To this day, I'm surprised at how the tie-up games that my cousins (Donna, 13; Shirley, 11) and I (age 12) played with the neighborhood kids (Becca, 14; her brother Jim, 12, and Karen, also 13) managed to take on a life of their own--to the point where we had inadvertently adopted a code of behavior. Take, for example, revenge. When revenge was sought on somebody, all the captor had to do was unexpectantly spring a tie-up game on them (either by waving a toy gun, or by simply announcing the start of a game). The captive-to-be would then willingly allow him (or her)self to be tied in any manner the captor wished. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold--but in our case, revenge was a tie-up game best played tightly knotted.
On a warm summer evening in 1977, I was horsing around with Jim and George (age 7), my youngest cousin, in the back yard of my Aunt Jean's house. It was about nine o'clock, and night had fallen over the neighborhood. It felt too hot to hang around indoors, so we passed the time away outside by shooting the breeze on the back porch. I was barefoot and shirtless, clad only in a pair of denim cutoff shorts. Jim was also barefoot and shirtless, but wore a pair of jeans. George, who had worn a shirt all day, promptly removed his so he wouldn't be left out of the "Shirtless Brigade".
Jim and George tried to convince me that there existed a local version of Bigfoot in the woods just beyond the houses. The legend is varied from region to region, but Bigfoot was basically a large (about seven foot--or over two meters for you metric fans), fur-covered, man-like creature who dwelled in the deep woods, and who was generally not somebody you'd want to meet late at night. But I took these lurid stories with a grain of salt. When George and his sisters spent a week at my lakeside home, I had scared them with stories of a Loch Ness-type monster, so I figured this was George's revenge on me.
However, as I sat with them on the steps of the porch, I saw a sight far more frightening than any Bigfoot: It was Becca, hunched down, making her way around the side of the porch. I was the only one of us boys who sat facing her, and thus, I was the only one who had any advance warning. As she crept towards us, I let out a "Uh, oh!"
But George, deep in his vivid story about how Bigfoot-only-grabs-visiting-12-year-old-boy-cousins-who-are-clad-in-cut-off-shorts, mistook my "uh oh" to mean I was scared of his tale and simply rambled on.
At which point, Becca rose up from behind Jim and let out her best monster roar at the top of her lungs. She even waved her hands at her sides like a pretty, blond version of Godzilla.
Jim nearly jumped out of his skin, while George shot up the steps and into the house with lightning speed. I don't even recall George getting up--one second he was sitting, the next he was gone.
Becca grabbed her brother from behind in a bear hug, then wrestled him off of the steps and onto the grassy ground. This really wasn't much a surprise. If you read the last story, you'd know that Becca had been after her brother since he decided to make a nuisance of himself during a tie-up game where she was the captor. So it was just a matter of time before she sought her revenge, but I was still taken aback at how soon Becca struck, since the last game only ended a few hours ago.
Becca brought what we lovingly referred to as a "bondage bag"--a wrinkled paper bag that contained a pair of toy plastic handcuffs, which she slapped on Jim's wrists, effectively binding his hands behind his back. Becca then took out a roll of tape and gagged him with several strips across the bottom half of his face.
Then Becca made her brother lie face-down on the grass, where she bound his ankles together with the tape. I calmly sat on the porch steps and watched this little scene as Jim frowned at me over his gag. I figured there was no need for me to get excited--or involved--because Becca's revenge was only targeted at Jim.
However, once Jim was bound and gagged on the lawn, Becca held up a second pair of handcuffs and dangled them at me. "Do I have to come get you?" she asked, almost looking hopeful that I would force her hand.
With a smile, I got up, went over and knelt down before Becca, who promptly cuffed my wrists behind my back. "Um, Becca?" I said over my bare shoulder. "I thought you just wanted revenge against Jim."
"Yep," she happily replied, as she retrieved the roll of tape.
"So why are you cuffing me?" I asked.
"Felt like it," Becca casually answered with a little shrug, as she gagged me with the tape.
I was made to lay face down on the grass next to Jim. And the grass felt pretty darn cool against my bare chest, let me tell you! Becca then taped my ankles together. This was the first time in my life I ever been bound with tape, and I was amazed at how snug it was; I couldn't move my ankles for anything. They felt as if they had been glued together.
Becca knelt down on the grass as she retrieved the roll of tape and put it back in her bag. She abruptly glanced up at something and said, "Did you hear that?"
Jim and I were in no position to answer her--we simply writhed and rolled around on the grass, grunting and groaning under our gags as we struggled to break free. Eventually, I realized how futile these efforts were and laid still. Jim did the same.
"Wait," Becca said urgently, as she pointed at the distant woods. "What was that?! Did you see that? It looked like a pair of glowing red eyes peeking out from behind the trees!"
I heard Jim let out a long groan of disgust under his gag. It was obvious that Becca had overheard our Bigfoot conversation and was now using it as a form of psychological torture against us.
"There's something out there," Becca said in a whisper. She had this mock-horrified look on her face as she added, "And it's coming closer!"
Becca got to her feet and said, "I better get inside, where it's safe. See you guys later....I hope!"
Then Becca strode inside the house, where I faintly heard her chatting it up with my cousins and Aunt Jean. I glanced at the house and saw George staring fearfully at us from behind the glass sliding doors.
I managed to sit up and gaze at the distant woods. Despite the fact that I knew Bigfoot was just a folklore, a chill slid up my spine. I consoled myself with the thought that if Bigfoot--or anything else--came charging out of the woods to grab us, it would have to cross an open field to do so, thus giving me and Jim plenty of warning.
Not that we would actually be able to do anything, mind you. If Jim and I were bound with plain old rope, we could have picked each other's knots loose, but that was impossible to do with handcuffs. Add to that the fact that our ankles were bound with tape, and it appeared that Becca chose a damn near perfect method of binding us this time.
However, I still had an idea. I wiggled and writhed my way over to Jim, who started giggling hysterically under his gag (I have no doubt that I looked pretty goofy; your dignity is usually the first thing to go in a tie-up game).
Once I got close enough to Jim's feet, I started feeling for the edge of the tape which bound his ankles. I figured if I could find this, I could simply pull the tape off of Jim's ankles. Jim instantly figured out what I was up to, and actually rolled over on his side for me so I was able to find the tape's edge. Once my fingers located it, I kept picking at it until enough of the tape was peeled back for me to get a good grip. Thankfully, the handcuffs actually helped in that there was enough of slack on the plastic link between the cuffs to give me enough room to work.
I unwrapped the tape from Jim's ankles about three times before he was able to twist his legs free. Then Jim got into position to free my ankles. While Jim unraveled the tape from my legs, I glanced back at the house; I had to admit I was a little nervous, because both my aunt and uncle were home. But nobody was in the kitchen--not even George, who probably couldn't bear to watch us get snatched by Bigfoot.
Once my ankles were free, Jim and I got to our feet and began stumbling towards the house. Our hands were still cuffed behind us, our mouths were gagged, and Jim still had pieces of tape stuck to the legs of his jeans, but at least we no longer helplessly laid on the grass.
As we both stepped onto the porch, I began wondering how we were going to find a way to remove these cuffs. To my surprise and delight, George met us at the sliding glass door with a plastic handcuff key. My cousins Donna and Shirley also had their own toy handcuffs (no self-respecting captor on this block would be without a pair)and the same keys worked in all of them. Once Jim and I were un-cuffed, and we finally removed our gags, George told us that everybody was watching TV in the living room, but Becca was currently using the bathroom.
This was just too good an opportunity for us to miss! Jim, George and I went inside, waved at everybody as we passed the living room, then ran like hell down the hallway to the girls' bedroom, where George pointed out where Donna kept her own bondage bag while Jim kept an eye on the bathroom.
While there were no handcuffs in Donna's bag, there was plenty of rope and a roll of tape--which was good enough for me. Jim, George and I stood guard outside the bathroom. I had pulled off a strip of tape and held it at the ready to stick onto Becca's mouth.
When Becca finally emerged from the bathroom, instead of being shocked, she merely gave us a heavy sigh, as if already resigned to her fate. I stuck the tape over her mouth, gagging her, then led her down the hall to the room I shared with George. I made Becca sit down on my bed while we discussed how she would be tied.
While we debated her fate, Becca sat casually examining the curls at the end of her long blond hair, as if wondering if she should change her shampoo--all while she was gagged with the strip of tape. She was clad in a sleeveless, button-down shirt with a matching skirt. She had worn sandals, but had since removed them and was now barefoot.
I wanted to hog-tie her, and Jim and George quickly consented. Becca helpfully laid face-down on the bed, making sure her skirt didn't ride up on her. Getting some rope, I knelt before Becca and bound her wrists together behind her back, while Jim worked on tying her ankles together.
When her hands and feet were securely bound, Jim left to me the task of hog-tying Becca's wrists to her ankles, and it was a moment I savored. I made sure I gave her just enough slack so she wouldn't be too uncomfortable. Her body laid flat while her legs were bent up at the knees. Becca's bare feet stuck up in the air, and she let out a growl under her gag when I reached out and tickled her soles.
Usually I would look forward to some writhing around by a female captive, but Becca just laid there, staring off into empty space, as if patiently counting off the minutes until she would be freed. It was almost as if she were an athlete suffering through our version of the penalty box.
And so we decided to leave her alone...in the dark. I was the last one out of the room, and Becca shot me a really dangerous look just before I switched the light off. It was the sort of look that said, I will hunt you down and make you pay, you little creep! And, being the strange little boy that I was, I just couldn't wait to see what she would do to me!
Jim, George and I passed Donna in the hallway. Donna gave the three of us a suspicious look as she asked, "Anybody see Becca?"
"Nope! Nuh-huh! Haven't seen her at all," we all replied. We then joined my Aunt and Uncle and Shirley for an evening of TV watching.
Of course Donna found Becca and freed her. They joined us in the living room and watched TV for the rest of the evening. Becca did get her revenge--but not before something else happened: shy, quiet Karen from down the street went berserk and took everybody hostage. That story will be next. As always, thanks for reading.