In the summer of 1976, when I was eleven years old, I spent three weeks with my cousins at my Aunt Jean's house. My cousins--Donna (12) and Shirley (10)--played a series of bondage games between themselves and the neighboring kids: Becca (13) and her brother Jim (11), as well as Karen (12), who previously did a bang up job at playing the captor for the first time (see my previous post, the first in the January archive). After spending my second week getting tied up, I had assumed that the weekend would bring a halt to our bondage games, because the adults would be home full-time on Saturday and Sunday.
Oh boy, was I ever wrong!
That Saturday night, my Aunt Jean and Uncle Steve went out for the evening, leaving us in the "care" of my oldest cousin Keith (age 15). This wasn't the first time that Keith played baby-sitter for us--mostly it was during the day, and his usual method was very simple: he ignored us just like we ignored him. We had no reason to expect anything different from him that night. When my cousins sent word that we were in for an adult-free evening, Becca, Jim, and Karen arrived shortly after my aunt and uncle left. Although it was getting dark, it was still very pretty warm and humid, so we hung out on the rear patio. We were all barefoot, and clad in shorts. Donna, Shirley, George and Karen wore T-shirts while Becca was clad in a tank top. Jim and I were shirtless. George pointed out the fireflies to Jim and me while the girls breathlessly talked over what kind of fun we could have with the adults gone.
Becca suggested a bondage game, and everybody instantly agreed. While we discussed who was the captor and who would be the captives, I saw Donna abruptly stop talking and make a disgusted face. The cause of my cousin's abhorrence was Peter (age 15), one of Keith's best friends. He had casually strolled into the back yard and was about to walk right past all of us into the house when he saw Donna giving him a hard look. He proceed to wave at her in a mocking manner and say "Hi Donna!" in a screechy, nasal-sounding voice. For the record, Donna never spoke like this--it was just Peter's way of getting under Donna's skin. And for the most part, it never worked.
"Hi, dip-stick!" Donna cheerfully replied with a wave. The term 'Dip-stick' was Donna's favorite insult for Peter: it was a reference to his thin, wiry frame.
Peter looked as if he was going to say something further until Keith met him at the glass-sliding doors and quickly ushered him inside.
We chattered on for several more minutes, coming to the decision to have the bondage game here (of course). Shirley got up and went inside the house to use the bathroom. We decided to hold off with any further discussion until she got back. So we waited for her...and waited...and waited even longer still.
After what felt like fifteen minutes, Donna went inside to check on her sister.
When another five minutes went by without a peep from Donna, it finally occurred to the remaining members of our little bondage club that something odd was going on here. Becca walked over to the glass sliding doors and called into the house, "Hello? Is everything all right?"
But there was no answer from the darkened interior of the house. The lights were out, and it now looked as gloomy and ominous as a haunted mansion in there. Becca backed away from the doors with her arms folded tightly in front of her. "Ok," she said with a tight smile, "who wants to go in next?"
Jim, Karen, George and myself promptly took a step backwards. We were shaking our heads and saying "Nooooooo!" in unison.
"You go," Jim blurted at his sister. "You're the oldest."
"I love you, too, Jimmy," Becca muttered sarcastically.
"How about you, George? Why don't you go in?" Karen jokingly asked. "They're your sisters, after all. We'll wait for you out here."
George's answer to this was to shake his head sharply and cling to my side. Although he had a slight smile on his face, his eyes were as wide as saucers and he had a white-knuckle grip on my hand.
"Why don't we all go inside together?" I suggested. "There's safety in numbers, right?"
"Nope," Becca quickly replied, and we all burst into nervous laughter. Then Becca let out a heavy sigh and added, "Oh, what the hell? We wanted a bondage game, and it looks like we've got one. Doug, since it was your idea, you lead the way."
Steeling myself, I cautiously placed a bare foot through the doorway and onto the kitchen floor. When I was sure I wasn't going to be attacked, I then stepped all the way into the kitchen. To his credit, George was with me every step of the way.
The house had grown very dark, and it looked as if somebody had even closed the shades and drapes to make it as creepy as possible. I reached over to the wall switch to turn on the lights...but to my shock and amazement, the lights didn't turn on! Somebody had to have killed the power to the entire house from the circuit box downstairs.
Becca, who was literally hanging over my shoulder, let out a gasp when she saw this. "Oh my God, these guys are playing for keeps!" she said, with a nervous giggle. Then she leaned forward and whispered into my ear: "What do we do now?"
From out of the shadows, one of the most inhuman-sounding voices this side of the Exorcist rasped, "You cower in fear...."
That did it! Everybody let out wild shrieks of terror at the same time as we scrambled to get out of there as fast as possible. I can remember actually turning 180 degrees, but before I could get out the door, I was grabbed from behind and hand-gagged while an arm slung itself over my chest, pinning my own arms down. My abductor, who turned out to be Keith, then carried me down the basement stairs. As soon as we arrived in the basement rec room, I was placed in a kneeling position on the floor next to the sofa, which was covered with various lengths of pre-cut rope and several rolls of masking tape. Before I could even say anything, I was gagged with a piece of tape by Peter, while Keith tied my wrists together in back of me with the rope.
"Tie up Doug, then come back upstairs," Keith told Peter. "I wanna be ready when the others come in."
"You think they're really gonna come in after that?" Peter said with a chuckle. But Keith was already running back up the steps. Peter helped me to my feet and led me over to the laundry room. Peter made me sit on the bare concrete floor, where he tied my legs together at the ankles and knees. Once he was satisfied that I was securely tied, Peter left me with the laundry room door open.
Despite my usual excitement at playing a bondage game, I can recall feeling very tense as I sat there in the darkened laundry room. I kept glancing warily at ordinary, everyday objects which looked far more menacing now that they were draped in the shadows. The bundle of clothes that was piled in the corner really got on my nerves: it appeared to be moving out of the corner of my eye, but would stop whenever I
stared directly at it.
Although I was an eleven year old boy who knew better, like all kids (and adults), I still suffered from the fears of my early childhood; a time when I dreaded those imaginary monsters who hid in the shadows, which made them unseen and scoffed at by adults.
Because I was now at an age where I was supposed to act "mature", I never admitted this to myself or anybody else, but the darkened laundry room--along with the fact that I kept hearing these wild shrieks of terror throughout the house--allowed my imagination to get the better of me, and so those same monsters
which stalked me in my pre-school days came lurking around once more. Now, however, my bonds prevented me from running away, so I figured the least I could do was keep the little critters in place by staring them down.
As I glared at the pile of clothes, practically daring it to move, I heard another series of shrieks from upstairs, followed by either Keith or Peter shouting "Gotcha! I gotcha now!"
I thought I heard somebody coming down the steps, but with a bunch of kids running barefoot through the house, it was hard to tell for sure--until I noticed somebody had let out an anxious sigh in the rec room. It turned out to be Becca. When I heard either Keith or Peter's heavy, sneaker-clad footsteps descending the stairs, she began to mutter "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God," over and over again in an excited, high pitched voice. Apparently, she was frantically trying to find a hiding place in the rec room before she could be caught.
She eventually ducked into the laundry room, where I was tied up, standing no more than a foot away from me. Perhaps it was because I was in the shadows that Becca didn't see me at first. But as she swung the door shut, I let out a little grunt under my gag to let her know I was there.
This caused her to let out an ear-splitting shriek as she ran back out of the closet and right into Keith's arms! Becca then abruptly shrieked again when she received the second shock of inadvertently running into her captor. Keith dropped all pretense of playing the game and grabbed Becca's shoulders to keep her from falling into the furniture. "Whoa, Becca, take easy," he said, "it's just a game, ok?"
"There's something in there and it growled at me!" Becca cried at him. But she said this so quick and breathless, her words blended together, sounding more like this: "There'ssomethinginthereanditgrowledatme!"
The circuit box was on the wall next to the rec room door. Keith promptly turned the power to the house back on, then reached in and switched on the lights in the laundry room. Both he and Becca stared open-mouthed at me as I let out a muffled "Hello" from under my gag.
"My God, Doug, you scared me half to death!" Becca cried.
I shrugged my bare shoulders. Keith reached down and slung me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He carried me out to the rec room and sat me down on the sofa. Keith asked me if I still wanted to continue playing the captive. When I eagerly nodded, he turned to Becca and said, "You want to go on playing? Because if you do, I'll have to tie you up, now."
Having regained control and now back to her normal self, Becca gave him a smug smile and replied, "Tie away. Otherwise, I'll just free Doug and we'll both escape this nut house."
My Aunt Jean had a card table set up on the opposite end of the rec room, Keith brought one of the wooden chairs over, placed it next to the sofa, and said, "Have a seat...."
Becca primly sat down in the chair--the back of which was too broad for Keith to bind her wrists together behind it, so he settled on tying Becca's wrists separately to the end spindles of the seat back. This resulted in Becca sitting with her arms bound straight down at her sides. When he gagged her with a strip of tape, Keith said, "Ahhh! That's more like it! Notice how nice and quiet it gets when Becca is gagged, Doug?"
In response to this, Becca gave me a look of shocked indignation, as if to say, "How dare he!" Keith crossed her ankles over one another, then bound them together. Once they were tied, he secured another length of rope over her ankles and ran it under the seat and up around the center spindle of the chair's back. This length of rope forced Becca to sit with her crossed feet tucked under the seat.
Peter and George came down with Jim walking in front of them with his hands clasped together behind his head like a POW. In no time Peter had Jim tied to another wooden chair in the same fashion as his older sister. I learned later that Karen was tied up with Donna and Shirley in the girls' bedroom.
Keith came over to me and lifted my bound feet up so that I was now lying on the sofa. He then wagged his finger at me and said, "You enjoy this too much, you little creep. I hope you're happy, Becca," he went on jokingly. "You guys managed to turn this nice kid into a little weirdo, just like the rest of you."
Becca's response to this was to cross her eyes and wobble her head from side to side while making a hysterically funny "ick ick" sound, which wasn't diminished by her gag.
Peter just pointed at us in mock seriousness. "Enjoy yourselves while you can, kiddies," he said in his best ominous voice, "for at midnight, Keith, George and I will sacrifice all of you!" "Um-hmm," Becca went under her gag. She also cheerfully nodded her head, as if this was just A-OK with her. Jim and I joined in with our own enthusiastic nods.
"The future of America...." Keith muttered with mock disgust.
Keith and Peter quickly left after that, but George--bless his little heart--lingered long enough to come to me. "Roll over," he whispered solemnly.
I rolled over on my side so he could pull at the knot which bound my wrists. He kept tugging away until we heard Keith's voice from atop the steps: "Oh Geeeeeorge!"
George the Lion-Hearted let out a terse "COMING!" He gave my bonds a final tug and then ran up the steps. He didn't untie me completely, but the knot had been pulled loose enough for me to work my wrists free. Despite this, I held off on my escape attempt by lying calmly on the sofa.
To nobody's surprise, Peter poked his head into the rec room. He then came over and did a quick inspection of our bonds. The ropes binding my wrists had grown slack, but he never noticed. As he walked back upstairs, I heard him confidently say, "They're all fit and secure."
I made my bid for freedom. Twisting and pulling my wrists made the ropes binding them fall away like dead snakes. Once my hands were free, I pulled off my gag and untied my legs. I glanced up and saw Becca and Jim staring anxiously at me.
Becca let out an annoyed sound under her gag when I went over to Jim, first. I untied his left hand from the chair's end spindle, then I went back over to Becca while Jim untied his other hand. I bent down to start untying her left wrist from the end spindle--but I then I hesitated.
Leaving Becca tied, I happily took this opportunity to reach under the chair and tickle her feet. This made Becca let out a long, low groan under her gag as she glared down at me with such intensity that I just knew she was already plotting her revenge. What made it worse was that once Jim was completely free, he came over and tickled his sister's sides, while I continued tickling the soles of her feet. Becca's bound hands had clenched into tight fists as she slowly shook her head back and forth. Becca was definitely not pleased!
Jim and I ceased our attack when we heard the other kids chattering away upstairs. I figured Keith and Peter released them for a bondage break--something which Becca was about due for. "I guess we should release her," I reluctantly said to Jim.
"Oh, God no!" he said, and we both burst into giggles. We finally settled on untying only one of Becca's hands, then running like hell from the rec room.
We quietly snuck up the steps and saw that everybody had casually gathered in the kitchen. Shirley poured cool drinks at the table for herself, Keith, George and Peter while Karen stood talking on the phone with Donna standing close by, as if offering moral support.
"Hey, look who escaped!" Shirley said when she saw us coming up the steps.
It turned out that Karen's mother had called, and since Keith and Peter had to release her so she could speak on the phone, they decided to give Donna and Shirley a break at the same time. Since we were the last to be tied, it was decided to leave Becca, Jim and myself bound and gagged for a little while longer--but they never knew that George took matters into his own hands.
Becca calmly came up the steps, confronted Jim and me, and pronounced her unholy vengeance, promising to strike at us when we least expected it. This made everybody, even Keith and Peter, go "Ooooooo!"
Although Karen was allowed to spend the night with us, the bondage game ended right there. I had figured Keith and Peter would keep us tied up all evening, but it was getting late and they obviously didn't want to push their luck by continuing the game right up until my Aunt and Uncle were due home.
Of course, Becca eventually got her revenge in spades, but first Donna and I had to contend with Karen as our captor once more. In any event, bondage-wise, my last week at my Aunt Jean's house in the summer of '76 was already shaping up to be a busy one. But those are tales for another time. As always, thanks for reading.