Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mammoth Lakes

The Mammoth Lakes Detention and Processing Center (MLDPC).

It is a new facility for prisoners on the west coast, made possible when global warming melted all the snow and increased the temperatures so that the mountain community became more temperate. A special facility designed for special cases, that required special punishment.

The facility looked fairly harmless to the casual observer. No tall block walls or guard towers surrounded the buildings. Razor wire was nowhere to be seen. The traditional trappings of a prison were absent.

Instead, a wide expanse of lawn, covered sparsely with pine trees and a winding lane led up to a lodge constructed of local timber. Large windows looked out on the grounds surrounding the main building.

A group of visitors drove slowly along the tree lined drive, enjoying the cool mountain air. The branches of the pine trees swayed slightly in a light breeze.

The car suddenly stopped in front of an odd sight along the side of the road.

Between positioned on the side of the road in front of and between two trees was a wooden structure. A single heavy beam was buried in the ground and rose straight up about 10 feet. Two cross beams extended across and out from the upright beam, the top cross beam at the top, and the lower one about 5 feet below.

The visitors got out of the car to get a better look, but they weren't looking at the wooden structure as closely as they were the woman who was tied to it. She was about 21, with long dark hair and slim body which was fully exposed to the onlookers.

She was stretched upon the wooden cross rather tightly, her arms spread wide and secured with heavy ropes to the upper cross beam. Her legs were also stretched and pulled widely, secured to the ends of the lower cross beam.

The visitors walked up to the exposed girl slowly, as if they were afraid of her, though she was secured and hanging on a cross. The victim was breathing heavily, moaning and making small attempts at movement. Her breasts heaved up and down with each breath she took and her long hair hung down over her shoulders as her head alternately hung down and was then raised up as she looked at the sky. Her body was in constant motion, struggling, writhing, pulling, slumping down.

As the visitors approached for a closer look at the agonized victim, they saw that she was not simply hung on the cross. No, there was a small piece of wood which protruded from the main upright. A simple 4" by 4" extended about a foot out from the cross, immediately under her body, between her legs.

Most of the time, her body weight was placed on this sedile, a tortuous mockery of a seat. Yet, it served its purpose - it helped support the unfortunate girl as she hung on the cross. Her feet were tied apart and could not provide support and this small wooden seat was the only thing that prevented her body from being suspended entirely from her arms.

Upon closer observation, it was clear this sedile was no real relief for the poor girl. It was placed at an angle, so that its sharp corner pointed up and embedded itself deeply in the folds of her flesh, separating and penetrating her labia. She was constantly struggling to move herself, straining her arms to reposition her flesh and relieve the pressure on her sensitive areas, but the taughtness of her ankle restraints prevented this.

The visitors observed the agony struggles until the girl cried out loudly to them, begging them for mercy, to help her somehow relieve the pain. She screamed to them, pleading that she had been on the cross for two days now and did not believe she could survive another night in the cold.

Her outburst simply made the visitors back away, afraid to face the pain of the girl's predicament. Except for one visitor, who stepped forward and asked what crime the girl had committed that she should be punished so horribly?

In response the girl struggled momentarily and then slumped down, as if all strength had left her. She replied in low tones, speaking clearly. She explained that she had worked as a secretary for a radio station that had been shut down for violations of the free speech act. The station had been notorious for expressing views which were contrary to the accepted and government approved views. All the employees had been convicted of sedition and intollerance, the punishment for which was exile, or death.

The victim's breathing was coming in raspy heaves, and she no longer struggled. Small amounts of blood could be seen on the sedile which supported her weight at that moment. Her streaked flesh vibrated from involuntary muscle shaking.

She begged for water.

One of the visitors that hung back produced a water bottle, but another pushed it away... the more mercy was shown, the longer the victim's ordeal. The sedile would extend her agony long enough. Death would be the only real relief, and the sooner that came, the better.

The visitors returned to the car, and drove on, leaving the girl hanging on the cross, alone, surrounded by green lawns and beautiful trees swaying in the soft breeze.

It was later learned that the girl lasted another three days before she died. As was the practice, her body was left on the cross for another week.