Movement dragged Maciste out of his moment of dismay. Soldiers had picked up his cross. Struggling with the weight, they were jerkily edging it forward. He swayed as they clumsily moved him. Tugging at over-strained joints .. the bruised muscle of his torso stabbing as he swung. His upper body lurched as soldiers struggled with the hefty weight of the cross. Towards the hole dug out to take the foot.
He bawled out. Agony blasted through every muscle in his physique. Pain shot him rigid. In every straining muscle of his upper body. They’d unceremoniously dropped their burden into the hole. Kicked in the balls by a stallion. That was what it felt like. The spike under his crotch slammed up into his nuts. Agony! Jarring through his torso. Crippling agony. Every muscle screamed. His whole torso turned into molten steel. Maciste’s head was thrown back against the upright. Searing torture. He bawled his cry up at the sun.
Somewhere in the jarring din of his own pains, Maciste heard
another man bellow. They’d dropped
Tiradates in his hole. Out there ..
where nothing mattered, smothered by the fire in his balls ..
somewhere out there Maciste heard Tiradates yell. “FUUUUCK!”
Mass voices laughed. Loud jeering. The mob giving it back.
“Fuck you, scum!”
Laughing at Tiradates crippled with this pain. Sledgehammered in his balls. Maciste’s own eyes ran with that searing hurt. His upturned arms felt like torched in flames. Head back, it rolled slowly in uncontrolled agony from side to side.
Below through teared eyes he saw more movement. Soldiers dragging a big basket towards his cross. They got closer .. a basket containing rocks. To be emptied into his hole cementing the cross in place. Maciste was still struggling with the shock of a massive kick in the balls when another horror hit him.
Unexpectedly he was falling. Pitched forward towards the earth. Arms outstretched like some giant bird diving in flight .. plunging down at its prey. Before he knew it, though, the cross jerked him back. A tug on his wrists yanked him to a sudden stop. Sharp pain jarred through shoulders that had been tortured for hours on that earlier cross. The chest previously brutalised and bruised from a savage beating felt like it was being wrenched apart. Insistent tugs threw him one way, a sharp yank tugged him back the other.
In panic Maciste looked up at a hand. Seeing for the first time that his wrists were
not tied straight to the cross like his ankles were. Not secured.
Loose. The rope tight around his
wrists snaked back towards a ring screwed into the upright. A length of rope as long as his forearm was pulled
taut by his swaying weight .. stretched tight between wrist and the ring.
This evil binding was letting him sway loosely. And every slight move clawed torture through his arms. His chest wide-stretched by this swallow-dive was painfully under constant strain .. his arms were pulled back to the crossbars behind. His chest and torso pulled forward and down by gravity. Straining muscle, sinews and joints against nature. Maciste bit down on a lip as he swung .. the movements scored pain like a sharp blade through his upper arms. His jaw clenched tight into the searing pain. Joints in his armpits were like being tortured on a rack.
In desperation to understand he glanced opposite, at
Tiradates. He too was grimacing at the torture
pierced on his upper body. Leaning
forward at a slant, the angle visibly wrenching torture through his chest. He was trying as Maciste had to pull on the
loose rope, hoping to drag himself back upright to escape this torture on his
But the angle of the leaning cross was inescapably pitching him forward. Like Maciste he was discovering there was no pulling back against this lean forward. Struggling .. face twisted with effort .. biting on a bottom lip with the tortured strain in his chest muscles. Failing as Maciste had too.
They were being trapped at this angle. The basket of rocks was being emptied into the hole .. filling it up behind Maciste’s uprights. The cross was being left pitched forward at this angle. Its victim left in a tortured swan-dive. Maciste groaned. With the effort, still fighting, still refusing to be left like this. Still determinedly trying to force his back up against the upright. Below, behind the cross, the foot was being cemented into place. Sledgehammers pounded the rocks firm. Fixing the crosses to lean forward at this torture angle.
Maciste inwardly groaned. This was hell. This was murderous. Every fibre in his body was rigid with tortured strain. Mouth gaping open, his head slowly circled. Contorted in a silent cry of intense grinding pain. Vologases had to be the most sadistic bastard alive. He had his Hellgate. But for Tiradates, he had come up with worse. Already this forward lean .. straining at tortured joints .. agonising at brutalised muscle .. powerful physiques crushing hell of out their manly balls …… The sadistic brute …. What he had planned in revenge for Tiradates’ failures ……! And what Tiradates deserved, Maciste shared.
Vologases’ plan. To
live out the remaining days of their miserable lives in total torture. In an eternity of mindless agony. Not a chance of the slightest reprieve. Not a second’s let-up from intense anguish. Wishing themselves dead. Pleading to die ..
begging that this torture could be over with.
But there’d be no reprieve. No easy dying. Half-suspended, totally tortured .. knowing their dying could not come fast enough. How many days did it take a tough man to die without food? Strong men went for days in the wilderness before nature gave up on them.