The sun was beginning to set, casting the red rays over the wasteland at the back of the houses. As the dry wind blew across the barren open land, most people were heading for home or wherever they intended to spend the evening. This was also true of the man who was looking out over the area, wondering when the right time to complete his journey was going to be.
He took one last look, with his eyes shaded by the hat he was wearing, then turned to the woman with him.
“Time to move on, doll – you’ll soon be where you need to be.”
The blonde haired woman just stared at him. One hour ago, she’d been in the diner having a coffee. Now she was with this man, and wasn’t able to do a thing about it with her hands tied behind her back.
She grunted as he pushed her into the dimming light and across the courtyard. He had stuffed a red cloth in her mouth, and plastered duct tape over her lower face to keep it in place. As she walked in front of him, he admired the way her bum moved in her pink mini-skirt, particularly when she stumbled in her heels.
At the other side of the courtyard was an old abandoned garage, with a storm door in the ground. Stopping by this, he straightened her black blouse for her and stamped on the door three times.
He pulled her back as the door was thrown open from the inside, and two men looked at the new arrivals.
“Hello, Jeb – what have you get there?”
“This young lady has been asking about those women that have been disappearing around here – I reckoned I should show her what was happening.”
“Good idea, Jeb – bring her on down. We’re just getting everything organised for the sale tonight.”
Jeb pushed the girl forward, and they descended down into the dim cellar. She heard the storm doors slam shut behind her, and a set of lights was turned on along the wall as they made their way down.
“So you thought there might be a story here, eh? Well, too bad – you’re part of the story now.”
She stopped at the bottom of the stairs, staring at the scene before her. The walls were lined with hooks, poles and shelves, and on the shelves were mile upon mile of coiled ropes and stuff to use as gags.
A telephone rang, and one of the two men went to answer it.
“Yeah? Yup, Dave, the sale’s on tonight. Bring your lot over to the back door and we’ll take it from there.”
“As for you,” the other man said taking the reporter by the arm, “you sit down here and we’ll make sure you get a good view of what’s going on.”
She was pushed onto a pile of Hessian sacks, and watched as her ankles were crossed and tied tightly together with rope.
Meanwhile, Dave switched off his cell phone and turned to the woman in the ruin with him.
“Time to go, my dear.”
She raised her head and looked at him with pleading eyes. Her wrists and elbows were tightly tied together behind her back, and then raised behind her back so that she had to bend forwards. Her silk Chinese sleeveless blouse offered little protection to her skin, and even raising her head was a problem as her neck was attached to the rope around her upper legs. Finally, her ankles were tied together. White tape over her mouth held in packing that completely silenced her. Two days she had been held by this man, tied in various ways, and now obviously he was taking her somewhere. But where?
Dave came over, released her arms from the pulley in the ceiling, and using the rope he fixed her wrists to her back by wrapping it around her waist. Picking the frightened and struggling woman in her arms, he dumped her in the back of his pick-up truck, covered her with blankets and got into the cab, setting off into the sunset.
The sun had almost set as Mike came out of his back door, and made his way into the woods that surrounded the rear of his house. Swigging back the last of his can, he made his way through the trees to a clearing where his lot was waiting for him.
“Not long now, honey – just a little drive to take.”
The raven haired beauty stared back at him, unable to call him all the names she wanted to after the last two days. The hard black leather gag that he had buckled into her mouth when he first kidnapped her saw to that.
She was kneeling on the leaf strewn ground, with a tree branch supporting her back. He had tied her hands tightly together behind her back, making sure they were crossed and that the ropes went over the cuffs of her crimson blouse. Her elbows had also been pulled together and tied, and there were long lengths of rope around her chest and the branch to hold her in place. He had also tied her ankles together behind the branch, but her six inch heels were still strapped to her feet,
She looked up at him as he started to unwind the rope around her chest, and released her feet. Helping her, she managed to stand up and sway a little as the circulation returned to her lower legs.
“I’m sorry I had to be so hard with that last tie, but you tried to run away, and we can’t have that, can we? Now, if you promise to behave, I won’t tie your legs when we get to the car. Will you behave?”
The woman nodded, and Mike took her by the arm to lead her to his garage.
Back at the cellar, the woman was watching as the tow men were taking care of “another lot” as they put it. She had been brought down the stairs, not tied or gagged but with a gun against her head, by someone who “hoped he wasn’t too late.” She was wearing a black sleeveless top, and a pin striped skirt, as she asked what was happening here.
“Just a garage sale – and you’re one of the items,” was the answer she got, and as she opened her mouth to scream a large green ball had been pushed into her jaws. Two leather straps had been tightened behind her head, and then she was led to a wooden upright with some small poles attached to it.
The two men quickly pulled her arms round behind the pole, and tied them together with rope. One man then started to wrap lengths of rope around her upper chest, lashing her to the pole, while the other pulled her ankles either side of where the support was on the floor and used more rope to secure them to the wood. The reported watched, horrified and fascinated, as more and more rope was used around her lower chest, waist and arms, while another length was used to secure her legs both to the pole and the side struts that had been attached.
One of the men held her head in his hand, her blonde hair falling across her frightened eyes, and asked her if she was going to behave. When she shook her head and tried to scream, the response was instant. Rope was tied around her neck, and the pole – tight enough to hold her in place, but not so tight that it prevented her breathing, even with the ball gag in place.
“This one’s lively – she should fetch a good price later.”
Jeb sat next to the reporter, with a beer in his hand.
“You see, darling, every couple of weeks these two gentlemen have a very special garage sale. We bring the lots in, they sell them and give us a commission, and everyone’s happy. Even the lots – eventually, anyway.”
She stared at him as the cellar doors were opened again, and both Dave and Mike brought their captives down.
“Hey, Mike – I see you got your one trained already,” Jeb called over.
“Yeah – two nights in the wood does the trick every time.”
A muffled cry came from an unlit corner of the cellar.
“Hey, boys,” Dave called over, “What have you got there?”
“A very special prize, boys,” they said as they shone a torch into the corner of the room.
There, with her arms held behind her back, was a middle aged woman with brown curly hair. Her wrists had been tied together, palm to palm, and her elbows held together as well, with rope holding them to a hook in the ceiling. The lot that Dave brought in looked at this woman with sympathy in her eyes – she knew what she was going through.
The revealed lot was also very well dressed – a gold silk tie neck blouse, black satin skirt, stockings and expensive high heels. Her only other binding was the rope around her ankles, and a thin band of cloth was holding some form of cloth in her mouth.
She looked at the assembled men and bound women through her permed brown hair, and tried to call out to them.
“Say, isn’t that the Mayor’s wife?”
“Sure is, boys – he dropped her off a few days ago and asked us to make sure she took a nice long holiday. We’re always happy to help our local leaders in their hour of need….”
By now there were a dozen women in various forms of dress and binding in the cellar.
“Right, boys – time we joined the others upstairs. See you later ladies. Dave, Mike – you have the honour tonight.”
“Who are we starting with?” Mike called over.
“Her,” the men said pointing to an older woman leaning against the wall. “Give us tem minutes before you bring her up.”
Mike and Dave went over to the frightened woman. She was wearing a red sleeveless top and black leather skirt, and had been bound with bandages around her wrists and elbows, and then around her waist to keep her hands against her back. They had also been wrapped around her upper legs, but at this point she was not tied around the ankles or lower legs.
“Please, let me go,” she pleaded as Mike and Dave approached her. “I promise, I won’t say anything about what’s happening here, I have a family, please just….”
“You talk too much,” Dave said as he pushed a red ball gag into the red haired woman’s mouth and buckled it at the back of her head. The white cloth gag that had previously been in her mouth, and now hung around her neck, was made into an impromptu hair band. Mike aliped a rope lasso over her neck, pulled it tight and led the frightened woman as she took hobbled steps towards the stairs that led up to the garage.
“We’re starting now ladies – so I hope you’re quiet for a little while,” Dave said as the door opened, and the women heard one of the salesmen saying “We’re starting tonight with this wonderful mature woman – the perfect permanent housekeeper for you fine men. Shall we start at one thousand dollars?”
As the door closed, the reporter looked around the room, trying desperately to memorise the faces and condition of the women in case she ever managed to escape. One by one Dave and Mike came back down and led the women up the stairs, where the sounds of laughter and men talking could be heard. Dave’s lot struggled mightily as she was led up, while Mike’s quietly walked up the stairs as if she had accepted what was going to happen.
Her attention was drawn to one of the captives, who was sitting on a wooden table in the cellar. She too had been watching as the evening wore on, unable to make nay sort of comment thanks to the long black scarf that was tied tightly into her mouth.
She was wearing a gold wrap round blouse, tied with a large bow on her left side, and a blue mini-skirt. Her wrists had been crossed and tied behind her back, and there was rope around her legs and ankles. She had been sitting still most of the time, but the reporter had also noticed that she had slowly been picking at the rope around her knees, and it looked as if she had managed to loosen the ropes slightly.
“So there is the chance of someone getting out of here,” the young reporter thought as the woman slowly unwound the rope around her legs, but those hopes were destined to be cruelly dashed.
“Your turn…. Hey, did you think you were going to be able to escape? I thought you were going to be trouble when Ed brought you in last night – I’ll need to talk to him about control!”
The brown haired woman looked over at the reporter, and shrugged her shoulders as she was frog marched up to the garage. The reporter fell back against the sacks, wondering if she was ever going to be able to see daylight again…..”
“Your turn, sweetheart.”
She was picked up the arms and carried up the stairs and into the brightly lit garage. A number of men were in the room, drinking beers and looking at her as if she was just a piece of meat they wanted to buy for their next barbecue.
“A surprise lot now, gentlemen – this young lady was very interested to know why women were disappearing around here, and we feel she should have the opportunity to learn first hand. A reporter apparently, so may be good for book keeping or other small jobs.
“Shall we start the bidding at one thousand dollars?”
She stood there, unable to speak, as the bids grew higher and higher until…
“SOLD!! At fifteen thousand dollars, to the lieutenant. Be gentle with her, sir – she may be a little bit fragile to begin with.”
She looked over the room and saw a man in military fatigues, looking at her and rubbing his chin. She wondered what he was a lieutenant of, but she was taken by the arms and led out of the garage.
At the rear of the building was a military truck, and in the back were four Chinese women, all bound and gagged with terrified looks on their faces. The Mayor’s wife was been pushed onto the truck by two men in uniform, while two Latino girls she had also seen in the cellar were also waiting.
“You’re lucky,” Dave said as he stood beside her, “you’ve been bought by our most reliable customer.”
“Well, one of the local militias across the border like the way we do business, so you’ll be joining them. Don’t worry – they’ll treat you well, and maybe you’ll get that Pulitzer after all.
She was lifted up into the truck, and as they drove off she tried to scream for help.
“Quiet, now – or you will regret it,” one of the militia said as his rifle was pointed at her.
“Gentlemen – that concludes our sale for tonight. Enjoy the food and drink – and remember to settle your bills before leaving.”
“You don’t think that reporter may be trouble?”
“Well, if they send someone after her, we’ll just say she went over the border. After all, that’s where she went, isn’t it?”