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The Secrets of Shackleton Grange
by Steve Spandex
stevespandex@planetsuffolk.com | Forum Feedback
© Copyright 2017 - Steve Spandex - Used by permission
Storycodes: F+/ff; latex; spandex; catsuits; captives; force; bond; rope; hogtied; party; cages; susp; dungeon; strappedo; gag; hood; sen-dep; drug; straitjacket; paddedcell; solitary-confinement; cons/nc; X
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The Secrets of Shackleton Grange 19: The Padded Cell Steve Spandex F+/ff; latex; spandex; catsuits; captives; force; bond; rope; hogtied; party; cages; susp; dungeon; strappedo; gag; hood; sen-dep; drug; straitjacket; paddedcell; solitary-confinement; cons/nc; X
story continued from part 18

Chapter 19: The Padded Cell

There is a quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein (although there is some dispute over its provenance), which states that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If this is true, then Cathy would most definitely have been certified by now, as she had by this time spent a week in extreme bondage, and had continually fought her restraints without success, yet still persevered with her attempts to free herself from what she must have by now known were inescapable circumstances. (The irony of this is, of course, that had she been pronounced insane, then the chances are that she would have ended up in a straitjacket and a padded cell, which would bring her full circle back to a situation not unlike that which had caused her to be diagnosed as mentally unstable in the first place).

The location for this latest bout of ill-advised struggling and writhing on this Sunday morning, was deep underground in the cellars of Shackleton Grange, in a tiny cell no more than ten feet square. Having spent the evening and first few hours of Sunday bound to a steel post, locked in a cage in midair, and forced to watch as a crowd of women acted out their dominant and submissive bondage fantasies before her eyes, whilst lights flashed constantly and the pounding music throbbed incessantly until she felt almost hypnotised by the beat, Cathy now almost relished the peace and calm of her subterranean bedroom. Not only had the perpetual cacophony given her a headache, but the fact that she was now in solitary confinement meant that she could instigate her plan of escape unobserved, however futile the end result.

Bethany had been led down into the bowels of the earth too, although her exact whereabouts at present were unknown. The reason for their incarceration so far from the bona fide guests was, Cathy assumed, so that there could be no interaction between genuine captives and those who had come simply to act out that role. Being deep underground meant that any sound made by Bethany or herself would never disturb the slumber of the drunken revellers, who anyway were already under the impression that both she and her fellow long-term inmate were, like themselves, here of their own accord. 

Cathy wrenched at the steel handcuffs that were by now familiar yet still undesirable accessories around her wrists. The ropes that bound her legs together in several places also refused to give in to their wearer’s physical requests to release her. Lying as she was, hog-tied on the cold stone floor of her cell, Cathy groaned in frustration at her lack of progress in gaining release, although the sound which permeated the dank air of her tomb was little more than a murmur, due to the rolled up tights stuffed into her mouth, the tape which held this makeshift ball in place, and the tight leather hood which now covered her entire head save for her nostrils; the previous hood with the opening for her eyes having been exchanged for this more restrictive and humiliating design once her night time place of accommodation had been reached.

Cathy finally gave up her struggles, at least for the time being. All that tugging and straining was energy sapping in the extreme, especially as she had been living on minimal rations for the past few days. Not only that, but being forced to inhale and exhale exclusively through her nose ensured that this uneven contest with her bonds made her breathless very quickly, and she needed a rest to refill her lungs fairly regularly.

But as well as this constant battle for a freedom that was fast becoming a distant memory, Cathy’s thoughts were also troubled by the appearance of yet another captive girl in their midst.

After the Mistress had been summonsed away by her mute servant the previous afternoon, Cathy and Bethany had been left abandoned, bound and helpless, in their still swinging cages of steel. A general murmur of voices constantly assaulted their ears from beyond the ballroom walls, however,  with most of the sounds being of an excited, joyous nature, as more and more of tonight’s invited partygoers arrived.

It must have been an hour or so after their last encounter with any of Dolores’ staff, that the double doors finally opened to reveal the three wenches in all their latex-clad finery.  Two of them were carrying a metal contraption with them, whilst the third closed the doors again after her two colleagues and their load had crossed the threshold. And it was obvious straightaway that this metal barred cylinder, which the two minders struggled under the weight of, was in fact a third cage, identical to the one already occupied by Bethany, but lacking the rigid post that featured in Cathy’s.  From a side room, a tall stepladder was swiftly produced and placed midway between the two already suspended cages, and Cathy watched in stunned silence as the pink suited Electra bounded up the aluminium rungs with a length of chain in her hands, placed this around a hitherto unused pulley fitted in the ceiling, and let the end hang down towards the dance floor. This was immediately grasped by the jet black attired figure of Crystal, who quickly and expertly attached this loose end to a ring on the top of the newly arrived cage, which had been laid to rest on its side for the time being.  All this action had taken no more than a couple of minutes, and within seconds of being given the thumbs up that the cage was securely attached, Sapphire pulled on the other  end of the chain and began raising this third, vacant incarceration pen to a height similar to those already occupied.

Saskia was the name that Dolores had given for this newly arrived and clearly unwillingly bound victim female, as she introduced her to the exuberant throng that had, by nightfall, packed the ballroom. Cathy had watched in dismay as the poor women was ushered, on heels that threatened to give way beneath her at any second, into the empty cage between herself and Bethany.  In the tightest black latex cat-suit imaginable, the latest victim of Dolores’ zero tolerance policy to intruders had been fitted with a tightly strapped single-sleeve mitten of black leather, with straps wound around her to keep her in inescapably strict restraint. Her ankles had been shackled with steel cuffs that further curtailed her leg movements. A hood of the same fabric as her outfit clung to every curve of her face and head, with only her eyes and nostrils showing through tiny apertures in the otherwise all-covering shiny mask. From the top of her head, a tangle of brown hair sprouted from the only other opening in the headwear. No sooner had she been ensconced within her own private container, than the door was secured with a padlock and the whole contraption hoisted back up to join her equally helpless sisters-in-bondage.

It was obvious straight away to Cathy that this woman, like Bethany and herself, had now also attained the unenviable status of long term detainee.

****

As she stood there on that Sunday morning, pondering the events of the last two or three days, Bethany couldn’t help think that Dolores had made a big mistake. For two and a half days, she and Cathy had been kept in isolation, with visual and aural stimuli kept to an absolute minimum, and with human contact only taking place out of necessity. But if Dolores’ vision of this type of mental torture was to break the will of her prisoners and transform them into subservient zombies, as she’d hinted, then she’d made a grave error of judgement on Saturday, and undone all her ‘good’ work up until that point. For during those long hours of solitude, Bethany had indeed begun to feel that she was losing the will to fight back, and the fact that the rope which had been positioned strategically between her legs was the only outlet for her frustrations, had begun to bring her around to the Mistress’ way of thinking – much as she hated to admit it.  So why, on Saturday morning, had Dolores allowed her two convicts the privilege of being given time out in the open, to take in the spring air and catch the warmth of the sun?

Clearly she had used this as a reward for being model prisoners, to show that good behaviour could reap rewards.  But, as far as Bethany was concerned, this had backfired on Dolores, as the sight of the world beyond Shackleton Grange’s walled-in enclosure had only made her realise what she was missing, and had rekindled her flagging desire to be reacquainted with the rest of humanity. Their presence at the party was designed, she guessed, to show how much fun bondage could be, and indeed most of those in attendance would have agreed wholeheartedly with this opinion. But for Bethany, there was a big distinction between role playing and reality. Acting out your bondage fantasies for a set period of time- be it for a few minutes, an hour, or even a day or two – was fine, providing all parties were consenting participants. Indeed, Bethany would have been one of the first to throw herself headlong into the bondage melee if she’d had the reassurance that it was all just a game and that she would, eventually, be set free. But the reality of her situation – and that of Cathy also – was that there was no end in sight to their ordeal; no light at the end of a very bleak tunnel that stretched away into the indefinite future. All she had to look forward to, in the coming days, weeks, months, and possibly even years, was a life of slavery and servitude, where any misdemeanour, however trivial or insignificant it might seem, was punishable by ever stricter bondage, torture and interminable torment.

Bethany tried to stand up straight in her small, windowless cell, but found herself thwarted by the ropes that held her in such unforgiving restraint. Having been released from her cage and brought down to the cellar at the same time as Cathy, the two had soon been separated, with each being led away towards their allotted dungeons for the day. Once inside the tiny cubicle that was to be her home for the next twelve hours or more, Bethany’s world was soon plunged into complete darkness, as the hood she was wearing was relinquished and quickly replaced by another that lacked eyeholes. With this claustrophobic but by now familiar head covering tightened around her cranium to a point where the pressure became almost intolerable, Bethany found her legs being bound together at the ankles, knees and thighs. No sooner had the final knot been pulled tight, than her hands were released from the handcuffs that she’d worn all day, to be immediately replaced by a soft leather sheath into which both arms were inserted up to the shoulder, before being securely strapped to prevent her wriggling out again.  With no outlet for her hands, her fingers were now useless to her, should she have felt the urge to attempt to undo the leather belts that squeezed her arms together so that her elbows almost touched. But worse was to follow.

Just prior to being denied her sight, Bethany had caught a glimpse of the sleeve into which her limbs were to be incarcerated. And at the cul-de-sac end where her fingers would soon reside, she noticed that a strong steel ring had been stitched into the design of the leather gauntlet. And it seemed that this was now being utilised, as her arms were suddenly and without warning pulled up as high as they would go behind her back; so high, in fact, that this action forced her to bend forward at the waist to avoid her shoulders being wrenched from their sockets. Although unable to see what was going on, Bethany guessed that a rope had been threaded through the ring, and this cord was now being in some way attached to the stone ceiling above her head. So high were her arms being pulled up behind her, that a squeal conveying  fright and pain in equal measure fought its way through her gagged mouth, although the decibel level remained below that required to attract attention to her plight from anyone more than a few yards away.

As her hands were stretched ever higher, so her head was forced forwards, until it was almost on the same horizontal plane as her waist, whilst her relationship with the floor was becoming ever more precarious, until her only contact with terra-firma was maintained by the tips of her toes. Mercifully, at this point the upward trajectory of her now severely traumatised arms came to a halt, although the fact that the rope remained taut denied her the luxury of lowering her hands back down to a more comfortable level. Now stuck in the position that she recognised as being called a strappado, Bethany was left to suffer alone; her rigger – on this occasion the silver-suited Sapphire - having exited the room and locked the door, before the diminishing sound of high heels on stone steps left Bethany in no doubt that she had been abandoned.

Left teetering on her bound feet, Bethany knew that for the next few hours she had to remain as still as possible to avoid unnecessary suffering. Shifting her position to the left or right, even by a fraction of an inch, would, she soon found out the hard way, trigger a searing pain in her shoulders.  It was clear that Sapphire had worked out the precise limits of Bethany’s endurance of this torture, and bound her just short of this threshold, in order to instigate major discomfort, but without causing any long term damage to her muscles and joints – providing she stayed rooted to the precise spot on which she’d been left.

So what could she do to alleviate the trauma of the long hours ahead? Without even the comfort of a rope running tightly and tantalisingly between her legs on this occasion, Bethany’s only hope was mind over matter. In other words, she had to find things to divert her thoughts away from the dire position she found herself in.  Having contemplated the error that Dolores had made concerning the events of the previous day, Bethany’s thoughts turned to the unexpected arrival of a new prisoner in their midst, namely Saskia.

Even taking into account the fact that she’d only viewed the trespasser in the grounds from her lofty turret, and notwithstanding the fact that, when the newcomer had been paraded before the masses at the party, her head had been mostly hidden beneath a latex hood, Bethany was still certain that the two were one and the same. And what was more, the sudden look of recognition that this latest addition to the roster of captives had suddenly shown, as their cages had come into close proximity, suggested that this state of recognition was mutual, and that could only mean one thing, namely that Bethany’s disappearance had been reported and broadcast in the media. And this circumstance caused a wave of optimism to surge through the severely bound woman, although how she’d been traced to rural Suffolk remained a mystery. Any time now, she tried to convince herself, the cavalry would arrive and rescue them all from this house of horrors. Surely Saskia wouldn’t have come here alone, without informing anyone else of her mission, would she?

****

In stark contrast to the drudgery of another marathon session in sightless, soundless bondage which both Bethany and Cathy were enduring, Saskia’s Sunday was certainly anything but dull, although the events scheduled for her were not necessarily those that she would have chosen to participate in.

Dolores’ rhetorical question as to what was to become of the trembling caged and bound reporter, was accompanied by the click of her fingers. The signal wasn’t particularly loud, but the response was almost immediate, and took the form of the three female figures in their figure-hugging latex outfits appearing through the open doorway. Each seemed to know exactly what was expected of them, without the need for further instruction. Whilst the one dressed all in black lowered the cage slowly to the floor, the silver and pink attired maidens edged closer to the place where the metal enclosure was coming to rest. With the thud of metal on wooden dance floor, the silver suited figure - whose garment glistened in the light of the sun that streamed in through the windows -quickly unlocked and opened the door of the pen, before her pink attired colleague squeezed inside and dragged Saskia to her feet.

The short chain that connected her ankles proved to be a major hindrance in getting Saskia to step out of the cage but, still teetering on the monstrous heels that made walking an unenviable chore, she finally emerged from her place of incarceration. Holding her sheathed and strapped arms out to one side, in a gesture designed as a plea for her release, cut no ice with Dolores or her faithful sidekicks however, and within seconds the chain that still hung from the collar around her neck was seized and she found herself being led towards the door.

“My girls will get you washed and provide you with a different outfit. Then we’ll have a nice little chat about your future.”

The mention of her future, and the unspoken yet clear implication that she would have no say in her own destiny, was the catalyst that tipped Saskia over the edge. Thrusting her arms outwards as far as the strapping around her body would allow, she stubbornly tried to dig her heels in and refused to move forwards. Unfortunately, the precarious nature of her footwear resulted in her beginning to topple over backwards, and the only thing that stopped her landing in an undignified heap on the floor was that fact that the pink costumed servant caught her before she fell. Dolores sighed loudly and sauntered over to where Saskia was being steadied on her high heels once more.

“Do you really think that being obstinate and uncooperative is in your best interests, Saskia? I’m disappointed. I credited you with a bit more intelligence than that.”

She put her face close to the latex of Saskia’s hood and whispered menacingly through gritted teeth.

“Now be a good girl and do as you’re told, or else life could become a lot less tolerable than it is at present. Do I make myself clear?”

Saskia felt the tears welling up in the corners of her eyes, and a soft whimper inadvertently seeped from behind her layered gag. These telltale signs of unhappiness were lost on the Mistress, however, and when no answer was forthcoming, the question was repeated, this time with added menace in her tone.

“I said, do I make myself clear?”

Trembling with fear, Saskia meekly nodded.  This brought a mirthless smile to Dolores’ face.

“Good, I’m glad we understand each other.”

She turned to the waiting servants.

“Okay girls, take her away. I’m sure you’ll get no more trouble from our prisoner. But if you do, you have my permission to take whatever steps you feel are necessary to punish her misdemeanours. ”

****

Saskia found herself being whisked away as fast as the chain connecting her ankles would allow. Up the grand central staircase, with its portraits of happily bound and gagged young women gazing down upon her,  then along a bleak grey corridor with its rows of identical closed doors. What lurked behind these solid wooden barriers? Saskia didn’t really want to find out, but it soon became apparent that one particular room had been singled out as her next port of call. As the door was unlocked by the mute pink-suited member of Dolores’ team, the fear of what might be concealed beyond overwhelmed Saskia, and she found herself – despite the threat of retribution if she stepped out of line – refusing to budge as her minders tried to coerce her into entering the dark interior. And the more the three servants tried to persuade her to cross the threshold, the more mule-like her resistance became. You might think that three unbound women versus one in tight restraints would be a completely one sided contest, but from somewhere Saskia found a strength that she didn’t know she possessed, and for half a minute or so managed to stay the right side of the door as far as she was concerned; kicking out at her tormentors and doing everything within her power to stop them achieving their goal.

She hadn’t banked on them having a secret weapon up their sleeves however, or more accurately, in the small metal case that the black-suited figure carried with her. Obviously getting a little annoyed with their captive’s unruly antics, Saskia squealed into her sponge gag as she watched the case being opened to reveal a syringe and hypodermic needle within. The sight of this caused her to fight even harder against the trio of zombie-like females, but her strength was by now waning. As two grabbed her by the shoulders and held her as still as they could, the third withdrew the surgical apparatus out of its box, before quickly and expertly bringing it up to Saskia’s shoulder.  One of the women had grasped the latex of her hood by this time, and had pulled the clinging membrane up an inch or so to expose the skin on the right side of Saskia’s neck. And it was into this now vulnerable area of her bare flesh that the needle struck. Within a second, a sharp pain seared through her neck, and almost immediately she found herself becoming light headed.

Saskia still tried to keep up her resistance, but as the seconds past she found her efforts becoming ever more feeble, and soon the trio had her laid on the floor and were lifting her bodily into the dark interior of the room. Still trying to kick out at her guards, Saskia felt all her energies slowly being sapped, and her limbs developed a weird, slow-motion numbness that gave her the impression that she was attempting to move through a barrel of treacle. At the same time, her head began to spin, so that the walls of the room into which she was being carried became a fuzzy blur. But within a few more seconds, even this visual stimulus was lost, as her eyelids became heavier and heavier, until finally the effort of keeping them open proved too great a feat to accomplish. The last thing she remembered, before unconsciousness took the reins, was the sensation of being laid to rest on the hard wooden floorboards.  

****

What happened while she was out of it, Saskia could only guess at. But as she began to come round, the reverse process of her fall into a dead-to-the-world stupor took place, and she gradually felt her initially fuzzy senses sharpening, in tandem with the restoration of the strength and coordination to her muscles and joints. And this return to the land of the living revealed several changes in her circumstances.

For a start, she was no longer hooded, although there still seemed to be something inside her mouth. But the texture and taste of this insert didn’t seem the same as before, and it took her a minute or two to realise that the sponge ball had now been removed, to be replaced by something that felt more like a piece of cloth or rag; or more specifically, as she tried to spit the offending item out, a piece of rough towelling fabric. But ridding her taste buds of this unpleasantly scented speech inhibitor was never an option, as there was something tightly wrapped around her face and lower head, which seemed to be adhering determinedly to her flesh, and wouldn’t relinquish its grip no matter how much she tried to exercise her jaw or puff out her cheeks.

But the changes to her facial adornments were only part of the transformation that she’d undergone whilst in the grip of the powerful anaesthetic that had so debilitated her. For as she tried to sit up from her prone position on the floor, it became apparent that her arms were no longer sheathed in the bondage sleeve that had been her party outfit, and that the straps which had encompassed her all night had also been removed. But this wasn’t to say that she was in any way better off from a freedom standpoint.

Saskia gazed at the canvas sacking that she seemed to have been bedecked in during her unexpected journey to the land of blissful oblivion.  Her arms, she discovered as she tried to use them to sit upright, were each pulled tightly across her chest, with her hands on the opposite sides of her body. Like the rest of her upper body, they had been sheathed in thick, cream-coloured sleeves. And two things were immediately evident; firstly that these sleeves were cul-de-sacs from which her hands didn’t emerge; and secondly that they obviously had some kind of straps attached to the extremities, which had been fastened at her back, so that it was impossible to uncross her arms. Another strap – this one visible to her – had been sewn into the front of the garment and formed a loop, through which her arms had been threaded, so that any urge she may have had to move her arms up, down or away from her body was never going to be in any way successful.  The collar area of this garment fitted tightly around her neck, making an attempt to wriggle her shoulders free through this potential outlet a non-starter. And to compound matters still further, a tautly pulled, extremely intrusive strap had been passed through her legs from back to front, with the securing buckle visible on her abdomen, which meant that lifting the whole constraining garment up over her head was out of the question.  

Below this effectively restraining outfit, and contrasting starkly with it in colour, Saskia noticed that her legs were now ensconced in silky black tights that shimmered in the light every time she moved. And on top of the hosiery, her feet and lower legs had been shod in calf length suede boots which, although boasting high heels, were nothing compared to the outrageous seven or eight inch spikes she’d been forced to endure earlier.  But even allowing for the more modest heels, Saskia was instantly aware that she would have great difficulty in walking at present, as her legs had been welded together with excruciatingly tight black leather straps in four places, with the lowest being at her ankles and the highest around the tops of her thighs.

One other adjustment to her appearance had also taken place during her enforced slumbers. Although she couldn’t see exactly what had been done, it was obvious that her hair had in some way been bunched up and positioned on the top of her head, as her locks no longer flowed around her shoulders.  

Having assessed her new method of bondage, her attire and her hairstyle as best she could, Saskia’s attention turned to the location in which she now found herself. Not the small room to which she was being taken when she last had any memory of events, but instead she found herself in the familiar surroundings of Dolores’ parlour, where she’d been served tea just prior to being hoodwinked into captivity the day before. She was sitting on the floor close to the hearth, where a log fire burned, despite the warmth of the day. But apart from the occasional crackle of a log as the heat split it asunder, or the slow, regular tick of a grandfather clock, all was silent. Saskia was just considering what the best method of locomotion would be in order to leave the room, when the door suddenly burst open and in walked Dolores. Closing the door behind her once more, she sashayed slowly over to where her prisoner languished.

“Well Saskia, how do you like your new look? I must say it rather suits you.”

She paused momentarily to observe the latest addition to her collection of captives, before strolling over to the window and gazing out.

“I hear you gave my servants a hard time upstairs a bit earlier. I told you that disobedience wouldn’t be tolerated, but some people just don’t heed good advice when it’s offered, do they?”

She turned and looked at the wide-eyed Saskia lounging in front of the fire, then flicked her hand out, dismissively.

“But that’s all irrelevant now. What matters is that you get it into your head that you’re my prisoner and that you’re here to stay.”

A short burst of muffled sound seeped through Saskia’s gag as the Mistress’ words hit home, and she wriggled uneasily in her bonds for several seconds. Dolores ignored this and looked back out of the window, addressing her captive with her back turned.

“So you’re a journalist who fancies herself as a bit of a detective as well, eh? Not very good at it though, are you? More Inspector Clouseau than Sherlock Holmes if you ask me.”

She turned around and smiled.

“I would have thought that the first rule, when you’re snooping around somewhere that you’re not supposed to be, would be to ensure that you’re not caught in the act. Getting yourself into the situation you now find yourself in was careless in the extreme, I feel.”

At this point, Saskia decided that enough was enough, and that she had to do something about the deepening crisis which she appeared to have become bogged down in. But her screams of “let me go!” and suchlike, were stifled at birth by the efficiency of the cloth in her mouth, and her physical endeavours also proved to be a miserable failure, as she wrenched and battled to find a way out of the tightly fitting straitjacket. All this activity simply made Dolores laugh.

“Do you really think that I’d just leave you here in something you had even the remotest chance of getting out of? Really Saskia, after the scenes you witnessed last night, you must realise that bondage is second nature to everyone at Shackleton Grange, and that every possible avenue of escape is appraised and shut down before it even arises. You might as well stop all this wriggling and wiggling nonsense and just learn to accept the inevitable.”

Dolores waited a few seconds more before continuing, as Saskia’s forlorn attempt at escape petered out with a barely audible whimper.

“So Saskia, I’m sure you’re asking the question, what becomes of you now? Well the answer is very simple.”

The Mistress paced slowly across the room, then back again.

“You’ll join my ever growing list of guests, who, for one reason or another, have been forbidden to leave Shackleton Grange.  I’m sure you recognised your two caged colleagues last night as the missing women that you were so keen on ascertaining the whereabouts of. And I’m also sure you’ve worked out that, as they’re here to stay, I couldn’t possibly allow you to leave and raise the alarm.”

As this information sunk in, Saskia found herself trying to stand up, in a desperate bid to get out of this house by any means possible. But alas, even getting to her feet soon proved to be beyond her means, and her efforts to lift herself only resulted in her falling backwards and ending up sprawled inelegantly on the rug. Dolores walked over and stood over her prone form. Lifting her boot up, she placed it on Saskia’s shoulder, in order to deter any repeat performance.

“So today Saskia, I’ve decided that we’re going to have a little bit of fun.  Cathy and Bethany have been tucked away safely for the day, and my servants have their chores to do clearing up after last night’s little shindig, so that just leaves me and you to entertain ourselves.”

The Mistress removed her foot away from her cowering captive and walked across the room.

“Firstly, I thought it would be nice to listen to a bit of music.”

She opened the door of what looked like an antique sideboard which stood along one wall of the room. This revealed a large collection of LPs stacked inside. Kneeling down, she scanned the spines for the record she wanted.

“That disco music is all well and good for a party, but personally I prefer a bit of rock... ah, here we are!”

She pulled a sleeve out from the vertically positioned row of records. Standing back up, she brought her vinyl choice over to the fireside.  Smiling broadly, she held out the cover for Saskia to study.

“Does this remind you of anyone you know?”

If Saskia’s mouth hadn’t been filled with cloth and taped shut, she would have gasped audibly. For there, staring back at her, was a woman dressed in similar fashion to herself. Ok, so the woman on the cover wasn’t gagged. Nor were her legs strapped together. But the canvas straitjacket, the black tights and the calf length boots all mirrored her own attire. The woman was staring out at her, open-mouthed, with a look of shock written on her face. Sitting on the floor of what appeared to be a padded cell, her tousled hair stood up on top of her head and had then been fashioned to stick out horizontally to the right from the viewer’s perspective. In the top left hand corner, the name of the artist was given as ‘Pat Benatar’, whilst the top right gave the name of the album: ‘Get Nervous’.

Dolores slipped the black vinyl disc from its cover and inner sleeve, then walked over to where a stereo system sat on a small, intricately carved oak table. She put the record on and within seconds the music blasted out into the room from speakers set high up on the walls; Ms Benatar singing something about ‘running with the shadows of the night’. Turning the volume down slightly, Dolores walked back to where Saskia lay and stood the now empty cover against the leg of a chair, only inches from Saskia’s prone position.

“You see Saskia, this is one of my favourite albums, not only for the music, but also the photo on the front. I’ve often thought I’d like to recreate this image that Pat portrays so wonderfully, but until now I’ve never really found anyone suited to the part... until yesterday. As soon as I saw you, I knew that you were the ideal candidate to help with this little project.”

She paced the room as she spoke. 

“Unfortunately, I always felt that whoever did the rigging for the photo shoot didn’t go quite far enough. As you can see, her legs have been left untied and she isn’t gagged, and I always wondered what the finished job would look like. Well at last I know!”

From behind a chair, Dolores pulled out an ornately framed mirror, around three feet square. She set this up side by side with the LP cover, placed strategically so that Saskia could view her own image alongside that of the straitjacketed and anxious looking singer, (whose disembodied voice was by now informing the room that she was ‘looking for a stranger’).

Saskia couldn’t quite believe the similarity in look between herself and the famous American rock chick. Her hair, she now discovered, had been styled in almost identical fashion to her famous double, with blue eye shadow having been applied to perfectly mimic the singer’s upper face. Had her lips been painted bright red like the woman’s on the album cover? There was no way of knowing, as Saskia’s mouth was concealed behind a wall of grey tape. Another difference, as Dolores had already mentioned, was in the strictness of the bondage, with Saskia coming off far worse in this respect. For whereas Pat had been allowed the luxury of sitting with her legs crossed, Saskia’s were strapped inescapably tightly to each other. The straitjacket she had been placed in was also worn far more securely than that of her counterpart, with the singer’s restraining attire being far looser around the neck area, and the slackness of the sleeves suggesting  that the rock star had far more chance of getting out of her restraints unaided than did Saskia.

Mesmerised by the two images before her, Saskia was brought back to reality by a flash of light accompanied by a soft whirring sound. Looking up, she saw Dolores checking the image she’d just captured on her digital camera.

“Very nice. I’ll get this framed and add it to my gallery. I might even have to send Ms Benatar a copy, to show her where she went wrong.”

Slowly, Dolores sauntered across to an armchair and sat down. For several minutes she sat and watched her helpless captive, as one song ended and the singer begun telling the world how ‘anxiety’s got me on the run’. Finally the Mistress sighed and broke her silence.

“Anyway Saskia,  as a journalist I would imagine you’re dying to ask lots of questions about what’s been going on here this past week, and exactly what I’m planning for your future now that you’re inextricably linked with recent events here at Shackleton Grange. Well, your two little friends have been entertaining me with their antics for the past few days, but now the fun has to come to an end. Now that they’re settled in, I’m starting them on a strict training regime that will, in a few weeks’ time, see them transformed into obedient slaves with no will of their own, just like Electra, Sapphire and Crystal, who you’ve already had the pleasure of interacting with.”

She stood up and threw another log onto the smouldering embers.

“It’s amazing what can be done with sensory deprivation, drugs and mind numbing repetition, you know.”

With the fire now burning brightly once more, she came over and sat on the mat next to her straitjacketed detainee; the tight leather of her cat-suit creaking slightly as she bent her knees to lounge on the rug.

“Of course, I had thought that while this training was going on, I’d be left with no one to play with. But then you turned up. Eventually, you’ll be taking the same route into servitude as Cathy and Bethany...”

She placed her hand on Saskia’s right thigh and began gently stroking.

“...but for now, you’ll be their replacement in my never ending search for fun and entertainment.”

Saskia flinched at the intimate contact, and tried to shift an inch or two further away from this woman who was clearly deranged.  Dolores’ stroking suddenly stopped however, to be replaced by a firm grip on her captive’s tights-covered flesh.  Her next utterance was one word long and her tone left Saskia in no doubt that it was a command not a request.

“Struggle!”

Saskia must have hesitated a fraction of a second too long, as almost immediately she found Dolores’ other hand gripping her chin painfully.

“I said struggle!”

With tears welling up in her eyes, Saskia began wriggling half heartedly, fearing that this was some sort of trick that would ultimately result in punishment of some description being meted out. It soon became apparent, however, that Dolores simply loved seeing her victim attempt - and ultimately fail - to get free.

“Struggle girl, as if your life depended on it. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to give you something to really squirm about. And you won’t find that particularly pleasant, I can assure you.”

Dolores got up off the carpet and stood over her terrified guest, as the latter did her best to fulfil the Mistress’ wishes by bucking and straining against the straps that held her arms in such a strict embrace around her torso.

Dolores slowly went back to the armchair, her eyes never leaving Saskia’s thrusting and twisting body, and with a smug smile ever-present on her lips.

 For at least five minutes, Dolores simply watched on in silence, as Saskia toiled away at trying to attain a freedom that was both beyond her means, and would never have been tolerated anyway should she, by some miracle, have succeeded. By this point, the exertion needed to keep up this level of activity, the thickness of the canvas garment, plus the blazing fire, all conspired to ensure that Saskia was sweating profusely.  Mercifully, at this point, Dolores seemed to get bored of this method of ‘entertainment’ and called a halt.

“You seem to be getting a little bit hot under the collar there, Saskia. I guess the excitement is getting to you. It’s time, I think, to put you in a more suitable environment; somewhere where you can struggle and writhe to your heart’s content without fear of injuring yourself...”

She rose from her chair, the soft squeak of leather mingling with the incessant crackling from the fireplace. She picked up the LP cover and held it close to Saskia’s face.

“...A bit like the cell that Pat is luxuriating in on the cover.”

Saskia gazed at the plain but clearly padded nature of the walls that formed the backdrop behind the straitjacketed female; just like those rooms in psychiatric hospitals into which patients were placed when having a psychotic or violent episode, in order to prevent them from hurting themselves. But surely there was no such facility at Shackleton Grange, was there?

As one song finished, and a new one started – Pat singing something about having ‘a burning desire to be the victim’ - the Mistress walked over to the left hand side of the fire and pulled twice on a braided cord that hung from the ceiling, which until now had remained unnoticed by Saskia. Almost immediately, somewhere in the depths of the old house, a bell could be heard softly ringing. Despite the size and complexity of the rambling old building, with its maze of corridors and tunnels, it didn’t take more than ten seconds or so for Dolores’ three slave girls to respond to their Mistress’ call. The first to arrive was the black latex suited figure, followed only moments later by her two cohorts. Dolores waited until all three were standing in line before her; legs slightly apart, hands held behind their backs, with no emotion registering in their eyes.

“Girls, I want you to make our journalist friend here as comfortable as possible. She’s a bit frisky at the moment, so make sure she doesn’t cause any damage... either to herself or anyone else.”

As the telltale clicking sound of the stylus lifting from the plastic signalled that the first side of the record had run its course, Dolores held up the empty album sleeve to her silent audience, so they could see exactly what she had in mind. Having given her instruction, she turned back to Saskia.

“I’m going to leave you for a few hours to have fun in my special playroom for over-excitable girls. There are CCTV cameras in the room, so that I can monitor your activities at all times. I expect to see lots of struggling and squirming about. If not, I’ll be forced to take measures that will really give you cause to thrash about. Do I make myself understood?”

Saskia’s only response was a pathetic whimper into her gag, as the trio of compliant wenches hoisted their prisoner to her feet. Once upright, the silver-suited figure grabbed her shoulders and began forcing her to hop towards the doorway.  Knowing that resistance was futile, Saskia reluctantly allowed herself to be guided out of the room and through the foyer towards the staircase. Jumping up each step with her legs strapped firmly together proved a lengthy, not to mention energy sapping experience, but once the top was reached, the going got slightly easier and she found herself being navigated towards a specific door that lay at the end of one of the many long, dark corridors that seemed to permeate the whole structure of this eerily quiet mansion house.

The opening of the door revealed exactly what Saskia had been dreading. For the interior of this room was indeed fitted out almost exactly like the padded cell that graced the LP cover.  Being urged to enter, Saskia was forcibly pushed to the ground directly beneath an extremely bright neon strip light fixed to the ceiling in the centre of the room. Her meeting with the ground, however, was not a painful one, as the soft foam padding that covered the floor as well as the walls, made her almost bounce as she hit it. From her prone position, Saskia rolled over to face her three guards, but all she saw was their pert behinds in their tight latex suits, as they headed out of the room and quickly closed the door. The sound of a key turning in a lock soon followed.

Saskia looked around her new incarceration chamber. The floor, all four walls, and even the ceiling high above her had been covered in the same plush padding, with only the buttons that held the lagging in place standing out against the otherwise featureless background, and thus giving the whole scene a cushion-like effect. Even the space where the door had closed was now unidentifiable from the surrounding walls.  Apart from the bright light overhead, however, there were two other features that broke the otherwise monotonous outlook. In two diagonally opposite corners of the room, fixed to the walls only an inch or two from the ceiling, were the two CCTV cameras that Dolores had spoken of, each of which were aimed down towards the centre of the room.  And just to the side of one of these two intrusive spy monitors, a small speaker had been fitted.

For a few minutes, Saskia lay motionless on the floor, her head still pounding from the effects of either last night’s alcohol, the drugs pumped into her, or maybe the stress that this whole ordeal was creating. Or, most likely, a combination of all three elements. She had forgotten all about her instruction to struggle for all she was worth, but soon received a reminder, as the speaker suddenly crackled onto life and Dolores’ disembodied voice boomed around the small cell. She sounded calm, but there was a definite element of menace in her well chosen words.

“If you recall Saskia, I asked you to do everything within your powers to get out of the straitjacket that my three girls so lovingly dressed you up in. So far, you’ve just sat there without moving. As I said, I want you to entertain me. You see, when I get bored, I get very angry, and when I get angry, I’m the meanest, nastiest, most sadistic bitch in the world. So unless you want me to stir things up and make life a little bit unpleasant for you, I suggest you start doing as you’re told. Now you’ve got thirty seconds to get my attention with your Houdini act, or I’ll send my girls in with some itching powder to put down your tights.”

The speaker went dead, although a sense of being watched immediately overcame Saskia.  And this feeling of being in the spotlight was quickly enhanced, as a soft whirring sound accompanied the movement of the cameras on their brackets, letting her know that there was no hiding place, and that Dolores had every corner of the room covered.  A shiver ran down her spine as she realised that, given what had already happened to her in less than twenty four hours, the chances were that Dolores was deadly serious in her threat to inflict some form of torture, should her demands not be satisfied.

Trembling with dread, and knowing that it was all in vain, as her efforts would all come to nothing, Saskia began her mock battle to free herself. For what seemed like hours, she rolled and writhed, wrestled and fought against the unforgiving straps and buckles that held her fast. Finally, on the point of exhaustion, having warped and contorted her body and limbs into every possible position imaginable, she gave up. Breathing heavily through her nose had taken its toll and sapped her energy to the point where she was past caring. If Dolores decided to punish her for inaction, then so be it. For what could be worse than the sense of fatigue and utter futility which now washed over her?

She expected to receive an angry warning through the intercom, or even a visit from the three latex-clad lackeys to carry out whatever despicable retribution Dolores had in mind, but for some reason nothing of the sort materialised. It suddenly struck her that the cameras were no longer sweeping the room, and she deduced that Dolores had probably given up on her vigil, and that she was no longer under observation. And so, now fatigued beyond measure, and with her head feeling like it had been split open, Saskia gladly succumbed once more to a deep, dreamless sleep.

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20.12.17

story continued in part 20

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