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Part 3

Remarkably, given the severely restrictive nature of her bonds, Lisa did sleep surprisingly well for several hours that night. Whether the extreme terror of the past two days had sapped all her energy, or whether she was simply becoming more accustomed to being permanently bound and unable to move freely, she wasn’t certain. Whatever the case, the fact was that, despite all her trials and tribulations, she woke feeling refreshed, a spirit of optimism having pervaded her, due, she guessed, to the fact that this was the day that she was to be set free...or so she hoped.

Tom entered her room soon after the clock had struck eight. Although unable to see him, Lisa sensed that he was on his hands and knees, staring in at her, probably with that horrible sadistic grin splashed across his face. She waited as the seconds passed, anticipating the pull on her neck chain, followed by the removal of her gag, and maybe the blindfold as well. This, however, failed to materialise. Instead time seemed to stand still for what seemed like several minutes as she lay motionless, knowing that he was there and pondering whether she should try to communicate or remain silent. What was he doing? Was he uncertain, now that his parents return was imminent, what to do with her? Had he come to gloat one final time before being forced to release her? Just as the tension created by this uncertainty was becoming unbearable, however, Tom spoke.

“Well Lisa, it looks like you’ll be leaving soon. I trust you enjoyed your weekend here.”

Lisa’s confidence that she was about to be let loose rose. This was the first time that he’d brought up the subject of her being allowed to leave. But if that had been his planned course of action, the sound of the phone ringing in the hallway distracted his attention and summoned him away.

Unlike the previous day, when the ringing phone had been the answer to her prayers, today’s interruption was entirely unwanted and only served to drag out the helpless female’s sentence for a few more minutes. At least that was how long she hoped her liberation was going to be put on hold for. Straining her ears, she listened intently, in an attempt to make out the gist of this conversation that was an irritating inconvenience now. Although, after all these hours of continual bondage, a delay of a few more minutes was really neither here nor there, now that her release was so close she was anxious to be free and not waste another second cooped up here. Although many of the words were incomprehensible, plus the fact that the conversation was - from her perspective - one sided, there were certain words that she was able to pick out and draw conclusions from. To start with, one of the first words Tom had uttered after the ringing had ceased was ’Dad!’. The word came out as a startled query, as if he was surprised to hear the sound of his father’s voice on the line. Two other partially overheard sentences which stuck in Lisa’s mind were “no, we’ve got along fine” and “I’m afraid she’s just popped out to the shops for a few minutes”. The ‘she’ in question obviously referring to herself, and the lie about being out an obvious excuse when his father had asked if he could speak to her. The first comment, she guessed, was in response to an enquiry about how she and Tom had got on with each other. From his point of view, Lisa thought grimly, the answer he’d given was probably truthful. Still, it could have been worse, she thought. At least he hadn’t said “she can’t come to the phone just now, as she’s a bit tied up at the moment”. But then the conversation seemed to turn to more important matters. Matters that Lisa hoped and prayed she was misinterpreting.

“Really?....how deep?....so there’s no chance of the plane taking off today, then?....what about tomorrow?....oh, I see, so you won’t know until then..... no, I’m sure she’d be delighted to stay on another day or two if necessary. She keeps saying how much she needs the money.... Yeah, I’ll let her know when she gets back....okay, see you soon....bye”

The sound of someone running up the stairs coincided with an outpouring of tears from beneath Lisa’s blindfold. She had hoped against hope that she’d misunderstood the recently finished conversation, but knew deep down that she hadn’t. The speed with which Tom mounted the stairs seemed to suggest that he was excited about something, as if he had some wonderful news that he wished to impart to her as soon as he possibly could. The way he flung open the door, the spring in his step as he crossed the carpeted floor, and the tone of his voice as he began to explain the situation to her, all pointed to one conclusion; that his parents were stranded in Scotland due to heavy snow, and that they had no idea when they would be able to return.

“I’ve just received some excellent news Lisa.” he began “My parents aren’t going to make it home today and they’ve asked me to ask you whether you’d be willing to stay on here until they return. I told them you’d be only too pleased to help out. That is okay with you, isn’t it?”

His mocking tone, coupled with the frustration of pure helplessness and despair that she felt at this latest setback, were the catalysts that drove Lisa into a frenzy of ultimately futile struggling and muffled screaming. All that had kept her sane since he’d reinforced her bonds and taped over her eyes after her failed escape bid yesterday, was the knowledge that her ordeal would be coming to an end at a set time. Now, however, with this certainty suddenly gone, her wild, thrashing attempts to break free from a prison which she knew to be inescapable, came spontaneously and without thought as to what reaction this might incite from her abductor.

As it turned out, he seemed not to care too much about her renewed efforts to free herself from her place of confinement. The certain knowledge that she had no chance of achieving her desired goal obviously left him unconcerned as to how hard she struggled and squirmed. In fact, by the time that Lisa was finally forced to desist from her doomed bid to liberate herself from her bonds due to exhaustion and fatigue, the stillness and silence that greeted her suggested that he had tired of watching and listening to her outburst and had left the room. Tentatively, Lisa checked each of her bonds in turn, in the hope that one or other of them had loosened in some way during her prolonged struggling and writhing session. But, as with all similar tests she’d performed in the past, there would be no joy for the stricken young woman. If anything, in fact, the ropes just seemed to cut into her flesh even deeper than before.

Apart from one brief visit during the afternoon, during which she found her gag removed for no more than thirty seconds for a brief drink break, for the remainder of the day and well into the evening, Lisa wasn’t sure whether Tom was still in the house or not; such was the silence that was her sole companion. Even when she eventually heard his footsteps once more climbing the stairs that night, it soon became apparent that his journey was for reasons unconnected with her, and she resigned herself to the fact that she would be left to languish here undisturbed until morning. Would tomorrow see his parents return? Or was the Scottish snow situation so bad that they would be forced to postpone their homeward flight once more, and therefore condemn her to another day of bondage? Or maybe even longer? What if the blizzard conditions lasted for a week?! In her darkest moments – of which there were many – Lisa envisaged a nightmare scenario in which Tom’s parents were killed in a plane crash and she was left to rot under the bed, never again to savour the sweet taste of freedom.

The sound of the phone ringing awakened Lisa from a disturbed slumber on Tuesday morning. Even before she heard Tom speak, she pessimistically assumed that this was to be the call that confirmed the further postponement of his parents’ homeward flight and thus prolong her sentence for at least another twenty four hours. Having now been without food for two days, she feared that she had been left to starve here, and in her weakened state failed to follow any of the phone conversation from the hallway. Whatever the call was about, the chances of it being good news for her seemed remote.

But in this respect, she was wrong. Seconds after Tom’s conversation ended, he could be heard entering her room and, although she couldn’t see him, Lisa knew instinctively the moment his face appeared in the narrow gap between bed and floor.

“Well Lisa, it looks like you’ll definitely be going home today. That was my parents on the phone just then. The weather’s taken a turn for the better and their flight should be taking off in about four hours time, all being well, which means that they’ll be home this evening. I’ve enjoyed having you as a guest these past few days, so I’m not going to let you out until the last moment, but I just thought you’d like to know that your stay is coming to an end.”

Lisa was reinvigorated by these words, but didn’t want to get her hopes up too high, in case something went wrong. She wasn’t even certain whether she trusted Tom enough to believe him. This could, she thought, simply be his idea of a joke, and her hopes of freedom a false dawn.

“I expect you’ll be hungry and thirsty after all this time, won’t you? I’m sorry I had to treat you like this, but I really couldn’t have you escaping, could I? Now, providing that you don’t start screaming the second I take your gag out, I’ll allow you all the food and drink you want. Do we have a deal?”

Lisa had never before heard him talk like this; being sympathetic to her needs was, she had assumed until now, anathema to him. Was this all a ploy to get her to go easy on him once she was released and free to tell the world of the horrendous ordeal he’d put her through? Or was he really feeling remorseful for the torment he’d forced her to endure? She had no answer to these questions but, quite frankly, she didn’t care one way or the other. She was going to be free in a few hours time, and even more immediately, she was going to be allowed to quench her raging thirst and ease her chronic hunger pangs. That was enough for her just now.

Tom pulled her neck chain towards the corner of the bed, until she was stretched out as far as her leg restraint would allow. Gently he began to unwind the tape from her lower face until her lips were free of the clinging material, before removing the cloth gag. Lisa closed her mouth and gingerly exercised her jaw muscles. She was hoping now that he’d maybe remove her blindfold too, but he seemed unwilling to do so and Lisa decided not to argue the point. After a wait of several seconds, she felt something touch her lips, followed by the sensation of cool, refreshing liquid being poured into her mouth. Without the aid of sight, she was unsure of exactly how far her face was from the edge of the bed, but guessed, from the angle that he seemed to be holding the bottle, and the fact that a great deal of the water seemed to be failing to reach her mouth but instead ran down her chin and could be heard dripping onto the carpet, that he was having to stretch under the bed several inches to reach her. If only he’d free the bond that tethered her ankles to the diagonally opposite corner of the bed, she thought, drinking would be a far less troublesome operation. But obviously, his generosity and compassion towards her didn’t seem to stretch that far. True, his attitude seemed to have improved towards her to a certain extent, for which she was extremely grateful, but the only concession to freedom that he appeared to be allowing at this stage was the removal of her gag. And that, Lisa assumed, was only going to be a temporary reprieve.

Sure enough, this assumption proved ultimately to be spot on. Having allowed her to drink as much as she required, he then offered her something that tasted like stale cake, which she found she could eat very little of. Then she felt the now familiar towelling material being pushed back behind her teeth and seconds later a fresh seal of tape began to coil its way around her head.

“I’ve got a bit of tidying up to do downstairs Lisa, so I’ll leave you here for a while longer. But don’t worry, I’ll be back to get you ready for release in a few hours.”

What exactly did he mean by “get ready for release”? Surely all he had to do was get the bed off her and untie her. There seemed very little preparation involved. Although for once not uttered with any hint of malice or sarcasm, this cryptic statement caused the stricken woman a great deal of anxiety and allowed fresh doubts to enter her head. Was she really going to be released? Or was this just a sick joke on Tom’s part? Having heard less of the phone conversation than yesterday’s, she couldn’t be certain whether the news of his parents’ arrival home was sincere or merely a cruel bluff; a despicable lie to raise her hopes, only to have them shattered again.

Hour after hour she seemed to wait, impatient to be free yet dreading the moment he returned to “get her ready” for release. Although she could occasionally hear him moving around downstairs, it wasn’t until mid afternoon, just after the clock had struck three, when he finally returned to see her.

“I must confess that I’m a little bit sorry to have to let you go now, but I’ve no alternative I’m afraid. Oh well, all good things have to come to an end sometime, I guess.”

No sooner had these words been uttered, than Lisa felt the tautness in her neck chain loosen and she found herself untethered for the first time since Sunday. Next, he moved around the bed and untied the rope attaching her feet to the bedpost. Carefully, Lisa exercised her stiff leg joints, as if having to relearn how to move after such a long period of immobility. Now she heard Tom grunt, as he took the strain and began lifting the heavy obstruction from above her. The bed creaked as it reluctantly left the floor, accompanied by Tom’s groans and heavy breathing as he wrestled singlehandedly to move an item of furniture that would normally require at least two people to manoeuvre. But just as Lisa sensed that he was beginning to win his battle to stand the bed up on end, another sound reached Lisa’s ears; a sound that she recognised instantly as the front door of the house being unlocked and opened.

“Oh shit, no!”

Tom had obviously heard the sound too, as immediately the bed came crashing down on her again; postponing, hopefully only momentarily, Lisa’s return to the outside world. From the hallway below, the booming sound of Tom’s father’s voice rang out.

“Tom, we’re home.”

This was followed, seconds later, by his mother.

“Tom? Lisa? Where are you? We managed to get an earlier flight than expected.”

Before Lisa could fashion any attempt at communicating her plight, Tom was out of the room and thundering down the stairs in a flash, leaving Lisa to scream her muffled screams to the most welcome voices she’d heard since Friday evening. Even above her stifled attempts to make as much commotion as possible, Tom could be heard shouting his greetings to his returned parents, as if trying to drown out her cries and delay the inevitable moment when they discovered the hideous way he’d treated his ‘babysitter’.

“Where’s Lisa?” His mother was heard to enquire, in a lull in both Tom’s attempt to conceal his secret and Lisa’s frantic pleas for assistance. The question only served to redouble her resolve to alert them to her whereabouts, and so, in answer to the question, she began kicking as hard as she could against the floor, the confining ceiling above her head and the sides of the bed, in the knowledge that Tom would be unable to continue drowning her out for much longer.

“What the hell’s going on up there?”

Tom’s father’s voice echoed through the floor boards just prior to the sound of several pairs of feet hurrying up the stairs reached her ears. At last, Lisa thought. Now the truth could finally come out and Tom would be punished for his crimes. Should she go directly to the police and report that she’d been kidnapped and held against her will for the past four days? Or should she let his parents mete out their own brand of punishment on their wayward offspring? This quandary as to her best course of action once her bonds, gag and blindfold were removed, however, soon became academic.

“What have you done to her? Have you kept her here all weekend? It smells like you have.”

The voice that had reverberated through the floor boards even from the other side of the house, now blasted Lisa’s eardrums from only a few inches away, as it became clear that both parents were now down on their hands and knees gazing in surprise and horror at their son’s handiwork.

“I...I...I...had to do it Dad.” Tom stammered “She was such a bitch, she wouldn’t let me do anything...”

“Shut up Tom.” his mother snapped “Don’t you realise that she could have you put away for this? Kidnapping is a serious crime. Didn’t you think about that before you did this to her? Do you ever stop to consider the consequences of your actions?”

Tom remained silent. In fact, for several seconds no one spoke. More worryingly, lack of action to get her out from under the bed accompanied the silence. But if their reluctance to begin extricating her from her prison seemed a little disconcerting, then Tom’s father’s next utterance took her completely by surprise and made her shiver with fright.

“This is a most serious matter and there’s no point in us arguing about it here. What Tom’s done is wrong, obviously, and I do feel sorry for the poor girl. But we can’t just let her go. The good name of our family is at stake here. I’ve a reputation in the business community to think about, and I can’t have my name dragged through the mud over this. We’ll be splashed all over the local, and probably even the national newspapers, and that simply can’t be allowed to happen. Imagine how my business interests will suffer if word gets out that my son goes around kidnapping young women. We’ll have to think of some other way to keep this thing quiet.”

“We could pay her off. Make it worth her while to keep quiet.”

Tom’s sheepish attempt to come up with a solution to the situation he’d created, received a stern rebuke from his father.

“Be quiet boy, you’ve done enough damage already. And anyway, if we give her money now, how do we know she won’t continue to demand more on a regular basis. No, I’m not going to leave myself open to blackmail. We’ll have to be more cunning than that if we want to get away with this.”

“Well, if we’re not going to buy her silence and we can’t let her go screaming to the police and the press, then how do we dispose of the problem?”

Lisa, lying trembling in her tomb, could hardly believe her ears. Here she was, after four days of sheer hell, and all they were worried about was what other people would think of them! But what really concerned her the most; the thing that made her panic as she’d never panicked before, was Tom’s mother talking of ‘disposing of the problem’. The problem, she was well aware, could only refer to herself, and the word ‘dispose’ had such ominous implications that she dared not even contemplate what fate they might eventually settle upon for her. And her state of dread was heightened still further when the entire family suddenly left the room, shut the door behind them and could be heard having a heated debate, albeit in hushed tones, on the landing outside. How could they be so callous and unthinking? They clearly had no thought for her as a human being; no sense of compassion for someone so obviously in a state of extreme distress. Instead, they’d simply left her here whilst they discussed how to rid themselves of an embarrassing inconvenience.

The conversation taking place only a few feet from where she lay offered no clues as to what the family had in mind for her. Although she could sense anger and disagreement in their voices, the actual context of the discussion eluded her. It was the first occasion on which she’d heard Tom’s father speak in anything other than a loud, booming voice, and she wished he’d revert to his normal decibel levels now.

After several minutes of whispered discussion, the sound of the door reopening and approaching footsteps told Lisa that her fate had most probably been decided. She sensed someone bending down to look in at her and almost immediately the tape was being stripped quickly and painfully away from her eyes. She blinked in the unfamiliar brightness. The watery late afternoon winter sun was streaming in through the window and it took her several seconds to adjust to the glare. When she did manage to focus, the sight that greeted her was of two faces peering in; one Tom’s adolescent features, the other that of an older man. Until now, Lisa had never really seen Tom’s father for more than a few fleeting seconds as he had hurried out the door on the previous Friday night, and the impression she received, now that his face was in close proximity to her own, was that of a stern, sullen, humourless, no nonsense type of man. The fact that he was scowling only served to exaggerate this image of him, and Lisa felt a shiver of apprehension run through her entire being. Whatever news they had come to impart to her, she suspected that it was not going to be good.

“Is this where you live?”

Tom’s father’s voice echoed around the wooden chamber that Lisa had known as home for the past four days. His tone was totally devoid of any emotion, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be speaking to a girl who was bound, gagged and imprisoned under the bed of his guest room. To his right he was holding a small book, which he was obviously expecting her to read. Lisa squinted into the fading sunlight, unable to make out the words from where she lay.

“Come on woman, I haven’t got all day. Is this your home address?”

Lisa wriggled closer, straining her eyes to decipher the letters on the page that he held open. It wasn’t until she was about six inches from the handwritten script that she could see that yes, this was indeed her home address, and what was more, it was written in her own hand. Suddenly it dawned on her that this was her diary that he was showing her, in the front of which she’d scrawled her contact details. He must have rummaged through her handbag to find it. She nodded and made a strange mumbling sound to confirm the fact. Was this a good sign, she wondered? Did it mean that she was about to be taken home?

“Right then, I’ll go and get the car ready. Tom, you get this bed off her and bring her downstairs. I’ll see you in the garage in a few minutes.”

Both faces disappeared to be replaced by the sight of two pairs of feet, one of which quickly exited the room. Seconds later, two sets of fingers appeared to grasp the wooden surround of the bed and Lisa heard Tom grunt and groan, just as he had on the previous occasion that he’d lifted the heavy obstruction from her back. Slowly the bed rose, making the outlook brighter by the second – both metaphorically and literally – as the light, until now merely a thin horizontal strip seeping in at floor level, filled the space vacated by the ascending roof of her prison cell. Not only was her world now physically lighter, but the dark clouds that had engulfed her mentally and emotionally now lifted to a certain degree.

Lisa laid there, face down and motionless, awaiting the anticipated release from her bonds. But for some reason, her optimism proved to be without foundation, as instead Tom picked her up and began to carry her in similar fashion to that previously used to take her downstairs. Out of the bedroom and down the stairs he carried her, Lisa’s mind awhirl with a plethora of theories as to her intended fate. Why, if she was being taken home, was she still tied up? Was this his father’s idea, or was Tom merely putting off until the last moment the point where he had to let his captive go free? This latter theory was soon dispelled when Lisa noticed Tom’s mother standing in the hallway, watching yet saying nothing that would indicate that Tom was disobeying his parents’ orders. Down the hallway they went, until Tom stopped by a door that Lisa hadn’t noticed before. Quickly, his mother overtook them, brushing past Lisa as if she wasn’t there. Opening the door, she stepped aside to allow her wayward son with his bound load to enter, before closing the door behind them.

Lisa raised her head as high as she could to take in these new and unfamiliar surroundings. She quickly realised that they were now in the garage; a dim light bulb overhead being the only source of illumination in this windowless cavern. Being unable to see anything ahead apart from Tom’s back, Lisa was caught unawares by the next and very sudden turn of events. For a second or two the room seemed to spin, as Tom pulled her up over his shoulder with great speed. Then, before she had time to realise what was happening, she felt one pair of hands grab her legs and another - Tom’s father’s – grasp her shoulders, as she was swiftly lowered into something that at first she assumed to be a box of some description. Once in this confined space, however, the true nature of her new resting place became apparent. She was in the boot of a car!

“Get some more rope Tom, so that we can secure her feet to the side. I don’t want her kicking out and attracting attention to herself en-route.”

Tom disappeared briefly, returning with a length of cord in his hand. This he passed to his father, who immediately leant into the boot, grabbed Lisa’s legs and pulled them over to the left hand side of the car. Quickly he tied this around her already bound ankles and secured it to some fixture on the interior wall. Lisa was so startled by this latest episode in her ongoing nightmare, that she meekly allowed her legs to be restrained in this manner, and it wasn’t until he’d satisfied himself that she was securely tethered, that she even thought of resisting. Once his work was complete, however, Lisa tried to move her feet, but found it impossible to do so. She was just beginning to clumsily wriggle into a position where she could see exactly what it was that her ankles were tied to, when suddenly, without prior warning, she was plunged into darkness, as the lid of the boot slammed down and incarcerated her in a claustrophobic metal tomb.

For several minutes, Lisa lay whimpering in her new prison, awaiting the commencement of her journey. Was she being taken home? Or would she be driven elsewhere and dumped unceremoniously in some out of the way place, still bound and gagged? The fact that she’d been asked to confirm her address suggested the former, yet this comforting assumption was offset by the strange course of events since then. And the question that kept running through her brain was why, if she was being taken home, did they still insist on keeping her tied up?

Suddenly there was light again, as the lid was raised and Tom’s tall form loomed over her. But this brighter interlude was all too fleeting, as her suitcase, handbag and shoes were placed in the space beside her, whilst her skirt and coat were thrown on top of her, before darkness enveloped the confined space once again. Seconds later, the sound of heavy garage doors opening could be heard, followed by that of two car doors opening and shutting in quick succession. The car’s suspension sank slightly as the driver and passenger climbed in, and within ten seconds the engine had spluttered into life and the vehicle was in motion; slowly at first, before gradually picking up a bit of speed.

Lisa’s bumpy ride lasted what she estimated to be around fifteen to twenty minutes, before the car came to a halt and the engine died. This period would be, Lisa consoled herself, approximately the time-span necessary to travel between the house and her flat, although after so many false dawns in the past, she wasn’t getting her hopes up too high just yet. Fortunately, when the boot opened a few minutes later, the bond that held her legs in place was removed and she was lifted up into a sitting position by Tom, she recognised their location as being the small car park behind the block of flats in which she lived. It was almost dark now, and the unlit courtyard would give the two males the necessary cover needed to transport their human cargo into the building without too much risk of being spotted. And the fact that she lived on the first floor meant that only one flight of stairs would need to be negotiated before her home was reached. Before moving their helpless captive though, Tom’s father grabbed Lisa’s handbag and began fumbling around inside, finally producing a set of keys from the jumble of items within.

“Which one of these is for your front door? This one?”

Lisa shook her head.

“This one then?”

She nodded.

“Right, I’ll go up, open the door and make sure there’s no one else around. Wait until I give you the all clear, then bring her up as quickly as you can.”

Lisa and Tom both watched as Tom’s father retreated into the early evening gloom, carrying Lisa’s luggage with him. Once he’d disappeared through the outer door, however, Tom broke the silence.

“Of course you realise Lisa, that if you say anything to anyone about the past few days, nobody will believe a word of it. By the time you get yourself free, the room will have been cleaned up and every shred of evidence that you were ever in our house will have been destroyed. It will just be your word against ours. And who do you think will be believed, eh? A pillar of the community like my father, or a desperate, out of work woman who makes up a story about being kidnapped and held against her will so that she can extort money from a successful and highly influential businessman? If you go to the police, we’ll tell them that you’ve been trying to blackmail us for ages, and we’ll do everything within our power to destroy your credibility. My father has friends in very high places you know and...”

Tom’s monologue was cut short by the sound of his father whispering loudly from the doorway.

“All clear. Now hurry up.”

Tom wasted no time in picking Lisa up out of the boot and half ran-half walked the twenty yards or so to where his father stood holding the door open. There wasn’t another soul in sight as they quickly ascended the stairs, and within seconds Lisa found herself in the familiar surroundings of her flat; a sight she had thought on more than one occasion over the past few days, that she might never see again. Tom carried her into the living room, where he laid her down on the carpet.

Now within the confines of her own home, Lisa was expecting to simply be left there to free herself or seek assistance in whatever way she could, but there was still one last surprise in store for her, and from her point of view, it was not to be a pleasant one.

“What are we going to do Dad, just leave her here?”

“No, that would be too risky. We can’t have her getting free too quickly. There’s a lot of work to be done on that carpet before the stains and smell are eradicated. Then it’ll need plenty of time to dry out. If we simply leave her here like this she might escape before we’re ready.”

“But she can’t escape. I’ve had her tied up for days like this and she hasn’t worked one single rope free yet.”

“We just can’t chance it Tom. And anyway, someone might find her here and release her too soon. No, we’ve got to make sure she stays put for a day or two yet.”

Lisa squirmed nervously in her bonds, scarcely able to believe what she was hearing. Not only were they intent on covering this whole saga up, but now they were talking about ensuring that she remained in captivity for a few more days.

“Look around Tom. Find somewhere that we can leave her that she can’t escape from. A cupboard or something.”

Tom glanced down at the writhing form at his feet and grinned, before heading off to find a secure hiding place to incarcerate her. He was loving every minute of it, Lisa realised.

For a few minutes Lisa was left alone, as both men searched for the ideal spot to imprison her within her own apartment. Since her disastrous attempt at escaping from Tom’s clutches on Sunday, this was her first opportunity to move around untethered to some immovable object, or whilst not under scrutiny by her captor. However, after so long in bondage, her limbs had become stiff and sore, and every movement took a monumental effort. For a start, manoeuvring herself into a position in which she could wriggle across the floor proved far more difficult and strength sapping than it had in her bid to reach the conservatory window; especially now that her arms were lashed to her back with such severity. Having spent three or four minutes of agonising endeavour attempting to drag herself in the direction of the door, she found that she had made very little ground, and had to concede defeat. And besides, the sound of Tom’s voice calling in triumph to his father informed her that their reappearance was imminent.

“I’ve found the ideal place Dad.”

Tom came bounding back into the living room from the direction of the bedroom, his father entering seconds later from the kitchen. There was an excited tremor in Tom’s voice.

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner, but it’s obvious isn’t it?”

“What are you talking about boy? You’re not making any sense.”

“Under the bed, of course, just like she was at our house.”

If this whole situation hadn’t been so disturbing, Lisa would have found cause for amusement in this suggestion. This time you’re out of luck Tom, she thought to herself, my bed’s a divan with a solid base that reaches right down to the floor. There’s no way you’ll be able to entomb me under that.

But she hadn’t bargained for Tom’s ingenuity.

“I’ve made a start already. Come on Dad, help me get her into the bedroom and I’ll show you.”

Lifting Lisa up by her feet and shoulders, the two men carried her from the living room, across the hall and into the bedroom; the phrase “I’ve made a start already” causing her some puzzlement and not a little consternation. But upon arrival, the meaning of this cryptic comment became clearer, although Lisa hoped and prayed that she was misreading the situation. The base of the bed stood on casters and did, as she already knew, reach to within an inch of the floor. And as she was also aware, there was no false bottom to this bed. However, there was a large drawer within the base that was filled with clothes. Or at least it was normally filled with clothes. On entering the room, the first thing to catch Lisa’s eye was a pile of panties, bras, tights and t-shirts lying on the duvet. The second thing she noticed was that the drawer was open to its fullest extent and that it was now empty.

“See, I bet she’ll fit in there.”

“Good work Tom. Let’s see if you’re right.”

“NO! NO! NO!”

Lisa’s pleas to be spared the inevitable were partly lost in the gag, whilst what did emerge fell on deaf ears. She tried frantically to break free from their grip and stop her descent into the gaping space now directly beneath her, but she knew deep down that this was doomed to fail. Placing her down on her side and forcing her knees up to her stomach, Lisa soon found herself wedged inside the enclosed space. A perfect fit; the drawer could have been made specifically for the purpose of storing her away, so snugly did she grace its confines. With her spine pressed against the back board and her knees hard against the front, her feet pushed against one end with no room to stretch her legs out even a fraction of an inch, and her neck bent forward with her chin resting on her chest due to the cramped conditions at the other, she doubted whether she would have been capable of prising herself out, even if the drawer was to be left wide open, so tightly was she packed in. But of course this was a hypothetical scenario anyway, as almost as soon as they had satisfied themselves that she was properly interred, the drawer began to slowly close.

Lisa’s begging pleas to be shown some leniency continued unabated as the drawer gradually slid inwards; shutting out more and more light by the second as the opening decreased to a mere sliver.

“That will do Tom. Leave it open just a quarter of an inch so she can breathe.”

Lisa had by now ceased screaming, the futility of it all being all too apparent.

“This is goodbye then Lisa. Have a nice life.”

“That’s enough Tom. Go and wait in the car. I’ll be out in just a minute.”

“But Dad, I...”

“I said go and wait in the car.”

Tom muttered something under his breath that Lisa failed to catch, as he wandered off. Once he’d left the flat, his father spoke one final time to the stricken girl.

“Now Lisa or whatever your name is, I expect Tom’s already told you that by the time you get out of this, there won’t be a scrap of evidence to incriminate Tom, or anyone in my family, for our parts in this whole debacle. I’ve left an envelope containing five hundred pounds on the kitchen table, as payment for your services while we were away, plus a little extra as a goodwill gesture. Don’t even think of trying to extort any more to buy your silence, because it won’t work and you’ll end up in even bigger trouble than you are now. I have very influential friends, and some of them work – how shall we put it? – a little outside of the law. ”

Although she couldn’t see him with the drawer almost shut, she heard him stand up and begin moving some heavy object across the floor.

“I’m sorry about this, but I’m afraid that you’re going to be here for quite some time. I’ll ring the police anonymously in a couple of days to let them know of your whereabouts. If it’s any consolation at all, Tom will be punished for what he put you through, you can rest assured of that.”

The heavy object moved closer to the bed, blocking out almost all the remaining light, although mercifully, the tiny gap remained open. By logical deduction, this had to be her dressing table that had been pulled up to within an inch of the bed, as an extra precaution to block the drawer shut.

For several minutes Lisa waited, to be absolutely certain that he’d left the flat. Then, using all the strength she could muster, she began jerking and thrusting forwards, in an effort to force the drawer open. But it was hopeless. The cramped conditions made it impossible to gain any momentum and she doubted whether she could have opened the drawer in her trussed up state even if the dressing table wasn’t creating an immovable barrier. How long would she have to languish here? Until someone discovered her, was the only feasible answer to that question. Would Tom’s father ring the police as he’d promised? Or was that just a bluff to stop her panicking? If it was the latter, it hadn’t worked very well. One thing she did know for certain, however, was that in future, if she ever got out of this mess, she’d tread far more cautiously before accepting any positions that involved ‘babysitting’.

As the evening wore on, Lisa resigned herself to yet another night of captivity. Her mind replayed the ordeal she’d been forced to endure over and over again in minute detail. Although now at home, she was still no closer to freedom than she had been whilst imprisoned in the house. In fact, in many ways she was in even deeper trouble, as at least Tom had been there to feed her. Now she was completely alone.

From entombment under one bed, to solitary confinement within the very structure of her own, Lisa had been, and was destined to remain for some time to come, well and truly...embedded.

The End

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