“But Daddy, I really want to win that pageant. I do, I do , I do.”
“Of course you do Charlene, and you are a wonderful, smart and beautiful girl. I’m sure you will win it without my help.”
“But I WANT TO WIN,!!! Daddy, will you help me, please?”
“I tell you what, darling. I will watch and see what happens, and then if I need to I will step in. All right?”
“Thank you , Daddy.”
The Miss American Beauty pageant was in full swing, and the large number of entrants had been whittled down to the last six girls. Fortunately, Charlene was one of those six. Unfortunately, the chances of her winning were looking slim to her father, so he determined that steps had to be taken.
“Keri, are you sure your dad and the others are going to be busy all day?”
“I sure am, Kathy – the contest is going into the final round soon, and we won’t be needed until later, so we’ve got plenty of time to enjoy ourselves.”
Keri knocked on one of the hotel room doors. “Kylie, we’re going to the pool – are you coming with us.”
The door opened, and Kylie stepped out in a pink bikini with a patterned sarong wrapped around her waist.
“I see you two are ready as well?”
Keri was wearing a black and red swimsuit with a pair of denim shorts, and Kathy a blue bikini. The three girls walked down the hotel corridor towards the lifts that led to the rooftop swimming pool.
“So, which of us do you think is going to win?” Kylie asked.
“I am of course,” Keri said putting her hand to her heart, “because I am the most beautiful of all.”
“No I am,” Kathy said, “for I’m the most talented of us.”
“Rubbish,” Keri retorted, “I have the most natural poise and charm.”
The three started laughing as they reached the lift, and pressed the button to ascend. As the door opened, they saw three men standing there in denim shirts and jeans.
“Going up ladies?”
“It’s all right,” Keri said, “We’ll wait for the next one.”
“Oh, but we insist,” the man said, producing a small pistol and pointing it directly at the three girls. “Boys, help the young ladies into the lift.”
The other two men quickly left the lift, stepped behind the three girls and pushed them into the lift as the doors closed behind them. They then grabbed both Kathy and Kylie by the arms.
“What is the meaning of this?” Kylie screamed as she twisted to try and break the man’s grip.
“We just want you three little ladies to come with us for a little while, that’s all,” the man with the gun said as the lift started to descend. “Now you play nicely, and you get a story to tell your college friends. You cause us any trouble, and you will be the ones to suffer. Understand?”
He grabbed Keri by the arm, and she mutely nodded.
“Good,” he said as the lift came to a halt, “Come with us then.”
The lift doors opened on the basement of the hotel, and the three men dragged the women with them towards a door, behind which was a well lit room with some mats on the floor. Keri noticed with horror that there was also a fairly large pile of rope on a table in the room.
“Why don’t you two take a seat on the mat,” the man said to Kylie and Kathy,” but keep your hands on your head and your mouths shut, or we’ll shut them for you.”
The two girls looked at each other, than took their places on the mat and placed their hands on their heads.
“Take the shorts off,” the man demanded, and Keri started to shake.
“Oh god, you’re not going to…”
“No, we’re not,” he said softly, “But I want you to take your shorts off.”
Keri unbuttoned the shorts at the waistband, and allowed them to drop on the floor. She stood there with her arms around herself, watching as the man passed the gun to one of his colleagues, went to the table and selected some short lengths of rope which he placed over his shoulder.
“Now, turn around and do as I tell you,” he said, and as Keri turned her back to him he moved her arms so that they were behind her back, with her palm holding the elbow of her other arm. Taking one of the lengths of rope, he doubled it up and then looped it around one of her wrists and elbows, pulling it so that they were secured together and wrapping it around twice more before cinching the rope between the two.
He repeated this on the other wrist, before using the third piece to secure her forearms together in the middle. As he finished, Keri tried to move her arms but realised fairly quickly that she was unable to move them.
The man took her by the arm and sat her gently on the mat, before taking Kathy by the arm and leading her to the centre of the room. Taking more ropes, he bound her arms in the same way as Keri, who watched fascinated both by the skill of the man and by the way he almost seemed to be doing it gently.
She was brought back to reality by the third of the men speaking to her. “I want you to cross your legs in front of you,” eh said as he held some more lengths of rope in his hand.
“Why?” Keri replied.
“You didn’t think we’d stop at tying your hands behind your back, did you?” He said, and Keri realised that she actually had hoped that would be the case.
“I guess not,” she replied as she crossed her legs in front of her. The man then took a length of rope, doubled it and wrapped it around one of her ankles and her leg below her knee, before pulling the loose ends tightly through the loop. The rope was then wrapped around twice more, before the loose ends were wrapped between her ankle and leg and pulled to tighten the ropes, and then knotted behind her heel.
As Kathy was helped to sit down beside her, Keri watched the man tie her other ankle to her leg. “Are you all right like this?” He asked, and Keri gratefully thanked her father for the years of Yoga lessons. She nodded, and the man went back tot eh table to select more rope. Kylie, meanwhile, was having her hands bound behind her back as well, having first unknotted the sarong and allowed it to drop to the floor.
Ten minutes later, Kylie too was sat on the floor, watching as her legs were bound together in the same way as the other two. The man who had been tying their arms went over to the table, picked up a large skein of rope and began to unwind it before finding the middle and doubling the rope.
“Are you girls all right?” Keri asked her friends.
“I think so, although this could get uncomfortable,” Kathy said. “Keri, what the hell is this all about?”
“I don’t know,” Keri replied. “Please, Kylie, stay strong and try not to cry. We’ll get through this together, all right?”
“I’d listen to your friend, Kylie, this will be much better if you just let us do our work and try not to struggle or cry.”
Saying this, the man came around behind Keri and knelt on the floor. Taking the rope, he passed it around her arms and chest below her breasts, and pulled the ends through the loop behind her back so that her chest was forcibly pushed out. The rope was then wrapped around her body above her breasts, and once more below and above, pulling tighter each time. Taking the still extensive loose ends, he crossed them behind her neck and wrapped them under her shoulders and back around, crossed them in front and passed them around the ropes between her breasts. Coming round, he pulled once more and took the loose ends down before tying them off around her calves to further secure her legs.
Within another quarter hour, all three girls were bound in the same way, and helped to sit on the mats against the wall. The leader of the three men looked at his watch.
“We have a few minutes,” he said as he looked in a bag. “Would you three ladies like a drink?” From the bag he produced three sports bottles of water.
“Thank you,” Kylie replied, and the men each took a bottle and held it to the lips of the captive girls.
“Do you mind telling us,” Keri asked after she had taken a deep drink of water, “what this is all about?”
“Beauty contests, my dear girl. You stand in the way of someone winning the contest in the hotel, and we’ve been asked to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Kathy looked up at the three men. “I don’t understand – we don’t start our contest until tomorrow. Was it really necessary to kidnap us today just to make sure we didn’t take part?”
The three men laughed, and their leader knelt down to look into Kathy’s face. “My dear girl,” he said, “you three are undoubtedly lovely flowers of America, but trust me when I say that this has nothing to do with you three personally. We’re not worried about who’s going to win the contest you are taking part in?”
The three girls looked at each other. “But….. If we’re not the obstacles, why are we here?” Keri asked.
“Too many questions, little lady,” the leader said as he rummaged again in the bag and took three things out, “I need to make sure you can’t answer any more for a while. Clive?”
One of the other gang members pinched Keri’s nose, and as she opened her mouth to breathe a bandage roll was pushed in. “You keep that little thing in there while I see to your friends,” the leader said, and he stood in front of Kathy. Not wishing to be hurt, she opened her mouth willingly to allow the gag to be pushed in, as did Kylie.
A ripping noise was heard, and Keri watched helplessly as a long strip of white tape was smoothed over her lips, followed by two more. “Close your eyes” the man said as he tore off another strip, and as Keri shut her eyes tight the strip was used to blindfold her. Kathy and Kylie both received the same treatment, so that all three were sat there bound, gagged and blindfolded, and wondering just what the hell was going on.
“Now, don’t move or struggle and you’ll be just fine,” the leader said as he took a number of Polaroid pictures of the three girls before putting them in an envelope and handing it to one of the gang in an envelope. “Make sure that gets upstairs,” the leader said as he took a seat and watched the three captives.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now ready for the final parade of the American Beauty Pageant. If the judges are ready?”
The announcer looked at the panel of judges, who were busy looking at the contents of an envelope that they had just received. They looked at each other, pushed some documents back into the envelope and nodded.
“Then ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back onto stage our six finalists!”
The six young ladies came out onto the stage, smiling and waving to the seated audience. The anticipation grew as the announcer took a card from the judges and read what was written on it.
“In third place, Tracey McKinley!”
Tracey walked forward and beamed as she received her sash and coronet.
“In second place, Samantha Eggart!”
Samantha also came forward, a slight look of disappointment crossing her face but the smile fixed as she received her prize.
“And in first place, and our Miss American Beauty for this age group – Charlene Holme!!”
There was applause from the audience as the ten year old walked down the aisle to be seated and receive her crown – none more loudly than from her doting father.
In the basement, meanwhile, the three young captives were still sat, wondering how long it would be before their parents, who had been judging the Miss American Beauty kid’s pageant, would be able to send someone to free them.