Mister slaps me a second time.

I’m drifting again and I don’t care. Morphine isn’t this good.

“How many left?” Mister asks. The Val-U Pak of one hundred wooden clothespins is nearly empty.

I can’t even guess. I breathe slow and deep. I feel like I’m underwater. The clothespins rattle with every movement, a domino effect ripples from my underarms to my inner thighs.  Mister flicks one dangling  from my nipple. The pain blossoms into a crisp white light behind my eyes.

“Three. Never lose count again. Count these down.”

He pinches a clothespin onto each labia. I call out numbers in a ragged gasp. The last one clamps my clitoris, sharp and definite.

“One,” we say in unison.

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