© Copyright 2004 - Alison Grey - Used by permission
Storycodes: Sbf; trashbags; tape; plastic; encase; cocoon; chain; locks; sd; stuck; cons; X
Clunk. Ears prick. Conscious struggles to return. It must be 6.00am. Languidly I stretch. I wait. Engine sounds. I'm alone! At last! A thrill shoots down my spine. No, wait. What if the car returns? Fifteen minutes more. Almost... Engine. Door. Pause. Clunk. Engine. Gone. My heart races. Two whole days to myself. I swing out of bed onto bare feet. I am alert to every sound. In my heightened sensitivity I relish the different textures underfoot as I pad softly around. Out comes my heavy bag. Now the kitchen scissors, where else? Heart thudding I pace. I mustn't leave anything. Once begun there's no stopping. I dither. Surely I've forgotten something. I wrench myself out of my indecisiveness. That's it. I cannot dally anymore.
Feverishly yet carefully I lay out my hoard. Naked I am ready. I feel goose bumps forming on my body, drawn out by the chill lurking in the early morning air. Confusingly I feel hollow within me. I choose a dull black rubbish sac. It crinkles and rustles. I tear a hole in the top. Then one each side. A glance at the clock 6.50 a.m. Where did the time go? A shiver as the cold air bites my body. I won't be cold for long. Head then arms through the holes. The plastic grips gently as the holes enlarge. I fondle a thicker, smooth, slinky, shiny one of a similar size. Two holes, one each corner. How sensuous the plastic feels. Legs inside, gentle pulls to seal the soft plastic round each thigh. Warmth pervades my body as they cling to me. Rustling I move to the mirror. Every step is accompanied by a swish as the plastic moves in tune to the motions of my body.
Heart thudding I stare back at myself entranced. Abruptly I break the spell. A length of brown parcel tape comes free with a deceptively gentle whisper. Applying it around the neck-hole closes the gap. I open my mouth wide to insert a wedge of foam sponge. An unusual sharpness invades my mouth, followed by a full feeling as sponge expands filling the space. The foam absorbs my saliva searing my mouth. My tongue tingles. I pucker my lips back glimpsing yellow foam tucked behind my teeth. Generously I coat each lip with superglue then quickly force them together. I've become blasé. Superglue can be teased off, if painfully. The acrid fumes bite my nose and lungs. Swiftly I grab a wide roll of thick sticky silver duct tape, grip the end and pull outwards. It comes free with a loud ripping sound. I stretch two overlapping strips across my mouth, smoothing the strong adhesive tape down. Another folds round my chin, the next loops under from ear to ear. More strips diagonally from beside the eye across the mouth to the opposite side of my neck. My transformed face peers back at me from the mirror, the lower half a near hemisphere of silver.
Gently I rub the wax earplugs between my fingers coaxing them into shape. Brushing my hair aside I insert them carefully. My heartbeat sounds louder. I can still hear but muted. I will take care of that and importantly keep track of time. I won't let disorientation fool me into curtailing my pleasure prematurely. I have pre-tuned a personal radio. Station time signals are given only infrequently there, a clue but no more. I position the earphones over the earplugs and tape them in place. I thread the wire down inside to the machine. My hot sweaty body has glued the plastic to my skin. I have to peel it back. It yields reluctantly caressing as it goes. I plug the jack in and some discordant modern composition drowns out the remaining external sounds.
I slide a plastic bag over my head. Everything becomes a blur as the plastic brings the edge of my universe to a finger's breadth from my face. The bag expands and contracts as my lungs draw in the air to remove precious oxygen. I fasten the edges of the bag onto the plastic encasing my upper body. Now the bag is sealed. No longer is cool air being drawn in from outside. The air becomes hot and damp. My lungs start to work overtime. My loins stir. I mustn't let that happen, I've too much else planned. Calm, there's plenty of time left. I fumble for the scissors. The plastic stretches then shears as it's cut away. The cool air strokes my face. I seal the hole's edges onto my skin leaving exposed my nose and eyes. I reach up and press onto the soft plastic. Trapped warm air flows, tickling, past my eye. I pick up a fresh roll of parcel tape. Pulling out a length I bring it back towards my sealed mouth. Round and round it goes, its tight grip squeezing more air from the bag. Under my chin up over, my jaws forced together, no way can I expel the gag now. Soon my whole head is encased save my eyes and nose. The rectangle containing them is painted red as the tightness of the tape forces a flush. Irritatingly I feel a slight pain by my ear. The pressure of layers of tape is forcing an earphone into my flesh. Either it will become intolerable or not.
I perch on the edge of the bed. Over each foot I slip two bags, separately taping them firmly in place. I get up. The slippery sensation of walking with these bags in place feels sublime. Why did I forget to do this earlier? I reluctantly sit back down. I bind both feet inside a wonderfully shiny black rubbish sac. I swing my bound legs to the side into an extra large sac. It reaches my armpits. Stretching down I wrap brown tape round and round. I thrust upright onto my bound feet, taking care not to overbalance. Now I wind higher, the tight overlapping tape concealing all trace of the black plastic. A triple layer round the knees then my thighs are pushed together. Skin touches skin. Flexing only moves the fat not the skin itself. I wind higher. Now my buttocks are squeezed. I straighten to rearrange the plastic on my top half. As I stroke the plastic into its place I draw in deep lungsful of air. My chest is no longer squeezed by my bent posture. Faint trembling in my arms fades away. I pause to bring back calm. Further tape flattens me in front. I am forced to breathe in slightly as my waist is gripped firmly.
Swaying slightly I pick up a heavy grey chain. I breathe in. So much that the tape loosens its grip and forms a stiff but loose band round my waist. The cold chain bites into me as I struggle to join the end links with a padlock. Low on my waist, the chain pulls me in a little more than before. I bring the tape back down immobilising the chain before resuming winding upwards. Now the radio is unreachable out of my control. I'm doing this to, my mind gropes, Puccini. My breast is reached and breathing is notably curtailed. Keeping my fingers free I swathe my right arm in plastic. I tape it firmly. I fasten a long gold chain above my elbow. I immobilise my other fingers and thumb with duct tape. Now I encase that whole arm in plastic, winding tape firmly over the top all the way till it joins onto my shoulder. I pull the gold chain round my torso, lock it above the bound elbow then padlock the end links. I padlock my bound wrist to the waist chain leaving a short length of thin chain dangling. Fastening the arm down by my side is difficult. It is hard to pass the tape round both body and arm, as movement is so restricted. It doesn't help that I've put on weight recently. An unusual reason for dieting! I pause to savour the situation. A slight pivot onto my toes and I topple backwards onto the bed. Awkwardly I squirm into position.
Straining slightly I look down on my light-brown mummy like body. It's such a beautiful shape. The encircling grey and gold chains form jewellery. I drink in the sight till the strain of holding my head up becomes too much and gravity pulls it down. My free arm can reach three combination padlocks, two chosen at random. Each lock uses four protruding rotating lugs to set the combination. One is my safety lock. Its combination is easy to remember and set. I hook them in place so they cannot slide down the slippery plastic to become unreachable at my side. I'm hot with all the activity and need to slow my breathing. I concentrate on the radio. Somehow I've jarred it slightly off station. I have to strain to hear. I wait. My nostrils are clear, I'm not in imminent danger of choking, everything checks out fine. I reach up grasp the pull switch and leave the room illuminated only by the sunshine peeking round the drawn curtains. Fumbling with silver tape I press a short strip firmly over one eye. Another and another till I've banished all light. Tape covers most of my nose as well. Carefully I check my breathing. Good my nostrils aren't pinched in. I wedge a roll of tape in reach. I check the scissors. My heart pounds. I thread the wrist chain through a link on my waist low on my side. Next I stretch it towards my other hand. My safety lock goes through links on both chains. I tentatively move over one lever. I calm myself then try the chain. It stays taut. I move the remaining levers. Now I'm theoretically trapped. What if I feel sick, or.? I force myself to be calm.
I've been here before, too chicken to do more. I had it all memorised, the combination, whether it started near the shackle, right or left. I lay there, promising myself I wouldn't undo the lock just yet. I'd weaken, fumble with the pins then determinedly push them back. At the end I convinced myself that I'd fallen asleep and could see dawn out of a slit by my eye. There was no slit. It was still evening. That was it. The mood gone. The let down unbearable.
I hook the wrist chains together. Hardly letting myself think I turn the pins on the remaining locks. I lie trembling thinking of the enormity of what I'd done. Ten thousand possible combinations on one lock, say a second to move a lever, another to try the lock, another to reposition the lock, then another to ensure the correct pin is next. Four seconds. That's forty thousand seconds per lock. That's the number of the beast in minutes. Over eleven hours! Then again tiredness, cramp, sore fingertips or maybe horrors forced restarts could add many hours. My mind raced. Think, think calm yourself. That's the worst case. I feel my heart pound. I'm taking shallow breaths, feel shuddery and have this feathery feeling in my chest. Is this panic or release due to sheer exhilaration? The final step. I'd impulsively tried it during a full-blown practice session, an incredibly stupid idea. However later, in safety, careful experiments found its limits. By careful manipulation I wrap tape round my fingers then include my thumb. The free end forms a weak bond onto my body. My fingers are gripped tight, somewhat uncomfortably. Strong flexing could free my hand yet it feels completely helpless.
I concentrate on the miss-tuned radio. Luke Rhinehart's book 'The Dice Man' has a lot to answer for! The die ordered five hours must pass before I let myself start my release. Already I wish I'd rolled less! I discipline myself to wait. Surely a time signal is due. I'd taken my time, enjoyed every second, it has to be nine, but before or after? Lovely harpsichord music but what's the time? At last. Immobile until two! Senses straining I take stock. My eyes have instinctively closed and only reluctantly open against the tape. There seems to be some glimmer of light but I know it's false. My ears are filled with Bizet. My nose drinks in the smell of new parcel tape and warm plastic. With rising panic I feel a lump of phlegm making swallowing feel awkward. It's nothing, I scold myself. I feel cold by my neck. I couldn't have joined the plastic properly. Was it subconscious? I recall what was supposed to have happened to the girl from the James Bond movie when painted gold.
As I lie there so still I think how good and much safer it would be to find someone who'd understand and enthusiastically help. Breaking my reverie I strain to listen. In these circumstances all sense of time has vanished. Deep inside I feel a rumble suggestively churning my stomach. I fidget in my bonds exploring the limits to my movement. My ankles can move a smidgen up and down. The layers of plastic between them act as a lubricant. I can raise my knees a small distance, the tape allows bending but not separation. I cannot lift my buttocks Movement is limited to clenching my cheeks together. I can arch my back with a great deal of effort. My left arm lifts only a smidgen against the tape but surprisingly my fettered right elbow can still rise. I can hardly lift my head off the pillow and it's so well taped to my shoulders. The slight movement pulls on the earphones causing pain as the pressure increases. I subside. I've set my heart pumping again. Its throb is amplified through my body and I feel the blood pulsing in my head. I drift away into dreams again.
One O'clock. The temptation to start early is overwhelming. Full sunlight outside yet not a glimmer penetrates the tape. It could be midnight but for the tell-tale radio. I've traded sensory deprivation for length of experience and feel the stirrings of a sense of loss. Two O'clock at last! I struggle to free my fingers. My thumb comes free readily enough but flexing the fingers hurts. I cannot find an end. I have to rely on finger strength. The tape resists. It bunches and twists together. It forms into rope as I attempt to roll it off. A finger struggles free. It's no longer a contest. Rubbing on the chain gets rid of the bunched up tape. The movements make my wrist throb. It's chained too tight for comfort.
A lock fits nicely into my hand. I've soon got a rhythm going as I try each possibility in turn. With a start I realise I'm lost. In confusion I start again. The rhythm is soon re-established. My optimism rises. Suddenly I realise I've got the wrong pin. It's a dash of cold water. I must take care to move the correct one. My rate slows as I concentrate. It is hard to keep numbers in mind. Boredom makes my mind wander. I loose track. This is proving tedious. I listen for the radio. It's too distorted. I resume counting. I pause many times. I usually fidget in my bonds, just to feel their caress, then resume.
Seven O'clock is long gone. I'm busy worrying. I never believed the combination would be so high. Slowly the fears are building. I'm getting a touch frightened. Have I messed up? Did I bypass the combination or not try the lock hard enough? Should I keep going? Must I go through all this again from the beginning? Am I trapped? I hate decision-making. Sometimes I feel what I do, even this, is a way of escape from that. My heartbeat starts to race, I feel overwhelmed. The possibilities make my head feel like it is going to explode. I force myself to breathe slowly and calmly. I persevere. Faintly I hear the ten O'clock news. A scare story on lack of movement and its connection with deep vain thrombosis. My tummy grumbles, my wrist aches, my fingers are sore. It's hard to swallow. My saliva, or my exertions, has weakened the tape's grip on my mouth. It's forming a plate in front rather than hugging my skin's contour as before. Yielding to temptation I try to move my jaw. The tape still holds my mouth rigid but my lips part slightly, the superglue peeling off painfully in places leaving flat gritty remnants. One speck grates on my teeth. Most of the glue stays in place. Carefully peeling my tongue away from the sponge I feel a clear space below. Quickly I reposition my tongue. I fear the gag dropping, choking me. I must distract myself. I rub my feet together, enjoying the sensation as the soft plastics slide against each other. After a while I feel serene.
Back to the treadmill. Unexpectedly soon the lock gives. The utter relief is worth all the panic. I luxuriate in my sense of achievement. My body comes alive to all it can sense. Even my aches feel wonderful. Every movement is cuddled tightly by the plastic's gentle caress. I prolong this moment as long as I can. I cannot face starting the next lock yet. I might fall asleep halfway and get lost. I've been perspiring under the plastic and its been made worse by my exertions. Some has gathered and cooled. A rivulet runs down my arm feeling icy cold. I become aware of the room's coolness. I now feel cold. To distract myself I feel around. Finding the duct tape I wind tape round my fingers and fasten them down. It feels right.
Some change in the music jolts my mind and I start to listen. My return to awareness has one consequence. Down below, out of reach of my sealed hands, is a burning sensation. Contracting the muscles in that area gives no relief. Fearing dehydration I had drank plenty of water before starting. I now face the consequences. I try to ignore it but the sensation becomes more and more insistent. Eventually I can stand no more and try to let go. Nothing happens. The tape is pressing down and constricting too much. It becomes more and more unbearable yet lack of control was what I want, no need, deep within my soul. I force the muscles in my buttocks risking the indignity of soiling myself. Nothing. Desperately I strain locking my muscles till my shuddering body can sustain the effort no longer.
As I subside exhausted bubbles slowly force themselves out of me but still nothing flows. I breathe in, and then force every muscle in my body to strain against themselves. I manage a few seconds longer than before. A tiny warm stream puddles on the valley between my thighs. I strain again and am rewarded by more liquid trickling down to join the pool. Again I try, the imperative still unrelieved. The puddle overflows and thin streams trickle down my leg. Guided by the inner bags they pool round my heels. Little came out but it felt a torrent. The urine feels uncomfortably cold and wet as it cools. Temporarily the disagreeable sensations have gone. I twitch. My body disturbs the pool. I lie still again. One nostril seems half-blocked. Air is still getting freely through, but I lie there, hot from the effort, worrying that the blockage is real and getting worse. I snort involuntarily. I worry too late that I might be moving a real blockage into a worse position. Adrenaline pervades my senses bringing in its own way a sweet reward.
I should be scrabbling at the locks but I'm quite calm within my cocoon.
I risk death or worse the ignominy of being trapped until rescue. I loathe
the thought of the disgust and ostracism that could occur. Yet I feel contentment
wash over me.