A Few Short Tales of Trapped Females

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That Sinking Feeling

Emma’s attempts to escape from her kidnapper get a bit bogged down.



Emma had very little recollection of her actual abduction, although the events leading up to her capture were etched indelibly in her mind. On the day in question, she had been attending her regular Tuesday evening yoga class at the local gym. Just after the class had finished and she was preparing to get changed and leave for home, however, her mobile phone had rung and she’d stepped out of the changing rooms and into the corridor to take the call. It had been an old friend calling and for several minutes the two women had chatted and caught up on all the latest news. In fact, so engrossed did she become in her conversation, that Emma lost track of time, and by the end of the call more than twenty five minutes had elapsed and she found that her fellow classmates had all left the premises. It was now just gone 10pm, which meant that the gym had now closed for the day and the caretaking staff would be waiting to lock up and go home.

Still in her yoga outfit of black, long-sleeved leotard and black tights, Emma hurried back down the corridor; her plan being to get changed and vacate the building as quickly as she could. As she neared the changing rooms, however, she noticed someone approaching from the opposite direction. She had never seen this man here before, but guessed that he must be one of the cleaning staff, and this assumption seemed to be given substance by the fact that he was carrying a cloth – presumably for cleaning purposes - in his hand. In her haste to get changed and get out, Emma paid the man little attention as they passed each other, but the second that he disappeared from her line of vision she felt a hand grab her around the waist and the piece of cloth was clamped over her mouth and nose. Emma tried to resist this surprise assault, but the cloth had a sweet, sickly smell to it and with each breath she took, she found herself becoming ever more drowsy and disorientated, and her attempts to fend off her attacker became less and less effective, until she felt her eyes rolling upwards. Then blackness overcame her.


How long she was out for, Emma couldn’t be certain. Her return to the world of consciousness, however, was a gradual process and it took several minutes before the full ramifications of her situation became clear.

As she came out of her artificially induced slumber, it became apparent after a few seconds that the steady droning sound, vibration and general movement of her immediate environment were caused by a car – or more accurately, a van - engine. It also took a minute or two for it to dawn on her that the reason she couldn’t see was that a piece material of some description had been used to cover her eyes. She wanted to pull this sight inhibitor away, but found that her arms didn’t seem to be obeying the commands that her brain was sending them. Then it dawned on her; something was gripping her hands and holding them behind her back. There also seemed to be something tightly clamping her legs together in several places.

Tied Up! The realisation suddenly hit her. She tried to scream for assistance, but there was something filling her mouth – a piece of towelling material, she guessed from the texture. She tried to spit the foul tasting rag out, but something seemed to be stuck to her skin on a large proportion of the lower part of her face. The full horror of what had happened and where she was suddenly hit her. She was bound, gagged, blindfolded and being transported in the back of a vehicle to....where? The memory of her abduction came flooding back now. That hadn’t been a cleaning cloth in his hand, but a rag soaked in chloroform. Who was he? How had he got her out of the building unseen? These questions, along with several dozen others, swirled around in her mind, but would have to remain unanswered for the time being. She screamed again, but there was no change in the constant sound of the engine; no sign whatsoever, in fact, that her abductor had even heard her cries.

After several minutes of blind panic, in which Emma struggled and screamed for all she was worth, she finally managed to calm herself down sufficiently to take stock of the situation. She was lying on what felt like a foam mattress. Still in her yoga outfit, her clothing didn’t seem to have been tampered with in any way, save for the fact that the ballet slippers that she’d been wearing had been either removed or lost. Her wrists were bound tightly and securely, and no amount of pulling and wrenching seemed to have any loosening effect on the strong, unyielding rope. Her elbows too had been stringently tied so that they almost touched. And on top of that, her arms had been lashed to her torso in a severe and restrictive body harness. Her legs had also suffered a similar fate, with ropes keeping them bound closely together at three strategic points; ankles, just below the knees and immediately above the knees. All this she deduced solely from her inability to move, as the blindfold had been tied tightly over her eyes, and no amount of rubbing her head against the foam bedding would cause it to ride up and restore her vision. Her lower face, it seemed, had been wrapped in several layers of industrial strength tape, which had bonded to her flesh and refused to release its grip, no matter how much she tried to contort her facial muscles. This in turn prevented the cloth from being jettisoned from her mouth.


Unable to escape, in a state of shock and terrified beyond belief, Emma had no alternative to but to lie there and ponder what fate had in store for her. At one point she gingerly rolled over to one side, in order to explore the immediate vicinity of her mobile prison cell. What she discovered was that the foam soon gave way to bare metal, and she decided that she was better off in her original position than on the hard floor; at least the mattress absorbed a fraction of the shock caused by the constant vibration of the vehicle.

The unchanging sound of the engine suggested that the van was on a main road and travelling at high speed. Above this noise, however, Emma could detect the sound of a radio coming from the front of the van. Music interspersed with conversation reached her ears, and although she wasn’t able to catch every word, she did pick up on the presenter announcing that it was now midnight. That meant it was almost two hours since she’d been chloroformed and overpowered. How far could they have travelled in that time? Emma wasn’t sure, but it was a grim certainty that, when someone finally realised that she was missing, the search would commence in the immediate environs of her home town, not a hundred miles or more from her point of abduction.

For what seemed like hours the onward journey continued, until finally the van slowed and came to a halt. Speeding traffic could intermittently be heard racing past, which led Emma to believe that they had stopped in a lay-by. The radio remained on, however, with the DJ letting his audience of night owls and insomniacs know that it was now eighteen minutes past three. Any thoughts of where they might be now, however, were soon interrupted by the sound of the van’s rear door opening and the downward movement of the metal floor as someone climbed inside. Almost immediately, the door slammed shut once more. Emma waited for several seconds, trembling at the uncertainty of what was about to happen, before letting out a heartfelt but muffled appeal to be set free. She received no verbal reply, although seconds later she felt the tape being stripped away from her face, which was swiftly followed by the removal of the cloth from her mouth. As soon as she was capable, Emma began pleading for mercy, but the only response was a terse “drink this”, as a bottle was held to her lips and tipped so that water cascaded into her unsuspecting mouth. She gulped down the refreshing liquid, almost choking in the process, before the questions began to flow thick and fast from her trembling lips. Where was he taking her? What did he plan to do with her? Why her, of all people? Would he please, please, please let her go? If he did, she promised not to tell anyone. Why was he doing this? He seemed to be a man of few words, however, and within seconds was stuffing the saliva sodden rag back into her resistant mouth. Fresh tape now began to wend its way around her lower head once more. And then he was gone, slamming shut the heavy van doors, getting back into the driver’s seat and restarting the engine.


The next few hours passed in similar monotonous fashion to those that had preceded the refreshment break. Hour after hour the van sped on through the early morning, although after a while the road became more winding, hilly and uneven, causing Emma to be thrown around the van’s interior to a greater degree than had previously been the case. Where were they? They’d been on the road now for around eight or nine hours, mostly at high speed on motorways, it seemed, so how far could they have journeyed in that time? The only conclusion that the helpless and sightless twenty four year old could draw, was that they must be as far from her home in Ipswich as it was possible to be within Britain by now. And that probably meant somewhere in Scotland.

The state of the roads that they were traversing seemed to be getting progressively worse. The final section of the journey – which lasted for what Emma estimated must have been at least an hour – was on a pot-holed and rutted track, judging by the bumping and swaying of the van and the slower speed. No sound of other traffic now pervaded the walls of the van. Indeed, when the engine was finally switched off, there was silence save for the screeching of seagulls. The opening of the doors let in a cool, salt-tinged breeze, adding further to the assumption that they were now by the coast.

Emma raised her head from the floor - the road conditions having flung her off the mattress - and directed her sightless eyes towards the doors. She groaned into her gag, hoping to stir some sort of compassion in this otherwise uncaring and clearly deranged individual who had decided to take her captive. As expected, however, none was forthcoming. Instead, she felt herself being picked up, lifted out of the van and hoisted up onto his shoulder. Then he began to walk, with his arms grasping her thighs to his chest and her head and upper torso at his back. The lapping of waves on the shore, the cry of the gulls and the whistling wind were the only sounds to reach Emma’s ears; no traffic, no voices, in fact nothing of a manmade nature whatsoever. He was carrying her out in the open, so wherever they were, Emma realised despondently, must be at a location totally devoid of human habitation or presence.

The walk lasted less than three minutes, before her captor stopped. Seconds later came the sound of a door opening. Not the metallic door of a vehicle now, but the creaking of wood, which suggested that they were entering a building of some description.

The slamming of the door, once they had crossed the threshold, coincided with the cessation of the breeze in Emma’s freely flowing dark brown hair. The sounds of sea and seabirds also became somewhat muted. Another few steps further on and another door was heard to open. Moving into this second room, Emma found herself being eased off his shoulder and placed on what turned out to be a cold stone floor. She waited with trepidation for some sort of revelation now; some spoken word, some action, or any kind of clue as to what was to become of her. All she heard, however, was the door through which they had just arrived being closed again. Seconds later, the outer door also slammed shut. Then there was only silence.


Emma waited fully five minutes before daring to move. But once this period of time had elapsed, with no sound to indicate that he was still in the vicinity, she began her fight for freedom. Although she’d already established that getting her hands free was an impossibility, her plight was now so desperate that she couldn’t just lie there waiting for events to unfold. She simply had to do whatever it took to get herself out of this mess. And now that he seemed to no longer be within earshot, she decided that the time was right for action. And besides, during the brief period that he’d been carrying her, she had gained the distinct impression that one of the ropes that bound her legs had loosened somewhat. Not to any great degree, and obviously not enough for her kidnapper to notice, but the pressure around her ankles definitely seemed to have lessened slightly. Frantically straining and stretching, Emma tried to extricate one ankle or other from the coiled and cinched rope that had been applied about twelve hours ago. The swish of her tights, as one leg rubbed against the other, was the only sound to break the silence as she worked relentlessly for several minutes at her lower leg bond. Suddenly, with a “mmmph” of triumph escaping from behind the gag, Emma felt the rope around her left ankle go limp, and within seconds she was able to kick the now useless bond off first one foot, then the other. Chuffed at this success, she attempted a repeat performance with the two ropes higher up her legs. Unfortunately, however, these remained stubbornly immovable, no matter how much she stretched and wrenched at them. Still, she should be able to stand up and walk now...or at least that would be the case if she could see. And it was to this problem that Emma next set about finding a solution.

From lying on the floor of the van, Emma had noted that the knot that held the blindfold in place was situated at the back of her head. She’d made a few attempts to remove this during the journey, but now she set to work with renewed vigour to try to rid herself of this material that covered her eyes. Lying on her back, she rubbed the knot against the rough stone floor. For what seemed like hours, but was in reality probably no more than ten minutes, she persevered without success, but then, just as she was about to give in, she suddenly felt the knot rise up slightly towards the top of her head. After a minute or two more of trying to work the scarf off, followed by some frantic head shaking, Emma suddenly experienced a brightness that she hadn’t known for more than twelve hours, as the sight restrictor finally fell away.

Emma blinked in the unfamiliar light for several seconds, until her day vision returned and she was able to survey her surroundings. What had seemed extremely bright after so long in a world of darkness, now turned out now to be a small, poorly lit, empty room; the walls and floor hewn from rough stone. The only source of light was a tiny, dirt encrusted window away to her left, and directly opposite this stood a wooden door; the only viable exit.

With difficulty, Emma propelled herself towards the door and, once there, awkwardly rose to her feet using the wall for support. Being unable to move her hands away from her back meant that grasping the door handle was no easy feat. Eventually, however, she managed to contort herself into the correct position to manoeuvre the handle and push the door outwards. She had been half expecting to find herself locked in, but to her great surprise and relief, it openly relatively easily; he’d clearly underestimated her capabilities in removing the blindfold and getting to her feet.

With her legs still bound both below and above the knees, Emma now stumbled awkwardly into the outer room. This too had only one small window, although the walls here had been plastered and painted white, which gave the room a lighter appearance. But it wasn’t the colour of the walls that caught Emma’s attention and made her gasp with horror into her gag, but what had been used to adorn them. For all around the room, covering almost every square inch of available space, were pictures of women in every imaginable state of bondage. Chains, ropes, straitjackets, straps, gags and hoods all featured heavily, with most of these helpless young females being attired from head to toe in skin-tight attire, such as leather, latex, PVC and spandex. The majority of these images appeared to have been cut out of magazines, but some were photographs. One in particular caught her eye. It featured a blonde woman, seemingly about Emma’s age, bound in a strict hog-tie, gagged with tape, her tear stained cheeks and wide, pleading eyes directed at the camera, as if begging to be set free. But what struck Emma the most, was that the floor on which this poor creature lay seemed to be of similar stone to that on which she herself had so recently languished.

Had this photograph been taken by her abductor? Had he kidnapped other women in the past and kept them all trussed up here? And if so, what had become of them? Emma had no answers to these questions and she had no intention of waiting around for enlightenment on these issues. She’d been eager to escape beforehand, but now, having viewed this grotesque bondage gallery of his - this homage to female captivity -, made her even more determined to get as far away from this place as soon as she possibly could.

Making her way to the outer door, Emma inspected the lock. To her great relief she found it to be in the Yale ‘night latch’ style. That meant, provided that he hadn’t deadlocked it, that she should be able to get out. With her hands bound and lashed to her back, though, it was touch and go as to whether her fingers could reach high enough to release the catch. But after straining and stretching for a few seconds she succeeded, and with a shriek of triumph and delight she was able to pull the door inwards. Awkwardly, she took two steps out into the sunlight and gazed around. The building in which she’d been incarcerated turned out to be a crofters’ cottage, which added weight to her suspicions that she was in the Scottish Highlands. The landscape also backed up this assumption; a patchwork of small islands and sea, overlooked by distant mountains, the tallest of which remained snow-capped. Closer to home, the land on which the cottage stood was seen to be a tiny island; probably no more than two hundred yards in length and with no other signs of human settlement. Directly in front of her, however, only about two hundred yards from the shoreline, was a larger land mass - the mainland, she hoped – which connected to the island by a thin stretch of sandy causeway; presumably impassable at high tide, but fortuitously navigable right now as the tide was out. There were no other buildings to be seen on the mainland, but Emma could see a road – or rather a track – which must have been the one the van had traversed to get here. And it was on getting to this track that Emma now focused all her attention. There was no sign of human activity anywhere but, she figured, the track had to lead somewhere, and eventually, if she followed it, it must lead back to civilisation.


With her knee bonds still refusing to yield to her struggles, Emma’s method of locomotion would, if her circumstances weren’t so dire, have appeared comical. The risk of falling on the uneven ground was great, with no hands available to prevent her injuring herself should she stumble. So, as quickly as she dared, Emma waddled across the short expanse of tussock grass studded soil towards the rocks that led down to the causeway. With no shoes to protect her feet, she gingerly picked her way through the boulders. Once safely through this obstacle course, she arrived on the beach and made a beeline towards the stretch of sand that would lead her, she desperately hoped, away from this hellish place forever.

The breeze cut through the fleeing female’s skimpy clothing and caused a shiver to rush up her spine. Or was it the prospect of her captor returning and recapturing her that caused this shudder? She kept looking over her shoulder, half expecting to see him appear at any moment, but so far there was no sign that he was still around.

With the tide on its way back in, the causeway was now around thirty yards or so in width, with the waves lapping on the sand from both left and right. Now that she’d negotiated the treacherous rocks, however, Emma assumed that this relatively flat terrain of sand should present her with an easier passage. With no time to lose lest her kidnapper should reappear, she begun to half run, half waddle across the ever diminishing isthmus in the direction of the mainland.

She seemed to be making good progress and was almost half way across this natural sandy bridge, when events suddenly took a turn for the worse. It all happened so fast and was so completely unexpected, that when it occurred, Emma had no time to take evasive action. One moment her feet were pounding on damp but firm sand, the next the ground seemed to give way beneath her and she felt like she had stepped into a pot of glue. Looking down, she noticed that her feet were no longer visible and that she was up to her ankles in a wet, clinging mire. Quicksand!

Emma’s immediate reaction was to get back on terra firma as soon as was humanly possible. Attempting to lift her legs upwards, however, only resulted in a strange sucking sound emanating from the area around her now invisible feet, accompanied by the sensation of her legs slipping deeper into the morass. Had her legs been unfettered, she would probably have succeeded on reaching firmer ground, but with her knees securely bound, lifting one leg independently of the other proved impossible and when she looked down again, she saw that the clinging sand was now half way up her calves. And she was still sinking!

Panic set in, as she pulled and strained to release her legs from this quagmire that threatened to devour her. But it was like trying to move through setting cement. Struggling - indeed any movement at all - she discovered too late, only exacerbated the situation and seemed to speed up the sinking process, and before she knew it her knees had disappeared into the unstable ground. Involuntarily, her gagged mouth unleashed a scream of terror into the surrounding wilderness. But the only response came from the cry of the gulls overhead, the stiffening breeze and the constant lapping of the encroaching waves on either side of her. The urge to struggle and try to extricate herself was strong, and it took all of Emma’s willpower to calm herself down and desist from this futile battle to halt her downward progress; which in reality was having the opposite effect. Remaining motionless lessened the sinking process significantly, but she was still slowly sliding under with no means to halt or reverse the trend.

It was a grim dilemma. If she fought against her downward progress, then she was the architect of her own downfall and only speeded up the process. On the other hand, if she did nothing, she would still eventually slide into oblivion, unless the inrushing tide drowned her before she had completely succumbed to the quicksand. By now, Emma was immersed up to her buttocks, and her hands, still tightly bound and lashed to her back, desperately stretched out to find the firmer terrain which she knew couldn’t be more than a few inches away. But it was hopeless. Soon it was impossible to keep her fingers above the surface, and she found herself almost encased to the waist in the cold slough of clinging wet sand.

Just then, however, when she was resigning herself to being swallowed alive by the unforgiving Earth, a sound reached her ears; faintly at first, but gradually increasing in volume. After spending many a long, terrified hour in the back of the van, Emma recognised the sound immediately, and this was soon confirmed by the sight of this vehicle bumping slowly along the track that she had been making for when the sands had claimed her. Emma screamed as the van came to a halt; partly from relief that potential rescue was at hand, but also partially through fear of what he would do to her now. Would he even bother helping her? And if he did, what then? She would, she realised, be back in the same situation that she had been trying to escape from in the first place. But surely anything was better than sinking without trace and her body never being discovered, wasn’t it?

For a few seconds after the van’s engine cut out, there was no movement from inside. Then, slowly, the door opened and the man that Emma had seen with the cloth in his hand at the gym stepped out into the sunlight. For what seemed like a geological age, but was in reality no more than twenty seconds, he simply stood there, gazing out over the causeway to where the top half of Emma’s body protruded from the semi-solid terrain. Although she was certain that he’d seen her, Emma shrieked with as much vocal power as she could muster, although her gag and the strong breeze may have conspired to make her plea inaudible.

Slowly now, as if there was no urgency whatsoever and he was out for a pleasant morning stroll, he began to make his way down the steep bank onto the causeway, a rucksack slung over his right shoulder. Emma knew that she should remain still, but for some reason she found herself twisting and turning in her clagging prison; as if this would somehow highlight her plight and hasten his approach. All that this achieved, however, was a quickening of her descent.

Seemingly in slow motion, he sauntered over to within about three feet of the helpless female, before crouching down on a firm stretch of sand so that his face and hers were at approximately the same height. For a second or two he simply gazed at her, frowning, until finally he broke his silence.

“Well, well, it looks as if I didn’t fix that blindfold securely enough. And I’d be intrigued to know how you managed to get this far.”

Nonchalantly, he took his mobile phone out of his pocket and began taking pictures of the helpless woman.

“These will make a nice addition to my gallery, which you no doubt got a good look at on your way out of the cottage.”

As the camera captured multiple images of her disappearing form, Emma groaned long and loud into her gag, in a desperate attempt to convey the urgency of her plight. By now the sands were on the verge of enveloping her breasts, with the tips of her long dark hair trailing loosely in the wet surface sludge. If he didn’t hurry, she feared that it would be too late to get her out...if that was ever his intention, of course. Putting the phone back in his pocket, he remained silent for a few seconds, lifting his eyes and scanning the horizon, as if pondering his next move. Then he suddenly seemed to come up with an idea.

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do. Maybe we can come to some mutually beneficial arrangement here.”

Emma was expecting some further explanation as to exactly what he had in mind, but instead she watched in disbelief as he dipped into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a small notebook and pen. Opening the book, he began to write something down. As the sand reached her armpits and all but hid the stringent rope harness that encircled her torso, Emma pleaded with him to show a bit more urgency. What was he doing? Surely making notes could wait for now, couldn’t it? For thirty seconds or so he continued to scribble something down, then closed the book and laid it on the sand beside him. Delving into his pocket again, he once more retrieved his phone, which he placed on top of the book. Leaning forward, he reached out and slowly began to peel the tape away from Emma’s face. This proved a painful operation and took the best part of a minute to complete, but with the tape gone, Emma could, with some difficulty, spit the towelling material from her mouth. She gasped and began begging coherently for the first time, hoping that he would show some compassion. She even heard herself apologising for having the audacity to escape from the cottage. He seemed to pay scant attention to her words however, as it appeared that his agenda was already set.

“So, what I propose is this. I’ll help you out of this mess you’ve got yourself bogged down in, providing you’ll record a short message onto my phone for me. I’ve written out the words I want you to say. Just insert your name where I’ve left the gap.”

He picked up the notebook, opened it at the page he’d recently written on, and placed it as close to Emma as he could. He pressed a couple of buttons on his phone and held this close to her mouth.

“Okay, speak now.”

Emma, who had more pressing matters on her mind than reading, looked at the spidery writing for the first time.

“Come on, I haven’t got all day....and neither have you by the looks of things.”

Scared out of her wits as her shoulders neared ground level, Emma quickly took on board the gist of the text. Momentarily, as the revulsion at what he was asking her to say hit home, she baulked at actually reading the text out loud. But the fact that she suddenly felt herself slide a fraction of an inch further towards an early grave, supplied her with the incentive needed, and with quaking voice and trembling heart she began to utter the words he’d prepared for her:

“I, Emma, in everlasting gratitude for being rescued from the quicksand, hereby agree to being kept willingly bound and gagged for an indefinite period of time. I also agree that I cannot change my mind on this matter and realise that this decision is not reversible under any circumstances.”

As she finished reading, a sucking noise issued from the quag that now played around her shoulders, which coincided with a brief but rapid slippage further into the thick, adhering mire. She screamed and begged one more time for mercy, as she realised that without his help she would be sucked under within no more than a minute or two. For a few seconds he seemed unmoved by her plight. But then, as her shoulders finally disappeared from view, he smiled coldly at her, then reached forward and plunged his arms into the soft yielding sands.

Emma felt his hands slide under her armpits. Then, using all his strength, he began to pull her upwards. It was a long, slow process, with the hungry sand, having seemingly acquired a taste for female flesh, being reluctant to relinquish its meal at the last moment. He persisted, however, and gradually, inch by inch, she felt herself rising up out of the glue-like mire. Getting her out completely took several minutes and a great deal of effort on his part, but finally, her feet rose out of the clinging slurry with a squelching sound. Exhausted from his efforts, he laid her down on the firm ground, before laying back himself to catch his breath.


Emma’s emotions now were mixed. She was overjoyed to be out of immediate danger from the quicksand, but what had she agreed to? It seemed that she’d readily consented to being held captive for as long as he pleased, which could be days, weeks....or months even! She just had to get away from him as quickly as she could. Carefully, so as not to arouse his suspicions, she pulled on the bonds that held her wrists and elbows in check, hoping that their immersion in the wet sand had somehow caused them to slacken. No such luck. A quick investigation of her leg bonds proved equally disappointing. She turned and looked at her captor-turned- saviour, lying close beside her, still breathing heavily from his exertions with eyes closed. She knew she had to act now, or in a minute or so he’d have recovered and the chance would be lost. In a flash, she rolled her body away from his and tried to stand up. With no hands to help her, this was not an easy task, but desperation seemed to spur her on and she managed to find her feet within seconds. Where was she to go? The mainland seemed the only option. His tracks were visible in the sand, so she knew that if she followed his footprints then there was little chance of succumbing to another session at the mercy of the quicksand. She took one step in that direction but then felt a hand grab hold of her left ankle and pull her down onto the ground again.

“Pull another stunt like that and I’ll throw you back in and leave you there.”

He didn’t need to specify where he was referring to by “there”.

Emma could only watch as, now galvanised into action, he picked up the cloth that had served as her gag - now covered in sand - and forcefully pushed it back between her teeth. Reaching into his rucksack, he produced a spool of grey duct tape and, despite her protests, covered her mouth and began to wind this around her head. Emma wailed in fear and fury, and tried everything within her powers to get away from this evil monster. But a further threat to return her to the mercy of the quaking sands was enough to cause her to promptly curtail this futile attempt at resistance.

Pulling a piece of rope from his bag, he quickly wound this around her ankles several times, before cinching and knotting it ultra tightly. Lifting her up, he slung her over his shoulder and started heading back towards the cottage, in a rerun of their earlier arrival on the island. The only difference between that occasion and this was that Emma could now see. From her position, she could view the area of quicksand as he transported her back towards the island. The sand in the specific spot in which she’d been stuck still showed signs of the disturbance that her body had left, although the impression was gradually filling in and returning to normal. The tide, too, had now covered much of the causeway, and was lapping only inches away from where she had so recently languished. This scene now brought home to her that, had her captor not come along at the right time, there would have been no trace of her by now; the quicksand seemingly keen to obliterate all evidence of its activities as soon as it had devoured her. She was grateful that she was able to observe this from her vantage point, rather than from beneath the ever shifting sands.

But there was a down side to all this of course. She had been kidnapped and transported hundreds of miles from home to a desolate, unpopulated wilderness. She was being kept bound and gagged. She was about to be held captive in a remote cottage that was, she imagined, rarely if ever frequented by casual visitors. And she was certain that, having escaped once, he was likely to take precautions to ensure that this wasn’t allowed to happen again. Taking all these factors into account, what exactly was there to be grateful for? And worse than that, technically speaking at least, it probably didn’t even count as kidnapping anymore, as she’d agreed - albeit under duress - to remain tied up for as long as he saw fit. He even had a recording of her saying just that, which he could, if necessary, use as evidence to prove it. So what exactly was to become of her now? Her rescue from the quicksand had saved her life, but would a relatively swift death beneath the quagmire have been a blessing in disguise, compared to what was to come? Would she, in the days and weeks ahead, when she was being held in tight bondage 24/7, be as sure that she’d made the right decision? Was she heading towards a fate worse than death?

Only time would tell.

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