This is a writing prompt from the incorrigible Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds.com. The prompt was to take a title (I picked The Gallows Girls) from a list and write something under 1,000 words. Some life got in the way so I had to hold onto it, until now (aren’t you all fortunate?).
I enjoyed writing this one, so I hope you’ll take a gander and at least crack a smile (you cynic).
The Gallows Girls
Autoerotique Asphyxiation–not just for aged martial arts movie stars. I heard a gaggle of girls at my school talking about The Gallows Girls, a forum that tailored to women who masturbate or have sex while choking themselves. Now, any would-be dreg of the internet would know that choking and sex go together like cottage cheese and ketchup–You know someone who likes it, but by and large it’s not everyone’s cheese and crackers.
The problem with this little forum is that it’s private. While my slight morbid curiosity about the practice brought me to the homepage, I can’t exactly produce any kind of content as a makeshift secret password to entire the wild world of A.A. Not that A.A. the one mentioned at the top of the bill.
Doing my usual rounds of pornhub, I was drawn to the ads for camgirls down the right side panel. These were real people (real in the sense that the stripper you like is actually named Chastity) who, for a small fee will close up normal shop and have a private show just for you. Golly. What swell gals.
After a reasonable PayPal transaction, my lady of the hour was DaddysLiLSub. She looked the part: heavy eyeliner, decently-sized gauges in her ears, septum piercing. Not to stereotype, but people into this sort of thing do have a look about them. Unless, that is, you’re the chick from 50 Shades.
DaddysLiLSub: Wat u want me to do, bby?
KngFuCrdne: Do you have any rope?
DaddysLiLSub: Mmmhm…Is silk ok?
DaddysLiLSub put on a lovely show, and was surprisingly compliant with my “hold the notecard with the username up to the camera” request. But was it convincing enough? Only the Moderators of The Gallows Girls would know for sure. A few knocks on the digital box fort and I was in.
I don’t know what I was expecting–but oh was it so much more. Part of the deal was your profile had to include at least one video or gif of you performing the act. I had mine, and I was ready to scour.
Images seemed to be the currency around these parts. Much like you and your Grandma trading cat memes on Facebook, The G.G. forum had pages upon pages of how to stay safe, techniques, DIY–you name it. There was, however, one piece of this little community that particularly caught my hungry eyes.
Reading through it all, every now and then the word “brinking” came up. The strangeness of this magical term was how quickly moderators deleted posts or straight up banned users who mentioned it. I’d already gone this far, let’s see how far down this rabbit hole goes.
A user by the name of Sprlnkr_Steph had a respectable post count of 2,700 and a personal gallery of over 400 images and videos. Steph was only warned about the tabooed “brinking” utterance, and apologized to other forum goers for even mentioning it.
Banning be damned, I had to know what this was all about. A quick private message later, and I was sent this:
I was hesitant to click it. Phantom links often to lead to dark corners of the internet, or you get Rick Rolled. Gimme the red pill, Morpheus!
A video came up–the usual GG fanfare, a woman choking herself while diddling her bits. Another figure came into view and kicked the chair out from under her. There’s some trust involved in the community, so I wasn’t alarmed…until a minute went by. A minute thirty and I got worried. The woman let out a garbled safeword I couldn’t make out, and the figure rushed to her aid. Phew. She composed herself and held a stopwatch up to the camera. It read 1:33. That’s it?
Another message to Steph: “Is this brinking?” and wasn’t expecting her response.
Sprlnkr_Steph: How far would you go before you die?
Steph, the asphyxiate adrenaline junkie was challenging me to ‘brink’ into ecstasy…or death–whichever came first. This would undoubtedly be a problematic query for the gracious DaddysLiLSub. “Hey, you think you could kill yourself for me?” The least I’d get from that is a black mark from camgirls.com–a punishment I was not ready for.
I could have ended it right then and there. I got what I came for, didn’t I? The itch still needed a good scratch, but how to pull off the rouse? A quick costume change and I could fake it. They would see through the lie, I was sure of it. Professionals always spot the faker. What did I care if some kink enthusiasts thought less of me? The fake me.
KngFuCrdne: I would, but…I don’t have a spotter.
Sprlnkr_Steph: I can arrange one.
I was overwhelmed at this point. Had I gone too far? Yes, I think so. Shut’er down, boys–the dream’s dead!
It would have been, had there not been a knock at my door. A most curious of knocks at 2 in the morning. My Landlord, come to check on the boiler…right? The peephole revealed a hooded figure. Nope town, U.S.A. Nope city. Nope the Country. Another knock.
Sprlnkr_Steph: Aren’t you going to let her in?
Shit. Shit. Shit. What have I done? Close it down! Burn the harddrive! A few clicks and my front door creaked open. Behind the couch is the safest place…when you’re 6.
Now I’m face-to-face with, wouldn’t you know it, DaddysLiLSub. She was the ‘spotter’ Steph was referring to. Never mind the how or why, but there I was, sat on my bed, rope around my neck, hands on my genitals, staring down the red blinker of a Canon DSLR.
…1 minute, 34 seconds, if you’re curious. Fuck you, Steph.