Kim goes to a salon of fun.
"These stones are hot!"
"Yes, the pavement is heating," Abdul agreed, "which is why we must hurry, and get you to market."
"Yeah, let's get into the truck and get out of here," Stephanie said.
"Don't forget our clothes!" Sophie said pleadingly.
"One thing remains. Even naked, slave girls in the marketplace are never allowed to wander about freely. You must be restrained."
"Restrained?" Patrice asked suspiciously, "What do you mean by restrained?"
At that moment the question was answered as several of the guards began unloaded some very old and very worn looking black boards. They looked a little like cutting boards, but were larger, and had three holes in them. I didn't realize what the boards were until one of the guards opened it at the hinge, and fitted it around Brittany's neck. After pulling her long blonde hair free he quickly brought her wrists up and fitted them through the two wrist holes next to the hole for her neck.
After closing the stock down over her neck and wrists he slid a black iron barrel bolt to join the stock, locking the two pieces of wood together. As a final step he turned the knob on the barrel down, pushing it into a precut groove on the board, tucking the unlocking mechanism neatly inside the stock itself.
The yokes were thick but not long: "petite" or "midget stocks" as one of the girls called them, and they held Brittany's hands close enough to her head that she could scratch her ears. The ever-foolish Brittany didn't seem to realize she was locked into place until she tried to move her hands away from the side of her head. Her hands were almost touching her ears but they were quite immobile.
"How do I get this off?" she said stupidly.
"Do not worry. You are quite secure," Abdul explained. "The yoke will not come off after it is locked unless you have the exact tool," he said, holding up the wrench in his hand. It was black, and looked very old, like an Allen wrench designed by the Flintstones.
"Wow, this is totally steam-punk!" Brittany said, fingering the wooden collar around her neck. "It's like, a zillion years old."
"Yes, it has brought countless girls to market over the centuries," Abdul said, "and it is a genuine antique. I had one tested, and this one dates back to the time of Alexander the Great. Who knows? Alexander himself might have locked this around the neck of one of the daughters of King Darius, before he enslaved and fucked her."
"Wow!" Brittany said. "Do you hear that, Taylor?" Brittany said proudly. "I'm wearing the slave costume of King Dairy's daughter! This is the coolest costume ever."
"Indeed, Abdul said, looking the clueless blonde's body up and down from tip-to-toe as he made his appraisal. Your costume is exquisite."
"Geez, you really can't get this thing off," Taylor said, shaking her head and straining at the yoke. "It's wood, but it's like metal."
Abdul laughed. "Yes, despite it's age I think you will discover it is still quite functional and perfectly suited to its intended purpose."
"It's not very comfortable," Stephanie noted. "The hands are too close to my head."
"Alas it is designed for convenience, not for comfort. A larger yoke would allow you to maintain a more natural position, but this yoke is lighter and thus better suited to running, and traveling through crowded spaces."
"Uh, yeah, but I can't get it off. My fingers can't reach the little key hole thing-y."
"Indeed," Abdul said, smiling at Brittany's blondness, even as the men fitted the other girls into their yokes. "In that sense your costume is quite authentic."
I was so busy laughing at Brittany dancing around in a circle trying to get her yoke off that I didn't notice when the two men lifted my arms and the third fitted the wooden yoke around my neck.
The edges of my yoke were worn but the dark, black wood was thick and heavy and in an instant my wrists were soon bolted in place on either side of my face.
Most of what Abdul said was bullshit, and although I had no way of verifying the wood through carbon dating i