Chapter Description: It's going to be a long day. Anna is stuck in Sallas which has taken the ideas of misogyny and patriarchy and turned the volume up to eleven. Today is going to be a very trying day and after breakfast with her family she is to go to school for both her graduation and her wedding... --- If you enjoy this story you can see the next part RIGHT NOW on my Patreon page! https://www.patreon.com/posts/sallas-part-72129665 My writing is my sole income so I appreciate each and every person who can help me pay the bills and fill the refrigerator. For $5 a month you can see everything I post one full week before the rest of the world. For $10 you can see the updates early AND you get access to 42 stories that are EXCLUSIVE for patrons. I post two updates of 2,000+ words a week. For more information on additional patron tiers and rewards (such as discounts on commissions or free stories) please check out my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/Elfy88 Thank you everyone who supports me or who visits my page to check it out ❤️
Anna felt like she was being driven to the gallows as she sat quietly in the back of the car. She was dressed in her graduation gown, a long shockingly pink robe which went all the way down to her feet. She had her flat mortarboard hat in her hands in her lap. She was looking out the window feeling a combination of extreme anxiety and sadness. She knew her life was only going to get harder and more miserable from here.
Every time the car went over a bump in the road Anna winced. Her bruised butt wouldn’t allow her to forget her punishment that morning. Anna couldn’t help but think about what life could’ve been, she couldn’t help but imagine a reality where her family had never come to Sallas and she was graduating with all her friends and family looking on. She had to stop, it hurt too much knowing what she had and lost. She certainly never thought she’d be graduating and getting married with a severely bruised ass.
Anna had her bag next to her with her wedding dress in it. She couldn’t bear to look at it, she had worn it once when her father had bought it but even then had avoided looking in the mirror. She wondered if she could somehow escape still. Maybe when the car stopped at a red light she could burst out of the car and run away. It was a nice thought but completely impractical, the child locks for the rear doors were engaged and she had nowhere to go even if she could get out.
In the front passenger seat Michelle was keeping up a constant stream of inane chat even if the only responses she got was her husband grunting. Anna felt a fullness in her bladder and immediately relaxed, the warmth flooded around the bottom of the diaper and actually soothed her bruised butt a little bit.
“You’re a lucky girl!” Michelle turned in her seat with the forced smile that was permanently etched on her face, “Ryan’s going to be very wealthy and powerful one day. Have you thanked your father for making this happen?”
Anna stared daggers at Michelle. She wondered if that was what her future looked like. Complete acceptance of a terrible situation, doting on a man and trying to convince herself that she was lucky or had a good life. As much as she felt sorry for her adoptive mother she also felt intense resentment towards her.
“There’s no need to thank me.” Harold said as if he had done Anna a huge favour.
As the car approached the school Anna could see more and more people walking in. She felt her nerves jumping up another notch as the large building loomed in front of them. Her urge to run away grew alongside the dread that had settled in her stomach like a large rock. The car pulled up in the parking lot and when Anna stepped out of the car she could sense the strange excitement and tension in the air.
Anna followed Harold and Michelle as they left the car and went towards the main building. The temptation to run was overwhelming but Anna knew that doing so would mean being sent away. She looked around at the other young women hoping to see others experiencing the same horror that she was. Since the other young women had all grown up with the horribly restrictive rules Anna found most of them meekly following their families. She looked down on them until she realised she was doing the same thing.
“Harold, dear, I might need a change before the ceremony starts.” Michelle’s voice was quiet but she betrayed no hint of embarrassment at her request.
“Of course.” Harold sighed, “Anna, we’ll see you in there. Here keep this in your mouth.”
“Dad!” Anna started saying in annoyance.
Harold glared at her and Anna sighed. She reached out and took the pacifier her father was offering and reluctantly popped it between her lips. It wasn’t uncommon for her to have her mouth full in public like this, her father tended to give her the soother whenever he thought she might make a scene.
“We’ll see you in there.” Harold repeated.
Anna nodded her head. She didn’t miss the look her father gave her, it was telling her that she better be in there and she would be very sorry if she upset the cart. She watched as her dad took her mother by the hand and led her away. Anna was left alone in the lobby. There were people everywhere, both male and female, many were talking to each other but Anna remained alone. She had never had much in the way of friendship since none of the other girls wanted to be associated with such a “trouble maker.”
Anna looked around and saw Ryan in the far corner with his parents and talking to some friends. How strange it was that the person who would become her husband in such a short amount of time was standing right there. She felt nothing for the man, she barely knew him other than an acquaintance at school. She would’ve been surprised if she had said more than two dozen words to him over their whole time together in school. It was surreal to think she was going to spend her life with him. She tried not to assume the worst but she wondered just how bad he would be to her. In the best case scenario he would just be dismissive and condescending but in the worst case, well, Anna wasn’t keen on thinking about that for too long.
Anna thought that Ryan looked a little out of place. He seemed ill at ease next to the other men in his friendship group. Physically he was average sized and even kind of handsome in an over polished kind of way, it was as if every hair and on his head had been meticulously placed. It was too much, like every inch of him had been designed by committee. What really stood out though was the way he stood. Anna noted that his stance was why he was giving off such an awkward aura, his body language just screamed that he was uncomfortable.
Ryan looked over towards Anna. She quickly averted her eyes and realised she had actually been sucking on the pacifier for comfort. She hated giving any sign that her treatment was legitimate and immediately stopped the soother from bobbing between her lips. She turned to face the two entrances on the far wall. There were going to be two separate ceremonies in two different rooms at the same time, one for the men and the other for women. Anna wondered away from the place she was standing to see the room she was graduating in. She saw that they were allowing people to go in so she decided to just step into the mostly empty auditorium.
The stage was set and there were some people up there fiddling with the microphone and electronics. Anna took a seat at the back of the room and sighed. Above her, on the balcony, was a large seated area where family and friends could sit and watch, her parents would be up there soon. In the relative tranquillity of the large hall she found her thoughts drifting back to how much she loathed her situation. The urge to run yet again threatened to overtake her.
“Testing… Testing…” The voice crackling through the microphone startled Anna out of her thoughts. The feedback screeching afterwards made her cover her ears.
There must have been some announcement that the ceremonies were about to begin because the crowds started to come in. Anna saw that most of her fellow graduates looked excited or happy and she couldn’t understand it at all. She empathised with the few who came in looking as glum as she felt, those were surely the ones who had seen through the patriarchal crap. Everyone filed in with their pink robes and took their seats. Anna felt like an animal at the slaughterhouse waiting for her turn to be killed. She sighed with resignation as a young woman took to the stage to applause.
“Ladies, today is the first day or the rest of your lives.” The speaker announced. Anna didn’t know who she was and she didn’t care. She barely listened as she slumped in her seat, “All your years of education and training have made you all women ready to serve the men of Sallas. Many of you will be starting your life with your new husbands today, for others you will soon find your man but to all of you I say: your devotion to your domestic duties will allow your men to do their work that much better and make this country that much greater!”
The hall broke into applause again. Anna looked around at all the other women as if they were traitors. She couldn’t believe how much they were buying into this stuff. When Anna was younger she had convinced herself that the current order couldn’t exist forever and that as she got older things would change but it seemed like the subjugation of women was as strong as ever. Many of the graduates around her had pacifiers just like hers and in moments of silence there was a strange background noise of sucking.
Anna sunk further into her cheap plastic seat as she listened to the speaker drone on and on about how important it would be to be good housewives. Anna knew that if she was back in her original country she would be looking forward to college or work, now she was going to be all but literally chained to the house. Perhaps it would be a literal chain, there were really few rules about what men could and couldn’t do with their women.
“It is our school’s hope that none of you will need to be sent for re-education. That all of you will embrace your roles and do your duties.” The speaker’s words were presented cheerfully but Anna heard the threat hidden beneath them. She felt a shiver go down her spine. Do what you’re told or else.
After the speaker finished and there was another round of applause one of the graduates went to the podium. The valedictorian went into her own speech and Anna tuned out again. The woman on the stage beamed with pride whilst Anna silently scorned her. The valedictorian had nothing to be proud of, they were simply the best at being a servant.
“And now we will start handing out your diplomas.” The first speaker had again taken the podium, “We will call you up in alphabetical order.”
Anna Abbott was the second person to be called up. She stood up as everyone applauded and walked to the stage. Underneath the bright lights that flooded the raised platform Anna shook hands with the smiling woman and took the diploma which she already knew meant nothing at all. It was a certificate to say she could cook and clean. As she walked off the stage and the next person went up Anna looked up and saw her parents waving. She blanked them as she returned to her seat.
The ceremony took an age and Anna spent the whole time with her arms crossed in front of her just waiting for it all to be over. When the final person took their certificate and returned to their seat Anna joined the others in standing up, as everyone threw their caps into the air Anna joined in just so she didn’t stand out. A woman who stood out was not a good thing in Sallas.
“Congratulations girls!” It was the Principal of the school on the stage now, “For those of you getting married we have a room for you to get changed into whilst we alter the room.”
Anna felt her stomach drop. This was the moment she was dreading. She saw a teacher waving over the girls who needed to get changed and she reluctantly joined the line. As she walked into the changing room she released her bladder and flooded her diaper without breaking her stride. She shuddered as the warm liquid ran between her legs and soaked into the padding.
The room was very basic. Anna hadn’t seen this door open before but she assumed it was the place that stored all the chairs and other bits and pieces the school kept for its ceremonies. It had been emptied now with just a bunch of plastic chairs and portable lockers that had been rented from some place. In the centre of the room was a large folding table that had a gym mat on it.
“How romantic…” Anna muttered darkly as she walked in and went to one of the plastic chairs at the back of the room. She spat her pacifier out and shoved it into her bag.
The bags the women had kept with them were now opened to reveal the dresses they would wear for their “special day.” Anna felt herself tearing up and it certainly wasn’t from happiness. The childish dream of a fancy princess wedding couldn’t be further from Anna’s reality. This mass ceremony was no designed to be romantic or an expression of love, it was little more than a business transaction.
The girls behind Anna were all chattering excitedly. Like Anna most of them barely knew the people they were about to tie themselves to forever but they didn’t seem put off at all. The brainwashing of these poor women from early life was often so strong that they considered this an ideal outcome. If Anna hadn’t been so horribly depressed by her own situation she would’ve felt sorry for them.
“Hurry up, girls!” A female teacher opened the door to call in, “Your men are waiting!”