The Pillory

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The Professionals Fanfiction
Title: The Pillory
Author(s): Kitty Fisher
Date(s): 1994
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: The Pillory at Kitty's site
The Pillory at The Circuit Archive

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The Pillory is a Professionals slash story by Kitty Fisher. It was originally published in No Holds Barred #6.

the first page of the story as it appears in No Holds Barred #6

It is a particularly grim (and controversial) Bodie/Cowley story in which Cowley frames Doyle for a crime he did not commit, in order to keep Bodie with him both personally and sexually.

Summary

"To what lengths will one go to achieve their ultimate goal?" -- Angst, Betrayal, Death."

About a Sequel by the Author

I had no objection to anyone else writing a sequel to it in fact I was quite happy for anyone to have a go who wanted to. But I, myself, couldn't. Not because I believed the story sacrosanct or because having written it I believed it. For me Doyle is dead. What happened was right for the way the characters. [1]
The bad news is that there's not going to be a sequel to The Pillory'. Kitty believes - and I must say I agree with her - that the story as she wrote it is complete; to quote her very roughly, that it would be a betrayal of the story's essence to try and change its direction now. (On the other hand, she has no objections at all if someone else wants to write a sequel!) The good news is that the refusal of the various requests takes the form of a witty little story in the Hatstand section [of this letterzine] wherein Bodie and Doyle give us their opinion on the matter. It's quite the most graceful way of saying. Not Likely' I've had the pleasure of encountering. Further pleas, therefore, had better to be addressed to anyone foolhardy enough to suggest a way out of The Pillory"s ending. [2]

A Pillory Filk

A fan in writes a filk asking for a sequel. [3] Sung to the tune of "Daisy, Daisy":

Kitty, Kitty,
Give us that sequel, do!
We're going crazy
Waiting to hear from you.
It won't matter how they suffer
But let'em have each other,
We're incomplete
Until we meet
With "The Pillory."

Other Sequels and Inspired Works

An excerpt from "the witty little story," Discovered on a Tape Spool by An Unknown Hand/Kitty Fisher in which she writes of Bodie and Doyle discussing "The Pillory," and being, well, horrified:
The Pillory. Oh my God . . ." Bodie was white as a sheet, his hand on the swiss roll, (chocolate) quite unsteady.
In 1998, the editor of DIAL set up a competition for fans to write their own sequels to this story:
[Kitty Fisher] suggested that in light of the various pleas for a sequel to a certain story beginning with P - and given that she'd no intention of writing it - we hold a competition to see who could come up with the best follow-up. So that's the challenge, ladies - devise a sequel to The Pillory'. NB: You don't have to write it! (Though if anyone wants to, DIAL will receive it with open arms!) No, all you have to do is come up with a way out of the end-of-The-Pillory situation which would quiet those plaintive cries for a happy ending. (And I think we all know we mean B/D here, chaps). The scenario can be as simple or as elaborate as you like but it must include an explanation of what seems to happen at the end of the story - if you've read it you'll know what I mean! - and an indication of how the whole thing's going to be worked out in future. Saying simply that They Lived Happily Ever After won't cut the mustard. [4]

Reactions and Reviews

1995

"The Pillory" in NO HOLDS BARRED #6: I read it once, and don't ever need to read it again. I think the common theme is the loss without any compensating gain. It's one thing to die _for_ something, but that's not what happens in either of the stories. [5] [6]

1997

I read The Pillory a few weeks ago and now I can't get the bloody story out of my mind! It's gnawing away at my brain. It is quite definitely the story most in need of a sequel in any fandom at the moment. I can just see Bodie reluctantly retrieving Doyle from hospital after that crash and bringing him home to recover. I can hear Cowley's vitriolic treatment of him as he gloats through that recovery. I can sense Betty's distant suspicions that head her to enlisting help (from Murphy?) for Doyle and I can taste Doyle's revenge. What worries me is that Bodie would need such careful handling when he realises his mistake and I'm not sure the short-t, self-s, violent, b. l. bugger is up to that challenge... Maybe if we just pleaded with Kitty Fisher. If I don't get that sequel I may never sleep again..." [7]
[I'd be happy ... just so long as no-one makes me read The Pillory again before there's a sequel hot off the presses. It's one of the most powerful memorable stories I've ever read, and quite beautifully judged, but bleak? Makes the hairs quiver on the back of my neck. [8]

1998

I'd almost put The Pillory on a par with "Endgame", which is another story I cannot re-read because it is too painful to do so. [9]
...'The Pillory' was too damn good to mess about with. [10]
Talking of "The Pillory", I reckon the sequel would start with Doyle in hospital, sitting in a wheelchair, waiting with a fair degree of apathy to be escorted back to prison. The escort, when he arrives, is a dark and menacing Bodie who takes him not to jail but to the home he shares with Cowley. The two of them outline the future they have planned for him... [11]
As regards the big debate on The PilIory, I can appreciate the author's point that the story is complete in itself. However, if (and it's a big 'if) the writer is clever enough - !! - it is possible to add a sequel without detracting from the impact of the original. There is a story in Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink 3 called 'The Blue Figurine' which does just that and, to my mind anyway, even manages to deepen the impression left by the main story: The big point is that it leaves one feeling good rather than depressed and I'll read it again and again. I've only read The Pillory" once to see what everyone was going on about - I won't read it again, which is a shame. However, having read Joan's comments on No Holds Barred 10, which I haven't so far read, it looks as though Kitty Fisher is actively pursuing a reputation as a writer of 'shock' stories. Am I going to have to start checking the last page for a happy ending with her stories as I already do with M. Fae Glasgow? Id rather have the occasional death story than one of these 'horrible' ones. [12]

1999

It's in No Holds Barred 6, and it features a Machiavellian Cowley who some years previously framed Doyle for murder. Story starts as D gets out of gaol and goes looking for Bodie, only to find that he's now C's lover and that he totally believes C's lies. D steals a car and joyrides to death. No redeeming features whatsoever. All three of the characters are completely unbelievable. Like Lorelei, I really wonder why the author, who has written some splendid stuff, wanted to write this one. [13]

Sorry, I have to say that [the worst Pros story] goes beyond dark and awful to "Why the hell was that written, and can you

torture a zine before you kill it??" Was there even any point to it? Right up there with "Apples for the Lady" -- not my Doyle, not my Bodie, *definitely* not my Goddess! [14]

2001

It was a fan's inspiration: Anything by Kitty Fisher is memorable and I have to mention The Pillory because it's the only story that ever made me pick up a pen and actually write a sequel. I frequently think of one but I had to write that and as it was a first attempt at serious writing, I feel a certain fondness for the dratted piece! [15]

2007

With the exception of The Pillory, I like basically all of Kitty's Fisher's stuff--even the BDSM stories. [16]

2015

I'm reccing The Pillory in about a fortnight and, although I enjoyed it as a bitter tale in it's own right, I was relived to find there was a sequel. I guess we don't like to think of the lads turning on each other.... I'm expecting strong opinions. It is a bitter tale, but I wanted to discuss it... [17]
I can completely understand wanting to talk about The Pillory. I read it early on, before I knew such stories might exist. [18]

References

  1. from DIAL #8
  2. the editor of DIAL comments in issue #6
  3. from DIAL #6
  4. from DIAL #6
  5. the other story this fan references is Snapshots by Morgan Dawn.
  6. comments by Jan Levine on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (Septeber 12, 1995)
  7. from DIAL #3
  8. from "DIAL" #3
  9. from DIAL #5
  10. in DIAL #7, a fan comments on the fact there will be no author-written sequel
  11. from DIAL #6
  12. from DIAL #7
  13. a comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (January 3, 1999)
  14. from a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (January 30, 1999)
  15. from DIAL #20
  16. Ancasta's Corner, posted April 3, 2007, accessed March 24, 2012
  17. comment by fiorenza_a at The Good Old Days...I've been wondering..., September 13, 2015
  18. comment by msmoat at The Good Old Days...I've been wondering..., September 13, 2015