A Few Short Tales of Trapped Females

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A Binding Contract

A cautionary tale - always read the small print before you sign.


Lucy scrutinised the small ad in the local newspaper for a second time, not quite believing her own eyes. If what she’d just read was for real, then it was a dream come true. It just couldn’t be, could it? But there it was in black and white before her very eyes:

Wanted.

Aspiring actress, aged 18-25, for lead role in a local independent film production.

No acting experience necessary.

For those interested, there was a mobile phone number to contact in order to arrange an interview and audition.

And Lucy was most definitely interested. Ever since she was a young girl she’d dreamed of being a movie star, although to date the opportunity had never presented itself. At twenty three years of age, Lucy was beginning to think that maybe the chance had passed her by, so the excitement that she felt at seeing this advertisement sent shivers of delight coursing up her spine. This was it. The moment she’d been waiting for all her life. She simply had to make sure that she was the one who got picked for the role. Okay, so it was only a local, low budget film that she would be making her screen debut in, but everyone had to start somewhere. This could be her big break; her foot on the first rung of the ladder to international stardom.

Eagerly, her heart pounding with expectation, she dialled the number. She figured that, as it was still early morning, then she would hopefully be the first to show any interest. Such enthusiasm, she hoped, would stand her in good stead when the producers made their decision as to the most suitable candidate.

For several seconds the phone rang, before a man’s voice answered:

“Wrapped Up Productions, how can I help?”

Lucy heard herself blurting out (at far too fast a pace, she decided with hindsight), that she had seen the ad in the paper and would love to be considered for the part in the film. The man asked her a few questions about herself and, despite Lucy’s nervousness and her susceptibility to over elaborate and give far more detail than was strictly called for, the man - who gave his name as Rob - seemed impressed with her. The fact that she’d done some modelling work in the past seemed to appeal to him.

“We have to work fast on this” he told her “as we need to start filming as soon as possible. Would you be available for an audition this morning?”

It was a Tuesday and Lucy was due at work in less than an hour, on what was going to be a very busy day in the office. For a second or two she hesitated. Should she phone in sick and go to the audition, letting her work colleagues down in the process? Or should she decline his kind offer of an audition, and say she couldn’t make it today? The latter course of action would undoubtedly see her losing out on what could possibly be her big break. It was no contest.

“That’s not a problem” she heard herself say “where do you want to meet?”

Rob suggested a small café in town that Lucy knew.

“We’ll meet there, have a chat and a coffee, before going on to the filming location where we can do a screen test to see how photogenic you are. Is that okay?”

With growing excitement, Lucy told him that it was. She was just about to hang up, when she realised that she had no idea of the name of the production or what would be expected of her.

“It’s called The Kidnapped Heiress and you’ll be playing the title role. I’ll tell you more about the part when we meet”

The time for their rendezvous was set for ten o’clock, which gave the extremely nervous young lady very little time to prepare herself. Firstly though, she had to ring into work, sound poorly on the phone and explain that, due to a suddenly developed bad cold, she wouldn’t be in today. She was sure, from his tone of voice, that her boss didn’t believe her for a second, but right at this moment she didn’t care. If I make it big in the movies, she told herself, then who needs a boring 9 to 5 office job anyway?

In her flustered state, Lucy dashed around making herself look as good as she possibly could. What was she to wear? In the end she chose a tight fitting black dress that barely reached her thighs and with a plunging neckline. A pair of sheer black tights and high heels finished off her outfit. Being warm out, she wouldn’t need a jacket. She put on her make-up, did her hair, squeezed into her dress and, by half past nine she was all ready to go. For a few seconds she stood in front of the full length mirror in her bedroom and tried a few poses. The image that stared back at her was of a five foot five inch tall slim, attractive young woman, with long blonde hair falling around her shoulders. Her long legs and shapely figure couldn’t fail to land her the part. At least that’s what she kept telling herself.

Taking a deep breath, Lucy dragged herself away from the mirror, picked up her small handbag and hurried out of her apartment. It would take her around twenty minutes to get to her destination, she estimated, and being late would not make a very good first impression. Luckily, the bus into town was on time and she arrived on the street where the café was situated with several minutes to spare.

Lucy’s flustered demeanour must have given the game away as to her identity, for no sooner had she stepped inside the café, than a man stood up from his table and introduced himself as Rob. After the formality of introductions, and with drinks ordered, Rob got down to the serious business of why they were here today. The title of the film – The Kidnapped Heiress – was, he informed her, basically an accurate summary of what the film was all about. The chosen actress would play the role of Lady Stephanie Shackleton-Roper, who falls prey to a ruthless gang of criminals who abduct and hold her to ransom for a week whilst demanding £1,000,000 from her multi-millionaire parents for her safe return. The majority of the scenes in which she would be involved, Lucy was informed, would be as a captive in an abandoned warehouse. There would be very little dialogue for her to learn, as most of her scenes were visually orientated. There were a lot of twists and turns to the plot, she was told, but these needn’t concern her right now. All that was required today were a few minutes of filming, to check if she possessed the credentials that they were looking for in their heroine. Was she still up for it?

Lucy told him that she most definitely was. Rob had been friendly and easy to talk to, and she thought that she would have no problem working with him. He too seemed quite taken with her, and Lucy was hopeful that she had turned on the charm sufficiently to get herself the part. Before they left for the audition, however, Rob produced a contract from his briefcase for her to sign.

The agreement ran to four pages and was, he informed her “a lot of legal jargon, health and safety regulations and other tedious stuff like that. It’s just really confirming that you agree to us filming you today and that we won’t use that footage in an improper manner. Basically, it safeguards us both, should any problems arise. You don’t really need to read it all, just sign at the bottom of the final page”

For a second or two, Lucy baulked at the idea of signing something she hadn’t fully read. But the print was so small and there was so much of it to scrutinise, that it would have taken ages for her to go through each paragraph with a fine-toothed comb. She was anxious to be getting down to the real business of the day, namely the audition, and she really didn’t want to try to focus on a lot of legal issues, most of which would probably have been beyond her comprehension anyway. Without further ado, she took the pen that was offered to her and signed her name.


The journey across town to the old warehouse which was to be utilised as the leading lady’s place of incarceration in the film, took no more than twenty minutes or so in Rob’s car. The building to be used was, Lucy soon discovered, an abandoned warehouse on a former industrial site. At least ten storeys high, the windows in the lower floors had all been boarded up, whilst the higher ones all seemed to be smashed and open to the elements or, in a few instances, covered with steel mesh. All of the other buildings in the area had been demolished, leaving this one building standing alone in a wilderness of broken concrete and rubble, through which grass and small shrubs were now growing uncontrolled. The whole site had been cordoned off with fences topped with barbed wire to discourage would-be trespassers. However, when Rob stopped the car at a large padlocked gate, he was able to unlock the gate and drive onto the site. Once inside, he relocked the gate behind them.

“Authenticity, that’s what I always look for in a film.” Rob explained as they drove the few remaining yards up to the derelict but still imposing monolith “So, if I want to do a scene in an old, abandoned warehouse, then I have to find the real thing. If you compromise and try to make a studio or another location look like its derelict when in reality it isn’t, then it just looks false and lacks credibility as far as I’m concerned”

They had rounded the side of the building now, and the car came to a halt beside two others that had been parked beside a large steel door.

“Ah good, Andy and Mike are here already. Andy’s our cameraman today, and Mike will be looking after the lighting and sound. Hopefully everything should be ready when we get in”

Lucy got out of the car and stared up at the deserted building. For some reason she shivered. It might have been due to the cool breeze, which seemed to have risen since they’d left the town, but then again it could be that, for the first time, Lucy was feeling the first seeds of unease creep up on her. Here she was about to enter an isolated building with a man she had met less than an hour ago. Was this really a wise move? She quickly banished such thoughts from her mind. Rob was a nice guy, and besides, she wasn’t going to let some stupid unfounded fear ruin what might turn out to be her one shot at the big time.

Pulling the heavy door open with some difficulty, Rob ushered Lucy inside before closing it behind them. It was dark in what had obviously once been the main reception area of the building, until Rob pulled a large powerful torch from the hold-all he was carrying.

“No electricity in here” he explained “we’ve had to bring in our own generator to light the room we’re going to be shooting in”

The beam shone out into the blackness, illuminating a flight of stairs that disappeared up into the darkness above. And it was towards these that he now guided her. At this point Lucy began to wish that she’d brought a coat of some description with her, as there was a distinct chill in the building, not to mention a damp musty smell that seemed to pervade everything.It also felt rather incongruous being in a run down, dirty old building in her little black dress and high heels.

Their footsteps on the metal stairs echoed eerily as they climbed upwards. At the top of the first flight, they turned to the right and walked along a short corridor, before climbing another similar staircase. This continued several more times, until Lucy lost count of exactly how many flights they’d ascended. They must, she guessed, be on about the seventh or eighth floor by now. Finally they reached their destination; a large room with a metal door situated on one of the landings. Lucy was glad there were no more stairs to climb, as the ascent had been rather an ordeal in high heel and in the semi darkness. By contrast, however, the room they entered was lit by several bright lights strategically placed on tripods around the room. There was a camera, also on its own stand, and various other items of equipment on the right hand side of the room, The left side of the room, the area onto which the lighting rigs and camera were focused, was, by contrast, an empty space save for an old mattress lying on the floor. On the far wall, a piece of sacking or some similar material concealed a window.

Rob introduced Lucy to Mike and Andy, who both briefly looked up, smiled and said hello, then continued with whatever task they were involved in, leaving Rob to explain the exact nature of how the audition would work.

“As I explained earlier, in most of the scenes you’ll be involved in, you will be a captive. This set will be your place of incarceration. So what I want to do today is have you tied up and gagged, then film you struggling and trying to escape”

The expression on Lucy’s face must have shown alarm at this development, so Rob immediately added “Don’t worry, you’ll be quite safe. We won’t let anything bad happen to you”

Rob led her over to the mattress and opened the holdall he had been carrying. With some trepidation, Lucy watched as he produced a rolled up length of white rope and began to unwind it. She knew that allowing these three strangers to tie her up was not a wise move and that the sensible option was to flee. But the realisation that if she pulled out of this venture now, then any hopes of stardom would be extinguished forever, served to cloud her judgment. So when Rob gently put his hand on her shoulder and bid her turn around and place her hands behind her back, she complied without even the merest hint of protest. She felt the rope being wrapped once around her wrists and tighten significantly. He then wound the cord around several more time, each circuit becoming tighter and more restrictive still. Finally, he cinched the rope between her wrists, tightening the whole ligature up so that it cut into her flesh. Lucy winced at this and tried to pull her hands apart, only to discover that they were securely bound together. Placing his hand on her shoulder again, he turned her around to face him. He must have seen the concern etched on her face, so sought to reassure her:

“Like I said earlier, authenticity is the key to my work. How many times have you seen a film or television show where someone is tied up, and you think to yourself “it wouldn’t take more than a second or two for them to get out of that”. That sort of shoddiness really annoys me”

He was looking Lucy straight in the eyes. His voice was soft and calming, almost hypnotic in fact, as he tried to put her at ease.

“So, if I shoot a scene where someone is tied up, I make sure that they really are bound securely. Now sit down on the mattress while I put some rope around your legs”

As if in a dream, Lucy did as she was asked. She watched in silence as Rob removed her shoes then reached into the bag and produced several more lengths of rope. The first of these he used to tie her ankles together as tightly and securely as the rope currently restraining her wrists. She looked on with a mixture of fascination and fear as he then went on to bind her legs in two further locations; just below and just above her knees. Each time he cinched a rope and secured the final knot, Lucy gasped; not only due to the rope biting into her flesh, but also because she realised that, with each added bond, she was becoming more and more of a helpless prisoner. Focus on the prize, she kept telling herself, it’s possible that these few minutes of discomfort could be a big stepping stone on the road to stardom.

With her legs now bound in three places, Lucy found herself left to her own devices for a moment or two, as Andy called Rob away to help him with some problem that he was experiencing with the camera. Tentatively, she stretched and tried to work her legs out of her bonds. This proved unsuccessful, but did cause a soft swishing sound, as her tights rubbed together on her calves and thighs. It was such a faint sound, but Rob was obviously alerted by it. He glanced over and smiled at her.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back with you in a minute. Don’t try to get out until we’re ready to roll. Just try to relax”

If Lucy had thought that the binding process was complete, she was soon forced to think again. With the camera problems now were seemingly fixed, Rob turned his attention to her once more.

“Okay, just a few more adjustments then we’ll be ready to film. Firstly, we need to gag you”

Upon hearing this, Lucy squirmed in her bonds. She didn’t like the sound of this at all; it seemed to be getting a little bit sinister for her liking. Once more, however, it was Rob’s calming reassurances that lulled her into a state of submission.

“It’s going to be fine, you’ll see. Now open your mouth wide”

Against her better judgement, Lucy found herself complying, as Rob slipped a large piece of bundled up rag into her waiting mouth. The cloth was large enough to fill the cavity behind her teeth and ensure that she couldn’t fully close her jaw. She doubted that she would be able to work this foul tasting speech restrictor out with her tongue, and Rob’s next action made this a certainty. Lucy could only watch as he produced a reel of two inch wide grey duct tape, the end of which he placed over her lips before smoothing it down from left to right. He then commenced winding the tape in one complete circumnavigation of her head; ensuring that he lifted her long flowing tresses out of the way first. He repeated the process three or four more times, each circuit covering her face slightly higher or lower than the previous one, so that once he had torn the end from the spool and smoothed the whole thing down, Lucy’s face was invisible from just below her nose to just under her chin. Smiling, he looked her in the eyes.

“Comfortable?”

Lucy tried to say that she wasn’t particularly, but found that her powers of speech were now almost non-existent.

“Okay, just one last piece of rope, then we’ll be ready to see how you move”

From the second he lifted it from the bag, Lucy could tell that this rope was much longer than the ones he’d used so far to bind her wrists and legs. And the reason for this soon became clear. Winding the cord around Lucy’s torso, Rob proceeded to fashion a strict rope harness that also incorporated her arms within its bounds. Once complete, and with the final knot secured, Lucy found her arms lashed to her back from above her elbows right down to her already secured wrists.

With his handiwork complete, Rob stood up and walked the short distance to the far side of the room, where he deposited not only his hold-all, but also Lucy’s shoes and handbag. Adjusting one of the lights so that it fell directly on her, he came back over to the mattress, crouched down and began to explain the scene that they were about to film.

“Okay, so here’s what I want you to do. You’ve just been drugged and kidnapped. You wake up on the mattress and for a minute or two you’re still groggy and you don’t know where you are or what’s happened to you. Then, as you gradually regain your senses, you realise you’re tied up and start to struggle for all you’re worth, at the same time screaming and calling for help. After a few minutes though, you realise that you’re helpless and start looking for a way out of the room. Firstly you crawl and squirm over to the door. I don’t mind how you do it. Just improvise as best you can. Then when you get there, lean your back against the wall and try to stand up -hopefully you should be capable of doing this. Then grab the door handle with your hands and try to open it. You’ll find the door locked. In despair, you slide back down to the floor and do a bit more screaming. Kick out at the door with your feet if you wish, I really don’t mind what you do so long as it looks as if you’re in distress and desperate to escape”

He paused for a second, allowing her to take this all on board.

“Then, I want you to make your way in whatever manner you find easiest, over to the window. You can slither across the floor if you want, or try hopping over if you prefer, although if you choose the latter method, be careful you don’t fall and hurt yourself. Finally, when you reach the window, I want you to prop yourself up against the wall again and try to pull the cloth away. Unfortunately, this will reveal that the window has steel mesh covering it. Once more thwarted, you collapse exhausted back onto the floor and begin whimpering and crying due to the perceived hopelessness of your situation. Have you got all that?”

Lucy nodded unconvincingly.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I’ll be here to prompt you if you forget anything. Just try to get into the character of a helpless damsel in distress and I’m sure you’ll be great”

Standing up, he gently manoeuvred Lucy into the centre of the mattress so that she was lying on her side, facing the camera. Retreating, he took his position behind the banks of lights.

“Are you ready?”

Lucy made a sound that she hoped conveyed that she was.

“Ready guys?”

Andy and Mike grunted in the affirmative.

“Okay. The Kidnapped Heiress, Scene One, Take one.... Action!”

Lucy took this as her cue. She closed her eyes and lay still for a few seconds, before opening them, blinking and making out that she was just waking from a deep sleep. After maybe half a minute, she opened her eyes wider in mock horror, as the full extent of her predicament supposedly hit her. Then, as instructed, she thrashed and struggled for a while, trying to get out of her bonds. How long she actually wriggled and squirmed on the mattress she wasn’t sure, but one thing she found out for sure during this time was that Rob had succeeded in his desire to make this an authentic scene, inasmuch as she really was bound securely and without hope of getting free without assistance!

With occasional prompting from Rob, Lucy followed the storyline she had been given. She found sitting up more difficult than she’d expected with the use of her arms severely restricted, but once she was in this position, found it relatively easy to use her legs to propel herself forward and thrust herself off the mattress and across the floor in the direction of the door. Rather embarrassingly, however, she found her dress riding up around her waist, with no way to smooth it down and cover herself up again.

It didn’t take her long to traverse the few yards of bare concrete to the door. Getting herself up into a standing position, however, caused her some major problems, and she began to fear that the length of time it took her to stand with her back propped against the wall would count against her in her bid to land the part. Rob, however, seemed to sense her growing frustration as she struggled to hoist herself up onto her feet, and softly cajoled her to carry on. Once upright, Lucy reached out to grab hold of the door handle, only to discover how much the rope lashing her arms to her body inhibited her movements. Shuffling her feet an inch or two to the left, in order to get nearer to the handle, almost resulted in her falling, and she let out an entirely involuntary squeal as she felt herself beginning to topple forward. Luckily she managed to steady herself. She was mortified, also, to notice that her dress was still caught up, almost to the waistband of her tights; she had hoped that getting to her feet would allow it to fall back into position and restore her modesty. But there was no time to worry about that now. At least this was just an audition, she thought, and not for public viewing.

Trying the door, she found that it was indeed locked, and as directed she then slumped back to the floor. Letting out the best scream that the extremely efficient gag would permit, she swung her legs out and kicked at the metal; causing a hollow, reverberating sound to echo throughout the room.

After her near fall, Lucy was wary of trying to hop across the floor with her arms bound behind her, so elected to make the journey over to the window the same way as she had reached the door. The window, once she’d hauled herself to within a few feet of it, was actually slightly higher than she’d first imagined. Having learnt from her previous attempts the most efficient way of getting to her feet, the procedure took a lot less time and effort this time. Grasping and then moving the filthy piece of sacking that covered the window, however, proved more problematic, and it was with some difficulty that she finally managed to pull the material aside sufficiently to see outside. What greeted her was a grimy, dirt encrusted glass pane, protected by a covering of steel mesh. There was no way anyone in Lucy’s state of bondage could have broken that window, or tried to pull the mesh away, and she realised that, had her captivity here been for real, then there was no way in the world she would ever have been able to get out of this room. Authenticity again, she thought.

Slumping back down to the floor, Lucy acted out her final scenario by pretending to sob uncontrollably. She didn’t need to act exhausted, however, as the effort she’d put in traversing the room and struggling to her feet really had tired her out.

“Okay, cut. That’s all we need for now”

Lucy sat on the floor, breathing heavily through her nose. All in all she was pleased with her performance, but how had it looked to Rob? She was expecting him to begin untying her now, but neither he nor his two colleagues seemed to see this as one of their priorities. Instead, Rob removed the camera from its stand and began heading towards the door. He must have realised that Lucy was shifting uneasily in her position by the window, for he glanced over at her.

“We’re just going to take a few minutes to review the footage now. Then we’ll make a decision on whether you’ve got the role or not. If we’re not certain, we may require you to do another scene for us, so we’ll just leave you here like that just for the time being. Don’t worry, you did great. Hopefully we won’t be more than about ten minutes or so”

All three men left the room now, shutting the door behind them. More worryingly, Lucy then heard the key turn in the lock. Why had they locked her in? Probably just force of habit, she guessed.


Although it is somewhat difficult to accurately assess the passing of time when you’re waiting for something to happen, Lucy felt sure that ten minutes and more had elapsed, with still no sign of their return. She knew, from her recent screen test, that she was well and truly bound, but even so, as time passed the urge to try to work her hands out of their bonds grew stronger. As the minutes ticked by, her sense of unease grew ever more acute. Where had they gone? Was this some kind of test? Had they, in fact, abandoned her here? She allayed her fear of the latter being the case by the fact that they’d left all the lighting rigs and various other pieces of equipment behind them. Gazing past the glare of the bright lights, Lucy could just make out her shoes and handbag close to the wall. Her mobile phone was in the bag, and she briefly contemplated dragging herself over to retrieve it. She was sure that, even with her hands bound behind her, she would still be able to make a call in an emergency. But no, she decided that this wasn’t necessary yet. She was sure that they’d return in a minute or two and everything would be alright. And anyway, to get to her bag she would have to negotiate her way through the lights and wires, and she didn’t want to knock over and break some piece of expensive equipment in her clumsy state. Wait a few more minutes, she told herself, and then, if they still haven’t returned, try to retrieve the phone.

It must have been a half an hour or so before Lucy finally heard voices from beyond the door. Seconds later, the sound of a key turning in the lock preceded the return of Rob, Mike and Andy. As always, it was Rob who did the talking.

“Well you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s good news. We’ve scrutinised the footage and we would like to offer you the lead role in The Kidnapped Heiress. I assume you will be happy to accept the part?”

Lucy nodded and tried to say that she was, although the sounds that emerged from behind her gag were virtually unintelligible. All of a sudden any fears she’d had about being left tied up evaporated. This was it! She really was on the ladder to success!!

“Good. But before we finish today, there’s one more scene we’d like to shoot if you’re agreeable”

Lucy “mmmphed” in the affirmative; her delight at being given the part ensuring that she would have agreed to almost anything at that moment.

“Okay, so the next scene is where two of the kidnappers return, find that you’ve moved away from where they’d left you on the mattress, and decide that you need to be immobilised a bit more”

As he spoke, Rob came over to her and placed one arm around her waist and the other beneath her knees. Picking her up, he took three or four steps back towards the centre of the room and placed her back on the mattress.

Lucy’s mind was reeling with the excitement of it all. So much so that she hadn’t really taken on board what Rob had said about being immobilised still further. As far as she was concerned she was completely trapped already, so what more could they do to her? The answer was soon forthcoming.

With the bright lights shining directly in her face, Lucy had difficulty seeing what was going on in the dark space beyond, into which Rob had now retreated. So was shocked when he, together with one or other of his colleagues, suddenly appeared before her with balaclavas covering their heads, slits cut out for their eyes and mouths, but with the rest of their features obscured. Lucy noticed simultaneously that they both carried reels of tape in their hands - identical to that which presently covered her mouth.

The Kidnapped Heiress, Scene two, Take one... Action!”

Before she knew what was happening, Rob grabbed Lucy’s feet, and she found her already bound ankles being wrapped up tightly in tape. At the same time the other man – she couldn’t by now recall which one was Mike and which one Andy – had taken hold of her shoulders and was doing a similar wrapping job that incorporated her breasts and upper arms. Lucy squealed and tried to hinder the process – partly because she felt that this was what was required of her, but also partially involuntarily, due to the whole process beginning so suddenly without warning.

The two men worked quickly, one working his way up her legs, the other downwards over her breasts and towards her waist. The whole procedure could have taken no more than five minutes, before the two men retreated, leaving the now even more helplessly bound young female to explore her new bonds for a few moments.

Lucy tried to sit up, but found that the tightly wrapped tape made this almost impossible. Nor could she fully bend her knees any longer. Gazing down her body, all she could see was a sea of grey tape, with no gaps whatsoever, right down to where her panty-hosed feet stuck out of the bottom of what was, to all intents and purposes, a skin-tight cocoon. Although not prompted to do so, for about two minutes Lucy put up a futile struggle whilst the camera rolled, until Rob put a halt to proceedings.

“Okay, cut. That’ll be enough for today”

He advanced to where she lay, the balaclava now removed from his head.

“That was great Lucy, you’re improvisation there proves that we’ve chosen the right person for the part. We’ll call it a day for now and begin filming again at nine o’clock tomorrow morning”

Lucy felt elated, but knew that she would have to tell him – once her gag was removed – that she couldn’t keep taking time off work like that. There would have to be some sort of compromise on the timings. However, the removal of her gag, or any of her other bonds for that matter, did not seem at this precise moment to be on their ‘to do’ lists. Instead, all three of them commenced dismantling the lights and camera, then packing everything away in crates – working by the beams of two torches once the last of the lights had been extinguished.

For a few minutes, Lucy assumed that this was simply a joke at her expense; leave the leading lady tied up and pretend that you’ve forgotten about her for a while. But as the minutes past, her unease began to increase; especially when, with all their equipment packed away, they began hauling the crates out, until finally the room was bare.

“Okay, we’ll be off now. See you first thing in the morning”

Rob was standing in the doorway now, having picked up the one remaining torch. Lucy tried to speak; to tell him that this was all very amusing, but that the joke had run its course now and it was time to set her free. He seemed to take no notice, however, which made Lucy scream as loudly as the gag permitted.

“What are you getting so upset about? You signed the contract, so I don’t see what the problem is”

“WHAT? LET ME GO!!”

Her demand came out severely muted and incomprehensible.

With that same smile on his face that he’d used to charm her all day, Rob came back towards her stricken form and crouched down by the mattress. In his hand, Lucy noticed some pieces of paper.

“If you didn’t like the conditions, you really shouldn’t have signed the contract Lucy. Let me just remind you of a few of the terms that you agreed to”

Laying the torch beside her, he began scanning the page.

“Now where is it? Ah, yes, here we are. Read the small print”

He placed the contract close to the mattress in the torch beam, then put his finger on the relevant section. Through eyes that were beginning to fill with tears, Lucy read the minute writing on the page.

“If I accept the role, I hereby consent to being kept tied up in whatever manner the director and the staff of Wrapped Up Productions decide, for a period of not less than seven days. I understand that, during this time, I shall remain in bondage and under lock and key at all times, without breaks or intervals of any kind. I also hereby agree that I will remain gagged at all times, except for one short break every twenty four hours for the purpose of taking food and water”

Having allowed her a minute or two to read and digest this, Rob turned the page and pointed out one other key statement.

“The terms of this agreement are binding and cannot, under any circumstances, be broken or modified in any way without the consent of both Wrapped Up Productions and the signatory of the contract”

Just below this was Lucy’s scrawled signature, so readily given not three hours before.

Too stunned to protest, Lucy stared at Rob as he got to his feet, picked the torch up and shone it down upon her.

“As I’ve been telling you all day, authenticity is the key to my film making. As I explained earlier, the part you’re playing is that of a young lady who gets kidnapped and held captive for a week. There will be scenes required throughout this period of incarceration, so we need someone who is prepared to be kept tied up over a long period of time. And as you signed the contract to say you were willing to meet that challenge, the lucky person is you”

He walked towards the door, the torch beam still shining into her face.

“We decided to remove all the equipment because it’s going to be dark in here tonight and we thought you might get the urge to move around and knock the rigs over. Not only are they very expensive, but you might hurt yourself”

He was standing in the open doorway now.

“Now use the next few hours wisely and try to keep in character. Shouldn’t be too difficult, seeing as how you really are going to be a prisoner here”

And without further ado, he pushed the heavy door shut. The echoing clang of the metal, followed by the unmistakable sound of the key turning in the lock, coincided with a diminishing of the light within the room.

Lucy screamed in protest, but all in vain. Outside she could hear the three men talking, although their voices were getting fainter by the second. One of them laughed; a joke, she guessed, at her expense. Footsteps could be heard descending the first flight of stairs, then a similar sound again, only further away. Then nothing. Lucy was still hoping against hope that this was all a wind up, and that they’d be back in a minute to release her, but deep down she knew that this wasn’t the case. This was confirmed when another sound reached her ears, only this emanated from outside, not within the building; car engines revving up, pulling away, then dying away into the distance. Then she was left with only silence for company.

After a few minutes, Lucy’s eyes grew accustomed to the twilight that now enveloped the room. The only light now was from the edges of the window, which wasn’t entirely covered by the sacking that hung over it. She gazed over to the area where her shoes and bag had been whilst filming had been in progress, but they’d removed them too. Using her mobile phone – her only possible link to the outside world – was no longer an option. In fact, having scanned the room thoroughly, Lucy realised that, aside from the mattress, there was nothing left in the room at all. The walls were constructed of smooth concrete, as was the floor, so there was nothing she could use to try to snag the tape of her cocoon on in an effort to break free. She had to face facts; she was trapped here until Rob and his cronies returned, which, if he was to be believed, wouldn’t be until tomorrow. It must, Lucy guessed, be around one o’clock in the afternoon now, which meant she was going to be stuck here all alone for at least another nineteen hours.

For much of the time during, the first few hours, Lucy simply lay in her bonds pondering what she had got herself into. She struggled and tried to attract attention to her plight intermittently, but knew that the former was futile and the latter unlikely to bear fruit. It was hopeless and she knew it. She cursed Rob for hoodwinking her into signing the contract. She cursed the ropes that bound her, the tape that held in a state of mummification and the gag that silenced her. But mostly, she cursed herself for not telling a single soul where she was going today.


But in the midst of all her doom and gloom a strange thing occurred. As night fell and the grey twilight of the room gradually turned to pitch black, the first seeds of a different way of looking at the situation began to emerge in Lucy’s mind. And as time went on, these seeds slowly but surely grew and blossomed. What if all this – the ropes, the tape, the gag and the incarceration – was actually a blessing in disguise, Lucy began to wonder. If this really did lead to a life of fame and fortune, then surely a week of immobility and discomfort was a small price to pay. After all, didn’t every budding star have to suffer for their art before they achieved celebrity status? It took an hour or two, but slowly this positive mindset gradually banished all the negativity of her previous mood, and Lucy found herself accepting her situation. In fact, the tight tape cocoon in which she was trapped stopped seeming like a burden and instead began to feel like her destiny; one of the most important events of her life. By the time that the last vestiges of daylight had dissolved into the blackness, she was actually beginning to enjoy the tight rope and all-encompassing tape that had her wrapped up in a restrictive and unbreakable sheath.

For a while after this revelation, Lucy carried on struggling intermittently. Only now, the objective was no longer escape, but simply to get the feel of how real captivity felt and, more importantly, to keep in character for the forthcoming day’s shoot. As she gradually fell into a contented sleep, Lucy vowed that tomorrow she would be so immersed in the role that she would be capable of playing the part of The Kidnapped Heiress like no one else could. And it would all be down to authenticity. All she had to do was wait for Rob and his team to return.

Assuming, of course, that they ever did return....!?

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