Chapter Six: Contrary Mary
The weekly meeting was at nine the next morning. Monday was officially the girls’ day off - a time for resting and relaxing after what may have been a grueling weekend. Monica used the whiteboard to outline appointments for the week and who was doing what to whom. All this took place around the long breakfast table.
"Of most interest to all of you, I guess, is a couple of points. Firstly today there will be a bed delivered to one of the holding cells. It’s single, small and hard - a bit like some of our clients, I guess." The girls laughed. "The point is that this will now enable us to cater a bit better for some of the overnighters, once Steven has altered it to make it a bit more user friendly. We can now address the clients who may wish more emphasis on the kidnapping-hostage-terrorist scenario, but would actually like to lie on something rather than a concrete floor.
"The second event is that Steven will be working in what will become the gym, during this week. We hope to have it fitted out by the end of the week, with a load of gym gear ordered for Friday. Jillian will of course be in charge of the gym, and there will be a few alterations needed for the equipment no doubt. That will probably be your weekend gone, Steve. Jill will help you as much as she can with the work during the week, as will we all, won’t we girls?"
"Yes Monica," was the chorus, taking off a classroom response.
"And tomorrow, be here at ten o’clock for a measuring up session. Steven needs to know your measurements for all the fiendish devices we have to build."
"All our measurements?" asked Trish wryly.
"Absolutely every last one," Monica said. I felt myself blushing. "So wear something appropriate, please. And that just about wraps it up, except for one aspect - discipline. I don’t like to have to bring this up, because I think you’re all mature enough to know better. Nevertheless, lapses of discipline have occurred. If I make a request, I expect it to be obeyed. I give orders for certain reasons, some or all of which may not always be apparent at the time. Now, Emma, Jillian - do your job please."
Our eyes turned to the two named, and I watched them leave their chairs. Not knowing what to expect I was surprised when Jillian pulled a pair of handcuffs from her pocket and snapped them on one of Mary’s wrists, then each girl twisted one of Mary’s arms behind her, where the cuffs were secured.
"What the hell’s this all about?" demanded Mary, sitting as she was at the head of the table.
"I think you know full well, Mary. But I’m not going to listen to any more of your lip at this point." Monica was icy in her reply. "Emma - gag her." It had obviously all been planned, with Emma and Jillian in on the action. Jillian produced a silver-coloured rubber bathing cap which she pulled over Mary’s dark hair, then held one hand under Mary’s jaw while Emma used a roll of silver duct tape to secure her mouth with a wide ‘X’. That was the hard part done. Emma then wound the tape around Mary’s head, over her mouth, then vertically around her jaw and over the top of her head. Mary was very quiet but her eyes were glaring at Monica as she hmmed through her nose.
"A couple of instances, Mary. Firstly, last week Leila was on the receiving end. Despite my orders that there were to be no marks, you decided Leila deserved the crop on her bum at the instruction session. And on Saturday you couldn’t even chain Steven to a post without putting him in a spread position. I have no problem with your actions per se. I do have a problem in that they were against my express wishes. Do you have anything to say?" Mary’s angry eyes said it all in response to the rhetorical question but she still tried to grunt behind the tape. "Just to let you ponder on your situation, Mary, we are going to let you try out the new helmet that Steven has made. In this instance, however, you will be blindfolded before it is secured, and you will be taken somewhere on the property - somewhere you will know, and will be left to find your way home. Enjoy your day," Monica ended with a smile.
I looked at Mary. The fire had gone from her eyes and she looked with trepidation as Emma and Jillian held two cloth pads over her eyes and taped them in place with more silver duct tape. Mary’s head now looked like a silver cocoon, with only her nose showing. As though to rectify this, Jillian cut off a final piece of tape and placed it over Mary’s nose, leaving only the nostril area clear. Monica pulled a 35mm camera from a drawer and took several shots of Mary.
"We’re starting an album, by the way, girls. I expect you all to feature in it in one form or another. Some of it will be for advertising, some will be a reminder. Something like this might end up on the whiteboard for a while. Very good. Now, on with the helmet." My creation was duly worked over Mary’s head and the steel flaps padlocked underneath. In her world of darkness and probable silence under the tap and helmet, Mary was helped from the chair and led outside.
She was wearing a simple white skirt which reached halfway down her thighs. Above this was a royal green blouse of a kind of see-though material on the arms, with the bodice being a bit less transparent. This was matched by a pair of strappy green shoes with low heels. The rest of us followed at a distance as Emma and Jillian - each holding one of Mary’s arms - led the handcuffed and helpless prisoner across the back lawn up the rise to the rear of the property. This was the direction Christina and I had been taken for our punishment. I wondered what devilish scheme Monica had planned.
Our group followed the trio some two hundred metres, over the crest of a low grassy rise to where the dirt track cut down through the grassy bank to the boundary gate in the middle of the mudhole, where Christina and I had finally freed ourselves.
"Let’s wait here," Monica told Leila, Trish and myself, and the four of us settled on the top of the bank. It had rained overnight, and Monica had brought a plastic polythene sheet for us to sit on. This woman went up another notch in the planning stakes, I decided.
We watched as Emma and Jillian, both barefoot, led Mary into the water and across the big puddle to the gate. Jillian opened this and they proceeded through, before closing the gate behind them. Jillian unwrapped a long coil of rope from around her waist under her teeshirt, and threaded one end through the padlock under Mary’s chin. When it was halfway through, she tied a knot so that the rope was fixed in place. The two captors then unlocked Mary’s handcuffs and recuffed her wrists in front, before Jillian effortlessly vaulted the fence and received the two ends of the rope that Emma passed underneath the gate. These were tied to either end of the gate at the top rail, pulled tight enough so that Mary was bent at the waist with her head at the level of the top of the gate. Then I saw the plan.
It was elegant in its simplicity. Mary stood facing the midpoint of the gate on the far side. She could not reach either end because of the restraining ropes. The only way she could undo the ends of the rope was to create more slack, and the only way she could do this was to go under the gate to free up the vertical element of the ropes. I looked at the clearance. Mary was thin enough, but I wondered about the helmet. I estimated the mud and water was over ankle deep at the gate, and there was probably ten centimetres between top of water and underside of the gate. Yes, it probably could be done if Mary turned her head sideways.
I saw Emma talking in Mary’s ear, obviously explaining the situation. Mary’s covered head shook, but it didn’t do any good. Emma climbed over the fence and followed Jillian up the bank to join us for the spectacle. I suspected Mary would be unaware of our presence. We were perhaps twenty metres away - far enough for our voices not to be heard under the helmet, the cap and the layers of tape. Mary was on her own, tethered to the gate in the middle of a mud pool.
She spent some minutes tugging on the ropes and trying to reach along the gate with her manacled hands to see if she could reach the knots, but without success. Then came more fiddling with the knot under her chin, but Jillian had done her job well, and that wasn’t going to come undone in a hurry. The strain of being bent over then became too much for Mary, and eventually she sank to her knees in the muddy brown water. She seemed to shudder as she did so, and I could sense the realisation of her predicament and the expected solution then hit home to her. I wondered how she would do it - frontwards or backwards. Typical Mary finally decided to slide under differently, and lay down in the water parallel with the gate. She was going under sideways. The giggling began as Mary’s spotless white skirt was a soaking brown mess within seconds, and as her back hit the water we all heard the muffled scream under the head restraints. The morning was quiet enough for the harsh panting through the nose to then be audible as the cold shock of the water hit home.
"Jill - wait down there just in case," Monica said. "Safety first."
We watched expectantly as Mary slid her lower body under the gate. There was plenty of clearance for this. Now all she had to do was get the helmet under. At least her head would be protected from the cold of the water, I thought. Mary seemed to pause and feel about at this point, moving her body along under the gate. I realised she was looking for the deepest spot, obviously in one of the tyre ruts. She found it and slid the rest of her body through, up to her chest, before turning her helmet at the last minute and working it under. It just cleared, and she surfaced shaking her head vigorously. We all cheered and clapped. The helmeted figure, now soaking wet and covered totally in a thin coating of brown mud paused and appeared to look around, trying to locate the source of the sound. I guessed Mary’s humiliation was complete.
As Jillian returned to the audience on the top of the bank, Mary struggled to her feet and felt along the gate. She could now reach the ends of the rope and it did not take her long to undo the ends. Her journey back to the house could now begin. She turned her back to the gate and leaned on it, as if to get her bearings. Her breasts were now clearly visible through the wet material of her once green blouse, her nipples standing out hard with the coldness of the water. After a moment to recover her breath, she moved forward hesitantly, slipping and sliding a little as her feet felt out the way forward in the rutted track. This part was the easy bit, I reckoned. Once she got to the top of the cutting the ground became a grassy meadow, and the track barely existed. There was no obvious trail to follow other than to go on one’s sense of direction, and maybe aim for any sounds that might come from the direction of the house, but I doubted Mary would hear these.
"I guess I’ll have to be getting back to work," I said, standing up. The others did likewise, all except for Leila.
"I’ll maybe keep an eye on her," she said quietly.
"Good girl," Monica approved. "I appreciate it. Remember what she did to you, and no letting her off early. Not too much coaching, either, unless you want to try it out." Monica tried to sound serious, but I’m sure she would never have done it to Leila. Mary’s punishment was to make a point - primarily to Mary. I was sure it would be well taken.
"How long will you leave her like that?" I asked Monica as we walked back to the house.
"As long as it takes. Mary needs to be disciplined every now and again. She just lets herself get carried away and needs to be brought to heel. This will give her time to reflect on her actions."
"You’re pretty amazing," I said with genuine admiration. Monica nearly blushed, I’m sure. "Remind me never to cross you."
"I’d have thought you’d’ve learned that already," she smiled.
"Yeah. You’re right."
I began work on the gym. It was the largest of the rooms downstairs, an L-shaped space seven metres long on one wall and nine metres on the other outside wall. One part was three metres wide and the other section was four metres wide. I had a plan of what was to go in the room, and it looked like it was to be a very comprehensive range, although of course at this stage I had no idea what devious plans the girls might have for converting this gear to more sinister purposes.
The walls remained as unpainted blockwork, while In this instance, unlike a holding cell, the lighting could be surface-mounted. I reckoned I had perhaps two days of electrical installation, including the cctv cameras, then another couple of days painting the ceiling and installing the floor covering.
It was dark and gloomy until I set up the floodlights to work by. Even then I found I needed a break fairly frequently for a breath of air. I guess it was partly this, but also curiosity that saw me having to visit the garage to collect materials after only an hour. Curiosity to see how Mistress Mary was faring.
She was clever - I had to give her that. She had obviously reached the top of the bank via the track, but - instead of trying to pick the direction of the house - she had turned left and was following the top of the bank. It was obviously a slow process, for Mary was very conscious of the drop at her left, and was treading very slowly parallel with the edge, with every few steps sliding her left foot out to verify the edge of the bank. Leila was sitting on the grass nearby, watching her.
"How’s she going?" I asked softly.
"Her sense of direction is pretty bad," said Leila. "I’ve no idea what she is doing."
"I have. I bet she’ll follow the bank round until she hits the fence again then follow the fence along until she gets near the big gum tree opposite the garage. If she makes it that far and can go at right angles to the fence at that point, she’ll reach the garage. From there it’s plain sailing."
"Maybe." Leila was clearly dubious.
I watched for a couple of minutes. The handcuffed figure under the helmet was still very wet, and her nipples still stood out like little beacons through the muddy material that was once a nice blouse, and now clung to her body. The sun had come out, however, and it was turning into a hot day. The smell of drying foliage was wonderful to take in. Leila definitely had the better of our two tasks.
I returned to my dungeon, and spent another hour running electrical wiring for overhead lighting. The basics had already been installed - a single supply to a pendant light in each room leading from a new distribution board. Such work as I was doing was technically illegal in Queensland, since I was not a licensed electrician. But such technicalities tended to fade into insignificance somewhat within the whole concept of the business operation we were undertaking I decided. I considered myself more than capable of installing basic lighting and socket outlets. I was conscious of the layout that Jillian wanted for her equipment, and consulted the plans again.
There were to be eight devices in the room, of which I would make three and the others would be proprietary items. On entering the door, immediately to the left there was to be a stepping machine - one of those with two platforms for the feet that go up and down like one-ended seesaws, that give the illusion of climbing stairs - or mountains. Next to that would be the rowing machine, with a sliding seat and a handle affixed to a cord connected to a big flywheel. Then there was a treadmill - the electrically powered sort with the moving walkway you had to keep up with. Then came a strider - one of those things they were always flogging on TV - the sort that look like cross-country skiing, with your feet and arms working simultaneously. Last was a set of weights connected to pulleys. Jillian had shown me all the brochures - said she had picked them out herself. It was surprising what could be done with them, she had confided to me with a wry smile.
The three remaining items were a set of climbing bars - the sort you used to get in the school gymnasium that we used to scamper up and down like monkeys - a vaulting horse and what the girls called a ‘plank horse’. I had no idea what this was, nor exactly to what specifications the others were to be built.
I returned to the garage to get some further coils of electrical cable. Mary was making progress, albeit slowly. She had reached the boundary fence and had progressed some way along it, obviously trying to estimate her distance with steps taken and trying to guess how far it actually should be. She had taken that decision finally, and was feeling her way through the undergrowth in the general direction of the house now.
"That was a pretty good guess she made as to when to head for the house," I said to Leila, who was watching her progress from the lawn.
"Yes, it was, wasn’t it," she agreed. "I guess she finally got lucky." I looked at her and she smiled and winked.
"You’re a real softie, aren’t you," I said.
"Oh, yeah - like you’re not?" The smile was still there. "I seem to remember I was about to die of frustration some time last week when some public-spirited person took pity on me."
"I wonder who that could have been?"
"It went by the name of ‘only me’, and had a deep voice not unlike yours."
"Ain’t life coincidental sometimes," I mused, watching the muddy figure push her way hesitantly through the foliage, her cuffed hands outstretched in front of her. "I still can’t figure out what you’re doing in this business. Doesn’t this strike you as being just a tad bizarre? Like, life on the fringe of reality?"
"Sure. But I don’t have a problem with it. You accept that people are all different, that we’re supplying a service and catering to peoples’ needs. It’s capitalism at its best. The only difference is that the sort of needs these people have are not recognised by the so-called normal society."
"I realise that, but look at what’s going on here. Look at what happens outside of the time you spent on the job with clients."
"So I guess we girls have needs as well, and we indulge ourselves in these harmless dramas to maintain our pecking order. As you can see, the punishments get dealt out pretty even-handedly. Monica’s good like that. And sometimes they’re not really punishments." "What would you call Trish’s experience yesterday?" Leila laughed. "I’d call it a self-fulfilled expectation." "No kidding." "Yeah. Did Monica really send Trish in to help you, or was Trish just horny? She gets that way, you know." "I’ll tell you, she didn’t half get me going as well. I don’t know who got the worse deal." Leila looked at me shyly. "Maybe you should call someone next time it happens. Trish says one of the worst things that can happen is to have two people making love next to you while you’re blindfolded, gagged and tied up. I wonder what it’s like..."
Was Leila coming on to me? I wasn’t sure, but it definitely had the potential. I had not discussed such a thing with Monica, and right now was not the time and place for such talk, particularly as Mary at that point crashed into a low branch that knocked her down on her backside. She was clearly unhurt, and we both laughed. Mary got to her feet and staggered a few steps further, at which point she emerged on to the lawn. "I’d better get back to work," I said. "I think Mary’s over the worst of it. See you later." "Sure." I guess that over the next quarter hour Mary must have finally reached the house and made her way around to the back. When I went up to get a drink from the kitchen she was just tottering to the back steps. Monica was waiting with Leila, and Trish, standing on the bottom step. Mary bumped into Monica and came to an abrupt halt. I saw he head cock slightly and thought I heard an interrogatory whine. Mary stretched out her manacled hands and began to run them over Monica’s breasts, face and hair, obviously trying to figure out who was blocking her path. Monica stood motionless, then took Mary by the links between the cuffs and led her away towards our sleeping quarters.
Just near the steps was a large jacaranda tree, with thick, low spreading branches. To one of these was fixed a pulley, over which a rope hung with a spreader bar at the end. The pulley was some three metres off the ground and was a double action one - the type that has a separate hook (also with a pulley) such that the rope travels round each wheel several times. The end result of this system is that a person is able to lift a much larger weight than normal, thanks to the wonders of physics and engineering.
Mary realised what was in store for her, even though she couldn’t see, especially when Leila and Trish grabbed her wrists while Monica undid the steel cuffs. Then it was on with the spreader cuffs - wide leather bands that wrapped around the wrists and buckled there, tapering upward to where they were fixed to the bar. In no time Monica was pulling the rope that saw Mary’s hands stretching above her and wide. I thought I could hear little grunting sounds as Mary was stretched on to her tiptoes. At this point Monica took pity - I thought - and unlocked the helmet, leaving Mary’s head visible - a silver-wrapped cocoon unable to speak, see or hear properly. I’m sure Mary was relieved, at that, but she was no doubt singularly unimpressed when Monica fastened a spreader bar on to one ankle. So much so, that she attempted to kick, and struck Trish on the arm. Not a wise course of action, I would have thought, under the circumstances. Monica and Trish secured the other ankle, and then Mary was hanging there, spreadeagled in the breeze, before being lifted a further half metre off the ground.
At this point the girls decided Mary needed a wash, and indeed she did, since her white skirt was still covered in mud and her blouse was plastered to her breasts. As the spray from the hose hit, Mary’s nipples appeared taut against the thin fabric and she shook her head to try to stop the game. But it was only just beginning. Trish and Leila stood in front and back of Mary and began to push her like a swing, then - for variety - made her spin and twist helplessly at the end of the rope, while Monica played the hard hose spray over her. This torture lasted only a minute or so, probably for fear of causing Mary to throw up in her restricted state. She was left hanging there for perhaps five minutes while her wet clothes clung to her body and her taped head hung dejectedly. At length the girls lowered their victim until her feet touched the grass, then held her steady as the spreader bar on her wrists was lowered to waist level.
Once again, I thought her punishment was over, but this time Monica untied the rope from the spreader bar and tied it around Mary’s waist, before removing any slack and tying it off. With Leila on one side and Trish on the other, Mary was made to bend forward until her hands were on the ground. She was left there, unable to move, with her weight spread evenly between hands and feet, and unable to push herself upright or to lower herself to the ground. Mary was obviously very aware of how vulnerable she was - head down and bum up, unable to move. Monica was also aware of it, as she knelt down and pinched Mary’s nipples hard. Mary squirmed and whined behind the tape, shaking her head and panting hard through her nose. Monica lifted the prisoner’s muddy skirt and let the hose play over Mary’s exposed butt. She was wearing a black thong, which left little to the imagination, and provided a perfect target for a multi-tailed flogger that Monica had brought with her. Thwack! "Are we sorry now, Mary?" "Mmpph!" "Was that a ‘yes’?" "Mmmph!" "I can’t hear you. Speak properly!" Thwack! "MMMppphhhf!" "You really must learn to enunciate..." Thwack! "Mmmmmnnnnp!" "Can you nod?" Thwack! Vigorous nodding. "Are we going to be good?" "Mmmhmm!" Nodding again. Thwack anyway. "Good girl. Would you like some more? Maybe a cane?" "Nnnnnnm!" Thwack. "No. The cane would be too easy for you. You like extreme stuff, don’t you. Remember what you did to Leila? I’m sure you do. Leila - be a sweetie and go fetch the bullwhip." Monica winked at Leila as she said it. Leila smiled and remained motionless.
Mary trembled and shook her head frantically, making pleading panting noises behind the restrictive duct tape. Monica let her hand run over Mary’s buttocks, squeezing and pinching, then slipping her fingers into Mary’s crotch while Mary moaned incoherently. "Ah, here comes Leila now. You’ll like this, Mary. You’re getting wet between the legs already. I reckon you’ll climax within 5 strokes. What do you think, Trish?" "Nah. Ten at least. You won’t break Mary just like that. She thrives on pain - admittedly other people’s, but the theory’s the same." Mary was shaking as the wide spreader bars stretched her limbs and made the muscles twitch and quiver. I was sure it was not all physical, though. Mary was helpless in her darkened world, waiting for the terrifying bite of a bullwhip across her exposed and vulnerable flesh. I know if I’d been in that position I’d have been wetting myself. Mary didn’t - to her credit.
Her head raised a touch as Monica finally undid the waist rope, after letting Mary stew in silence for a further five minutes. The girls helped her upright and undid the spreader bars. "All right Mary - you’re done," said Monica. "Go back to your room and get yourself sorted out. And put something respectable on. You look like you’ve been dragged through a mud pool!" Monica turned Mary in the direction of the steps to the sleeping quarters and gave her a shove, before heading back to the house, followed by the other two. Leila winked at me over her shoulder. I watched as Mary stopped and tried to find the end of the tape so she could unwrap it. Her attempt was fruitless, for the tape had melded itself seamlessly after all that she had been through in the last few hours under the helmet. In total frustration she tried to pull the tape down by inserting her fingers in the gap either side of her nose. This did little other than bunch things up tighter. Realising the inevitable, Mary stumbled hesitantly forward, feeling with her feet and hands until she encountered the handrails to the steps. More confident from that point, she climbed the three steps to the verandah and felt her way past my door to her own. I followed her up the steps at a discrete distance, waiting until she was inside her room, at which point I leaned casually on the railing, just in case...
My suspicions were well founded, it seemed. Two minutes later there came the sound of something crashing and what might have been glass breaking. Instinctively I lunged for the door and opened it to see Mary stumbling from the bathroom. Her head was still wrapped in tape, and she was sobbing - or it sounded like it. "Mary?" She stopped still. "Hmmn?" "What’s up?" She clenched her fists and stamped on the floor in obvious frustration. "Hm cmmn phmmn mm simmns!" You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out her problem. "Okay - just stay where you are. Let me look." I went into the bathroom, stepping over the glass that had smashed on the tiles. It took a bit of rummaging through all the girl stuff that cluttered the place before I decided that there were no scissors in the bathroom.
Mary was where I had left her as I headed into the kitchenette and found a small paring knife in a drawer. It took a minute to work my way through the tape in the layers around her head, then to slowly pull it clear, while Mary snuffled and sniffed. The rubber bathing cap came free with the tape, and Mary took a deep breath. Her black hair was soaked with sweat which ran down her face. I thought she might be crying but I couldn’t really tell. I grabbed a towel and let her hide her tape-marked face as she towelled her hair. Eventually her face appeared, and she managed a small smile. She suddenly seemed younger, and vulnerable, and for the first time there was real warmth in her smile.
My previous experiences of it had usually been when I was about to be on the receiving end of something nasty. "Thanks, Steven." "You okay?" "Yes. I’ve had worse." She managed a wan smile. "Really?" "Oh sure. You’d be surprised." "Yeah, I probably would." I looked at her closely. She was crying. She now seemed even more vulnerable. I brushed away a tear and she got embarrassed. Then she appeared to collect herself. "I... look - thanks. You’d better go. I’m all right now." Then she seemed to think further ahead. "And if you say a word about this I’ll have it in for you. And you know what that would mean!" There it was again - the wicked smile that at once warmed me and sent a shiver down my spine. "Maybe. But if you step out of line first - everyone will know about Mary who couldn’t get a bit of tape off her head..." "So we’re even."
"Sure. For now…"
story continues in Monica's Place: 7. The Gym