During the early summer of 1978, when I was thirteen years old, my cousins came up to my house for a two week visit. They brought along Karen (14), a neighbor of theirs who also became a very good friend of mine over the years.
Karen, my youngest cousin George (8), and I would have a little adventure on the Tuesday of the first week of their stay. At that time in my life, my parents and I lived on the shore of a lake. We had our own dock and boathouse, but the only boat we had was a meager little rowboat, which I named the Enterprise (after the starship from Star Trek). Late that morning, while my mother entertained Karen and my cousins Donna (14) and Shirley (12) in the kitchen (to use George's expression, they were doing "girly stuff"), I decided to take George on a little boat ride around the lake.
George and I were both shirtless and barefoot, and clad only in our swim suits. We put on our life vests and got in the Enterprise to prepare for departure. However, before we could do so, Karen came running out of the house, and waving her arms at us. She had worn a summery dress with sandals all morning, but I immediately noted that now, she was barefoot, and wore a two piece bathing suit. Her long black hair was pulled up into a braid behind her head.
I immediately realized that Karen had wanted to join George and I, and I got out of the boat and got Karen a life vest to wear. I was surprised, because Karen had been very skittish about the lake. While she was an excellent swimmer, at that time in her life, she had only swam in backyard pools. She even confessed to me one time that the lake made her nervous because she couldn't see the bottom. I helped her in the boat, and she sat next to George, facing me while I rowed us around.
George--that little imp--didn't ease Karen's fears about the lake. At one point, he gestured at a half-submerged tree in the water and screamed, "Karen! Look! The lake monster!"
Karen let out a screech that echoed up and down the lake. I think, to this day, her scream can still be heard reverberating in the hills surrounding that lake. I read George the riot act (basically, I told him that if did that again, he would be swimming back home). He merely sat this with this angelic look on his face that said, "Who, me?"
We were "hailed" by my ten year old neighbor Tyler, who stood on the very tip of his dock, waving at us.
He obviously had just heard Karen's impression of a foghorn, and wanted to know what kind of torture George and I were inflicting on her. When I shouted back that we were just kidding around, he invited us over. "Do you wanna play a tie up game, Doug?!" he shouted across the water. "I really enjoy playing tie up games with you. Your friends can play, too, if they want to. I've got plenty of rope!"
I immediately started rowing over to Tyler--not necessarily because I was eager to play a tie up game, but so he would stop shouting our preference for bondage at the top of his lungs all over the lake. I never rowed faster than I did at that moment.
Karen leaned forward and asked, "Are we gonna play a tie up game on the water?"
"No," I told her. "It'll be on dry land." Karen immediately relaxed. I asked them if they felt like playing a game right now. George nodded eagerly, as did Karen--but I think Karen was just happy to get off the water.
Once I secured the Enterprise at Tyler's dock, Tyler triumphantly produced a toy pistol and pointed it at us. Karen, George and I immediately put our hands up. Tyler had us strip off our life vests ("Just to make sure you don't have any hidden weapons") and then marched us--with our hands up--off the dock, through the back yard, and into his house.
When we entered the house, we found Tyler's oldest sister Marie (17) lounging on the sofa, reading a magazine and talking on the phone at the same time. Barefoot, she was clad in cut off shorts and a tank top. She stopped talking long enough to give us a cheery "Hiya, guys! I see you've been captured by Tyler the pirate, huh?" Then she went back to her breathless conversation on the phone.
Tyler the Pirate marched us upstairs, where--after a brief stop in his room to collect a bundle of rope--we were led to the attic. I recalled the attic with mixed feelings, having been tied up by Tyler and left here several months ago. It was very hot up there, but at least Karen, George and I were dressed for it. At first Tyler wanted to tie us up on the floor, but we balked at that idea. The floor was bare wood, and a little dusty; it wasn't fun for us to walk barefoot on it, let alone lie bound and gagged on it.
Tyler then switched to plan B. George, Karen and I stopped being captives for a few minutes so that we could help Tyler unroll several sleeping bags in the narrow space between the boxes. Then, we covered these sleeping bags with a heavy winter blanket that Karen found folded up in storage. Karen had the smart idea to open several windows, which helped decrease the heat slightly by creating a nice cross breeze.
Reverting back to our roles of captives, we laid face-down on this make-shift bed, which was soft and comfortable--if a little warm. The blanket we lay on was made for a wintry night in January, not a hot and humid day in late June. Karen lay in the middle of George and I. Tyler stood over George and bound his wrists together behind his back. While he did this, Karen glanced at me with this sardonic half smile, as if to say, "Here we go again!"
Once George's hands were securely tied, Tyler stood over Karen and bound her wrists together. I stole a glance at Karen and saw that she was loving every minute of it. She raised her head off the blanket and closed her eyes as she let out little grunts every time Tyler tugged a knot taunt.
Then it was my turn. Tyler stood over me and bound my wrists together behind my back. He certainly used enough of rope; once he was finished, I couldn't move my wrists apart for anything. Tyler then moved down to my bare feet and bound them together at the ankles. When I was securely bound, he went back to Karen and tied her ankles together. Then he bound George's ankles.
When we were all securely bound hand and foot, Tyler stood up, muttered "Be right back" then dashed out of the attic, his bare feet silent on the wood floors.
Karen grunted as she tested her bonds. She turned to me and said, "I meant to ask you if this kid could tie a knot. But now I don't have to ask. I know."
"Once he leaves, we could always roll over and untie each other," George suggested.
"Assuming he leaves us alone," I said. Both Karen and George looked grim when I told them that Tyler had a habit of hanging around after tying up a captive. Karen was about to suggest another course of action when I heard the attic steps creak under the weight of footsteps. I quickly hushed her by whispering, "He's back."
Tyler returned with plenty of cloth strips, so many in fact that it looked as if he tore up a bed sheet. He stuck a wad of cloth into George's mouth, then wrapped a strip of cloth around his head to hold it in place. Tyler took another strip of cloth and blindfolded George with it--something that made both Karen and I go "uh, oh" in a good natured fashion.
Karen was next to get the gagged and blindfolded treatment. In her best helpless damsel impersonation, Karen shook her head and let out a muffled grunt of frustration under her gag as Tyler blindfolded her.
It was my turn. Tyler stuffed a wad of cloth into my mouth. It hung halfway out of my mouth, which allowed me to get a hold of it by biting down on it with my teeth. Tyler wrapped another strip of cloth around my head to hold in the bit in my mouth. Then he blindfolded me, as well.
I lay there with my face against the blanket for a while, breathing in sharply through my nose. The blindfold was made of dark material, and it covered my eyes completely, so I couldn't see a thing. But I could hear and feel Tyler moving around on our make shift bed. My interest perked up when I heard George groaning through his gag. Then he stopped, and I heard Karen let out a series of muffled grunts through her gag as I felt a bare foot, possibly Tyler's, brush up against my leg.
I wondered what the hell was going on, until I felt Tyler grab my bound wrists and wrap another length of rope around them in a vertical fashion. My fear that I was being hog-tied was confirmed when Tyler grabbed my bound feet and pulled them up so that I lay with my legs bent up at the knees. When he tied my wrists to my ankles, I inadvertently joined the muffled chorus by letting out a few grunts through my gag.
As if it wasn't bad enough being blindfolded, but now we were hog-tied to boot. There was absolutely no hope of us escaping. I lay there with my face against the blanket, wishing that I could at least see Karen, who was trussed up right next to me in nothing but a skimpy two piece bathing suit. Talk about your frustrations!
The summer heat was building up inside the attic. Despite the fact that I was clad only in a swim suit, I still sweated profusely. At least the blindfold kept the sweat out of my eyes.
Every now and then, I would feel Tyler give my bonds a little tug, as if to make sure they were secure. But if we had any doubts that Tyler was still in the room with us, they were crushed when we heard Marie call his name, and he loudly answered in disgust: "What? "
Marie said something I could not hear, but it made Tyler very angry. "No, I'm busy now!" he replied with growing anger. When Marie spoke again, Tyler let out a curse and stormed out of the attic.
We were finally left alone by our youthful captor, but there was very little we could do, anyway. He saw to that quite efficiently. Still, I tested my bonds, but found them to be very secure. And even if I could somehow lean over in an attempt to untie Karen's bonds, I still couldn't see where she was.
After a few more minutes, I was startled when I heard Marie plainly say, "Oh, for crying out loud...."
I felt her step onto the make shift bed and knelt down beside me. She quickly untied my hands from the hog-tie, then freed my wrists from their bonds. I rolled over and pulled my blindfold and gag down around my neck in one motion.
"Help me untie them," Marie told me. She went over to untie George while I untied Karen. Like me, both Karen and George were covered in sweat. Once we were completely untied, we went downstairs, where it was much cooler. Marie promptly chided us for going up to the attic on a day where it had to be at least a hundred degrees up there. "Just because the three of you are barely dressed doesn't mean you won't still drop dead of heat stroke!"
We sheepishly nodded our heads in agreement. Then we stayed for lunch, which was cold cut sandwiches served out on the back patio. Tyler had been sent to the store to get a loaf of bread. When he returned, he wasn't too thrilled to be eating lunch with his captives, but there was little he could do about it.
After lunch, we tried to help clear off the table, but Marie wouldn't hear of it. "You guys are our guests."
We all hung out in the kitchen, while Marie washed up. Marie glanced over her shoulder at Tyler and asked, "You want to set the tent up for your hostages?" When Tyler happily nodded, she added, "Ok. I'll help you once I'm done here."
While his eldest sister resumed her cleaning duties, Tyler quietly came over to us with a bundle of rope in one hand and a toy pistol in the other. Karen and I exchanged a knowing look--apparently the little creep wasn't even going to wait for the tent to be erected.
Tyler pointed the gun at us and gestured for us to turn around. And so we did. Karen, George and I turned with our backs facing Tyler. He bound my wrists together behind my back with a length of the rope, then he tied Karen's and George's in the same manner. When our hands were securely tied behind our backs, Tyler had us sit down right on the linoleum floor, where he bound our ankles together.
It was a very odd scene. You see, I sat bound hand and foot on the kitchen floor, as Tyler bound Karen's ankles right next to me. I glanced at George, who was struggling with his bonds, and then I looked over at Marie, who was humming to herself while she finished cleaning up at the sink. When Marie finally turned around and saw us, Tyler had just finished binding Karen's ankles. "I thought you were gonna tie them in the tent," she said.
"I am," Tyler replied with complete seriousness. "But I don't want them to escape while we're setting it up."
"Oh, ok," Marie said, as she escorted her brother outside.
I sat with my back up against the kitchen counter, while Karen and George sat facing me. We weren't gagged, which allowed Karen to whisper, "Come here, George."
I watched as Karen and George wiggled and squirmed until they sat back to back. The Karen glanced over her bare shoulder and proceeded to pick at the knot that bound George's wrists. It wasn't long before she pulled it loose enough that I could see twin strands of rope hanging from George's wrists.
Then the phone rang.
Karen, George and I all stared at each other in shock--then we burst into laughter as the phone continued to ring right above us on the wall, while we were perfectly unable to answer it.
Marie ran into the kitchen, looking like a marathon sprinter, as she answered the phone. It turned out to be my mother. Whenever I went rowing on the lake, my mom expected me to call her should I stop off at a neighbor's house, like I did today. But I completely forgot to call her, and she was no doubt going nuts wondering where we were.
"Oh, yeah, Doug is here," Marie said, as she gave me a sheepish smile.
Marie knelt down on the floor and held the phone to my ear. I spoke to my mother while I sat bound hand and foot. I apologized for not calling her. Then I nearly burst into a giggling fit when my mom asked, "So, what are you doing now?"
"Oh, nothing," I said as casually as I could muster. I could recall staring at my bound ankles as I spoke these words. "Just hanging out." I frowned at Karen and George when they broke up into laughter. I promised my mom that we would be back in time for dinner, then Marie hung up for me.
Outside, Tyler started howling for Marie to come help him. Marie, who really looked as if she'd rather be doing something else right now, went outside to aid Tyler in pitching the tent.
As soon as Marie was gone, George pulled his hands free from behind his back. He bent over to untie his ankles when Karen started whispering: "No, no, no...me, me, me."
George left his feet tied and turned around to untie Karen's wrists. Once Karen's hands were free, she crawled over to me, dragging her bound feet, and untied my wrists. When my hands were freed, I bent over and untied my ankles while Karen did the same. George was already completely free at this point, and while we finished untying ourselves, he slowly peered over the kitchen counter like a commando scoping for the enemy. "They're still building the tent," George informed us.
Once Karen was completely free, she crouched down behind George. "We can't get to the boat without them seeing us."
I grabbed Tyler's toy pistol, which he left on the counter. "You're forgetting something," I told them. "We escaped. And we got Tyler's weapon. That means Tyler is now our prisoner."
Karen and George both lit up when I said that. The three of us marched outside, where I pointed the toy pistol at a wide-eyed Tyler and said, "You're now our prisoner."
However, Tyler would not hear of it. He threw a pretty savage temper tantrum, which aroused Marie's ire, and then things got really ugly. Suffice to say, Karen, George and I made a hasty retreat to the Enterprise while Marie engaged in a screaming match with her tyrannical sibling.
When we arrived at my home port, my cousin Donna ran up to us just as George and I were helping Karen out of the boat. Last summer, Donna and I had a little tie-up adventure with Tyler and his sisters, and when she heard that we had spent a good portion of the afternoon there, Donna was eager to hear the details.
"So what happened?" Donna eagerly asked Karen. "Did you meet Tyler?"
"No, he wasn't there," Karen replied. "We just had lunch with Marie, that's all."
"Oh, yeah, right," Donna said. She pointed at my red wrists, and added, "Those are rope burns, so I know you were tied up."
But the three of us quickly closed ranks and insisted that no tie up game occurred, which drove poor Donna nuts. We finally gave in--much later--and told her everything. Despite the ugly way the game ended, I still had a great time, and hoped we could actually play a proper tie up game at Tyler's house. My wish would come true later that week. That'll be next time. Thanks for reading.