With a sense of dread Maciste swung the hammer again over his shoulder. Agony tore through muscle. For the thousandth time that day Maciste imagined razor-sharp blades inside ripping away at his flesh. He hefted the hammer backwards, wincing.
With a jerk of his body forward, agonised muscle in his back shrieked as his tortured shoulders projected the weighty hammer forwards. With each inch as the hammer descended towards the rockface, muscle convulsed, flesh contorted. Down the length of Maciste’s arm a fusillade of explosions burst. Agony.
His proud determined spirit shivered in anticipation. Fearing the impact. Knowing from earlier blows what agonies would reverberate through his flesh when the iron hammerhead smashed at the rock. Torture like he’d never known. Agonies that he’d suffered a thousand times that day.
His proud warrior spirit watched with lip-biting anxiety as the hammerhead rushed towards the rockface. The whoosh of the iron head cutting with an evil taunt through the air. Heralding the impact. Harbinger of the explosion of torture that would burst crippling throughout his torso. Reverberations of agony seemingly without end.
All day he had forced himself on. He’d had to. Ugly stood there, ever-ready. The springy cane twitching in his grip to lend a hand. Forcing Maciste to keep at it. Swing-after-agony-bearing swing. Reverberations that had him cry out with every hit. His body broken into agonising shreds with every strike of the hammer-head into unforgiving rock.
Cutting stone, breaking up rock. Every move a stabbing pain. Every strike a burst of agony. How long could he go on? How long could he take this? Hellgate was his prison for as long as he resisted. When he fell in-line, when Nightmare was confident he would cooperate .. would Yothin ease up on him? Would this agonising torture .. gift of poisoned needles pierced into his flesh ….. would Yothin ever relent?
Only when Yothin was convinced Maciste’s will was broken. Only if Maciste could fool him into accepting that fact …… And Yothin, Maciste’s worst nightmare, …. He was going to take some convincing. Maciste doubted sucking his cock would be persuasion enough.
And then … once Yothin was convinced Maciste’s job was done, once this “rebel prince” was malleable ….. then Maciste would be marched off to the Parthian court. Their lord emperor would then have his final say.
Until he gave up his defiance, this torture was his life. How long could he keep on resisting? How long could he keep this up? A thousand times today. Tortured with every move.
He could give in. He could tell Nightmare, Enough is enough. “Menander” acknowledged he was Vologases’ slave, he’ll kiss his arse if needed. Suck cock? With pleasure.
It was not in Maciste’s nature …. BUT ….. He could kill himself – somehow. End it all. The way he felt there …. with searing slashes deep inside his muscle hefting that massive hammer over his shoulder …. Every fibre in his mighty physique shuddering at the prospect of another iron blow into rock ….. end it all? …… Nothing seemed sweeter in the whole wide world. To end it all. NOW. Farewell Maciste. He was dead anyway.
Another blow of the sledgehammer. Maciste’s whole body seemed to crumple together. Those shocks reverberating like living fire in his muscle. An inferno raging in his muscles. The talons of hell’s devils clawing poisonously through his insides.
When he put it like that … when Maciste faced his choices like that … he knew how far he had fallen. Contemplating submission. Consider killing himself! That could not be. That would not be.
Alone, waking up shivering in the darkness of his pit, Maciste made himself come to his senses. Every fibre in his body rang piercing with his agonies still. But the poisons had passed. Only the reminder of their tortures remained shrill in his muscled exhaustion.
Such thoughts .. he could not let them be, he could not entertain such negative ideas. Maciste was a fighter, a fighter who never set out to lose. Or accept the notion of defeat. There was always another chance.
His chance would come. They’d slip up, these cretins. Arseholes like these guards, they always did. Nightmare might be something else, clever, experienced, Vologases’ chosen sadist. But these other pricks who kept breathing down his neck? Sometime one would look the other way. At a time when Maciste had this hammer in his hand.
Maciste would endure. He would suffer, he’d go through hell. But he would survive. For freedom. For self-belief. For himself. Maciste swore to himself. He would prevail.