The scenery outside the airplane window was empty desert, punctuated with the equally desolate mountain ranges. The small twin-engine plane was a four seater, with the pilot in front and Darla in the back. After leaving the civil airport in Ontario, outside Los Angeles, she was able to track their progress eastward until they reached the Mojave Desert. At that point she was lost.
The landscape below them was a featureless expanse of rock, gravel and sagebrush. There were no roads, either paved or dirt, to indicate anyone had ever been down there. Their destination was definitely off the beaten track, though it made sense since Mr. G’s establishment required isolation in order to exist.
‘Where are we?” she asked the pilot.
“Below is the Anza-Borrego desert. Off to the east is the Chocolate Mountains range. That’s restricted military airspace, Navy only, so we have to go around.”
She’d heard of the desert, located somewhere around Palm Springs. The mountain range was a mystery. Why would the Navy own a patch of desert? One thing for sure, Mr. G had picked what had to be one of the most desolate spots in southeastern California for his compound. It was a good choice, not too far from the big city, yet all but inaccessible by road or on foot. No one could possibly show up uninvited.
The plane started to circle. Below were some buildings and a paved airstrip. There was one dirt road, heading off into the empty desert beyond the horizon. Off to one side were rows of solar panels. At least the place had electricity, which was reassuring for Darla.
Once the propellers stopped turning the pilot gestured toward her door, indicating it was safe to get out. On the airstrip she turned toward the open desert. There was a slight breeze making the tops of the widely spaced creosote bushes wave back and forth. The silence captivated her. No traffic, no planes overhead, no sound at all except for the barely noticeable rustle of vegetation.
The pilot walked over to stand next to Darla. “It is a harsh place but it has a certain intrinsic beauty. By the way, don’t leave the compound. Notice it’s creosote and not sagebrush out there? If you head west,” he gestured toward a distant mountain range, where the sun was setting, “there’s no water for over a hundred miles. And if you head east,” he turned around, “that’s the navy base, but all they do is fly practice missions over those mountains. It’s even more desolate that way. Any direction you choose, you’ll run out of water long before you get anywhere.”
The implied message wasn’t lost on her. This place might as well be an island far out in the ocean, surrounded by hungry sharks. She was not going anywhere on her own.
A door in the compound wall opened and a woman in a uniform-like dress approached. “Darla? If you’ll follow me Mr. G is waiting to meet you.”
Then and Now
What am I doing here? Darla asked herself one more time. Her dark secret, her love of bondage, had led her to the numerous private clubs and commercial dungeons in Los Angeles. The facilities offered some entertaining scenes, but in the end there was always something lacking. She turned from the commercial, the safe establishments to the darker side, those who delved into the extreme limits catering to an illicit, underground group of pleasure-seekers.
That’s where she found out about Mr. G and his unique site. No one was quite sure where it was located, other than somewhere far out in the desert. It offered anonymity, security and a distinctive, no limits bondage experience. It was life on the edge, carrying substantial risk balanced with unparalleled reward.
“Through this door,” the woman pointed. “Mr. G asks that you wait here for a few minutes. He’ll be with you as soon as possible.”
Darla sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting room. There was a single wooden door at the far end of the room, aside from the outdoor exit. Once she was seated her companion remained standing next to the interior door.
She didn’t miss the significance of the metal band around her escort’s neck. It wasn’t a simple necklace. The woman wore a collar, and by the look of it a permanent one. Physical bondage, the chains, handcuffs, cages, all were tools for controlling and restricting a submissive captive. The collar that woman wore represented a very different type of bondage, one Darla had always avoided. The very concept of someone else inside her head, exercising mental instead of physical control, being reduced to property, the idea frightened her. A cage around her mind, chains binding her very thoughts to another’s will, her ability to act on her own restricted by rules imposed from without, what would happen to her soul if she fell into that trap?
That was the line Darla would not cross. This visit to Mr. G might include a no limits promise, yet it only covered the various ways she might be restrained and confined. She had no problems with obedience and respect for authority; submission was necessary to the process of transferring power to the dominant in charge. Her limit was retaining her own identity and inner independence. That she would not surrender to anyone.
“If you don’t mind, could I ask you about that collar?” Darla figured a little idle talk would help pass the time and satisfy her curiosity.
“I apologize. I’m forbidden to engage in conversation with a guest.”
So much for that idea, maybe Darla could at least find out about this place. “Will I have to wait much longer?”
“I am not permitted to answer your questions. Please don’t ask again.”
The woman was clearly disturbed by Darla’s attempt to talk to her. It did confirm her suspicions about the collar. She’d read about simple dominant/submissive relationships that evolved into one of absolutes rather than consensus. Her escort must be a real life example, a woman who obeyed her man without question.
Even though it was impolite Darla couldn’t help but stare at her companion. There was a certain precision in the way she stood, like a statue. Head up, facing forward, back straight, arms lined up at her side, even her feet were close together but not quite touching. That wasn’t natural for anyone; it had to be something she’d been trained to do.
It’s so…intriguing, she thought, caught up in the realization it wasn’t some theoretical discussion. People actually live like this, on a daily basis. I’d give anything to know how her mind works.
Darla loved the feel of being bound, preferably in cold, unyielding steel. If pressed she’d freely admit much of her kink was sexual, especially the idea she was powerless to defend herself against the man holding her prisoner. Roleplaying the damsel in distress, with the villain about to ravish her helpless body while she struggled in vain to escape, that was an immense turn on.
Fun and games, she told herself, that’s all I’m really looking for. This trip, to visit the enigmatic Mr. G, had no secret motives. Darla’s only purpose was to find new, exciting bondage scenes by venturing into risky situations only the most experienced players might attempt. Mr. G, by all accounts, was the place to go to satisfy her craving for something new and different.
Between Two Doors
“You understand,” Mr. G announced, leaning forward for emphasis, “once you begin events will proceed regardless of your further consent. Passing through that door will be the last decision you make on your own. Think of it as a one way street. Once you enter it, there’s no way to turn around or back out.” He nodded toward the steel door set into the concrete block wall. “This is your final opportunity to walk away. On the other side you will have no say regarding what happens.”
Then he pointed toward the plain wooden door they had used when entering the room. “You can still stand up and walk away. The plane will take you back to the city. Nothing more will be said if that’s the path you choose. Of course, this offer will not be extended to you again if you decline to accept the terms. You’ll never know what might have been if you let this opportunity slip away.”
Darla looked back and forth, between the two doors. This was her moment of truth. The sensible, the safe choice, was to run through that exit, as fast as possible, get in the plane and fly back to Los Angeles. The other door represented the path to the great unknown. It opened onto either her dream of heaven or her own personal version of a hellish nightmare. She wrestled with that question, which door to choose?
And now time had run out; she had to pick one or the other. She turned back in her chair to face the man in front of her. She knew very little about Mr. G, except by reputation. Could she trust him, potentially with her life? The answer would lie behind whichever door she selected.
Taking a deep breath she asked, “Sir, may I stand?’ At his nod she stood up, hesitating a moment before walking over to face the steel door. “What must I do next?”
The man leaned back in his chair, arms folded, studying her. He wasn’t surprised at her choice. Based on their emails and phone conversations he was sure she wouldn’t back out. Of course he always gave them the option, but very few actually chose to leave when the moment arrived. She glanced over her shoulder to see if he would answer her question. He gestured toward the door but said nothing. Darla turned back to face her unknown future.
He didn’t answer her question. This was his final test, simple but revealing in the results. She had to learn to wait, for as long as necessary, to be told what to do. If she couldn’t demonstrate patience and obedience then there was no point in going forward. He studied Darla carefully while she stood facing the door. She had to be nervous, undoubtedly worried about what was to come. It didn’t show in the way she stood calmly, arms at her sides, hands open, fingers pointing down, feet slightly apart, purse hanging from one shoulder.
“Very well, we can begin,” he told her. He stood up, strode over to where she waited and took hold of her upper arm in one hand. She didn’t flinch, another good sign. With his free hand he reached down to his belt and pulled out the key ring. Selecting one of the keys he leaned forward, inserted it into the lock and turned it. Before he opened the door he gave her one last set of commands. “You will remain silent, no talking unless I ask you a question. Listen carefully to your instructions. I will not be pleased if I have to repeat myself. You don’t want that.” Twisting the door knob he pushed it open.
The Welcome Mat
The room on the other side was a letdown. Darla had built up a totally unrealistic picture of a dank, medieval style dungeon, with torches flickering on the walls, and Igor the hunchbacked assistant eagerly waiting by some particularly gruesome piece of furniture from the Middle Ages. Instead of the Spanish Inquisition what she saw resembled nothing more than a gym locker room. It was a narrow room, with a table and bench against one wall. The opposite wall was lined with gym lockers. Nestled between them at the rear wall was a grey steel desk and office chair.
There was one other door, and that caught her eye. It was yet another of the steel doors, but this one also had a locking bar resting across the front. When engaged she could see how it slid into brackets in the frame. Whoever was behind that door wasn’t going anywhere while it was closed.
He led Darla into the center of the locker room. A hand pressed down on her shoulder, silently ordering her to stay where she was. Behind her he closed the door they had just used. She heard the click of the lock, blocking any last chance for her to change her mind and flee. He came back to her, taking her arm again. They walked along the row of lockers until he stopped at a particular one. Selecting another key from his ring he opened the locker. From the thickness of the door she could see it wasn’t flimsy sheet metal but solid steel. Even the hinges were reinforced. It was built more like a safe than a simple gym locker.
Darla knew what was coming next. This was one of the conditions she had been warned about. She didn’t like it but understood why it was necessary. It wouldn’t be the first time either; she was no novice when it came to bondage. Psychological disadvantage was an inherent part of the experience, and this was a classic way to place her in that mindset.
“Remove your clothes, including underwear, and spread them on the table for inspection. Jewelry will be placed in your purse. When you finish you will face the open locker and wait for further directions.”
Slowly she began to unbutton her blouse. Seeing his eyes narrow she sped up, quickly removing her top and placing it on the table. She could sense this was a man used to commanding women; he would not be patient if she tried to stall. The skirt followed. She stepped out of her shoes before reaching down to pick them up. Finally she removed her bra and panties. He stood in front of her, an impatient look on his face.
The earrings, she had forgotten them! As fast as possible she pulled them off and dropped them in her purse. Quickly she turned to face the open locker, her back to the table. She heard him walking around the table, at one point opening and closing her purse clasp. She waited while he took his time. The concrete floor felt cold on her bare feet.
“Hang your clothes neatly in the locker. Shoes go in the bottom, and your purse is to be placed on the shelf at the top. When you finish stand in the circle marked on the floor, over there between the doors, facing the wall,” he ordered in a crisp tone, gesturing toward a yellow circle painted on the bare concrete floor. Darla had already made one mistake, and from his tone it was obvious he was disappointed at her poor start. This time it had to be done right. She picked up her bundle from the table and took it to the open locker. After a check to make sure it was carefully arranged according to his instructions she hurried across the floor to her designated place.
Mr. G sat on the edge of the desk, staring at her back. He had noted the momentary hesitation before she complied. That wasn’t unusual. Time and experience would fix those kinds of problems. Otherwise she had obeyed to his satisfaction, except for the earrings. She still had to learn the importance of details; he would ensure that particular mistake would not occur again. He turned to the locker, inspecting it carefully. Satisfied she had followed instructions he shut the heavy door. A click of the key and it was secured. Darla would find it very difficult to retrieve her possessions without his assistance.
“Do not turn around,” he ordered. “Place your hands on the wall, at shoulder height.” He didn’t bother to see if she complied. Instead he opened a drawer in the desk and took out the first item he had prepared for her. Looking up he saw her palms flat against the wall, as he expected. He walked up behind her. He knew she could hear his boots on the concrete.
“We’ll start with something simple.” Darla felt the chain go around her waist. “You may recognize these, a prison transport waist chain.” He pulled the chain tight at her left side. The snap of the padlock closing informed her it wasn’t coming off. She felt the handcuffs dangling against her lower back.
Mr. G took hold of the cuffs and gave them a short, sharp tug. He leaned forward, whispering in her ear. “Feel that? It was my hand, holding them on the outside. In a moment your wrists will be on the inside of those steel bracelets. You can pull on them too, but unlike me your hands will remain in place. Think of it as the difference between us.”
Darla heard him push open one of the cuffs. He took hold of her left hand and slowly pulled it down and behind her back. The metal felt cool when it touched her skin. Very slowly he closed the bracelet around her wrist, counting down each click of the ratchet.
“Listen to that sound. As it closes a tiny bit of your freedom is taken away.” His voice was so low she could barely hear his words. Darla closed her eyes, lost in the moment as he used his power over her to take command.
When he finished he ran his fingers around the bracelet imprisoning her wrist. “You still have one hand free. There is no balance, no symmetry in unfinished work.” His quiet whisper affected her more than the loudest shout. Please, keep going, she silently pleaded.
Her right arm went behind her back. Like the left a cold metal circle touched her right wrist. Once again the clicks of the ratchet as it closed reached her ears. “That’s the sound of your submission to my authority.” The ratchet sound suddenly stopped. “Now we have that balance between you and me. I’ve taken away your hands; next I’ll take away your…” He stopped.
Darla opened her eyes and stared at the wall in front of her. Now that she was helpless another voice inside her head began to speak. “Don’t do this, fight, resist, run away. Above all never surrender to him.” Even as she listened the voice faded away, taking with it any lingering desire to defy the man standing behind her. It was a voice from her indoctrination into what society demanded from her. Too little, and far too late, that was Darla’s reaction.
She came back to the present. What was he going to take next, why had he not continued?
“No,” he finished his thought. “You don’t need to know, not yet.” His powerful hands gripped her upper arms, holding her against the wall. “All you need to know,” he continued, “is that from now on your life is in my hands. You’re well along on that one way street now. Whatever happens, you can’t stop me. In here I reign supreme. There are no laws to protect you, and no one will come to your rescue.”
Mr. G took a step back, staying behind her so Darla couldn’t see him. He waited to see if she would panic. On very rare occasions he had to resort to physical measures to subdue a woman who changed her mind after it was too late, but not in this case. Satisfied she would remain calm he went back to the desk. Item two was a special order, modified from the original to make it more restrictive.
Approaching her he put his left hand on her shoulder. With his boot he tapped her left ankle. “Widen your stance,” he told her. Immediately she shifted her feet further apart. “Not that much,” he corrected. She slowly moved her feet closer together. “Stop! That will do.”
He knelt down. Opening the left cuff he slipped it around her ankle and snapped shut the locking bar. He checked the fit, snug but not too tight. Satisfied they were suitable he closed the right side cuff around her other ankle. These were Darby style leg irons, a very old design but ideal for long term wear. They weren’t adjustable but did have a wide cuff, to reduce bruising. The special modification was a shortened chain, only half normal length, and replacement of the simple spring screw locks with a high security tumbler lock. Unlike the originals they were not so easy to open up without the key.
He stood up, again backing up to examine his work. The shackles were in place above her ankles. She could walk but not very far or very fast. “Spread your legs, to the limit of the chain.” Darla shifted her feet until the chain pulled taut. “That’s right. I want you to remember this. Whenever you are wearing ankle restraints always stand with your feet apart, as far as possible.”
She would be easy to control now. The restraints he selected could be worn for hours, which would be important considering what he had planned. “I want you to turn around and face me. Don’t hurry, take it slow to get used to your limits.”
She turned around, the chain between her ankles clinking on the concrete floor. He watched while she widened her stance after stopping. Darla looked up at him. He could see uncertainty in her face, hoping for his approval. “You learn quickly. I admire an intelligent woman.” He almost laughed at how relieved she looked after hearing a bit of praise.
“To point out the obvious, the keys to your cuffs will remain in my possession at all times. Don’t bother asking to be released. I’ll decide when they come off. In case you forgot, there are no safewords in here.” Darla fully expected him to restrain her. That was the reason for her being here. Along with the discipline and confinement there had to be chains, shackles, locks, cages, and most important for her no possible way to regain her freedom.
He stepped back, gauging her reaction. Darla met his gaze, eye to eye. She was powerless; she knew it but wasn’t afraid. Suddenly he lunged forward, pushing her hard against the wall with his hands on her shoulders. He grabbed her hair from the back, pulling her head up. “You are accustomed to the touch of steel on your body? It doesn’t worry you that you can’t free yourself? Consider your situation. You are vulnerable, stripped, locked in chains, all alone, and there’s no one looking for you. You are completely within the power of a stranger you don’t even know.” With his other hand he roughly grasped her breast while pinning her against the wall with his weight.
He heard her sharp intake of breath. She closed her eyes but didn’t struggle. “Open your eyes,” he whispered. Her eyes flew open. His face was inches away from her. “I can take you, here, right now, or any time I like. And there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
Without thinking she pulled on the waist chain, struggling with the handcuffs, trying to reach out to push him away. Her attempt was pointless. Still holding onto her hair from behind, he painfully pulled her head back so he could look her in the eye. He pressed his body against her, while still caressing her breast. As much as she wanted to fight back her body betrayed her by reacting in the opposite way.
“Do I have your undivided attention now?” he asked in a cool, dispassionate tone. Their eyes locked; she couldn’t turn away. At that moment the warm wave of total surrender swept over her. She had to submit to him, to please him in any way possible. Her resistance melted away. Now she pressed against his hand, wanting more.
Suddenly he took a step back and spun her around to face the wall. Again he leaned forward, pinning her with his weight. “Yes, I do believe we have reached an understanding,” he whispered in her ear.
“Do not move, keep your eyes open, do not speak, and do not make a sound. Remain exactly where you are.” He slowly ran his hands down her arms, stopping at her bound wrists. “You like this, don’t you?” With his boot he tapped her ankles. “You were told to keep your legs spread. Do it!”
His hands shifted to her waist, where it was encircled by the chain. From there he reached around to fondle both her breasts. “You’re my prisoner now. You’re defenseless, unable to prevent me from doing whatever I wish. But then, you don’t want me to stop, do you? You’d like me to take you right now, against this wall, wouldn’t you?”
He leaned in very close, once again whispering in her ear. “Only two problems with that: first, what you want doesn’t matter in here; and second, your only purpose is to please me, not the other way around.”
She heard him turn and walk away, leaving her against the wall. She clenched her fists in frustration. This had gone too far. She decided to turn and face him, demand her release, and leave this place far behind.
But it wasn’t to be. Darla stared at the bare concrete wall in front of her, afraid to even blink. Keep quiet, don’t move, he is the dominant, you are the submissive, she repeated to herself, over and over. He wasn’t going to let her go, not for several more days. She had insisted on it, seven days with or without her ongoing consent. I might regret this in a week’s time, she thought. Until then there’s nothing I can do.
She heard him sit down in the chair by the desk and open one of the desk drawers. Unable to turn around she couldn’t figure out what he was doing after that. He chose not to talk to her, and she dare not speak one word. Darla waited patiently, and quietly, for him to decide what would occur next.
It seemed like hours before Darla heard him stand up again. The sound of his boots scraping on the concrete floor grew louder as he approached. Out of the corner of her eye she watched him walk over to the mysterious armored door. “It’s time you see the room reserved for you during your stay.” He turned to face her. “I’m sure you noticed the security precautions.” He gestured at the locking bar across the door. “Once this is in place no one can open the door on the other side. Keep that in mind.” He turned back to the door and pulled out his keyring.
When he pulled the massive door open she saw how formidable a barrier it was. The wall was impressive in itself, thicker than the span of her hand, and made from what looked like reinforced concrete. The door frame was also reinforced with steel plates, with the brackets for the locking bar welded in place. “Just like a bank vault, this is where I keep my prized possessions.” He laughed as he spoke. The joke was on Darla; she was one of those prizes.
He wrapped his large hand around her upper arm in a firm, but not painful grasp. “This way, and don’t try to hurry. Take small steps; you will find these ankle chains are shorter than normal.” Her first, slow step confirmed what he told her. She had worn leg irons before, but never this limiting. The best she could manage was one foot in front of the other. She still had some mobility, but getting anywhere would take some time.
He guided her through the open door, pulling it shut behind him. “We’re in a tunnel now, heading into the mountain behind the house. It stays cool in here, plus it’s very, shall we say, private?”
The tunnel was a long corridor, stretching into the distance. On her right side was another of those metal doors, again with the bar set into brackets. “These are the guest rooms,” Mr. G explained, noticing her interest. “We call it the Hotel California, our little joke. You can check in, but you can never leave…on your own.”
He followed Darla into the guest rooms area. The entrance had an odd, U-shaped path, where they had to go around a wall which blocked any direct view of the outside hallway. “In case you’re wondering, we respect the privacy of our guests. We don’t want any passers by sticking in their heads to gawk at you.” She suspected it was the other way around; no one in the cells could see what was happening.
Beyond the entrance the short corridor was lined on one side with three small jail cells. Each cell was separated with a solid wall that extended into the corridor, past the bars. The front of the nearest cell was a crosshatch of thick steel bars set into the walls and ceiling, with a barred gate on one side. It was a classic picture of a jail cell, the kind Darla has seen on TV and in movies. She had never been in a real jail before. The cell was sparse and cramped, but then they weren’t intended to be luxury hotel suites.
The furnishings were sparse to the point of being the bare minimum. There was a solid slab for a bed and a toilet in the back. There was very little room to move about. That first cell was occupied. The woman inside was naked, with chains on her ankles, but her hands were free. She stood in the middle of the cell, facing away from the bars, hands behind her neck, arms wide, legs spread to the limit of the short chain between her ankles. She didn’t move or speak.
He paused in front of the woman’s cell. “This is our other new guest from earlier this week. As you can see she has been learning her lessons. You’ll be meeting her later on. Your accommodations are further along.” This would be a new experience since she had never been confined in a cell before. This evening would mark Darla’s first overnight stay at the infamous “gray bar Hilton”.
At that moment the door to the last cell swung open. A heavily chained man, like her denied clothing, emerged into the corridor. A guard was behind him, holding on to his arm. Mr. G grabbed Darla and pushed her against the wall. “Stay there! Don’t move, and no talking.”
The man standing in the hallway was obviously one of Mr. G’s guests. Aside from being stripped of his clothes he was chained hand and foot. He wore a chastity belt, clearly a male design based on the bulge in the front.
What caught Darla’s attention was something she had only read about. When he came to a stop he carefully lowered a large iron ball to the floor. The top of the ball had a long T-shaped handle which allowed him to carry it while walking. His ankle shackles were connected to either side of the ball by short lengths of chain. From what she could see the iron ball must be quite heavy since he needed both hands to lift it.
It was a cruel setup. It must be very difficult to walk while dragging along that ball. That meant he had to carry it using both hands, or be reduced to standing in one place. But when he lifted it up he had to keep his feet close together, limiting him to a short, shuffling stumble.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also had some kind of metal cage fastened around his head. It was built up from wide metal straps, curved to fit the contours of his head. A high metal collar locked around his neck kept it in place. The lower half, from chin to nose, was a solid piece. How can he eat or drink with that thing on?
Mr. G gestured for the man’s guard to bring him forward. “Allow me to introduce you to our special guest. James here has been with us for the past month; he signed up for an extended stay. We’re helping him with some personal issues. You’ve made real progress, haven’t you, Jimbo?”
Something in Mr. G’s tone made Darla suspect the real story might be very different. Jimbo tried his best to nod vigorously, in agreement. The head cage and collar made it difficult.
“You have to excuse Jimbo for not replying. He was disrespectful this morning. Hasty words spoken without thought have consequences. That’s something you should keep in mind, Darla.” He tapped the large metal front piece of Jimbo’s head cage. “This is what was once called a ‘brank’, from medieval times. There’s a mouthpiece attached, which at the moment is lodged in Jimbo’s offensive mouth. I’m sure he’ll be more careful in choosing his words in the future. Isn’t that right?”
Again Jimbo tried his best to nod in agreement. Darla felt sorry for him, though he did deserve to be punished if he behaved poorly. She would expect no less for herself, though wearing that head cage was more than enough to ensure she was on her best behavior.
“Jimbo, meet Darla, our latest arrival. Come over here and get a closer look.” Jimbo picked up his iron ball, came forward and turned to face Darla. Carefully he lowered the ball to the ground.
“What do you think, Jimbo? She’s so close you can reach out and touch her. Her hands are cuffed behind her back; she can’t stop you. And if she utters one word, she’ll get one of those branks too.” Mr. G glared at Darla. She got the message. He wasn’t bluffing.
“Look at that smooth skin, those wide hips, all for you, Jimbo.” Mr. G ran a finger under her breasts. “One for each hand, the way you like it. Maybe she could stay in your cell tonight, wouldn’t that be cozy? Think about it, just you and her, all night long.”
Darla wasn’t at all happy about the direction the conversation was headed. Jimbo was whimpering, shaking his head, but behind the metalwork she saw his eyes. They were cold, staring eyes, full of hunger for her. His hands rose, open, reaching toward her. She closed her eyes, praying it would be over soon.
Suddenly there was a muffled scream. When she opened her eyes Jimbo was kneeling on the floor, bound hands clutching at the front of the chastity belt. He fell over to one side, shaking and screaming again.
“Don’t feel too sorry for him,” Mr. G advised. “You see, Jimbo has this kink about temptation and denial. That chastity belt, it’s built to his own design. The moment he gets an erection, a pressure switch administers what I’m told is a very painful electric shock to a man’s most sensitive area. It repeats until the pressure goes down. A nasty piece of hardware, but in some strange way he loves it. Trust me; you never have to worry about Jimbo. If I put you in his cell tonight he’d cower in the corner, petrified with fear.”
On the floor Jimbo was making an effort to look away, avoiding the sight of Darla. That pitiful man, what drove him to condition himself to be terrified of women? He needed professional help, not Mr. G’s establishment.
“Let’s get you into your room and out of Jimbo’s way.” Mr. G stepped over the curled up Jimbo to take hold of Darla’s arm. “We leave the outer door open during the day. We do close it in the evening. It’s soundproof, helps if Jimbo suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night. He can be quite, err, noisy without a gag during one of his episodes.”
Jimbo was still curled up in a ball on the floor when Darla walked around him. “You’ll be seeing him again. We have these group sessions where everyone participates.” Jimbo turned his head away so as not to look at Darla. Group session? She didn’t like the sound of that.
Room for the Night
Her cell was identical to the first one, small and cramped. Behind the bars there was virtually no room to move about. There was a bed, a sink and toilet, and not much else. She could stand, though with her back to the wall she could touch the bars with an outstretched arm. None of that really mattered because of what she saw on the rear wall.
Set into the block wall was a large steel plate, bolted in place at the four corners. In the center was a ring, with a heavy chain dangling from it. At the other end of the chain was a thick, wide metal collar, with a locking mechanism on the front. Its purpose was plain for anyone to see.
Mr. G swept his hand around the tiny prison. “This will be your home for the next week. I trust you’ll find it meets all your expectations. We do have room service; you’ll be notified when it’s time to eat.”
In terms of space it wasn’t much bigger than a closet. “We spent quite a few hours researching the décor,” Mr. G explained, as if he were delivering a travelogue extolling the virtues of some five star hotel. “We pored over at least twenty of those old, 1930’s prison movies. Of course, those cells were meant for long term stays, years, even decades. Since our guests have much shorter visits we scaled back on the size. We’re trying for that cozy, at home feel.”
“Cozy” was not the first word that came to mind to describe her room. Drab gray block walls, no windows, barely enough space to turn around, the best she could do was “depressing”.
“I need you to stand here,” Mr. G ordered, all but dragging her into the cell with a hand on her arm. He reached down to pick up the collar off the wall. “Yes, this is for you. Although I’m sure the cell security is sufficient, I’d like you to wear this as a reminder we don’t encourage leaving your room without our supervision.”
The ring felt cold when it touched her neck. There was a loud click when it locked, the sound of finality. When he let go Darla felt the drag of the chain immediately. It wasn’t uncomfortable but she’d never forget it was there.
“Face the wall. I’ll take off your cuffs so you can rest for a while. You must be tired after your trip and our introduction.”
When he unlocked the handcuffs the relief in her arms was a welcome relief. What Mr. G didn’t do was remove the waist chain. The handcuffs, closed but empty, dangled loosely from her back. Darla didn’t even notice; she was preoccupied with weightier issues. She didn’t even notice he left the leg chains on.
I’m actually chained to a wall. The full impact didn’t hit her until she heard the cell door close. Turning around she watched as Mr. G left. He quickly disappeared from view, leaving her alone. Darla took hold of the neck chain in both hands and pulled on it with all her strength. Nothing happened, nor did she expect any other result. Mr. G wouldn’t be that careless.
Purely to satisfy her curiosity she took hold of the collar in both hands and tried to pull it open. Once again, she met with the same result, nothing. It was on to stay, just as she was now a semi-permanent fixture in the cell. Darla turned back to the cell door and grabbed it, trying to push it open. Mr. G might have left the cell block door open but this one was definitely locked.
She sat down on the bed, leaned back against the wall and pulled up her legs. That’s when she realized he’d left her ankles fastened together. Just like my new neighbor, it must be deliberate. Wrapping her arms around her legs she rested her chin on her knees, all the while staring out the bars into the empty corridor. Here I am, confined, chained, definitely controlled, everything I wanted. At least, everything I asked for. The thought about the discrepancy bothered her. Something was missing, though what it might be she couldn’t put into words.
There wasn’t much slack in her leash. Darla wedged the chain between her knees to give her neck some rest. Idly she held the chain in one hand, examining what Mr. G had chosen. The links were much larger than what she’d seen before. This looks like a tow chain, the kind used to haul off stalled cars and trucks. She shook her head; the setup was a ridiculous amount of overkill.
The same applied to the collar she was now forced to wear. In the past she’d tried those high, leather posture collars, and the simple neck rings. They didn’t begin to compare to what kept her a prisoner. It wasn’t quite as high as a posture collar, but more than made up for it in weight. It had to be the equivalent of five or six normal metallic collars, the kind used for bondage and ownership rituals. And that lock, massive when a simple padlock would suffice. The mechanism was built in, with an armored cover around it to prevent tampering.
It does make a point, though. Whatever happens for the rest of the week, it’s not going to be up to me. There were rules for behavior in situations like this, and Darla knew them backwards and forwards. They were easy to remember: the dominant has all the power; ask permission first; do as you’re told; remember instructions and obey them; and above all respect authority. She smiled. Authority, how she loved that word. Authority and power, both went hand in hand.
She closed her eyes, savoring the moment. Admit it, I love this; I can’t get enough of being helpless. She might have a different opinion a week from now, but the start was promising. Darla had no clue as to what awaited her, yet the prospect didn’t worry her. She’d be told when she needed to know; until then it was enough that she wait patiently. Others would decide for her.
It was a tight fit but Darla managed to squeeze into the cage. It was definitely old school in the world of bondage equipment; the design went back hundreds of years. There were updates, modern materials with welded joints and smooth, stainless steel instead of rough, wrought iron and protruding rivets. The locks were modern too, adapted from door deadbolts. Mr. G began closing the front, locking her in. It might be ancient but it was still very effective for its intended use.
Around her head was a solid enclosure, with only two small slits for her to see out. There was a fine grill in front of her mouth and nose, enough to breath but that was about all. A hole in the back allowed her hair to spill out in a sort of ponytail. She could hear but sounds were curtailed due to the head cage. The solid part extended down over her neck, almost to her collarbone, where it attached to the rest of the body cage.
Her arms were trapped in sleeves at her sides, with her hands completely enclosed in steel mitts. The sleeves were welded to the wide straps around her torso. The body hugging cage extended down her legs to her feet, where it met a solid plate with more metal loops to hold her feet in place. There were rigid bars on either side of her legs, locking them in position. It was impossible to bend at the waist or flex her legs. To all intents she was a statue bound in shining stainless steel.
Mr. G turned the key on the last lock. “That should do it. Now then, as I’m sure you’re aware it’s traditional to, in a manner of speaking, leave you dangling.” He pressed a button on the wall. Darla felt herself rising as the winch pulled her up with a cable attached to a ring on the helmet around her head. He stopped when her feet were level with his shoulders. “That’s about right. You have a good time. I’ll check in on you, umm, much later. Ohh yeah, I forgot. The two of you have my permission to talk to each other. Get acquainted; It’ll help pass the time.” Darla watched him leave, slamming the door behind him.
The cage started to sway back and forth. It’s a gibbet, a real one, just like the illustrations in the old drawings from medieval times. She could feel the metal ribbons wrapped around her body, confining her in the tiny cage. It was sized to fit her snugly, with virtually no wiggle room to spare.
Darla tried to twist around, struggling against the tight grip of the steel bands around her. It didn’t take long for her to discover there was no point in fighting against her bonds. All she accomplished was to increase the back and forth swinging of the cage. Through the eye slits she could see her reflection in the mirrored tiles glued to the wall opposite. That had to be for her benefit so she could appreciate just how helpless she was, imprisoned in the gibbet.
She wasn’t alone in her misery this time. There was a second cage on her left side, also hanging from the ceiling. It was clearly visible in the mirror too. Her companion must be the other woman, her neighbor in the cells. The nude body in the reflection from the mirror was definitely female.
Like her own cage her neighbor also had one of those covers over her entire head. They might be companions in adversity but Mr. G had still made sure they would be anonymous.
“Hello? I’m Darla. You hang out here often?”
There was a laugh from the other captive. “Hi, my name’s Anita. No, my first time here. By the way, what is this thing he’s stuck us in? I’ve never seen one before. This is worse than those tiny cages you crawl into.”
“It’s called a gibbet, an old medieval punishment in its original form. Criminals would be hung inside one of these in the public square until they died of hunger or exposure. If it was some particularly nasty crime they’d let the body rot away before taking it down. It was a grim way to go.”
“I hope that’s not what Mr. G has in mind for us!” Darla noticed Anita’s cage began to swing back and forth. “This is ridiculous. I can’t move around at all. Are we supposed to just stand here for hours on end?” Anita tried twisting around again. “Ughh, this is so frustrating.”
Somehow, being suspended from the ceiling made the cage seem worse than it really was. “Try to hold still,” Darla advised. “Think of it as a variation on those animal cages where you have to sit with your chin on your bent knees. Sooner or later he’ll let us out. Besides, I can’t complain; I asked for this, or at least something different. Careful what you wish for, right?”
“Yeah, I suppose so. Still, what have I gotten myself into coming here? Did we sign up for a visit to the Spanish Inquisition? What else does Mr. G have in his dungeon?”
Darla was beginning to have some doubts too. “Let’s hope it gets better. And, you know, this really isn’t all that bad as far as bondage goes. That’s assuming he doesn’t leave us in here for three or four days. Besides, what’s the alternative? Even if he comes back, there’s no safeword. We’re in these things for the duration.”
“Duration?” Anita replied. “Yeah, that’s the real question, how long? A few months back I met this guy, he makes bondage furniture. He offered to let me try out a new pillory he’d just finished. You know, the old fashioned stocks, wooden planks with cutouts for neck and wrists? Well, I was curious so in I go.”
“What happened?” Darla asked.
“I’m standing there, squirming a bit, can’t get out. He pulls over a chair and sits down in front of me. We start talking; pretty soon I notice from the wall clock it’s two hours later. That’s bad form; never have a clock in sight during bondage. My back’s starting to ache, and my feet and legs are sore from standing still for so long. So I ask him, hey, I’m done, can you unfasten this thing?”
“Well, he just sits there, staring at me. I’m not going anywhere, but I’m getting impatient. What’s the safeword, he asks. You have to wait unless you use the word.”
Darla would have nodded in agreement if she could move her head. “Yeah, those are the rules. Dominants can be sticklers about that kind of thing.”
“I know, but we never agreed on a safeword. I point that out. He nods, agrees it was an oversight, but it wasn’t his problem. I have to wait until he’s ready to let me go.”
Darla almost laughed. “That’s how they think. He wasn’t the one stuck in the stocks; therefore it’s not his problem. Once they get on that power trip it’s hard to bring them back to earth.”
“Tell me about it. He made me wait another five minutes. Funny thing, I didn’t really mind.”
Darla tried to shift around, to no avail. Her cage started spinning back and forth. “Speaking of stocks, I think I’d trade places right about now. This couldn’t be much worse if a boa constrictor was squeezing me instead. I hope Mr. G isn’t going to leave us here all day.”
“Don’t think about time,” Anita warned. “That’s the kind of psychology they use on us, to make minutes seem like hours. It helps to keep talking so we don’t dwell on being alone and isolated.
“Yeah, boredom is the enemy of fun when it comes to bondage. There’s nothing worse than being nicely wrapped up, barely able to move, and then five minutes later you get bored and want out.” Darla had to admit she’d yet to become bored since arriving at Mr. G’s place.
“I got a glimpse of your room, or should I call it a cell? You’re lucky; you don’t have to wear one of those collars attached to the wall.” If they had to carry on a conversation, Darla thought it best to pick a safe topic.
“It isn’t exactly the Presidential Suite.” Anita shot back. “I think I spend more time staring at the rear wall than anything else. Rules, you know? I hear anyone in the corridor, I have to go to my spot.”
“Tell me about it. Rules are made never to be broken. Dominants are so sensitive about that. One slip and they take it as a personal offense.” Darla wasn’t complaining. Structure was important, as much or more than the discipline to keep within bounds.
“I suppose that’s why we’re here. For me, it starts with the physical. Being trapped in this thing, it’s hard to forget who’s in charge. But what I really enjoy is the satisfaction that comes from getting it right. You know? It’s the pride in knowing I keep to all those rules, even if I could get away with breaking one. Does that mean I’m brainwashed?” Anita asked in a casual way, as if it were a joke.
“No way, it’s just how we are.” Darla rejected the idea that Mr. G or anyone else had managed to get in her head. She watched her reflection in the mirrored wall, as she slowly swayed back and forth inside her cage. Anita did have a point though. Her little prison was becoming more uncomfortable by the minute, yet she couldn’t bring herself to complain about it.
“I’ve seen that collar and wall setup. What’s it like, wearing it? It looks heavy. And being chained to the wall, that scares me. I like bondage, being helpless and vulnerable, but being immobilized, where I can’t even crawl away…” Anita stopped to regain her composure.
“The idea freaks me out. I know, it’s not really any different than being locked in the cell. But it doesn’t affect me the same way. Cages, yeah I get that, and truth is I kinda like being in one, even this thing we’re standing in now. I don’t know, maybe there’s no logical reason for it, but if I were left alone, chained to the wall all night long, I think I’d freak out.”
Darla could understand her fears. The first time she saw that collar the same thoughts went through her mind. Oddly, once it was in place, around her neck, those qualms all but vanished. “Yeah, it does weigh you down, especially the leash. It did bother me, at first, but once I was alone and knew there wasn’t anything I could do about it, well, I suppose I just accepted it. I even managed to get some sleep that night. I do have to confess that collar was all I thought about until I finally fell asleep.”
If Darla had to be objective, the gibbet was far worse than the collar and cell. At the moment she couldn’t even move. There was one crucial difference between the two. She was positive Mr. G did not intend to leave the pair of them dangling from the ceiling all day and night.
At that moment Mr. G did walk in, carrying a folding chair. He halted in front of Darla and Anita, unfolded the chair and sat down. Crossing his arms he leaned back to study the pair of women. “I’d like some quiet, no talking. For the aesthetics of art to be fully appreciated there must be no distractions.”
Now I’m a work of art? She knew about shibari, the fancy Japanese style rope work and how many referred to it as art. She’d never gone into that type of bondage since Darla had an aversion to rope in general. Confined in a suspended cage didn’t seem to rise to the same level of creativity.
Peering through the slits in the mask covering her face she studied Mr. G, looking for clues as to his thinking. She always felt an obligation to ensure the dominant man who placed her in bondage enjoyed the experience as much as she did. The little clues, the way his eyes flashed if she tried to struggle long after any possibility of escape was impossible, they were important in ways she could share the fun.
Aesthetics, that was the word he used. Any woman knew instinctively men responded to the visual; perhaps that was Mr. G’s secret motivation behind his presence. The gibbet revealed more than it concealed, and neither of them had the benefit of clothing. If he wanted to look it didn’t concern her. Maybe I’m a latent exhibitionist. If it were true Darla wasn’t bothered by any false modesty. Most of her bondage scenes included nudity. Men seemed to relish the prospect of strategically placing the restraints to accentuate her female attributes. Somehow her hands were always bound behind her back, never in front.
Mr. G stood up and went to the wall behind Darla and Anita. A moment later the gibbets were lowered to the floor, though still held upright. He reappeared in front of Darla, leaning down to look into her eyes. “I hope I’m meeting all your expectations? We do value customer service here.”
Darla didn’t answer. He hadn’t lifted his ban on speaking.
He stepped back, looking her up and down. “Very good! You remembered to stay quiet. I like that. Both of you, I want you to know I am impressed by your dedication to obedience. I do hope you’ll continue, mostly for your own sake. See, if there’s one thing I will not tolerate in a submissive, it’s a bad attitude.”
The lower section of her face mask swung open. Was Mr. G going to release them? Darla was more than ready to say goodbye to the gibbet, and good riddance. “How about a drink of water?” He held up a cup with a straw.
Darla didn’t realize how thirsty she was until the first sip of cold water ran down her throat. She was getting hungry too. “Open wide, I have a little something for you.”
Always do as you are told, that was Darla’s firm conviction while under a man’s control. She didn’t hesitate, which proved to be a mistake. Something rubbery, the size of a bar of soap, slid into her mouth when he closed the lower part of her mask.
It was large and had a bad taste. It pressed down on her tongue. It wasn’t quite a true gag; she could feel the gaps around her lips. The problem was it was held firmly in place and resisted any effort to push it out.
A moment later she heard similar sounds from Anita’s cage, the opening and closing of the lower mask. They started to rise toward the ceiling again. Ignoring the order to silence Darla tried to protest, but all that came out was unintelligible mumbling.
“I’m sure both of you noticed that brank on Jimbo’s head? I don’t want you to feel left out, so I thought you’d like to try one on too. I have to leave you for a while, duty calls. When I get back you’ll be returned to your cells. Until then, please continue your conversation. I apologize for interrupting you.” He turned and walked out of the room.
Just how were they supposed to carry on with a conversation? “Can you understand me?” Darla asked. That’s not what came out from behind the gibbet’s cover over her face. There was a reply of sorts from Anita, also garbled beyond recognition. She sighed, so much for some company to ease the wait.
Mr. G eventually did return, after what felt like several hours. One at a time he took them back to their cells. Darla once again wore the collar but she was so tired she wanted nothing more than to lie down and sleep. Another day spent in bondage, and another night in confinement. For all the trials she faced, the trip was still proving to be worth it.
In the Audience
Darla sat on the floor, her back to the wall. Above her the chain, the leash as she now called it, dangled from the plate set into the wall. Eyes closed, she ran her fingers back and forth across the front of the ring that encircled her neck. Why can’t I get this thing out of my brain? Go ahead, admit it, I feel like, like… a sex object, a man’s pet to be taken out for some fun and games, and then put back in my pen.
What bothered her was the lack of outrage at being treated like property. The extended stay at Mr. G’s place was changing her, in ways she didn’t understand. She slipped two fingers under the collar and gave it a sharp tug. Nothing happened. It wasn’t just her body chained to the wall; in a way her inner self, her soul, was just as much a prisoner. Why does it feel so right?
Lost in the moment Darla didn’t notice Mr. G standing in front of the bars. It wasn’t until he spoke up that she realized he was nearby. “Stand in front of me, close to the cell door.”
Her eyes flew open. In a flash she was in position. “I apologize, sir. I didn’t hear you…”
“No need,” he interrupted. “You were ordered to relax. Don’t make excuses for doing as you were told.”
He lowered a canvas bag to the floor. “You must listen carefully. This is what you need to know. You are going to participate in a session, but you are not the primary participant. Instead you will be assisting a guest, a dominant of considerable reputation. If you fail to cooperate I will consider it a personal insult. At no time will you be at risk, either of physical injury or, um, unwelcome personal attention.”
It was evident to Darla what he meant by the euphemistic “unwelcome attention”, and the point he made about a personal insult. It would be a miserable rest of the week if she acted up.
“Yes, sir, I’ll do my best.” Since she had no idea what came next it was all she could manage for a response.
“Good, I’m pleased we understand each other.” He reached into the canvas bag and withdrew two pairs of handcuffs. “Raise your arms, high, and far apart. Grab onto the bars with your hands.”
She didn’t require an explanation for what he intended. In moments her wrists were cuffed in place, with her hands fixed over her head.
“You’re doing well. Next, spread your legs.” He took two oversize pairs of cuffs from the bag. Darla recognized them, essentially leg irons with only two links of chain between them. “A little more; stop, that will do.” He knelt down and secured her ankles to the bars.
After picking up the bag he backed up to examine his work. She was spread-eagled against the bars. The chain from the collar dangled between her breasts and fell to one side. “Yes, that’s perfect. You did well, Darla.”
As praise went it wasn’t much, yet it gave her a warm feeling to earn his approval. It made up for the rather uncomfortable position she was in, facing the bars. “Go ahead. I know you like to test your limits.” Mr. G smiled, as if he was reading her mind.
Am I that transparent? She jerked on the handcuffs, followed by pulling on her ankle bonds. I’m not going anywhere. She turned back to face Mr. G.
“From now you must remain silent. If questioned you will answer but do not elaborate; it will not be a conversation. I cannot stress how important it is you stand there silently. However, if this begins to bother you,” he reached through the bars to take hold of her collar, “then you may speak up. I appreciate the weight might be…unsettling… the first time the collar is used. Otherwise, mum’s the word. Watch and learn; you are about to see a world class expert at work.”
Behind Mr. G a small woman entered the room. At first glance she seemed to be out of place. If this was Mr. G’s expert she didn’t fit the dominatrix stereotype. Instead of the leather costume and high heel boots she wore a simple dress with low, rather uninspired heels, and her hair was tied back in a ponytail. First impressions were important in the domination game, at least to Darla. This woman looked as though she was right off a farm in rural Kansas. She was better suited to the lead in Wizard of Oz rather than taking charge in a dungeon. All she lacked were ruby slippers and a little dog.
Mr. G stood to one side. The woman came up to the bars, stopped and looked Darla up and down. “Yes, this should be sufficient. My thanks for your assistance, Mr. G.”
“Anything for you, Sally. Mi casa es su casa.” Darla was surprised to hear the degree of respect and deference he show the stranger. Who was this woman?
She came closer, practically touching the bars. She was shorter than Darla, barely coming up to her shoulders. “Hello…” the woman turned to Mr. G.
“Hello Darla, my name is Sally. We’ll be working together this evening. I’m sure Mr. G has emphasized the importance that you do not speak, no matter what happens. That’s all I ask.” She backed away, to face Mr. G.
“I believe we can start. Our guest of honor is outside. Might I ask if you could bring him in? I’m afraid he’s a bit much for me.” Sally followed Mr. G to the hallway.
This so-called expert, Sally, was a contradiction of everything Darla knew about domination and submission. Her look was all wrong, and her voice, it was soft, smooth, disarming. There was no bite, no firm tone that came with unbounded confidence. Who would even pay her any attention, much less feel the compulsion to obey? She had no credibility, yet Mr. G characterized her as a “world class” expert.
While Mr. G went out to the corridor Sally unfolded a chair close by Darla. Mr. G returned, wheeling in what at first glance appeared to be a wheelchair. When it came closer Darla recognized it as one of those restraint chairs used in jails for violent prisoners high on drugs. The current occupant had a bag over his head, concealing his features and acting as an impromptu blindfold.
Darla didn’t need to see his face. It was Jimbo. She recognized him from the incident in the hallway earlier. The male chastity belt, and that massive iron ball fastened between his ankles, was a dead giveaway. The ball rested on the footstool, between his bare feet. At least he doesn’t have to drag that thing around.
Jimbo was securely strapped in: wrists, waist and ankles. Darla wasn’t sure but it looked like the posture collar around his neck was attached to the back of the chair. She had a bad feeling about what was coming next.
Mr. G nodded and left. Darla heard the door to the outer hallway slam shut. Sally moved her chair around so it was behind Jimbo’s chair, off to one side. He was so close to Darla that his toes rested against some of the vertical bars. After Sally sat down she pinched her fingers together and drew them across her mouth. Darla got the silent message, zip it. Not that she needed a reminder; Mr. G had been quite clear in his instructions.
“What’s happening? Where am I?” That came from Jimbo. No gag, this time he wasn’t wearing that brank.
Sally leaned close, to whisper in his ear. “Hello, James. You remember Sally, don’t you?”
“Sally, is that you? You didn’t abandon me?” There was a sad, plaintive tone to Jimbo’s words.
“Of course Sally is here. Sally still wants to help you. Sally cares about you, James; Sally won’t abandon you.” There was something very strange about the way she spoke to Jimbo. She referred to herself in third person, and she had a way of stressing certain words.
“There was another accident, wasn’t there? Be honest with Sally; otherwise she can’t work with you.” In some ways Sally reminded Darla of a therapist, trying to get a reluctant patient to open up.
“She was so pretty. All I wanted was to touch her. That’s all, just one moment to brush a finger against that perfect skin…”
“Haven’t you been taught not to do that, James? You can’t be trusted. Remember what happened to all those other women? You only wanted to touch them, but there were accidents.”
“Why can’t I remember?” Jimbo cried out. “It’s all a blank. I didn’t want to hurt them.”
“Now James, you’re not being honest again. We all know what you did to them. It was ghastly, beyond anything a sane man could stomach. You have to admit, to yourself, that you are a bad person. Not just bad, a monster that has to be kept away from decent people.”
Darla began to wonder if this Jimbo was a modern day Jack the Ripper. If so, why hadn’t he been turned over to the police, instead of being held at Mr. G’s compound? It was frustrating being fed tiny pieces of the story, though looking at it objectively it wasn’t any of her business.
“This is why so many people hate you, James. You act like it wasn’t your fault, yet we all can plainly see you are an evil man. You like to hurt women, don’t you? What do you think we should do with someone like you?”
She had yet to say one positive thing about Jimbo. Darla was sure no real professional would act that way. Sally was the therapist from Hell, bent on destroying her patient instead of healing.
“Bad people should be punished.” Jimbo’s voice was a pathetic whimper. “They should be corrected, to be taught how to behave properly, to fit in.”
“That’s right, James. You want to fit in, to return to normal, don’t you? No one else wants to support you. They don’t believe in you, but Sally cares. You can rise above all you problems, James. Sally will show you the way.”
Darla noticed the way Sally kept stressing she was there to help, but everything else pointed to the opposite. Yet James, Jimbo, seemed to be buying into everything she told him.
Without any warning Sally yanked the bag off Jimbo’s head.
The moment he saw Darla Jimbo shrieked and closed his eyes tight. “Take her away! Please, Sally, the pain will come. Help me!”
Darla’s first reaction was uncertainty, whether to be insulted or flattered at Jimbo’s reaction to getting an eyeful of her body. In any other situation men did not scream in terror and try to run away when she was revealed in all her glory. On the other hand, being rejected by a potential serial killer couldn’t be all that bad.
She was right about the posture collar. Jimbo’s neck and head was wedged into a tight clamp affixed to the back of the restraint chair. He couldn’t look away no matter how much he struggled. Either he kept his eyes shut or he had no choice but to stare at her.
Sally was still seated behind Jimbo, out of sight. “Don’t shut your eyes, James. Sally can’t help you unless you cooperate. Look at her, James. That’s what she wants. She asked to be put on display, just for you. Sally can show you how to avoid the pain. But first you have to overcome your fear.”
What was going on? Darla certainly had not requested she be spread-eagled against the bars just to entertain Jimbo. Sally was filling his head with lies while pretending to be his friend. This wasn’t some kind of fetish or bondage scene; Sally was doing her best to inflict real mental damage.
When Jimbo opened his eyes Darla saw the raw hunger, the desire, a look by a man any woman could recognize immediately. There was little she could do to discourage it either. In vain she jerked at the handcuffs that bound her to the cell bars. Her struggles only fed his craving.
Sally was behind him again, still whispering in his ear. “You can overcome this, James. Sally will show you the way. Don’t look at those smooth legs, the curves of her hips, the perfect skin, the ample breasts. Darla is a person who you should respect. Sally can see she’s trying to tempt you, James. Don’t give in, be strong. Sally knows you will not be led astray by her charms.”
He was squirming in the restraint chair, fighting the straps holding him down. “All I want is to touch her, that’s all. That’s okay, isn’t it Sally? Please, just one time…”
Darla cringed at the image of Jimbo’s hands on her. She did feel sorry for what he was going through, yet aside from sympathy in all other respects he was singularly unappealing. She had a certain type, and it only included men who showed confidence in their abilities.
“If you’re good, James, then tonight Sally will bring Darla to your room. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Imagine her chained to the bars, like she is now, but inside your cell. Sally can see to it your belt is removed too. Doesn’t that excite you, James? You could touch her all night long. She wants it, James, can’t you tell?”
The idea of spending the night with him made her skin crawl. This was getting out of hand. Determined to put a stop to it Darla interrupted Sally. “I…”
Sally’s head jerked up. Her anger was obvious to Darla, who broke off her protest immediately. Mr. G had been quite clear that Sally was in charge. Much as she needed to put a halt to Sally’s promises, Darla's own compulsion to defer to authority, especially when bound, prevented her from continuing.
At that point Jimbo began screaming in pain while thrashing back and forth in the chair. His chastity belt had activated again, punishing him for a perfectly natural reaction. Sally spun his chair round so she could lean in to face him.
“You tried to trick Sally. There will be no Darla for you tonight, or any other night. Sally was your only friend and you betrayed her trust. This will never end, James. The pain will go on and on, every time you see or even think about a woman. You deserve it, for what you’ve done. Sally is disgusted with you. No one will help you now.”
At some point the screams of agony settle down into constant sobbing. It was clear to Darla he was a broken man. It might take years of therapy in a mental hospital to restore his sanity.
Mr. G walked around the separating wall. Sally gestured toward Jimbo. “I’m finished. You can transfer him, as planned.” There was a callous disregard for Jimbo’s welfare in the tone of her voice.
Mr. G disappeared, pushing Jimbo’s restraint chair out to the hallway headed to…where? Darla had no idea but it didn’t sound promising for his future. Sally started to follow them, but just before she vanished from view she suddenly stopped, turned and came back to face Darla.
“You,” she began, “interfered. Sally never forgives. Sally never forgets.” Darla’s eyes locked with Sally’s bright blue eyes. Behind them there was a dead, hard coldness devoid of any humanity. For the first time in her life Darla looked into the empty soul of a true psychopath.
“Have a good trip, Sally. Remember, any time you’re in the Southern California area, just give me a call and I’ll send the plane to pick you up. I’d ask you to drop me an email now and then but on reflection that might not be a good idea.” Mr. G was walking Sally out to the plane back to Los Angeles.
“I appreciate the offer, Gary. Yeah, email is out of the question. Country of origin and all that, raises too many red flags when the traffic crosses borders.”
Mr. G nodded in agreement. “Anyway, your Jimbo was picked up by an ambulance this morning. I trust he’ll be looked after?”
Sally shrugged. “I don’t get involved in subjects after the job is over. Gary, if you want to continue in this particular line of business it’s better you don’t ask questions, and don’t try to follow up on your, umm, visitors. The money is excellent, but in return you need to cultivate a very poor memory.”
For one moment Mr. G forgot who he was talking to. Psycho Sally had such a disarming way about her; it was easy to dismiss who she was and what she did for a living. “Point taken, Sally.” He gazed up at the ubiquitous clear blue skies above. “Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see…” he sang in a horribly off key voice.
Sally actually started laughing, a rarity. “Very good, Gary, and so appropriate! You know, I was disappointed when I wasn’t able to have a long chat with your Darla. She is so interesting! I’d love to hear about her past.”
“Sorry, Sally, but as you know, I’m here to provide a service, and not judge my clients. Darla, well, she’s here for a specific purpose. I regret it doesn’t include room for your unique conversational skills. Decisions have already been made about her future.”
Sally shook her head. “That’s too bad, but I understand.” At the plane Mr. G handed over her luggage to the pilot. “Thank you for your hospitality, Gary. I hope we’ll see each other soon. You have a wonderful place here, so peaceful, so…isolated.”
Before she shut the door to the plane cabin she turned back to Mr. G. “The loose ends with Darla? Don’t concern yourself. I’m happy to help. It’s being taken care of as we speak. Her sponsorship is confirmed. All I ask, when she leaves, remind her that Sally never forgets.”
Darla sat up on her bunk. The last day, I’m going home this afternoon. An entire week of bondage and control; it was an experience she would always remember. No safeword, no way out, yet it didn’t affect her at all, at least not in a bad way. The plane would take her back to the outside world, to what now felt like nine to five drudgery. If there was an element of disappointment it was entirely because she knew it had to end.
Mr. G’s assistant, Darla still didn’t know her name, walked up to the bars of Darla’s cell. “You will wear this dress today. Mr. G asked that I inform you there will be a short ceremony to mark your departure. The uniform is traditional. I will not answer questions. Mr. G will come for you shortly.” She hooked the hangar on one of the cell bars and left. Faintly Darla heard the same speech being delivered to Anita in the next cell.
Last night Mr. G had left off the collar, without an explanation. Now it made sense; she couldn’t put on the dress over her head while chained to the wall. After taking it off the hangar she slipped it over her head.
There wasn’t much to it. It left a lot of skin exposed but did cover the essentials. What struck Darla as unusual were the letters “D.O.C” stenciled on the back. She had no idea what they signified.
A few moments later Mr. G appeared, carrying a canvas bag. “Good, you’re ready. If you would be so good as to turn and face the wall? We have a few hours before the plane is scheduled to leave. I like to end every guest’s stay with a little memento, something to help you keep the memories of your visit fresh.”
Darla turned to face the wall. She had no clue as to what he intended but his explanation seemed reasonable. Her memories of this place, while mostly positive, were clouded by that incident with Sally. And there was still that nagging feeling that the experience, while enjoyable, left her feeling vaguely disappointed, though she couldn’t put her finger on the reason why.
She heard Mr. G unlock the cell door. A moment later he wrapped a familiar chain around her waist, before locking it on with a padlock at her side. Looking down the ubiquitous pair of handcuffs dangled from the chain, along with something new. A connecting chain ran down to a set of leg irons, which Mr. G was busy fastening around her ankles.
“Face me,” he ordered, in that firm but not harsh tone she loved to hear. The handcuffs went around her wrists, not tight but close enough that she couldn’t slip out of them. She brushed against the collar hanging on the wall, behind her. Maybe I can wait here a while longer, nicely trussed up, chained to the wall, sitting on the bed while staring at the cell bars. I could ask…
No, she couldn’t. Mr. G clearly had plans of his own, and he was in charge. Whatever she wanted, it wasn’t important. Overpowered, helpless, the rising compulsion in her to obey him was too strong to overcome. Moving slowly she pulled on the cuffs. Cold steel had a certain unyielding quality that exerted its own authority over her body.
Mr. G took hold of her, his large hand easily wrapping around her supper arm. “Let’s go, into the hallway. Say goodbye to your room. I trust it was decorated to your taste?”
Darla almost laughed at his question. Objectively, the cell had to be the worst ever hotel room she’d ever been in. “Yes, sir. The accommodations were everything I hoped for, especially the, umm, rather unique wall decoration.” Sleeping while chained by the neck to the wall would be a lasting image in her head. “My only criticism, sir, is the paint scheme. It is a bit on the drab side.” That was an understatement. Everything was the same depressing shade of gray. She had to admit it did add to the ambiance of a prison cell.
Darla stood with her back to the wall while Mr. G closed and locked the door to her now former cell. “I’ve heard that from several visitors.” He leaned back, one hand on his chin, surveying the now empty room. “I see your point. However, we spent some time researching the color scheme before settling on this particular shade of gray. It may not be the most appealing, but then the comfort level of the occupant was not high on our list of requirements.” He smiled at Darla while replying.
“I can’t argue with your logic, sir.” A week spent in that tiny, cramped cage and already she was missing it.
“Congratulations are in order. You made it through the entire week without begging to end it prematurely. I’d say about thirty percent of our first time visitors can’t hold out. We still don’t let them go, of course. I honor my commitments. Was it difficult, making the adjustment?”
No safeword, I’d forgotten all about it. That by itself was a shock when she realized how she’d changed. “Since you mention it, sir, I didn’t have any problems, which is strange in itself. On the way here, in the plane, I worried about that, the part about not being able to call a halt and walk away. Even the first night, with that thing around my neck, it was scary. By the second night I wasn’t so frightened. I’m not sure when I simply began to ignore the fact I was in it for keeps, as it were.”
Here was an odd expression on Mr. G’s face. If Darla had to put a name to it, she’d go with relief, though it didn’t make any sense. They were headed toward the tunnel exit, what she thought of as the locker room. Anita’s cell was already empty when they passed by.
“Aren’t you curious about what’s on the other side of the door?” They came to a halt in front of the heavy door separating the tunnel and the rooms inside the mountain from the rest of the house.
Darla shook her head. “No, sir; I’m sure you’ll explain it all when I need to know.”
On the Last Day
Darla stood at the back of the room, watching while Mr. G set up a camera tripod. Anita stood next to her, identically dressed in the odd uniform and wearing an identical set of chains. Behind them there was one of those height charts, like the type used in old mugshots.
“Remember Polaroid cameras? They’re still around.” Mr. G aligned the camera through the viewfinder. “Old fashioned, but there’s no digital record. I take a mugshot to commemorate your stay. I destroy the negative while you watch, so you get the only picture. We’ll start with you, Anita.”
Mr. G led Darla off to one side, out of camera range. “Stay there until I’m finished. Remain quiet.” He was assertive, apparently right up until the last moment. Darla didn’t mind.
“Okay, let’s get you centered. Look straight ahead. You can smile if you like, although if this were real you wouldn’t be feeling very cheerful.” He lined up Anita in front of the camera.
A whirring sound and the old style instant photo slid out the front. Mr. G placed it on the table and picked up his phone. “It needs a minute to develop. Let’s see how this one turned out before we continue, Anita.”
When the phone beeped Mr. G peeled off the backing and dropped it in a ceramic bowl. “A few more seconds to dry.” He held it up, by the edges. “It looks good. I don’t think we need another.” He placed the photo on the table.
Reaching into his shirt pocket he took out some keys. Kneeling down he removed Anita’s leg irons first, followed by the handcuffs and the waist chain. The combination went back into a canvas bag. “There you go. Now, let’s see about your clothes. I believe Irina had them dry cleaned. We have all the luxuries here, you know.”
“Thank you, sir,” she said, rubbing her wrists. “Those things,” Anita pointed to the sack containing the shackles, “work far too well for my taste.”
He laughed, “That’s true. I’ve found not many care to wear them for an extended period of time. Come with me, I’ll get your street clothes. I hope the experience was all you expected?” Taking hold of her arm he led her over to a locker.
Darla watched from the sidelines while he opened the locker with Anita’s clothes. To Darla’s surprise Mr. G turned away from Anita while she changed. Both of them had spent much of the last week without any clothes and in full view of Mr. G. She’s on the other side of the line now, Darla told herself. Even if it was only for a few more minutes Darla was still bound, literally and figuratively, and so under Mr. G’s full control.
Mr. G struck a match and set fire to the photo negative. It flared up, from the chemicals, before disappearing in a pile of ash. “As promised, you get the only picture. You have my assurances there are no visual records of your stay here.”
She listened while the two of them talked about the prior week. They ignored her as if she was a piece of furniture. There were a few pangs of impatience but no real resentment.
Mr. G’s assistant came in from the outside door. “Irina, please show Anita to the plane.”
At the last minute Darla finally learned the mysterious woman’s name. She was out of sight most of the week, rarely appearing except to deliver food. It would be fascinating to have a long, uninhibited conversation with Irina. What went on behind those dark eyes? It was obvious to anyone she was completely dedicated to Mr. G. What was her history, how did she wind up with him? They were all questions that would remain unanswered, much to Darla’s disappointment.
The two women disappeared out the door. Finally, it was her turn. Except it wasn’t; Mr. G was disassembling the camera and tripod. What was going on? That’s when Darla noticed there wasn’t a second bag for her chains.
“You must know your stay here is at an end,” he began. “You recall I promised you would experience bondage and domination beyond anything you’ve experienced before. While I have tried to meet your expectations, I’m sure you are somewhat disappointed in the results to date.”
Darla stared back at him. The past week had been intense, but he was right. There was still something lacking. Perhaps it was the knowledge that whatever he did to her, there was always that deadline ahead, a guarantee she’d be free sooner or later. She did feel let down now that it was about to end. That didn’t change the fact she wanted out of the shackles.
“My one way street has a dead end, a fixed time limit. There’s no way around it, unfortunately. Before you leave, I do want to make some amends. I pride myself on customer service above all. With some help from your friend Sally I’ve taken some steps to fill your need.”
Need? That was an odd way to phrase it. And Sally was certainly no friend, not after that last look before they parted. Something was definitely wrong. “Sir?” She jerked against the waist chain in a futile attempt to raise her hands. “I don’t understand. Doesn’t the plane leave soon? I have to get back to Los Angeles. I don’t think I can travel like this?”
Mr. G raised a hand. “Patience, please hear me out. I could tell that dead end was on your mind. I wracked my brain, trying to find some way around it. I even asked Sally about it. By the way, she’s taken an interest in your welfare. She made some calls, and thanks to her efforts I can clear away the dead end blocking your personal one way street.”
Darla was lost. What was he talking about? And Sally taking an interest? That she found hard to believe. In any case, assistance from Sally was the last thing she wanted.
He turned toward the open door and called out, “Gentlemen, if you could join us?” She saw two large men walk through the doorway. Both were dressed in black uniforms, with polished boots and police style basket-weave leather belts around their waists. Their shoulder patches had a Department of Corrections logo. Shocked at the sudden presence of strangers she instinctively tried to back up.
“Oh, don’t worry about the time.” Mr. G dismissed her concern with a wave of his hand. “You’re not taking the plane. You’re not returning to L.A. anytime soon either. You will be leaving us, but your destination is in the other direction. It’s a place called the Center.”
What was he talking about? Her time here was at an end. She had to get home. “Sir? The week is over. I want to go back to the city, not to some other place. I have to go to work tomorrow.”
The two men took up positions on either side of Darla. They gripped her arms, holding her in place.
Mr. G shook his head. With a rueful smile he explained, “Work is the last place you have to go. Sally, she seems quite fond of you, helped us out with your disappearance. Your car will be found abandoned at a parking lot in San Ysidiro, within walking distance of the border. Cameras show someone who looks much like you, wearing your clothes, crossing into Mexico. After that the trail goes cold. When your car is searched there will be traces of drugs. You’re just another statistic, Darla.”
She struggled but hampered by the chains she didn’t get far. The two guards were both far stronger than her, and she was in no position to offer resistance. “Hold still, and don’t try that again.” She gave up; Mr. G had her neatly trapped.
“What could I do to surprise you, to deliver the unexpected, something beyond your previous experiences? No matter what I did, you knew it would be temporary. But what you would never expect is that it doesn’t come to an end. These officers,” he pointed toward the men on either side of her, “are here to transport you to another location. I’m not going to tell you where it is, but you will be confined there for quite some time. I can assure you no, umm, guest has ever left without permission.”
Darla again fought the handcuffs, trying to protest, to demand her release. The two men next to her tightened their hold, and the restraints did the rest. Tears streamed down her face. “Stop this right now! You know it’s pointless to fight back. Your protests won’t make any difference. From now on you will be told what to do. There will be no discussion, no compromise, no consensus, no bargaining. You will obey, or you will be punished. It’s that simple; live with it.”
Mr. G came close. “In the future you should take care of what you wish for. It may come true in ways you don’t anticipate. From this moment on you are ‘disappeared’. A few people may wonder what happened to you, but it will remain a mystery. None of that need concern you, for your destiny has already been determined. What happens now is inevitable, and for you beyond your power to control.”
“Please, Mr. G, don’t do this! This isn’t what I want.” Frantically she tried to think of what to say, how to plead with him to let her go. Maybe this was all a ruse, a little drama at the eleventh hour to trick her into panicking. If so it worked. She was terrified at the prospect of being kidnapped and condemned to slavery.
“No, I don’t see any point in hearing what you have to say.” Another shock went through her as her last hope was crushed. “I’m sure you think you can somehow persuade me to free you to return to your old life? Sorry, but no, that’s not going to happen.”
He nodded to the two men next to her. Mr. G reached out and put a hand on the cuffs imprisoning her wrists. “Right now you’re afraid of change. It will be difficult, but a year from now you will thank me. If you behave, work hard, perhaps it won’t take that long. If you choose not to cooperate, well, not much you can do about it, is there? The people who oversee you? They have all the time and patience in the world. You don’t have that luxury.”
Darla was in shock. She’d lost all control over her life, her future. Everything about her was now in the hands of strangers, with the authority to do whatever they pleased.
“I’ve enjoyed your stay here, and I hope you will eventually feel the same way. Until we meet again, I wish you well. Oh yeah, Sally asked that I remind you, she never forgets.” He stood to one side. “Take her away.”
Mr. G opened Darla’s locker. Looking up he saw Irina standing in the doorway, watching over her shoulder as Darla was led away.
“Come on in,” Mr. G gestured toward the locker containing Darla’s clothes, waving his hand. “You can dispose of these. She won’t be needing them.”
“Yes, sir.” She has such a nice, soft voice, Mr. G thought. It relaxes me.
“Sir? May I ask? I saw the uniforms…”
Mr. G held out his arms. In a flash she was snuggled in his embrace, burying her head against his shoulder. “Yes, since you’re curious. She’s being taken to the Center. A certain business associate was contacted by Sally. He agreed to sponsor Darla. She doesn’t know it yet, but he will be carefully guiding her future for some time to come.”
“It will be…” Irina paused, looking for a tactful word. “Difficult, it will be difficult for her to adjust, at first.”
“She’ll manage. You did, and you’re better off for the experience.”
“Nine months, sir, I spent nine months in the Center’s Secure Area. It’s harsh, sir, daily life reduced to the essentials; perfection or punishment, with no middle ground.”
Mr. G pulled her close. “It was worth every minute, never doubt that. Eventually Darla will come to the same conclusion. Like you, she needs someone to show her the way.”
“Yes, sir, I do wish the best for her.”
“I believe we aren’t expecting any new guests until late this afternoon. It looks like we have some time to ourselves. What shall we do?”
“I look forward to finding out, sir.”
Darla leaned her head against the van’s window, resigned to watching the desert scenery roll by. They were on the dirt road, headed to a highway, and then to…where? She had no clue; she didn’t need to know. In the front one of the guards kept glancing back at her, through the security grill.
Better get used to it, she thought. Someone’s going to be checking on me constantly, from now on. One last time she jerked on the handcuffs. The problem with restraints is they don’t know when it’s time to stop working. Just that fast they went from plaything to the real thing. I’m a prisoner now, except I have no rights, no lawyer, and an indefinite sentence.
Mr. G did get it right. There was no nagging feeling of unfulfilled wish now. It was replaced by terror of the unknown that comes from a future where she had no say in what would happen to her.
Sally fastened her seat belt before glancing out the window. L.A. International, always busy with planes going in every direction. She was headed for North Dakota, to provide some consulting at a research facility there. Details on the assignment were few, which in Sally’s line of work was all too common. The plane began moving, heading for a nearby runway.
Darla should be on her way to her destination too. She had nearly spoiled the last job. Sally took pride in her results and did not tolerate interference from anyone while she was working. Darla might be safe from Sally’s grasp, but she would pay dearly for that one moment.
Psycho Sally leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes, reliving that moment when she watched James’ self-esteem crumble. Darla would have her moments too, though Sally wouldn’t be there to see it. Perhaps one day their paths would cross again. However long it might be, Sally never forgets.