I woke up, still tied to that wretched post. At least, I thought at the time that I had woken but I now realize it was just a bad dream. It seemed so real, to begin with, but then everything got really strange and impossible so I must have been dreaming at least some of it. I guess I’ll never really know.
I came to and tried to move but I quickly realized that my ankles and wrists were held and, despite pulling, I could not free myself. I couldn’t believe that the awful man had simply left me tied up like that. Had he forgotten about me? Was he doing it on purpose? How long had I been asleep?
Then I saw that I wasn’t alone. A man was standing in front of me, looking at me. At first I thought it must be Sir Hugo and that he had started to punish me and I had fainted from the pain. I was scared until I saw that it was, in fact, Taun! Oh, the relief! I began to beg him to untie me and let me down. My muscles ached so badly and my skin was sore from where I had been pulling on the ropes. But he wouldn’t help me. He just kept asking me questions about why I was there and who had tied me up. Then, suddenly, Sir Hugo was in the room with us too. Had he in fact been there all the time? Was that why Taun wasn’t letting me go? But surely Taun isn’t afraid of anyone here at the Retreat (except of course Mr. Negulesco. Everyone respects him as it is his house and his establishment and he’s just a really scary man anyway.)
Taun was telling Sir Hugo that he would take care of my punishment and that he could leave. Was he really going to punish me? Or was he just pretending so that Sir Hugo wouldn’t know that he was actually going to set me free? I had no idea but I hoped it was the latter! But Sir Hugo wouldn’t leave the room and then… oh, this next part is awful. I thought that Taun was one of the nice ones but, he reached out and slid his hand under my bra and… he pinched my nipple so hard I screamed. It was horrible! He just looked at me while he was doing it and smiled. Up till that point I really thought all this was real and the betrayal and pain were awful.
But then, I guess my subconscious started to either realize that someone was not right or it was being kind on me because Sir Jeff suddenly appeared from no where! I pleaded for him to untie me and the other men started to say that they couldn’t see him. And Sir Jeff just untied me! Just like that! I collapsed to the ground and when I looked up both Sir Jeff and Taun had disappeared. You see how weird it was starting to get? I was horrified to see that Sir Hugo was still standing in front of me but as I watched him he just stayed there, like a statue. He was looking straight at me but he didn’t move a muscle and he didn’t say a word. It was too surreal and I think by that point I must have known it was a dream because all I remember is saying that I was going to leave (was I talking in my sleep? Saying that I was going to wake up now, perhaps?) and when I woke up I was back outside in the cage.
What do you make of that, dear diary? It was obviously a dream but then someone must have actually untied me and I somehow got from the bedroom to the pens so that part is a complete mystery. Did a random guy see me passed out on the post and untie me? Perhaps it really was Sir Jeff and my nightmare was a mix of reality and delusion. I won’t know, I guess, until I see Sir Jeff again and ask him. I have seen Taun and he has no idea what happened so I do know that at least some of what I remember wasn’t real. (Unless, of course, he’s lying to me but I don’t think so – I have to believe that anyway – and he has only been kind to me so it’s really not in his character, I think, to hurt me like that.)
I will tell you about the following day, with Taun, but that will have to wait because I’m very tired now and need to sleep. I want to be ready for whatever happens next. At least, as ready as I can be which isn’t very but at least if I’m strong I can hope to better cope with what the men do to me.See More of Charlotte & Clara: