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The Secrets of Shackleton Grange
by Steve Spandex
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© Copyright 2016 - Steve Spandex - Used by permission
Storycodes: F+/f; burglar; caught; punish; bond; gag; bridle; ponygirl; escape; capture; encase; mausoleum; stuck; strip; naked; hood; tease; cons/nc; X
jpn
The Secrets of Shackleton Grange 4 Steve Spandex F+/f; burglar; caught; punish; bond; gag; bridle; ponygirl; escape; capture; encase; mausoleum; stuck; strip; naked; hood; tease; cons/nc; X
story continued from part three

Chapter 4

When she came to, Cathy found herself lying in the recovery position on the grass. For a second or two she forgot where she was and tried to sit up. But immediately she discovered that her arms were still encased in the unforgiving leather sleeve, although, on the plus side, she was no longer lashed to the trotting cart, and the bit had been loosened to allow it to slip from her mouth. The harness was still fastened tightly around her torso however, and the bridle straps continued to bite deeply into her face and neck.  As the comprehension of where she was finally returned and her eyes were once more able to focus, she realised that there was a general hubbub of noise somewhere away to her right. Turning her head, she noticed most of the stable girls, plus Dolores and her three right- hand- women, all milling around a trotting cart that seemed to have overturned at a distance of around fifty yards from where she lay. It was obvious straightaway that one of the participants in the time trial had crashed, spilling her rider in the process. This was evidenced by the fact that the main group were now clustered around one of the woman, who was gingerly getting to her feet; her hair dishevelled and her skin-tight suit covered in dust and dirt. The ponies, all still harnessed to their carts, stood around gazing on helplessly.

With some difficulty, due to both her bondage and her recent collapse, Cathy managed to get to her feet. She took a quick glance around. None of the other women seemed to be showing any interest in her; their attention focused instead on the accident and their fallen colleague. Although still groggy, Cathy knew that she might never get a better opportunity to make her escape. As stealthily as she could, she made a beeline for the wooded area, around one hundred yards away in the opposite direction from the crash site. As she ran, she half expected to hear a shout as the alarm was raised. But this failed to materialise. As she reached the trees, she momentarily paused and turned to look back in the direction that she had just come, hoping against hope that she wasn’t going to be greeted with the sight of Dolores and her cohorts charging in hot pursuit towards their escaped convict. But for once luck was on her side, as all eyes seemed to still be focused on the victim of the carting accident. 

But how long would she have before someone noticed that she had fled the scene?  Probably not more than a minute or two at most. There was, she realised, no time to lose. Quickly darting into the cover of the trees, she set her course in the direction that she was sure she’d earlier glimpsed the door in the wall, which would – hopefully – lead her back into the outside world.

With her arms of no use to her, common sense told Cathy that her best chance of avoiding a potentially nasty fall would be to take the well used and comparatively level race track. But instead she left the path behind her and headed off into the undergrowth; figuring that should her disappearance be spotted sooner, rather than later, then at least she would be able to find refuge amongst the sea of ferns and tall grass that grew in tangled abundance amidst the closely packed trees.

If running in the open had been a trial, then it was nothing when compared to the going now that she was off the beaten track. Ploughing her way through the dense vegetation made a great deal of noise, as twigs snapped, leaves rustled and fallen branches and other forest floor detritus crunched underfoot. So far, however, she had been given no indication that a search party had been assembled to hunt her down.  The sun’s rays only rarely penetrated this deeply through the canopy above, and it was within this world of semi-darkness that Cathy blundered in her quest to locate that ancient doorway. Where was it? She stopped for a few seconds, both to get her bearings and to catch her breath. In the dim light, at first all she could make out through the gloom were trees and dense foliage in every direction. But then, she glimpsed something away to her left that looked too uniform in design to be of natural origin. She took a few steps forwards and realised at once that she was heading in the right direction. For there, only yards away, was the regular rectangular pattern of brickwork that she knew at once to be Shackleton Grange’s boundary wall.

Knowing that there could be unsuspecting members of the public only a short distance away, Cathy’s instincts told her that she should cry out for someone to come to her assistance. But she managed to control the urge to yell at the top of her voice at this time; figuring that this would be just as likely to attract the attention of Dolores and her team, as it was to summon these imaginary rescuers who quite possibly didn’t even exist, given the fact that the house was out in the middle of nowhere. And of course, scaling the wall was out of the question given her bondage. No, the only thing to do was stick to her original plan until she came across the ancient, neglected door.

Figuring that the exit must be away to her right, she began treading cautiously through the foliage beneath the towering ancient wall.  And within no more than two minutes, she spied what she was looking for: the gateway to her freedom. Or so she hoped.

As Cathy stood before the thick slab of weather-beaten wood, the first faint sound of a human voice reached her. Unfortunately, this came not from the other side of the wall, but from behind her, in the direction from which she knew her pursuers would descend upon her. There was no time to lose; she simply had to get that door open any way she could. On the right hand side of the gate, at a height of about three and a half feet from the ground, Cathy spied a handle and thumb actuated lever, in the style commonly known as a Suffolk Latch. On the left of the door, she noted with joy, the lack of visible hinges, which suggested that the door swung outwards, rather than inwards; a blessing, considering that pushing was much easier than pulling given the current state of her arms. Turning her back on the door, Cathy tried to operate this rusted fixture the only way she could, by pushing down on the lever with her mitten-enclosed hands.  It took several seconds of fumbling, but once she was sure that this aim had been achieved, she leant back and pushed her weight against the wood, hoping and praying that the door would swing open.

No such luck. She pushed again as hard as she could, desperately anticipating the moment when the heavy wooden obstruction would give way and allow her to make her escape.  This wished for scenario failed to materialise, however. With tears beginning to form in the corners of her eyes, Cathy turned and gazed at the door. Why wouldn’t it open?  The mystery was soon solved.  For right at the top, only an inch or so below the doorway’s stone lintel, she encountered the reason for the door’s refusal to budge. Rusted and probably not released from its staple for many a year, she spied a bolt that kept trespassers from using this as a gateway onto the mansion’s grounds...and now acted to ensure that this despairing captive wasn’t going to use it as a means of leaving either.  If her hands had been free, Cathy could simply have reached up and – providing the whole thing hadn’t rusted up and become unmovable - made her getaway. But whether this bar to her progress still functioned as it should was a moot point right now.  With her arms held in check behind her back, and her fingers encased in a mitten of tightly secured leather, there was no way she could reach up and test the efficiency of this hindrance to her freedom.

The voices were getting louder now, with Dolores barking out orders to all and sundry. Not all her words could be made out clearly, but one phrase that Cathy caught with crystal clarity made her shudder with renewed fear.

“That girl is in so much trouble when I get hold of her. I’ll chain her up and throw away the key.”

In her terror, Cathy smashed her foot as hard as she could several times into the stubbornly shut barrier in front of her. It wasn’t that she had any realistic hope of the gate suddenly miraculously giving way, but the notion of once more being caught and bound up for evermore in some dark and dingy hellhole was just too much to bear. Her kicks had very little effect, other than to make the door rattle and squeak on its hinges. But one unwelcome consequence that did stem directly from this dull but reasonably loud thudding of boot on timber, was that it alerted the hunting party to the precise whereabouts of their quarry.

****

“So, my little runaway, thought you could outsmart me did you?”

The voice that Cathy had dreaded hearing sent waves of panic rushing to every extremity of her body. She turned around and saw Dolores standing twenty yards from the gate; legs apart, arms akimbo, as was her wont. She was frowning and her hair was tousled and unkempt – a consequence of making her way through the dense undergrowth. Standing just behind her, on either side, Cathy could see her three ever-present dogsbodies, plus several of the stable girls. All stared menacingly at their cornered prey.

Cathy sunk to her knees and sobbed, as the realisation hit home that her bid for freedom had failed. Through her tears, she began begging pitifully for mercy.

“Please! You’ve had your fun with me. If you let me go now I swear I won’t tell anyone! Please, I’m begging you. LET ME GO!”

The hint of a smile forced its way into Dolores’ features, as she made her way forwards; motioning with her hands for her colleagues to keep their distance just for now. Approaching to within two feet of her cowering captive, she knelt down and looked her directly in the eyes. Forcing the bit back into Cathy’s mouth, she secured the strap tightly, tutting disappointedly as she did so.

“Cathy, Cathy, Cathy. Did you really think that I’d be so stupid as to leave an escape route open so that you could just leave without saying goodbye?  You really have underestimated me haven’t you?  Well now you’re going to have to pay the price for all this inconvenience you’ve put me and my guests through.”

Then adding as an afterthought,

“Oh and by the way, the two girls involved in the little accident you witnessed? Both pony and jockey are fine; a bit shaken up but no lasting damage...But thanks for asking.”

Standing up, she grabbed Cathy by the shoulders and pulled the still quivering female to her feet; her thoughts returning to the matter in hand.

“So, firstly, I’m going to have to increase your sentence. Let me see now, how much longer do you think this little misdemeanour is worth?”

She paused and pretended to weigh matters up for a few seconds, but it was obvious that this was just for show, and that her mind was already made up on this issue.

“Let’s say an extra month, shall we? That makes four months and one week by my reckoning.”

For a second or two, Dolores averted her eyes from Cathy and rallied her troops.

“Okay ladies, let’s make sure Cathy is all snugly locked up for the night, shall we?”

As the women advanced, she turned back to the softly weeping Cathy.

“I know just the place to keep naughty girls like you all safe and secure for twenty four hours or so. Don’t worry though, you won’t be alone.”

****

Being frogmarched by Dolores’ three ever faithful servants, whilst surrounded and closely monitored by the other women, Cathy found herself being taken deeper into the underbrush, until she had completely lost her bearings. Suddenly, through the maze of moss covered old growth timber and dense, tangled briars and brambles that grasped and tugged at her legs and occasionally stabbed through the spandex of her skin-tight outfit, Cathy caught a glimpse of a lichen encrusted granite and marble edifice that rose from the forest floor to a height of more than ten feet. Architecturally elegant, this domed structure was clearly of great age. And it was obvious, from the way the woodland flora had encroached and embraced the lower reaches of the solemn grey masonry, that it was several years since anyone had been out here.  Cathy’s panic rose to a state bordering on hysteria, as she was forcibly led around the periphery of this strange building. But to her surprise she found that there was no door or other point of entry visible in the tightly packed stonework. But why, if this wasn’t to be her place of confinement, had she been brought here?  And if she was to be entombed here, how was she to be interred? The answer to these questions was not long in coming.

As Dolores began to address her whimpering convict once again, Cathy watched in wide-eyed dismay as the three slaves located a large steel ring that was set in one of the blocks of stone, and slowly, with great effort and much straining of muscles, began to slide the solid slab out from its resting place.

“This mausoleum was established by the original owners of Shackleton Grange about five hundred years ago. For generations, it was the burial place of the lords and ladies of the manor, right up until the middle of the nineteenth century.”

The huge square of stone had now been removed, to reveal a black chasm that lead into the heart of this long forgotten crypt.

“So, as I said, you won’t be alone in there. Rumour has it that some of the – what shall we call them? – ‘residents’ of the tomb were murdered, or maybe committed suicide, and that their spirits aren’t at peace. Some say they’ve heard strange noises coming from within, or seen lights floating through the trees in this vicinity. Personally, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m sure you don’t either, do you Cathy? Either way, you can let me know tomorrow whether you have anybody from the netherworld come and visit you during the night.”

As several of the women forced her into a sitting position on the stone step that formed the base of the monument, Cathy screamed as loudly as she could, and once again tried to convince Dolores that she didn’t have to incarcerate her in this archaic tomb. She would, she promised, be good from now on and not attempt to escape again. It did her no good, of course. But it did highlight to Dolores and her crew the fact that the bit was very inefficient as a muffler of sound.  Measures to rectify this situation were soon put into place, however.  

Without being summoned to do so, one of the women stepped forward and, before Cathy knew what was happening, loosened the bridle momentarily and yanked the bit from between her teeth. In its place, a cavity filling piece of rolled up cloth was unceremoniously inserted; after which, the bridle was once again strapped tightly around her jaw to ensure the makeshift gag remained in-situ.  Whilst this was going on, several other women busied themselves by removing the boots from Cathy’s legs and strictly binding lengths of white rope at strategic intervals from ankles to thighs. Half-heartedly, Cathy wriggled and squirmed as her state of captivity once more worsened to a point where she could no longer stand, let alone contemplate running away.  As the binding process drew to a close, Cathy glanced up at Dolores, who had taken a step or two back to watch as her subjects finished their rigging duties.  Although tears blurred her vision, she was sure that she could discern a smile of satisfaction on the face of her principal tormentor. 

“Okay girls, that should hold her. I know it’s only mid afternoon, but I think it’s time to put Cathy to rest for the night.”

On this command, several pairs of hands lifted Cathy up bodily and began to insert her into the space left open by the displaced block of stone.  As she was pushed head first into the narrow tunnel, Cathy made one final plea to be spared this latest in a long line of nightmarish ordeals. But to no avail. As her head made its way deeper into the echoing dark interior of the mausoleum, the tight passageway suddenly broadened out into a high ceilinged chamber. And as she was forced further into the bowels of this stone sepulchre, so the light from outside dimmed, until all that was left was a shaft of dusky luminance from the opening through which she’d just entered. As Cathy gazed around in terror at her new surroundings, she noticed, on either side of her, several crumbling stone sarcophagi, clearly the final resting places of the long dead lords and ladies of the manor.  This view of tonight’s accommodation, however, was short-lived, as the grating sound of the stone being manoeuvred back into its original position reached her ears, and the shadowy grey gloom promptly gave way to an unbroken vista of pitch blackness. It matched Cathy’s mood to a tee.

****

“Right ladies, let’s get back to our ponies, shall we? Let’s hope they haven’t all decided to run off as well.”

Dolores’ words – faintly heard, as if spoken from afar – were the last sounds Cathy heard before silence descended within her confining chamber of stone.  The urge to scream was overwhelming, but what good would it do her? Breathing deeply, to try to rein in a state of hysteria that was threatening to explode at any moment, Cathy tried to think rationally about her situation. As far as she could recall, the block of stone had simply been eased out to create the opening in the thick wall of the crypt. So if it could be pulled from the outside, then surely she should be able to push with her feet and remove it just as easily.

It was a logical theory. But of course the reality of the situation wasn’t that simple. For a start, now that she was in complete darkness, locating the exact spot where she’d made her entrance wouldn’t be an easy task. Secondly, it had taken three women to pull the stone out, and presumably as many to reinsert it into the gap. So could she reasonably expect to achieve this feat on her own? And, of course, the women who removed, then reinserted the stone hadn’t been bound hand and foot. Tentatively pushing at the wall with her spandex covered feet in the general area that she was sure the exit had to be situated, brought no cause for optimism that the cold block of stone was about to slide away any time soon.  

****

Every hour that she spent in the sealed mausoleum of stone seemed to pass like a day to the helplessly bound and interred young cat burglar. With the bridle still strapped securely around her head, the harness likewise around her torso, her arms trammelled by the inescapable bondage sleeve, and her legs tethered with strict ropes, Cathy’s movements were limited to merely altering the position she was lying in every so often to make herself as comfortable as possible; not an easy task when the floor on which she languished was rock hard.

Very little sound penetrated through the walls of her tomb – no bird song or rustling of leaves, and most definitely no sound of human voices or activity. And if very little sound could penetrate the thick walls, then it seemed a logical conclusion that outgoing noise would be equally obliterated. The inside of the tomb was also deathly quiet; a condition which Cathy was more than happy with, seeing as how only rats and other small rodents -  or possibly troubled spirits of the dead - were likely to be sharing her accommodation that night. The blackness of the void into which her eyes stared was absolute and offered no chink of light, either physical or metaphorical, as to how, if Dolores didn’t return, she would ever get out of here alive. Thankfully, there didn’t seem to be a problem with the supply of air reaching her, although the source of this life sustaining oxygen was a mystery to her.  

Over and over again, Cathy replayed in her head the circumstances that had brought her to this sorry state of affairs. Her entry into the house, her capture, the straitjacket, the courtroom farce, the vacuum bed, the transformation into a human horse, the traumatic time-trial, and her so-close-but-yet-so-far escape bid; all were replayed and analysed by her troubled mind time and time again. But one question dominated her thought processes throughout: how was she going to get out of this mess?

Unfortunately, no answer was forthcoming.

****

After what seemed like several days, Cathy’s ears pricked up at the first sound of any relevance since this enforced period of confinement had begun.  Initially, after so long without aural stimulation, she wondered whether her senses were playing tricks on her. But then, the unmistakable grinding of stone again stone told her that, at last, the heavy obstruction blocking the exit was being slowly pulled back.

A shaft of very dim light suddenly sprang into being, which coincided with a blast of cooler air hitting her. Through the twilight, she watched as a pair of female hands reached into the opening, followed a second or two later by the head and shoulders of a woman she recognised as the blonde member of Dolores’ permanent ladies-in-waiting, still attired in her bright pink second skin, as she had been yesterday. The hood still covered her head, save for the area around her eyes and nose. Naturally, she made no effort to speak, but merely grabbed Cathy by her still bound ankles and began hauling her out of the stone chamber. 

After a few seconds of being dragged inelegantly through the short tunnel, Cathy emerged feet first into the outside world. Immediately she noticed, from the fact that the woods were in twilight, that it was now late evening. As she’d been incarcerated in full daylight on the afternoon of the previous day, it became apparent that her time in solitary confinement had been much more than twenty four hours, and probably more like thirty. As she looked around, she observed three shadowy figures step forward from the gloom and join their pink-clad colleague, who was by now standing directly over Cathy’s prostrate form; the tightly fitting leather boots only inches from her face, as if making sure that any attempt at escape was instantly foiled.

One of the figures who stepped forward was clothed in closely fitting red leather, and even before Cathy had time to look up at her face, she knew that this was Dolores.

“Nice to see you again Cathy. I hope the ghosts and ghouls didn’t frighten you too much. Now perhaps you can see what happens to unruly girls who try to escape my clutches. I do hope that your time locked away in there has made you realise that being compliant and accepting your sentence with good grace will make life a lot less disagreeable for you than if you disobey the terms and conditions under which you’re being held.”

She motioned to her troops.

“Get her back to the house girls. I think she’s suffered enough out here for the time being.”

Cathy was expecting her legs to be untied, but instead two of the hooded women picked her up and carried her; one grabbing her feet, the other her shoulders. Soon they had cleared the trees and were traipsing across the deserted courtyard towards the house, the windows of which were all in darkness, bar one or two at ground level.  As they marched along, Dolores explained the absence of the other guests.

“My clients have all gone home now Cathy - we even let Chantelle out of the wardrobe eventually. That’s not an option for you though. They all had a great time either tying or being tied up. And now they’re back out in real world, with their jobs to go to tomorrow and all the trials and tribulations that are a part of modern life.  But they all said how invigorating their stay here had been, and most, if not all of them, will be back for more. That’s what happens when you get seriously embroiled in bondage – you find you really can’t live without it. You’ll be thinking along those lines too soon enough, I’m sure.”

Cathy made a strange moaning sound through her gag, which was supposed to communicate something to the effect that she was certain she would never actually enjoy being bound and gagged. But what faint whimpering sound did manage to trouble the still night air was unintelligible, even to her.

“Oh, and by the way, if you‘re harbouring expectations of any of the ladies you encountered over the weekend raising the alarm regarding your continued imprisonment here, then I’m afraid you’re going to be extremely disappointed. They went away thinking that everything they saw - your entrance on Friday evening, the trial, the races, your escape bid – were all staged for their benefit. As far as they’re concerned, it was just role play and you were enjoying your bondage just as much as they were.”

By now the travelling party had reached the house and were entering through a small side door. Once inside, Dolores commanded her minions to convey their human cargo upstairs.

“Take her to the guest bathroom on the second floor, will you? Then you can call it a night. You’ve all done a really good job this weekend, so, as a reward, you can take the rest of the evening off.”

The three women showed no emotion, as obediently they began the task of transporting Cathy up a narrow staircase.  The corridors were ill-lit and the floorboards squeaked and groaned as the convoy made their upward journey.  Finally reaching their destination, one member of the mute triad unlocked one of the myriad of nondescript doors. As soon as the ancient wooden structure had swung open, her colleagues carried Cathy inside, before leaving their helpless captive standing precariously upright on the highly polished, tile covered floor. This room was better illuminated than the corridor outside, and as Cathy’s bound feet fought desperately to retain her balance, she noticed a shower cubicle in one corner, with a toilet and wash basin also in evidence. Her time teetering on the brink of an injurious plunge to the floor, however, lasted only a few seconds, as one of the women steadied her by grasping her shoulders, whilst another began undoing the straps on the bridle that had held her jaw in such tight constriction for well over a day. The gagging material was also jettisoned at this juncture, and was allowed to fall to the floor in a crumpled, saliva-saturated ball.

This remission from the bondage headwear was short-lived, however, for as soon as the pressure on her face eased with the loosening straps, the familiar leather hood that she’d worn the previous night was brought into play again, and within seconds Cathy’s blindness returned. With the facial covering in place, the click of the padlock at her neck informed her that the hood was no longer removable without access to the key.

Cathy viewed the application of this sensory depriving cover with mixed feelings. For hadn’t they briefly sheathed her head in this same hood during the interim period when they’d removed the straitjacket, prior to vacuum packing her? If the locking of the hood around her face could be seen as a precursor to the removal of her bonds, then removal of the arm-binder and leg ropes should shortly follow, which would be a great relief to her stiff and aching limbs. On the other side of the coin, of course, was the knowledge that this respite for her fatigued arms and legs would be only fleeting, as other methods of bondage – as yet unknown – would undoubtedly follow within no more than a few minutes.

And this ultimately proved to be exactly the case, although there were other surprises in store for Cathy before her bonds were renewed.  Firstly, the rope bondage that had held her legs in such close proximity to each other was removed, followed by the unbuckling and stripping away of the tight harness that had bitten deeply into the spandex covered flesh of her body with such painful stringency for so long. A moment or two later, she experienced the sensation of the straps that held the arm-binder in place loosening, before the lacing was slowly unpicked, allowing her elbows more freedom than they’d been accustomed to for many a long hour.  The long redundant rope around her wrists was also unknotted and removed.

Her release from bondage, even though she realised that she was no closer to real freedom, was a liberating experience, and one that she’d been anticipating since the hood had been sealed around her head. But what happened next caught her totally unawares and caused her to scream in shock and surprise. For her next sensory experience - no more than a second or two after the last of her bonds had been detached -  was the awareness of a pair of hands grasping the stretch material of her cat-suit at the shoulders and immediately beginning to ease the tightly fitting material down over her breasts; disrobing her hands and arms in the process . As she made every effort to halt the woman in her endeavours to undress her - and indeed tried to reverse the process - she found two more sets of hands grab and hold her arms firmly in vice like grips, as the smooth, close fitting fabric slithered slowly past her hips and over her thighs. Within seconds they were pulling the soft material over her ankles, and Cathy’s feet now came into direct contact with the cold tiles.

Since her capture, the one crumb of comfort that had been left to the otherwise unfortunate thief, was that she had been allowed to remain in her skin-tight layer of clothing. During that first night of uncertainty in the straitjacket, and once more during her bleak experience of the crypt, the caress of the spandex against her skin had been a familiar and reassuring presence in an otherwise tense and desperately lonely time. Now, however, with her clothing removed, her nudity brought with it the feeling of increased vulnerability and insecurity. For a few seconds, there was only silence in the room, and Cathy envisioned the trio of subservient woman standing by and watching her. Covering her breasts with her left arm, and placing her right hand over her sex, she waited in trembling uncertainty as to what was about to occur next.

As if on cue, the sound of a pair of high heels traversing the corridor grew louder for several seconds, before the creaking of a door told Cathy that someone else had entered the room. And it was no surprise when the newcomer turned out to be Dolores.

“Hmm, very nice. Very nice indeed.”

The heels clicked on the tiled floor as she came across to where Cathy stood in trembling silence.  From very close to her leather-clad head, she heard Dolores say in a hushed voice.

“Now Cathy, I know that you and I got off on the wrong foot, what with you breaking into my house, then trying to escape. But now I think it’s time to call a truce, don’t you?

She waited a few seconds, as if expecting some response, but when none was forthcoming, she continued.

“So what I propose now is to show you what life here can be like if you play by the rules.  You may even find that I’m actually quite a nice person when you get to know me.”

Cathy heard her pace across the room.

 “So what I’ve got planned for this evening is to let you have a nice hot shower, then get you fed and watered, before we sit down in front of the fire and have a nice long chat. How does that sound to you?”

 The question was obviously a rhetorical one, as she waited no time for an answer before addressing her slaves once more.

“Right girls, just help me get her in the shower and you can call it a day.”

Cathy felt three pairs of hands usher her towards the shower cubicle. Once inside, the sound of the door sliding shut reached her ears. Outside, Dolores was in the process of dismissing her troops.

“You’ve all worked really hard this weekend - especially as we had this unexpected problem to deal with. I’ve got a special surprise treat for you, so go back to your quarters and I’ll be along in a few minutes.”

The sound of the three women’s heels filing out of the room was followed by their gradually fading footfalls echoing down the long, empty corridor. Dolores waited until the sound had died away, before turning once more to her naked captive. She pulled back the shower screen again, and forced a large bar of soap into Cathy’s hand, before once more shutting the door. Almost instantly, a torrent of lukewarm water cascaded down upon the unsuspecting inmate. It was the surprise as much as anything else that made her squeal, although the coldness of the water was also a major shock, and she felt goose-bumps break out all over her body; the chill making her nipples instantly stand erect.  Mercifully, within a few seconds, the water had heated up to a more agreeable temperature and she began to find the constant stream refreshing and invigorating. She only wished that the hood would be removed, not only so that she could see, but so that she could allow this surge of revitalising liquid to wash through her hair.

“Don’t just stand there. You’ve got soap and water, so make good use of them.”

Self-consciously, Cathy began to do as she was told. Although Dolores remained silent for several minutes, Cathy got the feeling that she was being watched at all times. The floor was becoming slippery from the constantly splattering water intermixing with soap lather, and in her blindness Cathy found herself leaning against one wall of the cubicle, to make sure she didn’t lose her footing. Having soaped herself all over from the neck down, she stood beneath the warm spray to rinse herself off.  As quickly as it had begun, however, the deluge suddenly ceased, followed a second or two later by the door once again opening. Dolores took the now depleted soap from Cathy’s hand.

“Turn around.”

Cathy must have hesitated, because the command was repeated, with a hint of menace this time. Doing as she was told, Cathy found her wrists being grabbed and roughly pulled behind her back.

“What are you going to do?”

Her query was muffled by the hood and ignored, although in reality it didn’t need a reply, as Cathy knew only too well what was about to befall her.  She wasn’t one hundred percent certain at the time exactly what it was that Dolores used to bind her wrists, but it didn’t feel like rope. It seemed to have the texture of a very thin strip of leather, which tightened to the point where it bit deeply into her flesh to the extent that she gasped involuntarily with anguish. With the knot secured, she immediately tried to pull her hands free, but found them securely trapped.  Being naked and soaking wet, with her nipples still standing to attention, Cathy felt her level of vulnerability rise to a new level.  What did Dolores have planned for her now? A hundred possibilities ran through her head at that moment, none of them particularly pleasant.

But what actually transpired, turned out to be none of these feared options. Instead, to Cathy’s surprise, she felt first the straps, then the lacing on the hood slacken, and within seconds the wet leather was being pulled away from her head.  Cathy’s eyes immediately fell upon the form of her tormentor, standing in the small cubicle only a few inches away in her second skin of bright red leather. Automatically, Cathy tried to back away, but the cramped conditions meant that she almost instantly felt the wall at her back.  Dolores smiled, and for the first time this facial expression seemed to radiate a certain degree of warmth, as opposed to the sly, devious smirks that had been her forte up until now.

“Why are you shying away from me Cathy? I’m only trying to help you get cleaned up.”

Cathy noticed that Dolores had removed the detachable shower head from its wall bracket and now held it in her right hand. In her left was a bottle of shampoo. Briefly, she turned the water on and aimed it at Cathy’s straggly, rat-tailed locks, until they were soaked through. Then she applied shampoo to the tangled mass and began massaging it into her scalp. Stunned by this sudden show of gentleness and compassion, Cathy remained motionless; wondering all the time whether this was a genuine act of altruism, or merely the prelude to some form of punishment or torture. Thankfully, it turned out to be the former.  Dolores replaced the shower head in its bracket.

“Okay, I’m just going to get some fresh towels. Be a good girl and get all the shampoo out of your hair while I’m gone.”

Stepping out of the cubicle, she shut the screen door, before turning the water on once more, and it occurred to Cathy at this point that the controls were outside the cubicle; an unusual set up, it seemed. But then it dawned on her that this was intentional, and that this shower room had in the past probably played host to operations similar to the one now taking place. Or put another way, it was utilised for the washing of guests in various states of bondage, who were unable to turn the water on and off for themselves.

 Through the steam and the splattered Perspex screen, Cathy watched as Dolores exited the room, closing the bathroom door with the mandatory creaking of the hinges.

For a minute or two, Cathy allowed the torrent to flow through her now revitalised hair; feeling the warm torrent douse her troubled head with its soothing rain.  Soon, she knew, Dolores would be returning. But then what? Despite two days of captivity, plus the knowledge that being caught trying to escape would bring further woes to bear on her, Cathy’s spirit still desperately craved freedom. And she knew that, if this weekend was anything to go by, the chances of making a getaway would be few and far between. So any opportunity, however unlikely it might be to succeed, had to be seized and acted upon. It was obvious that she was to be bound for 99.9% of the time, and that for the other 0.1%, her head would undoubtedly be encased in the hood and locked at the neck. So being alone, with only her hands bound behind her back, was too good a chance to pass up.  Moreover, now that she knew that the other guests had vacated the premises, surely, with only Dolores and her three subservient wenches still around, she would have a far better chance of sneaking out undetected.

But of course, the obstacles to be overcome were still frighteningly daunting. Not only did she have to get out of the shower cubicle and then the bathroom with her hands bound behind her. But she had to navigate her way through the maze of corridors, find a door leading outside that wasn’t locked and bolted, then negotiate the grounds and somehow breach the high perimeter walls or security gate. And all whilst completely naked! But these concerns, whilst in the back of her mind, were of secondary concern to Cathy at the moment. Take one step at a time, she told herself. If things go wrong and you get caught, then so be it. But if she didn’t at least try to escape when the moment presented itself, she knew she would regret it.

Turning around, Cathy reached out with her tightly bound hands and grabbed the handle of the shower door. Her first two or three attempts to force it open ended in failure, but finally she managed to drag the sliding screen back just far enough to squeeze out of the tiny cubicle. The sudden chill, after the warm comfort of the shower, was a shock to the system, and this, coupled with the cold tiles beneath her feet, caused a shiver to race up her spine as she cautiously made her way across the room. The door that led into the corridor beyond was also shut, but Cathy immediately set to work trying to open this next obstacle. With wet hands, grasping the door knob proved tricky, and once again it took her several attempts to manoeuvre herself into a position where she could successfully get the stiff handle to budge. Her desperately clawing fingers finally triumphed, however, and she began the strenuous task of pulling the solid oak panel towards her. As always, the movement of this ancient wooden obstruction sent out its rasping alarm signal, as it reluctantly shifted the required distance to allow Cathy to slither through the gap.  Feeling elated that she had overcome these first hurdles, Cathy blundered out into the dimly lit corridor; ready to take on whoever or whatever stood in her path to freedom.

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21.11.16

Story continued in Part 5

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