The destruction of the Eastern Commonwealth of the former United States of America occurred over the course of the two-hundred-year period 2550–2750, as a consequence of an attack in 2550 by a minor, though relatively powerful tribe of wildfolk with a biological weapon they had found in the ruins of a government laboratory. The airborne agent discovered by the Great River Tribe, residing near the Missouri River between the increasingly fragmented Western Republic and the relatively cohesive Eastern Commonwealth, was released in New Washington. It spread rapidly northward, striking the commonwealth’s other population center in New Boston.
The agent, originally known as Prestriol-C, quickly became known as the ‘Pink Death.’ It killed only women, and it killed them in enormous numbers. It also affected men, however, so that the children they had after breathing the Pink Death were male, in a roughly ten-to-one proportion. By the time the agent had fully dispersed in the atmosphere, the proportion of men to women in the Eastern Commonwealth, estimated to be 48% to 52% previously, had risen to an estimated 92% to 8%. Though the effect of the Pink Death on the relative birthrates of boys and girls faded over the succeeding generations, it is estimated that at the time of the final collapse of the Eastern Commonwealth, the ratio had fallen only to 82% to 18%.
From that moment on, the commonwealth’s fate was sealed. Though the measures the desperate government put into place to attempt the repopulation of their nation succeeded in greatly increasing the genetic viability of the men who won the right to breed—so greatly that at the time of the Draconian Renaissance of 3001 almost half the remaining population of Earth and 100% of the population of the American continent descended from one of them—the same qualities that allowed them to gain this right eventually destroyed the coherence of the commonwealth from within.
From A History of the Fall and Rebirth of Human Civilization in the Period from Collapse to Draconian Renaissance, by Robert Lourcy, published 3816.
On 1 June 2732, Jane woke up in her bed at the Advanced Training School for Girls and for a moment she didn’t remember that the day of the auction had come. She thought she had returned somehow to the Regular Training School, the one where she had spent the six years before moving across the compound with the other girls who had recently turned eighteen. She thought she would spend the day learning to keep house for her husband—the girls learned to call the man who would take them home that, despite its not being true from a historical perspective, or at least not in any simple way.
For that moment Jane forgot all the things she had learned in advanced training: that the man who chose her would not be her husband in the way that the girls in the old stories had husbands. If he were a kind man—and Headmistress Blenheim assured the girls that no man could take one of them home unless he passed tests that showed he would never harm his wife—he would allow her certain freedoms, and he would take her feelings into account when he exercised his sexual rights. He would even reward her from time to time with pleasure of her own, as he used her young body in that shameful way the headmistress had taught them about on that traumatic first day at the advanced school.
“The irony, girls,” Jane remembered the headmistress saying, as the knowledge of what the day really held for her returned to her consciousness, “is that the protocols developed by our government to allot the terribly scarce resource your bodies represent actually revive the original understanding of marriage among our distant ancestors. As young brides, as recently as, say, fifteen hundred years ago, you would have been subject to a sort of auction among the eligible candidates for what they called, by a charming metonymy, your hand.”
Annie raised her hand. “What’s menotimmy, Mrs. Blenheim?”
Mrs. Blenheim smiled. Jane remembered realizing at that moment that although the woman clearly considered it her duty to introduce her girls to certain very hard facts of their lives from this moment on, she did truly want for them the best possible life under the very difficult circumstances in which the Eastern Commonwealth now found itself.
“Metonymy. Annie, isn’t it?” Annie blushed and nodded. “A metonymy is a figure of speech in which a word like hand stands for another word that it’s connected to, somehow. One frequent kind of metonymy takes a part of a thing and uses it to stand for the whole thing, like using the word sail when you mean ship.”
Jane felt a sort of light dawn in her brain, and she blurted out, “So, hand for girl?”
Mrs. Blenheim frowned. “Jane, I’m afraid I can’t permit such outbursts. I know that things at your old school ran along laxer lines, but you must understand that I’m preparing you here for a life with a husband who will certainly feel it necessary to keep very good order in his home. By keeping that sort of order here at school, I hope to spare you some difficulties after you go home with your husband. I’m afraid I must ask you to come to my study after class for a strapping.”
Jane’s whole body seemed to blush, and then to go cold again. That day, of course, she hadn’t any idea beyond the whispers of other girls what a strapping even was. You had to bend over Mrs. Blenheim’s desk, they said; she raised your skirt and took your panties down, then she whipped you. Then, they said, she lectured you in a different sort of way, though no agreement seemed to exist on that score except that it appeared to have something to do with what husbands did.
“But,” Mrs. Blenheim continued, her voice now much gentler, “you are entirely correct, at least according to the traditional understanding of what the expression meant, Jane. Hand, it seemed to most, stood for the whole of the girl. I must tell you, however, that lurking behind that simple explanation is another one, which at least in the minds of husbands lay deeper than any sweet notion that by holding his bride’s hand, a man took her whole being under his care. No, girls, the true metonymy behind the idea of winning a girl’s hand in marriage is for a very different body part.”
Jane had swallowed hard, and she thought she heard some of the other eight girls who had come over from the regular school with her that morning, changing their old uniforms of shorts and t-shirts for this new one of blue skirts and white blouses, with strange new underwear beneath them, breathing a little harder. Something about the underwear, indeed, seemed to bear some mysterious relation to what Mrs. Blenheim had just said.
The girls had giggled nervously as they’d undressed, getting out of their old halter tops and briefs, looking at the new things they had been told to don: the white bra, the beige suspender belt and stockings, and the new, skimpier sort of panties the girls must now wear, made of a thinner sort of white stretch cotton. That new fabric felt odd and even embarrassing both in front and behind when it went over her pert little bottom and the private place that had only in the last year grown the fleecy yellow curls that did not yet really hide the tender cleft from view when Jane looked, blushing, at her reflection in the mirror. And in the long mirror of the changing room where the nine eighteen-year-olds had to change, trying to keep their eyes from one another’s bodies but still stealing glances to see who had more hair between her thighs, or whose breasts had grown the most to fill out the new bras, Jane saw the way the suspender belts seemed to frame all the girls’ private parts, covered though they were in skimpy white cotton.
“I can see from your blushes, girls, that you have an idea of what I mean,” Mrs. Blenheim said. “That is as it should be. You are brought here from the regular school at the age of eighteen for exactly that reason. You girls are ready to learn the truth about men and women: about how very differently your husband will be made from the way you are, and about what it means. Indeed, that is what advanced training is for: to prepare you for your duties as a wife not in keeping house, which is what you learned at the Regular Training School, but in submitting to their desires with respect to your young bodies.”
It had been about eleven a.m., then, Jane remembered. From the changing room where they had donned their new school uniforms they had come straight to this schoolroom, where they sat around an old—perhaps an ancient—wooden table, with Mrs. Blenheim presiding from the head.
Mrs. Blenheim looked around the table, then, very significantly, meeting the eyes of every girl who could raise them to her. Jane had managed to make eye contact, but only for a moment, as she thought of how she must go the headmistress’ study after class for punishment.
“The answer to the little mystery I just posed you, girls, is that hand in give her hand in marriage really stands for a word I am fairly sure none of you has ever heard before, but which, although you will be punished for saying it yourself, you will now hear quite often in reference to you. The word is cunt, girls, and it is the way men refer to the part of you they taught you, at your old school, to call your private part. Your husband will teach you what he wishes you to call your cunt, after you are married, but for now you will continue to call it your private part or you may begin to call it by its medical name, which is vagina.”
Jane could hardly tell why it was so very embarrassing to have to listen to Mrs. Blenheim say these things, but she could do nothing but look down at her hands upon the table. She gazed down at her fingers as if hoping to see in the pattern of the little wrinkles on her knuckles some sort of salvation from the pounding of her heart, and the mortifying way the part the headmistress had so gravely given those strange new names seemed to be growing warm and even… Jane bit her lip. Yes, wet, too, dampening the new panties.
“Many, if not all, of you,” Mrs. Blenheim continued slowly, though Jane thought she could never in a million years have looked at her now, “are feeling your first real sexual arousal now, at the simple thought that a soldier might be interested in your cunts.”
Oh, no. Jane hadn’t even really thought of that yet, had she? Not just that she had this part of her that might be called by such a sharp little word as cunt but that Mrs. Blenheim had said that men called a girl’s private part her cunt. Jane’s husband would call the little furrow between Jane’s thighs, that felt so funny these days when she washed it, her ‘cunt.’ Why, though? What else would he say?
In her mind, she heard a deep voice, like the voice of the magistrates who came four times a year to inspect the schools and to give little speeches, the only real men Jane had ever seen. “Jane, I want to see your cunt. Show me your cunt this instant, or I’m afraid I must strap you on your bare bottom.”
She heard her breathing quicken, there in the schoolroom, as if she were someone else, and then she realized that she might as well have been someone else, because the girls around her, her friends since they had all come to the Regular School at age twelve, were all breathing hard. She managed to look up, briefly and around, and saw that every other girl was looking down, some of them with eyes closed. Jane’s friend Annie lifted her eyes at that moment, though, and met Jane’s gaze. Annie’s expression looked startled, and Jane could feel an answering confusion on her own face. Both of them looked down again, at the same instant.
But then Mrs. Blenheim said, “Look at me, girls.” Something in the headmistress’ voice seemed to combine with a strange, sudden yearning to turn all these feelings over to someone who could teach Jane to conduct herself pleasingly. In the absence of the husband who, they had taught her, would take her home someday in the near future, Mrs. Blenheim, who would it seemed in the even nearer future punish Jane with the strap upon her bare bottom, seemed a logical substitute.
Jane looked up, and saw that every other girl at the table had done the same. All their faces were pink and all their eyes were wide.
“We have given you an education, girls, at the Regular Training School, that has prepared you to feel both shame and excitement at the prospect of your husbands’ interest in your cunts. In your culture classes you learned respect for the brave men who protect us. We instilled in you the deep desire to gratify your husband’s wants and needs, and prepared you to love him because even though he must be strict with you, as a military husband always is, and must discipline you to teach you to be a good girl for him in the home and in the bed where he will enjoy not only your cunt but also your mouth and your bottom, his care for you will never waver. When your husband punishes you, you will thank him for it, and when he uses your cunt or your mouth or your bottom for his pleasure, you will know in his enjoyment your highest purpose.”
She stood up from the table. “Now,” she said, “we will go next door to the practical room.”
On shaky knees Jane stood and followed Annie, who followed Mrs. Blenheim. The practical room was much larger than the schoolroom. In it a strange sort of table occupied the center of the polished wood floor. Around it stood many folding metal chairs—perhaps fifty of them.
“Go and sit in the first row, girls,” said Mrs. Blenheim in a distinct echoey-room kind of voice.
When they all had sat, and Jane’s curiosity about the nature of the room had reached a fever pitch, the headmistress said. “In this room, girls, you will in three months’ time be auctioned to the men who will take you home. The process is complicated and you need not worry about it because you have no control over it.”
Jane bit her lip. They had said as much at the Regular School, but it still seemed strange to her.
“More important for your immediate purposes, however, is the other use to which we put this room here at my school.”
From a pocket of her skirt Mrs. Blenheim now took a whistle and blew a sharp blast upon it. Jane looked at Annie in confusion, and Annie returned the gaze with the same expression upon her face.
Then a door at the far end of the room opened, and a naked girl stepped through. To Jane’s right, Annie made a sort of whimpering sound and although Jane remained silent she felt like the sound represented her own feelings.
The tall, willowy girl had long brown hair in two braids, but she only had hair on her head: her private place had had its hair removed somehow. Jane wondered why the girl didn’t put her hands in front of that place to cover it from view, but then she saw that the girl had her hands atop her head, and realized that she must have received instructions to keep them there, so that her whole naked body, with the little breasts and the cleft between her thighs, would be visible to the new girls.
“Girls, meet Alice,” the headmistress said. “Alice went home to her husband Major Jones at last year’s auction. Major Jones is stationed here in New Boston, and so he’s been gracious enough to agree to come here, and bring Alice for a spanking and a fucking, to help me show you girls what you must expect and prepare for.”
Then Major Jones himself, a tall handsome man with blond hair that seemed to cover his whole body, stepped through the door. To the gasps of all the girls, he was naked. In his right hand he held a belt, doubled and wrapped around his fist. Then, her face feeling like it had caught fire, Jane had seen what he held in his left hand, stroking it gently.
“Major,” said Mrs. Blenheim, “please come show these young ladies that fine big cock of yours.”
“Certainly,” said the major. “Alice, assume the position. Bottom well up. You have a lesson to learn.”
As he walked down the row of seated girls, brandishing the strange, embarrassing part of his body that Jane could not stop looking at despite still not understanding what it might mean, the major said, “Alice has been falling behind on her housework, girls. So when your headmistress asked if any of the married men in the garrison had a girl who might benefit from having her punishment here at your school, I said I thought it would be a good idea for Alice to come help out. Isn’t that right, Alice? How does it feel to be on display like this, waiting for your spanking and my pleasure in that sweet young cunt? It feels a little embarrassing, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, sir,” whispered Alice to the padded table, over which she had bent, her palms laid flat upon its surface. As her husband had instructed, she had arched her back to present her pretty little backside.
Then, without further delay, after all the girls, blushing, had gotten a look at the major’s hard cock, he stepped to his wife and began to whip her with the belt. Jane’s breathing got very labored, and she kept her hands as still as she could along the side of her legs, noticing in her peripheral vision that Annie did the same. The terrible warmth inside her skimpy new panties seemed to grow and grow as she watched the naked man punish his naked wife for neglecting her household duties.
Alice screamed and sobbed, throwing her head back and bouncing on her toes, sometimes unable to keep herself from moving her bottom to try to escape from the terrible lesson her husband taught her. Major Jones warned her to hold still, but when Alice couldn’t, he took her around her waist with his left arm and held her bottom quite still so that he could punish Alice as she deserved. Alice’s bottom, already well-streaked with pink and red welts that filled Jane with terror for her own backside, clenched and unclenched in obvious pain, but she could not escape any more, and the major delivered the end of her whipping without distraction.
“Girls,” Mrs. Blenheim said then, “what you shall now see is called fucking. We will discuss it in detail later, but for now it is important only that you understand how it works. Observe the husband who fucks, and the wife who is fucked.”
The major had repositioned Alice, moving her body as he pleased and putting her on her hands and knees on the table, her punished bottom still rising toward him as he approached. He put down the belt on the table and took his cock in his right hand.
“Oh, no,” Jane heard Annie whisper, as the major entered his wife’s cunt with a grunt of pleasure.
“Good girl,” the major said. “Nice and wet for me.” Then the thrusting, the driving, and the riding began.
Alice’s cries were perhaps a little ambiguous, but Jane could tell immediately that fucking did not hurt, really. Jane’s whole body seemed on fire and the urge to touch herself, the absolutely forbidden thing, suddenly came upon her so strongly that she did give a little whimpering sound like Annie’s. Her… her cunt… fluttered, tightened, and that made her whimper again as she watched the stiff cock plunge in and out as the major’s powerful hands stilled his wife’s wayward hips for her fucking, just as he had stilled her bottom for his belt.
Then the strange moment of the major’s climax, and the seed trickling out of Alice’s cunt, which Mrs. Blenheim made the new girls step forward to see, once the major had stepped back. Jane thought she could not imagine a more moving, terrifying sight than Alice’s punished bottom and well-fucked cunt.
“Will you fuck her in her bottom tonight, major?” the headmistress had asked, then.
“Certainly,” the major had replied. “Alice needs that, I’ve found, or else she gets sassy.”
The bell rang in the dormitory where Jane, still lying in bed, had recalled that strange, terribly arousing scene in the practical room. She took a deep breath, letting the ambiguity of the feelings brought into her heart by the memory of her first day flow out of her as much as it could with her exhalation. She rose from her bed, the little white nightgown of translucently thin cotton rustling around her as she moved toward the bathroom, joining the flow of the other girls emerging from their own rooms.
They all spoke very quietly this morning, and said nothing of any consequence, simply greeting each other and asking for the toothpaste. Jane wondered if like her they had all forgotten, upon waking, where they were, and that it was auction day and, like her, had had to recall it all again, with the anticipation and the fear.
Today it would begin. It would be different for each of them, Mrs. Blenheim had said, but every one of them—Jane, and all her friends—would go home with a man in a few days, no longer a virgin but rather a girl whose cunt now belonged to the husband who had won it, after… the other word, the word Mrs. Blenheim had first spoken to the girls that day in the schoolroom. After fucking it. Every girl brushing her teeth here in front of the bathroom mirror would be fucked by a soldier tonight and, though Jane and her schoolmates did not understand really how auction week worked, by another soldier tomorrow.