I am on my knees, hands tied over my head
There are eighteen of us who may soon be dead
'You can save some', said the man with no name
So I accepted to play the mans's game

The whip in my hand, I bring down with a crack
It lands rather low on my chosen one's back
He gasps, doesn't scream - this is gonna be fun
He trembles, then says with a shaky voice: "ONE"

I will not scream, though the pain is intense
My threshold of pain is my only defence
The whip strikes again and I know what to do
Concentrate, bite down the scream, then "TWO"

The next lash draws blood, and he's gasping aloud
But refrains from screaming, I know he's too proud
He looks at the others, then he looks at me
His eyes black of rage and pain when he says "THREE"

The forth one is worst so far and causes tears
But no sound that will reach the nameless man's ears
I give up - I cannot take this anymore!
Yet I stay quiet until I say "FOUR"

The whip is long, slender, deadly and black
Lash number five, and I'm not holding back
He's counting how many will end up alive
I wait for the word, then he's choking out "FIVE"

The next lash comes, and it hurts, and I hiss
The bastard, that sick man! He's enjoying this!
The things that can give some people their kicks ...
I close my eyes, breathe out and whispers "SIX"

He's shivering, it won't be long now I bet
His back is bloody and his shirt is wet
I hit him again and he screams! This is heaven
A few seconds pass and then, the word, "SEVEN"

I have to stay conscious, I cannot pass out
He hits me again, I don't care if I shout
They won't come and save us, it will be too late
It is up to me now - I wet my lips - "EIGHT"

The scream from the ninth lash is music to me
The others look away so they don't have to see
They know that if he fails, their lives are mine
Has he given up now? No, not yet. "NINE"

My body is burning and I want to die
But all I can do is count lashes and cry
I jerk at my bonds as he hits me again
I scream now, without shame, and then I say "TEN"

He has finally broken, as I knew he would
But considering everything, he did good
I turn to the others; since he got to eleven
Out of eighteen I'll just have to kill seven

21/9 2004