Cirque de la Lune

Stress Positions

While most recruits dreaded the infamous stress positions test, Sylvie secretly looked forward to it.

It’s nothing but yoga with handcuffs, she told herself, nothing a former circus contortionist like her couldn’t handle.

When the test began, a thick burlap sack was placed over her head, depriving her of sight. She knew what would come next: once the bag went on, her clothes went off. Her unseen tester stripped her until she wore nothing but the bag on her head.

A Vertical Twisted Rack

She was commanded to assume position one.

Her hands were manacled behind her back, the steel cuffs hard against her wrists. Thick metal similarly enclosed her ankles.

There were two clicks: one to hoist the cuffs on her wrists to a pulley on the ceiling and another to hook the chains on her feet to the ground.

There was the scraping sound of metal and her hands were forced up from behind, forcing her to bend over to ease some of the tension.

Soon, the chains grew taut and her bare toes left the floor - all of her weight was being supported by her arms which were twisted backwards.

The chains on her hands rose, indifferent to her predicament and she could hear the chains fastening her below rustling until they too ran out of slack and she was stretched, her body the only object that could still expand as the chains were at their maximum length and the pulley was still tugging them apart.

There was a squelching noise and pain shot through both her arms - her shoulders were dislocated - but the tug of war continued indifferent to her pain.

She was literally being ripped apart and she felt it in her fiber of her body as muscle and bone threatened to tear.

After what felt like an eternity of pain, she mercifully passed out.

A Knot of Pain

When she awoke, she was seated on the cold, hard floor, sweating and panting. The hood had been removed, and so had the chains, though nasty bruises marked where cuffs bit into her skin on her wrists and ankles.

She got her first proper look at her tester. The first thing she noticed were red six inch stiletto heels, worn by long legs in thick black stockings. The tester was a woman, around her age judging by her shapely figure, and presumably attractive under the intimidating ski mask that hid her face.

The woman told her to assume position two.

Sylvie pulled her legs forward to her face and - in a feat of flexibility - crossed her ankles behind her neck. She then crossed her hands behind her back, her arms locking her legs in that unnatural position.

The true locks came next as her tester fastened her in place with cuffs on her ankles and her wrists.

Lying there on her back with her limbs twisted and locked like that, Sylvie might as well be as helpless as though she had no limbs.

Soon, her muscles started to burn from the stretch.

After nearly an hour of this torment, the shackles on her feet were removed though her locked arms kept her from unfolding her twisted body.

The tester told her that they were modifying position two.

The tester kneeled on Sylvie’s calves, pinning her in position, and freed Sylvie’s hands. Even this limited freedom was temporary as the tester twisted Sylvie’s legs like a pretzel and hooked her ankles under the insides of her elbows, deepening the stretch.

She was bound into a painful knot of her own twisted limbs, with only the unyielding metal cuffs linking her wrists pinning her into that awful pose.

The burlap sack was replaced on her head, giving her nothing to feel but the discomfort of her predicament, and she was left to endure the burning agony of her own muscles tearing her body apart.

Just when the dreadful pose was beginning to be tolerable, a bucket of ice cold water was splashed on her naked body and the twisted, exposed flesh struggled in the metal bonds.

A Folded Rack

After what seemed like an eternity of torment, the manacles were unfastened from Sylvie’s wrists and her body unfurled gingerly, still limp from the pain.

Rough hands grabbed Sylvie’s wrists and ankles and she was folded backwards until her head and shoulders passed under between her thighs. The stretch was punishing on her back and chest - her captors could count her ribs as they jutted out the sides of her torso. Forced into that deep fold, Sylvie could barely breathe as her internal organs were crushed together by the fold.

She was pulled deeper into the stretch - squeezing out some more air from her lungs - until metal loops fastened around her wrists and ankles, locking her into that terrible position.