I received an unexpected surprise this week. My wife, Nancy, and I were entertaining guests and telling old tales from the Navy days. She received her teaching degree a semester after I had graduated and been assigned to a ship based at Norfolk. By the time she graduated, my ship would be in the Med, so we decided to have the wedding upon my return. Since she intended to teach for a few years until we started a family, so she had moved to Norfolk in the middle of the school year, and was fortunate to find a job in her field – home economics at the high school level.
She was hired to replace a teacher going on maternity leave, with a contract to finish out the year. Coming in in the middle wasn’t all a bed of roses, however. For one thing, Nancy looked young enough that she was sometimes mistaken for one of the students, which led to some humorous anecdotes. As a brand new teacher starting in the middle of the year, she also had some disciplinary problems. One girl in particular, named Cheryl, was doing so poorly that Nancy was considering flunking her.
As she told the story to us, this girl not only turned in poor work, but her attitude was also bad. Apparently she was more interested in her boy friend than in her schoolwork. Several times Nancy discussed the situation with her “master teacher”, who agreed that the Cheryl’s work was unsatisfactory, and assured Nancy that she would back her up if she assigned a failing grade. Since there were still about four weeks left in the term, Nancy called Cheryl in one Friday and laid out a plan of what was necessary in order for her to pass. Obviously, the Cheryl was not happy!
Nancy was thankful that the weekend had arrived. Still she stressed over it on Saturday, although she thought that she’d moved on by Sunday. As she was leaving church, however, who did she see, but Cheryl and her mother! Nancy added that “things got a bit ugly” and then she changed the subject.
I waited until after our guests had gone, before I asked what she’d meant about things “getting ugly”. She refilled her coffee, kicked off her shoes, and began telling “…the rest of the story.”
“I had no idea that they went to our church,” Nancy said. “But once I saw them, and not wanting to deal with them, I practically ran to the car and drove away, but I didn’t realize that they were following me. When I got home I kept my church clothes on because I planned to meet Barbara at the officers’ club later that afternoon. I was wearing a black suit, light brown stockings and black patent, ankle-strap pumps.”
I must have made a facial expression, because she said, “I can see you’re wondering how I remember what I was wearing, so let me explain. I had recently bought these great shoes – black patent pumps with three-inch heels and thin ankle straps, because they seemed just right for my new look. I had just dyed my hair red, and thought how awesome I’d look in black, with a flower in my hair. That was the outfit I wore that day, but I never told you about my red hair because I decided it wasn’t my look.”
She continued, “Apparently Cheryl lives near by, because I learned later that her mom let her out so she could watch if I came out, while she went to their house get some things. So about half an hour after I got home, there was this knock on the door. I thought it was early for Barbara, but I answered it, thinking it was her. There stood Cheryl and her mom, who had a huge handbag. I was speechless.”
“’Miss Wright,’” her mom said, “’I wanta talk to you about Cheryl’s work. She says you’re not bein’ fair with her.’
“’Mrs. Stone,’” I replied, “’I’ll be more than willing to discuss it with you tomorrow after school, but today’s Sunday, and I am just about ready to leave.’ I started to close the door, but she pushed her way in, muttering that she intended to settle the matter immediately. I wondered later if the two of them had rehearsed this, because before I knew what was happening, they’d entered my apartment, closed the door, and grabbed me bodily. Mrs. Stone spun me around, pinned my arms behind my back with one of her arms, and clamped her other hand over my mouth, stifling my screams. ‘Cheryl’, she said, get the rope out of my handbag an’ tie ‘er feet together!’
“Mrs. Stone was in control all the way. When I saw Cheryl approach with the rope, I tried to kick, but her mom jerked my head back just as Cheryl wrapped the line around my ankles, jerking my feet together. Within a minute, they were tightly bound together, and she took out another piece of rope for my hands. Still keeping me gagged with her hand, she moved to one side so Cheryl could wrap rope around my wrists, securing them behind my back.
‘Then she returned to the handbag and pulled out a red ball with a strap through it. At first I wondered what it was, but as she approached me, Mrs. Stone suddenly raised her hand from my mouth, and quickly pinched my nostrils together. Cheryl swiftly forced the ball into my mouth, and her mom drew the straps around my head and buckled the ends behind my neck. It happened so quickly I wasn’t prepared to resist, although I was trying to keep my balance with my ankles bound and wearing high heels. As if that wasn’t enough, they wound more ropes around my torso, above and below my breasts, as well as above my knees. Then they both stepped away from me, leaving me standing in the middle of my living room helplessly bound and gagged in all my Sunday finery and high heels.
“’Now, Miss Wright,’ Mrs. Stone said. ‘I think you know why we’re here. I hadn’t planned to be so rough, but you got just a little too uppity with me. This conversation shouldn’t take long at all, but you acted too high an’ mighty with me. I started to tell ya that I work afternoons, and so I can’t come to school, but we sure do have ta talk. Sorry you can’t talk just now, but ya can nod yer head, so I guess that’s what ya hafta do. Clear?’ I nodded my head, ‘yes’
“’Now, about all this extra stuff you gave Cheryl to do. She’s gotta go up ta Baltimore next week ta help her grandma. Did she tell ya that?’ I nodded ‘No’
“’So how’s she s’posed ta get all this extra work done, if she isn’t even home? Obviously ys can’t answer that right now, but let me ask this – will you agree to pass her this semester if she promises to turn in the work within two weeks after school’s out? Again I nodded ‘No’
“’Woman, I guess yer gonna need a little bit of persuadin’. Cheryl, help me get ‘er over onto the couch.’ With one of them holding each of my arms, they made me jump on my bound feet over to the couch. Someone gave me a firm shove and I tumbled onto it on my tummy. I felt more rope being tied around my ankles, and then they were jerked straight up in the air, and the other end of the rope was tied to my wrists. It was years later that I learned that it’s called a ‘hogtie’, but I don’t know why. I suppose it has something to do with pigs, but I don’t see the connection. What I did know is that I was totally at their mercy.
“’Now, Miss Wright,’ she continued, ‘it looks like I have to apply a little pressure to get you to agree with me. I wonder if you’re ticklish?’
“At that I grunted into that gag and pulled at the confining bonds, but of course I wasn’t going anywhere. Suddenly she jammed her thumb into my side and I heaved against the ropes. The jabs came fast and furious, and my bound body wracked and writhed on the couch, but I couldn’t escape. I screamed into my gag, but the only sounds that escaped were low mewls and the squeaking of my patent shoes. Within minutes, I was out of breath, and my chest was heaving in an effort to breath. My body went limp, and sweat covered my face and under my suit.
“’Miss Wright,’ my tormentor said. ‘I really hate doing this; how much longer must it go on before you change your mind?’
“I continued to lie there trying to regain my breath. When she started to move her thumbs at me I shouted into the gag, ‘Oh! Op! Ah cn stnd i ny mr!’
“’Ah, she’s learning quickly, Cheryl. Get ‘er a glass of water while I remove ‘er gag.’ With that she untied the rope holding my wrists to my ankles, unbuckled the ball gag, and slid it out and helped me up to a sitting position.
“What I did know is that I was totally at their mercy.”
“’Now, Miss Wright, you were saying…’
“I said I would grant Cheryl the extension, but that was it. If she didn’t make the new date, or if her work wasn’t satisfactory, she’d get an F. At that point Cheryl brought the water, and gave me a big drink.
“’Miss Wright,’ her mom continued, ‘I think we have a deal. But there’s one more thing. We must leave here without you raising an alarm.’ Then she forced the ball back into my mouth and again buckled it. Ordering me to stand up, she and Cheryl again ‘walked’ me on my bound high heels into the bedroom, where they pushed me onto the bed. I felt some tugging on my wrists, and then they rolled me onto my back with my bound wrists under me.
Next she took one of my scarves and blindfolded me. As I lay helpless and motionless, she said, ‘I loosened the ropes around your wrists. Count to one thousand, and then you should be able to get untied the rest of the way. You may as well forget any of this happened, because Cheryl and I were at the movies all afternoon. Just remember our agreement, Miss Wright.’
“Was that the end of it then?” I asked my wife.
“Pretty much it was. With her having loosened the knots at my wrists, I was able to wriggle out of them, and untie myself. I looked in the mirror and saw my hair messed up, my lipstick and mascara smeared, my suit mussed and runners in my nylons. I called Barbara to cancel our meeting, undressed and got a hot shower. Then I put on my PJs and read a good book.
“When Cheryl returned to class, she turned in her sewing project, and it was actually passable. I can’t believe that she did it though. I suspect her grandmother did it, but I now had cover so that I could give her a D and hopefully get her out of my life.”