The name Chris had given me was Boris Dandsoff. Russian I presumed. He ran the Velvet Hammer casino and was high, high up in the food chain. Chris, my east coast connection to the gaming industry, had reached out on my behalf and arranged an interview. I was portrayed as a gaming industry expert and government compliance contractor who had reviewed some east coast casino operations and was now being re-tasked to look into certain Vegas casino operations. It was the perfect way to get in at the top echelons. Once in the room, I would ask to speak to Mr. ‘Big’ in private. I wasn’t sure what I would do if he refused or had half a dozen lawyers in the room with him. Julie was not apprised of my plan. She would probably have tried to put the kibosh on it.
Mr. Dandsoff took my call and graciously accepted my offer to meet him in private. He had a weakness for pretty ladies and Chris made sure he was aware of my uniquely feminine charms.
I entered the Velvet Hammer and walked to the front desk. After a lengthy explanation the lady at the desk made a call and a gentleman soon met me to escort me upstairs. The casino was not particularly impressive. Certainly nothing on the scale of the Bellagio. We took the elevator to his private office on the 10th floor. My escort opened the door and ushered me in. Mr. Dandsoff was bigger than life sitting behind a giant hand carved mahogany desk. He grinned broadly, “Welcome to the Velvet Hammer Ms. Salia.”
I extended my arm to shake his hand and he suddenly pulled me into him. I felt a prick on my neck.
My vision was returning slowly. I was lying down in a darkened room. My clothes were piled on the floor in the corner. A light sheet covered me. I looked down and realized I was naked.
“Shit. What went wrong? What is going to happen to me. And suddenly I became very nervous. Grace Bellaire had warned me and I chose to ignore her warnings. I was dealing with very evil people. Did Julie know where I was? Would she be able to affect a rescue?
I looked up at the corner of the room and saw a camera. A small light was blinking red. I guess they are watching me. What happens next?
The door opened and a balding Hispanic man entered. “Pute dis on,” he said in broken English.
He threw me some black spandex type shorts that seemed much too tight to fit and a skimpy t-shirt that would leave nothing to the imagination. “You have to be kidding,” I said.
He wasn’t kidding. He grabbed my arm, twisted it and threw me to the ground. I cried out in pain.
“Pute dis on or the next thing I do you weal not like.”
I did not want to test him. I knew he would hurt me worse if I resisted. He stood there staring as I got up from the floor. I pulled the shorts on. They were indecently tight. I now sported a camel toe for all the world to see. The t-shirt was also too tight and ended just beneath my breasts. My breasts strained against the light cotton fabric. This was not going to end well.
He opened the door and holding my arm tightly, led me out of the room. I was roughly escorted into a larger room where women..., more girls than women..., were dressed similarly to myself. I surveyed the room. They must be new acquisitions I thought to myself. They looked similarly scared, their hands clasped in front of them. Most looked furtively at the floor in front of them while others dared to glance around at their surroundings.
A burly man entered the room and stood in front of us. “Ladies, my name is Horace. You are the newest additions to our little family. We are a close-knit family. We help one another. If one of you girls gets out of line, I expect the other girls to straighten you out. This is a new phase to your life. Do a good job and you will eat well and be treated well. Do a poor job and you will be punished. I hate to punish such nice girls, but Hijo..., well, he likes it. Say hello Hijo”
The same man that had treated me roughly grunted at the girls, “I thing we weal all be good friends putas,” he laughed.
Horace continued, “You will each have your own room. We will lock you in your room at night. Do not try to escape. Do not try to ask the Johns for help. Do not be unhappy. If you think you might cry, don’t. Because I will give you something to really cry about. My patience is thin. If I don’t like your attitude, I will shoot you in the head myself and we will cut out your organs and sell them on the black market.”
Several girls began to whimper at this revelation. Hijo nonchalantly walked up to the first girl who started to cry and slapped her into next week. The blow rendered her unconscious and she fell, her head slapping the concrete floor hard with a loud clunk. The other girls got the message and quickly muzzled their tears. Even though she was bleeding profusely from her head, Hijo pulled down her non-existent briefs, parted her legs and pulled out his stubby penis. He began to pound her unconscious body and grunted out an orgasm. Horace motioned for her to be removed and two men grabbed her by the arms and legs and took her to her room. The wound looked to be a scalp wound. I hoped that was all it was. Those tend to bleed profusely but were rarely serious.
Horace then looked directly at me. “Your name is Lydia he said.”
“Yes sir,” I answered, my voice faltering.
“Mr. Dandsoff is my boss. He says to treat you special. You are some kind of high-powered attorney or something?”
“No sir, I’m just a contractor for government oversight of the gaming industry.”
“Well, you are no longer that. Have you figured out what you are now?”
“I guess, ... I guess I’m part of sex trafficking now?”
“Jee, how did you figure that out? Must be that Stanford education.”
He knew I had gone to Stanford. What else did he know? I felt a shiver go down my spine.
“Ms. Salia, your life as you know it is over. We have already arranged for your death. We have taken your DNA and placed it around the burned out remains of your rental car. The body of a girl roughly matching you is sitting in the car. Of course, the corpse is burned beyond recognition. It will appear you were murdered, and evidence of the crime was destroyed in the fire... except, of course, for the evidence we planted. Your friends will toss this up to you getting your nose into cartel business... just like your friend Jim Fellows did.”
I suppressed a cry. It was true. He was dead. I felt my heart sink to the floor. I was so forlorn. I wanted to die. I did not care if I lived or died. I was unable to speak, unable to respond. I felt like an utter failure. I had let everyone down by being so stupid as to get myself captured.
Horace gave us some other instructions. I was numb. The rushing in my ears, the anguish coursing through me, prevented me from comprehending what he was saying.
I was taken back to my room and the door was locked. I now had an opportunity to think about my plight. It was bad. Would Julie be able to help... or Grace Bellaire? I thought of La Chopa and how she would deal with Horace and Hijo and a smile crossed my lips. I surveyed my room. They had made it suicide proof. I guess many of the girls tried to take their own lives when they realized the hopelessness of their situation. There was a bathroom, but no privacy door. The shower had no curtain. It was pretty spartan. I saw no opportunity to use my hypnosis skills. I mean I could hypnotize one of the girls perhaps, but how would that help me. Horace and Hijo were sociopaths. They would just laugh off anything I tried. I was screwed. I tried to be strong, but I started crying. I cried and cried and prayed to God to help me. It was all I had.
I awoke the following morning. A speaker in each of the rooms blared out instructions, “Shower and then assemble for breakfast.” I was hungry. Despite everything, I wanted to eat. I showered and put on my designated, nonexistent uniform and assembled with the other girls. Looking around I realized I was, at 23, probably the oldest one there. Girls as young as 15 or 16 were in our group. We ate breakfast and I had an opportunity to talk to some of the girls. Bethany was a runaway from an abusive stepfather. Another girl Jill had gone night clubbing with some friends, and she had awoken to find herself here. She did not know what had happened to her friends. It was a terrifying exposé of the sex trafficking problem and how pervasive it was. The girl that was knocked unconscious by Hijo was apparently a nice girl from a nice family. She too had been roofied. Sadly, she had died from the head injury. The dread was unspoken. Her organs were probably on ice and headed for some far away destination. I shuddered.
“Ladies, form a line.”
I complied as I feared the consequences of disobedience.
Twenty of us formed a line. A group of ten cowboys came into the room. They walked up to each of us. One groped my breasts then put his hand between my legs. I was motionless. One by one the girls were paired with the Johns and led back to their rooms. I stared straight ahead daring not to speak or move. Then a big man took me by my hand and pulled me to follow him. And I did. I didn’t hesitate. I just obeyed. I felt worthless. I felt less than human.
And then something snapped in my brain. I wanted to live. I wanted to survive this, and I knew if he was unhappy or I caused trouble it might be the last thing I ever did. But I didn’t think I could fake it. I knew I couldn’t. I had to enter into a state of self-hypnosis and change my reality. I imagined my husband Doug. Sweet Doug. I took a deep breath and told myself Doug was going to make love to me. I imagined him entering me and I suddenly realized I had entered trance. I was wet. I wanted my Doug in me.
Doug spread my legs and was pleased I was wet. “Wow, you are soaking wet. Hot damn! You really want my dick don’t you girl?”
That didn’t sound like my Doug, but maybe he was overcome by his own arousal. Doug entered me and I gasped. He felt so good inside me. He pumped me steadily and I couldn’t help but respond. I soon was consumed by passion. I think I said “Oh Doug, it’s so good!” because the man on top of me said, “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry, you feel so good.” Doug felt so good.
And I came. I came hard. Doug was a god. He made me feel so good. He was more of a man than most any man I had ever met. And I revered him. My legs held him tightly in place. He came and he came and I was grateful. I actually felt we were one. I can’t explain that other than to say the brain creates our realities and my reality was Doug and I together.
The man must have been happy because Horace later complimented me for being “on board.”
I could use self-hypnosis to steal me against this nightmare, but what I really wanted, of course, was some way to escape this nightmare, expose these bastards and have La Chopa have her way with them.
This routine persisted. We lined up and men chose us as one might choose a ripe avocado from the supermarket. And each time I entered a state of self-hypnosis. I imagined the men I had met online. Drake was fucking me with his beautiful penis..., and I was cumming so hard..., bucking so wildly. Another day, another John. I felt Brian taking me. I came hard as his penis slapped my cervix. Terry mounted me and I wrapped my legs around him as he came holding him tight against me. And then Ron was slowly reaming me with his thick penis. I remember holding him tightly against me and crying. I just wanted him to know the feelings I had for him. For all of the wonderful people I had met online they gave me hope through this ordeal.
The johns were complimenting me, and I was soon the most popular girl in the lineup. Was that a good thing? Probably not, but I was allowed to live. Some girls were not so lucky. I decided to teach a few of my new friends how to hypnotize themselves. We were all in this together, in survival mode. Some were able to drop themselves into trance and imagine perfect lovers as the Johns had their way with them. It worked. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it bought us time and time is what we needed...
The next morning reveille sounded. I got up and took my shower as I was accustomed to doing. I walked into the main room. Often there was a new girl or two and I quickly spotted Julie. She was terrified. She was wearing the same outfit as the rest of us. I waited for Horace to do his thing and then I walked over to her. She looked up at me but was hesitant to speak. She had clearly been slapped around.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I heard on the news a body had been discovered in a burned-out car and it had been identified as you. I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it. So I went snooping around for you and I guess someone didn’t like that.”
“Does anyone know you are here, or you are missing? I asked.
“Someone named Grace Bellaire contacted me. I guess she knows.”
“Thank God.” I exclaimed. “We might just get out of this yet.”
But nothing happened. We lined up each day and paired off with the Johns. Julie was not handling it well. I told her to let me hypnotize her so that she could feign enjoyment, but her Christian values, I guess, prevented her from doing that. She was scolded and cajoled, but it was a high psychological hurdle for her to leap. She just couldn’t do it.
The next morning, reveille sounded at the usual time. We assembled and Horace took Julie aside. “Ladies, I don’t ask that much. I don’t mind if you are blank and silent while you are being fucked, but I have told you repeatedly that I will not tolerate fighting the Johns or crying. Julie here can’t seem to figure this out. It is too bad because she could be a top performer.”
Horace leveled a gun at the back of her head. Surely this was to scare us..., to make a point. He pulled the trigger and nothing. Julie shuddered. He was playing mind games with us.
He put his gun down, chambered a round and mumbled, “Did I scare you?” No one dared to make a sound. “Julie, turn around and look at me.” Julie was trembling.
Horace once again leveled the gun at Julie’s forehead. “Why can’t you be nice to the Johns like your friend Lydia? Lydia, she likes the dick. Are you a taco lover? Is that the problem?” Julie began to speak. He held a finger up to shush her. “I don’t want to shoot you, right here, right now in front of all these girls. Will you promise to be a good girl?” Tears were streaming down Julie’s cheeks. “Yes, I promise I will try.”
“You will try? You promise you will… ‘try’? You are one stupid puta.” There was a loud crack. Julie remained standing for the briefest moment, eyes wide, a small red circle appeared in the middle of her forehead. Then she fell straight backwards striking the floor loudly. I screamed. It was a primal scream of rage and hate and terror. My entire being, my entire purpose for existence in the universe, was to claw out Horace’s eyes and to rip his head from his torso. I closed the distance between us in an instant. He was a dead man. I didn’t care what happened to me, but I would kill him before I died. And then I was waking up on my bed. My head hurt and my lip was swollen. What happened? I wasn’t sure. Then I remembered. No, no, no... that didn’t happen. I was crying. I wanted to die. I had no reason to live.
Hijo dragged me out of bed and brought me into the main room. The other girls looked at me with a mix of sympathy and fear. I could see where blood had recently been cleaned off the floor. There was no Julie. It had really happened. Julie was dead. I knew at this point I would kill Horace. It might be the last thing I ever did, but he would die at my hands.
I bid my time, planning how I might escape. I had to be smart, had to be careful. I had formulated a plan, but I needed to recruit volunteers. I slowly began the process of hypnotizing my friends. They knew I was a hypnotist, but they also knew Julie was a hypnotist. She had confided in them who she was and they saw how that ended for her. Although I had taught several of the girls how to enter a state of self-hypnosis so that they could endure the horror of these random Johns, I had an uphill battle to convince them to trust me enough to try an escape.
Nighttime and we were instructed to return to our rooms. The doors were locked, and lights were turned off. This was a prison, but the worst, most hellish kind of prison that had ever existed. I drifted off to sleep only to awaken in the early morning hours to gunfire and shouting. What was happening? The gunfire was unrelenting and then I heard what sounded like the front door being kicked in. And then explosions... and smoke. I started coughing and got close to the floor to breathe. And then I awoke in a new place. I was in a clean, drab, grey painted room on a military looking cot. I looked down and realized I was dressed in scrubs. I looked up and spotted a camera once again monitoring my movements. Oh no. The nightmare continues.
The door opened and Grace Bellaire entered. She had a look of relief and sorrow in her eyes.
“What happened? Are my friends safe?”
“Yes,” Grace answered reassuringly. “Everyone is safe now and we have the bad guys.”
She continued, “We conducted a coordinated assault against the Velvet Hammer and the ‘House of ill repute’ where you were being held. We captured Horace alive although the man known as Hijo died in a hail of bullets. Most everyone in the compound succumbed to an aerosolized anesthetic agent... including you. I’m sorry about Julie. She went looking for you before we realized what she was doing, and they got her.”
My eyes teared up as she reminded me.
Grace continued, “I am handling interrogations. You deserve to see these men suffer. Perhaps you can help us extract information from them. We also captured Boris Dandsoff. It turns out a mole warned him that you were snooping around for information on their sex trafficking operation and so, I guess, he thought he would make an example out of you.”
I asked to watch the interrogation and Grace did me one better. “You get first crack. Let’s see if you can use your considerable skills of persuasion to get some useful intel out of them.”
Horace and Mr. Dandsoff were kneeling naked, bags over their heads, in the same room that the other detainees had met their gruesome end. Their legs were shackled as were their arms. La Chopa entered the room. I held up a hand to ward her off. I had first crack. I pulled the bag off both men.
“Hello boys. Nice to see you. Do you remember me?”
Horace sneered, “yeah, you were a good little puta. Very popular. And I got to shoot your little bitch girlfriend.”
I answered, “Do you think because you are on US soil that you have Miranda rights? You were captured by the AIC. They don’t do Miranda. As far as me being a good little puta, you are partially correct. Except I was never paid for my services. But I would rather have your nuts than a cash payment. As for murdering Julie, Lord help you, because I am not going to.”
I asked for and received a small tourniquet. I motioned for La Chopa’s knife which she handed to me, handle first. I secured the tourniquet around Horace’s testicles and penis and pulled it taunt. If I left him like this, his penis and nuts would eventually die and become gangrenous. That was a thought, but I was too impatient to wait for that. I grabbed his penis and nuts and pulled them tautly away from his body.
“Horace, I want you to look directly into my eyes. What I am about to say to you is the most important thing anyone will ever say. You must concentrate very hard on every word I say. Do you understand?”
His eyes wide, he nodded yes.
“I know you fashion yourself as a tough guy, but how tough will you be if I take off your balls and penis? You want to answer my questions. You will answer every question I say and you will answer truthfully and instantly without hesitation. I am going to saw your balls and penis off if you don’t answer every one of my questions. It will be the most painful thing you have ever endured. You will pray for me to take your life. Do you understand me?”
Similar to a distraction induction I had thought to use the emotion of fear to drop him into a waking trance. But my trance wasn’t working. I think terror is probably not the best emotion to rely on when inducing a distraction based waking trance. But no matter, he was soon blubbering like a little girl. He began spilling his guts.
He provided names and details though less than I hoped for.
After he was done, I took the knife and held it against his testicle. I told him, “You haven’t answered all my questions.”
My brain was on autopilot. I had no remorse, no concern for him as a human being. He was something less. My sardonic wit emerged as if this was some cruel game. I guess it was the succubus inside me. “If you answer my next question, I will stop this torture and you will be permitted to leave unharmed.” Grace looked at me questioningly.
He looked at me earnestly hoping he could answer the question I would pose. “Tell me, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, at the Bridge of Death, the Bridge keeper asks as his third question to Arthur, “what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Horace looked puzzled, obviously unaware of the reference. I made the sound of a buzzer. “Times up! If it is a European swallow it is around 24 miles per hour. African swallows are around 4 miles per hour slower. Too bad for you that you did not know the movie reference.”
I directed for the guards to hold his legs apart to keep him from moving too much. I began to saw. I took my time. Having never done this before, I wanted to get it right. After a minute I had removed his penis and testicles and decided I had done an ok job. La Chopa nodded her approval. The tourniquet prevented him from bleeding to death before I was done. He had been screaming but now was crying and saying something about God... “Ayúdame Dios, por favor ayúdame!”
“Horace, why would you think that God would want to help you? I asked you to spill your guts or I would spill your guts for you. Are you hiding anything from me? You haven’t volunteered what you did with Julie’s body.
He said nothing, just knelt there trembling. “He who hesitates is lost” And with that I sliced open his abdomen with one swing of the knife. His intestines spilled out onto the ground.
“Horace, what did you do with Julie’s body and her organs? Did you sell them on the black market? You should answer me. You are going to die, but I can hurt you so much more before you meet el diablo. Your choice.”
“Yes, yes. She was put on ice and Dr. Sterns performed the organ harvesting.”
“So, this Dr. Sterns, where does he perform this harvesting? Where are the organs sent?” In short order he provided extensive details. Grace was recording everything.
“Where is Julie buried?”
He hesitated again. “Horace, do you know how painful it is to have your eyes boiled with a red hot poker?”
He started crying. “We did not bury her. We chopped her up and fed her to the pigs. The cartel tells us not to waste anything.”
This was too much for me to assimilate, “Do you want a swift death now?”
Yes, please, yes.”
“Let me think about it. Uhmmm..., no.”
I proceeded to Boris Dandsoff. He had soiled himself. He was so anxious. I didn’t care. I repeated the same questions and he shared everything he knew. I decided I would spare him the brutality of what Horace had endured. I drove the knife into the side of his neck. He gasped, eyes wide and then fell over. He was soon dead. Meanwhile Horace was still very much alive.
“Horace, I promised I would kill you after you executed Julie. And I keep my word.”
I took the knife and slowly began to push it through his eye socket just as La Chopa had done to ‘el jefe’. La Choppa stopped when the eyes were destroyed, but before entering the brain She was nice that way...
I wasn't feeling very nice. Horace continued to scream as I rotated the knife to remove all the contents of his eye socket. First the left, then the right. I was simply parroting what I had learned from La Choppa. I was a bit sad when he stopped screaming. I decided I was a little too aggressive with scraping out his eye sockets and perhaps I had entered the brain cavity.
I looked over at Grace. She looked horrified. "I thought you were tough. Are there any pigs anywhere that I can feed his remains to?"
Horace was moaning... still alive somehow. "Did you hear me Horace? I'm going to feed you to the pigs. Then ship slabs of bacon to your cartel buddies as a gift for all they have done. I'll label it 'Horace bacon.' What do you think?"
He was too far gone to answer I guess. I decided to push the knife through his temple. It was the least I could do.
We had made a major dent in the cartel’s sex trafficking operations. A US senator, a major Hollywood actor and a high-ranking official with the state department had been identified. I asked Grace, how would they proceed against these three and she said simply that accidents happen to even the most cautious of people.
I returned home to Colorado. Doug had been briefed by Grace that I was deep under cover in a sting operation to expose sex trafficking. She told him that Julie had been killed. When I arrived home, he comforted me the best he could, but I felt nothing. I was numb. I was dead inside. The nightly news mentioned a swimming pool drowning of a major Hollywood figure. So sad...
A few days later the news mentioned the death of the US senator from Nevada and a day after that a state department figure was mentioned in an obituary. The AIC was an effective counter sex trafficking agency. Their methods were brutal, but only so brutal as to match the brutality of the cartels.
The kidnapped girls were eventually reunited with their families. Extensive psychological counseling was made available to them. It took a week before I broke down. I could not get out of bed. I could not eat. I just lay there and cried. At one point I felt well enough to climb out of bed and to retrieve Doug’s gun. I knew exactly how I would kill myself. A single bullet in the back of my mouth. It would be quick and painless. I found the gun. It was a .45 1911. I wasn’t sure how to fire it. I cocked back the hammer and inserted it into my mouth. I pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. Maybe I had the safety on? Yes, that was it. I was able to take the safety off and try again. The hammer clicked down, but it still would not fire. I started crying again. I couldn’t even kill myself.
Doug walked into the room, saw the gun and grabbed it out of my hand. Then he called 911. He wouldn’t allow me to leave. I even tried to hypnotize him to force him to leave me alone, but my command did not work. It had always worked. That didn’t make sense to me. Doug removed the clip from the gun and then operated the slide to eject a live round. He looked at it. “Lydia, listen to me. There is an indentation where the hammer struck the percussion cap, but the bullet did not fire. The odds against that happening with the quality of modern ammunition has to be in the billions to one. God still has a plan for you here.”
The police arrived in short order and I was handcuffed. I was transported to CMHIP, Colorado’s state mental hospital and admitted on suicide watch. They gave me some powerful drugs that made me dreamy.
I saw an angel sitting in my room. I tried to focus on it, but my vision was blurry. It slowly began to take the form of a woman. It was Julie, sitting on my bed, smiling at me. She was dressed all in white. She leaned over and kissed me on the lips. My eyes were gushing. I could not stop crying. Julie held me tightly in her arms. In my mind I heard her tell me how proud she was of me..., that I had done God’s work. And I heard a male voice in my head. “The earth is corrupt and full of violence. I am going to cleanse the world of evil. You will be my brother’s keeper.”
Brother’s Keeper? I didn’t understand. I opened my eyes, and Julie was gone. And at that very moment an incredible peace descended over me. A single white feather lay on the bed.
The next week was a whirlwind. I passed an extensive psychiatric evaluation and was released on an antidepressant called Lexapro. Doug picked me up and we returned home. I felt better each day and began to think of how I would spend my time. Perhaps I would start writing about causes I believed in like child sex trafficking or how social media was destroying the country. Perhaps I would use my hypnotic skills to help people overcome their self-induced limitations. If my control helped them to have richer, healthier, fuller lives that was a good use of my power. But domination, humiliation, master-slave, that was not going to happen again. Julie had taught me to be a better me. I would not let her down. I looked up at the clouds in the sky and I imagined I saw a visage of Julie smiling down at me. “I will see you again Julie,” I said quietly to myself.
And then a thought..., words and feelings flooded my mind, “Yes Lydia soon. Many will perish. And you will lead many to Christ.”
The world was so full of evil. How could I make a difference? Julie was looking down on me from heaven. She was saved and in a place of eternal happiness. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I smiled up to the heavens. “Thank you, Julie. I love you.”