Picture of Fear
“I think that about wraps it up – many thanks for your time, Stella.”
Stella Harp smiled as the reporter turned off her recording machine. A young rising star of the music world, the grudge of the interview circuit wasn’t something she was enjoying, but she knew it was a necessary evil if she was to progress in her career the way she wanted.
“We just need to take some photographs for our magazine now, but I’m not sure where the photographer is. IF you can just… ah, that’s probably him now.”
A knock on the door made both the women turn their heads, and the reporter stood and walked over to let them in. Two men came in, dressed in open collar shirts and jeans, carrying lights and camera bags between them.
“Sorry we’re late, I’m Gerry” the first man in said as eh shook the reporter’s hand. “Steve got called away on an emergency and asked if we’d come instead. He also said to tell you White Face was in town.”
“White Face…. OH god, I have to go. Will you be all right with these two Stella?”
“I think so,” Stella said as she sat back on the long couch. She was wearing a white sleeveless top which folded over the top of her 40D breasts, and a black skirt made of chiffon with white polka dots on it. Her white open toed sandals with three inch heels completed her outfit as her red hair fell over her shoulders while she watched the man setting up their equipment.
“All right Stella,” Gerry said as he took a large camera out of his bag and his assistant finished setting up the lighting rig. “I wonder if we could start with some shots of you sitting there. Smile for me…. That’s it…. Keep doing that….”
Fifteen minutes passed as Gerry took shot after shot of Stella sitting on the couch, while his assistant sorted through the contents of some other bags he had brought in. Finally he nodded to Gerry, who stopped shooting and looked at the young singer.
“Stella, I’d like you to cross your legs and rub your left leg with your right hand, while smiling at me – can you do that?”
She nodded, said “of course” and crossed her left leg over her right knee. “Great – hold that pose,” Gerry said as she began to take pictures again. Stella was so intent on the photographer she didn’t notice the assistant making his way behind the couch and standing behind her.
“And…now!” Gerry shouted, and his assistant grabbed both of Stella’s wrists from behind and pulled them behind her back.
“What’s going on,” she asked as she looked over her shoulder and saw the assistant holding a doubled length of white rope in his hand.
“This, my dear Stella, is a robbery,” Gerry replied as he placed the camera on a table, and produced a gun from his pocket. “Just sit still and let my friend here do his work.”
He placed Stella’s wrists together, palm to palm behind her back, and expertly lashed them together with the rope, taking care to ensure there was a cinching between her wrists as well. He then walked round with two further lengths of rope, one of which he doubled up and passed around her ankles.
“Please, don’t do this, I’ll do what you want,” Stella started to sob as the rope was pulled tightly around her ankles and then passed around several more times. Gerry and his assistant just looked at each other and laughed as he passed the ends of the rope between her ankles and pulled tightly before knotting them behind the two ends together behind her legs.
“You don’t understand, Stella, you are going to do as we tell you,” Gerry replied as the third length of rope was wrapped around Stella’s legs below her knees. “Now, I’m going to take some more pictures of you for my collection, all right”?”
Stella looked at him as the final knot was tied and his assistant stood up. “Shuffle forward, my dear, and look to one side, that’s it,” Gerry commanded as Stella tried to look at how her wrists were bound. She continued to struggle as Gerry took shot after shot.
“Pass me the bandana,” Gerry said, and his assistant passed him a white bandana with black polka dots. Quickly rolling it into a thick band, he pulled the cloth into Stella’s mouth and tightly secured it at the base of her neck. Stella tried to call out “Someone, help me,” but the cloth meant all that could be heard was “Smn hlp m”. Gerry stood back and watched her struggling as she sat on the couch.
“Keep struggling, my girl, these photos are going to be fantastic,” he said as Stella tried to scream through the thick cloth. By now she was sitting on the floor with her right side to the seat, the topes of her stockings showing as she continued to try and twist her wrists free.
“Why don’t you see what you can find, my friend,” Gerry said to his assistant, who left the main room of the suite and started searching the bedroom. Meanwhile, Stella was helped onto her knees and turned the other way by Gerry, who then picked up his camera and started to shoot again.
“Look at me, Stella, that’s wonderful – you’re going to be a star after this my girl,” he said as the signer started to cry while she watched him take photo after photo of her predicament.
“I need to take a little break,” the photographer eventually said as he put the camera down. “We’ll be back in a little while – don’t go anywhere Stella,” he laughed as he walked towards the bedroom.
The girl watched and listened to the sounds from her room, then shuffled round so that she was leaning back against the couch. How the heel had she gotten herself into this situation anyway? She wasn’t that popular or rich, and she sure as well wasn’t enjoying the experience, but how did they manager to fool her so completely? Her own naivety was the answer that came to mind, and she silently vowed never to allow anything like this to happen again.
“Ah, there you are,” Gerry said as the two men walked back into the room. “We’ll be on our way soon, but we just have a few more things to do.” Stella looked at both of them, wondering just what it was they had in mind and fearing for the worst.
Instead, the assistant came over and gently pulled Stella over so that she was lying on her side. The hem of her skirt started to ride up to reveal the black knickers that she had worn to protect her modesty – the skirt had been the idea of her publicist, not her. That was when a thought struck her – where was that woman anyway?
As if he knew what she was thinking, Gerry said “We paid a visit to her earlier – I’m afraid she’s a little tied up with red tape at the moment.” The assistant laughed as Stella realised that Gerry wasn’t exactly joking when he said that.
“So, I think we need to make you a little more – uncomfortable,” Gerry whispered as he rolled Stella onto her stomach and pulled her bound ankles back as far as they could go. Taking a long length of rope that was handed to him, he wrapped it between Stella’s wrists and ankles until she was held in a strict bind, unable to do much more than rock from side to side. She looked up at the two men with a mixture of pain and anger in her eyes, while they stood there admiring their work.
The assistant started to collect and pack the equipment while Gerry knelt down in front of the frightened singer. “When your publicist finally gets here, tell her we paid you a visit as well, and we’ll be in touch to discuss terms for returning the originals of these photographs. Have a nice day, Stella.”
The two men picked up their bags and left the room, as Stella struggled and tried desperately to scream out for help. It was another two hours before a very bedraggled and hurt publicist finally managed to get access into the room and free her client, after which both had to wait to see what happened next.