Lemma the Librarian: Op-arrrr-ant Conditioning, Part 3

I woke up lying on the floor. There
was a ceiling visible in the flickering yellow light of a candle; I was

“Good mornin’ t’ ye,” said
a voice from the darkness outside the little yellow circle of candlelight.
“Or perhaps I should be sayin’ good aftarrrrrrrrnoon.” Milos

“Blorg,” I replied. My
stomach was feeling better, but my head was swimming, and had a weird ache,
like something was squeezing my scalp. What had that bastard done to me?

“Ye’ll be findin’ ye can’t be leavin’
this room,” he told me. “Or even thinkin’ about harmin’ me or tryin’
to escape, or takin’ off th’ circlet.”

Circlet? I touched where my head felt like it was being squeezed.
Something that felt like a thin metal wire circled the crown of my head. Well
fuck that!
I thought and pulled it off. 

Or tried to. Agony exploded through
my entire body, leaving me lying on my side on the wooden floor. Hull?

“I warrrrrrrned ye,” Milos

“Fuck youuuu!” I growled,
gathering magic to fry him where he stood, wooden hull or no wooden hull. Pain
exploded again, and I think I screamed. 

He grinned. “Ye be thinkin’
about hurt in’ me, aye? The circlet be savvy to yer thoughts. Be a good girl
and it’ll be much easier for ye.”

“Ow,” I replied. I was
going to have to play along, it seemed. At least until I could think of a way
to–I screamed again as the pain ripped through me once more. 

Milos shook his head at me.
“Stand up, girlie,” he said. 

Stubbornly, I remained lying on the
floor. But the squeezing on top of my head grew tighter and tighter while I lay
there, a steadily mounting, pounding headache. I knew what was happening: the
circlet was punishing me for disobeying, but slowly, giving me a chance to
change my mind. I could guess a reward awaited for obeying. But as long as–ow–I
resisted it couldn’t–ow!–get its hooks in me–OW!

I tried, but I was weak from no food
and throwing up and being drugged, I was in pain, and I couldn’t help but want
to stop it. Slowly, I stood.

And nearly fell again as my knees
tried to buckle from the wave of ecstasy that rolled through me. 

“Tharrrrr ye go,” said
Milos. “Follow me orders and ye’ll be feelin’ lovely. Say that. Say
obedience be pleas-arrrr.”

“No fuc–OW! Owowow…” It
hurt, but there was no way I was going to say–that! But it hurt. A lot!
Finally, I muttered, “Obedience is pleasure.”

Oh thank any and all gods, I thought as pleasure flooded through me. That counted.
I don’t care how much it hurts, I’m not speaking Pirate!

“Say it again,” Milos
said, grinning. 

“Obedience is pleasure,” I
mumbled. Fuck, that felt good!

“Stay here an’ keep repeatin’
‘til I be returnin’!” he laughed. 

Fuck no! No, I could see what he was
trying to do, it was obvious. Even with the pain building in my head, I wasn’t
going to do it! Not even once, that would be opening the floodgates. 

Instead, I waited a few seconds
after he left the room and went to the door. It didn’t even have a lock! I just
had to take the handle and–FUCK! THAT HURT!

(To be continued…)

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