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Aaron's Game
Chapter 4: Fun and Mean

by Redspkscott

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 30 Dec 2016


Aaron’s Game – Chapter Four: Fun and Mean

The Painfather didn’t visit me overnight this time. I guessed he was started to let go of his creations and let us figure things out ourselves.

I got up and grabbed my lube and headed over to Max’s room to deal with my morning wood. He was laying on his bed on his stomach with his ass up in the air, looking nice and sore from last night’s punishment. He was still asleep. I decided I’d fuck him awake. I lubed up. Then carefully I climbed up on him. He muttered something in his sleep but didn’t wake up. I aimed carefully and made sure my first thrust would push right in. Then I grinned and knocked on his back door, grinding my cock in hard.

OHH! He yelped in surprise and his whole body shook. I grabbed his shoulders to keep from getting thrown off.

Morning wood! I explained as I thrusted hard again. He yelped in pain but then slid back down onto the bed in submission. He raised his ass up obediently for my fucking.

It feels good when you slam my ass with your hips, he said softly after a minute.

Yeah, it does, I said. It only feels like that when your ass is sore though.

I fucked him quickly. He grunted in pain for a few minutes, then began to moan as it became pleasurable. It took ten minutes for me to cum in his hole.

I headed into the showers and he joined me after he shook sleep fully off. I looked in the mirror to see my ass mostly recovered from my punishment on my birthday. Other than my morning fucks, I realized I didn’t get punished at all yesterday. I noticed that Reuben was still gone.

The Champion wasn’t kidding, was he? I said.

I think Reuben has about four more hours, Max said.

I think I don’t want to be here when he returns. I turned on the television and flipped through the main eight channels. Scrolling text on the bottom explained that each venue and patron was taking a less formal route today. We were encouraged to stop by each of them at our own speed and learn about our secondary patrons throughout the day. We could even visit other venues that weren’t of our colors.

That seems fun, I said.

I’m gonna head right down to the docks, then, Max said. Find out more about the blue collars. I smacked him once on the ass as he passed by me to head to the elevator. He turned and grinned at me as he left.

I took a nice deep breath and relaxed for a moment. Then I realized I hadn’t had a real workout yet since my birth. Some gladiator I was. I decided against the gym in the building, because Max told me it tended to get crowded with the condo full of athletes. Instead I headed down the street to that exercise park where I met Levi. I passed the building where we saw the commandos punishing the punks. There were no sign of any punks this morning. Two commandos stood outside the door, keeping guard on the building.

When I made it to the outdoor gym, I was surprised to find about fifteen of my fellow gladiators there already working out, doing pull-ups, lifting weights, stretching, and even doing some sparring on the beach. They nodded and grinned as I approach.

It’s just us gladiators here, huh? I asked.

Yeah, a man doing pull-ups said. It seems like when the other golden boys see us working out here, they decide not to join. Maybe we’re too intimidating.

Maybe, I said. I was behind the gladiator talking, but then I noticed his thick red hair. I looked at his trunks. They were blue, with gold, purple and black markings on the side, just like mine. He looked a few inches shorter than me and Reuben, but he seemed more densely packed with his muscles. I had a feeling we weighed the same amount despite the size difference. He had a scattering of freckles across his back and arms.

Craig, right? I asked. He craned his head around and nodded. Hey, Aaron. Good to see you out here.

I figured I’d enjoy some exercise before Reuben is released and comes find me, I said. There were a couple of waist-high bars next to Craig and I climbed on them to do dips. Craig laughed.

That’s gonna be us, eventually.

I know, I said.

So what do you think about what Derek said to us? Craig asked. About us focusing on enhancing the fights and punishments and everything?

I love it, I said. The idea that I can put my own stamp on this competition. It’s awesome.

What do you think of the basic setup? Craig asked.

Honestly?

Yeah, of course.

It’s pretty lackluster. I think Derek knows that though. I think he wanted to force as little as possible on us so that it would be our game, not his. So he gave us a basic win scenario and an idea of the intensity of punishment we’ll face. But I was thinking about it last night when I was putting my roommate through hell, and we will lose our audience and fast if we don’t make some big changes.

I am so glad you said that, Craig said. I was thinking the same thing.

Good to hear, I said.

So where’s your head at? he asked.

Well, I was thinking about the punishments, mostly.

Really? I’ve been thinking about the fights, mostly. Sounds like we should be comparing notes.

Yup. So the good thing about the punishment is the sense of dread it creates for us and how it gives us a sense of how high the stakes are and how much we’re going to suffer when we aren’t our best. The problem though, is how it was implemented. There is no connection between the punishment being inflicted on those four and us. We were removed from it. I don’t really feel anything about my win any more. I didn’t get the reward of dominating Reuben or the others in any degree.

Makes sense, Craig said.

But there’s more. There’s no connection between those being punished to us or the audience. That’s the big problem. They locked those guys so tight so we don’t get to see the feedback of them reacting to the punishment and neither does the audience. We don’t get to see their pain develop as the hours tick on. We honestly don’t know how they really feel about the punishment and so we can’t enjoy a sense of domination over them.

Yeah, I get it, Craig said. My first day I got tag-teamed by a couple of those hunters. I fought back, but they were too much for me. I could have taken either of them solo. Anyway, they took turns blistering my ass and they were definitely feeding off my struggling. And there was a part of me that was feeding off their torment somehow.

There’s an energy in being forced to submit, I said.

Yeah, I really didn’t get a good sense of it until afterward, when they were fucking me. It was like, it hurt, but it all felt right. It was what was supposed to happen to me when I get dominated.

Have you punished anybody yet? I asked.

One of those soldiers was giving me the eyeball yesterday afternoon, he said. This was after the trip to the stadium, and I was feeling good, so I just tackled him and he went down. I dragged him into an alley and paddled him good and raw and then fucked him.

How did it go?

He tried to be tough and not cry, but I broke him. It was damned hot. The way his ass quivered. The way he shook his head back and forth when he was trying not to burst into tears. The way he kicked his legs when I finally broke him. And then the way he moaned when I fucked him.

You guys connected, right?

Yeah.

That didn’t happen this time with this punishment with Reuben. I feel a stronger connection from when I punished him in the sports store. Hell, I feel a stronger connection from when he punished me. Even worse, there’s no connection between the audience and the punishment. They don’t get to enjoy watching that chemistry either. Did you check in on the Gold Channel at all to see if you can seem any of those guys being punished still?

No.

Me either, and I’m one of the winners! This system is going to bore the fans. We need punishment that engages their imaginations. The champions have to be directly involved in what happens afterward somehow. And I’m thinking there needs to be audience participation. Maybe some sort of vote in what happens to the loser.

Like what?

Imagine this. Imagine if the punishment the losers received looked kind of the same. But it’s set at first for three hours of paddling.

You want to punish them less?

Just wait. After three hours of punishment, it stops and the tube opens up at top so we can see the losers’ faces. They’re given 30 seconds to talk to convince the fans that they’re sorry they disappointed them and tell them what they’ll do to fight better next time. Then the fans get to vote whether to give them another three hours. And you better believe they will. They want to see us suffer when we lose.

And so this keeps going, right? Craig said.

Yes. It may mean sometimes gladiators may earn less punishment, but it also means some of them may earn even more. And it gives an audience a real stake and they get to see the effects of their decisions. They, in a sense, are dominating the gladiator.

That’s so hot.

Can’t you visualize yourself in that position, begging the crowd for mercy?

Yeah!

I’m betting it’s going to be much more interesting and more intense than just being locked in a tube, even if you got the same amount of punishment.

I take it you have more ideas than that, Craig said.

Yeah, but I want to hear what you think about the fights, I said.

Too simple and too short, Craig said. Your entire match took place in less than two minutes. The energy was because it was all so new. It won’t last. We could probably have every gladiator fight in less than an hour. That’s not going to create an audience.

I hadn’t even thought of that.

We need scores and more complications. We also need more actual punishment during the matches. We want the audience to get the sense of the gladiator being beaten down in order to be dominated, not tricked or pushed into a hole. No offense.

None taken. What are you thinking?

We need scores rather than simple falls. So you would get a point for pushing in a hole. And then maybe you’d get to paddle my ass for five minutes and then we start a new round. And maybe we play until somebody gets a certain number of points, or it’s timed and we count up how many points each gladiator got at the end to determine the winner.

The higher the score, the more the gladiator will be beaten down as part of the fight.

Exactly. I’m thinking of things like traps as well. I’m not sure how the mechanics of the arena work yet. Imagine if some guy was running at you and then a trap door opened up and he fell in. You wouldn’t get any points, but maybe he’d get some of that spanking machine punishment to light his ass up.

I nodded at him, grinning. These were all brilliant ideas.

Where are you staying? I asked. He pointed up to our group of buildings.

I’m in the second one. Sixth floor.

Sixth floor? Not penthouse?

What? I didn’t even think of that.

Fuck that crap, I said to him, climbing back off the bars. Go grab your shit and come to the penthouse in the fourth building. You’re moving in.

What? Really?

Do you have a sparring partner yet?

No.

You do now. You and me. Once a day. Your ass or mine. No mercy. No excuses. And then we can work together on all this stuff. He grinned at me. I realized we even had similar smirks.

I don’t have much yet. I’ll meet you at the penthouse in a few minutes. He started jogging off.

After that we can go to the carnival together, meet those producers! I yelled.

You got it! he yelled back.

When I got back the penthouse, I worried that Reuben might show soon, but I realized I was being silly. He was going to be sore and exhausted. He’ll want his revenge, but he’d probably need to get some sleep first. Whatever he was going to do to me would probably happen tomorrow.

After a few minutes, the elevator dinged and Craig came in.

This place is great! He said, exploring.

It’s televised, too, I said.

Yeah, I saw you punishing that football player yesterday when I was clicking around.

That’s Max. He lives here, too. He was paying the rent.

Rent?

You won’t have to worry about it with us sparring every day. He has to submit to me until he is able to beat me in a fight.

Clever.

Yeah, I’ll lose a tenant to you, but that’s okay. I want you here. And I really need a sparring partner because Reuben is going to be gunning for me for good. And sparring with him kind of dilutes that whole rivalry chemistry.

Craig picked the bedroom right next to mine.

Bring your paddle, I said. Who knows what will happen along the way?

Good point. He had a thick round paddle like mine, but a bit larger and with no holes.

The amusement park was to the northeast, about six blocks away. A bit longer walk this time but we chatted the whole way over and it was great. We bounced ideas off each other with different punishment scenarios, ways to get the fans to interact with the gladiators, ways to make tougher challenges and ways to create a scale of success and failure that didn’t split the gladiators into a simple 50-50 field of winners and losers.

I think there’s a reason there’s only two of us in the group, I said as we approached the big amusement park in the distance.

Why’s that?

Too many competing ideas, otherwise, I said. We’d probably end up fighting over what we were going to recommend.

There’s something to be said for that system, though, Craig said.

True, true, I said. I’ll remember that option if we can’t agree. Craig laughed.

We approached the entrance to the amusement park. There were roller coasters and a ferris wheel and everything that a park entails.

I wonder how all this relates to domination and punishment? Craig asked.

The crowds were scattered and thinner than they were at the stadium yesterday. There were several men in polo shirts and tight jeans hanging outside the entrance greeting visitors as they approached. A tall, golden-skinned man waved to us as we approached.

Hey there guys, come on over! he said. The stripes on his shoulder were purple, blue and pink.

You’re a producer, right? I asked.

That’s me. My name’s Yao, he said. You are golden boys, I see. We introduced ourselves.

He handed us maps of the park.

So here’s what you need to know. Luis, our patron, is here at the grandstand in the middle of the park. Stop there first. He’s talking to folks as they come and explaining what the purple means for you guys as he meets you rather than giving one big speech. It varies quite a bit depending on what your main type is. We both nodded at him.

A lot of the park isn’t operational yet, but please look around. The executives and blue collars will be coming in helping us get everything going. We’re looking for input, though. So feel free to talk to any producer you see around and give suggestions on what you might like to see.

He looked over our colors. Gold and black. Let me make a few suggestions for you. Visit the midway. They’re still building the games, so you can’t really do much, but I think you’ll like what you see. We do have the Hall of Fear testing if you have the courage and want to help us.

Courage? Craig asked.

I don’t want to spoil it, Yao said.

I think you’ve intrigued us, I said.

That’s what I like to hear, he said. Oh and definitely check out the pranks shop. I’ve been told that the merchandise here is a real hit for guys that have both purple and black.

We thanked him and I smacked him firmly on the butt as we headed in.

Have fun, he shouted back. That’s why we’re here.

The park looked like it would be wild eventually, but there was a buzz of work being done right now. There were gaggles of of blue-collar boys around doing carpentry and mechanical work. I saw my first executive, a dashing, slick man in a trim suit with a grey tie with purple and blue stripes. His black pants were snugly fit and his jacket was short enough to show off that he had a butt as magnificent as the rest of ours. As we walked by, he got into some sort of debate with the blue collar. Then the blue collar guy looked sheepish, turned around and bent over a nearby bench. The executive revealed he had a paddle holstered to his belt under his jacket. He pulled it out and started paddling the muscular blue collar man on the seat of his overalls. He bore the pain obediently.

We saw a small crowd gathered around the grandstand. We could make out Luis standing on a raised platform talking down at them. Like Derek, he was taller than the rest of us could possibly be. He wore simple tight jeans like his followers and a purple tank top that showed off his strong arms, smooth light brown skin and purple eyes. I had to remind myself that every man on this world is extremely muscular and built. It’s just us golden boys were so intensely focus on our physical skills that we tended to outsize the others anyway.

As we approached, we saw that he was calmly talking to a couple of other guys in blue overalls. It looked as though they had come to help build the park and he directed them over to the midway. Then he saw the two of us approaching and beamed while gesturing us closer.

The gladiators are here! Luis shouted. I wondered when you’d come. Brother Derek already mentioned the two of you. Aaron and Craig, right? We nodded. You two are going to help make that arena fun, I can feel it!

He had a great, infectious energy to him, and I understood his purpose in the pantheon immediately. The Painfather had worried that a world full of dominance and punishment could end up with significantly unhappy populations. He and the producers were here to lighten things up, make things fun so that the punishment and domination didn’t become so emotionally overwhelming for everybody.

Now, what I want you to understand about these two guys, Luis said to the crowd, Is that fun doesn’t mean nice. These are not nice guys. We both shook our heads no, grinning like sharks. Guys who are purple and black are pretty sadistic. But they do find ways to make it fun or entertaining. If you haven’t discovered already, the commandos can be rather methodological when dishing out the swats. If you’ve been paddled by one commando, you’ve been paddled by them all. Keep your eyes on these two. The crowd all grinned at us and disbanded to explore the park, leaving us with Luis.

Brother Derek has filled you in on your duties to the gladiators, I understand, Luis said.

Yes, we’re already brainstorming, Craig said.

I love that word, brainstorming. Luis said.

Everybody seems awfully nice here, I said.

Guys, don’t be afraid to be your naughty selves here, Luis said. There’s actually quite a few guys with the purple and black combinations, just not the way yours is. You’ll see when you head over to the midway and the Hall of Fear. Actually, if you have ideas on how to ramp up the mean factor, feel free to tell any of my producers. We want this park to be fun for the rest of you Golden Boys, the Hunters, and even those Commandos if they can let themselves go for five minutes.

We’ll do our best, I said.

I wanted to talk to you briefly about a couple of quick things though, he said. Aaron, you’ve already figured out your penthouse is wired. I love that you found it without our influence. A producer will be coming to visit you soon. His name’s Victor. His colors are purple, gold and black, so he knows where your heads are at.

What will he be doing? I asked.

He’s going to be working with you on making your penthouse programming interesting. And he’ll also be helping organize a network just for the gladiator programming.

Wow, really? Craig asked.

Yes, after seeing the reaction to just your first match, we realized you boys are really going to be big. We want to give you guys a full channel of attention. You definitely will be bringing fun and entertainment to the people. Very sadistic fun, but that’s what makes it so good programming.

So when Victor shows up, I shouldn’t just grab him and beat his ass raw for fun I asked.

I’m not saying that, Luis said. Just make sure you get a good camera angle. The three of us laughed. Some more guys were arriving to meet with their patron.

Go explore, he urged. Have fun!

We headed over to the midway first. It was still heavily under construction.

I wonder how these games are going to work? Craig asked.

We approached a stall to see some unusual work going on. A producer was overseeing a trio of blue-collar guys working on the stall. Strangely, two of the guys were busy trying to chain up the third so that he was suspended from the ceiling of the big square stall.

He needs to look good hanging up there, the producer said. Because he could potentially be up there for a while. And once we’ve figured that out we need to construct an easy way to get guys up and down.

I think stomach down with chains across the chest and the waist will do, the hanging man said. It has the benefit of letting the players see both our faces and our asses clearly.

Then they noticed the two of us wandering up.

Hey guys, welcome to the park, the producer said. As you can see, we’re still heavy at work at things.

What’s going on up there? Craig asked.

I’m a prize! the blue collar guy said. Wouldn’t you like to win me? We all laughed.

How long would I get to keep you? I asked, amiably enough.

You’d probably just bring him back busted and try to trade him in, Craig said. Everybody laughed again.

I suppose I should explain, The producer said. The midway will have these many games of skill and chance. Eric up there is, indeed, indicating what the prizes will be. We will have men hanging up there as prizes. If you win the game, you get to select one to take over to the benches over there and treat him how you please for a full hour.

That sounds like a game I can’t wait to play, I said.

There’s something you’re not telling us, Craig said. The producer chuckled. Where do you get the guys from? Are they workers? Volunteers? A bunch of pretty boys just hanging around?

Ah, you caught us, The producer explained. You see, if you lose, you join the selection of prizes. You have to hang up there until you are selected by a winner or until two hours passes.

Craig and I both burst out laughing. That was so ingenuous. And fun. And potentially pretty mean.

I know where I’m going to be spending what little downtime I have from fighting or training, I said.

So you like the idea? the producer asked. Do you have any suggestions?

Make sure the games are really challenging or you won’t have enough prizes to play for, I said.

Or make sure you have plenty of submissive blue-collar guys or pretty boys on hand, Craig added.

I volunteer if he’s gonna play, said the blue-collar guy suspended from the roof, pointing to Craig.

I’ve been looking to get my hands on a blue-collar, Craig said. I’ll come looking for you.

Now you’re gonna get it, one of the other blue-collars noted. The suspended man wiggled his bottom by way of response.

We wandered off through the midway to see similar scenes of construction.

You could have pulled him down and taken him if you wanted, I pointed out. I’m sure they wouldn’t have stopped us.

I think I actually want to come back and win him, Craig said. That whole idea is brilliant.

Yeah, they seem to be pretty creative here, I said. I wondered how they were going to incorporate spanking, and they made it work. Though I still don’t know what they’re going to do with the roller coaster.

Up there is the Hall of Fear, Craig pointed out. We approached a large building painted black, with scary, angry bloodshot pairs of eyes painted all over the front, as though we were being watched by vicious creatures from the shadows. There were all sorts of dark windows and balconies on the front of the buildings and it all had a scary, gothic look but with a carnival tone. The entrance had a big sign in dripping letters that spelled out Hall of Fear. A big sign hand-painted in red warned Do you dare step inside? Can you survive the trip?

A producer stood at the entry way and waved to us as we approached.

Hey guys! More golden boys! Most excellent! Are you here to help us test? He asked.

Maybe, I said. What is this?

If I have to explain it, maybe you’re just too afraid to enter? I glanced at Craig, who raised an eyebrow.

We could just beat it out of you, I said.

Yes, you could, he said, folding his arms.

I think not knowing is intended to be part of the experience, Craig said.

Exactly, the producer added. So how brave are you boys?

Brave enough to risk getting our asses paddled for 24 hours non-stop, I said. His eyes widened.

What, really? Craig nodded in response.

Okay then. He pulled out some restraint toys. You can show me how brave your are by determining your level of restraints as you try to make your way through the Hall of Fear. For the weakest, we have simple handcuffs that will hold your hands in the front. You will not be able to protect those backsides of yours, but you will have better balance and ability to defend yourself from the front. Those braver can choose these restraints that bind your arms behind your back. They are too high to protect your ass from what lurks in the shadows and you will have little ability to fight off what you may encounter in the darkness.

Uh huh? I said, not that impressed yet.

And for the bravest among you, choose the back restraints and these blindfolds. You will stumble through the Hall of Fear in complete darkness. Can you escape what comes after you?

I looked at Craig and we both smirked in tandem.

Blindfolds, we both said.

Excellent! The producer said. He restrained both our arms together behind our backs and then directed us up the stairs to the entrance to the hall. He let us see into a big dimly lit room with a hallway heading in. Then he started fitting us both for blindfolds, tying them nice and tight.

Okay, hang on and listen to the opening message and just follow from there. Good luck to you both. I hope you have plenty of good feedback on the other end. I’ll be waiting for you there. He smacked me once on the ass and I heard him do the same to Craig. We both slowly walked in. We heard him shut the door to the entrance behind us.

Interesting start, Craig said. This could be fun.

Unsure yet if it will be mean, I said.

Greetings foolish interlopers, boomed a deep voice.

What the hell was that? I asked.

Welcome to the Hall of Fear, the voice continued. If you aren’t afraid, don’t worry. You will be soon enough. Because, you see, this dark temple is home to my Reapers of Pain. They have heard your intrusion, and if I may say, you look like a delicious meal. My reapers may derive much enjoyment from drawing the pain from your perfect backsides.

I’m blushing, Craig said and I chuckled.

You are brave to try to pass through our hall. Brave and very foolish. You will be punished and punished thoroughly for your transgressions. Step forward and see if you can get make it through without becoming prey to my Reapers. Then the voice ripped out some deep, sinister laughing.

All right then, I said. Forward! I took a step, adjusting to having my hands bound behind my back, and then the floor completely dropped out from beneath us. Craig and I both yelped in surprise as we fell. We must have dropped about 20 feet before landing with a pair of loud thumps right on our big butts.

Yowch! That fucking hurt! I said. Craig yelled out, too. It was like getting hit with a six-inch-thick paddle that covered my entire ass.

That’s probably going leave a big bruise, Craig said.

I want to rub my ass, but I can’t, I said.

That was a great way to start, Craig pointed out. I had no idea there was more below. Completely fucked with our expectations.

Welcome to the Labyrinth of Torment, the voice said. I guessed he was going to narrate us on our journey Choose your paths wisely. My Reapers of Pain are lurking everywhere. One wrong move and you will pay dearly, interlopers.

So which way? Craig asked. We both made it up to our feet.

Well, we can’t see anything. So try and find a wall for us to follow. I started walking in a direction and very quickly thumped into a wall.

Here, follow my voice, I said. I heard Craig walk up behind me. I leaned against the wall and followed it until I reached a corridor.

Onward, I said. I could hear Craig’s footsteps behind us. We made our way carefully down a hallway for awhile. Eventually we reached what felt like a T-shaped intersection. We could make out the sound of a man crying not far away.

Oh dear, the voice intoned. It sounds like my Reapers found a victim. I understand they’re still waiting thereabouts for anybody to come to his aid. Be careful which way you go from here. They are still very, very hungry.

Okay, so don’t go in the direction of the crying, Craig said. Which way is it coming from? We both stopped and listened.

Left, I said as the same time Craig said Right. Then we laughed.

I’m sure it’s left, I said. Craig was certain it was right.

Well, I’m going left, I said. You can go get your ass beaten.

Fine, Craig said. We split off in opposite directions. I followed the hallway around a corner and soon hit a wall. I tried to find a corner or hall leading off, but I began to realize it was a dead end. Then I heard footsteps behind me.

Change your mind? I asked, thinking it was Craig. Then a hand reached out and pushed my head against the wall, hard. Oh shit.

I’m hungry, the voice harshly whispered. Time to feed. Then CRACK! A paddle slammed hard across my ass.

Fuck! I yelled. I tried to squirm away, but with my hands bound, there was very little I could do. WHACK! CRACK! WHACK! My tormentor paddled me firmly, but with decent pauses between each swat to let the pain soak in. My ass quivered with each blow.

I told you it was right! I heard Craig yell off in the distance.

Fuck you! I yelled back as the swats continued. He gave me a good hundred firm swats. I was grunting in pain toward the end.

That will do ... for now, he whispered. Then he let me go and I heard his footsteps scamper away. My bottom pulsed with pain, but that was a pretty lightweight punishment for guys like us. I assumed they’d add up though, or maybe they’d grow more intense the further we made it through the maze.

I’m on my way back, I yelled.

Okay, I’m waiting, Craig shouted back.

I made my way back and continued on, eventually bumping into Craig.

How’s your ass? he asked.

Nice and toasty, I said. I think that was just a warm up.

We continued down the hallway for a bit, around some corners and then the hallway appeared to turn at a strange angle. Craig took a few steps ahead and then suddenly the wall moved between us and cut me off from him. I was being shunted off into a different direction.

What was that? Craig said.

We’re cut off, I said. I could feel the wall or door between us if I leaned into it. It was plastic of some sort. My shoulder felt a tiny hole drilled into it so that sound can pass through. I followed the new path and realize we were separated down parallel paths.

We’re side by side now, I said.

But we can’t touch each other, Craig said. Interesting. We continued on side by side, leaning on opposite sides of the same wall. There were holes drilled through the wall periodically so sound could travel back and forth.

Separated are we? The narrator’s voice returned. Don’t stray too far. You’re going to need each other, because the Reapers of Pain will show you no mercy. Neither of you can escape alone.

What did that mean? I asked. We continued forward. Then I heard an odd click.

I just stepped on something, Craig said. Then we heard the sound of a door or wall closing quickly. That was behind me, he said. I can’t go backward. Then there was a thump. I can’t go forward either. I’m sealed in here.

Don’t worry, we heard a voice rasp. You’re not alone in here.

Oh shit! Craig yelped. Then I heard some scuffling, then WHACK!

Fuck! Get off! Craig said. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! It was his turn to be paddled. I wondered what I was supposed to do. Wait for it to be over?

Dude, you gotta get me outta here! Craig said as the swats continued.

You didn’t exactly come running to may aid when he snagged me, I pointed out.

Remember what the narrator said, Craig said. Then he yelped after a hard swat. We have to work together somehow. I stepped on a switch.

Maybe there’s one on my side? I wondered. I started continuing on down my hall as Craig started yelping more loudly from his swats. I felt my way to several short alcoves off the side from my tunnel. Finally I step on something and heard a click. The swats suddenly stopped.

That was it! Craig yelled. The reaper must have backed off. I waited for him to catch up with me.

How’s your ass now? I asked.

Nice and tingly, Craig said. They hit hard, but they take their time. The pain doesn’t build up like it should.

It still may be early, though, I said. We continued on parallel paths. Then I heard the click and the same thing happened to me. I was trapped. Knowing the reaper was probably in here with me, I started to thrash around like I could stop him. But he just laughed and grabbed by the back of the neck and pushed me against the wall between me and Craig.

You can’t fight us, he whispered. You cannot escape your punishment. He slammed the paddle hard against my ass and I grunted in pain.

I’ll try to find another switch, Craig said and scurried down the hallway. My ass bounced in place from the swats and I winced and grunted. It hurt, but I was nowhere close to tears. After a few minutes, there was a click and I heard the doors whoosh open. Suddenly the paddling stopped and my tormentor disappeared again. I followed the wall again to catch back up to Craig.

We went through this experience two more times with one of us trapped and paddled while the other looked around for the switch. Finally we made it to the end of the hallways and they merged back together.

That was really clever, Craig said.

I bet some guys will panic and take a lot longer to figure the puzzle out, I said. That will be funny.

We found our way to some stairs leading up to another floor. We found another branching path but this time no narrator came to threaten us or give us a tip.

You choose this time, since you were right last time, I said.

Let’s go left this time, he said. He twisted around through some more corridors, then eventually reached a wall that only came up to our chest, from what we could tell.

Are we supposed to climb over it? Craig asked. Without using our hands?

We can probably jump up and wriggle over, I said.

Good plan. I bent down and jumped up and forward as hard as I could I landed with a thump with my torso on top of the wall and my bottom half hanging down. I heard a thump next to me as Craig did the same.

I began to try to squirm forward and then suddenly I felt a hand reach down and grab my arms behind my back and push down.

Uh oh, I heard Craig say. I suspected the same thing happened to him.

Found you, The voice whispered. And here you went and put yourselves on display for us. A wonderful buffet. I felt a hand tug at the back of my trunks and pull them down to my knees.

Guess we’re done with the warm ups, Craig muttered. I tried to squirm, but the hand firmly held me down I was bent over this wall with my ass up in the air, just waiting to be paddled. After a second – WHAM! Thick paddles whacked across both our bare butts at same time. We both cried out in pain.

This was a more serious punishment, lasting about fifteen minutes. The swats were again hard, but slower than what I would have done. Craig and I were grunting and yelping and wincing, and my eyes welled up a bit, but I still was not punished to full tears.

That was delicious, the man whispered when he was done. Then I felt him grab my ass and push me over the wall and fall to the floor on the other side. I heard Craig land next to me. He did not pull my shorts back up though, so now we had an even harder time getting through the maze. And our bare asses were fully exposed in our jocks.

That was a bit more intense, Craig said.

Nice trap, I said. We didn’t stop to think about what could happen. They got us good.

We stumbled forward down the hall and suddenly ended up on floor that was spinning around. We both ended up falling down again.

Round and around we go, the narrator intoned. Take the right path out, or my reapers will find you again. And, my, how you’ll suffer!

We have to go right, Craig said.

Which way is right? We’re spinning around too fast, I said. We stumbled around trying to get a sense of direction. I headed over to the side of the floor and stepped off on a path. I felt the thump of Craig’s footsteps behind me. I continued down a narrow hallway. He followed quietly behind me for a few minutes. Suddenly off in the distance I started hearing paddle swats. Maybe somebody else had come in to test? Then I heard the voice.

Ow. Fuck! Dammit! Aaron, where did you go? I stopped in my tracks. That was Craig. Then ... who was behind me? I heard a gruff laugh.

Surprise, he growled. I tried to run forward to get away from