In the early winter of 1978, when I was thirteen years old, I became involved in a bondage game that was, to say the least, interesting. It actually began several days before the game itself, when I happened to be in the local grocery store, picking up some last minute items for my mother. I ran into my neighbor Marie (age 17), who was extremely happy to see me, for she had been planning on contacting me. She took me aside in an empty isle, and asked me how would I like to play a tie up game that weekend. As it turned out, Marie's parents were taking the younger children Tyler (9) and Mona (11) for a stay with relatives starting on Friday night. Marie got out of going by telling them that she would be baby-sitting me that night--which was a fib on her part, because my parents and I had made no plans for me to stay with Marie.
Marie's basic offer was this: I go home and tell my parents that I have been invited to spend the night on Friday at Marie's house. Then I simply show up at her house on Friday night, before her family left, and Marie would repay me for covering her baby-sitting story by playing a tie up game with me. Of course, what else would I have said but "yes"? I promptly went home and lied to my parents about being invited to spend the night over at Marie's. They gladly gave me permission, thinking I would be hanging out with the younger kids, and not just Marie. I felt guilty about lying to them, but considering what would eventually happen to me, I suppose I got what I deserved for lying.
Friday came, and I went over to Marie's house in the late afternoon, just in time to see her parents and siblings off on their trip. Marie wore jeans with a light tan blouse, and was barefoot. After they left, I received some interesting news from Marie. Her boyfriend, who we'll call Rick, was coming over.
This was something that Marie had never mentioned before, and I must admit, I wasn't too thrilled at having him join us. I had gotten worked up over the fact that Marie and I would be playing a game, not Marie, Marie's boyfriend, and I. But, since he had to work, Rick wouldn't be over until around 9:30, and I figured the game would be well under way by then. Marie ordered pizza for us, and after we ate that we went into the living room to watch some TV. By this point, I had removed my shoes and socks and was barefoot, clad in jeans with a long sleeved polo shirt.
Rick came over earlier than expected, just before nine. He was the same age as Marie, and seemed nice enough. When Marie introduced us, he shook my hand and said, "So, this is the six million dollar kid, huh?"
"Six million dollars?" Marie said, as she padded into the kitchen. "I don't think his parents can afford that much." She opened a drawer a removed a bundle that was wrapped in a handkerchief.
"How much are we asking for him?" Rick asked.
"What we agreed on," Marie said, with an overly grim expression, as she spread open the bundle on the kitchen table, "five hundred thousand."
Rick reached out and gently shook my shoulder. "Hey, you think your folks could swing a million in ransom, Doug?"
I gave him a shy shrug. My attention was diverted at what Marie had laid out on the table: several lengths of rope and two folded up bandannas.
Then Marie grabbed the rope and said, as calmly as you would please: "Turn around, Doug, and put your hands behind your back."
Finally! I thought, as I turned my back towards her and criss-crossed my wrists behind me. Marie quickly bound my wrists together. Rick started rummaging in the kitchen, and while Marie cleave-gagged me with the bandanna, she casually told him that there was some leftover pizza for him in the fridge.
Marie took the other bandanna and blindfolded me with it. I heard the sharp clanging sound of something falling or crashing from the kitchen. Marie swore under her breath behind me. "You don't have to use that, just put it in the oven!" she said. "All right, all right, wait a sec...."
I felt her hand grab my arm and give me a gentle tug. As I walked, I felt the linoleum of the kitchen change under my bare feet to the carpeting of the living room. Marie eased me down into a sitting position on the sofa. I felt her give my shoulder a little squeeze as she said, "Be right back, Doug."
The TV babbled on, oblivious to the boy who sat blindfolded and gagged on the sofa with his hands tied behind him. I gave my bonds a furtive test, and while they held my wrists in place, I discovered that Marie tied me a little looser than one of the Usual Suspects at Aunt Jean's would have. Hell, Marie's little brother Tyler tied me in tighter knots than this. I had plenty of room to wiggle my wrists around.
When Marie returned, she said, "And now to finish making young Mr. R comfortable." She grabbed my feet and tied them together at the ankles. Then she bound my knees together. When Marie was finished, she asked, "Are you all right, Doug?" I nodded my head in the affirmative. "Are you sure? Nothing's too tight? Nothing's pinching you?"
I leaned over and twisted my torso around so I could give her a thumbs up sign with one of my bound hands. Once she saw this, Marie burst into laughter and patted my knee.
"You sure you used enough rope?" Rick asked sarcastically.
"This is the boy I told you about," Marie said.
"Oh, yeah, I remember, the little Houdini. Well, in that case, maybe we'd better use more, 'cause he'll probably get out of that in no time."
"I've no doubt about that," Marie chimed in. "We'll have to watch this one carefully."
They went back into the kitchen so Rick could eat his re-heated pizza. While I listened to their casual conversation over the constant droning of the TV, I slyly tried to see if I could work my hands out of the rope which was loosely tied around my wrists. I've found that if the ropes are loose enough, you can get yourself free by pulling one wrist up higher than the other. I was able to do this, and once I did, I felt a strand of rope swing into my fingers. Taking a chance, I grabbed the end and gave it a tug. Sure enough, it turned out to be the loose end of the knot itself. Once I pulled on the strand, the knot became unraveled and the ropes grew slack around my wrists. I'd like to point out that I'm not really a great escape artist, I got free simply because my bonds were tied too loosely. However, I was more than happy to let Marie and Rick think that I was an escape artist--but this turned out to be a tactic that I would soon regret.
I pulled my hands up from behind my back and removed my blindfold. From the way Marie's house was set up, their kitchen was around a corner from the living room, so my "captors" didn't see me. After I pulled my gag down so that it hung around my neck, I leaned over and untied my knees and ankles.
I decided to have some fun. There was a side door in the kitchen that led outside; while I had no intention of actually leaving (I didn't want this game to end--not to mention the fact that it was about 40 degrees out there, and I was barefoot), I strode into the kitchen, put my hand on the knob of this door, and--as nonchalantly as I could--said: "Thanks, guys! It's been fun."
I was overjoyed at the stunned looks on both Marie and Rick's face. Rick, who had been drinking a can of beer, nearly choked on it when I spoke. "No way!" he exclaimed, as he got up from the table with Marie and came over to me. I merely smiled at them as they gawked over me. I actually wound up hanging out with them for an hour or so as they both peppered me with questions during Rick's evening meal of pizza.
Once he was finished eating, he and Marie exchanged a look. Then Marie glanced at me, and said, in her best gangster moll impersonation: "Let's make sure the little creep doesn't escape again!"
Marie brought me into the sewing room, where an easy chair sat by the window. Marie placed my gag back into my mouth, and even retied the knot so that it was taunt. Rick came in with about several miles of rope in his hands, and after I sat down in the chair, he used them on me.
Rick tied my hands together behind my back, while Marie tied my ankles together. She then tied my knees together for good measure. I knew I was in serious trouble this time--Rick tied a much better knot than Marie did--but I tried not to let it show. They left me alone with the light on and I waved at them with one of my bound hands as they closed the door behind them. Although I was tied up very securely this time, the chair itself was very cozy.
After a while, my usual tie up fantasies started to take hold. I imagined that I had been abducted by a nefarious pair of teenaged bandits, who left me tied up while we waited for my ransom to be paid.
My little fantasy was disrupted when I thought I faintly heard the sound of an owl hooting away madly outside. I was surprised to be able to hear this at all, since the house was pretty much sealed up against the cold. Yet there it was all the same: a short, high pitched wail over and over again.
I sat there, wondering when the dumb bird would finally go to sleep (although I didn't know then that owls are actually nocturnal creatures) when, the next thing I knew, Marie was shaking me awake.
I had fallen asleep! And I didn't even realize it until I woke up. Marie was apologizing profusely as she untied me. I wasn't able to tell her that it was ok until she removed my gag. While I had woke up, my left arm was dead to the world. It fell asleep from my having laid on it. As Marie sheepishly messaged it for me, I glanced at the clock and saw it was now almost three in the morning. I had been left tied up for several hours, which is something that I don't recommend people to do.
Marie was beside herself with grief and guilt, despite the fact that I kept saying it was all right. She was barefoot, and clad in an ankle-lenght robe. I figured that she must have fallen asleep like I did. I reassured her that everything was all right--my left arm was finally awake with the rest of my body--and I went to bed for the night (without the ropes, mind you).
And that was that. The following day, after Rick left early to go to work, Marie cooked me a huge breakfast, and after we ate, I went home. End of story.
Well, not quite. Several days later, while sitting in English class at school, I started putting things together in my head. Such as the fact that when Marie untied me, she was clad only in a robe, instead of the jeans and blouse she'd worn all night. And there was no possible way I could have heard an owl through the shut windows of the house--and so if that wasn't an owl I heard, then what was it. Or, should I say, who was it? There was only one person in that house that night who could have made those sounds: Marie. I can remember staring at the blackboard in a moment of stunned revelation as a little bit of the innocence I had then crumbled away.
Out of all of my childhood stories, this is the one that Karen likes the least. In fact, she hates it. "That bitch used you," Karen told me, after reading this for the first time. "It's bad enough she used you as an excuse for a roll in the hay with her scuzzy boyfriend, but she actually tied you up to keep you out of the way so they could make whoopie. That's disgraceful!"
And, in retrospect, I have to agree. I do not condone anybody, especially a babysitter, taking advantage of a child in this manner. Nevertheless, Marie felt so guilty about it that I had to forgive her (besides, I went into this arrangement with my eyes wide open--at least concerning the bondage part). And so I continued to be friends with Marie and her siblings, and saw them on a regular basis (and played more tie up games)--although, I must add that I was never in another situation like this again. Whenever Marie watched me after that night, it was a perfectly normal evening (at least until the night when I tied Marie up--but that's another story for a future date).
Next up, my cousins come to my house for their annual visit...but this time, they brought Karen along, too. I introducd her to the Lake Monster. That will be next month. As always, thanks for reading.