Page 318: Shame Spiral
Shame Spiral
Summary: The direct aftermath of the escape attempt.
Date: 02 June 2012
Related Logs: A Wonderful Day for a Picnic, Those Damned Peasant Tyrants and Bitch Be Crazy
Cherise Saffron Anais Ilaria 
Bandit Hole
It is less of a cave than a hovel of earth that has collapsed into the ground, large enough for the group of women to cower together and stretch their legs a little. The taller women will have to stoop to move around beneath the packed earthen ceiling. In the back a trickle of water drips from a bed of rock, turning the earth around it into gloppy mud, but providing something to drink. The bandits are ever on patrol at the mouth of the cave, quick to strike if the ladies get too lippy, loud, or simply because they feel like it.
June 2, 289

Once Cherise makes it back to her little claimed space with Darra wearing a saddened face she speaks lowly to her handmaiden, "Tear off as much of your shift as you can Miss Darra."

Anais moves back toward her spot against the wall once everyone is back inside, quietly reaching out to hold one hand under the water and closing her eyes. "Jacsen," she says quietly, reprising an earlier line, "Is going to shit a brick."

Hesitant to do so, Darra does as instructed and tears off as much of her chemise's skirt as possible while still maintaining her modesty. It then handed to Cherise who makes an offering of it to her naked peers. "Though ith noth much."

Saffron staggers deep into the cave, finding a barren spot on the wall to curl against. There is plenty of mud on her legs and rump, and she spreads a bit more across her skin as she embraces her torso and slumps her side against the stone. She looks tired and drawn. "I'm so sorry," she croaks against the wall, her voice weak. Though she does offer a painful laugh to Anais's words. She looks up at the offering with a tilt of her head, and she reaches to guiltily take the strips; her fingers are shaking.

"Come here, Saffron," Anais sighs when Darra offers the scraps. "I'll tie it on you. Nina, do you think you could spare some, too?" she asks of her handmaid, who's already ripping broad strips out of her own shift. "Wear it in here to keep warm," she says quietly to Saffron. "Hide it if they come in again. Because they'll take it away, and they'll likely hand out another round of punishments to boot. But personally, I'd like to wear something out of here when we get away, whether it's on our own or with our men."

Saffron winces as she pulls up into a squat which ends up in a crawl, and she ends up near her cousin. "It will be enough," she confesses even as she turns her back so Anais can fasten it. "Single knot," she reminds her. "Quicker to remove." Strangely enough, the mud is doing a good job with some insullation as it stiffens onto her skin. She doesn't meet the gazes of any of the other women in the cave.

"Slip knot," Anais murmurs to Saffron, slipping the end of it into her cousin's hand. "Just a good tug and it won't be anything." She accepts another length of fabric from Nina, though she doesn't even bother tying it onto herself, instead just sort of draping it over the salient bits once she's settled back into place. Desperately, she tries to maintain some semblance of calm, despite being naked in a cave.

Saffron has returned to her slump against the wall. She starts to take stock of her own wounds now — there is a large bruise across her throat from where the bandit had clotheslined her, her feet are torn up with blood and mud, her rump hurts from slamming onto the ground, and there are random heres and theres that are darkening beneath the swaths of mud. She also experiences a residual ache all over. "Thank you," she mumbles to Anais in her hoarse, croaky voice.

"Thank me by not doing anything else to draw attention to us. Please." Anais looks over the ladies crowded in the cave, drawing a deep breath and trying to pull the shreds of her dignity around herself. "They don't want to hurt us, but they will if they have to. So let's all…" She rubs a hand over her face, sighing softly. "Let's just try to stay calm and reasonable."

Some girls might be properly cowed. Indeed, Ilaria seems to want to curl up into herself, hugging her knees to her chest so tightly that it expels the air from her lungs, causing her to cough. With an irritated sigh, she relaxes her grip enough to breathe freely, watching as the girls tend to each other. The nudity is enough to cause her to cringe, and she pushes away from the wall to scurry closer to Saffron. "Do you think our captors would be mad," she begins to ask, glancing among the other women with her eyebrows raised, "if we fashioned some new clothes for both of you?"

Saffron looks guiltily over to Anais. "I could have made it," she says in a soft, only slightly stubborn voice. She looks over toward Anais through her tired eyes. Then she looks over to Ilaria, and she offers the woman a croaking laugh. "They will probably find us defiant and disorderly. Let me be in my shame," she says reproachfully as she nuzzles her head against the stone again. Its not that she doesn't appreciate the offer… really…

Cherise had made it over to the where the water was, using a cupped hand to wipe at her face and rinse out the copper taste in her mouth. She does spit out the mixture of blood and cave water onto the ground near by, careful to not spritz any others. "Just, tell us what you saw Saffron."

Not strangling Saffron is apparently taking the remainder of Anais' control, because she props a hand over her face, lets out a slow breath, and does her best to feign sleep.

"They guard the camp better than I assumed… they have men in the woods, probably sentries. To be honest, I was desperate to get to the woods…" She looks over to Anais with an ache in her neck before she looks to Ilaria. "Ask me tomorrow," she murmurs. Scooting away from Anais a bit to give some space between her and, well, everyone, the Banefort lady shamefully tries to find herself a way to sleep.