It's Just a Game
It was a typical warm May afternoon in Springfield. Jamie was humming to herself while she washed the dirty dishes. She had taken a half day off work to take one of her sons, Brandon, to a doctor's appointment. It was just a regular check-up, and she was now watching him and her other son, Paul and her neighbor's son, Danny. Rinsing the last plate, Jamie put it into the dish drainer, wiped her hands on a dishtowel, and went into the dining room to sort the day's mail. After opening and setting aside a few bills and throwing away some junk mail, she saw that one of her monthly magazines had come in. She glanced up at the clock and saw that it would be an hour or so before her neighbor, Beth, would be off work and come to get Danny. Glancing down the hall, she saw Danny and Paul sitting in the bedroom, playing Guitar Hero. Brandon was watching cartoons in the living room, eating a bag of popcorn.
Pulling out a chair, Jamie sat down at the table and opened her magazine. She was halfway through a somewhat interesting article on the latest hair styles when Brandon ambled into the room.
"I'm bored, Mom," he said, crumpling up the empty popcorn bag and throwing it away. "What are you doing?"
"Reading my magazine," Jamie replied. "Can't you find something to watch on TV?"
"Nah, there's nothing good on," he said, rinsing his hands off at the sink. "I want to play something."
Jamie hid a small smile behind her magazine. This was usually the opening line. This was Brandon's way of letting her know he wanted to play some kind of game where she usually ended up being the damsel in distress. It had all started about a year ago. She and her two boys were watching an old western movie on TV where a group of outlaws had robbed a bank and tied up and gagged the female bank teller to keep her out of the way. Both boys had perked up and watched with interest as the masked gunmen tied her into a chair and tied a cloth over her mouth. One of the boys had wondered aloud what it would be like to do that for real, and Jamie had allowed herself to be tied up. The first ties were pretty simple and poorly done. A necktie had been tied rather loosely around her wrists, and an old winter scarf had been tied around her ankles. The gag was a large dishtowel tied over her lips, which didn't do much to silence her. Still, she had played along, and both Brandon and Paul had been thrilled. Since then, the games had continued, and the ties and gags had gotten better with each new game. Jamie had given them a few pointers here and there, and the rest was probably picked up in Boy Scouts.
"Mom?" Brandon was standing in front of her.
"What? Oh, I'm sorry, Brandon," Jamie said, snapping back to the present and setting down her magazine. "What did you say?"
"Could we play cops and robbers?" he asked a bit impatiently.
"Danny is here right now," Jamie said, "his mom will be along in a bit to pick him up. Why don't we wait until he leaves?"
"Aw come on, Mom," Brandon pleaded. "Danny will love it. Besides, he's busy playing Guitar Hero."
"Well, I suppose so," Jamie said. "Let me change first though. These clothes are a bit uncomfortable to get tied in."
"Ok, I'll get everything ready!" Brandon practically skipped down the hall into the bedroom he and his brother shared. Jamie stood up and walked into her own room to change. She took off her shoes and socks and started looking around for something comfortable. Finally deciding on a light blue tank top and matching denim shorts, she put them on and walked out of her room. Walking back into the dining room, Jamie was confronted by Brandon. He was wearing a bandana over his face and had a toy pistol pointed at her.
"Don't move, lady," he said, trying to make his voice gruff and scary- sounding. "Are you here alone?"
"Y y yes," Jamie stammered, playing the part of a frightened woman.
"Sit down, do as you're told, and I won't have to hurt you," Brandon said, pointing at a dining room chair. Trembling with pretend fear, Jamie slowly sat down in the indicated chair. Brandon pulled a length of soft rope from his pocket and started walking around to the back of the chair.
"Put your hands behind your back," he commanded. Jamie complied, and Brandon tied her wrists with her palms facing toward each other. After securing the knot where she could not reach it, he moved in front of her and pulled another rope out of his pocket.
"Put your ankles together," he said.
"Please, don't hurt me," Jamie whimpered.
"Just do as you're told, and keep quiet," he growled, bending down to tie her ankles together.
"Hey, we wanna play too!" came a shout from the boys' bedroom. Paul came charging out, followed closely by Danny.
"You can't," Brandon said, standing up and frowning. "Mom and I started the game without you, and two more robbers can't just come into the game."
"Of course they can play," Jamie stated, breaking character just long enough to prevent a fight. "You can pretend that the first robber came in to tie me up, and the other two came in a little later to help steal stuff and to help with the tying if necessary."
"Oh, ok," Brandon shrugged. "I guess."
"I wanna gag her!" Paul shouted, "Give me the stuff, Brandon."
Brandon handed Paul a small handkerchief and a faded scarf.
"Please, Mister, please, don't gag me," Jamie said, getting back into character. "I promise to be quiet and not make any noise."
Paul grinned and gave Danny the thumbs-up.
"We can't take that chance," he said, "it only takes one scream, and we're busted for sure. Now, open."
Balling up the handkerchief, Paul held it in front of Jamie's mouth. Slowly, Jamie opened her mouth and allowed Paul to stuff the handkerchief inside.
"Don't spit that out," he warned. Grabbing Danny's arm, Paul went behind her and put the scarf between Jamie's teeth before knotting it securely behind her head.
"Say something now," he said.
"mmmppphh?" she asked.
"That's good," Brandon said. "let's go get her loot."
The boys scampered into the living room and pretended to steal items from the house. Jamie suspected that the boys hadn't gone far though. She knew they liked to watch as she struggled and mmmphed into her gag. Time to give them a show, she thought. She flexed her wrists and ankles, testing her bonds. Brandon had done a good job, but perhaps in his haste, he hadn't tied her as thoroughly as he could. There was a little bit of wiggle room in her wrist ropes, and he had not physically tied her into the chair. Jamie worked out regularly and stayed pretty fit. If she could just twist her left wrist a little... The rope gave a little more, and Jamie could pull one of her hands free if she wished. Relaxing her wrists, she slipped her left hand out of her bonds. Quickly pulling her hands in front of her, Jamie carefully stood up from the chair. Reaching up to her mouth, she pulled the scarf out from between her teeth and pushed the damp handkerchief out of her mouth with her tongue. She began hopping into the kitchen away from the boys and to the telephone.
"Hey!" a shout came from the living room. "She got loose!"
Still playing her role, Jamie began to call for help. All three boys came running into the dining room and tackled her to the floor, and one of them put a hand over her mouth.
"You didn't tie her up tight enough!" Paul said to Brandon. "Go get the handkerchief."
Brandon stood up and went over to where Jamie had dropped the handkerchief on the floor. He was back with it in a flash, and he shoved it back into her mouth. Danny reached down and pulled the scarf back in between her teeth.
"What did I say about listening to us?" Brandon asked, pointing the gun at my face.
"Mmmmpphh, mmmmpph!" Jamie cried. Meanwhile, Paul had grabbed the rope and was retying her wrists. This time, he pulled the rope as taut as he could before knotting it off. There was no give in it this time.
"Let's bring her to the living room where we can keep a better eye on her," Danny suggested. Working together, the three boys managed to half drag, half carry Jamie into the middle of the living room.
"Should we tie her wrists to her ankles? If we did that, she won't be able to hop away," Paul suggested.
"Good idea, the other two chimed. More rope was quickly found, and soon, Jamie was in a tight hog tie in the middle of her living room floor.
"Maybe we should blindfold her too," Paul suggested. "Even if she was to get loose, she couldn't go anywhere if she couldn't see."
Jamie yelled a protest into her gag, but Brandon pointed his gun at her and said, "It'll be all right, lady. Just cooperate with us, and we won't hurt you."
Another faded scarf was tied over her eyes, and Jamie was plunged into relative darkness. The scarf was thin enough to where she could see a little light through it, but she could not see anything else.
"Ok, now she's nice and secure. Let's finish getting the stuff," Brandon said. All three boys made noises like they were leaving the room, but after a few minutes of silence, Jamie could hear whispers coming from across the room.
"You play these kinds of games, and your step mom is cool with that?" That must have been Danny.
"Sure, we do this a lot," another whisper replied. "Don't your mom play games like this too?"
"Well, sort of, but she's never let me tie her up like that before, just a little cloth over her mouth, and some loose ropes. She can get out any time."
"That's no fun. Maybe we can show your mom how it's really done."
"Well, I dunno. She might not like it."
"Let's talk to her when she gets home and see what she says."
More whispers followed, but Jamie stopped paying attention. Her thoughts began to race. What if she thinks I'm weird or something for playing these kind of games with my kids? What if she thinks I get some kind of enjoyment out of this?
Some indeterminate amount of time later, Jamie heard the honk of a car horn outside. That must be Beth, she thought. The boys all ran outside, and a few minutes later, Beth walked into the living room, followed by the kids. A long silence ensued, followed by laughter.
"Wow, they really got you good, didn't they?" Beth asked, bending down and untying Jamie's blindfold.
"Mmmmpphhh?" Jamie asked, shaking her head.
"Oh, sure," Beth said, also untying Jamie's cleave gag.
Jamie pushed out the handkerchief, which was completely saturated with her saliva, out of her mouth with her tongue.
"I can explain, Beth," Jamie said after licking her dry lips. "You see, the kids and I saw this movie where a girl got tied up, and they asked me if they could do the same to me. I agreed, and..."
"It's ok, Jamie," Beth said, smiling. "Danny has asked me a time or two to play these kinds of games. I was a bit afraid to let him tie me up too well though, but there's nothing wrong with what you're doing. At least the kids are staying out of trouble and not breaking up the house, right?"
Jamie felt a knot unravel in the pit of her stomach. She wasn't doing anything immoral or illegal, but she was hoping her next-door neighbor would understand. Fortunately, Beth not only understood but had played a bit herself.
"Right," Jamie said.
"Oh, please, Mommy, will you play too?" Danny begged, giving his mother his best version of puppy dog eyes.
"Well, ok, I suppose so," Beth said, staring down at Jamie. "What kind of game should we play, cops and robbers like you guys were doing before?"
"No, that's getting boring," Brandon said. "Let's see who can get out of our ties, you know, like a contest."
"Yeah!" Paul and Danny both shouted.
"I want a break before we do this though," Jamie stated.
"Ok," the boys almost chimed in unison.
Jamie walked into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of cold soda. Her mouth had gotten very dry. Beth came into the kitchen and leaned against the counter.
"Would you like something to drink?" Jamie asked.
"Yes, please," Beth said, slipping her feet out of her high heels.
Jamie got another clean glass out of the dish drainer and poured Beth a glass of soda.
"Thanks," Beth said, taking the glass and taking a few sips.
"No problem," Jamie smiled as she put the soda back into the refrigerator.
"So, are you nervous about this?" Jamie asked.
"Well, sort of," Beth said, "I've never been tied up as stringently as I saw you tied up, but I think it'll be ok. It really doesn't bother me."
Beth reached up with her foot to scratch her leg. Looking down, Jamie saw that she was wearing tan nylons. She was also dressed in business slacks and a nice shirt. Her hair was cut short, and a hint of red lipstick adorned her full mouth.
"Hey, we're ready!" one of the boys yelled from the living room.
Draining the last of her drink, Jamie put her glass in the sink and shrugged at Beth.
"Well, are we ready?" she asked.
"I guess so," Beth laughed, finishing her drink as well.
Walking back into the living room, the two women encountered the boys standing in the middle of the living room. Ropes, scarves, and handkerchiefs were piled up on the couch.
"Ok, here's what we're going to do," Brandon, apparently the spokesperson for the group, said. "We will take turns tying you up exactly the same way. We want to see who the best at tying up is, and we also wanna see who can struggle the best. The other kids won't see you guys being tied. You'll have ten minutes to see if you can get out."
"and what is the reward for us and the best tier?" Jamie asked.
"um," Brandon said. The boys had obviously not thought about that.
"I know!" Paul piped up. "The best tier gets to choose how you guys get tied up for the last time."
"What about us?" Beth asked, grinning.
"We'll give the winner a, uh, a... A candy bar!" Danny said, going to his backpack and pulling out a king-sized snickers bar.
"Sounds good to me," Jamie said.
"Me too," Beth said. "So, which kid goes first?"
"Let's play paper, rock, scissors," Paul suggested.
Brandon and Danny went first. Brandon got rock, and Danny got paper. Next, he and Paul went. Paul got paper, and Danny got scissors.
"Ok," Danny said, scooping up some ropes and scarves. "Go in the dining room."
The two brothers trotted into the dining room, and Danny motioned for the two women to sit on the floor. Picking up a length of rope, Danny started out by tying his mom's hands behind her back, looping the rope around her wrists and tying a square knot at the end. Then, he did the same thing to Jamie. Next, he took more rope and tied their ankles together, pulling the rope snug and using the same square knot. Taking a third length of rope, he tied their knees together, cinching it tightly before tying it off. Picking up two small washcloths, Danny walked in front of Jamie and wadded one of them in his hand.
"Open," he said. Jamie complied, and Danny stuffed the washcloth into her mouth before wrapping a scarf over her lips and tying it off. After doing the same to his mom, he yelled, "Ok, done."
Brandon and Paul came back into the room, one of them carrying the kitchen timer. After setting it for ten minutes, Brandon hit the start button and said, "GO!"
The two women began to struggle. Beth wiggled her wrists, but the rope was snugged too tight. However, Danny had not tied her wrists palm to palm. By fluttering her fingers, she could just touch the knot of her wrist bonds. She grunted and made muffled sounds into her gag as she tried to get at the knot. Meanwhile, Jamie had drawn her legs up as far as they would go, while simultaneously scooting forward. Because Danny had not tied her elbows together, she figured she could get her bound arms back in front of her by scooting herself through them. Stretching herself as much as she could, she managed to get it after a few minutes. Noticing this, Beth let out a muffled laugh through her gag and began trying that herself. Unfortunately, being a bit heavier than and not as flexible as Jamie, she wasn't able to manage this. She finally flopped on to her back and let out a groan of resignation. Staring at the timer, Jamie began patiently to pick at the knot holding her ankles tied. Two minutes were left when the knot came free. With a muffled sound of satisfaction, she next began to work on her wrist rope. She had just gotten it free and was working on her knee rope when time ran out.
"time's up!" the boys shouted, laughing. "now, it's Paul's turn."
Paul untied the two women and removed their sodden gags. After re-sorting all the materials, he began by tying their wrists. This time he tied them palm to palm, and the knot was placed well out of reach of any fingers. Next, he took rope and tied their elbows together. Beth, having never experienced that before, gave a little squeak as her elbows were drawn closer together and tied off.
"Are you ok, Beth?" Jamie asked.
"Yeah, I think so," she said, "although I really don't think I'll win this one. How did you get so good at this anyway?"
Jamie blushed a bit.
"Well, my x-husband was into this kind of stuff," she said.
"Ah, I sort of wondered," Beth said.
While they were talking, Paul had taken a long length of rope and had looped it around their ankles, working his way up their legs until the rope ran out and tying it off.
"Now, time for you to be quiet," he said, picking up the two soaked washcloths.
"Um, isn't there something else you can use?" Beth asked.
"Why?" Paul asked.
"Well, first of all, those gags are soaking wet with our spit," she said, wrinkling her nose. "Secondly, we don't know which gag was used on whom. You might gag me with Jamie's gag, and that would be a bit yucky."
"Ok," Paul said, casually tossing the wet cloths near the pile of ropes and scarves. Picking out two clean handkerchiefs, he stuffed one into each woman's mouth. Picking up a roll of duct tape, he tore off a strip and plastered it over their mouths.
"And, go!" Brandon said, setting the timer for another ten minutes.
For a second, Jamie sat still, trying to figure out how to get out of her bonds. Beth just sat, rocking back and forth, occasionally tugging half-heartedly at her bonds. Having a sudden idea, Jamie began scooting toward Beth. She turned so she was back to back and scooted until their hands bumped into each other.
"Mmmmpphh!" Beth mumbled excitedly and began picking at Jamie's wrist rope. After a few fumbled attempts, Jamie felt the wrist rope loosen. Tugging, she managed to get it loose and dropped it on to the floor.
"Hey, you guys weren't supposed to help each other," Paul said.
"Mmmmpphhhh," Jamie said shaking her head. She flopped on to the floor and rolled over on to her stomach so Beth could untie her elbows. After that rope was taken care of, Jamie sat up and began working on Beth's wrist and elbow ties. Soon, both women had their hands free. Beth immediately peeled the tape from her mouth and spat out the handkerchief. Jamie, however, began working on her leg bonds. Just as the last seconds ticked away, Jamie unravelled the rope from her ankles and tossed it aside.
"You guys cheated!" Paul said. "That's not fair."
Jamie took off her gag and smiled.
"There was nothing in your rules that said we couldn't help each other," she said, tossing the wet handkerchief beside the already used gags.
"I agree," Beth said, unwinding the long rope from around her legs. "Wow, I am getting cramped, and I am really thirsty. Why don't we call it a day?"
"Aww, no fair!" Brandon shouted. "I didn't get to go yet!"
"Brandon," Jamie said, "We can always play another time."
"Well," Beth had gone over to the couch and pulled out her cell phone. "I suppose we could stay for a bit longer and play one more game. I want to stretch a bit first and get a drink, though."
"All right!" Brandon said. As the two women walked out of the living room, Jamie could hear Brandon whispering to the other boys.
"I wonder what kind of devious plans they have for us now?" she asked as she got glasses of water for them both.
"I dunno," Beth said, rubbing her wrists. "Wow, I didn't know ropes left marks like that. I better wear long sleeves to work tomorrow."
Jamie laughed, staring down at her own marked wrists.
"Just take a nice bath tonight," she said. "The marks should mostly be gone by tomorrow morning."
"That's a relief," Beth said, draining half of her water in a series of large gulps. "I don't want my co-workers to think I'm doing anything kinky."
"So what if you are?" Jamie asked. "It's none of their business anyway."
"True," Beth said, sipping at her remaining water. "Still, it's best if no rumors are started."
"Are you ready yet?" a shout came from the living room.
"Kids," Jamie laughed, finishing her water and stretching. "They aren't very patient, are they?"
"Nope," Beth replied, also standing up and stretching. "Ok, let's do this." They slapped high fives as they left the kitchen.
"Ok, all three of us will tie you up this time," Brandon said, "and it's gonna be real tight."
"Oh, boy," Beth said, sitting down on the floor.
"It'll be ok, Mom," Danny said, bringing over a huge pile of rope. "We won't hurt you."
"All right," Jamie said, sitting down beside Beth. "Do your worst."
The boys all grinned. They tied the women's wrists and elbows together and did the same to their ankles. Jamie noticed that the ropes were very snug. Next, they were told to lie on their stomachs.
"Oh boy, I think I know what's coming," Jamie said, "the hog tie."
"Yeppers!" Paul chirped. "Then, you guys won't be able to help each other."
Both women's legs were drawn up as close to their arms as possible then tied off.
"This feels weird," Beth said, experimentally tugging at her bonds.
"Ok, time to be quiet," Brandon said, holding a scarf with a knot tied in the middle up to Jamie's mouth. He stuffed the knot into her mouth and tied the scarf off at the backof her neck. Meanwhile, Danny was giving his mom the same treatment.
"One last thing," Paul said, getting two more scarves. "Blindfolds."
Both women yelled into their gags in protest to no avail. Paul tied the scarf over Jamie's eyes, while Brandon did the same to Beth.
"Now, try and get out of that!" they all said, "and we'll give you fifteen minutes. GO!"
The timer beeped, and both women began squirming and twisting in an attempt to get free. From past experience, Jamie knew that getting loose would be next to impossible. She struggled anyway though, partly because it was just the thing to do, and partly because she enjoyed the thrill of struggling helplessly, knowing she was at someone else's mercy. She'd always felt good when she was tied up, and that was partly why she agreed to play these kinds of games. Next to her, Jamie could hear Beth panting from the exertion of struggling. Soon, she heard her stop struggling and just lay there. Feeling a bit tired herself, Jamie relaxed and waited for the time to run out. Soon, the timer beeped, and the boys let them loose.
"Well, that was a lot of fun," Beth said as she slipped on her high heels and grabbed her purse.
"Maybe we can play again sometimes?" Danny asked, looking up at his mom. "Please, Mommy?"
"Sure, sweetie," Beth said, ruffling his hair. "Let's go for now though. We have to eat dinner, and I'm sure these guys have to as well."
As Danny and Beth were walking out the door, Brandon piped up and said, "Wait a minute. Who gets the candy bar?"
"Let's split it," Jamie suggested.
"Fine by me," Beth replied. "It really was fun. Thanks, Jamie for watching my son, and thanks for a good time."
"No problem," Jamie smiled, opening the door. "I look forward to more games!"