Teaching Debbie

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Look at me, I'm Debbie Dee
Little girls want to be me
I’m a star on TV, films and I’ve done Glee
Because I'm Debbie Dee…”

 

Sitting in my bedroom, I could not help myself from singing the wrong lyrics as I watched Grease for the umpty-something time.  After all, everybody knows Debbie Dee, the star of television and films, the lead in Debbie Knows It All.

 

Or at least, they think they do.  Do they know, for example, that my real name is Deborah Abigail De Witt, the granddaughter of the Earl of Moulton, the son of the Honourable Benjamin De Witt, one of a family of two.  I have an older brother, someone your parents may have heard of – Roger De Witt, the Oxford Millionaire.  Money is something our family does not want for – and I guess as a result, I’ve always been a little bit spoiled.

 

Okay – make that a lot spoiled.  Roger is ten years older than me, and made his own fortune trading and advising on stocks and shares when he was an undergraduate in Oxford.  So from as long as I can remember, I’ve had the run of this mansion we live in.  Mummy and Daddy gave me everything I wanted.

 

So now here I am in my room, looking at myself in the mirror on my walk in wardrobe door.  I’ve pulled my red hair back and put it into a ponytail, and I’m wearing sweat pants and an old sweatshirt – a far cry from the Debbie Dee most people see on the television.

 

I had my break when I was eight – I always did amateur dramatics at school and afterwards, and a talent scout saw me.  Next thing I knew, I was in a BBC adaptation of Five Children and It, and my career snowballed from there.  Turned out I was very good at it, and I enjoy acting.  Don’t get me wrong – I really do enjoy it, but sometimes, I just want to be anyone but me.

 

I’d love to be able to go out with other girls, go to the park or the cinema, go to school even – but I can’t even leave home without being mobbed.  Mummy and Daddy hired a tutor for me, so that I did my school – but the idea of just been able to go to a school, it sounds so good.

 

So look at me, I’m Debbie Dee…

 

Nope – not going to start that again!  So I’ve become this famous, talented, rich actress, and I ended up having to do this tour, signing books in bookshops that were based on Debbie Knows It All.  Which is when it all started.

 

We were in Lincoln, and I needed to take a break between signing sessions.  So I went to the toilet, finished, watched my hands, stepped out – and was grabbed by a man, who put his hand over my mouth before picking me up and carrying me out of the back door of the bookshop.

 

I was put in the back of a van where two other men were waiting, all three with black balaclavas covering their heads.  They also had leather gloves on, as they stuck a length of tape over my mouth, mad me lie face down, and tied my hands behind my back with rope.  Another length of rope went round my ankles, and that was it – one of them got into the front of the van and drove off, while the other two watched me.

 

And that was my life for the next few days – I would wake up on a bed, tied and tape gagged, then they would untie me, let me wash, and give me some breakfast.  I was then retied, gagged, put in the back of the van and driven somewhere.  Then they would tie me to a chair, leave me until it was the evening, let me eat, tie and gag me again…

 

I had no idea people were looking for me, or the reward my family, the TV studio, and the film studios were offering – until they left me in an old farmhouse, tied to a chair in the room – and to my surprise, two girls wearing glasses came into the room, both even more tightly tied than I was, with something round their heads and covering their mouths… came in and stared at me!

 

At first, I thought they had been kidnapped as well, but then they left the room – only to be marched back in by my kidnappers.  From the way they were talking, I gathered that they had not kidnapped the girls, but they knew who had tied them like them – someone called Jay Edwards.  Mummy and Daddy told me about him later – he’s a bank robber who takes over the homes of the people he is robbing, holds them hostage in their own homes, and forces the mum or dad to rob their own businesses.

 

I wonder if they would make an episode of Debbie Knows It All based on that…

 

Okay – anyway, they untied the girls, removed several gags, and they said their names were Patty and Rachel.  The men who kidnapped me gave us all some food, then tied us all up and tape gagged us before they left us on a bed.  I had tried to escape, but had no luck, so I thought all three of us were stuck there…

 

Until Patty got up, jumped to a window and watched them leave, before Rachel joined her and they were free a minute later!  They untied me, and we managed to get out of the house – and straight into a handsome young man called Charlie.  I could see he and Rachel were cute for each other, but right then he made a suggestion – RUN!

 

Which we did – through some woods by the farmhouse, until we finally had to stop while I caught my breath.  I managed to thank them all, before we went back to the house Patty lives in.  It was a nice little house, but her mother was out, so I watched as they told me about some of the games they played – and Rachel and Charlie tied Patty so tightly she really could not move or speak.

 

Her mum came home then, and asked if I wanted something to eat.  I said yes, she went into the kitchen – and then came back in, kneeling down and looking at me as she asked if I was all right.  She then called someone, before she made us all fish fingers, chips and peas.

 

It was the most delicious meal I had eaten for the time I had been away.

 

As we finished, the doorbell rang, and a man with a nice smile came in.  He said he was a policeman, and after he talked to me, Patty and Rachel he said he was going to take me to Mummy and Daddy.  I waved goodbye to them and he drove me to a hotel – where Mummy, Daddy and Roger were waiting.  There were tears, and lots of hugs.

 

 

That was when they told me they had put up a reward – and they were going to split it between the three families.  And just how big a reward it was!  I was glad they were going to get a reward, and I tried not to think of how long I would have been held captive if they had not found me…

 

But there was something that just did not feel quite right.  I went back to work, and I did my job, but somehow I felt even lonelier than before.  I talked to a therapist, told her most of how I felt, but it also wasn’t everything, because I had realised what was wrong.

 

I wanted to be tied up and gagged by my friends – and I mean REALLY tied up and gagged.  Sure, I’d been ‘tied up’ on camera, but that was more a couple of turns of rope because I was ‘too young’.  I was scared when the kidnappers tied me up, and I found I could not get free, but seeing the way Patty and Rachel got free so easily with each other’s help showed me I was wrong.

 

Then I saw the way they tied Patty so that she could not move or speak – and I wanted to experience that for myself!  It looked so different, so exciting, but I never got the chance.  If only…

 

“Debbie?  Dinner is ready.”

 

“Coming,” I said as I stood up and walked down to the dining room, where Mummy and Daddy were already sitting at the table.  As I sat down, our housekeeper brought the dinner through, but I sat there, playing with it as I pushed the peas around with my fork.

 

“Is something wrong Debbie,” Mummy said as she looked at me.

 

“Not really Mummy,” I said quietly, “I was just thinking about something?”

 

“Oh,” Daddy said, “and what would that be?”

 

“Well – promise you will not laugh?”

 

“Now have we ever laughed at something you said,” Daddy said as he looked at me.

 

“Well…  I was just wondering how much I would enjoy just having someone my own age to play with – another girl who wanted to know me as me, not as Debbie Dee.”

 

I looked at my parents, as Mummy said “well, how many girls you age do you know that you could play with.”

 

“Well, there are two…  Patty and Rachel.  They were really friendly, and I didn’t really get the chance to get to know them that well…”

 

“I see,” Daddy said as he wiped his chin.  “Well – I know you need some time away from everything, Debbie, and we were thinking of taking you off to Vermont for the Halloween weekend, somewhere the press and the fans would not bother you.”

 

I nodded and put some fish in my mouth, as Mummy said “I think your father and I will still go – but what if you were not to come with us, but to stay with an old friend of your grandfather.”

 

“Oh?  Who?”

 

Daddy smiled as he said “Lord Desmond Holderness.”

 

“Holderness?  That’s where Patty and Rachel…  Where I…”

 

“Precisely,” Mummy said, “so if he and his wife were willing to have you stay, I happen to know the Pickerings and the Riggs are friends of theirs, so perhaps Patty and Rachel could come over and stay as well…”

 

“And we could collect you on the Tuesday when we come back,” Daddy said.  “Of course, if you still want to come to the middle of nowhere with us?”

 

“Oh no – thank you, thank you thank YOU!”  I jumped off my chair, ran over and hugged both of them, before I sat back down and ate as if I hadn’t eaten in days.  It took a few minutes for the problem to come to me.

 

“So how are you going to make the press think I’ve gone with you, and then get me to Holderness Manor?”

 

“I’ll talk to my father,” Daddy said, “he’ll talk to Lord Holderness, and we’ll work something out…”

 

 

 

And so it was, at 11 am on Friday the 28th of October, the three of us were driven to the First Class check in for British Airways at Terminal Five.  I was wearing a black leather jacket over a jumper, jeans and ankle boots, while Mummy was wearing a brown jacket over a dress, and Daddy a jacket, jumper and slacks.  We checked the bags in, and then walked through to the lounge.  As we walked in, an announcement came over “would Mister de Witt and family please come to the Concierge desk.  Mister de Witt and family to the Concierge desk.”

 

As we walked over, the steward smiled as he looked at our passports.  “Would you come with me please,” he said as he came round, and we walked into a small room.  As we came in, a grey haired woman in a mustard coloured twin set, a tweed skirt, dark tights and brown brogues stood up.

 

“Benjamin, Abigail, it is good to see you again,” she said as she kissed both of them, “and you must be young Debbie.  I’m Lucinda Holderness – it’s a very great pleasure to meet you.”

 

“Thank you Your Ladyship,” I said as I made a small curtsey.

 

“Now – to business.  They will hold your bags here for your flight later today, but they have very kindly given your bag, Debbie, to Mister Bridges, who is even now placing it in the car.  Shall we?”

 

She led is through another door to outside the building, where a man in a suit opened the door to a Bentley and we climbed inside.  The windows were blackened, so that we could see out, but nobody could see in as we drove onto the M25.

 

 

An hour later, we drove up a tree lined avenue and I saw the red bricks of Holderness Manor for the first time.  As we pulled up to the front door, I saw Lord Holderness standing there, smiling as we got out.

 

“Welcome,” he said as we walked up the stairs, “come in, come in.  Mister Bridges will take your bag to the room, Debbie, while you and your parents come and have a drink.  The others should be here in about an hour…”

 

 

 

“All right, who can tell me what Mary Seagrove did after the battle?”

 

Note to self – I hate History!  Especially when it is last lesson on a Friday!  Still, that meant we would soon be out of school – and the weekend could begin.  I reached over and nudged Rachel, who looked at me through her glasses and whispered “What?”

 

“How long until the bell goes?”

 

“Two minutes less than the last time you asked Patty,” she whispered back.

 

“Miss Pickering?”

 

“Err – she looked after the wounded soldiers under the guidance of Florence Nightingale?”

 

“That is correct,” Mister Blake said as he started talking again, and my mind wandered…

 

It had been an amazing summer, even if my cousins the Craigs had been in Australia for most of it.  The stories they told when they got back…

 

Mind you, Rachel, me, Lisa and Charlie – we had had quite an adventure as well, or rather Lisa did because of me, Rachel and Charlie.  Finding and rescuing Debbie Dee from the clutches of her kidnappers as we had made us local celebrities – even if the fact we found her was down to my curiosity, and both Rachel and I had been fully bound and gagged by Charlie.

 

We had intended just to walk to the Cottrell farm, but I got distracted, and…  Look, the main thing was one of the best known stars of screen and television was rescued by the three of us, and as a result we got medals and a reward.

 

A whopping great big reward.  I won’t say how much, but I will say this – over the summer, a lot of repairs were done to the house and it was decorated from top to bottom.  We stayed at Cassie and Jenny’s place while that was done, as well as a new kitchen and extension been built.

 

It’s not that Mum went overboard – in fact, with the help of Lisa and Charlie’s dad most of the reward is in what Mum calls an investment fund, and we get money each month from it.  But we are certainly in a more comfortable house now, and Mum doesn’t have any debts.

 

I sometimes wondered what Debbie was doing – her program was on, and I saw things about her in the papers, but I still think of the nice girl I brought home to give Mum a heart attack.

 

I saw in the paper yesterday she and her family were going to the US, which was nice.  Mum has said we can go to Disneyland at some point, but…

 

The bell ringing made me smile as Mr Blake said “remember, I want your exercises back on Monday.  No excuses – that means you Miss Rigg.”

 

“Yes sir,” Rachel said with a smile.  Her dad now owned the restaurant he had worked in, but she still had to do her homework.

 

As we walked out of the school, I waved by Mum who was waiting by our VW – no way were we giving that up!  “Come on you two,” she said as we walked over, “it may be Friday, but you need to come and get your homework done.”

 

“Yes Mum,” I said as we got in the back.  Rachel came home with me every Friday, and we did our homework before we had our tea, and Rachel’s mum came to collect her.  I usually went with her on a Monday, when Mum has to work late.

 

“What’s for tea tonight Mum,” I asked as she got behind the wheel and started the car.

 

“I’m not sure – you’ll find out at the same time as me,” Mum said as we set off.

 

“Oh – are we ordering out?”

 

“Nope,” was all she said as we left the school – and went in the wrong direction.  Rachel and I looked at each other, wondering what was going on – and then I realised we were on the road to Holderness Manor.

 

“Why are we coming here Mum,” I said as we drove up the road that led to the redbrick Manor House.

 

“Oh you’ll find out in a minute,” was all she said as she stopped the car, got out and allowed us to get out of the back of the car.  As we walked up the stairs, Mrs Bridges came out and said “hello Patty, Rachel – come away in.”

 

In the hallway, we saw Lady Holderness, wearing a mustard coloured cardigan and jumper, a tweed skirt, dark tights and brown shoes.  “How are you Jessica,” she said as she hugged and kissed my mother.

 

“I’m fine Lucinda – and here they are.”

 

“Good.  Come and meet Desmond and the rest of our guests.  After you girls – we’re in the library.”

 

We looked at each other as Mrs Bridges opened the door.  As we walked in, Lord Holderness stood up and said “Ah, Patricia, Rachel – come in, come in.  We have someone here who wants to meet you.”

 

As we came in, we saw the three other people – a middle aged couple, the man wearing a jacket, jumper and trousers, and the woman a brown jacket over a dress.

 

But it was the red headed girl with them who Rachel and I were staring at, wearing a black leather jacket over a jumper, jeans and ankle boots.  “Hey Patty, Hey Rachel,” Debbie Dee said, “surprise!” 

 

“Debbie!  What are you doing here?”

 

“We wanted to give her the chance to see both of you again,” Mister Dee said.

 

“Jessica, I’d like to introduce you to Benjamin and Abigail de Witt, Debbie’s parents.  Benjamin, Abigail, this is Jessica Pickering, Patricia’s mother.”

 

“I’m very pleased to finally meet you,” the man said as he shook Mum’s hand, as I looked at Debbie.

 

“Okay – my stage name is Debbie Dee, my name is actually Deborah Abigail de Witt – and if you start laughing?”

 

“Who me,” I said, trying not to laugh.

 

“You have an incredible daughter, and so do Mister and Mrs Rigg,” her mother said, “You must be very proud of both of them.”

 

“We are,” Mum said as she blushed.

 

“So how long are you here for,” Rachel asked.

 

“Well, I have a break from filming for a few days,” Debbie said, “so I’m staying here for the weekend…”

 

“And so are both of you,” Mum said.  “The story of them flying to America was planted so that Debbie could have some time away from the public eye, and I was asked if both of you could stay here with her for the weekend.

 

“Always assuming you are both happy with that idea?”

 

“Can we,” Rachel said, and as Mum nodded Debbie smiled a big beautiful smile.

 

“I have you clothes in the car,” Mum said, “if Mister Bridges could come and get them?”

 

“We’ll take care of that later,” Lady Holderness said.  “You will be staying for dinner?”

 

“If I can – I have a clothes bag for myself as well.”

 

“Why do you have a change of clothes Mum?”

 

“We will be having a formal dinner tonight,” Lady Holderness said.  “So, why don’t you and Rachel take Debbie around the Manor House, and we’ll find you when it is time to dress.”

 

“Come on,” I said as I took Debbie’s hand, “let’s go and see if Mrs Bridges had anything to drink.”  We left the grown-ups in the library as we walked down the corridor, and made our way to the kitchen.

 

“Had enough of grown-up talk,” Mrs Bridges said as we came in.  “Sit down, I’ll fix some milk and cookies for you.”  We sat at the old wooden table as she poured three glasses of milk, and put a plate of biscuits in front of us.

 

“Wow – we get to spend time with you again,” I said, “There are so many questions I want to ask?  What’s it like being a star?  Being Famous?  What’s the best thing you ever did?  How did…”

 

“Hey, hey,” Mrs Bridges said, “you have right through to Monday to ask questions.”

 

“It’s all right,” Debbie said, “but do you mind if, just for tonight, I’m me?  I mean, I love acting, I like being a star, but I also wish sometimes…”

 

“Yeah,” Rachel said as she took a drink. 

 

“That I was just like both of you – an ordinary girl who goes to school and has friends.  Real friends, not pretend ones…”

 

“Oh boy,” I said quietly, “sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you…”

 

“It’s all right,” Debbie said, “it’s just I’ve been doing this since I was eight, and I sometimes know just how much I have missed out on growing up.  I kept pushing that to the back of my mind until…”

 

“Until when,” Rachel said as Debbie put her glass down.

 

“Until I was kidnapped,” Debbie said.  “Did you ever hear what happened?”

 

“No,” I said, “do you want to tell us?”

 

“We were in Lincoln, and I needed to take a break between signing sessions.  So I went to the toilet, finished, watched my hands, stepped out – and was grabbed by a man, who put his hand over my mouth before picking me up and carrying me out of the back door of the bookshop.  The next thing I knew, I was tied up and tape gagged in the back of a van, and fro the next few days I was driven from place to place, wondering what was going on.”

 

“And then we walked in on you,” Rachel said as she looked at me.

 

“And then you walked in on me, and you were both…  Well, Amazing!”  Debbie took another drink as she said “even though they caught you both as well, you were so brave, and knew exactly what to do.  Then we met our friend Charlie, and ran for it.”

 

“How could I forget,” Rachel said as she rolled her eyes, earning herself a kick from me.

 

“Anyway, we went to your house, and it was like nothing I had ever really experienced before.  A normal house – well, apart from what you did to Patty here – your mother accepting, and then cooking me fish fingers, chips and peas…  It was… It was…”

 

As Debbie started crying we both went round and hugged her, waiting until she finished and said “sorry – it just all came back to me then.”

 

“It’s all right,” I said, “is you want to talk about it this weekend, do so – I promise, all of us have been there before.”

 

“I can believe it,” Debbie said as she dried her eyes, “never mind that for the moment – what can you tell me about the Manor House.”

 

“Take her round, both of you,” Mrs Bridges said, “I have a lot of work still to do for tonight.”

 

“Come on then,” I said, “Let’s start in the corridor with the Lords of Holderness.”

 

I stood up and walked out of the kitchen with Patty and Rachel, as Patty said “this is the big ballroom – when some of the Holderness family get married, they use this, and they also use it for dances and dinners like the one tonight.  Those windows open out onto a huge lawn.”

 

I went and looked out, but it was starting to get dark, so instead we went out into the hallway.  “Who are all these pictures of,” I asked as we walked down.

 

“I think these are all the old Lord Holdernesses,” Patty said, “they all have a painting here.”

 

“And the one woman?”

 

“Angela – Her Ladyship’s granddaughter – told me about her.  Apparently she was Lady Holderness over a hundred years ago, and she died when the Titanic sunk.”

 

“Wow,” I said.  I mean, my family is old, but we don’t have a row of portraits telling our family history.  “She told you all about them.”

 

“Yeah – she’s a student now, but I think she wants to be a teacher when she is older,” Rachel said as we walked back to the front hall, and then up the stairs.  “There’s a long gallery over there for looking out onto the grounds.  All the bedrooms are up here – Mrs Bridges will show you where you are sleeping – and this is where we start to have some fun.”

 

We went into a room with lots of beanbags and storage chests.  “This is the playroom,” Patty said, “where we spend a lot of time.  Maybe tomorrow we can go down to the lake and see the mausoleum.”

 

“A mausoleum?  They have a tomb on the lake, like where Prince Harry’s mother is?”

 

“Yeah – it’s wonderful in the summer, but at this time of year, when we walk down through the trees and the leaves are all yellow and gold…”

 

“And this is where you play tie-up games?”

 

“Yup – ae first,” Rachel said, “want to play?”

 

I really wanted to, but I said “maybe not while my mummy and daddy are here – perhaps…”

 

“Ah there you are.”

 

WE looked to the door to see Mrs Bridges standing there.  “Time to get ready for dinner, all three of you,” she said with a smile, “come along – I will show you to the rooms you will be sleeping in, and if you could all wait in Patricia’s room?”

 

 

 

 

I looked at myself in the mirror, nodding at the choice of dress Mummy had brought for me.  It was dark blue, with short puffed sleeves, and the skirt came down, just allowing my ankles to be seen with my shoes as well.

 

Coming out of the room, I walked back down the corridor and knocked on Patty’s door.  “It’s open,” she called out, and as I came in I saw her sitting at her dressing table.  She had on a green long sleeved dress with a flowing skirt, and smiled as she turned and looked at me.

 

“That’s a very nice dress, Debbie?”

 

“So is yours – can I come in and wait?”

 

“Of course – have a seat,” she said as she slipped on her shoes.  As I sat down, Rachel came in, wearing a green sleeveless dress with matching slippers.

 

She sat next to me, as I said “can I ask a question?”

 

“Sure – what is it?”

 

“How did you get into playing these games?”

 

“Well,” Patty said, “it actually started with my cousins – Cassie and Jenny Craig.  They got into some argument after watching a Scooby Doo cartoon, and they tied each other up.  Then a man robbed them when they came home from school with their mother, tied all three of them up and gagged them – and the fact they had played the games helped them cope.”

 

“I can imagine,” I said quietly, “but the way you two were tied up when we first met – those kidnappers talked about Jay Edwards.  Have you really met him?”

 

“Several times – not as many times as Jenny and Cassie however.  He forced their dad to steal from his company, and kept them and their mother tied up in their house.  It was after that they met Lady Holderness – their gran is an old friend – and also met Suzie Holderness and Alicia Bolden.  They’re two of Lady Holderness’ granddaughters.  That was the day they met the Gentlemen Robbers, and all four of them were tied up in the playroom.  After that, it just spread round their friends…”

 

“So how did you get roped in?”

 

I saw Patty and Rachel look at each other, before they said in unison “JAY EDWARDS!”

 

“He had decided to get Cassie and Jenny’s dad to do a series of robberies,” Patty said, “so one Friday morning they came into the house.  Rachel and I were staying the weekend, as were Suzie and Alicia, and we had all agreed to dress up in some old clothes their grandmother had given them.  Well, they came in at breakfast, and all the day and night we were tightly tied, gagged and played all sorts of games in their house.”

 

“All day and all night,” I said quietly.

 

“Oh that wasn’t the best bit,” Rachel said as she kicked her legs to and fro, “the next day, in the old clothes, we were all taken to a country house, and we spent all Saturday and most of Sunday there.  Cassie and Jenny’s mum even joined in – remember the Sunday?”

 

“Oh yeah – we all wore the sort of clothes they would have worn as Sunday best in the fifties, and watched a church service while all tied and gagged – really tied and gagged.  Aunt Jenny even joined in, before we had a roast dinner – and then Jay and his men disappeared.  The next thing we knew, Cassie’s boyfriend appears, and then my aunt Cassie and Aunt Jo with Jenny’s boyfriend’s dad.”

 

“It turned out they had been looking for us all weekend,” Rachel said.  “But that was an incredible weekend.”

 

I looked at both of them, before I said “no wonder you felt so calm then.”

 

“Well – if truth be told Rachel and I thought it was a huge game Cassie’s mum and dad had planned.  Cassie and Jenny knew what was going on, but we played along.”

 

“Wow,” I said quietly, “to have done that once…”

 

“Oh we’ve met Jay and his friends again since then,” Patty said, “we won an award one time…”

 

“That’s right,” Rachel said, “and then there was the weekend at Markson Manor, when we all spent the weekend as Victorian hostages…”

 

Before I got the chance to ask what happened then, Mrs Bridges came in and said “time to come down for dinner girls – the others are in the dining room.”

 

 

 

Lord Holderness and Daddy were in a formal suit, while Patty’s mother and Mummy, like Lady Holderness were wearing nice dresses.  We had some soup, a veal cutlet with vegetables, and some Pavlova, as I answered some more questions from Patty and Rachel.

 

Eventually, Daddy said “I’m afraid we need to be on our way.”

 

“As do I,” Mrs Pickering said as we all stood up.

 

“We’ll collect you on Monday evening,” Mummy said as she came over and hugged me, “have fun until then.”

 

“I will, thanks Mummy, Daddy,” I said as we walked to the hallway, waving them off as Mister Bridges drove Mummy and Daddy back to the airport, and Mrs Pickering left in her VW Beetle.

 

“Now then,” Lady Holderness said, “why don’t you girls go up to the playroom for a couple of hours, and we’ll call you for supper later.”

 

“Thank you Lady Holderness,” Patty said as we went upstairs.  “Let’s change into our pyjamas, and then meet in the playroom.”

 

I went to my room, got out of my dress and put on a pair of pink pyjamas, before heading back to the playroom.  Patty was already there, wearing a blue t-shirt and knee length bottoms, and then Rachel came in wearing a white onesie.  As she closed the door, I said the thing I had wanted to say all evening.

 

“Can we start now?”

 

“Of course we can,” Patty said, “how would you like to be tied up?”

 

I hadn’t actually thought about that, so I said “up to you!”

 

“Well, let’s start simply, show you the first steps, and how you can escape,” Patty said, “one of us will model, the other demonstrate on them, and then do it to you.”  Going to a Perspex box, I watched as she came back with her hands in two fists.

 

“Pick Rachel,” she said, and as Rachel pointed to her left hand she turned it and opened it to reveal – nothing.  Opening the other one to show the sponge ball, Patty smiled as she said “Rachel will tie me then.”

 

“Simple, right?”

 

“Yup,” Patty said as Rachel walked to the box, and came back with two lengths of cord.

 

“If you can stand by me and watch,” she said, so I looked on as Patty crossed her wrists behind her back, and then doubled the rope.  She then wrapped it round Patty’s wrists, fed the ends through the loop in the middle, and pulled back so that Patty’s wrists were held together.  She wound the rope round a few more times, keeping the bands next to each other, and then tucked the ends through before she tied a knot and separated the ends.

 

She then took those ends and passed them between Patty’s wrists, vertically this time, and pulled the bands together before she tied the ends off.  I had never seen them do this on the television or film shoots, to me or to others, and even the kidnappers had been content with just wrapping the rope around my wrists and ankles.

 

“So,” Rachel said as she picked up the second length of rope, “ready to have your wrists tied?”

 

I nodded and crossed my wrists behind my back, Patty smiling as Rachel walked behind me and I felt the rope around my own wrists.  It was an exciting feeling, as I felt Rachel use the rope to pull my wrists together, and then wrap the rope around them several times.  So far, it felt just like it had when the kidnappers had done it.

 

But then she took the ropes in the other direction between my wrists, and I felt the ropes tighten even more – and that made me gasp, because it was so unexpected!  I knew there was no way I could move my wrists now, as Rachel tied the ends off.

 

“There we go,” she said as she came round, and they both looked at me.  “How does it feel?”

 

“It feels – it feels so different,” I said quietly as I tried to move my wrists, “but…”

 

“But,” Patty said as she smiled.

 

“It’s AMAZING!  I mean, I like it when they tie me up in the films and shows, but this… this is so much better!”

 

“So do you think you can escape?”

 

I tried twisting my wrists round, but after a while shook my head.  “No I don’t think I can – can you?”

 

“Patty?”

 

I smiled as Debbie tried to twist her arms free – if Rachel had done what I thought she had done, it was easy – if you knew what to do.

 

“Patty?”

 

I nodded and sat down, then wriggled my bottom back until I had managed to get my arms over it and under my legs.  Debbie stared at me, open mouthed as I then got my hands in front of me, and used my teeth to undo the knot, the rope falling away from my wrists.

 

“Oh my god,” Debbie gasped as she looked at me, “that’s why they tied the rope round my waist – to stop me doing that!”

 

“Sure – now you do it.”

 

I should have realised Debbie had never done something like this before – it took her about ten minutes of wriggling and struggling before she managed to get her hands in front of her, and then untie her own wrists.  As she did, she laughed and said “that feels fantastic!  I’ve never done anything like that before!”

 

“Really,” Rachel said, “but you escape from ropes all the time on TV!”

 

“It’s acting – and although they tie them so they look tight, they also do it in a way they come free quickly.  That’s why it gets frustrating at times – I want to be tightly tied, but they won’t do that.”  She then looked at me, and at Rachel before she said “do you think I can tie Patty’s wrists now?”

 

“Go on,” I said as I handed her the rope, “let’s see what you can do…”

 

I took the rope in my hands, and tried to remember what I had seen Rachel do.  Doubling it over, I passed it horizontally round Patty’s wrists, and then fed the ends through the centre loop and pulled back.  As she watched, I wrapped the ropes around Patty’s wrists horizontally three times, keeping the bands neatly arranged, then fed the ends through one and and tied them off.

 

“That feels right,” Patty said to encourage me, as I then passed the ends vertically round her wrists, pulling them as I watched the bands tighten, and then tying the ends off with a knot. 

 

“Well – good job for a first time,” Patty said with a smile as she turned round, Rachel nodding in agreement.

 

“Why thank you,” I said with a smile, “but can you get free without putting your hands in front of yourself.”

 

“Let me see…  Hang on a second…  There we go.”

 

I could only watch as she pulled her arms for a few seconds, and then held the rope up.  I looked at Rachel, who was laughing as she said “try again – this time, make sure the knot is out of reach of her fingers.  She managed to loosen the knot enough to do that.”

 

“Oh – NOW I get it,” I said as Patty handed me the rope back – and I re-tied her wrists, this time putting the knot on top of the binding where she could not reach it with her fingers.  “Try now,” I said as Patty wriggled her fingers.

 

“That’s better,” she said eventually as she started to struggle, pushing and pulling her arms as she did so.  This time, I felt I had got it tied so she would not be able to get free.   I was really excited about that as well – before Patty pulled one last time and the ropes fell off.

 

“Don’t feel so bad,” Rachel said with a smile, “with just the wrists tied, eventually if you struggle enough you will get the ropes off.  That’s why the kidnappers tied your wrists to your back with rope around your waist – and why we also tie our arms to our sides.  That way, there is no way we can move our arms enough to do that.”

 

“Wow – now I get it,” I said quietly, that tingling feeling growing in me as I said “so how can you tie me so that I really cannot move my wrists, or get them free?”

 

“There are a few ways – but I learned a new one from Louise and Frank.  Want to try it?”

 

“Who are Louise and Frank?”

 

“Oops – sorry,” Rachel said with a grin.  “Louise Hobson is a friend who lives on the other side of town, and Frank Cottrell is her very shy boyfriend.  He lives with his brothers and family on a farm, so he knows a lot of knots.”

 

“And they play these games as well?”

 

“Oh yes – and she has met Jay Edwards as well,” Patty said as she picked up some rope.  “So, ready to take the next step Debbie?”

 

I nodded in agreement as Patty picked up a longer length of rope, and told me to put my hands behind my back again.  As I did so, I bit my lower lip, the excitement growing as Patty crossed my wrists, and I felt the rope going around them again.  But this felt different – it was snug, but it seemed to be being wrapped in a different way, a different pattern.  As it was tightened, I heard Rachel behind me saying “that is different – but it looks like it is doing just as good a job.”

 

And I had to admit, it felt as if it was, as the ropes tightened and I felt Patty tying the end off.  “So how does that feel,” she said as I tried to move my hands – and found it was even snugger, even tighter than before.  The one thing was I found it a little uncomfortable to let my wrists drop, so I kept them up as much as I could.

 

“Well, I can’t see how to untie that,” I said – and then I felt more rope going round my wrists, this time in the same way as before, and securing them even more tightly together.

 

I smiled as I said “wow – what did you to them this time,” trying with very little success to move them.  This was amazing – I felt the butterflies in my stomach again, wondering what she had done.

 

I could see Debbie was excited, so I said “come and see while I do it to Rachel as well.”  She waked over and watched as I crossed my friend’s wrists behind her back, making her arms as perpendicular as possible, almost at a right angle as they say at school.  I then wrapped one end of the rope around Rachel’s left wrist, under where her right one was, and secured it with a knot.

 

“Frank called that a clove hitch – it makes sure the rope stays round the wrist,” I said, Debbie nodding as she watched me then take the rope under Rachel’s right wrists, then over the top of her left wrist above her right arm, under her right wrist again, and then back over her left.  As I did this, I pulled her wrists together, and then started on another pass round her arms.

 

I did this three or four times, and then tucked the rope through one band, before taking it in the other direction, this time wrapping the rope between Rachel’s crossed wrists.  Rachel gasped as the ropes tightened, and I heard Debbie giggle as well as I tied the rope off with another clove hitch.

 

Taking a second, slightly shorter length of rope, I then tied that round Rachel’s wrists as well, in the usual way, around and between her arms.  “Wow – that does feel tighter,” she said, Debbie nodding as she said “now I know why I can’t really move my wrists.”

 

“And how does it feel,” Rachel asked as she looked at me.

 

“If I said amazing?” Debbie grinned.

 

“Apparently, it’s called a square hitch – Laura said that Frank told her they use it on the farm to hold two poles together, so that they don’t fall apart.  Which means you have next to no chance of getting your arms apart.

 

“Although – by all means, try.”

 

I started to twist my arms round – well try to, but to my joy and delight I found it was next to impossible.  Even better, Rachel was concentrating and trying to find something, but in the end she shook her head and said “all right, you win Patty – no way that I can get free from this.  I don’t know how, but there is virtually no give.”

 

I cannot even begin to describe just how excited I was about this.  To be in a state where I could hardly move my hands was so amazing, felt so good, I thought I was going to faint – and then it got even better.  The butterflies in my stomach were doing a massed flight as I wondered what was going to happen next.

 

Patty must have sensed what I was thinking, as she picked up a length of rope and looked at me.  “So, are you ready to really have your arms immobilised Debbie?”

 

I looked at her, and then slowly nodded as Patty said “I need to tell you something now.  Once we start on this, once you are really tied up Debbie, we are going to decide when you are freed, unless one of the adults say it is time to stop.  Not you – you put your trust in us.  That way, it gets more exciting, because part of the fun is that you won’t know when you will be freed once we are done.”

 

I considered that for a moment, a strange feeling growing inside me before I eventually said “deal – so what comes first?”

 

“This does,” Patty said as she wrapped some rope around my waist and over my wrists.  It felt tight, but not too bad – and then behind me she pulled something, and it suddenly felt like a tight belt round my waist.  I could feel her tying the rope off – and then to my delight I discovered I really could not move my wrists at all, never mind try and get them separate!  They were pinned to my back, and I could not even move them up and down.

 

Somehow, however, that made it feel better – it was more comfortable on my wrists, and I could still move my elbows as if I had wings.  It was very different from when I was tied up for a film or program – and it was the most exciting feeling I have ever had!  It felt nice, secure, and the butterflies were now swarming en masse inside me.  This was what I had been missing – it felt as if I had a new dress on, only more so.

 

“Ready for the next part?”

 

I smiled and nodded as Patty held another long length of rope, and tied it round my left elbow, leaving a tail of rope hanging down my side.  She then pulled the rope across my stomach at the front, before looping it round my right elbow.

 

I did wonder what she was going to do – as she wrapped it round my elbow, and then took it over my stomach again.  Then she pulled – and my elbows were suddenly pulled forward, and drawn close to my body.

 

“Wow,” I heard myself say as Patty wrapped the rope around my elbows and body several times, and then passed it between my body and elbow on my right hand side, making it even tighter.

 

There was a little rope left – but she took the around me, tightened the bands on my left hand side, and then tied it to the other loose end.

 

“Now that is new,” Rachel said as Patty completed the tie on my left side, “very different from what we normally do.”  If this was different, I had to wonder how it would feel when they did this in the normal way, because this was wonderful.  I really could do nothing more than twist my body round, and there was no way I could even begin to escape.

 

This was easily the most exciting thing I had ever done, and I was beyond ecstatic at how it felt for me.  I had to fidget, try to control myself.

 

“I think she likes it – what do you think Rachel?”

 

“I think she does Patty – which begs the question.

 

“How is it going to feel on me?”

 

“I hope it feels as good as it does to me,” I gasped and then laughed.  This was AMAZING!!!

 

“Watch carefully,” Patty said as she took a longer rope, and she started to tie the rope around Rachel’s waist.  As she did so, and tied the ends off on top of her wrists, I noticed she left two long lengths hanging.  I wondered what they were for, and then she wrapped them round the ropes, between her wrists and her waist, and pulled sharply.  Now I realised how she had managed to effectively lock my wrists to my back!

 

“It’s called Cinching,” she said as she looked at me, “it keeps the ropes nice and snug, and tight.”  Well, I had to agree with that, as I tried to move my arms again with no success.  Such a nice feeling…

 

I watched as she took a longer length of rope, and saw how she had forced my elbows to my sides as she did the same to Rachel.  I kept twisting round, but it was no good – I just could not move my arms at all!

 

 

As Rachel and I looked at each other, I said “there is no way I could get out of this – it’s wonderful and tight and…”

 

“Actually,” I said quietly, “there is a way.”

 

“There is?”  Debbie stared at both of us and said “how?”

 

“Rachel?”

 

“We could use scissors or knives,” she said, “but there is another way that does not involve destroying the ropes.”  She walked round and looked at Debbie’s back.

 

“What are you doing,” she said as she turned round, but Rachel looked at her and said “no – face the other way.  I need to look at your back.”

 

I smiled as Debbie as she looked at me, her eyebrow raised, and said “what is she going to do?”  I said nothing, and watched as she said “Rachel?”

 

“Shhh – thinking,” she said – and then Debbie squirmed as she felt something change behind her.  Then she looked down as the rope that had been around her waist loosened, before it fell to the ground.  She then gasped as Rachel managed to loosen the ropes around her wrists enough for her to shake them free.

 

“How…  How did you manage to do that,” she said as she waved them round.

 

“Finding the right place to pull on the knots to loosen them,” Rachel said as she managed to get the rope around Debbie’s elbows loosened enough for her to pull one arm free and untie herself, before she released my friend.

 

“Is that why you had your hands covered?”

 

“That’s right,” Rachel said, “ready to see how that works?”

 

“You bet I am,” Debbie said, so I went to the box and took two sponges out.  “Hold these,” I said as I handed them to her, “and make two fists.”  As she did that, I tool a roll of silver tape, and started to cover her hands in the material.

 

“We used to use just socks,” Rachel said as Debbie watched me, “but it’s possible to rip them.  This way, your hands cannot be used.”

 

“No way,” Debbie whispered as she twisted her hands round, then watched as I pulled some socks up over her hands, and used some of the white tape to secure the tops to her arms. 

 

“Now how does it feel,” I said as I crossed her wrists behind her back again, and started to secure them with the square lashing as before.  Once I had her wrists firmly secured, I walked round and collected more ropes before I secured her around the waist and stomach as before.

 

“Oh my,” she said in a higher pitched voice, “this feels even better, knowing I can do nothing about it now.”

 

“Hold that thought,” I said as I covered Rachel’s hands and arms in the same way, and then re-tied her upper body in the same way.  She then wriggled round as Debbie tried to get free.

 

“Still think there is no way either of you can get free?”

 

“How can we – our hands are covered,” Debbie laughed – and then she looked at me as Rachel knelt behind her.

 

“If I was you,” I said quietly, “I’d stay very still.”

 

“Why  - what is she…  Oh my,” Debbie said as she realised the rope around her waist had loosened – then her wrists – and then her elbows.  “How…  Did you use your teeth?”

 

“Oh yes,” Rachel said with a smile.  I watched, grinning as Debbie looked at her wrists – which was the moment there was a knock on the door, and Mrs Bridges came in.

 

“I thought you might be in here,” she said as she came in, “time for bed, I think.”

 

“Ah well – time’s up for tonight,” I said as I uncovered Debbie’s hands, and then we released Rachel.

 

“Lord and Lady Holderness were wondering if you would join them for breakfast tomorrow morning.”

 

“What time, Mrs Bridges?”

 

“They were thinking eight o’clock?”

 

I was going to ask if we could be a little later, but then Debbie said “that’s great – thank you Mrs Bridges.”

 

Rachel and I nodded, as Mrs Bridges said “good – off to bed then.”

 

 

When I opened my eyes, for a moment I wondered who had managed to get into my bedroom.  It was still dark, and the bed was so warm, but…

 

“Morning Debbie.”

 

I opened my eyes again to see Patty and Rachel in their pyjamas, and then looked at the clock.

 

“Yes, it is that early,” Rachel said with a grin, “But you agreed we would have breakfast at eight this morning with Lord and Lady Holderness, so we need you to get up now.”

 

“Oh yeah – I did didn’t I,” I said as I got up and stretched.

 

“You can use the shower first,” Rachel said, so I grabbed my washbag and a towel, and walked into the corridor with them.

 

“The shower is in there,” Patty said as she pointed to a door, “Have fun.”

 

I nodded as I went in – and soon started to wake up as the warm water washed over me.

 

When I got back to my room, I dried myself on and put on some clean underwear, and then wondered about what to put on that day.  If I was at home, it was a simple choice for me – old joggers, a sloppy joe top, and some flip flops.  Looking round the nice room, however, I remembered that I was not at home, I was a guest.

 

Mummy always said when we were visiting, one should always look one’s best, so I decided it would be rude to be so casually dressed here.  With that in mind, I took out a pair of sheer black tights and pulled them on, and then found in the wardrobe a brown jumper dress, with a wide pleated circle skirt that came to just below my knees.  You see, I really do not like letting people see my knees, even when I’m running.  That’s why I prefer to wear trousers or long skirts when I’m on set if at all possible.

 

This was as casual a dress as I had, and as I slipped on a pair of flat shoes and looked at myself, I nodded and smiled.  If things went as they had last night, then the next step was logical – and if that was the case, then I may end up hopping around…

 

Opening the door and looking round, I walked along the corridor, wondering where they were – and as I passed the door to the shower, I got my answer as Patty came out.

 

“Oh – you’re nicely dressed,” she said with a smile, “so we’re dressing up a bit this morning as well?”

 

“I wanted to – do you normally?”

 

“It depends on the occasion – Fancy wearing a smart dress this morning, Rachel?”

 

“Why not,” Rachel said as she came over, carrying a towel and her washbag, “we’ll come along to the playroom in a few minutes Debbie.”

 

 

 

As the clock struck eight o’clock, we walked down the stairs.  Patty was wearing a short sleeved white dress with a blue cornflower print, while Rachel was wearing a brown slip dress over a white jumper.  Both were also wearing tights and flat shoes, as we made our way to the dining room.

 

Lord and Lady Holderness were already seated, Lady Holderness in a grey jumper and trousers, Lord Holderness in a white shirt and grey trousers.  There was another young woman there – she looked as if she was in her early twenties, with shoulder length blonde hair, and was wearing a blue cardigan over a matching jumper, a knee length black skirt, and black shoes that had a small heel.

 

“Ah – there you are,” Lady Holderness said, “Come in girls, and sit down.  Help yourselves to breakfast.”

 

“Hey Angela,” Patty said as we sat down, “what brings you here?”

 

“Helping Grandmother with the events for Halloween – there’s a lot to do, and not a lot of time to do it,” the younger woman said.   “Grandmother said you and Rachel were staying with a friend – I’m Angela Bowden, the oldest granddaughter.  And you are?”

 

“Deborah – Deborah de Witt,” I said with a smile, “it’s a great pleasure to see you Angela.”  I helped myself to some orange juice, and put some cereal in my bowl, as Angela said “have we met before?  I’m sure I’ve seen you somewhere Deb…”

 

“Here it comes,” Rachel giggled, “three… Two… One…”

 

“Debbie Dee?  You’re Debbie Dee!”

 

“Well,” I said as I wiped my chin, “yeah, I am.”

 

“Oh my goodness,” Angela said as she looked at her, “I have to admit, I have seen your work – can I…  Can I have your autograph?”  She picked up her handbag and took a small book out, handing it and a pen to me.

 

“Debbie is here as a guest,” Lady Holderness said, “but as far as anyone else is concerned, she is in America with her parents.  I trust you will keep her presence here to yourself Angela?”

 

“Of course I will,” she said with a smile as I handed the book back.  “So you’re here for a complete break, Debbie?”

 

“Amongst other things,” I said with a smile as we ate our breakfast.

 

 

 

“So what would you like to do this morning,” I asked as Patty, Rachel and I went up to the playroom after breakfast.  We didn’t want to change, which I was glad about – I was a guest here after all, and it was important that I did not let the side down, as it were.

 

“Let me ask you a question first,” Patty said, “how would you like to dress up this afternoon in some old clothes?”

 

“When you say old clothes, you mean…”

 

“We sometimes dress up in some clothes from the fifties,” Rachel said, “and pretend we’re teenage sleuths captured by the bad guys – you know, Nancy Drew, that sort of thing…”

 

Well, I’d work costumes from times past before, but it sounded like fun, so I nodded.

 

“Wait here,” Patty said as she disappeared from the room.

 

“All right then,” Angela said as she came back into the room with me, “I hear you three want to play dress up this afternoon, right?”

 

“If that is possible, Angela,” Debbie said.

 

“Well, we have a slight problem,” she said with a smile, “I have loaned mine to some friends for Hallowe’en, and all the others are at the girls’ houses – but I could ask Grandmother if she has some clothes you can wear later, if you want?”

 

“Thanks Angela,” Patty said, “do you have time to help us with something else?”

 

“Let me guess – you want to be tied up?”

 

Debbie grinned as I said “yeah – we’ve been teaching Debbie, but I’d love it if you could tie me up once I’ve secured them.”

 

“Why could I see this coming,” Angela said with a smile, “are you all right with this Debbie?”

 

I thought she was going to shout “YES” but instead, she just grinned and nodded.  “So where do we start?” she then said as she looked at me.

 

“Let’s go back to where we were yesterday,” I said with a grin as I took out the sponges, and handed two to her and two to Rachel.   Both Angela and Debbie watched as I taped Rachel’s hands into fists, and then pulled up the sleeves of her jumper before I pulled the socks over her sliver fists.

 

“Why are you doing that,” Debbie asked as I sued the white tape to fix the socks to my best friend’s arms.

 

“To stop her pulling them off,” I said as I pulled the sleeves down over her covered arms, and then came over to tape Debbie’s fists.  I did the same to her – pulled the sleeves of her dress up, fixed the socks in place, and then pulled the sleeves down over them.

 

“Okay – so how are you going to tie them,” Angela said as she looked at me.

 

“I’ll show you on Rachel, so you can do the same to me,” I said with a smile, as I took the length of rope, arranged Rachel’s covered wrists behind her back, and started to tie the square hitch knot.  I glanced at Angela, who was watching closely, as I soon had Rachel’s wrists secured, and then tied the usual ropes over that binding.

 

“There,” I said as I looked at Angela, “what do you think?”

 

“Different, I grant you that,” she said with a smile.

 

“Well, do you think you can secure Debbie’s wrists in the same way?”

 

“I can but try – if that’s all right with you Debbie?”

 

“Please, go ahead,” she said with a grin as she turned and crossed her wrists.  Angela rook a length of rope, stared at it for a few minutes – and then did a perfect Square Hitch bind as quickly as I had!

 

“I forgot how quick a learner you are,” I said as she tied the rope off.

 

“Quick?  I was a Guide you know,” Angela said with a grin, Rachel laughing as she then secured Debbie’s wrists further with the usual ropes.

 

“D’OH!  I had forgotten that for a moment,” I said with a smile as we each took a length of rope, and wrapped it round our willing volunteers’ waists, making sure we cinched it so that their wrists were locked to their backs.

 

“Right – we’re going to do the double figure eight, understand Patty?”

 

“Yes Miss Bowden,” I said in a singsong voice, but I tied the rope round Rachel’s arms and tummy, making sure I looped the rope around both arms and her stomach, so that they were locked in place.  As Debbie watched Angela do the same to her, she smiled and said “this is as good as what you did yesterday.”

 

“Okay then,” Angela said as she tied that rope off, “I guess you want to be gagged now…”

 

“No.”

 

Rachel and Debbie both looked at me, Rachel with her eyebrows raised as she said “hang on – you just said no Patty?”

 

“Yeah, I did,” I said with a smile, “it’s a lovely day outside, but how many more of them are we going to get?  Why don’t we go for a walk down to the lake, and enjoy the sunshine while we have it?”

 

“I never thought I’d see the day,” Angela said as she went to the box, and got two sponges out.  “Well, we may as well start…”

 

 

Mrs Bridges just turned and smiled as the three of us walked through the kitchen, Angela saying “would you tell my Grandmother I am going to walk the girls down to the lake, and I will be back shortly?”

 

“Of course, Miss Angela,” she said as we stepped outside, Patty first, followed by Rachel, and then me, looking at their covered hands as we walked along.  We made our way down the large lawn, as I looked at the line of trees.

 

It looked fantastic – although not as large as Markson Manor.  I had been there for a couple of weeks before the kidnapping, shooting a film for Alan Markson, but I had not heard anything of a weekend when the family were held hostage.  As we walked towards a gap in the line of the trees, however, I was revelling, both in the feeling of helplessness, and also in the fact we had total privacy – there was nobody else around.

 

Well, a few foxes and other creatures in the woods, as we walked along the path which sloped gently down through the trees.  And what tress – the leaves red and gold, and the sunlight filtering through them.

 

“What is that,” I asked as we passed by a simple white cross in the ground.

 

“I’ll explain later,” Angela said with a smile as we walked on.  Somehow, with my arms secured like they were, it made me so much more aware of everything around me – especially when a squirrel ran across the ground in front of me.  I was so much more aware of everything.

 

“You as well,” Rachel said as I realised she had stopped and looked at me.

 

“Yeah – when it was your first time…”

 

“The full works?  That was the weekend we spent at Missenden Hall,” Rachel said as we walked to catch up with Patty and Angela.  “One huge massive game, and all the time it was a real kidnapping.  It made things easier later.”

 

“I get the feeling you two have a lot of experiences,” I said with a smile, and then gasped as we emerged onto a grass area next to a lake, a white building gleaming in the sun on an island in the middle of the lake.

 

“Oh wow,” I said eventually as we joined the others, “what is this?”

 

“Holderness Lake,” Angela said with a smile, “you girls should be all right here for the moment.”

 

We all sat on the cool dry grass as she then said “I need to head back to the house, but I will be back in a little while.  Have fun talking until then.”

 

“See you later Angela,” Patty said as we watched her walk back into the trees, and we all looked over the lake.

 

“What is that building,” I finally said as I looked at the building.

 

“That,” Patty said, “is the Mausoleum.  The tomb of the Holderness family.”

 

I looked again at the building, before I said “you mean…”

 

“Almost all of the families are buried there – and one or two others,” Patty said with a smile.  “Hey – want to know what else we can do while we are here?”

 

“What?”

 

“Run around,” I said as Debbie looked at me.  

 

“But we have our arms tied,” she said as she looked at me.  “Will it be safe to do that?”

 

“Of course it is,” I said as Rachel and I jumped up and started to run around – before we remembered Debbie, who was staring at us.  “Oops – sorry,” I said as we came back, “we’re just used to doing it.  Can you get on your knees, and then stand up?”

 

We watched as Debbie slowly did that, and then said “follow us” as we ran across the grass.  Debbie looked at us for a moment, and then started to run after us, getting faster as she got more confident, as we ran around the lakeside lawn.

 

Eventually, we stopped to catch our breath, as I felt the cool air on my face – and Debbie said “that was amazing, it felt so good…”

 

“Ah – I see you’ve all had fun,” Angela said as she reappeared, carrying a picnic basket.  Walking to the side of the lake, she put the basket down and laid out a blanket, before she started to set out a picnic.

 

“Come over here girls, and I’ll untie you so you can eat,” she eventually said as she looked at us.


As we sat and ate, I said “Patty said that white building is a tomb?”

 

“That’s right,” Angela said, “the Holderness family tomb.  Almost all of my ancestors are buried in there.  Those that aren’t – like my great great grandmother – have a memorial there instead.”

 

“Is she the one whose portrait is in the hallway?”

 

“That’s right – she was on the Titanic when it sank.”

 

“So,” I said after I had taken a drink, “why is there a memorial cross on the path here?”

 

“Ah – that marks the spot where the brother of the first Lord Holderness was killed.  Some say he protects the family from beyond the grave – we call it the Legend of the Holderness Shadow.”

 

“Wow – have any of you seem him?”

 

Patty and Rachel shook their heads, but Angela nodded and said “oh yes – I’ve seen him, and he is very real.  But that’s enough of that side of things – tell us about yourself Debbie.”

 

So we spent the next hour talking about some of the movies and shows I’ve made, some of the people I’ve met – including a very funny tale Alan Rickman told me – and what I liked and didn’t like about being a star.

 

Time just seemed to fly past, before Angela said “we need to get back to the house.  Can you help me pack up, and we’ll walk back together?”

 

We all helped to pack things away – including the ropes in a bag Angela took out of the basket – and then we walked back up, along the path through the forest, and back up the lawn to the house.

 

“Listen,” Angela said as we got to the kitchen door, “do you still want to dress up this afternoon?”

 

We all nodded as she said “well, my grandmother has found three outfits you can wear.  They are all from 1961, so please be careful with them.”  She put the basket on the kitchen table as we came in, and then went to the bedroom I was using, where the three dresses were laid out.

 

“Oh wow,” Patty said, “do you want to pick first Debbie?”

 

“Do you mind if I wear this,” I said as I chose a pale blue dress.  The others were lovely, but this one was longer, and would cover my knees.  There was also a pair of white shoes with kitten heels on the top of the dress.

 

“Great – see you in a few minutes,” Patty and Rachel said as they took the other two dresses, and the shoes, and went to their room.  I quickly changed, slipped the white heels on, and looked at myself in the mirror.  The dress had elbow length sleeves, and a little bow at the front of my waist, and I was pleased to see the skirt did come down over my knees.

 

I came out to see Angela there, smiling as she said “the others are in the play room.”  We walked down, and as I went in Patty said “wow – you look like someone from an early Cliff Richards movie, like the ones Mum likes.”

 

“I’ll take that as a compliment – you both look great as well,” I said with a smile.  Patty’s dress had a brown tartan check, with a little white collar and cuffs and two pockets on the chest, a gathered waist and a straight skirt, as well as brown heels.  Rachel was wearing a dress with a red tartan pattern, and a Peter Pan collar.  The sleeves of her dress came down to her elbows, and the skirt was pleated.  She also had red heels on.

 

“I need to see Grandmother now,” Angela said, “one word of warning.  If you’re going to do what I think you’re going to do, be careful – heels are not the best thing for jumping in.”

 

“Thanks Angela,” I said as she left, and I looked at Debbie and Rachel.  “Right then – will you both let me cover your hands, and secure you in the same way as before?”

 

They both nodded, and soon they looked as if they had white fingerless gloves on as I started to bind their arms.  Debbie kept talking to Rachel as I was doing this, as I made sure their wrists and upper bodies were secured as they had been for the walk down to the lake.

 

“All right then,” Debbie said with a smile, “what’s next?”

 

“Next,” I said quietly, “we go the next level.  Remember how easy it was for Rachel to loosen knots with her teeth?”

 

Debbie nodded as I said “well, we can make that more difficult, if not impossible.”  I could see the excitement in Debbie’s eyes, as I said “by gagging you.”  I went and picked up a handkerchief, rolled it up and then tied it round Debbie’s head, making sure I didn’t trap her head as I tied the ends together, before I did the same for Rachel.  Both of them had their lips over the band as well

 

Well, this was what I was used to – I knew it didn’t exactly keep me quiet, but I tried to act as if I could not speak, Rachel giggling all the time.

 

“So – can you get the gag off Debbie?”

 

I looked at Patty, and tried to shake it down off my head, but it would not budge.  “Nootwonsheft,” I said, as Patty nodded.  I then looked at Rachel as she started to twist her head round – and then the scarf fell from her mouth!

 

“Huudedudothet?”

 

“Easy,” Rachel said, “use your tongue to push the band out.”

 

I looked at her, and then I twisted my mouth round, pressing my tongue against the cloth – and lo and behold, it came out!  I looked at them, and then said “That was easy – when you know how.”

 

“True,” Patty said, “and then there is this.”  I watched as she tore a strip form a roll of duct tape, and pressed it over Rachel’s mouth – and then a second strip over mine, before I had a chance to say anything.  It brought back memories of the kidnapping – but then I saw Rachel twist her face round again, before the tape came away!

 

“Your face is a picture,” she laughed, “use your tongue to moisten the tape – it gets less sticky, and comes away easily.”  So I put my tongue between my lips, wet the tape – and it peeled away as if by magic!

 

“If only I had known,” I whispered quietly…  I then looked at Patty and said “what’s next?”

 

“This,” she said as she held up a balled up handkerchief.  In quite a few shows, the bad guys used those to keep the victims – including me – quiet, so I opened my mouth and let her put it in, closing my lips over it.

 

“Now, can you push that out?”

 

That was easy – I opened my mouth and used my tongue to push it out.

 

“If Angela were here, she’s say the way to really gag someone is to stop them from using their tongue or their lips,” Patty said quietly as she held the hankie up again.  I allowed her to put it back in my mouth, before she tied a second one round my head as a cleave gag – then did the same to Rachel.  This time, I knew I was in trouble – my mouth was blocked!  How could I push it out…?  Then I looked at Rachel, as she started to push the wad out with her tongue, moving the cleave gag out and down at the same time!  I tried to do the same, and eventually both of us were able to talk again.

 

“Are you…  Are you saying you can get out of any gag,” I gasped as I looked at them.

 

“Let’s try this first,” Patty said as once again the wet wadded hankie went into my mouth, but this time picked up what looked like a strip of towel, and mad a knot in the middle.  She pushed the knot between my teeth, as she said “I know it’s taken a while to get to this, but I wanted to take my time to teach you – and also I wanted you to see just how – well, how useless the gags they use on television and films are.”  She tied the strip round my head, and said “try talking now.”

 

“Whtdduwntmtse,” I mumbled, my eyes shooting open as I realised I wasn’t really intelligible!  To make it worse, Patty then tore several strips of duct tape from the roll, and pressed them over my mouth and chin, covering the knot.  I watched as she did the same to Rachel, but I realised she wasn’t expecting something as she looked at Patty.

 

“Go on then,” she said as she looked at me, “get the gag away from your mouth.”

 

 

I grinned as Debbie looked at me, and then tried to twist her face round.  As she did so, I could see she was pushing the knot and wad from her mouth, as the tape started to come away from her face – and eventually, the towel and tape fell onto her chest as she spat the handkerchief out.

 

“That – was different,” she said with a grin, as Rachel managed it a little faster.  As she spat the hankie out, she said “I thought you were going to use the white tape?”

 

“Surprise,” I said as she looked at me.  “Debbie, so far you’ve been able to get it out, but what I want to show you now is how we have been gagged by Jay Edwards and others.  This one, you cannot get out of without help – guaranteed.”

 

“But you said you were gagged like that all day,” Debbie said quietly, “isn’t there a risk of swallowing the cloth or choking.”

 

“So long as you stay calm, and breathe through your nose, you’ll be fine,” I said, “but the way I’m going to do this minimises that risk.  Watch – I’ll show you on Rachel.”

 

As they watched, I balled up a clean handkerchief, and then wrapped it in a second handkerchief so that it made a band with a bulge in the middle.  Walking over to Rachel, I said “here we go,” and she nodded as she opened her mouth.  I pushed the centre of the band gently past her teeth, and then she closed her lips over it as I left the two ends hanging down from her mouth.

 

Next, I tied a knot in the centre of a towelling strip, and positioned that above the padding in Rachel’s mouth, taking the strip around her head and tying the ends off at the base of her neck.  I then took the ends of the hankie round, and tied them off on top of that knot.

 

“Thssskpmmfflldndecnttlk,” Rachel mumbled, Debbie giggling as she said “but can’t she push that out?”

 

“Well yes, but at the same time, she can’t swallow the packing accidentally – let’s make it more difficult,” I said as I took the duct tape, and tore several strips off, pressing them over Rachel’s mouth and face.  When she had finished, there was a wide silver band from ear to ear, and the cloth and towelling was completed covered.

 

“Nwwcnuhrmm?”

 

“Not very well,” Debbie said, “but she can get that off eventually as well.”

 

“Not by the time I’ve finished,” I said, Rachel nodding as I next picked up the roll of the lovely squashy white tape, and wrapped that round Rachel’s head, Debbie’s eyes widening as I covered the silver and the band round her head.

 

“This tape is safe – doesn’t damage the hair,” I said as I wrapped it round several times, pressing Rachel’s hair to the back of her head.  Tearing the end free and pressing it down, I then took the duct tape and wrapped that round her head as well, keeping it over the white tape at all times.

 

“Oh my goodness,” Debbie said quietly as Rachel winked.  Finally, I took a red scarf from the box, folded it into a wide band and tied it round Rachel’s head, covering everything so that it looked as if she just had a scarf tied round her mouth.

 

“Can you…  Can you talk?” Debbie asked, Rachel shaking her head as she mumbled “ntrlle.”

 

“And that,” I said with a smile, “is how you really gag someone.  It’s the wrapping of tape round the head that does it – it makes sure you cannot push any of the other layers of the gag out, and the more layers you have, the more effective it is. 

 

“So I see,” Debbie whispered quietly as Rachel nodded, then sat down.

 

“And now for the 64 thousand dollar question Debbie,” I said as I looked at her, “do you want to try it?”

 

I watched as she looked at Rachel, and I could see the slight hesitation in her eyes.

 

 

Did I want to try it?  IT looked amazing, and Rachel was quiet, but did I have the courage to allow Patty to do that?  I thought for a moment, and then looked at her.

 

“Yes I do – do it to me as well.”

 

I saw the smile grow on Patty’s face as she started to sort out the handkerchiefs – and then to my surprise, she left the room.  I looked at Rachel, who could only shrug her shoulders, before she returned a few minutes later with Angela.

 

“Okay – so what do you want me to do Patty,” she said as she looked at Rachel.

 

“I’ve learned a new gag method,” Patty said, “and Debbie has agreed to have it done to her, but I want to be gagged as well.  If I do it to her, will you watch and then do it to me?”

 

Angela looked at me for a moment, and said quietly “are you all right for this to happen Debbie?  I suspect you will never have had anything like this before.”

 

I nodded, hardly able to contain my excitement as I said “yes I do, but thank you for checking Angela.”

 

“I presume you want to be tied up in the same way Patty?”

 

“Please,” Patty said with a smile.  Angela nodded as she said “all right – go ahead, but if you want her to stop at any time Debbie, grunt three times, all right?”

 

I nodded as I watched Patty wad up a new handkerchief, and then rolled it up in a second handkerchief, the bulge in the centre quite visible.  As she picked it up, I took several deep breaths, and then opened my mouth, as Patty smiled and pushed the bulge in behind my teeth.

 

It was…  It was different from anything I had experienced before.  The wad was nearly twice as large, and it almost filled my mouth as she pushed it in, leaving the ends hanging from my mouth.  My tongue was pushed down onto the floor of my mouth, and I could not move it – and then I saw her tie a knot in a strip of towelling.

 

As she pushed that into my mouth, it forced the wad even further down, and then she tied the strip round my head, the ends hanging at the base of my neck.  As she then tied the handkerchief round my head, I realised not only that there was no way it would fall down my throat – I really could not talk, and this was only the beginning.

 

Angela looked at me with a raised eyebrow, but I nodded to show I was all right, and then watched Patty as she pressed strip after strip over my mouth and jaw, covering my face from ear to ear.

 

I could feel the tape pulling on my skin, but I didn’t feel afraid this time as Rachel watched me as well.  It just felt so wonderful…

 

I watched Patty as she picked up the roll of white tape, and smiled as she said “brace yourself Debbie – because you are about to enter the world of the complete gag.”

 

I nodded, and then heard the squelchy sound as Patty tore the end of the tape free.  She then pressed it against my cheek – and then wound it tightly round my head, covering the two gags already keeping me quiet.

 

No – the three gags, as I felt the tape pushing my cheeks in and pressing my hair against the back of my head.  It felt so tight, and then she covered that with the silver duct tape, wrapping that tightly round my head as well, as if my head had a tight band round it.

 

And it felt – AMAZING!!!  I knew I could not get this off, and it really worked!  Finally I knew what it felt like to be properly tied and gagged – apart from my legs, that is.  But perhaps…

 

“There we go – have a look at yourself in the mirror Debbie.”

 

“Llrrht,” I heard myself say as I walked over, and stared at the silver band round my head, pressing my cheeks in.  I shook my head to try and shake it off, but it was no good – it was firm and staying.  Stepping back, I turned round and looked over my shoulder at all the ropes holding my wrists and arms firmly in place.

 

“Now the finishing touch,” Patty said as she folded a blue silk scarf and tied it round my head, covering everything so that, like Rachel, it looked as if I had a simple over the mouth gag in place.

 

I should have been scared, I should have been terrified – but I wasn’t.  I was tingling with excitement, it all felt so wonderful and nice…

 

To anyone else, I was Debbie in trouble again.  But now I knew, now I understood what they meant.

 

I sat with Rachel and watched as Angela then tied Patty in the same way as both of us, and decided to test my gag.  I tried first to push the wadding out with my tongue, but the bands of tape stopped me doing that.  I then tried screaming, but all I heard was a faint sound coming from somewhere. 

 

I then looked at Rachel, and tried to say “is this what it is always like?”

 

Only…  My tongue was forced to the floor of my mouth, which was filled by the rapidly dampening cloth, and even if that was not the case – the tight bands around my head meant my lips could not move.

 

So all I heard was “Stthethslk,” and Rachel merely grunted as she nodded and looked at me.  Neither of us could understand each other – and that just made it even more exciting!

 

Eventually, Angela tied a coloured scarf round Patty’s head, and said “right – given this is Debbie’s first time like this, I’m not going to bind your legs?”  She must have seen the look in my eyes, as she said “for safety reasons – you need to learn how to hop, and its better you get used to this first.  Go – explore, move round, but take your time and take care, all right?”

 

We all nodded, as she left the room, the door wide open as we looked at each other.  Patty then indicated with her head as we walked out of the room, mw following Patty, then Rachel as Angela followed us.

 

It was the strangest feeling – as if I was walking on air, unafraid, without a care in the world, despite not being able to move my arms or make more than unintelligible sounds.  It was new, bright and amazing, as we walked down the stairs and along the corridor of portraits.

 

I looked up at them, wondering if they ever had something similar or did something similar, when I turned the corner and ran into someone.  I immediately said “sorry” – but what I heard was “Srrrr,” and when I saw who I had bumped into, I turned bright red.

 

 

At first, I had no idea who Debbie had bumped into, but then I looked at the young man with Lord Holderness, as he said “Debbie?  I thought you were in the States?  What are you doing here?”

 

“Alan?  Alan Markson?”  I heard Angela stammer for a moment, before she said “what are you doing here?”

 

“Well, after your grandfather proved curcial in providing the backing for The Awakening, I wanted to talk to him about backing my next film – gotta admit however, the last thing I expected to see was Debbie here.  Are you…  Are you all right?”

 

I looked at Debbie, who nodded as Angela stammered “well….  Obviously…”

 

“I see you’re researching new ideas for the TV show right?  Looks like you really cannot get out of that?”

 

Debbie slowly nodded as Alan said “I directed quite a few episodes of Debbie Does It All – in fact, we’re due to shoot a block soon, right Debbie?”

 

She nodded again as I saw how red she was, and then Alan said the strangest thing.

 

“Let me guess – under the socks, your hands are taped over, and you’re holding sponges?”

 

We all looked at him, wondering how he knew as we nodded.

 

“Figured as much – I tie Gerri in the same way?”

 

“You do?”  It was Angela’s turn to sound surprised, as she said “why do you…”

 

“Well, ever since that weekend, and her visit here, she and Ken have enjoyed some games - and when he’s not around, she’s asked me to tie her up as well.  So she taught me everything you taught her – and she enjoys it as well.”

 

We all giggled at that, before Alan said “and under the scarves, tape round your heads right?”

 

“Well, anyway,” Lord Holderness said, “we have business to discuss.  Alan, Debbie’s visit here is a secret – can we trust you to keep that secret?”

 

“Oh sure – and Gerri can be trusted as well.”

 

“Gerri?”

 

Alan actually smiled and nodded as he said “yeah – she’s meeting up with me here later.  Anyway…”

 

“Grandfather, you never told me…”

 

“Surprise – but as I said, we have business matters to discuss, Alan?”

 

“Of course – see you later girls.”

 

I don’t remember a lot of the rest of that afternoon, I do remember walking round the ground floor, and then going out onto the back lawn as Patty led the way.  We even spent some time out on the lawn, running round – not as fast as I would normally do, given I was restricted to breathing in and out through my nose, but that made it even more exciting.

 

One thought was still at the back of my mind, however – Alan Markson had seen me like this, and now what would he think?

 

Anyway, eventually we walked back in, Mrs Bridges holding the door open for us, and as we came in we saw Angela sitting at the kitchen table with another girl – one I recognised instantly…

 

“Well now,” Gerri Markson said as she looked at the three of us, “I recognise Patty and Rachel, but is that you Debbie?”

 

“Yststss,” I mumbled as I felt myself blushing, “nsstssuujeerr.”

 

Gerri looked at Angela, an eyebrow raised, as Alicia said “long story – you three need to go upstairs and change.  We’re dining more formally again tonight.”

 

We all nodded as Gerri said “see you later Debbie,” and we went up to the playroom, where Angela untied all three of us.  Once I had rubbed my arms, I reached round and untied the scarf round my head, then found the edge of the silver tape and slowly unwound it, crumpling it into a ball before I unwound the white tape as well.

 

As I looked at the other two, they started to pick at the edge of the silver sheet covering their mouths and chins, and so I did the same.  As the edges came free, we all nodded at each other and gently peeled the tape away – a very strange feeling as the towelling strip and handkerchief were exposed.  I could see how damp the two things were in the mouth of the other two, as I reached round and loosened the two knots, then used my tongue to push out the towel strip and hankies.

 

“Wow,” I whispered as I worked my mouth, “that was… that was…”

 

“Yeah – wonderful isn’t it?”

 

I grinned and nodded as Rachel said “right – let’s change and get ready…”

 

 

 

When I came down, wearing a black dress with elbow length sleeves and a longish skirt, I saw Patty and Rachel were there in their party dresses.  Gerri and Angela, like Lady Holderness, were wearing shift dresses, while Alan and Lord Holderness were smartly dressed in suits, shirts and ties.

 

“Ah good,” Lady Holderness said with a smile, “dinner is ready, if we will all take our seats?”

 

 

 

“May I ask a question,” I said as Mrs Bridges took the main course plates away.

 

“Of course you may Patricia,” Lord Holderness said with a smile.

 

“It is good to see you again, Alan and Gerri, but what brings you both here?”

 

“Well, as I said earlier,” Alan said, “I wanted to discuss with Lord Holderness some backing for my next movie, and Gerri wanted to see Angela for some reason.  So it was convenient…”  He then looked at Debbie, and smiled as he said “given how I found all three of you earlier, I’m guessing you’re enjoying your stay?”

 

Debbie blushed and nodded, as he smiled and said “hey, don’t be embarrassed.  We won’t tell anyone – although next time I do Debbie Does It All, if you end up in trouble, perhaps we can make it more realistic.

 

“So long as the censors don’t realise.  What do you say?”

 

Debbie grinned and nodded before she said “thanks Alan – you’re the best?”

 

“Only because you are,” he said as pudding was brought out.

 

“Perhaps the three of you will join us for an early breakfast before Alan and Gerri leave,” Lord Holderness said, the three of us looking at each other as we nodded in agreement.

 

 

 

Once the meal was finished, the three of us went upstairs and changed into our pyjamas – well, Rachel and I changed into our pyjamas, and Debbie put on a long white nightgown.  As we met in the playroom, I said “so, we’ve got some time before bed – ready for the next lesson Debbie?”

 

“Sure,” she said with a grin, “what is it?”

 

“Hopping,” Rachel said.

 

“Want to demonstrate,” I said as I went to get a length of rope.

 

“Sure,” Rachel said as she sat down, Debbie watching as I tied her ankles together, taking the rope around and between her legs and then tying the ends off.  “Watch,” I then said as Rachel stood up, stretched her arms up, and then started to hop around the room.

 

“Okay – I think I can do that,” Debbie said, so I picked up a second length of rope, waiting for a moment before Rachel stopped and allowed me to bind her legs together below her knees.  She the hopped around the room some more, as Debbie smiled even more.

 

“And now,” I said as I took another length of rope, “your turn.  Ready Debbie?”

 

“Oh yes,” she said with a smile as I knelt down and tied her ankles tightly together.  She then stood slowly up, taking a moment to get her balance, before she tried jumping up and down on the spot.

 

“Let me hold your arm,” I said as she started to take tiny little baby hops, taking her time after each one to get her balance before she took longer jumps.  I eventually let go of her arm and watched as she followed Rachel round the room.

 

“So – want to have your knees tied?”

 

“Yeah – but over my nightdress,” Debbie said as she stood still, watching me tie the rope around her legs and gathering the skirt of her nightdress round her legs.  She then started jumping again, laughing as she did so.

 

“Now,” I said quietly, “hold your hands together behind your back and hop around.”  Debbie nodded as she put her hands behind, and then started to jump again.  I could see the surprise in her face as she stopped and got her balance several times, but she slowly got the hang of it – even though she had to use her hands several times.

 

So I took some rope and loosely tied her wrists together behind her back, and let her keep jumping round – as she got the hang of it, and soon was as good as Rachel or me.

 

“Ah – sorry,” Mrs Bridges said as she came in, “but you have an early breakfast tomorrow, and you all need a good night’s sleep.  Time for bed, girls.”

 

 

As I lay in my bed, I thought about the day – from a complete novice, I now knew how it felt not only to be really tied up around my wrists and arms, and how to hop when my legs were tied, but I had been completely silenced. 

 

COMPLETELY SILENCED!  I mean, I could grunt, but that was it – and I loved the way it felt.   And then for Alan to promise he would see if I could be tied that way on set…

 

As my eyes closed, I wondered what the next day would bring…

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey sleepy head – time to wake up.”

 

I opened my eyes to see Patty and Rachel standing there, smiling as Rachel said “early breakfast, remember?  Time to wash and change.”

 

I nodded as I got up, collected my washbag and went to the shower.  When I came back to the room, a new dress was laid out on the bed.  Well, a new dress to me – it was a pinafore dress, the top vest part with a round neck and Orange and peach patterns like a Battenberg cake, the skirt alternating orange and peach patterns.  There was also a pair of flat white shoes.  I realised this was for me to wear, so I dried myself off, put on clean underwear, and then the dress and shoes, finishing with an orange belt round my waist.  The skirt flowed down past my knees, making me smile as I went out of the room.

 

Patty was coming out of her room as well, a light pink headband holding her hair back.  Her dress had short sleeves, and a square neckline, with alternating blocks of patterns.  One block was red, green, pink and yellow stripes, the other ten little flowers in a row.  Round her waist was almost a girdle of red, green and yellow.

 

Finally Rachel came out.  She had on a red short sleeved dress, the hem of the skirt diagonal red and white stripes, and the sleeve cuffs and collar the same sort of pattern.  She looked at us, and said “we all have white flat shoes?”

 

“Anyone would think we may be jumping today,” Patty said with a giggle as we went down the stairs, and joined the others at the breakfast table.

 

“I see you’re dressing up again today,” Alan said with a smile as we sat down.

 

“Indeed,” Angela said, “we sometimes do this for fun.  These were actually Grandmother’s dresses.”

 

“They were indeed,” Lady Holderness said with a smile as we helped ourselves to cereal, “I remember wearing them – well, far too many years ago now.”

 

“Well, we dress up sometimes as well,” Gerri said as she looked at Alan, “although in our cases, it tends to be in Victorian clothes.”

 

“Especially when that Jay Edwards visited for the weekend?”

 

“Thank you for reminding me of that,” Gerri laughed as she looked at Patty.  “Spending the whole weekend fully tied and gagged in those outfits!”

 

“You were tied and gagged as I was in those costumes?”  I giggled as I said “how did you…”

 

“Very carefully,” Patty said with a smile.  “But we all got full Victorian costumes after that, thanks to Gerri.”

 

“Well, it made room for even more,” Alan said with a smile, “Gerri both restores and makes her own now – a career in Costuming awaits her!”

 

“Oh I know how good she is,” I said as I finished my cereal, “I’ve done a couple of films set in Victorian times for Alan – including The Awakening.”

 

Rachel and Patty both stared at me, and then Patty said “You were in The Awakening?”

 

“She was,” Alan said as I smiled, “as one of the children, but it was an uncredited cameo.  I remember seeing Angela around.”

 

“Did you see Alicia as well?”

 

“My sister,” Angela said.

 

“Possibly – I’d have to see a photo of her to be sure, however.”

 

“So what scene would we see you in?”

 

“The one where he comes back from the war – the female lead was teaching us in the schoolroom when the carriage arrives, and she sees him for the first time as he has become.”

 

“We’ll have to look out for you next time we watch it,” Rachel said with a smile.

 

 

 

“Thanks for coming with us,” I said as we went into the library, Angela and Gerri following us in as we looked at the Perspex boxes.

 

“No problem – and I think I can guess why you asked us up as well,” Angela said with a smile.

 

“Yeah – Gerri, will you watch what I do with Debbie, and then you and Angela can take care of me and Rachel as well.”

 

“Oh?  What’s new?”

 

“You’ll see,” I said with a grin as Rachel handed Debbie two sponges, and we started to cover her hands.  As the two older girls watched, I crossed Debbie’s sock covered wrists behind her back and lashed them together with the square lash, and then the usual rope vertically and horizontally.

 

“Well, no way she is moving her wrists now,” Gerri said as I passed the rope round her waist, and tied her wrists to her back, then the rope in a figure of eight round her arms and stomach.  As I secured that, I glanced at Angela, but she shook her head slightly from side to side.

 

“Have a seat Debbie,” I said as she walked over to a chair, sitting down with my help and watching as I tied her ankles together, side by side.

 

“Can you tie my legs together over the skirt,” she said as she looked at me, so I nodded and tied them above her knees, gathering the skirt round them as I did so.  She swung her legs to and fro as Gerri whispered to Angela “She seems to be enjoying it.”

 

“And now – the gag.  Same as last night Debbie?”

 

She nodded and smiled as I prepared the two handkerchiefs, rolling one up in the other and then pushing the wad into her mouth.  The knotted towelling strip was next, tied round her head before I took the handkerchief round and secured the ends as well.

 

“Duct tape first,” Gerri said with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Only over the mouth and chin,” I said as I tore off several strips and pressed them into place, covering her lips and chin, before winding the white tape tightly round her head as well, then the duct tape on top of that.  Finally, I took a peach scarf, folded it and tied it tightly round her head.

 

Debbie slowly swung her legs to and fro as I said “so – time for me and Rachel to join her.”  She watched as Gerri took care of me, and Angela of Rachel, until I had a green scarf tied round my head and Rachel a red one.

 

“So, all three tightly bound and gagged,” Gerri said with a smile, “what on earth are they going to do?”

 

“Probably jump around,” Angela said with a smile.  “Want to do that Debbie?”

 

 

 

What on earth did she think I was going to say?  I couldn’t speak after all, let alone move without hopping, but I nodded, eager to see what it was really like.

 

I watched as Patty and Rachel looked at each other, and then stood up, jumping with ease towards the door and around the room.  I stood up, took a moment to catch my breath, took a large jump – and nearly fell onto my face as I landed. 

 

“Easy,” Angela said as she caught me.  “When you’re tied like this, remember you’re breathing using your nose, and any exertion takes more out of you.  So, baby hops, little jumps, all right?”

 

“Fnnnuu,” I mumbled – well, two large cloths and the rest of the gag meant not a lot else was heard.  SO I nodded, and took little inch jumps.  And I mean inch jumps – tiny hops forward, getting used to how it feels to jump around when I am like this.  IT took a while, but eventually I got my confidence, and nodded to both Patty and Rachel.

 

Patty then jumped to the door, Rachel following, and then me as we left the library, Angela and Gerri talking to each other as we jumped up and down the corridor, our skirts rising and falling as we did so.  Mine was more fixed, but it was still an amazing feeling to do this, as I saw Patty and Rachel’s skirts rise and fall.

 

We then came to the bottom of the staircase, and I wondered where we were going to go next.  I thought we might go outside – so when Patty hopped to the stairs, I wondered what she was going to do.

 

I was not expecting what she did – sit down and start to push herself up the stairs!  I was scared she might try and jump up, and hurt herself, but Angela said “watch what they do.”

 

I watched as Patty sat down on the first step, then pushed herself onto the second step and put her feet on the first.  Slowly, she made her way up, Rachel doing the same once she was half way up.

 

“Go on,” Angela said as she reached the sixth step, “your turn.”  I was afraid, but I didn’t want to show it, so I sat on the second step, and put my feet on the first one.

 

“Now, push yourself up to the next step,” Gerri said, as I slowly – and rather ungracefully – used my feet to push up and I slid onto the next step.  “Good – do it again,” she said, and slowly, with a little more grace as I moved on, I managed to push myself up the stairs.  At the top, I saw Patty and Rachel still sitting, but they had moved from the top of the stairs to the wall, and had started to push themselves up.

 

“Just slide along on your bottom,” Angela said, so I used my feet to push myself along, and rested with my back against the wall.  Given my skirt was tied round my legs, I had discovered I had a little less freedom than the other girls, but I still managed to half push, half slide myself into a standing position.

 

“If you are ready,” Angela said as I caught my breath, and then we started to hop along the upper corridor, passing our bedrooms as we did so, before Patty stopped by an open door and hopped through.  Rachel went next, then me – and we found ourselves on the balcony, looking out onto the lawn below.

 

It was surreal, standing in the cold air, looking out onto the lawn and the trees.  The leaves were virtually all brown and gold, with only one or two green ones left, and on the far side I could see the lake and the island, the white marble gleaming in the sunlight.

 

We were on one side, near the wall, with the chest high railing on the other side, but I was glad we kept to the wall side as Patty led the way along.  It was cold, I could feel the cool air on my face, but being gagged so effectively meant it was like having a warm woollen scarf tied tightly round my face, keeping the chill out.  Also, my hands were covered, and I was wearing sheer tights, so really the only bare skin exposed to the air was around my upper face – and that was warm from the hopping.  In fact, the cool breeze was very nice – this jumping around was good exercise, but it was making me warm, especially as with my skirt tied round my legs the air was not getting up there.

 

Eventually, however, we went back inside and made our way back to the top of the stairs – which is when I thought Patty was going to try and jump down again! 

 

I was relieved she didn’t do that, but instead sat down, putting her feet on the second step down and then gracefully sliding down.  She repeated that process as she made her way down the stairs, Rachel sitting and following her.

 

“Don’t worry,” Gerri said as she stood with me – Angela had gone down already – “I’ll make sure you get down safely.  Remember what the other two did first?”

 

Nodding I let myself sit at the top of the stairs, and put my feet down on the second step.  Taking as deep a breath as I could, I stood up, and lowered myself onto the first step, before moving my feet down one more step.

 

Well, this wasn’t too bad – I pushed myself onto my feet again, a d sat on the second step, then put my feet down again.  Looking at Gerri, she smiled and said “not bad – but can I make one tiny suggestion?”

 

Nodding, I listened as she said “if you go down that way, you might make it in time for lunch.  Honestly, Debbie, sliding down on your bottom is quicker and just as safe – if not safer.”

 

Well, she knew what she was talking about, so I slid down one step, then moved my feet.  Down one step, then moved my feet.  Down one step…

 

It still took me longer than the other two, but eventually I made it to the bottom of the stairs, pushing myself to my feet as I looked at the other two.  Gerri smiled as she said “Well done – but where did Angela go?”

 

Debbie’s question was actually a very good one, as Rachel and I looked round – where had Angela gone?

 

“Ah good – all three of you are down,” she said as she came out of what I knew was the television room, “in here please, I have a little treat for you.”

 

So I led the way into the room, smiling as I saw three large cushions had been set up in front of the television screen.  “Why don’t you three have a seat on one of the cushions,” Angela said with a smile, “legs to the side and we’ll show you how to sit without getting uncomfortable.”

 

“Wsshsss,” I said to Debbie as I hopped over to one of the cushions and sat myself down, Rachel and Debbie doing the same. 

 

“We’re going to ask you to sit with your knees bent,” Angela said, “so that you don’t fall backwards.”  I watched as they helped us to bend our legs back so that the heels of our shoes almost touched our bottoms.

 

Angela then went and put a disc into the player, and smiled as she turned the television on.  As she did this, Gerri knelt behind me, and as I glanced round I saw she was tying my ankles to my wrists with a length of rope.

 

She winked at me as she did the same to Rachel, but they were watching the big screen as the film started – and it was The Awakening!  Debbie didn’t even notice as she was placed in a sitting hogtie, but Angela was right – this was comfortable, so I settled down to watch the film with my friends.

 

 

 

As the film started, I settled down – I was comfortable, and truth to tell I do like watching things I am not the star of.  It means I can see if I tried to steal the scene, and if so how to avoid it in the future.  It was actually a fun way to spend the week, especially as I was slipped in and out quietly.  Only Alan and Gerri knew who I was – to all the others, I was one of the local girls.

 

As we watched, Angela pointed out herself and Alicia, and I realised I had talked to both of them – but if Angela had not recognised me, then no way would her sister have done so.  They were nice girls, though, not stuck up or anything.  And it was fun doing the scenes with them.

 

I wanted to stretch my legs out, however – but when I tried to move them, I realised I couldn’t.  Looking round, I saw that an extra rope had been added to Patty and Rachel, from their wrists to their ankles – and given I was tied the same way as them, I figured Gerri must have done it while we were watching the film.  I tried to say something – but then remembered how difficult that was, so I filed that away for later.

 

“You know,” Angela said as she looked at me, “I remember now – you had longer hair, and were dressed like all the other kids.  I totally missed who you were – and I am sorry.  Perhaps I should hand back my fan club membership card now.”

 

“You have a fan club,” Gerri said as she looked at me, but I laughed and shook my head from side to side…

 

“Ah – here we are,” Gerri then said as the scene in the schoolroom started, the lead actress talking to a group of girls that included Gerri and Alicia.  Patty and Rachel stared at the screen, and then at me as I shrugged my shoulders.

 

As the credits ran, Angela looked at me and said “I suspect you’re wondering about why you can’t move your legs, Debbie?”  I nodded as she said “it’s a form of something called a hogtie.  Gerri, would you show her how it works?”

 

I watched as Gerri put a pillow on the floor, and then lay me on my stomach so that my head rested on it.  She then pulled my ankles back as I felt something tighten, but I had no idea what it was – until she let go of my ankles, and I tried to move them – only to feel my ankles brushing against my covered wrists.

 

I moved my head to the left as Angela pulled Patty’s ankles back, and tightened the rope from her wrists to her ankles so that they rested there.  Turning my head to the right, I saw Gerri do the same the Rachel, and then they stood back.

 

As we lay there, I took a moment to consider my position, as it were.  Tightly tied, unable to do more than move my head, and gagged.  Oh lord was I gagged, as I counted it off in my head.  The first handkerchief wrapped in the second one…  The knotted towelling strip… the strips of silver tape covering my mouth and chin…  The white tape pressing on my cheeks…  The band of silver tape pressing on that…  And finally the folded scarf over all that.

 

So, six…  No, be honest, seven gags.  No wonder I could hardy speak – the hankies on their own filled my whole mouth, and I was glad the ends were tied to the towelling strip know as well.  I had tried to push it out with my tongue, as well as the knot in the towelling, but nothing was budging, even if I could get the tape off my lips and cheeks.  The silver tape stuck more than the white tape, but I could see the method – use the tape to keep the cleave gags in, then the white tape on top because it would keep that there, and it did not harm the hair.  The silver tape just added to that, and the folded scarf made it look so much better.  If it was just silver, it just would not have looked right.

 

 

That was what was keeping me quiet – but then there were my hands, my fingers sunk into the sponges, then covered in tape, then the socks, and finally more tape to keep the socks in place.  My hands really were useless – before any ropes were tied on my body.

 

Then the ropes – the square hitch and the other layer holding my wrists together, before the other ropes.  So that was six things stopping and securing my hands before I even started.  And all to make sure I could not untie them, or someone else.  At least they had also tied the rope round my waist – I could relax knowing my wrists were held in place, somewhere that was comfortable.  Yes, my wrists were secured to my back, but it was good, comfortable – and fun.

 

Then there was the rope round my arms, and my stomach, locking them in place as well.  I tried to move my arms and wrists, but if I could move them an inch in any direction, that was a miracle.

 

But it meant I could do something, as I tried to escape as I had so many times in films or on television.  I struggled as much as I could, and if this was a set that usually meant I could escape – but there was no way I could get free from these ropes, not the way I was.  I even tried to move my feet, but the hogtie meant they were all locked in place, and I was stuck.

 

And it was AMAZING!!!  I wanted to stay this way forever, totally secured, totally free to enjoy myself.  Looking at Rachel and Patty, I could see they looked the same, and were just as happy, unable to move…

 

Which, if I had learnt anything that weekend, should have been the cue for them to surprise me – but I had something else on my mind.  I had experienced every rope they had – all except two.  The chest ropes I had seen tied on Patty when I visited her house.  That had seemed to make it impossible for Patty to move, as they lay below and above her chest. 

 

I remember Patty could not move an inch then – and I wanted to know why.  I wanted to know SO BADLY IT HURT!!

 

I figured they did not do it because it was not needed – and in a sense they were right.  But I wanted to know what it felt like – and before I left tomorrow night, I was going to find out.  I wanted to be fully part of this!

 

As I looked over, I saw Patty and Rachel looking at each other, before they managed to move and inch themselves forward while tied as tightly as she was.  How on earth were they managing to do that?  There could only be one reason – they didn’t have the chest ropes, so they were able to move.  Now I KNEW I had to experience total immobilisation!

 

For the moment, however, I watched as they inched their way forwards, forwards…

 

 

“Having fun?”

 

I turned my head to see Angela kneeling beside me, as she removed the rope holding my ankles to my hands, before she helped me to sit on the couch.  She soon had my arms and wrists free, as I brought my arms round.  She then removed the tape from the sock over my right arm, pulled the sock off and unwrapped the tape, allowing me to drop the sponge on the floor as I flexed my fingers.

 

“Right – I’ll leave you to get yourself and the others free,” she said as she left the room, and I looked at the other two.  “Lunch is going to be ready soon.”  I first thought of getting the gag off me, but as Patty and Rachel looked at me I tried to find the knot on the over scarf with my free hand, and failed.  So I pulled the tape off above my left elbow, and eased the sock from my arm, before I started to unwind the silver tap over my left hand.  Once I had that off, I dropped the other sponge and flexed both hands, before I stood up and jumped over to where Patty was, dropping to my knees beside her.

 

I looked for a few minutes at the short rope, which I now saw went from her ankles to the chest ropes.  It took me a few minutes to find the knot, and a little while longer to figure out how to undo it, but eventually I heard Patty sigh as her feet fell to the floor.

 

I helped her to sit up and then looked at the rope round her arms and stomach.  That proved to be easier to find and undo, as I coiled the rope after removing it.  Next was the rope holding her wrists to her back as it went around her waist.  That was trickier, as the knot lay between her wrists and her back, but eventually I managed to find, untie and unravel that.

 

As for the ropes around her wrists…  The knots were in top of her wrists, so even if our hands were uncovered it would have needed one of us to undo them.  But with her hands free, I could move them enough to untie and remove both sets of ropes, allowing Patty to bring her arms round.

 

Once I had uncovered her right hand, I knew Patty could free herself, so I sat next to her and untied the rope around my legs, and then my ankles.  As Patty freed her other hand, and knelt next to Rachel, I decided to deal with the other matter in hand.

 

Standing up, I reached behind my head and managed to untie the peach scarf, and then found the end of the silver tape as I started to unwind it.  I was so glad it was over the white tape – it was so sticky, it would really have damaged my hair.  Once I had it balled up and put it to the side, I then started to unravel the white tape, letting my hair fall loose as I put that next to the silver ball.  Feeling on my cheeks, I found the edges of the silver strips and slowly peeled them away, revealing the cleave gags.

 

Reaching round, I untied the first knot on top of the towelling strip, and then that one, before I eased the knot out of my mouth – and finally the cloths, looking at how grey and damp they both were.  Working my mouth, I looked at the other two as they stood up and removed their own gags, with only one thing I could say.

 

“Wow…  Just wow…”

 

It sounded so loud, so clear, as I continued “how did I manage to keep all that in there?”

 

“You did, and that is the main thing,” I said as we both walked over and hugged Debbie, just as the lunch gong sounded.  “Let’s go and wash up, and then get something to eat.”

 

As we walked into the dining room, Lady Holderness looked at all three of us, and said “I think you may need to change after lunch girls – it looks as if you have been enjoying yourselves this morning.”

 

We looked down at our rumpled skirts, and I said “sorry, your Ladyship.”

 

“Well, they will clean,” she said with a smile, “come, sit down and eat, you must all be hungry.”

 

“We are, your Ladyship,” Debbie said with a grin as we all sat down and started to eat.

 

As we tucked into the meal, Lord Holderness said “we have a small announcement to make.  After the success of the Awakening, Red Ribbon is going to be proud to act as the supporters for Alan’s next movie.”

 

“That’s wonderful,” Gerri said, “so what’s the title?  What’s it going to be about?”

 

“To be revealed,” Alan said, “but I want to thank Lord and Lady Holderness for their support.  I will say we will be filming in the summer next year, after your exams Angela, so if you and Alicia want to be extras?”

 

“I’ll check,” Angela said with a smile, “but thank you.”

 

“I may even have openings for a couple of teenage girl extras.”  He looked at me and Rachel as he said “if you are interested?”

 

“How about a local girl,” Debbie said with a smile.

 

“Oh you never know – there may be a bigger part,” Alan said as she smiled. 

 

“Sounds fun – does it mean I can get tied up as well on screen?”

 

We all looked at each other and burst out laughing, as Debbie blushed.

 

Eventually, Angela said “well, you had all better go back to your rooms and change – you will find clean outfits there, and if you leave the others on the bed we’ll get them sorted.

 

We looked at each other, and then walked out of the dining room, up the stairs, and into our rooms…

 

When I walked into my room, I saw a very different outfit from that morning laid out.  It was a light pink cardigan and top, white socks and what looked like black and white bowling shoes, but it was the skirt that was different.  It was very long, blue in colour, with a pink flamingo printed on the front.  I’d seen this type of skirt in old movie stills – a poodle skirt, if I remembered rightly.  I soon had my shoes and the dress off, and put on the clothes, using the wide brown leather belt around my waist as well.

 

Looking at myself in the mirror, I smiled as the skirt fell over my knees, going almost to my feet as the pleats flowed down – so my knees were still covered.  But I had a dilemma – the socks.

 

But then I thought “what the heck” and put the socks on over my tights, before putting on my shoes.  Looking at myself in the mirror, I smiled and then went out to find Patty and Rachel waiting in the corridor.  They were both wearing similar outfits – Patty in a long red skirt with a pair of dice on the side, and a peach coloured top, while Rachel had on a red jumper and a grey skirt with a black circle and “5 ‘s” on each side, then “Rock N Roll” on the circle.  She had a red belt round her waist, Patty a black one.

 

“So,” Rachel said, “what do you want to do this afternoon?”

 

“Honestly – I want to be tied up all afternoon,” I said with a smile.

 

“Fair enough,” Patty said as we walked to the playroom, “but I think we need to see how much you have learned.”

 

“Oh – how?”

 

“You get to tie Rachel up,” she said as we walked in.  I stared at both of them, before I whispered “can I?”

 

“Sure,” Rachel said with a smile, “so, what do you want to do first?”

 

Well, in my excitement I grabbed the rope first, but then I remembered.  “Nope – I need to cover your hands first, right?”  Patty nodded as I looked for two sponges, and handed them to Rachel, waiting as she made the fists before I took the duct tape and wrapped them round her hands.

 

I then found a pair of sports socks, and pushed her sleeves up so that I could pull the socks over her hands, up her arms, and then tape them to her skin with the white tape.  Looking at her sleeves, however, I then pulled them down over the socks and taped the cuffs to her covered wrists.

 

“Very clever,” Patty said, “I’ll need to remember that one.  Now tie her wrists together – the Square lash, then the usual binding.”  I nodded as I arranged Rachel’s wrists at right angles, and then took the first length of rope.

 

Well, I did my best with the square lash, but it probably wasn’t as tight or neat as when Patty did it to me.  Still, I made three passes round, cinched it and tied it off, and then added the second wrist binding.

 

“Okay,” I said quietly, “now I fix your arms to your body.”  Patty and Rachel both nodded as I used one long length of rope to tie her wrists to her back, passing it round her waist and then between her wrists and her back, and tied the off.  Next was the rope around her arms and stomach, in the double figure of eight.

 

As I tied that off, I wondered again about those extra ropes, but I had no idea how they were tied, so I said “time to start keeping you quiet Rachel.”

 

“Gotcha,” she said as I found two clean hankies, balling one up and placing it in the centre of the other, before rolling that into a band.  I asked her to open her mouth as wide as she could, waiting as she did so before I eased the wad behind her teeth, and left the ends hanging in front of her mouth.

 

“That’s it,” Patty said as I got it all in, “now for the next part.”

 

Nodding, I took a strip of towelling and tied a knot in the middle, then pushed that into her mouth as well, before tying it tightly round her neck.  I felt strange as I then tied the handkerchief round her head, the knot on top of the first one.

 

“Uhhlrht,” Rachel said as she looked at me.  “Yeah – just a very different feeling doing it to someone else,” I said as I looked at her, trying to remember what was next.  She smiled and looked at me, and when I said “oh yeah – duct tape” she smiled and nodded.

 

So I took the roll of silver tape and tore strip after strip off, pressing it down until her face from her nose to the tip of her chin was silver. 

 

“Now for the wrapping,” I said as I took the white tape, and wound it tightly round her head, covering the cloth and the silver tape as Rachel got quieter and quieter.  I then tore the tape free and pressed it down, before taking the silver tape and wrapping that round as tightly as possible, keeping Rachel’s head steady with one hand as I did so.

 

For the finishing touch, I found a grey scarf, folded that into a band and tied it tightly round her head, covering everything.  This really was fun – almost as much fun as someone tying me up and gagging me…

 

“Are you finished,” Patty said as she looked at me, and I looked at Rachel, kicking her feet to and fro…

 

“D’OH!”  I found some more rope and tied her ankles tightly together, taking the rope around and between her sock covered ankles, before tying it off.  Looking up at her, I said “do you want your legs tied together under the skirt?”

 

Rachel nodded, so I folded her skirt back and secured her legs below her knees.  As I took the rope between her legs, I suddenly realised I may end up tied this way as well – but it was too late now…

 

As I folded the skirt back, Patty smiled and clapped as she said “well done – ready for your turn?”

 

“Oh yes,” Debbie said as I picked up two sponges, Rachel mumbling and swinging her legs to and fro, her skirt moving with her.  As I started to tape over her hands, Debbie said “I can’t believe you thought of all these ideas.  Where did they come from?”

 

“Well, they developed over time I suppose.  At first, it was just the ropes round our wrists and ankles, and our stomach and waist, while the gag was just strips of tape, sometimes with something in our mouths.  It was Uncle John who first taught me the double figure of eight…”

 

“And the gag?  Where did that come from?”

 

“Well, it was Jay Edwards, when he kidnapped all of us and took us to Wissenden Hall, who first wrapped the tape round our heads,” I said, Rachel nodding in agreement.  “He used duct tape at first, with a scarf tied over our hair, but he also used the special tape – the white one – which doesn’t need that.  IT was some boys we know, when they invaded a sleepover with other friends, who used both at the same time.”

 

“And the hand,” she asked as I pulled the sleeves of her cardigan down and taped them to the socks.

 

“That was a way to stop us using our fingers.  At first, just the socks, but then Granny Miranda showed us we could rip the socks.”  Debbie sat down as I crossed her wrists behind her back, and started to bind them together.  “So we taped out fingers together for a while.  Believe it or not, it was Angela who showed us how to hold sponges and then cover our fists in tape, then cover them with socks.”

 

“And the cloth over the tape?”

 

“A big summer party we all came to,” I said as I tied the second rope around her wrists, and then wound the rope around her wrists and waist.  “Anyway, we call it the full works, and over time we’ve perfected it.”

 

“But the extra wrist binding?”

 

“Oh yeah – that’s new.  Maybe I should call this the full full works,” I said as I tied the rope around her arms and stomach, and then went to fetch two hankies.  “Anyway, you have had the full works, and now you are fully inducted.”

 

“No I haven’t.”

 

I turned from where I was preparing the first stage of the gag, and said “What do you mean?”

 

“When we were at your house,” Debbie said as she twisted round, “there were two more bands of rope around your arms and chest, and they made sure you really could not move.  I can move – a little – and I want to be unable to.”

 

I glanced at Rachel, who also looked surprised, before I said “are you absolutely sure you want them?”

 

“YES,” Debbie said as she looked at me, “until I have them, I do not have the full works, do I?”

 

“Well, all right,” I said as I put the handkerchiefs down, “If you want the extra ropes, you shall have the extra ropes.”  I took another length of rope, and tied it around her arms below her chest – then one above…

 

As she tied the extra ropes round me, I felt them pressing on my chest, and now knew I really was getting everything.  It was almost as if they wanted to keep the extra ropes, and how they kept them from moving, a secret – but so far, it just seemed – nice.

 

I glanced over as Patty found a shorter length of rope, and passed it round between my left arm and body, tightening…  Oh.  Tightening the ropes so they pressed more firmly on that side.

 

“Are you sure we want me to carry on,” she said as she took a second shorter length of rope.  I nodded and said “Yes” – and then let out a little gasp as the rope tightened on the other side.

 

The band had felt nice before, but now I could see my breasts were essentially framed by the ropes, and they were rubbing on them.  It felt different from what I was expecting, and I tried to shake them off – and then realised I was tied up.  It was annoying, and I for the life of me could not figure out why they would want them – although I knew now why they could not move.

 

Patty picked up the first part of the gag, and said “do you want me to remove the extra ropes?”  I wasn’t sure I wanted to feel this way, so I opened my mouth to say remove them…

 

“No – carry on.”

 

I was shocked to hear myself say that, but as Patty walked over I knew I needed to speak quickly, to ask her to take them off, to…  Bu tit was too late, as I opened my mouth and the wad filled my mouth again!  “Tkkthtmmff” I mumbled, but Patty didn’t understand me, as she finished the second part of the cleave gag ad tied the ends off.

 

 

“So, shall I remove the ropes now?”  “Nod, nod,” I thought to myself as they ribbed more on mw – and then I shook my head from side to side!  “So you want them to stay on?”  This time, I thought “shake your head, shake your head…” and nodded!

 

What on earth was going on?  How could I get this feeling to stop if I cannot tell Patty to remove them?  As she covered my mouth with the duct tape, I tried to say something, but it only came out as a low mumble…

 

“Sorry – can’t understand you,” she said as she applied the two layers of tape, and then tied a folded blue cloth round my head to complete the gag.  “You’d better tell me later when you can talk.”

 

Patty then stood in front of me and said “Is your nose itchy?”  I shook my head from side to side, and then she asked “well, do you need to go to the toilet?”  Once more I shook my head, before she said “so do you want me to take the extra ropes off?”

 

 

This time I wanted to nod – and instead I shook my head again, as the ropes rubbed even more on me, and I felt so, so strange…

 

“Well, you’d better take a seat,” she said as she walked me over to a stool next to Rachel, sitting down and tying my ankles tightly together side by side as I tried to get comfortable.  She then looked up at me and said “do you want your legs tied together under your skirt as well?”

 

I nodded, Patty folding the skirt back and saying “are you wearing tights?”  I nodded as she tied my legs together, the rope rubbing on the tights, and then folded the skirt back down again.

 

I squirmed round, the ropes rubbing even more as Patty looked at Rachel, and her friend nodded, Patty tying the extra ropes round her chest as well.  I watched as she seemed to sigh and shake a little when the ropes were tightened, and then look over at me.

 

“Now, you both stay there,” Patty said as she left the room, and I tried to decide what to do next…

 

Those ropes were really starting to get on my nerves as I turned round, feeling them rubbing on me as I did so.  I even tried to do what I logically knew I could not do – loosen the ropes by twisting myself round, but that made the rub more.  I even stood up, trying to find some way to get some sort of relief, but it was next to impossible!  All it did was make the ropes rub more…

 

Frustrated, I sat down and stayed still.  Now I knew, I understood why Patty and Rachel did not move, if that was what happened.  I could swing my legs to and fro, move my head slightly, but if I did any more than that.

 

“Debbie?  Did you ask the girls to use those ropes?”

 

“Of course she asked us to tie them,” I said as I came in with Angela and Gerri, Debbie turning her head as Rachel looked at us as well.  I wanted them to do something for me, but what was the first thing Angela did when we came back into the room?

 

Debbie nodded – very slowly – and I realised what was bothering her.  I think Angela did as well, as she said “do you want me to take those extra ropes off?”

 

I could see the indecision in her eyes, and then I heard her say “Yssssplss” – and then shake her head from side to side.  Oh, that took her by surprise, as she started to squirm round again.

 

“Can you do the same to me please – exactly the same,” I said, as Debbie looked at me, struggling to figure out what was going on.  Well, if I understood it fully, I would explain it to her, but I don’t.

 

“All right then,” Angela said as she stated to wrap my hands, Rachel and Debbie looking at each other with raised eyebrows. 

 

Angela stated to bind my upper body, as Gerri stood in front of me with the hankies in a band.  “Open wide,” she said, and before very much longer I was as securely bound and gagged as the other two, Gerri kneeling down and securing my legs as Angela tied the extra chest ropes on me.

 

As the bands rubbed on me, the familiar giddy and irritating feelings came over me, as I watched Gerri fold the skirt back down and the two older girls stood at the side of the room.  I looked at the other two, and then stood up, before I started to jump round the room again.

 

Had Patty completely lost her senses?  As Rachel stood up and started jumping, I felt like I had no choice however – so I stood up and started to jump round again, feeling that flaming irritation again…

 

“Debbie?”

 

I stopped and looked at Angela, who was quietly laughing as she shook her head.  “Do you want me to explain what’s going on?”

 

Oh how I would love that – so I nodded my head up and down.

 

“I don’t know,” she said with a grin, “to be honest, it’s easier if you just go with the flow…”

 

Now that was not what I wanted or needed to hear!  Every time I jumped, the irritating feeling just got stronger and stronger, as if it was an itch that just would not go away, no matter how much I wanted to scratch it.  It was even worse than when I had Chicken Pox!

 

But as they hopped out of the room, I just had to follow them, and try to think of something to distract the way I felt with them.  When I looked in their eyes, I could see they felt the same way, and yet they kept going…

 

I noticed the way my skirt was jumping up and down with my short hops, and kept my knees covered – and I realised I’d never really thanked Alan for making use when he was directing, the costume department had me wearing dresses or longer skirts.  And this skirt was great for this sort of thing – I had to admit, my legs were getting hot this morning, and at least with this skirt not only were my knees staying covered, but they were staying cool as well…

 

Eventually, we hopped towards the television room, and by the time I caught up Patty and Rachel were already sitting on the cushions.  I literally collapsed into one, as Angela said “I think you both need the rest.”  She opened the television up, turned it on, put a disc into the player – and suddenly the theme song for Debbie Does It All played!

 

It figured – if Angela was a big fan, she would have the collection, as we settled down to watch the earliest shows.  I didn’t even notice as Angela and Gerri left the room, as I watched the younger me and remembered the times shooting those shows…

 

 

 

 

“I think you’ve had enough for now,” Angela said as she came back in, and ungagged Rachel.  Once she was able to speak, she said “thanks – can you leave the knee ropes on for the moment though?”

 

As she nodded, I patiently waited my turn, trying desperately not to move and make it even worse for me.  As it was, she untied me last, but I’m sure they all heard my sigh when those ropes were removed.  Eventually, I was able to speak again, and I was determined to say something about what had happened…

 

Except that, when I tried to speak, nothing came out.  I just stared at both of them, before Patty said “let’s go for a walk outside.”

 

“With…  With our knees tied?”

 

“Why not,” Rachel said with a grin as they walked off, and I followed – slowly, and almost tripping over a few times.  Not because the circulation had not returned to my legs – it had – but because it took me a while to figure out that with my knees tied, I could only take short steps, and that was still new to me.

 

Fortunately, they waited as I caught them up, and then we went out onto the lawn, walking down towards the trees as the sun was slowly setting.

 

“So how come you’ve got both tights AND socks on,” Patty said as we approached the path through the woods, “I mean, I understand tights OR socks, but both?”

 

I blushed and said “well, I already had the tights on, but the socks were part of the outfit, so…”

 

“So like a true professional, you wore both,” Rachel said with a smile.  “We often do this, you know?”

 

“Do what?”

 

“Our friends and us – go out into town wearing long skirts, with our knees tied.  Nobody ever notices…”

 

“You must have practised a lot,” I said as I stumbled along with them.”

 

“It’s like the jumping with your legs tied,” Patty said, “practice makes perfect.”

 

I nodded as I looked again at the red and yellow leaves on the trees, the sunlight really shining through as it began to get a little darker.  There was something so peaceful about all this…

 

And I had to admit, as we walked along the paths, it did get easier.  Certainly, by the time we had started to walk back up the lawn in the rapidly dimming light, I was walking almost as well as the other two, and wondering how this could be worked into a script as well.

 

“There you are,” Mrs Bridges said as we walked back into the kitchen.  “Dinner will be ready in an hour or so, so you had better get yourselves ready.”

 

“Thank you Mrs Bridges,” we said as we walked back into the library, then sat down and lifted the skirts so that we could untie and remove the last rope.  As I stretched my legs out, I said “You know there is one wonderful thing about these skirts?”

 

“Only one,” Rachel said with a grin.

 

“Well, one special thing – I can run around, do jumps, even star jumps, and my knees won’t show at all.”  Standing up, I started to do a number of jumps and star jumps, the other two nodding and laughing as they watched.

 

“This has got to be the longest skirt you’ve ever worn,” I said as I flopped into a seat eventually.

 

“Nope.”

 

I looked at Patty, as she said “have you ever worn a Victorian dress?  Long skirts covering everything, and so large you need to wear a cage to keep it in shape.

 

“A cage?”

 

“Well, it has another name,” Rachel said, “but you wear it round your waist with the corset, and lots of petticoats…”

 

“Oh yeah – fair point.  I did wear something like that in The Awakening, you’re right.  But you can’t be tied up in that…”  Then I remembered what they had said earlier about their trip to Markson Manor, and I just looked at both of them.

 

“There’s the dinner gong,” Patty said as we all heard it, “come on – I’m starving.”

 

 

 

“Well, I hope you’ve had an interesting afternoon in those clothes,” Lady Holderness said as we were eating.  “I used to wear Poodle skirts a lot when I was your age, and it wasn’t school or a formal affair.”

 

“I do like wearing it,” I said with a smile as the others nodded in agreement.  “It feels as if I’m living in another era.”

 

“It wasn’t that long ago,” Lord Holderness said with a smile, “but I know what you mean.  Mrs Bridges, you have outdone yourself again,” he said as the housekeeper took our plates.

 

“We were talking about dressing up earlier,” Rachel said, “and how much we liked wearing the Victorian dresses.”

 

“Did you now,” Gerri said with a smile as she wiped her mouth, “well then, I have a little surprise for you.”

 

We all looked at her as she said “I’m afraid I made more outfits, and I’ve run out of storage space for them again.  So when I heard Alan was coming here, and I had a chance to meet Angela, I decided to bring some of the costumes with me to add to the collections you girls already have.”

 

I saw Patty and Rachel look at each other, before Gerri said “I was going to give them to Angela to pass round, but seeing as you both are here, I can give you the dresses tomorrow.”

 

“Complete with corsets and everything?”

 

“Even with the shoes,” Gerri said as she then looked at me.  “I also have a spare dress, which I was going to let Angela decide about – but as you’re here Gerri, would you like it?  It should fit you.”

 

I simple smiled and said “thank you,” but inside my heart was racing.

 

“So what plans do you girls have for tomorrow?”

 

“Well, my parents are picking me up tomorrow night, right,” I said with a smile.

 

“True – but it is the thirty-first, after all…”

 

Oh lord, it was – it was Hallowe’en!  I could see both Patty and Rachel had forgotten as well, as Patty said “but we don’t have a…”  She then looked at Gerri, before she said “we do have costumes for tomorrow.  We have your present, Gerri!”

 

“Are you suggesting you wear the dresses tomorrow?”

 

“Why not – if that is all right with both of you?”

 

I nodded, Rachel nodded – the deal was settled.

 

 

 

After dinner was finished, we watched a few more episodes, and then Angela brought us some milk and cookies.

 

“Patty,” I said as Angela was in the room, “what’s it like to sleep tied up?”

 

“Fun – why, want to give it a go?”

 

I nodded, and then said “but how uncomfortable does it get, trying to sleep with your hands behind your back, and all that rope…”

 

“I don’t think we should do that tonight,” Rachel said, “let’s make it simple, agreed?”

 

“All right then,” I said as Debbie nodded, “we’ll finish this, get ready for bed, and then I’ll make sure Debbie is secured.”

 

“I’ll take care of Rachel, then you,” Angela said, all three of us nodding as we started to make our way up that stairs.  I went to my bedroom, and changed into a light blue nightdress, before I headed to the bathroom.  Coming out, I saw Debbie waiting, wearing a pair of grey pyjamas.

 

“I’ll wait in your room,” I said as she went in, and I headed to the playroom to collect some things.  I then went to her room and waited until Debbie came back in.

 

“So how do we do this,” she asked as she closed the door.

 

“Lie on your back, and cross your wrists in front of yourself,” I said, and when she had done that I tied her wrists together, in the simple way, with the rope around and between her wrists as well as over the cuffs of her pyjama top.  I then tied her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees, and finally used a final length to tie her wrists to the leg binding.

 

“Well, I see what you mean – not too uncomfortable, and I’m going nowhere,” Debbie said as she wriggled round.  I picked up the white medical tape, and tore off a strip, before saying “this is all the gag for tonight – so you’ll just have to pretend you can’t talk.”

 

I smiled as Debbie stuck her tongue out, and then pressed the tape firmly over her mouth, before I pulled the duvet over her.

 

“Mgnnsslppwll,” she mumbled, as I turned the light off and headed to my room.  “Debbie settled,” Angela said as I came in.  I nodded and lay down, crossing my own wrists as I waited for my own ropes…

 

 

 

 

It was the alarm on my mobile phone that woke me up, and as I looked round I could see it was still dark outside.  I couldn’t hear anyone else moving round, so I decided to see if I could put the lessons of the previous day to good use.

 

I started by moving my jaw around, and also opening my mouth as much as I could to use my tongue – and before I knew it, the tape was coming away from my mouth.  I then sat up, and bent my legs so that I could use my teeth to pick at the knot for the rope holding my wrists together…

 

“Good morning,” Patty said as she and Rachel came into the room, “ready for…”  She stopped and smiled as she saw me untying my ankles, and said “Great – I can see you’re ready to begin.  Go and have a shower, and then you can get ready.”

 

I nodded as I put the ropes to the side, grabbed my washbag, and made my way to the bathroom.  Yes, I was excited at the idea of spending the day in the costume, as well as a bit apprehensive about how it would feel…

 

When I came back to my room, the first thing I saw was the large circle on the floor, with a smaller hole in the middle, the rings of metal linked by cloth straps.  I then looked on the bed and saw my outfit – a gorgeous red jacket and long skirt, with a white blouse, and a black band to go round my waist.  There was also all the necessary undergarments – I recognised them from The Awakening – a pair of black ankle boots that laced up, and a red cap with two black lace ribbons.

 

“Okay then – let’s get the first part on,” I said to myself as I took off my dressing gown, and slipped on the white stockings, as well as the short sleeved chemise.  I then looked round, wondering when someone was going to help me.

 

And waited.

 

And waited.

 

“How are you getting on?”

 

I turned to see Rachel coming in, and wondered how she had managed to put on her clothes!  She was wearing a light blue jacket and skirt with white polka dots, but under the wide sleeves I could see she was also wearing a white blouse, the collar over the top of her dress and a row of pearl buttons down the front.  She was adjusting a pair of white gloves, and had a brown hat on her head.

 

“How did…  It’s impossible to get dressed in these outfits without help,” I said as I looked at her.

 

“Who told you that?”

 

“Well, when I’ve worn them before, two people had to help me…”

 

“Nah,” Rachel said with a smile, “you just need to be shown how.”

 

“Shown what?”

 

Patty appeared in the doorway, drying her hair as she looked at us.

 

“Debbie thought you needed help to put these outfits on.”

 

“Oh?  Give me a minute,” Patty said as she went off, and then returned wearing a chemise and stockings.  “Come on,” she said as she took my hand, “let me show you how you do it.”  She led me to her room, Rachel following, as I saw the garments on the floor and bed.

 

“Okay – let’s begin,” she said as she took a pair of crotchless drawers, and pulled them on.  And yes, I did know why they had to be that way – I worked on the film, after all…

 

She then sat down and put on a pair of white leather ankle boots, making sure they were tightly laced up, before she picked up the corset and wrapped it around herself, fastening it at the front as I noticed it was loosely laced at the back.

 

“Okay then,” Patty said with a smile, as she reached behind her back and began to tighten the cords, her stomach been pulled in as she did so.  She was standing in front of the full length mirror on the wardrobe door, so she looked over her shoulder from time to time, and instead of fastening the ties at the back she brought them round and tied them in front, but by the time she was finished it was secured in place.

 

“Very impressive,” I said as she then picked up the cage, and stood in the middle, lifting it up as the hoops fell down and securing that round her waist as well.  Picking up a plain white petticoat, she pulled it over her head and let it cover the cage, and then put a second white lace one over that.

 

She then picked up a long sleeved white blouse, and put it on, fastening the buttons on the front as I saw how well it fitted.  Next was the long purple skirt, which she took over her head and allowed to drop over the petticoats until she fastened it at the waist, then adjusted so that it completely covered the skirts underneath.

 

She then put on the matching jacket, the sleeves flowing out to show the blouse underneath, and fastened that at the front, before she put on the bonnet and tied the ribbons under her chin, and then the gloves.

 

“Wow.”  That was all I could say as she smiled and curtseyed.  I was totally bowled over!

 

“Okay – let’s go and get you sorted out,” Rachel said as we went back to my room, and I pulled on the crotchless drawers, then put my own shoes on, before Patty helped me with the corset.  As she tightened it, I remembered the shock the first time I had to wear it on the set – and at least I was prepared, breathing through my chest as my stomach was pulled in.

 

We moved on fairly quickly from there – the cage, the petticoats, and the blouse and skirt, before they helped me to fasten the diamond shaped belt round my very much smaller waist.  Once I had the bodice fastened at the top, and my bonnet and gloves on, we started to make our way downstairs.

 

It wasn’t a problem for me to walk like this – but as we walked along the corridor, I asked Rachel “so are you wearing a two piece dress as well?”

 

“Yup – with a blouse underneath,” she said as we all lifted our skirts – demurely, of course – and walked carefully down the stairs, pausing for a moment to adjust everything at the bottom before we made our way into the dining room.

 

“Well, good morning ladies,” Angela said as she looked over, “and may I say you all look especially regal this morning?”

 

“Thank you,” I said with a smile as Allan stood up and pulled our chairs back, waiting as we sat in the correct manner before pushing them back in, and we removed our hats.  Gerri shook her head before she said “I see you are really entering into the spirit of the day…”

 

“Thank you,” I said with a smile, “so you are not joining in?”

 

“Afraid not – I need to take care of a few things in town,” Angela said, “but it is dry outside, and the sun is shining, so I am sure you will have fun nonetheless.”

 

She was right – the sun was shining outside, as we had our breakfast and talked about the fact the girls had to go back to school the next day.  Mind you, I had to go home that night…

 

For now, however, I was sitting down, my back straight and erect – as if it could be anything but with this corset on!  The cage meant the skirts were not gathered under me, and it was actually very comfortable indeed.

 

“I have to say, I think those dresses do bring out the best in all of you,” Gerri said with a smile, “I’m glad they fitted so well – especially yours Debbie.  I made the dresses for Patty and Rachel to measure, but it’s just pure luck yours fitted as well.”

 

“Patty was showing me how you can fasten your own corset – I’ll need to practice that,” I said with a smile as I ate my cereal.

 

When we had finished, we went outside, and walked around the gardens for a little bit, before we made our way down to the lake.  As we came out onto the grass, Patty and Rachel grabbed hold of their skirts and lifted them slightly before they sat down, and I copied them to do the same.

 

“I’m curious,” I said after a few minutes, “the weekend at Markson Manor when Jay Edwards held you all hostage…”

 

“Did he tie our legs as well?”  Rachel laughed before saying “he didn’t – Mrs McPhee, the woman who comes with him, did – and she chased all the men out of the room before she lifted our skirts to tie them.”

 

I looked down at the way my own skirts covered my legs, and said “very prim and proper then?”

 

“Oh yes,” Patty said with a smile. 

 

“I wonder if you can get into a car wearing this?”

 

“Maybe we’ll find out later,” Rachel said as she stood up, “right now though, let’s have a game of tag!  You’re it Debbie!”

 

She patted me on the arm before she and Patty ran off – and I followed, taking small steps, and making sure I didn’t run so fast I wasn’t able to breathe.  I learned that lesson the hard way when we were making The Awakening…

 

Eventually, we stopped and Patty said “let’s head back – I want to see if Amanda and Gerri will tie us up like this.”

 

We both nodded and started to walk back to the main house, but when we got into the kitchen we saw Mrs Bridges hard at work, and the clock on the wall saying it was after twelve.

 

“I propose we postpone any further games until after lunch,” Rachel said, the two of us nodding as I went to the toilet.  The first day on the set, I had refused to wear the crotchless drawers – and it took an age to get me undressed, relieved and dressed after that.  So yes, I learned my lesson, smiling as I heard the gong for lunch.

 

“Good afternoon,” Lady Holderness said as we came in and took our seats, “I trust you have all had a good morning.”

 

“We have, thank you your Ladyship,” Debbie said with a polite incline of the head as we removed our bonnets and hats, as well as our gloves.  “It has been a most beautiful morning.”

 

Angela and Geri just looked at each other and shook their heads, as we started to eat our lunch.  “So,” Angela eventually said, “what will you do this afternoon?”

 

“We wondered if you would help us after lunch,” I said “for a few minutes?”

 

“Sure - if you want, you can even watch Debbie Does It All some more – your choice though.”

 

“I think,” Rachel said quietly, “we won’t be in a position to complain if that is the case.”

 

“I see,” Lady Holderness said, “well, I would expect nothing less.”

 

 

As we made our way into the library, I grinned as I said “shall we do the same as yesterday Debbie?  Then you’ll get an idea of what it was like for us at Markson Manor.”

 

“Sure,” Debbie said as she held her hands out, having first removed her gloves, and I found two sponges for her to hold in her fists before I covered them in silver tape, while Rachel sorted out the ropes and other items.  She then helped me to push up the sleeves of Debbie’s blouse, so that we could pull the socks on and over her arms, and then pulled the sleeves down before taping the cuffs of her blouse to the socks.

 

She then carefully sat on the stool, as I took her hands behind her back, crossed her wrists, and bound them together with the square lash and the normal rope as Rachel and her talked about nothing and everything.

 

You know – girl talk.  As I passed the rope round her waist to lock her wrists to her back, however, Debbie looked over and said “that’s different – I can feel the rope round my wrists, but not around my waist.”

 

“Blame the corset,” I said as I started to tie the rope round her stomach and arms, “because it’s hard, you won’t feel the rope there, but trust me – they’re as well secured as before.”

 

“I can tell,” Debbie said with a grin as I used the double figure of eight to fix her arms to her stomach, and then tied the two bands of rope around her upper chest and arms, giggling at her sigh as I did so.

 

“Penny for them?”

 

“Oh – nothing,” Debbie said with a smile as Rachel picked up the hankie in a hankie, and walked over.  “Guess I’ll talk to you girls later.”

 

“Guess so – open wide and prepare to keep quiet…”

 

“Sure, whtffrussee,” Debbie said as we eased the cloth in, and then added the knotted strip of towelling before Rachel tied both bands round her head.  The rest followed – the silver tape covering her mouth and jaw…  The band of white tape…  The tight bad of silver tape over that…  and then a folded crimson scarf to cover all of that.

 

Debbie nodded as Rachel tied that scarf off, and then tied her bonnet onto her head as I sat down and folded her skirts back, then bound her ankles tightly together, as well as her legs below her knees.  As I cinched and tied the last rope off, Debbie tried to move, but knew she was just as tightly tied as the previous day.

 

I helped Debbie to stand up, before Rachel sat down and I started to get her ready.  As I did so, I saw Debbie looking down and very, very carefully try to do a few jumps…

 

 

Want to know the really strange thing about watching Patty as she tied Rachel up?  It wasn’t the fact I really could only feel the rope on my arms and legs – well, and also on my chest given the fact it had already been forced up and out by the corset.  On which point, I was so glad she hadn’t tightened those bands any more…

 

No – it was the fact that I really wanted to jump about, but there was a teeny tiny problem – my feet.  Actually, the problem was I could not see my feet – when I looked down, all I could see was the large and rustling skirt!  I had managed to get to the stage where I could jump reasonably well if I could see my feet – but there was no chance in this outfit.

 

So all I could do was stand, and watch, as Rachel was tightly bound, and then helped to stand up beside me while Patty left the room.

 

“Njelleendjerre?”

 

Rachel nodded in response to my mumbled question, and then started to hop round the room – her skirt rising and falling as she did so.  I noticed she was taking small hops, so I started to do the same, very slowly – and it was fun to see the way the skirt and cage moved with me jumping.

 

“Now let me guess,” Angela said as she came in, “you want to be the same?”

 

“Whatever made you say that,” Patty grinned, as Gerri and Angela soon had her as tightly bound and as silenced as both of us.   She and Rachel then started to hop around, as I watched them.

 

“Nervous because you can’t see your feet?”

 

I turned my head and nodded as Angela stood next to me.  “It’s like when you learn to swim or dive – you have to take that first step Debbie.  Don’t be afraid – just do what you did before, and I’ll be there to catch you if you lose your balance.”

 

I nodded and jumped, stopping to get my balance, and then hopped again.  You know what?  Angela was right – I soon got the hang of it as Gerri opened the door and we all jumped out.  We looked at the staircase, and then at each other, with but one thought.

 

No way – not in these outfits.  So we contented ourselves with jumping up and down the corridor – although that did highlight another problem I had not thought about.  In the past, when I’d walked in these costumes I had used my hands to control where the skirt was going – but my hands were somewhat immobilised, not to mention cover, so when I jumped the skirts tended to go in any direction – and two or three time I brushed against tables and almost sent some vases to the floor when I thought I was far enough away.

 

Fortunately, either Angela or Gerri managed to catch them, but I looked at Patty and Rachel and wondered how they managed to avoid them.

 

“Have a look at how they’re jumping,” Gerri said as she stood beside me, “they’re looking and jumping straight ahead.  You’re looking from side to side and down, so you’re swaying and moving from side to side without realising it.  Don’t be afraid – it’s like riding a bike.  If you look straight ahead, you’ll be fine.”

 

I nodded, fixed my eyes on a picture and started to jump again – and this time I managed not to bump into anything…

 

There was something else I noticed – you have to breath in a different way when you wear a corset anyway, but combine that with the fact I was tightly gagged and having to breath in and out through my nose, and I was only able to do much smaller hops than before.  At least in this, I was not the only one – our skirts may have been moving as if we had a wind machine blowing under them, but both Patty and Rachel were making much smaller jumps as well.

 

We were obviously getting tired, however, so we made our way back to the television room, where both Angela and Gerri helped us to sit down so that our skirts covered our legs.  Angela then turned on the television, and put on the most recent series of Debbie Does It All for us to watch.

 

As I watched, I realised how much I had grown up since the first series – but that wasn’t the only thing that came to mind.  I was due to start shooting the new series in a week’s time, starting with a Christmas special which Alan was going to direct.  He had made a promise at dinner last night – and I hadn’t seen the script yet.  It was probably waiting for me when I got home, but I wondered if he was going to make any changes…

 

I hadn’t realised how late it was getting, given we were enjoying the show so much, until I heard Angela say “it’s starting to get dark outside – I think we need to untie these three.”

 

“ewwmsstuu?”

 

“Yes we must,” Angela said as she started to untie me, “or else you won’t be able to go trick or treating.”

 

Now she had a point there, so we all waited as we were untied, then our bonnets and gags removed.

 

“I guess Mum and Dad will be here soon,” Debbie said as she stood up.

 

“Actually their flight’s been delayed – they won’t get here until about nine,” Angela said, “and it’s five now, so…

 

“How would you like to trick or treating with Patty and Rachel?”

 

Well, that sounded like a plan, so I nodded as Gerri said “good – go and have a snack and something to drink, then go to the toilet before we get you ready.”

 

We took turns going in, and then went to the kitchen where Mrs Bridges had some glasses of warm milk and sandwiches ready for us, before we went to the front doorway.  Angela and Lady Holderness helped us all to put on some coats which matched our outfits, as well as scarves which we wrapped round our lower faces to keep our faces warm, and then we walked out into the dark night.  Mister Bridges was waiting with the door open, as Lady Holderness said “I will see you when you get back.”

 

“Thank you for allowing us to do this Lady Holderness,” they said as they gave a small curtsey, and then they sat on either side of the back of the car, gathering their skirts around themselves as they swung their legs gracefully in.  Mister Bridges closed the doors on them, and then opened the front passenger door, waiting as I sat down and gathered the skirts and cage round my legs before sitting in.

 

I put the seatbelt on as he closed the door, and then he got behind the wheel and headed off.  As we went along, I watched out of the window, wondering what was going to happen next.

 

“Have you enjoyed your stay, Miss de Witt,” Mister Bridges said as we drove along.

 

“I have, thank you,” I said in reply as I saw the street where Rachel and Patty had first taken me to her house, and then he pulled up outside.  As he opened the doors to allow us to get out, the front door opened and I saw Mrs Pickering standing at the door, wearing a long jumper and jeans.

 

“There you all are,” she said as Patty ran up and hugged her, “thank you Mister Bridges.”

 

“I will be here at eight thirty to collect them,” he said before he drove off, and we went inside.   On going into the front room, we found three Victorian style clutch bags were on the coffee table.

 

“What are they for,” Patty asked her mother.

 

“For you to collect your treats in,” she said with a smile as we each picked up one, “so you had better get going.  You only have a few hours.”

 

We all picked up a bag each and then headed out.  As we went from door to door, it was quite a contrast from all the other groups of kids walking round – but the best thing of all was that nobody recognised me.  I could be myself for a little while longer…

 

“Okay – coming to the last houses now,” Patty said as she walked up one garden path, and knocked on the door.  To my surprise, it was answered by someone else wearing Victorian clothing – in her case, a long sleeved taupe coloured dress, with a blue sash round her waist that was tied with a bow to the left, the lengths hanging nearly down to the hem of her skirts.  A bonnet on her head had a matching ribbon tied round it.

 

“Wondered if you two would call round,” the brown haired girl said, “who’s your friend?”

 

“This is Debbie,” Patty said as I nodded, “Debbie, this is my cousin Cassie Craig.  Where’s Jenny?”

 

“Out with Colin,” she said as she handed some sweets out.  “Bobby’s helping with a party at Wilderness, so I’m here to dispense treats as appropriate.”

 

“I like the dress,” Rachel said, “is it one or two piece?”

 

“Two – the sash is covering the join.  Enjoy your treats!”

 

“And we thank you for them,” I said in a muffled voice as our bags were added to.  “See you later in the week,” Patty said as we crossed the road, and knocked on the door.  Another girl in a period dress answered the door – this one a brown dress with a white collar, a black tie at her neck, and sleeves that were tight from the padded shoulders to her wrists.  A black belt was fastened round her waist.

 

“Hey there,” she said with a smile, “Rachel, you’re out of luck – Charlie went trick or treating with the Cottrell boys, but I do like your dresses.”

 

“Thanks,” Rachel said.  “Lisa, this is our friend Debbie.  Debbie, this is Lisa Williamson, another of our friends.  Charlie is – her brother.”

 

“And her boyfriend,” Patty said with a giggle as I saw Rachel blush.  “So is yours a one or a two-piece dress?”

 

“This one – a one piece,” Lisa said with a smile. 

 

“With a blouse underneath?”

 

“Nope – a corset topper.  So, got your bags ready?”

 

We held our bags out for the sweets, before Patty said “we need to get back – see you later Lisa.”  As we walked off, I nudged Rachel, who looked at me, her eyes shining…

 

 

“Ah, there you are,” Mrs Williamson said as we came back into the kitchen, Mister Bridges sitting at the table and drinking some coffee.  “I think you need to head back now – I’ll be along in a little while.”

 

“Mister Bridges,” Patty said, “could you take us back via the Cottrell’s farm?  I’d like to call on them, as well as Louise and Fiona.”

 

“So long as we get back by nine to the manor house,” Mister Bridges said, “but we need to go now if that is the case.”  He stood up and we followed him to the car, sitting ourselves in before he took us round to the other side of town, and we pulled up outside a farmhouse.  Getting out, Patty knocked on the door, which was opened by a fair haired woman.

 

“Patty?  What brings you and your friends round,” she said as I saw two other women appear.

 

“Trick or treat Mrs Cottrell,” Patty said, “are the others here?”

 

“I’m afraid not,” one of the other women said, “they’re all still out as a group.  Hello Rachel – and this is?”

 

“Debbie – she’s a friend from out of town,” Patty said.  “Debbie, these are the mums of some of our friends…”

 

“Well now – what brings you round here?”

 

I saw Rachel literally turn red at the sound of the voice, and as we turned round we saw three boys and two girls approaching.  The two girls were also wearing Victorian dresses – long grey and black ones, with belts round their waists.

 

“To meet you lot of course – why else,” Patty said with a grin.  “Debbie, meet Charlie, Frank, Freddie, Louise and Fiona.  Guys, this is Debbie, a friend from out of town who was visiting over the weekend.”

 

“Pleased to meet you,” the boy who had spoken – Charlie, according to Patty – said.  “So you all done?”

 

“Yeah – are those one or two piece dresses Louise?”

 

“Two piece,” she replied, “Angela and Gerri came round early this morning to deliver them.”  I realised they must have been up before us to do that…

 

“We need to get going if I am going to take you home ladies,” Mister Bridges said.

 

“Right – see you at school tomorrow,” I said as we got into the car, and drove off.

 

“So who is who,” I asked as I removed my scarf.

 

“Louise is stepping out with Frank Cottrell – he was the quiet fair haired boy,” Patty said.  “Freddie is her step-brother, and he is Fiona’s boyfriend.  And then there is Charlie…”

 

Rachel blushed even more, as we headed into the darkness…

 

 

 

 

“Ah – there you are,” Lady Holderness said as we came in, “I am afraid Gerri and Alan have already left, but they asked me to pass on their best wishes.  I have heard from your parents Debbie – I think you should go and change now, they should not be too much longer.”

 

“We’ll go home in these,” Patty said as she looked at Rachel, “the clothes won’t fit into our bags.”

 

I nodded as I lifted my skirts and went upstairs, sighing as I went into my room and started to take off the costume.  I laid all the components on the bed, sighing as I finally removed the corset, and then changed into my usual underwear, a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, before I pulled on some socks and a pair of trainers, which had all been left out on the bed.  My bag had obviously already been packed and taken downstairs.

 

I walked down and came into the library, as Patty said “here – you should have time to have some milk.”  As it was however, I barely had a drink before Mrs Bridges came in, and said “Mister and Mrs de Witt.”  I looked over to see Mum and Dad come in, Mum smiling as she said “you have a milk moustache dear.”

 

“Have you enjoyed yourself,” Dad said as I wiped my mouth, I nodded and said “yeah I have – how was the US?”

 

“Interesting – we’ll tell you about it later, but we do need to go now.”

 

“I’ll have Miss Deborah’s bags put in your car,” Mrs Bridges said as Patty and Rachel stood up.

 

“Thanks – for everything,” I said as I hugged both of them, “I hope we get to do it again sometime.”

 

“So do we,” Patty said as I hugged Lord and Lady Holderness, and then took my coat as we went out.  I looked out from the car as we moved off, waving goodbye to my new friends…

 

 

“Do you think we’ll see her again soon,” I said as we waved Debbie and her family off – and then smiled as I saw Mum pull up.  Mister Bridges brought our bags down and put them in the boot, as Mum said “we’d better get going – school tomorrow.”

 

“Thank you for letting us stay,” Rachel said, and I thanked them as well before we manoeuvred ourselves into the car, and set off into the dark….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was the week before Christmas – and Louise had invited me, Rachel and Fiona to a sleepover on the Saturday night.  We were all in our pyjamas, and the idea had been to have a nice, quiet night together – no ropes, no gags, no boys.

 

Well, you’d think we had learned our lesson from that one, but no – I had gone to the toilet to be jumped by Tommy, who was spending Christmas with Bobby and his family – and had forgotten to tell me again.  End result?

 

We were sitting on the couches in Louise’s house, the boys with their arms round our shoulders, and our arms secured quite firmly to our bodies, thank you very much.  They had tied our wrists with a square lash and the usual ropes, and there were bands of rope round our waists, tummies and chests – cinched at the sides, but fortunately without the very, very irritating ropes down the back…

 

Our ankles and legs were tied as well, but at least we weren’t gagged and could talk, as Louise said “hey – Debbie Does It All!  Must be the special Christmas episode – want to watch it?”

 

“I think they had better let us,” Fiona said, “if they don’t want us to rat them out to your Mum and dad!”

 

The boys looked at each other and nodded as the opening credits came up.  I stifled a giggle when I saw “directed by Alan Markson,” and sat back to enjoy it.

 

It was a fairly typical episode with a seasonal twist – Debbie was doing her Kid Reporter role and looking into some dodgy going-ons at a mall, and her friends were trying to warn her, yadda yadda…

 

Then there was a scene where she was kidnapped, a cloth held over her mouth as her eyelids fluttered and she was carried off.  When the screen changed, it was on a pair of sock covered hands, the wrists held together with – a square lash?”

 

“Hold on,” Charlie said as he sat forward, “this is a bit different…”  Rachel and I looked at each other as the camera pulled back, to show the four bands of rope around her waist, stomach and chest, and the way her ankles and legs were bound – before Debbie rolled over and looked at the camera, a folded blue scarf tied round her head as she struggled and tried to speak.

 

“Someone has been doing some research,” Freddie said, “but they probably have her acting the fact she can’t speak, as usual.”

 

“Still,” Louise said as she struggled a little, “they look very realistic…”

 

We watched the rest of the program, and then towards the end the police finally found where the crooks had kept Debbie.  One of the officers sat her up and started to untie her, as another removed the scarf – and said “what the…” as they saw the band of silver over the wider bad of white tape round her head.

 

We all stared as layer by layer the gag was removed, and then as the knotted strip of cloth was untied she pushed a large folded cloth out of her mouth, and said “thank you” as she held up her sock covered hands.  The policeman than removed the socks – and the tape round her fists – as two sponges dropped to the floor…

 

“That…  Was… AMAZING,” Frank said quietly as the end credits rolled.  “I’ve never really seen that before.”

 

“You’re telling me,” Louise said, “to see our tie-up on the screen like that…  I wonder what gave them that idea?”

 

Rachel and I looked at each other, and smiled – then heard Charlie say “well, we’ve done half the job – time to keep these captives quiet as well.”

 

As the boys rolled one handkerchief in another, I smiled – it was nice of Alan to do that, and I’m sure Debbie enjoyed it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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