at standing naked in front of him and my former neighbours overwhelms me and unthinkingly, I hasten to obey his command.

This man who'd once bounced me as a toddler on his knee now runs his hands over my chest and tests for the hardness of my muscles and the firmness of my body. I blush as his hands wander down over my belly to stroke my cock to a partial erection and I wince as he takes my balls into his hands and gently "rolls" them between his finger and thumb before volunteering the information to his watching audience that,

"It's always one of the first places I check out when I'm examining a slave. You need to know that his cock and balls are in good working order."

"Then tell us, Major, are there other places you check for soundness?"

I blush at the question asked by another of my former neighbours and cringe at the Major's answers.

"Well a quick visual appraisal of a slave's body usually tells me if a further 'hands-on' inspection is warranted and in the case of this slave it most definitely is. Let me congratulate you, Mr Maratier. You have a most desirable property in this slave. Then as I said I always check a slave's genitals followed by his rectum and mouth. For me a sound mouth and teeth, clean genitalia and a tight anus are the basic essentials of a healthy slave."

"And is he sound, Major?"

"Most definitely so. Mr. Maratier, I suppose he's to lose this?" the Major asks as he disdainfully toys with my foreskin.

"Yes! He'll be skinned as soon as I can arrange for it to be done." My Master replies before inviting his new neighbours to drop the more formal 'Mr Maratier' and call him by his given name.

"And how do we sound it. Soft as in 'key' or hard as in 'pie'?"

"It's French and pronounced softly." My Master, proud of his French ancestry explains.

Once more there are handshakes all around as the neighbours acquaint my Master with their given names.

I stand docilely as the Major runs his hands down over my back to my arse where he inspects my new brand and squeeze my buttocks in a test of their firmness.

"Excellent! I like a slave to have a meaty arse. It's usually a good sign that he'll make a good field- hand. What are your plans for this slave, Guy? Are you going to use him in the house or the fields?"

"Major, for now, I intend to send him out to 'La Foret' to work as a field slave but longer term I see him as a pony paired with Norge."

"Good! I like your no nonsense approach to how the slave should be used, Guy. Work him hard in the fields to condition him before using him as a pony. I've known this slave all his indolent life-he's never done a hard day's work and wouldn't know how to- and he does need a spell out at 'La Foret' to toughen him up and get him thinking like a slave. My advice to you would be to spare him neither hard work nor the whip."

"You needn't worry on that score, Major. He'll be worked long and hard and punished if he doesn't give satisfaction."

"I very pleased to hear that, Guy. As a new slave he'll need firm handling and guidance but I'm sure your overseers will be up to the task of training him."

As he talks, the Major slips his finger into the cleft between my buttocks and begins a probing search for my anus. My former neighbours are watching with ill-concealed mirth as I squirm from both the indignity and discomfort of this. Like a soldier on a parade ground, I'm ordered to,

"Relax! Stand easy!"

Mortified, I do as I'm commanded and wince as the Major's finger penetrates my anus and thrusts deep into me. Involuntarily, I clench my buttocks and tighten my sphincter around the Major's invading finger as it seeks out my prostate. Once found the finger 'excites" me to a full erection. Humiliated, I bow my head and the hot tears of my shame burn my face.

"HEY! Look at the pony. He's getting excited. It must be from watching the Major inspect the new slave. " I hear one of the neighbours laughing.

Temporarily, all attention diverts from me and it now centres on Norge and I look to see what it is that is attracting their attention; Norge is unashamedly and rampantly erect.

Norge is prodigiously endowed and it was this that had first attracted me to him at the slave brokers. Of course, in the interim, I had "improved" him by removing his foreskin; but only after it had lost its novelty for me. Now his massive cock and balls are prominently displayed by the cinch I'd had fitted to him and which serves to place everything on show. At first he'd been humiliated by this-and now it's a shame I'm quickly learning-but my desire was paramount. He was the slave and I was the master. I delighted in "exhibiting" him and readily agreed to the frequent requests from others to "inspect" him. I basked in their glowing compliments and fulsome praise of my pony. Now as I stand tethered to Norge, I feel the shame that was once his.

The time spent as my pony has served Norge well. The shame and shyness he'd felt when he first became my personal pony have vanished to be replaced by a quiet acceptance of what these men are now subjecting him to. In the midst of their lewd comments and crude laughter he stands uprightly tall with a dignity I'd never noticed before. As one by one, their hands feel the hot hardness of his erection and weigh his balls, he remains calm with his gaze fixed doggedly above their heads. Suddenly, with my eyes now open to the cruel realities of slavery, I see his dignity which is in sharp contrast to the vulgarity of these men who torment him. But the realisation that they are free while Norge and I are slaves only adds to my newly acquired sense of powerlessness.

As I look at Norge, I'm conscious of my own powerful erection and I give a soft sigh of relief as the Major withdraws his finger from my arse. He now turns his attention to Norge and in deference to his rank; the other neighbours move aside allowing him access to Norge's cock.

The Major stands directly in front of Norge and me, so close in fact, that I can smell the whisky and cigars -of which he is so fond-on his breath. He slowly works Norge's prick by moving his hand up and down the thick shaft. Norge stands impassive as the Major pumps his cock and though it goes unnoticed by the watchers, I do see Norge's response in his heightened breathing and the twitching of his muscles. As I watch, I'm unprepared for the Major's next move. Reaching out, he now takes my cock in his other hand.

By this public action, the Major demonstrates to me my worthlessness as a person and my powerlessness as a slave. As he holds Norge's cock in his left hand and mine in his right hand, he slowly works both simultaneously to the amusement of the onlookers and I'm painfully aware of my new status. Like Norge, I'm a slave and we are subject to the whims of all free persons. What the Major is doing to us denies us any dignity or respect. Indeed, to his mind and those of his audience, we are undeserving of any such considerations. We are slaves and stand at just one level above that of other domesticated animals. And ironically, just a few short hours ago, I would have agreed with him wholeheartedly.

I steel myself not to respond to the Major's touch. I suspect he senses my reluctance to co-operate and obviously it is now a contest of wills between us. He can't be seen to "lose face' to a slave and he's determined to win; there can be no question of him being bested by me. His hand action takes me to such a degree of hardness that my balls tighten in their sac and my prick stands out at right angles to my belly. He strips my prepuce back along the shaft of my cock and teases me by lightly flicking his finger across the sensitive opening of my piss-slit. He looks at me and smiles as he notes the rhythmic throbbing of my cock, my heightened breathing, the quickening rise and fall of my chest and the fluttering of my stomach muscles. Apparently satisfied, he releases both our cocks and steps back to admire his "handiwork".

Both Norge and I are rampantly erect. Our cocks point with ramrod rigidity towards our smirking audience who obviously take pleasure in our humiliation. With my head bowed in shame, I see my precum hanging in a viscous thread from my cockhead. My sideways glance at Norge shows him to be similarly affected.

Inexplicably, I'm comforted by Norge's presence as he stands alongside of me and strangely I draw strength from his stoicism. It is as though we are brothers in adversity and I'm thankful that he is sharing this appalling experience with me. How much worse it would be for me if I stood alone among my former neighbours.

"Excellent! Very Good!" The major exclaims, "Guy, both slaves have firm erections which speaks well for their abilities to breed should you wish to use them that way."

I'm horrified at the Major's suggestion. The very thought that I could be used as a stud and mated like an animal terrifies me. But the appalling thought goes through my mind that should my Master wish to use me as a stud then there's nothing I could do about it. My sexual preferences have always been with my male, pleasure slaves and my like-minded male friends. The truth is I haven't any close females in my life. Therefore, I'm relieved to hear my Master's answer.

"I haven't gotten around to thinking about such matters, Major. To tell you the truth, I just want to take my time and familiarise myself with everything about the Barrois interests. I plan on taking Rafe out to 'La Foret' at my earliest convenience so that I can get him working in the fields but beyond that I haven't any other plans."

"So you've named the slave, Rafe? It's a good slave name. You couldn't have allowed him to keep his old name, Lucien. It's far too pretentious a name for a slave. You've given him a new name for a new life. And you're right to take your time to familiarise yourself with your new, good fortune. Please remember, if I can be of any assistance to you don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you, Major. I'll keep that in mind."

If I thought the Major is finished with me then I am wrong. Suddenly, he moves to me and pushes my head backwards before pinching my nostrils closed and forcing me to breathe through my mouth. Now he runs his finger around the inside of my mouth checking the health of my gums and the soundness of my teeth. I wonder-is the finger now in my mouth the same one that had just probed the depths of body and teased the head of my cock? I am repulsed by the notion of this and gag as the finger begins an examination of my tongue. Finally, his inspection of me completed, the Major gives his verdict.

"You're to be congratulated on your new slave, Guy. I can't fault him. Trained properly and handled firmly he should reward you many times over. But we shouldn't hold you any longer. I know there are court officials waiting for you at your new home to assist you in taking possession of your property."

"Thank you, Major. And thank you all for your warm welcome. Allow me time to settle in and I'll have you all visit for drinks one evening soon." My Master issues an invitation his new neighbours.

"There's just one more thing, Guy. Should you ever need to flog a slave you're most welcome to use my facilities. You'll notice you don't have a whipping-post or a flogging frame at your home. For some reason, the previous owners never bothered to erect one. I suggest you consider rectifying that situation as soon as possible. I know from my experience that it does wonders for my slaves' attitudes; the realisation that they can be strung up at any time and flogged is a powerful deterrent to bad behaviour. Just the fact of having one on the property exercises their minds wonderfully. So feel free to use mine until you have your own up and running."

"Thank you, Major for your kind offer. I'll bear it in mind."

It's true, there'd never been a whipping-post erected at my home but not because I didn't believe in flogging a slave if necessary.

My grandmother, when she was alive, considered the house and its surroundings as her domain and barred the use of the whip and the flogging post from its precincts. Genteel by nature, she saw the whipping of a slave as "men's business" and as such it should be conducted well out of her sight and earshot. She considered the sound of a whip flailing against naked flesh and the distress of the slave being flogged as distasteful. She was just as adamant that no slave working in the house or gardens should show the permanent scars of a flogging. Accordingly, on those rare occasions when one of our house servants warranted the whip, he'd be taken to "La Foret" for his whipping and then remain there as a field slave. Our slaves were well aware of what to expect should they prove troublesome and it was only on very rare occasions that we had to resort to such drastic measures.

Grandmother did however approve of the mild chastisement of a slave and she never hesitated to send an offending slave off to Cato, our house steward for a session with the rattan cane or the paddle. Consequently, after the death of my grandparents, I'd continued not to use either a whipping-post or a flogging frame but I never spared my slaves either a caning or a paddling if it was warranted. Now I wonder if my Master will see a need for the erection of these grim instruments of punishment.

My Master takes his leave from his new friends and is now back in the driver's seat; he walks Norge and I the final fifty metres to the house that just six hours ago had been mine.


My homecoming is proving to be a bitter one. Guy Maratier drives us through the archway into the central courtyard of the townhouse that now belongs to him and commands us to halt. I'm dismayed to see all the household servants are lined up under the supervision of Cato, the house steward. Standing apart from the slaves are my former attorney, Simon Barrow and two other
I'm very aware that my former slaves' eyes are focussed on me and who can blame them. Six short hours ago I had left here as their Master; I had owned them body and soul and they treated me with all due awe and respect. Now I return not as their Master but as one of them-a slave. Like them I am naked, branded and collared and I now share the same new Master.

No doubt they are as shocked and bewildered at this sudden turn of events as I am; but for different reasons. I have suffered the most. I have been ripped from the pinnacle of wealth and prestige and plunged into the depths of despair. Nothing much has changed for them; they are still slaves and they have simply had their former master replaced by a new and as yet unknown master.

I try to imagine their thoughts. What are they thinking as they look at me? With their eyes fixed upon me, I blush with shame and my cock, so recently excited by Major Swanston, wilts. Forbidden to talk, they can't comment, but the wide smiles on their faces tell me all I need to know; they are enjoying my predicament. I wonder how they'll receive me. Will my presence overwhelm them or am I to be ostracised and perhaps, as the "new boy", bullied by them? Inevitably, I'll be left alone with them and I will spend my first night as a slave locked in the same slave quarters as them. The thought of this worries me. How will they re-act to me? What will they do? It occurs to me that I have never visited the slave quarters of what was once my home. I'd always considered it beneath me to be seen there and I'd always left the management of the slave quarters to my steward, Cato.

Consequently, I haven't any idea of how my former slaves live and now I wonder about this. Where do they eat and how do they eat? I don't even know if they eat communally from a common vessel or if each has his own bowl. And what are their sleeping arrangements? Do they have beds to sleep in or do they simply sleep on straw as do the field slaves at 'La Foret". One thing I do know however is that they are placed in chains over night and their quarters are securely locked. This procedure was introduced by my grandfather who never quite trusted his slaves and I'd continued with the practice after his death.

Excluding Cato, there are currently fifteen slaves in the group. All are prime, young males who were chosen by me for their exceptional beauty and strength. Quite deliberately I'd decided not to use females in the house once my grandparents had died and I had sent all their female slaves to the slave dealers as a "job lot". Thereafter, I only bought handsome, young, male slaves for domestic duties. I always chose the slaves I wanted to serve me in my homes carefully. I saw these slaves as adornments to my gracious lifestyle and like all my other expensive works of art I took great pleasure and pride in them.

Six of these slaves are employed outdoors attending to the extensive gardens that were my grandmother's pride and joy, the maintenance and upkeep of the house-just keeping the large, two story, mansion painted pristine white keeps two of them fully employed-and any other tasks that Cato deemed necessary.

Of the remaining nine, three are employed in the kitchen as cooks and scullery hands and five as housekeepers responsible for maintaining the good order of the house and to serve as waiters in the dining room. That just left Ben, who until now used to be my personal body slave and valet. He is an exceptionally beautiful, young slave and I'm quite fond of him. He has served me loyally and well both in and out of my bed. Aged perhaps nineteen of twenty-I'm not sure, but then who does know or cares about a slave's exact age-he'd served me with doglike devotion. Our morning showers together are always memorable, so much so that I found myself revisiting the shower with him two or three times a day. And of course there is Cato.

Cato has been a part of my life forever; I can't remember when he wasn't there. He has been the household steward to both my grandparents and I and I couldn't imagine the house operating without his commonsense and firm handling of the household slaves. Aged in his fifties, my grandfather had purchased him as a young slave to serve as his body servant. A strong bond had developed between them and growing up, I sometimes thought this went beyond the usual master/slave relationship. Perhaps I'm attributing something of myself to my grandfather in supposing there was a sexual relationship between them. I have to say if this was so, then it was very carefully concealed from everyone. But I sometimes wondered if my grandmother ever had her suspicions; if she did then she was discreet and kept them to herself. Often, as I look at Cato, I can visualise him as a younger slave and sometimes I feel a stirring in my loins.

Even today, he is still an impressive slave. Once he'd had jet black hair-I do remember it -but now it is peppered with white giving him a distinguished look and it's a look that is most unbecoming for a slave. Over six feet tall, he is powerfully built with a muscular frame. Unlike my other slaves, I've never seen Cato nude. My grandfather defied convention and allowed Cato to wear a sleeveless neck to knee tunic fastened at the waist by a wide leather belt. Made from a coarsely woven, unbleached material, Cato nevertheless wore it with pride. In a society that demands total nudity for its slaves, he is indeed privileged. Grandfather always insisted that it was fitting for the steward of the Barrois household to be uniformed. I suppose allowing him to wear clothing does elevate him in the eyes of our other slaves who are required always to address him respectfully as "boss".

As a further mark of his authority over the house-slaves, he always has a cane tucked into his belt. Cato had my authority to use the cane-at his discretion-to maintain order and discipline over the junior slaves at all times. As their Master, I didn't want to be disturbed by the petty misdemeanours of my slaves. I had complete trust in Cato to deal effectively with such trivialities. Only recently, I'd given him with one of the new "Whippistik"canes that I'd introduced out at "La Foret". Several days ago, he'd told me how effective this new cane is proving to be and how the slaves fear it more than the conventional cane. I too can vouch for its effectiveness having experienced its excruciating sting earlier this afternoon at the law-courts.

Then suddenly the thought bursts through into my consciousness. I would now fall under Cato's authority and I, who was once his master, will now have to address him respectfully as "boss". This latest humiliation only compounds the many others I've suffered this afternoon.

Norge and I stand motionless as our Master converses with Simon Barrow and the other two men. These are the court officials sent along by Judge Matthews to assist in the "transfer" of the house to Guy Maratier. After several minutes, Simon Barrow beckons for Cato to join them. I'm not privy to the discussions and from where I stand I can't hear what they are saying. But I can tell by the body language of the group that Cato is being presented to his new Master and he bows his head in acknowledgement of this. Then follows a long conversation between Guy Maratier and Cato-with Guy mostly doing the talking and Cato the listening before giving the occasional answer to a question-and there is much gesticulation as Cato points to the group of nervous slaves. Finally they turn in my direction and I know they are now discussing me. I bow my head in shame as the group move in my direction and stand before me. My Master is the first to speak.

"Well Cato! It is Cato isn't it? This is your former master. He's now the slave, Rafe. Do you have a problem with that? I need to know if it will be necessary to replace you as my steward."

"No Master," Cato answers, "I am a slave and as such I faithfully served two previous masters before you and I will serve you as I served them - as your loyal and obedient slave."

"Good! Then you'll continue to serve me as my steward. I'll certainly need your assistance in the coming days to explain how my household operates."

"Thank you, Master. Should you seek my advice I'm ready to give it." Cato replies respectfully. "Master, can I ask a question?"

"If it concerns the household, then yes, you have my permission to ask."

I reflect bitterly on how quickly Guy Maratier is moving into his new role of a master; he now speaks with a new and growing confidence.

"Master, How is your new slave to be treated? Is he to be given any special consideration?"

"Most definitely not, Cato! He is a slave and the same as all my other slaves. You'll treat him as you do them. He's not to receive any favours and if he requires punishment then so be it."

"Master, my former masters allowed me to exercise discipline over their slaves. Is that to continue? Can I still use my cane on a slave if I consider it is warranted?"

"Cato, you have my full confidence. You'll continue on as you have always done. The slave will be taken out to 'La Foret' eventually to work in the fields. I had hoped that would be tomorrow. But from what I've just been told, it seems that I'll be kept busy here in town for the next few days. Tell me what is to be done with Rafe in the meantime? What would you suggest?"

"Master, I'll make sure the slave is gainfully employed. He could work in the kitchens assisting the cooks until you take him out to 'La Foret'. Or perhaps you'd like to use him in the dining-room? Can I ask another question about the slave, Master? Whenever my former masters brought a new slave into the household, they always insisted that I cane him. They felt it established their authority over the slave and at the same time gave him a practical demonstration of what to expect should he give offence. Do you want this practice to continue?"

This is true. Like my grandfather before me, I'd always insisted on caning a new slave immediately after I'd brought him home from the market for the reasons just given by Cato. Now, there is the very real possibility that I'm to experience this for myself. Perhaps, my Master will discontinue this practice. Fearfully, I await his decision.

"I like the idea of that, Cato. But tell me where do you administer such a caning? There doesn't appear to be a whipping post handy."

"Master! I use a portable whipping-horse in the stables. If you want, I can have it brought out into the courtyard for a public caning."

"That's an excellent suggestion, Cato. We could cane Rafe in front of his fellow slaves. That should fix in their minds that he is no longer their master and he's now just a slave like them. Tell me, Cato, what is the usual number of strokes administered to a new slave and where on his body does the slave receive them?"

"The usual number is ten, Master. And they're delivered to the slave's buttocks. But with Rafe we'll need to be careful not to damage his new brand. But I can easily avoid it. It's not a problem."

"Very well then, Cato. Let's do it. But I think ten strokes aren't enough in Rafe's case. Let's double that to twenty strokes shall we?"

"Certainly Master. Then with your permission Master, I'll have the horse brought out into the yard."

"You have my permission to continue, Cato. And while you're doing that I'll say goodbye to these gentlemen from the courts and then we can get on with Rafe's caning."

It is now Simon Barrow's turn to speak.

"If it's alright with you Guy I'd like to hang around and watch as Rafe is caned. I'll enjoy watching as the arrogant young prick finally gets what's coming to him. I've always resented have to be so 'nice' to him, constantly deferring to him, tugging the forelock so to speak and treating him as though he was royalty. Yes sir, I'd enjoy seeing him squirm under the cane. Can I stay and watch as he gets what's coming to him?"

"Of course Simon, you're more than welcome to stay and watch as my new slave is "welcomed" into my household and afterwards why not join me for dinner? You can fill me in on what is to happen in the transfer of the Barrois assets over to me. Cato, can it be arranged for Mr Barrow to dine with me this evening?

"Certainly Master, I'll see to it myself. Traditionally, dinner is at 2000 hours. Is this time suitable? Do you want this to continue?"

"That sounds good to me Cato. After you've caned Rafe you could perhaps take Mr Barrow and me on an inspection of the house while we wait for dinner to be prepared?"

"It would be an honour to show my new Master around his home."

Despairingly, my new life looms before me. I have lost everything. Within the space of an afternoon, my fortune and position have been taken from me, I have been enslaved and even my name has been stripped from me and replaced with a slave name, Rafe. Humiliated, I was made to run naked through the streets of the city and then presented to my former neighbours as the collared and branded slave I now am. But my degradation doesn't end there.

I now stand before my former slaves as one of them and soon I'm to be humiliatingly chastised in their presence. Then, if Cato makes good with his suggestion, I'll be put to work in the kitchens as a common drudge.

In my despair, my eyes mist over and I tremble as I think about my impeding caning. I have already tasted the "Whippistik" today and I know of its awful capacity to inflict pain. The notion that I'm to receive twenty strokes of it fills me with dread.

I truly have hit rock bottom. I'm at the nadir of my existence.


1 Comment

  1. conversation17 - January 19, 2023, 9:23 pm

    The story is not faltering, nor the perspective of a former master weighing his life as a new slave and what that truly means. The impact on the neighbours is chilling in all the right ways. And the raw humiliation of it all is dazzling. Great stuff, Chrisus.

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