On a warm, humid early summer's evening in 1978, I found myself the bound and gagged prisoner of a woman whom I barely knew. I was thirteen years old at the time, and was barefoot, shirtless, and clad only in a pair of cut-off denim shorts. I lay facedown on a lounge chair in the cluttered cellar of the woman's house. My wrists were tied together behind my back and my bound ankles were secured to the end of the lounge chair. The lower half of my face was covered with tape, effectively gagging me.
I glanced up at the narrow window that was near the ceiling and tried to judge by the fading light what time it was. I had heard Laura-my captor-say to Uncle Jerry earlier that Melanie would be back by seven o'clock. Melanie was the reason I was trussed up like this in the first place. Uncle Jerry had convinced me to play a sort of practical joke bondage game where he would pretend to have kidnapped me to Melanie. But things got a little strange since then. Laura, my 'babysitter', was treating me like I was a real kidnap victim. While I loved every minute of this, there was a part of me that began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
Little did I realize then that this would be just the beginning of a very bizarre experience.
I glanced over my bare shoulder when I heard the doorbell ring upstairs. It was followed by a group of adults chattering.
Melanie had arrived.
I waited patiently in the darkening cellar, while I listened to their voices upstairs, all laughing and talking. Then the conversation grew hushed.
I found out later that Laura made a living babysitting the neighborhood kids. The big joke that she and Uncle Jerry were playing on Melanie was that I was a child who was presently under Laura's care. Melanie had come over, expecting to see me hanging around the house, just like any other kid in Laura's charge. But after a few moments of conversation, Melanie noticed that I was nowhere around.
When Melanie asked where I was, Laura sweetly responded that I was downstairs, in the cellar. “Would you like to meet Doug?” she had asked.
And so Laura and Uncle Jerry brought Melanie downstairs in the cellar to see me. I had to admit that-uncomfortable as my bonds were-it was all worth it, just to see the look on that poor woman's face. Melanie was about the same age as Laura, with frizzy blond hair that was pulled back into a thick bun. She was clad in a short blue sundress with flip-flop sandals. I found out later that she had been expecting to go swimming with Laura at the local municipal pool.
But instead, she found me.
Melanie gaped in open-mouthed horror and fascination at me, then she turned to stare wide-eyed at Laura and Uncle Jerry, who acted as if it was perfectly normal for them to have a thirteen year old boy trussed up in the cellar.
“I'm babysitting Doug,” Laura said, deadpan. “I've found that this is really the best way to deal with the older kids. It keeps them out of the way and out of trouble.”
She and Uncle Jerry continued to stare deadpan at poor, horrified Melanie, until they could no longer keep up the façade-they both burst into laughter.
“So this is a joke?” Melanie asked, looking relieved.
“No, we kidnapped Doug, and now we're gonna kidnap you, too,” Laura said, still laughing. “What do you think, Mel?!”
Yet it wasn't until I nodded in agreement that Melanie finally appeared to relax. After having a good laugh with the others, Melanie came over to me and gave the ropes that bound my ankles a tug. “Jeez, he's really tied up here!” She pulled off my gag and asked, “Are you all right, Doug?”
“I'm fine, thanks,” I said shyly. She was very pretty, and I felt myself grow extremely bashful under her full attention.
Laura and Uncle Jerry ascended the steps while Melanie started untying my ankles from the lounge chair. “We're gonna order pizza,” Laura said.
“Yeah, all right,” Melanie said absently. She was too busy acting as my rescuer. After she freed my feet from the edge of the lounge chair, Melanie then untied my ankles. When my feet were free, she took me upstairs, with my wrists still tied together behind me, and sat down next to me on the sofa. Melanie spent the next few minutes devoted exclusively to untying my wrists. As embarrassed as I was at her mothering over me, I still cherished her concern in me. Although she had to be at least ten years older than me, I was developing a major crush on Melanie.
The next few hours were uneventful as far as bondage went. But life was good for me. I had twenty dollars in my pocket, I was eating pizza for the second time in the same day, and I was the center of attention of a roomful of adults-well, at least two of the adults. Melanie and Laura were quite fascinated to hear about my bondage game exploits. But Uncle Jerry kept glancing impatiently at his watch, and out the window, as if he had something better to do.
But I should have been paying more attention to Uncle Jerry and Laura; I should have noticed the little signals they were giving each other. It never occurred to me that they would have something else up their sleeve. Yet I should have realized that just when I figure a bondage game is really over, it starts up in full force again. And this new game came upon me with a lot of force, and it wound up being a dozy.
It started when Melanie had went to the bathroom. I got up to throw away the paper plate that I used for my pizza. Laura escorted me into the kitchen, walking right behind me. I stopped short and I saw on the kitchen counter a length of clothesline rope and a rolled up handkerchief that had a knotted section tied in the center. Laura abruptly came up alongside me and took the paper plate from my hand. I assumed she was going to throw it out for me. But instead, Laura dropped the plate on the counter, and then grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back, forcing my upper body to lie facedown on the kitchen counter. Keep in mind that all of this happened so quickly, that before I was even aware of it, my wrists were being bound together behind my back with the same length of rope that I had seen lying on the counter.
As Laura tied off the knot that secured my wrists, Uncle Jerry strode past us with some rope and a piece of cloth in his hand. He was headed for the bathroom, where Melanie was.
I let out a muffled grunt as Laura stuffed the knotted section of the handkerchief into my mouth, and then she pulled the strands around the sides of my face and tied it off at the back of my head. She grabbed the nape of my neck and pulled me off of the counter. Laura escorted me to the center of the living room, where she held me in place next to her with her hand firmly clasped on the back of my neck.
To my further surprise, Laura undid the zipper and clasp on my cutoff shorts and pulled them down until they slid to the floor around my feet. She made me step forward, so that I no longer stood in the shorts, and then Laura forced me to lay face down on the living room carpeting. I was now clad only in my bathing suit, which was cut in a skimpy Speedo style-this was great for swimming, as I didn't like having the feel of baggy, wet clothing on my legs, but this snug fitting scant bathing suit made it feel as if I were practically naked.
As I felt rope being wrapped around my ankles, I heard Melanie let out a yelp of surprise in the hallway. Apparently Uncle Jerry grabbed her as soon as she came out of the bathroom. Melanie let out a few choice curse words as I listened to the sounds of a brief struggle, and then her vocabulary had been abruptly reduced to the familiar muffled grunts of a person who had just been gagged.
Uncle Jerry hauled the bound and gagged Melanie into the living room over his shoulder. When he placed her face down on the carpeting next to me, I saw that Melanie was now barefoot, and had been stripped of her short summer dress. All she was clad in now was a skimpy bikini with a strapless top. In addition to being bound hand and foot and gagged, she was also blindfolded with another handkerchief. Even while trussed up, Melanie still tried to struggle, accidentally kicking me in the leg as she writhed about as best she could. Uncle Jerry bent down and hog-tied her wrists to her ankles behind her back. This made Melanie let out a long, low muffled groan of frustration under her gag.
“We're not taking them out?” Laura asked.
“Not yet,” Uncle Jerry replied, with a glance out the windows. “I wanna wait until it gets darker before we take them outside.”
I inadvertently let out a muffled grunt from under my gag as Laura hog-tied my wrists to my ankles in the same manner as Melanie's was. Laura gently lifted my head from the carpeting so that she could slip the blindfold over my eyes, then she tied it off in back of my head.
I'm not sure how long Melanie and I lay trussed up on the living room floor. Not being able to refer to a clock, it was hard to tell if it was a half an hour or an hour. All I could do was just lie there and listen helplessly as Laura and Uncle Jerry carried on with casual conversation all around me. They almost acted as if we weren't even there. At one point, Laura stepped right over me while it sounded like she was cleaning up the coffee table, which I lay trussed up next to. Every now and then, I heard Melanie let out a furtive grunt from under her gag, as if she was still struggling to get herself free. I didn't bother; my bonds were too secure, plus my captors were right in the same room with me, anyway-so I decided to save my energy.
Finally, I heard Uncle Jerry say, “Ok, let's go.”
Melanie began to let out some more muffled grunts from under her gag again, until I heard her being lifted up from the floor.
I was freed from the stringent hogtie, and then, with my ankles and wrists still tied, I was lifted up and hefted over Uncle Jerry's shoulder. I was carried for a short while, until Uncle Jerry's rough hands laid me back down on a soft surface, it felt like a sleeping bag. When I heard the door slam shut at my feet, I realized that Uncle Jerry had put me in the cargo section of his pick up truck. Then I heard the engine turn over, and we were moving.
After a while of lying there in the sleeping bag, with the truck rattling all around me, I started to wonder where we were being taken to. I also started to wonder if this was still a game. It was still a hot, humid summer's night, and the cargo section of the truck was not the coolest place to be. I hoped wherever we were going, that we would get there soon before I melted away.
The truck came to a halt, and then the engine switched off. We had arrived at our destination.
The rear cargo doors flew open, and much to my relief, a cool breeze flowed over my body. Uncle Jerry hauled me out of the truck, and he passed me onto Laura, who gripped the back of my neck and my arm, forcing me to stand in place. Not that I was going to go anywhere, since my ankles were still bound. My bare feet told me that I was standing on cool asphalt-a driveway? But a driveway leading to what? I still wasn't sure where we were. If only I wasn't blindfolded.
Uncle Jerry said, “I'll be back for him.”
Suddenly I felt Laura lean close to me. She said, “I'm untying your hands now.” And I could feel her picking at the knot that bound my wrists. When it became loose, she grasped my wrists in her hand and added, “Not now. Pretend you are still tied up. Wait until you're alone, and then get yourself and Mel free. Do you understand me?”
I nodded. I didn't know what caused this change of heart in Laura, and I didn't care. I was grateful to have been given a fighting chance. When Uncle Jerry returned, he slung me over his shoulder and carried me indoors. I was placed in a sitting position on what felt like a hard-backed chair. I hoped Uncle Jerry didn't notice that I was simply holding the ropes around my wrists as he tied me to the chair. I felt several strands of rope being wrapped across my bare chest, and my already bound ankles were secured to one of the legs of the chair with more rope. The bare wood floor felt very gritty under the soles of my bound bare feet.
I sat back against the chair and waited as I listened to Uncle Jerry leave the room. I waited for several more minutes, listening to Melanie's muffled grunts next to me-she sounded like she was struggling against her bonds once more. I was in a real dilemma: I was supposed to wait until I was alone before I freed myself, but since I was blindfolded, how the hell could I tell if there was anybody else in the room with Melanie and me?
After listening to total silence-other than Melanie's struggling-for the next few minutes, I decided to take a chance. I pulled my wrists free of the rope and raised my hands up to my face, where I slowly removed the blindfold.
Melanie sat bound to another hard backed chair just a foot away from me, still clad in her bikini. She had been bound the same way I had: her wrists and ankles were still tied from before, with new ropes wrapped over her torso, securing her body to the chair back and her bare feet secured to one of the chair legs. Still gagged and blindfolded, she continued to struggle as if her life depended on it.
I glanced around at our surroundings and saw that the room we were held captive in appeared to be a utility room of some kind. The walls were dark wood paneled, and the ceiling was bare drywall with a lone light bulb dangling from a wire. A water heater and a washer and dryer dominated one wall, while the other wall had a closet. There were no windows, just a back door leading to a grassy yard.
I waited long enough. I removed the ropes from my torso, and then bent over and freed my ankles. I got out of the chair and went over to Melanie. She appeared incredibly grateful to see me once I removed her blindfold and gag. I put my finger over my lips, signaling her to be quiet, while I went around to the back of the chair and undid the ropes that crisscrossed her torso. Then I untied her wrists. Once I got her legs free Melanie got out of the chair and gave me a big hug and then planted a kiss on my forehead.
Before I could say another word-I was a little overwhelmed by all of the affection this grown woman was giving me-Melanie grabbed my hand and led me out of the room. When we entered the living room, a sight that shocked us both greeted us.
Uncle Jerry and Laura were on the sofa, making passionate love. While I was stunned-and incredibly happy-to have seen this, I was also a little confused. I was under the impression that Melanie was Uncle Jerry's girlfriend, not Laura.
Apparently Melanie had that same impression, because she let out a string of curses that really broke up the mood for the two lovebirds. Uncle Jerry tried to explain, while Laura gave the cursing Melanie a big, broad grin. Still raging like a madwoman, Melanie grabbed my hand and yanked me out of the house. Uncle Jerry tried to follow us, but he had to pull his pants back up. By the time he did that, Melanie and I were already seated in the cab of the pickup truck.
Melanie got the keys from behind the sun visor and started up the truck while Uncle Jerry ran out after us, pleading with Melanie not to take his truck. “I'll take you both home right now, I swear, just don't--”
Melanie gave him the finger, then backed out of the driveway with the tires screeching. I was plastered against the back of the seat, my eyes as wide as saucers, as the still-raging Melanie sped through the streets at a dangerous speed. Eventually, she had to stop for a traffic light-for which I was eternally grateful-and she turned on me and snarled, “Just where the hell do you live, anyway?”
I was tempted to tell her to just drop me off here. But I really didn't know where I was, so I gave her my address. Melanie drove me home, and after I got all of my stuff from the back of the pickup truck, I came back to the cab to bid her farewell.
“If that *&^% asks you where his truck is, tell him I drove it into the *&^#ing lake!” Melanie said through clenched teeth.
She sped off, leaving me feeling VERY grateful to be home. I still wasn't sure what had happened, or why Uncle Jerry wanted me to be a part of it, and I didn't care. It was over. As I strode into my house, I held my bag in one hand and my cut off shorts in the other. If nothing else, I got twenty dollars out of this deal.
Or so I thought.
When I glanced at my cut off shorts, I saw that the pockets had been pulled inside out. The twenty-dollar bill was gone. Now I know why Lauren removed my cut offs when she re-tied me, it was to steal the money!
“Son of a bitch,” I wearily muttered into the empty air.