Young prisoner Chris is hauled back into the dungeon after a short rest, his arms still aching from hanging by his wrists, his skin still raw from the whip. Jared shoves him down on the cross and straps his wrists and ankles at pre-determined points that position his arms at 45 degrees from horizontal – the maximum allowed by law – and keep his knees permanently bent. Positioning his arms higher would reduce the strain on his body, while making them any more horizontal would lead to dislocated joints. Within minutes, Chris is lifted into the air and hangs free. He immediately feels the power of the cross. His arms feel like they will be pulled from his torso. His chest is so stretched it is hard to breath. His legs are bent in such a way that he can’t use their muscle to take all his weight. He is already in pain. And he has eight hours to go. He is totally fucked. Next week: The cross always wins.
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