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APPRENTI girls the great hall


The Apprentice {Pendragon} (mF viol hist m-1st)
The Apprentice
by Uther Pendragon

IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18, or otherwise forbidden
by law to read electronically transmitted erotic
material, please go do something else.

This material is Copyright, 2002, Uther Pendragon. All
rights reserved. I specifically grant the right of
downloading and keeping ONE electronic copy for your
personal reading so long as this notice is included.
Reposting requires previous permission.

If you have any comments or requests, please E-mail them
to me at

All persons here depicted, except public figures
depicted as public figures in the background, are
figments of my imagination and any resemblance to
persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

# # # #

The Apprentice
by Uther Pendragon
Michael glanced at the path that led to the gate. Sometimes, he
looked at the babe he jiggled in his arms. Most of the time
though, his attention was on the children running around the

On summer days like this, the young children and the dogs
owned the middle courtyard of Castle Clavius. They raced around
in circles, climbed the walls as far as they could, played hide-
and-seek, tussled over the whole area, and chased each other.
While he watched, his brother Enoch tagged a younger girl named
Naomi. She chased after him treating, the adults using the area
as mere obstacles. One of the knights laughed and grabbed Naomi
to swing her into the air, before setting her down and going on
about his business. If Enoch was never the child that was picked
up, neither was he often bullied by the apprentices. Most of the
others were; the older boys were often jealous of the play that
they had been taken from for duties in stable, kitchen, or

The child in his arms cried hungrily. Michael offered her his
finger to suck. That satisfied her for a moment, but he knew it
would not satisfy her for long.

He had vague memories of playing like the toddlers in front of
him. He had firmer memories of sitting with the other boys and
girls in the great hall on dank Sundays to learn his letters and
numbers. Like most older children in the castle, he knew his
alphabet; like most, he had never gone on to read many actual
words. Still, the subdeacon had drilled him in the Paternoster
and Ave. He could read them as well as reciting them from

A peasant woman found her way through the running mass. When
she came up to him, she bared her full breast. He handed the
babe over. After an instant of confusion, the girl sucked

"Ah," the woman said, "that feels good. I buried my own
yesterday, and his last two days he would not eat."

"She's acceptable, then?" Michael asked.

"I'll raise her as my own." If she survived and had no
brother, and both of those chances were in the hand of God, then
the babe would see a far happier future than she would have
received as the daughter of her real mother.

Michael could remember what he'd seen of the life of the

At harvest time, the castle folk helped harvest and
glean the lord's lands. There was a village through
either gate, and the children gleaned together, one day
in the upstream fields and the next day in the
downstream ones. They met the village children, much
more numerous than they, that way, Between castle and
village, and between the villages of St. Anne's and
Montant , there was some rivalry; but there was also a
fair amount of friendship and many family connections.

Before the babe had finished her dinner, the horn blew for the
first shift of the castle's dinner. "Follow me," he said. He
led the woman into the inner courtyard, and from there into the
great hall. He sat her between him and his father, to his right.
His stepmother was to his father's right, just above him at the
table. Since there were more men than women among the castle's
commoners (although the ratio was more even than among the
gentry) his stepmother could, by right, have been seated much
higher. Michael, as an apprentice, should be seated much lower.
Nobody raised those issues, however. Everybody was happy that
his family sat together.

Even the woman who was with him treated Michael with a little
coolness. The servants who brought the food were unfailingly
polite, but they had no jokes to tell him. The gentry above the
salt jested with each other and sometimes called things to the
servants they recognized. No one ever had a jest for Michael.

It had been this way for a long time. When he and his friends
grew old enough to leave the middle court, they had still run

He went to festivals with them instead of with his
parents. They watched the knights and squires practice,
and of course they attended executions and other
punishments. At first, he had been proud of the central
role his father played in these, wielding the lash or
slipping the noose over the neck of the condemned,
notching ear or nose as he had been ordered.

His companions enjoyed these spectacles, but they began
avoiding his father as their elders did. They couldn't
very well avoid him, but some of the familiarity in the
way they treated him disappeared. Then too, they soon
were apprenticed and began to associate with their
fellows. He was apprenticed too, but his father had no
other apprentice with whom Michael could associate.

In harvest times of still later years, one castle lad
would often take a fancy to a particular peasant girl.
He would work close to where she was during the long
day, and -- after the day's work was done -- the two of
them might slip away from the others into the dimness.
But no peasant girl would look with favor on the
hangman's son.

Michael looked closely at the woman beside him. Was she one
of those girls back then? But no, she had probably been a bit
older. One of the kitchen people put half a loaf on the wooden
plate between them. He thought of cautioning her not to take any
of the bread -- some peasants had made fools of themselves in the
past. But she was busy with the babe. Then someone else from
the kitchen ladled food onto the bread. He passed her the
tankard of beer they shared.

The woman clearly enjoyed the castle food. When they both had
eaten, he asked her, "Your name?"

"Annette, daughter of Isaac, wife of Joseph."

Sir Karl pushed his trencher away. He took a final swig and
passed the tankard to Lady Elizabeth. His father signaled
Michael. This was his duty now, another step in his
apprenticeship. He stepped out into the center of the Great

"Young Michael," said Sir Karl.

"My lord, I present Annette, daughter of Isaac, wife of
Joseph. Thy serf in the village of Montant. She has accepted
the baby Catherine, daughter of the prisoner."

"Very well, Michael. Annette, doth thy husband agree with

"Yes, my lord. Our only question was whether the babe would

"Very well. father David, recordest that she has accepted the
babe. Heinrich, make sure that a cartload of firewood is
delivered to her hut. It's a new babe, after all."

"My lord is kind," the peasant woman said. And, indeed, he
was. She had undoubtedly had one gift of firewood on the birth
of her son already.

"Master Jakob," said Sir Karl.

"Yes, my lord," said Michael's father.

"It will be tomorrow."

Michael returned to his seat.

"Tell the prisoner when thou feedest her," his father said.

"Yes, father."

Michael smiled to see the peasant woman take the trencher the
two of them had shared with her. The peasants ate porridge more
often than bread; half a loaf soaked in juices -- juices of meat
as much as of the vegetables -- would seem a luxury to her.

He gathered two trenchers and filled a tankard with beer. Two
knights were walking past.

"I don't blame Sir Karl for his judgment," said one. "What
was his choice? I do blame the merchant."

"Peter," said the other. "The merchant, Peter. She did try
to steal his purse; his dagger too for that matter. What dost
thou expect a merchant to do?"

"A man, merchant or no, would have dealt with the matter
differently. If a whore tried to take my purse and pulled a
dagger on me, she would learn that men have more weapons than
they carry in their sheaths. I would have taken the dagger back,
and made her very sorry. I would not have called someone else
to deal with her for me. Him? He got cut, and he called down
the sergeant."

"Yes, Sir William, but thou art a man of thy hands."

"I thank thee."

"This was a mere merchant. He didn't have thy skill.
Probably it was the first time that he had ever seen a dagger
pointed at him."

When they had passed, Michael nodded to the guard at the
trapdoor. The guard took the bar off and lifted the trap.
Michael carried the food down the ladder.

The prisoner was chained in back. "Dinner," he said when he
reached her. She took one loaf of the bread in her free right
hand and passed it to her left to eat. "A peasant woman has
agreed to raise thy daughter," he said.

"These," she gestured towards her breasts, "are full. It is
past time to feed Catherine."

"The woman has milk. She lost her son recently."

"That solves Catherine's problem; it doesn't solve mine."

He'd seen her feed her babe, someone had to watch whenever she
was not alone. He remembered that fullness, that roundness. He
remembered, too, seeing her naked -- if only at a distance.

When the Bishop had visited the castle (and the town)
this Eastertide, the town celebrated his arrival with a
tableau of the seasons. She, well along in pregnancy,
had portrayed Autumn. The actresses were all naked, and
all, of course, taken from her profession.

"That will not be a problem for long." He had to be blunt;
his father had ordered him to tell her. "Thou wilt hang

"I shall not hang." He had heard words like this before,
denial of the obvious. But her tone was bitter, not hopeful.
Then he realized that she was being literal. As a woman, she
faced the garrote, not the noose. "I don't want to die slowly."

"I don't think thou wilt." His father knew what he was doing,
and -- unless Sir Karl ordered otherwise -- his executions were
clean and brief. Still, Michael had only participated in
hangings since becoming his father's apprentice.

She finished the loaves in silence. In the same silence, she
opened her bodice. When he had been much younger, his mother had
taken him to the old great hall when the women bathed.

There, he had been surrounded by naked women and their
youngest children. One week, he was suddenly intrigued
by all those breasts and the glimpses of the flesh
between the women's legs. His mother, already heavy
with Enoch, had not mentioned anything to him, but the
next week his father had told him that he was too old to
go with the women. He went down to the river with his
father and the other men.

Since then, he had distant views from the crowds
witnessing tableaux. He had discreet glimpses of
mothers or nurses feeding their babes. Since his
father's remarriage, he slept in the great hall, and saw
women (what women slept there) service the serving men.
Knights slept in an inner room, and the women joined
them there when summoned.
This, however, was an intimate view. He watched her openly.

When her full breasts were freed, and their long nipples
pointed right at him, she continued. She removed her drawers,
and pushed them onto the chain around her right ankle. She lay
back and gestured to her breasts.

"These are very full." He was afraid, and fascinated.
"Couldst thou help me?"

He couldn't resist. He walked over to her and bent down. His
hand reached out and touched her. The breast was full, and firm,
and so smooth. Rather than resisting him, she caressed his face
with her free hand. She reached behind his head and pulled him
towards her breasts. He knelt down.

The nipple entered his mouth. The taste was that of cow's
milk, and of woman. When he sucked, the milk was sweet and
heady. Her hands roved over his torso. Everywhere she had
touched him burned; everywhere she had not touched him yearned
for that touch. After some time -- it felt like days -- she
pushed his mouth to the other breast. While he sucked there, her
hands were busy at his waist.

The tightness of the drawstring eased, then his trousers fell
to his knees. The drawers followed. Oh! her hands were all over
his most private parts.

She drew him into her. He'd seen others couple in the dimness
of the great hall. What he'd never guessed was the warmth of
that tightness around him. Nor had he guessed at the smoothness
of his entrance, nor at the excitement it aroused in him.
Kneeling on the stones between her legs, he pushed deep into her
and then pulled out. Her hands rose to his sides. He plunged
forward again. The friction on his manhood was wonderful. After
a half dozen thrusts, however, he drove into her and erupted.

He was lying on her soft breasts, and she was patting his
back. "That was delightful," he said as soon as he got his
breath back.

"I don't want to die slowly," she repeated.

He would see what he could do. Still, he didn't know what he
could promise. He would do what his father ordered, and that
would not -- had not ever in these past months, certainly would
not in his first execution of a woman -- involve determining the
speed of the death.

"Do you wish to speak to father David? Do you wish me to ell
him?" That he could do.

"Please do so." She pulled her clothes back on. He also
dressed. He checked himself before he walked to the place he
could be seen by the guard. The knees of his trousers were
fairly gritty, and there wasn't much improvement after he'd
brushed them off with his hands.

The priest came immediately. He had heard everything, after
all, at dinner. Michael waited at the trapdoor with the guard.
She must have mentioned their coupling, but father David didn't
seem to look askance at him when he came up the ladder.

Then he sought out his father. As a master, his father
merited a hut for his family within the walls. Since all men
shunned his company, he was usually there unless he had business

"Father," Michael began, "I crave a favor."

This request was greeted with silence.

"The prisoner says she doesn't want to die slowly. May I
promise that she will not."

"Death is in God's hands. But I haven't any orders to prolong
hers. Barring orders, and thou knowest that those are unlikely
in this case, I'll speed it as much as I can. Perhaps we can
allow her to wear her dress as long as she is alive." He looked
over at his wife. The clothes of executed prisoners were among
the rewards of the hangman, but his wife would be the one to sell
that dress. Various events during the journey to the gallows and
the execution could lower the value. The value was already
lowered, although it was of luxurious cloth; since its dominant
color was yellow, only another prostitute would wear it.

Michael's stepmother looked him up and down. Slowly she

"All right, boy," his father said. "And when I tell thee to,
pullest down on the wheel rim until thy weight is off thy feet.

"I thank thee, father. I shall."

The cart and horse that transported prisoners to the gallows
was in Michael's care. He was busy with them during the first
serving of supper, and ate with the second shift. Afterwards, he
thought to take another trencher and more beer to the prisoner.

"I thank thee," she said. Until now, she had been fed only
once a day.

"I have spoken with my father. You will be permitted to wear
that dress. He will act quickly." The chance that Sir Karl
would order otherwise so late was quite small. The merchant,
Peter, was really angry at her. What his father would do if
Peter offered him a bribe, Michael couldn't tell. Sir Karl might
resent that, and his father did not intend to anger Sir Karl.
Since Michael could predict neither the likelihood of Peter's
action, nor how his father would respond to that, none of these
unlikelihoods was suitable to mention.

"I thank thee," she repeated. She finished the bread and took
a swig from the tankard. She set it down on the floor far from
her. As though it were the most ordinary action, which it might
be for her, she proceeded to take off her clothes. She pushed
the pieces of clothing onto the chains binding one arm and one

He hardened as he stared. Her breasts were full and round;
the nipples stood out proudly. Her waist, although it still
showed the signs of her recent pregnancy, indented from her
spreading hips. Each of her thighs glinted whitely in the
torchlight, round and firm and plump. Between them, her mystery
was covered by a triangle of light brown hair. That triangle
beckoned him; there he had experienced the greatest joy of his
young life. He couldn't tear his eyes away.

"Thou shouldst remove all thy clothes, as well." Her voice
was soft, but he complied faster than he had ever complied with a
shouted order. Even so, he fumbled, unable to look at what he
was doing, unable to look at anything but her.

When he was naked, she raised her knees and spread her legs
further. He walked there over the gritty floor and knelt between
them. She took his face between her palms and guided it to her
breasts. He kissed one and then sucked on that nipple. His
mouth filled with milk. It was so sweet.

He swallowed, but he could wait no longer. He moved over her
body and pressed his cock against the hair between her legs. She
reached down to place him against her wet heat. He entered her
to the hilt with one thrust.

This time, there was no governing his body. Every time he
moved within her, he felt her smoothness rub against the
sensitive bottom side of his cock. He moved faster and faster.
When he withdrew too far, she helped him back in.

It seemed to go on forever. She brought his face to hers for
a kiss. When her tongue entered her mouth, he exploded.

He lay gasping on her softness for some time. When he started
to struggle up, she brought his face to her other breast. This
milk, too, was sweet. It was precious; it was delicious; and,
then -- suddenly -- it was too much.

He pulled himself to his feet. He reached for his clothes,
but there was no time for that. He staggered to the slop bucket
and bent forward. His stomach emptied itself of all its
contents, first the milk, and then his supper.

He couldn't face her. Much as he still wanted to see that
body, he couldn't bear to look at that face. He turned away
while he dressed.

The wooden plate and the tankard were inches from her arm --
inches from her naked breast. She had not yet emptied the
tankard; he could pick that up tomorrow. He whispered "I thank
thee" while he picked up the plate. Then he climbed the ladder
without looking at her.

In the morning, his father unlocked the chains. "Thou mayest
keep those clothes," his father said.

"I thank thee," she said. "May I see the priest again?"

"Upstairs. There is a place for the two of you." Condemned
prisoners always asked to see the priest again. Time was already
allotted for that. It delayed nothing, if that was the purpose.

Father David had been given a chair in a place apart in the
great hall. When the prisoner had knelt at his side, the guards
drew back out of hearing. She spoke with him at length. father
David obviously pronounced the pardon and gestured to the
watchers. Michael approached and tied her hands before her. He
left her there while he went to fetch the cart.

She seemed to shiver when he helped her into the cart, despite
her wool dress and the warm day. As for him, he was sweating in
his linen trousers and tunic. Her hands were already tied in
front of her, and he tied another rope between those and the rim
of the cart. He, his father, and some castle guards escorted the
cart on the road to the gallows. Most of the castle folk ran
after them, and there were a large number of villagers waiting on
the way. A few threw clods at the woman, not knowing why. But
the animosity that greeted housebreakers who had preyed on them
was not present.

The apprentices from the town were altogether different.
Here, evidently, was where the merchant had spent his bile -- and
spent some copper coins as well, Michael guessed. Stones, as
well as clods, rained on the prisoner. A few hit Michael. One
hit the carthorse and made it pull harder.

At the gallows place, they helped her off the cart and up the
ladder. The platform with the garrote was somewhat lower than
the gallows. Even though she climbed slowly, she reached the
platform soon enough. For the first time, she clearly saw the
means of her death. It was an upright beam, going on to support
the gallows above. On the back, it had a small wheel; and the
rope was already attached to the wheel.

He ran to the upright, and when his father had guided her back
against it, he tied a rope binding her waist to it. As his
father untied her hands and tied them behind the pole, he
attended to her feet. They were too far apart.

"Movest thy feet back and together," he murmured. She did.

He held her hair out of the way while his father attended to
the rope that really mattered, flipping the rope across her neck
and behind her head again. When he had tied the rope to the
other spoke, he pulled on her forehead until the back of her head
was snug against the post. He turned the wheel until the rope
was tight, but not digging in.

However sincerely had she wished on the previous day for a
rapid death, she drew a deep breath now. His father waited until
she was expelling it and then nodded. Michael had been watching
her instead of his father, but when the wheel turned in his hand,
he pulled with all his strength.

The wheel turned half around as it tightened the rope into her
throat. She bowed her head until her neck touched the stake.
Her breasts stretched forward in a parody of her gesture of
attraction. He could hear her feet shuffling on the platform; he
hadn't tied them tightly enough. He could see his father strain
upwards once more, and he lifted himself off the ground by his
side of the wheel. It revolved again, nearly a finger length.
Her chest eased back. He heard the urine pour out of her onto
the platform, followed by the smell of her bowels emptying after
what seemed like an eternity. At the same time, there was a
little easing towards him of the wheel. She was dead, her
muscles loosening a bit. They could relax, but not enough to let
the wheel retreat and take the strain off the rope.

There were tears rolling down his cheeks: there had been tears
long enough that they were dripping off his chin.

"Don't mind, lad," his father said. "We can stay up here as
long as thou wantest to. Easest thyself back, though. I can
hold this as tight as it needs to be held."
The End
The Apprentice
Uther Pendragon
For a quite different story set in the same place at about the
same time:
rampant.txt Rampant

This story is indexed in;
etc.txt Etc. Uncategorized Pendragon stories

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