The light flickered dull above them, humming with grunts and flies in the heat.
            There was nothing but a curtain surrounding the chair that she’d been made to sit on. Two men held her still.
            Her legs were set wide apart, held up by leather stirrups attached to wooden poles that were set into the mud at obtuse angles. Nothing covered her body from the waist down.
            She could taste blood and oil in her mouth, grit on her tongue, and could smell vomit clumping in her hair. Her teeth were firmly clamped around a dirty rag from one of the men’s pockets.
            He wasn’t even wearing gloves on his hands. He slurped the dregs from his beer, and slammed the empty can down onto the splintered edge of one of the poles, wiping his mouth with the back of his free hand. Her legs shook with the vibration.
            Her mind darted between the horror of what was about to happen and the infection that was sure to spread afterwards. She imagined herself as the unwilling host, organisms burying themselves deep beneath her skin and multiplying, always multiplying, oozing yellow and rancid.
            No man would touch her now.
            He held a large wad of yellowing cotton between his cheek and his shoulder, and a rusting pair of surgical scissors in his hands. Sharp enough to glint in low light; blunt enough to snag on smooth flesh. She was sweating, crying, and begging.
            Apologising for loving a white man.
            Apologising for saying she loved him.
            Begging him not to continue as his fingers closed in.

Annabelle works in publishing by day, and the explosive world of Synaesthesia Magazine by night. She is currently working on a short story collection inspired by the twisted world of taboo relationships, predominantly influenced by Ian McEwan and anything else that’s drenched with the disturbed.