A rope had been thrown over the beam above. Deftly tied to his wrists manacled behind. And yanked up till Conan was doubled up, bent in half. His backside bare, exposed to attack. Alongside his head Conan saw the weapon. A thick strap of sturdy leather mounted on a handle.
A loud single drumbeat disguised the sound. The whoosh of brutal leather growling through the air. Force jarred him forward. A burning pain lit up bare skin.
“One!” In unison the mob called it out.
The next drumbeat sounded. Under it Conan detected the sonorous whoosh. Gritted his teeth. Crushed hands together. The force knocked him forward onto one foot. A sharp grunt jarred at his tight-clenched teeth. “Two!”
His backside was on fire. Sweat was running off his hair. Coursing down his face.
The warning drumbeat no longer mattered. Conan was fighting back the pain. Tears of pain mingled with the sweat stinging his eyes.
“Eleven!” Cried out from jubilant throats.
The smarting got worse with every strike. His arse stuck out .. flesh stinging like a branding iron with each forceful hit. Again an evil growl was cutting through the air. No escaping, no avoiding. Exploding with the force of magna on his screaming arse.
“Twelve!” Shouted out with whoops of joy.
Conan was panting. His heart was thumping against his ribs.
“Let’s see the prick’s face.”
A cry out of the crowd. The mob joined in the call. All wanted every bit of pleasure out of this rare entertainment in their drab lives. A temple guard satisfied. Seizing hold of Conan’s hair, yanking up his tear-streaked face and holding it up to view.
Mockery erupted. Laughing at the killer’s face twisted with pain.
Drumbeat crashed. Lightning struck. And Conan’s face broke in a twisted shout of pain.
“Thirteen! Thirteen! Thirteen!”
The mob erupted in celebration. The stinking killer had let go his first pained cry. Now they were really getting somewhere. His stinking arse thrashed a stinging crimson red. For public entertainment.
“Fourteen!” His arse struck by a searing dollop of agony spat out from a volcano. His backside screamed. Tears rushed to Conan’s eyes. His mouth burst open in a pained cry.
Cheering broke out. Rejoicing at the sight of a murderer’s face. Eager for Fifteen. And the joy of a killer’s tears of pain. Face contorted in a twisted bawl of sweaty pain.