The minibus pitched back and forth along the dusty road. The chains around my arms and ankles clanked annoyingly. I looked across at one of the other women on a bench seat across from me; she looked carsick and was pulling against her shackles. “We’re almost there,” the driver said.
The bus stopped in front of several grimy shithole buildings, and the door opened. The air smelled of manure and dust. Six women shuffled outside into the blast of dry desert heat. “Holy fuck, it’s hot,” exclaimed a woman with red hair.
The man in a cowboy hat and mirrored glasses said, “Shut the fuck up, you ain’t here for no resort. Those days are done for you bitches.”
All of us in the manacles wore nothing but a pair of white cotton panties and a pair of cheap flip flops. The sand started burning my feet the through flimsy rubber soles. I prayed we’ll be hustled inside quickly.
It sounds as if we’re going to prison, but we aren’t convicts being sent to a harsh penitentiary. We aren’t criminals. We’ve all begged to be here. In a way, this may be worse than prison. All of us were at one time, not that long ago, what is termed “Trophy Wives” of very wealthy men; those one percent-ers you read about, but have no idea how they really live. All of us are their failed and nearly discarded trophy wives. This isn’t so much a form of punishment, as it is a last recourse for all of us.
We stood in the merciless Nevada sun, and I could feel my shoulders begin to burn. A harsh looking woman in a military-style vest read the rules to us–we could be unlocked from our chains anytime and were free to leave. Anyone? Just raise a hand. No one does. None of us would dare at that point.
I didn’t know how the other women wound up here, but I imagined we all had similar stories. I married an older man for the money and power I coveted, and he married me because I was young, attractive and could impress his social peers with my looks. I loved to spend money, but had no idea how to make it. I’ve never held an actual job. There were other transgressions, but the worst was withholding sex. In truth, being fucked was the primary job for all of us now here, and I’d decided it was too much effort.
Foolishly, I’d signed a prenub agreement that would leave me with nothing in the event of divorce. The One Percent always have the best lawyers and lobbyists. Now the six of us were here to be reworded in a last-ditch hope our husbands would take us back.
As the sweltering heat began to drain the life from me, the man in the white Stetson addressed us. “Listen up, you worthless cunts, you are now the property of the Reclamation Ranch. I am the Ranch Manager. You are to address me at all times as Ranch Manager or sir.”
I looked down the row of manacled women. All of us were under thirty and if in make-up and nicely dressed would be considered gorgeous; most likely, a few of us were former beauty and homecoming queens. Without the hair products, designer clothes and other enhancements, we were once used to, we all now looked ordinary. I noticed that three of the women had exquisitely enhanced breasts. A catty habit I’d picked up in my years of social climbing was the ability to discern who had the fake tits.
“Those of you that violate any of our rules will be issued a colored card. A yellow is a warning, a blue is a minor violation, and a red is the most severe. All offenses require punishment. We will not punish you. You are to determine the appropriate punishment for yourself and direct your own punishment.”