Diana's Leaving Present
Diana checked her watch. The digital display informed her that it was now 2:50 PM. Only ten minutes to go before her shift ended. But this was no ordinary working day. No, this was the end of her final shift as a receptionist in the large hotel in which she’d been employed for the past three and a half years. And Diana knew, from seeing other people leave in the past, that normally some sort of send off by your fellow workers was staged at the cessation of that last shift; a present and signed card usually bestowed on the departing employee, bought with the proceeds of a ‘whip round’ of the staff, in order to show their appreciation of your hard work and support over the duration of your employment. Often, a glass of champagne, courtesy of the management, would be drunk, with a toast proposed for the person’s future prosperity, health and happiness.
Diana was fairly certain that this wasn’t going to be the case for her, however. After all, she’d not exactly made herself popular in the four weeks since she’d handed in her notice. In fact, by her own admission, she’d been a complete bitch; refusing to cover for other staff when they were off sick; not pulling her weight with the workload; allowing her standard of productivity to trail off due to a ‘couldn’t care less’ stance, resulting in multiple errors which she’d somehow managed to avoid correcting herself, thus increasing the pressure on her colleagues. And worst of all, blaming others for her own mistakes and slapdash approach. Put bluntly, her attitude had been appalling... and she knew it!
But Diana wasn’t in the least bit troubled by this state of affairs. Who needed a card that contained sentiments which nobody really meant, written by so-called work-mates who she was quite happy to see the back of? Her plan was to quickly grab her coat and belongings before slipping away quietly once the shift had ended, without fuss or ceremony.
So, as three o’clock approached, Diana was surprised to find several members of the team gathering in the office just behind the reception desk, as if in readiness to give her a warm send-off. Had she misread the whole situation? Had her misdemeanours been overlooked or forgiven? Was she, in fact, popular with the rest of the workforce, despite everything that had recently transpired? It appeared that this might be the case.
Appearances, it would soon become apparent, can sometimes be deceptive.
“Diana, as this is your last day of working with us, we thought we’d organise something for you to remember us by.”
It was Mark, the deputy reception manager, who made this announcement, just after Diana had handed over to the incoming evening receptionists. Also present were four other members of the team that she’d been working closely with in recent times, namely Rebecca, Tina, Sue and Toni. Slightly taken aback, Diana looked around, expecting to see an envelope and wrapped present somewhere close at hand, which she was about to be presented with. She saw nothing of the sort however. What was going on here exactly? It was left to Mark to enlighten her...well sort of.
“Actually, the gift we’ve got for you is in another part of the hotel. But so as not to spoil the surprise, we need to put this blindfold on you before we take you there.”
As he spoke, Tina stepped forward, a jet black silk scarf in her hand. Shocked by the fact that they’d even bothered to turn up to wish her farewell, let alone arrange some kind of treat, Diana allowed her fellow receptionist to cover her eyes, then wrap the smooth, sight restricting material around her head and knot it tightly at the back of her skull. But for some reason, as soon as the scarf was secure, being plunged into total darkness sent a chill up Diana’s spine, and she found herself, without thinking, lifting her hands up towards her face. They never arrived at their destination, however, as almost immediately, as if she’d been expecting such a reaction, Tina grabbed Diana’s upwardly mobile arms and, in one swift movement, forcibly pulled them down and around behind her back. Another of the assembled group - in her blindness Diana couldn’t tell which one - instantly took over, and within no more than a second, the befuddled woman felt something cold and metallic being fitted around both wrists and tighten to the contours of her flesh. The sound of clicking ratchets followed immediately. Handcuffs!!
If Diana had been confused by the application of the blindfold, she was now bewildered, and not a little unnerved, by the fact that her hands had now been shackled inescapably behind her back. But even as she began exploring the restraining properties of the unbreakable bracelets, events began to unfold at such a speed that she was given no time to dwell on the sinister nature of her plight.
“Right Diana, time to find out all about the surprise we’ve arranged for you.”
This was Mark talking again, and as he did so, Diana felt a pair of hands grasp each shoulder, which, with gentle persuasion, urged her to begin walking.
As if in a daze, and still unsure of the full implications of what had just happened to her, Diana meekly complied with this prompt. But, as she gathered her wits, the need to find some answers to the myriad questions whirling around her spinning brain kicked in. The responses she received, though, were evasive, to say the least, and seemed to go around in a circle.
“Why have you handcuffed me?”
“So that you can’t take the blindfold off.”
“But why have you blindfolded me?”
“So that you can’t see why we’ve handcuffed you.”
Diana was intent on digging deeper into the strangeness of the situation she unwittingly found herself embroiled in, but before she had a chance, she found herself being marched down a corridor, and the distinct sound of the door to the hotel’s main function room being opened reached her ears. Immediately she found herself being ushered inside.
“Ok Diana, not far to go now before you find out how much the staff appreciate the way you’ve been treating them over the past few weeks.”
At this announcement, Diana suddenly panicked. For the fact that she had been intolerable recently, surely signalled that these words carried sinister connotations.
“What do you mean? Where are you taking me? What are you going to do?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. Now if you’d like to step this way, we’ll show you to your room.”
This time, as the hands on her arms drove her forwards, Diana resisted; digging her heels into the carpet, whilst simultaneously demanding to be released immediately. But it soon became apparent that no one was prepared to accede to this command, and despite her best efforts, she found herself being dragged across the floor to...where exactly?
All of a sudden, the floor beneath her dragging feet changed from lush carpet to concrete, and Diana knew exactly where she was being taken. The venue was the function room’s small, windowless store cupboard - approximately ten feet long by around eight wide - which was normally choc-a-block full with stacked up chairs and folded tables. But, from the fact that this little procession was able to easily congregate in the compact area, suggested that, at present, the room was empty. But what were her assailants’ plans for her now? Again it was left to Mark - who seemed to be the leader and driving force behind this campaign – to explain.
“As you’ve made yourself so unpopular with everyone over the past few weeks, we’ve decide to forego the usual leaving celebrations and instead teach you a lesson.”
As he spoke, Diana found herself backed into one corner of the bare brick walled room, before being turned around so that her back was against a solid metal water pipe that ran vertically from ceiling to floor. As the hands briefly released their grip, Diana decided that this was getting out of hand, and that she needed to make a run for it. But the fact that she couldn’t see, plus the close attendance of her work colleagues, meant that she only managed two steps before she was pushed back against the pipe. Even as she struggled and screamed out in indignation, Diana felt what turned out to be a length of rope being threaded under her armpits, before suddenly this ligature tightened across her chest, as she was pressed back with some force against the convex metal. That immovable column, it now transpired, was earmarked as her mooring station, for even as this bond was being knotted tightly and securely between her breasts, another similar restraint was being applied around her waist.
Diana was too shocked to take on board all that was occurring. Part of her was sure that this was all just a harmless prank - simply designed to scare her - and that they’d let her go in a few minutes. But as her legs were grabbed and further ropes were wrapped and cinched extremely tightly around her ankles, as well as on either side of the knee joint, with each restraint also incorporating the solid metal pole within its circumference, she began to get the impression that they had no thoughts of leniency in mind, and that she might be here for some time.
Now trussed securely to the stout metal plumbing, Diana found, in the struggle to stay free, that she’d somehow lost her shoes; the cold of the concrete floor seeping through the thin mesh of her tights and chilling her feet to the bone. Whether this had been an accidental occurrence or not, she wasn’t certain. An item of clothing which had been unzipped and removed by design, without a shadow of doubt however, was her skirt, which seemed to have been taken simply to humiliate and leave her feeling vulnerable; albeit that her tights and panties remained untouched, at least allowing her to retain some semblance of dignity. She screeched and wailed as loudly as she could, in the hope that someone would come to her aid. But in this part of the building, with very few members or staff around at this time of day and guests unlikely to be in the vicinity, her cries evaporated into the ether without ever reaching a sympathetic ear. But even if anyone was to come into range of her desperate pleas for assistance at some point in the future, the group, whose sole task was to make her life a misery, it seemed, already had contingency plans to stop her from drawing attention to herself.
For no sooner had Diana’s high decibel outburst begun, than it encountered a severe and brutal curtailment, in the form of a rolled up piece of fabric of some description being placed across her lips and pushed with great force into her mouth. All attempts to stop and reverse the insertion of this cavity filling cloth were doomed to failure from the start, as her bonds, coupled with the hands of her female handlers, ensured that whichever member of the quartet it was that had been assigned the honour of silencing her, was given a relatively easy ride.
But the soft material being eased into the gap behind her teeth was only the first part of the operation to deter Diana from alerting the world to her woes. Because as soon as this noise restrictor was in place, the sensation of strongly bonding tape being slapped down over her mouth, and the subsequent wrapping of this adhesive sealant around her head several times, left the now frantic female in no doubt that she was now well and truly gagged .
“There you go Diana. Now you’re probably beginning to cotton on to the fact that the staff aren’t particularly impressed with your attitude just recently. In light of your unpopularity, therefore, we decided to give you a leaving gift that reflects the level of resentment which your colleagues feel for you.”
It was Sue who relayed this information to the stricken Diana, who thrashed and writhed in her newly acquired state of bondage, but failed to detect any weak points in her well secured restraints. But what was being implied exactly? It turned out that Sue was more than willing - delighted even, given her tone of voice - to let her prisoner know the details of the arrangements they’d put in place.
“So what could we give you that showed our displeasure? Well we thought long and hard about it, and decided that we’d give you something that you know all about, namely an all inclusive relaxing Weekend Break...but with a subtle difference!”
Diana was well versed in the terms and conditions of the hotel chain’s Weekend Breaks package, which included two nights’ accommodation, breakfast and dinner, together with use of the hotel facilities, such as the gym and swimming pool. But what did tying her to a post and gagging her have to do with this? Another of her tormentors - Rebecca - was eager to share more details with the reluctant recipient of this so-called treat.
“So what we’ve come up with is a nice relaxing weekend in peaceful seclusion, away from it all. A nice forty eight hours of not being disturbed and with nothing to worry about. Where you can luxuriate safe in the knowledge that all your needs will be catered for.”
The assembled mob all sniggered at this, although Diana found little humour in the ongoing situation. Although she didn’t like to contemplate the implications inherent in this statement, she was beginning to get the feeling that her time in this storeroom was not going to be of short duration. But it was left to Mark to fill in the missing details, and confirm what his female associates had already hinted at.
“I think what Rebecca is trying to say, is that we’ve decided to leave you all trussed and tethered here for the weekend. Don’t worry though, as you know, all meals are included in the package, so we’ll be back twice a day to feed you and make sure you have everything you might require.”
Diana shrieked her disapproval of this arrangement, and tried with all her might to break free of the ropes that held her in check. But it was becoming obvious that she was fighting a losing battle, as every ligature held firm and gave her no cause for optimism that any of them were prone to loosening or slippage, no matter how much she struggled. And the mocking clink of the handcuffs simply confirmed the hopelessness of the situation.
“You can scream and shout all you like Diana. No one is going to help you. I’ve checked the bookings, and can confirm that there are no weddings or parties in this room at the weekend, so the chances of anyone coming in here are minimal, to say the least. And with the doors shut and locked – both to this inner chamber and the function room - nobody will be within earshot. I’ve also briefed the night staff, and they’re as unhappy with your unreliability and bad attitude as we are, so they’ve agreed that, should they hear wailing and moaning sounds on their nightly rounds, they’ll ignore them. We’ve asked the rest of the staff to give this cupboard as wide a berth as possible too.”
He paused for a few seconds, while Diana made her displeasure known in no uncertain terms, before addressing his female entourage.
“Come on girls, let’s leave Diana in peace, so that she can fully appreciate her leaving present.”
The sound of footsteps followed, as five very smug employees vacated the cupboard. But Mark still had one further jibe waiting for his extremely dissatisfied guest.
“Oh I nearly forgot Di. As with the normal Weekend Breaks that the hotel offers, you can always add an extra night on at the end. But as you’re in no position to call the shots on this one, we’ll make the decision on whether you deserve a third night of luxury bondage, based on how you react when we come back to visit, as well as the feedback I receive from the team concerning the amount of commotion you make. If you remain calm and accept your punishment, then you’ll be freed on Sunday evening. If you weep and wail and generally make a nuisance of yourself, however, the chances are that you’ll be forced to remain here for an extra day...or maybe even longer!”
Before Diana could even contemplate either screaming with anger or pleading for mercy, the door to the storeroom slammed shut, followed by the fainter but still distinct sound of a key turning in a lock. Through the door of the now sealed room, she heard her quintet of jailers shout out in mocking unison.
“Have a great weekend Diana!!”
Diana did everything within her powers to get herself free. But the ropes around her body held her in check to the solid piping, and the viciously taut cords around her ankles and legs refused to yield, no matter how hard she stretched and strained; simply cutting through the thin mesh of her tights and biting painfully into her tender flesh beneath. Puffing her cheeks out and contorting her facial muscles had very little effect on the adhesive tape that held the cloth gag in place, and the blindfold refused to budge, no matter how much she rubbed the knot at the back of her head against the pipe-work.
For a while, Diana still clung to the faint hope that this was all just a wind-up, a spiteful game that was being enacted to frighten her, and that in a few minutes they’d be back to untie her. But as time wore on, the notion that their threats were real, and that they really did intend keeping her here for the whole weekend, finally hit home.
So what was she to do? If, as they’d suggested, the entire workforce was in on this escapade, then it seemed she was doomed to serve her full sentence. But if she cried out for help, then it had been made clear that they might decide to keep her here even longer! And the fact that it had become blatantly obvious, as soon as the handcuffs had been slipped around her wrists, that she was inescapably trapped, guaranteed that all attempts at getting free would prove futile. In other words, she was stymied on all fronts.
Diana leant her head back against the pipe that would be her companion for the next forty eight hours - at least - and contemplated a bleak future. Surely her former colleagues couldn’t be so cruel as to keep her in such brutal restraints for two whole days and two whole nights, could they? Even though the punishment seemed too severe for the alleged crime, she wished now that she’d been more respectful to her team, and hadn’t been such a bitch. Her one hope seemed to be that someone not connected to the staff - maybe a hotel guest or one of the senior management team - would stumble upon her and get her out of this mess. But being wary of creating verbal havoc for fear of attracting the sort of attention which would see her incarcerated for even longer than her initially proposed stint in seclusion, ensured that she remained silent.
For an hour or more, Diana continued to wrestle with her bonds, in the forlorn hope that she might suddenly and miraculously develop super human properties and thus regain her freedom. This was merely wishful thinking, of course.
But, much to her surprise, after a while a strange transformation slowly but surely began to develop in her, until a complete sea change in her way of viewing this whole predicament gradually overwhelmed her. Diana couldn’t put her finger on exactly what it was that had altered, but as she writhed and wrenched at her tight bonds, the realisation began to take hold that, contrary to all logic, the fact that she couldn’t move from the spot wasn’t such a bad thing after all. Or put another way, the feeling of helplessness and the inability to do anything about her situation, was actually starting to excite her. At first she tried to quell these unwanted feelings and put them out of her mind. But they wouldn’t go away, and the more she wriggled and strained at her fetters, the greater these sensations of wellbeing increased, until it became obvious that the reason for struggling was no longer a desperate fight for freedom, but had instead become a labour of love. Against all reason, she found herself laughing as loudly as her gag would allow. This one hundred and eighty degree turnaround in her philosophy took a while to sink in, but eventually Diana was left in no doubt that there was nowhere she’d rather be right now than bound and gagged in this isolated store cupboard. She silently thanked her captors for being instrumental in bringing this revelation into focus.
So what was it about being tied up that felt so good? She tried to rationalise this odd turn of events, but could come up with no real answers. Maybe it was the fact that her destiny had been taken out of her hands which felt so liberating; the fact that she was incapable of moving, seeing or speaking and could do absolutely nothing. There was nowhere to go, no decisions to make, and therefore nothing that she needed to stress over.
If she’d been free, she’d have spent the weekend cleaning her apartment, pushing a heavy trolley around a supermarket shopping for food and essentials, and generally doing menial, everyday tasks which she loathed. Being shut away in solitary confinement at least got her out of those boring chores.
Her former colleagues had likened her incarceration to one of the hotel’s Weekend Breaks, and now Diana could start to see the similarities. She was fully conversant with the wording in the brochure advertising these short breaks, and could recite most of the text off by heart. “Your every need will be catered for during your stay, so you won’t need to do a thing. Just relax while we do all the work.” Yes, that was just the situation her tormenters had inadvertently created for her; although they, of course, saw it as punishment, not pleasure. But while she could relax and - given her recent conversion to this type of therapy - enjoy herself, her jailers, despite their hatred of her, would be the ones running around attending to her needs and waiting on her hand and foot for the whole weekend. In effect, she was getting full board for the next two days and nights ...and all free of charge!
There was, Diana decided as she mulled things over, a great marketing opportunity here. Weekend Bondage Breaks; what a fantastic concept! The notion came to her that someone needed to write to the managing director, in order to suggest that the hotel chain should consider offering this kind of luxury promotion in future. And she made a commitment, there and then, that she would be the one to do just that...
...If she ever got out of here, of course.