Substitute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam, you've been waiting much too long
Now it looks like she's not coming home
Sam, you've been loyal, true and faithful
All this time with being alone

If I could get that same dedication
I'd give you everything in creation
If she doesn't come back
(If she doesn't come back)

I'll be your substitute
Whenever you want me
Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you need me?

Bryony looked out from her window over the college campus, wondering how much longer she should devote to the question of the influence of the Triple Alliance on pre-World War One Serbia.  Deciding this was the time for a break, she put her pen down and walked out of her room, targeting the kitchen and a fresh pot of coffee.

 

The long haired blonde had on a grey patterned dress, which came to just above her knees, dark tights, and knee length brown leather boots.  Looking in the kitchen, she frowned and said “no coffee – time for a walk.”

 

Going back to her room, she picked up a long white scarf and wrapped it loosely round her neck, before donning a black jacket.   She ran a brush through her hair, checked her glasses were all right, and then picked up her handbag before she headed out of the accommodation block.

 

As she walked along the road, she saw the grey transit van parked by the roadside, and didn’t pay too much attention to it.  She was more concerned by what she was going to buy at the coffee shop – so when the damp cloth was pressed firmly over her mouth and nose, it took her completely by surprise.  She opened her mouth to scream, which only made her inhale the sweet fumes more quickly.

 

As her mind fogged over, she wondered what was happening, before the blackness enveloped her...

 

 

 

Bryony groaned as she slowly came to.  It took her a while to remember what had had happened, but once the memory returned she opened her eyes and looked round.  Her mouth had the taste of cotton wool, and her tongue felt as if it was as large as the space behind her teeth.  There was also something pressed against her face, pulling on her skin slightly as she said “whheemmee?”

 

She had tried to say “where am I?” but that wasn’t what she heard.  Opening her eyes, she tried to move her hand up to rub them – before she realised something was stopping her from moving her hands at all.

 

Looking down, she saw that her arm was resting on some sort of wooden support, and held in place with bands of silver tape around her wrist as well as by her elbow.  Looking to the other side, she saw her other arm secured in the same way. 

 

Wthtthhlll,” she heard herself say – and then she realised why her mouth felt as if it was full of cloth, and what might be pulling at the skin around her mouth.

 

Raising her legs, she saw the band of silver around her ankles and the tops of her boots, holding them firmly together, and looking down she saw the girdle of tape holding her to the chair.

 

“HLLPMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!”

 

She called and tried to scream for help, but all she heard were her own mumblings – and then the door opened, and a young man with sandy hair walked in, pushing a trolley.  On the trolley was a television, which he put in front of Bryony before he switched it on.

 

“My apologies for the delay,” he said in a quiet voice, “this will keep you amused until the others arrive.  Then I will begin.”

 

Hrrru?  Whrrmeee?  Whtsgnnnn!”

 

“Patience,” he said as he walked over, and kissed her forehead, “all will become clear soon.  Until then...”

 

He walked back out, Bryony shouting as loud as she could as the music started to play...

 

Sam, everyday you waited for her
I've been waiting here for you
Sam, all this time I've been lonely
I know what you've been going through

I'll wait until my chances occur
'Cause you can't keep relying on her
If she doesn't come back

I'll be your substitute
Whenever you want me

Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you need me?


 

Frankie walked across the campus, nodding to friends as she did so, the music of Catfish and the Bottlemen playing over the ear buds leading from her phone to her ears.  The long black and white scarf was wrapped loosely round her neck, hanging down the front of her grey jacket, which in turn covered her black knee length dress.  Her legs were encased in black hose, while she wore a pair of knee length black boots, the leg part made from suede and leather shoes.

 

Her light blonde hair was swept back, while the brown spectacles she was wearing highlighted her blue eyes.  On this particular afternoon, she was making her way back from a lecture, looking forward to a pasta and Poisson night of revising.

 

She didn’t notice the grey van as she walked past, or the young man wearing a baseball cap who walked up to her.  The first hint she had she might not get to her room was when she felt the needle entering her arm, and then suddenly went dizzy.

 

She was dimly aware of the man holding her up, and walking her back to the van, opening the side door and lifting her in.  As her eyes closed, she heard the door close, and then saw his face before she slipped into unconsciousness.

 

The young man removed his cap, and pulled a leather satchel over, opening it and taking out a plastic bag with a clean cloth inside.  Opening it, he gently opened Frankie’s mouth and pushed the cloth in, then closed her lips again before he took a roll of white tape, and pressed several strips over her mouth and face.

 

Rolling her onto her stomach, he crossed Frankie’s wrists behind her back and used a plastic zip tie to secure them together, then used a second one on her ankles.  As she moved in her drugged sleep, he smiled as he took two more zip ties – one used to secure her legs together below her knees, the second securing her elbows together.

 

Finally, he took her white scarf off and used it to secure her arms to her sides, before getting into the front of the car and driving off...

 

 

 

Hmgdddd...”

 

Bryony looked at the man as he carried Frankie into the room, and laid her out on a camp bed, removing the white scarf from her arms before he looked at the television.

 

“Ah the news,” he said quietly, “I will be back shortly with our final guest, and dinner.  Do say hello to her when she wakes up.”

 

She watched as he walked out again, hearing the door lock as Frankie slowly opened her eyes.

 

Whttt..   Whtpppnddd,” she mumbled, and then she saw Bryony looking at her over the silver tape that covered her mouth.

 

“HMFKNNGGGDDDD!”

 

She slowly sat herself up and saw the nylon strips around her legs, and stared at Bryony, seeing the tears coming from her fellow captive’s eyes...

 

 

Each day by your window
You sit and sigh, hoping to see her face
Oh, you might as well forget about her
And find someone to take her place

I'll be your substitute
Whenever you want me
Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you need me?

Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you want me?
Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you need me?


Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you want me?
Don't you know I'll be your substitute
Whenever you need me?

 

Pat looked for the car keys in her handbag, wondering why she never managed to find them when she needed them the most.  Her black long sleeved top had a crochet style front, and covered a black round necked t-shirt.  She also had on a grey cotton mini skirt, dark hose and black suede ankle boots.

 

“There they are,” she finally said as she fished a set of keys out, and walked over to her Cherokee Jeep.  It may be a short drive home, but it was enough.  She walked over, her dark brown hair blowing in the breeze, as she pressed the button to unlock the doors.

 

“Not a word – I have a gun against your back.”

 

Pat heard the soft male voice, and felt the pressure on her back, as she heard him say “open the back of the jeep, and then slowly pass your keys back.”

 

Pat did this, before she saw gloved hands move her own wrists behind her back, and then the feel of rope as it was pulled tightly around them.  “Who... Who are you,” she said quietly as she felt the cords go around and between her arms.

 

“Hush,” he said as Pat saw a rolled bandana, a knot tied in the band, held in front of her head.  Open, or I make you.”

 

“All right,  she whispered before she felt the taste of detergent and cotton on her tongue, the band going round her head and catching her hair as the ends were secured at the base of her neck.

 

“Get in and lie face down.”

 

Pat tried not to shake as she climbed into the back and lay down, feeling her captor as her ankles were lashed tightly together, and then a blanket thrown over her.

 

“Don’t move.”

 

She was too terrified to move, as she heard whoever had done this to her get into the front of her vehicle, and then drive off...

 

 

 

“Out.”

 

Pat felt her captor pull her out of the back of the jeep, and then put her over his shoulder as she was carried out.  It was dark, and it looked as if she was in a glade somewhere in a wood, but it was almost impossible to tell.

 

All she could do was wait as she was taken into some sort of cabin, and he unlocked a door.

 

Hmggdddntnffrnn.”

 

She was dropped onto a bed, looking at the other two women in the room.  One was secured to an old wooden armchair with bands of silver tape, and the other lay on the bed beside her, secured with zip ties and with strips of white tape covering her mouth.

 

“Don’t move,” the sandy haired man said to Pat as he walked out of the room, locking the door behind him.

 

Dddeekdnpouswwll?”

 

Pat nodded as the girl on the bed moved herself over, and started to rub her mouth on Pat’s fingers.  It took the young girl a few minutes to realise what she was trying to do, and then to use her fingers to gently start to remove the tape from over her mouth.

 

After a few minutes, Pat managed to remove the tape, Frankie nodding as she pushed the cloth out of her mouth with her tongue.  “Thanks,” she said as she got used to the freedom to speak again, “I’m Frankie.”

 

“Pt...”

 

Briinii...”

 

“Well, looks like we’ve been invited here against our wills,” Frankie said as she sat up, “any of you recognise our host?”

 

The other two shook their heads as the door opened, and he came back in, pushing a trolley with food and drink on it.

 

“Ah – I see you’ve already managed to get one of you to speak,” he said as he produced a pair of scissors, and freed the three women.  “Please, eat and drink – it’s all perfectly safe.  I’ll be back later.”

 

Bryony looked at him as he left, locking the door behind him, before she peeled the duct tape away from her mouth and pulled the rag out.  “Oh god,” she whispered, “what on earth is going on here?”

 

“No idea,” Pat said, “he tied me up in the back of my car and drove me here – wherever here is.”

 

“No idea – he drugged me and brought me here,” Bryony said as she stood up.  “I’m Bryony – you are?”

 

“Pat – but why has he brought all three of us here?”

 

“I have no idea,” Frankie said, “except...  Is it just me, or do we look alike?”

 

The three women looked at each other, as Frankie took a bottle of water, opening it and taking a long drink.  “If I drop to the floor unconscious, save me some food.”

 

The other two looked at her, before Bryony grabbed a bottle and opened it, draining the contents in one drink.  “That’s better,” she said with a gasp, “I’ve had something in my mouth for hours.”

 

“How long?”

 

“At least six – he put the television on when the lunchtime news was on.”

 

“So,” Pat said as she also opened a bottle of water, and looked round, “where do you think this is?”

 

“What did you see?”

 

“A wood – nothing else.  Well, let’s eat – we need to keep our strength up.”

 

 

 

 

Another hour passed before the three girls heard the door open, and their captor walk in, smiling as he showed the gun in his hand.

 

“Stand against the wall, hands on your head,” he said quietly, the three girls looking at each other before they obeyed his command.  He looked at the empty bottles and plates, before he said “good – now do exactly what I say, understand?”

 

“Please, who are you...”

 

“Hush,” the man said as he opened a box on the trolley, and removed what looked like three table tennis balls, with holes drilled in them, and thin leather straps going on each side.

 

“What are they,” Frankie said quietly.

 

Wiffle ball gags,” he said as he walked forward, “take one each.”

 

“Oh no,” Pat said, “you can’t be serious?”

 

“Oh I am – you can start by putting yours into her mouth.”

 

He indicated Frankie, who looked at Pat and said “don’t worry, just do it.  You don’t have a choice.”  She opened her mouth, knowing why she had been picked to go first as Pat eased the ball between her teeth.

 

“Tie the straps round her head – nice and tight.”

 

Pat nodded as she pulled the leather things round and tied them at the base of Frankie’s neck, before Bryony was handed a second ball gag and told to use it on Pat.  Once the second girl was silenced, Frankie gagged Bryony, and then all three were made to turn round, each of them looking round as their wrists were secured behind their back with tape.

 

“Come with me,” he said as he led them out of the room, down a hallway and into a second room.  The three women looked at the three clothes bags hanging on the rack, and the three pairs of long leather boots under them.

 

“You two sit down there,” he said as he indicated a couch, Pat and Frankie sitting down as he cut the tape from Bryony’s wrists.  “Take the first bag and pair of boots, and change.  You can leave your clothes here.”

 

Whh?”

 

“Please, just do it.”

 

Bryony nodded as she removed her boots, and then slowly stripped, until she was standing in her tights and underwear.

 

“The tights as well.”

 

She nodded as she slowly removed her tights, and then opened the bag, taking out a chocolate brown leather bustier dress.  She put it on, tightening the lace fastening at the front, and then put on the matching knee length leather boots.

 

As she stood there, the man walked to a wardrobe and took out what looked like a brown leather sheet.  “Stand facing your friends,” he said as he looked at Bryony, the young girl looking at Pat and Frankie as he walked behind her.

 

She felt him move her arms behind her back, and putting her hands together so that her palms faced each other.  She then felt the leather as it was wrapped round her arms – and then pulled them together as he started to pull the laces tight, making the leather cover her arms in sheath from above her elbows to the tips of her fingers.

 

This had the effect of pulling her shoulders back, and as he passed some leather straps around her upper body, crossing them between her breasts, the other two could see her breasts straining against the top of her dress.  Pat and Frankie looked at each other, as Bryony was made to sit next to them, and Frankie pulled to her feet.

 

“You next,” the man said, as he cut her wrists free.  Frankie slowly unfastened her jacket, and then removed it, followed by her boots, dress and tights.

 

Rullrrttt,” Pat whispered to Bryony, seeing the tears in her fellow captive’s eyes behind her glasses as she struggled to move.  She then turned her head to watch as Frankie out on a red leather outfit in the same style as Bryony – followed by a matching leather sheath round her arms.

 

As Pat was released, she looked at the white leather dress, and shivered as she slowly slipped her cardigan off, knowing what was going to happen...

 

 

 

As the three women sat in a row, the door opened and two men, dressed in white overalls, came into the room. 

 

“Go with these two men,” their captor said, as they were made to stand and walk out in a line.  They saw the rear of a grey van open outside the door, as they were made to step in, and sit in leather seats.  The men then fastened a pair of ankle cuffs, linked by a small chain, around the ankles of each of them, as their captor got in behind them.

 

“Shall we?”

 

They looked at each other as the van moved off, wondering what was happening...

 

 

 

 

 

“Here we are.”

 

As the doors opened, the three women were made to shuffle into what looked like a large warehouse.  As they came in, a large African man came over, smartly dressed as their captor walked forward.

 

“Samuel?  I see that you were successful?”

 

“Indeed George – I am so sorry you were let down.”

 

“I know,” the larger man said, “but I know I can rely on others like you.”  He looked at Bryony, Frankie and Pat, before smiling and saying “Most acceptable – and extra credit for choosing three ladies who look so similar.

 

“Ladies – welcome to Objects of Beauty.  We will make you comfortable, and the sale is later tonight.  Take them to the preparation area...”

 

 

 

 

Three days later

 

The three women looked round as the blindfolds were removed, feeling the warm air on their faces as they looked out over the ocean view.

 

“Welcome.”

 

They turned to see a grey haired woman, wearing a black dress coat and a white apron.  The three women were still in their leather outfits, but free from all bonds.

 

“Where...  Where are we?”

 

“Your new home.  I know what you’ve been through – I’ve been there too.”

 

She opened her collar to reveal the thin black leather choker, before she said “Sit – have a drink.  Let me explain where you are, and what you are here for...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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