Again she was disturbed from her reveries, this time by her servant tapping her on her veiled shoulder. Mastana got up knowing what was to come, for it was the same everyday. It was time for the Zuhr prayer. She followed her three other shrouded sisters into the Rang Mahal where their prayer mats were laid out ready for them. They got into position and waited and after a minute or so the sound of the muezzin in the palace mosque echoed across the courtyard and into the chamber. Mastana performed her prayers as she did everyday. Prior to her incarceration in the palace she had never been particularly religious and deep down she suspected that she still was not, but recently she had begun to find strength and solace in the reflective ambience of prayer.
Not that reflection was something that she would be unable to do later, quite the opposite in fact for everyday following the Zuhr prayers the king had decreed that all of his wives must enjoy a Contemplation Hour… well, all of them unless he had an urge for something else!
Silently her girl servant climbed under her burqa and guided her arms to the back. Then she fastened the sleeve around them so that they were fixed, elbow to wrist behind her back. Of course, she was pretty much unable to use her hands anyway, but this further immobilised her and forced her into an upright position which encouraged contemplation. It was all based on the practices of the suspect pir whom the king was much influenced by and who, like many Sufis, advocated the quiet reflective life.
The girl exited and then helped her mistress to stand. A thick black shroud was then draped over her so that her world became totally dark and her hearing was further muted. Then she was led to the wall where her Contemplation Cushion was positioned. She knelt on this and then the girl crawled under her layers and fastened the straps the went over her legs forcing her to stay in the kneeling position. Then with her back against the wall, she was left to contemplate.
When their husband had introduced the Contemplation Hour to his wives he had instructed them to focus their minds on Allah and His Prophet but even though she tried hard, Mastana was never able to do that for long. Always, after but a few minutes her mind drifted to the topic that occupied most of her thoughts both waking and sleeping. Rather than relaxing her, the forced position made her more aware of the rings in her nipples and clitoris and the more she was aware of them the more she thought of them and the more she got aroused. She felt her breasts pushing hard against the tight fabric of the salwar kameez due to the position her sleeve forced her into. In the past her breasts had never pressed hard against her clothes and had never been that impressive at all, mere handfuls if that, but immediately following their marriage the king had had all his wives checked into the Cure Hospital and gifted them with generous implants. The result was two firm globes that jutted out from her chest lewdly, without any sag whatsoever. She remembered when she’d woken up in the hospital bed and felt the extra weight on her chest and been angry, angered that she was being turned into some sort of sex object. But at night when the king lay with her and caressed them, tingles of joy had fluttered through her body and she had felt very sexy and desirable.
Except that she wasn’t, Mastana wasn’t sexy and desirable at all, because Mastana no longer existed. Her head encased in black plastic she was a nobody these days. Valeriya had had large fake breasts and so he had given his wives fake breasts. Was it Mastana he was making love to or was it Valeriya? She did not even need to answer her own question yet despite the awful truth she still longed for his touch, still obsessed about him and…
What’s that, a hand on her shoulder? Surely the Contemplation Hour is not over yet. It’s impossible to measure time in a silent black world but it doesn’t seem long enough…
She is guided along the corridors and she knows, yes indeed, Contemplation Hour is not over at all, her three sisters are still knelt their in silence. But he has an urge and today she has been chosen! Excitement pulses through her veins and her beauty lips moisten. Not that she will receive what she wants there, that is haram, but even so, even the other type, to provide him with pleasure, that is enough.
The walking stops and first the shroud and then the burqa are removed. Then the sleeve is unlaced and she is allowed to flex her stiff arms. Then the rest of her clothes are removed until she stands there in the middle of the king’s bedchamber wearing just her hood and hands.
Across the middle of the bed is a stiff leather bolster. Mastana knows well its purpose and she gets onto the bed and crawls up to it, positioning in under her stomach so that she is provided with support. Then two padded rods are produced. The first goes in front of her thighs and the second behind them so that she can neither move forwards or backwards. Then the girl fastens her wrists to the head of the bed and then it is time for the final piece of her bedtime preparations. Her servant brings out an item of rubber with long golden tresses attached to it. Locked into place as she is, she cannot see it, but she knows all too well what it is. The servant takes the rubber hood and fits it over her blank plastic head encasement. The fit is perfect as it was expensively made to her own particular specifications. Once smoothed out and the eye holes carefully aligned then she is ready for the king and the two servants retire. Mastana merely waits in anticipation and as she does she gazes at the image that confronts her in the large mirror at the foot of the bed.
The doll-like unsmiling face of Valeriya stares back at her with her long blonde hair and huge blue anime-like eyes. Inside her blood boils as she realises that once again, she has been turned into someone – or something – else purely for the satisfaction of a man whom she never chose, who stole from her a promising career and life of freedom. The anger fills her veins and she wishes to explode with rage.
Then the door opens and she hears him come in. In a second the anger disappears and desire takes over. Like her mother said to her when she last visited two days ago, she was called ‘Mastana’ for a reason.
She hasn’t got a care in the world.