The Merry-Go-Round 2: The Holodeck Suite

(This story was inspired by Zack's The Merry-Go-Round, and uses the same characters and setting, with his permission.)

Chapter 1. The Agreement

Thursday was one of the best days in Marilee's life. It started when her fiancé Charlie tickled her awake, and she found that his broad wrist and ankle cuffs were still holding her in a loose spread-eagle on her own queen-size bed. She liked the inescapable bondage that Charlie enjoyed using, and there was no way she could get out of those cuffs. But the attaching straps were long enough to allow her to shift her position so that she didn't get stiff at night when sleeping. And they left plenty of room for squirming when Charlie tickled her.

He began with her feet, then shifted to her underarms, then moved by stages closer to where she really wanted to be tickled. Neither of them had to go to work that morning, so he was able to take his time. He loved to watch her laugh and squirm; by the time he reached the insides of her thighs, he was as ready for sex as she was. They both enjoyed glorious climaxes, and then rested alongside each other, gazing into each other's eyes. Charlie left her strapped down until the morning approached its end.

They both had to go to work that afternoon, but it was one of the nicest days that Marilee had ever spent on the job. The Bitch Boss was out of town at a regional meeting of the store managers, and everyone was able to relax and get their jobs done without worrying about being sniped at.

Charlie wasn't there that evening. Marilee had to content herself with using her vibrator, which she thought of as strictly a substitute for the real thing. But the aftereffects of the morning's passion were still with her. Even the orgasm with the vibrator felt especially good.

So Thursday had been wonderful. Unfortunately, that made Friday by contrast even more of a downer.

Charlie woke her up again, but this time it was by phone call. He was a railroad locomotive engineer, based at the Brunel Rail Yard almost two hundred miles away at the home base of his crew district. His next assignment would take him in the other direction several hundred miles farther away from her. She ate breakfast knowing that it would be at least four days before she would see him again, and that that would happen only if he drew an eastbound assignment.

She had a morning shift at the Ladybeetle Fashion clothing store, and the Bitch Boss was back and in a bad mood. Marilee found out the reason for the mood at the end of her shift when she was called in to the boss' office. Bitch Boss said, "Marilee, in the opinion of our Regional Manager, this store is overstaffed. I've read the guidelines that we must follow, and I have to agree. I was hoping to keep you on for another few months until you get married, but the heat is on from the national headquarters. So I'm sorry. This has been your last day. Here is your severance check in lieu of notice.” Trust the Bitch Boss to sound sympathetic only when she was giving out bad news and letting someone go.

Marilee's next stop was several doors down in the mini-mall, at the custom dressmaking and wedding supply store. Three generations of Charlie's family had been getting married in the same dress, and Marilee hoped to be able to wear it too. But even though the seamstress had let out all of the darts and tucks, Marilee was still too fat to fit into it. She had long known that she was "kind of heavy”. She stretched the weight across a 5-foot-8 frame, and Charlie never seemed to mind, but there was no obvious way for her to lose enough weight to fit into that dress in time for her wedding.

The worst part was the overheard comment from Charlie's skinny cousin Jane, who brought the dress to the dressmaker: "I don't know why Miss Piggy Porker ever thought she could fit into that dress. I was the last person to be married in it, and I guess it will just have to go back into my closet until somebody thin comes along." Marilee had never been much of a Cousin Jane fan, but these words still hurt.

Some people drown their sorrows in booze. Marilee preferred to use fryer grease, even though she knew that too much could be almost as destructive as too much alcohol. She went down to the local burger joint and ordered a Big Burger meal. The place was crowded, mostly with high-schoolers and their families; the place had been a hang-out since Marilee had been a high-schooler, and the first game of the football season would be played that night. Every bar seat and every table were taken. To have a place to sit Marilee had to grab an entire four-person booth to herself, and she got that place only by being next to the booth when the group that had been sitting there got up and left. She looked around at the excited, happy high school crowd, and ate a French fry, and thought that her luck couldn't stay this bad forever. Sooner or later something good would have to happen.

And then a voice from behind her shoulder said "Hello, Marilee. Do you mind if we join you?"

The guy who was speaking was about her age, blond with rumpled hair, tall, wearing a conventional outfit of tee shirt and jeans which he filled out well. He obviously went to a gym regularly, or he had some sort of vigorous job like farm labor. Not too surprisingly, he was carrying a tray of food. The gal standing behind him was the most stunningly gorgeous woman Marilee had ever seen. Her excellent figure matched her beautiful face. She was obviously with him, because she was not carrying any food at all.

As a matter of fact, on second glance, she was carrying nothing at all, not even a pocketbook. And her jeans fit tightly enough that there couldn't be any room in the pockets.

The guy seemed familiar, but Marilee could not place him. His response to her inquiring stare was to whistle a happy little tune. Marilee recognized it within the first few notes; it was the piccolo obbligato from 'The Stars and Stripes Forever'. It's a tricky melody to play. She and the other piccolo player in the high-school band had had to work hard to get it right.

The other piccolo player . . . . "Jason?"

"I thought that you would recognize me if I gave you some context. Suzi, love, slip in and have a seat. Marilee, this is my new bride Susan. Susan, this is Marilee, my old piccolo playing partner." As he sat down he added, "So how have you been lately, Marilee?"

"Oh, up and down, up and down. Mostly down today, to tell you the truth. I've been trying to save up some money before I get married, and I just lost my job today. What are you doing with yourself?"

"I married Susan here, and I moved across the road into her place. She's got an engineering degree, and I've been fooling around with stuff ever since I was a kid, so we hope to be selling some gadgets on the Internet."

"What kind of gadgets?"

"We're not saying, until we are actually ready to start selling them." Jason turned to Susan, “If it wasn't for Merrilee helping me with English, I would have flunked out of high school. I really owe her.”

There was a pause in the conversation while Merilee ate a few more fries. Jason put a Deluxe Mini Burger and a diet cola in front of Susan and unwrapped his own Deluxe Maxi. Both burgers had been ordered with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and any other nourishing stuff that could be found on a burger. They had no fries. Jason sipped his own diet cola as Susan said, "Did I see an engagement ring flashing on your finger?"

Marilee looked over at the really pretty woman sitting alongside Jason. "Yes. Manufactured diamonds, not mined, but they are still real diamonds. And they cost a bundle less than mined diamonds of the same quality." She lifted her left hand to show off the two carats' worth of blue-white flawless stones in her ring, but she wasn't really thinking about that topic. The woman who was discussing engagement rings with her had brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes, and with her excellent figure she did look really pretty. But what had happened to “stunningly gorgeous”?

Then Jason added some sort of comment about jewelry. Susan looked over at him and her entire face lit up. Clearly Susan was stunningly gorgeous only when looking at Jason, and her light shined brightly enough on those occasions that some of it leaked out to where other people could see it too. Jason, Marilee thought, was one very lucky dude.

Susan said "Do you mind if I steal one of your fries? I used to really like them, and I haven't had any in ages." In response to Jason's disapproving look, she gave him a little-girl-pleading look and said "Just one, please Jason, just one."

Talking with Susan, and seeing her in really-pretty mode, made Marilee think that Susan looked somehow familiar also. She said, "Take two fries. By the way, do you have a sister living in this town? I work - well, anyway, I used to work - at Ladybeetle Fashion. You remind me of a customer I used to wait on from time to time. Only she was much heavier than you."

Susan answered, "I thought that I had seen you somewhere. That was probably me. I lost over thirty pounds in about six weeks last spring."

"Wow! How did you do it? I'd love to be able to lose weight that fast before my wedding."

Susan got a wry expression on her face. "You wouldn't want to do it the way I did. For starters I nearly killed myself." She turned to Jason and gave him another one of those radiant looks. Apparently he had had something to do with her survival.

"Well, so long as you weren’t actually killed. You look all right now. In fact you look incredibly good. Please, tell me."

Susan looked over at Jason as if asking for a clue on what to say next. Jason smiled at Marilee and then looked back at Susan, and Marilee realized that private spouse-to-spouse messages were flowing back and forth. Perhaps if he couldn't be overheard, Jason would persuade Susan to disclose her weight-loss secret. So Marilee excused herself and headed for the ladies' room. When she glanced back from the line for the ladies' room (Isn't there always a line for the ladies' room in any really busy public place?), she saw that Susan and Jason had their heads close together and were busily discussing something. Her strategy seemed to be working.

Fifteen minutes passed before Marilee could get back to the table. By then, with kickoff fast approaching, all of the high school football fans were leaving. The other nearby tables were empty, and Susan was sitting there alone. She greeted Marilee with "Grab a seat. Jason went out to the car to get something.“ When Jason came back a few moments later, he had a pad of lined paper in his hands. Of course, like any geek, he also had a pen in his shirt pocket.

As he sat down, he said "You think you really want to go through what Susan went through to lose weight? It would be a big commitment. You might be staying with us 24/7 for a month, or maybe even longer."

Marilee was a bit uncertain. "Well . . . "

Susan interrupted, “It will be really stressful, and at times painful. But it will work, and you will lose weight.”

Jason continued, "We aren't going to believe you are committed enough until you put it in writing." He handed the pad to her, with a pen, adding "This has to be in your handwriting. By the way, what is your middle name?"


And then Jason began to dictate, while Marilee wrote:

My name is Marilee Rita Tchernee. I am engaged to marry Charles Robertson. My wedding is planned in about three months.

I want to look my best for that wedding. However, I am overweight. I need to lose at least twenty pounds, or even more in order to really look my best. And since the wedding is so soon, I need to lose this weight quickly.

My old friend Jason, and his wife Susan, have offered me the use of their property as a fat farm, where they can help me lose the weight. But they have warned me that even with their help, it won't be easy. I will be kept on their property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will be kept under lock and key, and not allowed to leave, except under the provisions of the safety section included below. I will be expected to follow orders, and I will be punished if I do not.

(This passage caused a do-you-really-mean-it look from Marilee, and a yes-I-do look from Jason in reply.)

I will be kept isolated from the world. I will not be allowed to make phone calls without approval, because phone conversations would be an opportunity to tell the world that I am having a bad time. The world will not see the beneficial results until this experience is over.

I will know hunger, and fatigue, and soreness, and pain. I am willing to put up with this treatment and these stresses for the sake of the desired weight loss.

I have been given two levels of safety. The first of these is a safeword, which will be "piccolo". If I use the safeword, I will be given a time-out for discussions and explanations and protests. But any use of this safeword will be judged. If I use my safeword just because I feel lazy or uncooperative, I may be punished for it.

The second level is a safety phrase. This must be delivered to Charles, preferably in person, or by phone if he can't be there. The phrase is "I know that this will come as a big disappointment for you." If this is used, my treatment by Jason and Susan will come to a prompt end and I will be required to leave. There will be no subsequent re-starting; the entire project will come to a final end.

I have accepted these conditions of my own free will. The laws against kidnapping or false imprisonment do not apply to these circumstances. I really want to lose this weight.

When he was done dictating, Jason said, "OK, take that piece of paper home with you and think about it. Discuss it with Charlie. Think about what it means. Then if you are still willing, let us know so we can get the place ready for you. Just before we start, you will have to sign and date that paper, and then read it in front of a video camera."

Marilee spent even more time than usual talking on the phone with Charlie over the next few days (Thank goodness for an unlimited-long-distance calling plan!). Jason's proposal seemed to be a good idea, with a better chance for success than the typical buy-this-wonderful-weight-loss product found in spam mail or in advertising banners on the Internet. But the potential for abuse was obvious. Marilee and Charlie would have to have a great deal of trust in a guy that Marilee could not remember seeing since high school and a gal that she didn't know at all. Were they into BDSM? Would they be treating Marilee as a total BDSM submissive? Finally Marilee and Charlie developed two additional paragraphs for the agreement, and Marilee re-wrote the whole thing on a fresh sheet of paper with the extra paragraphs added:

My fiancé Charles Robertson will have unlimited visiting and phoning privileges during my stay. He will have the authority to end the project and remove me from the premises whenever he feels that this is necessary, and his judgment in making that determination will not be questioned. If he does this, the effect will be the same as if I had used my safety phrase.

This agreement does not cover acceptance of any explicitly sexual contact or conduct.

This change had to be approved by Jason and Susan. When Charlie telephoned, Jason's reaction was, "Of course I agree. Charlie, be sure to bring a nice sturdy padlock when you drop Marilee off. We'll be ready any time after next Monday."

A few days later Charlie was given an eastbound freight train assignment that would bring him back to town. He arrived late in the evening after a tough all-day trip, and he needed to sleep (Time to sleep can be very precious for train crewmen who are working irregular hours in freight pool service.) He woke up about 9:00 am, reached out for Marilee, and found that her nervousness over her coming ordeal had the side effect of making her especially passionate. The written agreement stated that Marilee would be kept "under lock and key", a somewhat ambiguous statement which might or might not affect their privacy and their opportunities for sex, with or without bondage, for the next month. They wanted to take full advantage of this final opportunity. Their sex was missionary position, with no straps or other confinement, and it gave the best orgasms that either of them had ever had while being so totally conventional.

Jason had said that Susan would supply Marilee with clothing, so packing was very simple. After lunch Charlie and Marilee got into Marilee's car (Charlie's was parked in the employee lot at Brunel Rail Yard.) and he drove it out to Susan and Jason's place. Susan's grandmother had been a bit paranoid when she lived there alone, and she had made the place easy to find by surrounding it with a twelve-foot chain link fence topped with razor wire. Susan and Jason were waiting at the front gate. Jason was carrying an equipment bag. Susan, once again, was carrying nothing.

After exchanging greetings with Charlie and Marilee, Jason pulled a clipboard, a video camera, and a lightweight camera tripod out of his equipment bag. He set up the camera gear, handed Marilee the clipboard, and videotaped her signing and reading the agreement. Then he said “First test now. We will find out if you really, really meant what you just wrote and what you just said.” Then he reached back into the bag, pulled out a pair of leg irons, and handed them to Marilee.

Marilee looked quickly at Charlie to see his reaction. Charlie said “Think of the expression on Cousin Jane’s face when she sees you in a month.” Marilee got a very determined expression on her face. She placed the pivoting side of one of the cuffs against her ankle and pushed hard. The pivoting side ratcheted through the lock mechanism, spun in a full circle, and closed on her ankle. Then she did the same thing with her other ankle, and stood up.

Jason had had a story ready. He had supposedly bought the cuffs at a police uniform and equipment store after consulting with a friend who was a policeman. But after watching the way Marilee put the leg irons on, he doubted that the story would be needed. Instead, he decided to push Marilee a bit harder, a move he hadn’t been certain about. His bag also contained an open padlock and a four-foot length of chain with a set of handcuffs attached to the middle. He pulled these out and handed them to Marilee.

Marilee was still wearing her determined expression. She wrapped the chain around her waist, padlocked it snugly in place, then reached behind her back and closed the handcuffs onto her wrists.

Nothing had been said since Charlie’s comment about Cousin Jane. Less than a minute had passed. Marilee had gone from total freedom to near-total captivity in that short time, and she had required no explanations for why the cuffs were available, and no instructions on how they worked. By the time the handcuffs were in place, Jason and Susan were both certain that Marilee was not a bondage virgin. Their plans for how to handle her would soon be modified accordingly.

Jason said “Marilee, take ten steps that way, through the gate, then turn around and stand still.” While she was moving, he turned to Charlie and asked “Did you bring that padlock? OK, good. We normally secure this gate with an 18-inch length of chain held in a loop around the gate framing posts by our own padlock. For this event, we will be using two 9-inch lengths, held in a loop by two padlocks. We will be able to get in or out by opening our lock, and you will be able to get in to visit by opening yours. You now have the honor of putting the loop in place.” And he handed Charlie the two 9-inch lengths, already connected end-to-end by a padlock.

Jason then moved to the middle of one of the double gates. In response to his gestures, Susan moved to the middle of the other one. They both grabbed the gates and pulled simultaneously. With her arms and legs already confined, Marilee watched her access to the outside world being closed off. When the gates were almost shut, her loving fiancé Charlie moved up to the narrow space between them and looped the locking chain into position. He slipped his own padlock into place, and looked up at her, and gave her a crooked smile. She looked back, and appreciated once again how well he fit the cliché: tall, dark, and handsome. Then he squeezed the lock, and it snapped shut. Marilee was completely at the mercy of two people that she didn’t know very well.

And then Charlie got into Marilee’s car and drove off, leaving her to her fate.

Chapter 2. The Walk Begins

Susan said “Come with me”, and they started toward the buildings. Susan held Marilee’s elbow and guided her around to the barn, a somewhat slow journey because of the chains that Marilee was wearing. Neither of them spoke, because both of them had a great deal to think about and a great deal to observe.

Marilee realized that she had entered a household where handcuffs and leg irons were conveniently available to imprison visitors. There had been no phony story trying to explain them away. The place looked like an ordinary farmyard, with an ordinary house, barn, and outbuildings, but obviously she wasn’t the only person in that household to have the un-ordinary experience of wearing chains, even though nobody else was wearing them at that moment. Marilee was very glad that a no-explicit-sex clause had been added to the written agreement. However, implicitly erotic things still could happen. As a matter of fact, the chained and shackled walk from the gate to the barn had already started her hormones buzzing.

While they walked, Susan studied Marilee’s behavior in chains. Susan’s hormones were buzzing too, although the reasons weren’t apparent to Marilee. Susan was leading Marilee into a special suite of rooms which Jason had built in the barn. Susan had helped to build that suite, and part of her buzz came from memories of her work on that project which had been done as 'Slave 628'.

The suite had two generously proportioned rooms, each with a door into the primary open space of the barn, and also with a connecting door between them. There was a long narrow bathroom, with a double-width shower stall that had shower heads at both ends, a toilet, a sink, and a linen closet all in a straight line down one side and doors at each end connecting into the two larger rooms. All of the doors were heavy, thick solid wood, with double-cylinder deadbolts. Anchor points for chains were tucked into inconspicuous points around the rooms.

The really nifty feature of these rooms was their quick-change capability. In each of the larger rooms seven-foot-wide sections of the walls could be attached to a power winch and lifted out of the way to the height of the barn lofts. The rafters had been reinforced to support the weight. Furniture, wall panels, and other features could then be brought in and out from the general storage areas of the barn with no worries about clearances. A generous selection of decorative wall panels and fabric wall hangings was available. All of these panels, and all of the structural plywood panels that were the primary walls, had been drilled for mounting screws using the same template, so the decorative panels were all interchangeable. All of the wall hangings were the same width, so they would all fit on the curtain rods that surrounded each room at ceiling height. The primary structural wall panels were painted a neutral gray, which could blend with any color scheme that might be installed on top of them.

When Jason’s parents visited, some desks and filing cabinets had been installed to make the suite a reception area and private office for the business that Jason and Susan were trying to start. The shower was then explained as a place to clean up after outdoor or shop work without tracking dirt into the house. But in the short time these rooms had been available, they had also been used in several other ways.

The inner room had been “innocent teen-ager Susan’s bedroom” (single bed, dressers, movie posters on the walls) from which she had been “kidnapped” to the house, and conversely a “kidnapper’s lair” (bare gray walls, wooden framework chair for tying up damsels in distress) for the time when she had been “kidnapped” from the house.

Susan had worked in the outer room as an ordinary modern engineer designing products and figuring out how to make them. She found that it was more fun to do this kind of work as a “captive Space Fleet engineer”, confined to her two-room suite until the “sinister” project was completed, chained to the bed at night, and subject to the “evil attentions” of the dictator Zircon of Zorcon. The CAD-programmed computers were the same either way, kept on the same wheeled tables.

Other uses were planned. Jason had begun to attend factory and household auctions, and to bid on items in similar auctions held on line. He looked for tools and materials at prices much lower (and quality sometimes much higher) than new. Some of the items bought at auction had been intended for use when decorating the suite in various ways. Jason also bought a hand-pushed fork lift that made transferring furniture much simpler. Before long, Susan and Jason had begun to call these rooms the Holodeck Suite. Now just entering this suite caused Susan’s hormones to buzz.

Susan brought Merilee to the outer room, which looked at the moment more like a doctor’s office than anything else. The walls were covered in white panels, the furniture was white or chromed steel and plastic, the only table had an aluminum top, and there was a height-and-weight scale in one corner. Susan carefully locked the entry door behind her. She dropped the key into a combination-locking briefcase and locked that as well. Then she released Marilee from all of her chains, opened a suitcase, and ordered, “Strip. Hand me your clothing.”

Marilee looked around and saw no replacement garments. She said “Piccolo”.

“OK, Condition piccolo. What do you want to say?”

“I agreed to hunger, and fatigue, and soreness, and pain, and punishment. I did not agree to be stripped and humiliated in front of Jason or any other man. It looks like you are planning to pack up my clothing and keep me naked, and probably chain me up again. What are you going to do to me?”

“Fair question. Before I agreed to let you come here, I told Jason that any deliberate attempt to see you naked would be a violation of the ‘Forsaking all others’ clause in our marriage vows. He accepted that. If you fight me hard enough that I need his help, he will be available, and then all bets are off. So you would be wise to follow my orders. We are going to keep you in outfits that are more practical for exercise in the late August sun than the one you are wearing.”

Marilee said “OK” and peeled off her blue jeans, loose jacket (a good camouflage for extra pounds), tee shirt, bra, and panties. Susan marched her over to the height-and-weight scale. A tape measure was applied in the obvious places, and also to measure neck, wrist, ankle, upper thigh, and upper arm diameters. Susan carefully wrote down the numbers. Marilee was afraid to ask why, and didn’t.

Then Susan opened a drawer in a medical-looking white metal cabinet and took out Marilee’s new clothes. These included a sports bra, full-cut cotton panties, white cotton socks, a tee shirt, and knit shorts with an elastic waistband. The shirt and shorts were gray. Susan said “We have several more sets like this. We’ll wash them and give you a fresh one each day.” Marilee put them on. Her arms and legs were left bare, but the outfit didn’t feel at all erotic.

Jason and Susan had had to start with the assumption that Marilee was vanilla. Marilee didn’t know it, but plan A had called for this non-erotic outfit and nothing else except the merry-go-round pull chain, and that chain was to be clipped on and easily removable. After all, the perimeter fence with its locked front gate would have been sufficient to maintain their promise that she would be kept under lock and key.

But by this point Susan had seen how Marilee chained herself and how she reacted to wearing chains. So Susan went to plan B, opened another drawer, and added the leatherware: a wide, sturdy belt around Marilee’s waist, and sturdy wrist cuffs with D-rings attached. The belt had several pouches which were secured shut by zip ties, and it locked on. The wrist cuffs were about three inches wide and were secured like Susan’s old ones by zip ties. The D-rings had bigger-than-usual loops, which were held on the insides of the wrists by straps that were stitched and riveted across the cuffs, instead of around them the way most rings are attached to cuffs.

The next items from that drawer were something new to Marilee. It was a five-inch length of steel pipe, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, with a larger-diameter end cap that had an eighteen-inch length of chain welded to it. Susan lined the pipe up alongside Marilee’s right forearm, then slipped that pipe through the D-ring on Marilee’s wrist cuff. The end cap was too big to allow the D-ring to slide over it. A similar but larger-diameter pipe with a longer attached chain then went through the D-ring on Marilee’s left wrist, and the ends of the pipes were brought together. Susan slid the smaller pipe into the larger one; the smaller one had been machined down in diameter over about two inches of its length, and it slipped in for a snug fit. There was a “click”, and Marilee’s hands were linked together in front by about eight inches of pipe.

Susan then gathered both of the pipe cap chains and padlocked them together behind Marilee’s back, which secured Marilee’s wrists snugly to her waist. The left-over chains hung down like double tails from the small of Marilee’s back.

Then Susan took Marilee out and introduced her to the merry-go-round walker. It had been modified somewhat since Susan had first used it. The biggest physical change was an extra strut that had been added to support a weather-sealed metal box in front of the person doing the walking. The box had a slanting glass top. Marilee could see some sort of video screen inside.

The computer programming had also been modified. Susan padlocked Marilee’s longer tail chain to the walker and explained how the system worked. “This is where you get your exercise. But going around and around and around on this thing can be boring. Believe me, I know that by hard experience. So there is now a punishment system if you behave like a lazy bum, and there is also a reward system if you keep your speed up.

“Minimum speed has been set for you, for starters, at two miles per hour or one trip around every 64 seconds. If you go slower than that, you will hear a ‘move, lazybones’ warning from the system, and you had better speed up or you will get an electric shock from that belt locked on your waist.

“If you average over two and a half miles per hour for an entire exercise period, the TV/DVD set-up in front of you will switch on for the next period. The player has an auto-change feature for five disks, and the computer will pick one of them at random and play it for you. At the moment, each disk contains several hours of state legislative sessions recorded live from the broadcasts by the government-sponsored cable channel. They aren’t quite as boring as going around and around with nothing, but they aren’t much better than that.

I”f you average over three miles per hour for an entire exercise period, bells will ring in the house and in the barn when you are done. Jason or I will then come out and replace one of the DVDs. We have episodes of Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy, and Family Feud ready to go. If you want us to record something else, just ask.

“If you average over three and a half miles per hour for an entire exercise period – that’s one trip around every 36 seconds – then we will let you pick the DVD that will play during your next one. That way you avoid the frustration of knowing that there are four episodes of your favorite program ready to play, and the random system picks the one remaining disk of legislative sessions.

“For this afternoon and tomorrow, each exercise period will last for 30 minutes, with 30-minute breaks in between. I will be available to take you to the bathroom, or for anything else essential, during your breaks. You will cooperate when you aren’t attached to the walker, because I will have a radio-control pushbutton slung around my neck to trigger the shock system of that belt.

“After that we will go to 45-minute exercise periods, and then 60 minutes soon afterwards. Depending on how you are doing, we’ll eventually go even longer after that. By the end of the month, you should be up to two hours for each exercise period. The breaks will stay at 30 minutes. We will have five exercise periods per day.

“Let us know when you get hungry. We’re putting you on an 800-calorie diet that we saw on a morning talk show a few months ago. You get five of the special diet cookies per day, to be eaten whenever you get hungry, plus one low-calorie meal in the evening. You will probably want one cookie at each break, with maybe one for breakfast, or one as a pre-supper snack; it’s up to you.

“That’s about it. The system is ready. Are you?”

Marilee’s only possible answers to that question were 'yes' and 'piccolo', and she saw no point in using her safeword. So she said “Yes”. Susan pushed a few buttons on the controlling computer, the system said 'Begin', and Marilee’s long walk to slimness began.

Marilee had not realized how poor her condition was. She covered six and a half miles total on that first day, and won two replaced DVDs and three TV/DVD programs. The random choice system picked legislative sessions for all three programs, so the walking stayed boring. But Susan was there for each break, and she was obviously sympathetic. The two women chatted about Susan’s experiences on the walker, and about their interests in entertainment. Merilee mentioned that she enjoyed detective stories. The chains and wrist straps stayed on during potty breaks, but Susan was very helpful.

Supper that evening was a steak dinner, complete but in miniature, served in the front room of the Holodeck Suite. Susan put a nice tablecloth on the aluminum table and genuine silver-plate knife, fork, and spoon beside Marilee’s plate. Marilee’s waist chains came off, leaving her confined only by the locked doors, by an ankle chained to a wall anchor point, and by the trigger button on Susan’s neck lanyard that could have been used to administer shocks; Marilee behaved, and received no shocks. The salad was three pieces of lettuce, half a tomato, and two cucumber slices. The potatoes were three French fries. Marilee could have eaten the steak in two bites if she had been willing to stuff her mouth, but she cut small pieces instead and ate them slowly to stretch them. Dessert was a few slices of apple.

After supper, Susan unlocked the door between the two big rooms, released Marilee from the wall chain, and showed her through. The back room had been set up assuming that Marilee was vanilla, and it was arranged in a practical contemporary style. The single bed once used by “teen-age Susan” was there, along with a small dresser and a bedside table. The lower walls had genuine knotty pine panels that had been taken from an older home which some idiot had wanted to remodel. The upper halves of the walls had pale-blue finished and painted panels made from quarter-inch plywood. There were several scenic pictures hanging in frames. Bright bulbs were installed in the ceiling fixtures, and the circuit breakers were on so these lights were functional. All in all, it was a cheerful room.

Of course, it was secure. The deadbolted heavy wooden doors assured that a person held captive there could not escape. Marilee was given access to the bathroom, but the door from the bathroom to the front room was locked.

The bedside table had shelves which held a current-model Nintendo system with several games, and some trashy-looking paperback romances. On top was an odd-looking telephone, looking like a 1950’s-era dial phone except that it had no dial. Marilee noticed, and asked “Where did you get this phone, and how do you use it?”

Susan answered, “That is one of the things that Jason picked up at somebody’s auction. You can receive calls on it, but you cannot make calls.” She pointed to a pushbutton, mounted low on the door frame, that looked like a doorbell for four-year-olds. “This is your only outbound signal system. Pushing it rings signal bells in the outer barn and also in the house. If you ring it we’ll drop in, or we’ll call you using our cell phones. That phone can be connected to our land line. If you pester us with the bells, we can switch them off. But if you haven’t been pestering us and you keep ringing, we will assume that you are having a heart attack or you are throwing up with the flu or something, and we’ll come running. We put the button low so that you could use it even if your illness makes you too dizzy to stand. It’s a valuable safety feature, but I wouldn’t abuse it if I were you.”

Marilee’s next questions were “Am I going to be stuck in this bulky belt all night?” and “Can the belt get wet safely when I take a shower?”

Susan grinned, and answered “We have an arrangement for that.” She backed out of the door to the front room and locked it. A few moments later a much smaller door opened in the partition between the two rooms, to reveal a hatchway that was just wide enough for a dinner plate and tall enough for a head and face. It could be used when the Holodeck Suite was set up as a one-cell prison and guardroom, to provide food for the prisoner or to allow observation by the guard. (A video camera would have been a better observation tool, but Susan didn’t like having sex when it might be videotaped, and she was the usual prisoner. Jason liked to have his prisoner enjoy sex. Therefore there was nothing in the cell which might be used for videotaping.) At this moment, Susan was the guard. She said “Stick your hands through this hatchway”, and when Marilee complied, Susan handcuffed Marilee’s wrists to a taut chain in the front room, came back in, removed the belt, went through and locked the door again, undid the handcuffs, said “Good Night”, and closed the hatchway. Marilee had to admire the way that Susan carefully controlled her.

After her shower, Marilee looked over the paperback romances in the bedside table, picked the one that she thought would most likely have a bondage scene, lay down on the bed, and tried to read it. The book had no bondage scene. Marilee soon gave in to her fatigue, pulled the covers over herself, and went to sleep.

Chapter 3. Vanilla, and Chocolate Chips

Marilee’s next day established a pattern that would be followed with some modifications for many of the days in the coming month. Looking back, Marilee later thought of these as her vanilla days. The first one began when the phone rang. The caller was Susan, who said, “Good Morning. This is your wake-up call. The small dresser holds several changes of exercise wear, so you are to get up, take a shower, and get dressed.” Twenty minutes later the small access hatch opened and Susan greeted her in person. Then in a reverse of the previous evening’s procedure, Marilee was handcuffed through the hatch, the shock belt was locked back on, and she was allowed to go through to the front room where breakfast (one cookie) was waiting. Soon afterwards she began her long march for that day.

Five walking sessions, each 30 minutes long, with four half-hour breaks in between, took four and a half hours. By walking briskly during the first two sessions, Marilee won two more replacement DVDs, and the random pick system gave her two episodes of Jeopardy, one of Wheel of Fortune (which seemed to be appropriate listening for going around and around), and one (Doggone it!) legislative session. She slowed down toward the end, but never went slowly enough to be warned about shocks.

She spent the rest of that afternoon, and many later afternoons, in a comfortable lawn chair under the big maple tree in the back yard of the farmhouse, with her waist chain or her ankle padlocked to a long chain around the tree trunk. She got a surprise reward after her walk. Susan had paid attention when Marilee said she liked detective stories. Jason’s book collection contained a great deal of science fiction, and fortunately those two areas of interest do overlap to some degree. So Marilee was introduced to Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw, and in later days to Lord Darcy and Sean O’Lochlainn. None of the stories involving these characters is very erotic, but they are all good reading.

Marilee noticed that Susan and Jason checked up on frequently, but they usually didn’t stay around for long. They seemed to be very busy doing things in the shop area of the barn. The frequent checks were important because Marilee’s waist chain stayed on until she returned to the Holodeck Suite in the evening, and she needed Susan’s help in the bathroom.

Reading could have been awkward with Marilee’s hands cuffed to her waist, but there is a fairly common tool for holding something that is to be read when both hands are otherwise occupied. It’s called a music stand. As an old piccolo player herself, Marilee was not at all surprised when Jason found one around the house and set it up for her under that maple tree.

Marilee never saw Jason or Susan eating breakfast or lunch. She assumed that they had their own larger meals in the house, and out of politeness toward her didn't make her watch while she was on her stringent diet. When suppertime came, Marilee was unchained from the maple tree, taken into the front room of the Holodeck Suite, secured by one ankle to an anchor point in one corner of the floor, and released from her other chains. Then Marilee, Susan, and Jason all had a low-calorie nourishing meal together, and they talked. They discussed the long stretch of excellent weather they were enjoying, Marilee’s marriage plans and the others’ recent marriage ceremony, Internet marketing, the books that they read, the condition of the economy, and a million other things. Bondage was rarely mentioned. These were vanilla days, and the mood stayed vanilla until it was time to lock Marilee in her bedroom for the night.

Of course there were always the chains, and Marilee occasionally intercepted a look between Susan and Jason which implied that something interesting would happen in the house at night. But Jason had sworn to forsake all others but Susan, and Marilee was never involved in those interesting things.

But not all of the days were vanilla. Looking back, Marilee thought of the others as chocolate. Many of the later ones were very dark rich chocolate fudge.

The first chocolate chips were mixed into the vanilla on Marilee’s fifth day. Exercise periods were increased to one hour on that day, and Marilee was very tired by the time the last period came to its end. The TV/DVD was off, because she hadn’t gone fast enough during the previous period to earn a program. She didn’t care; all of her attention was consumed in putting one foot in front of another fast enough to avoid getting zapped. She would have done it, too, if another obstacle hadn’t appeared on the path that she was walking around. The obstacle’s name was Charlie.

Charlie had come to make the first of the visits which he was allowed under the terms of the agreement. He hadn’t called ahead, because he was planning a surprise visit. Marilee was so tired that she never heard Charlie drive up to the house and walk around to the back. And Charlie certainly caused a surprise. It happened when his sweet, loving fiancé stopped dead in her tracks and greeted him with “Charlie, you idiot! Get the hell out of my goddamn way!!”

Charlie moved quickly. The total delay in Marilee’s walk was only about fifteen seconds. But she was so close to her allowed maximum time around that fifteen seconds was too much. She tried to push her tired legs into jogging as the computer voice said “Move it, lazybones!”, but she got only about three quarters of the way around before the system went Crack! Marilee completed her circle around to where Charlie was standing shouting “Ow! Ow! Ow!” with every stride.

Susan had heard Marilee’s first shout at Charlie. She came running from the house to the computer keyboard on the merry-go-round and she stopped the program. Jason had heard also, and he came a bit more slowly from the barn with a tool kit in his hand. Marilee turned off of the merry-go-round track, buried her face in Charlie’s shoulder, and began to cry. Charlie threw his arms around Marilee to support her and gave Jason and Susan each a dirty look.

Jason turned to Susan and said, “He’s never going to believe that we aren’t a couple of sadists torturing his woman unless we show him that the inventor of this thing is willing to work it herself. Change clothes, Susan. You know how I prefer to handle the punishments, but we have to do it to you now the same way we were doing it to Marilee. Wear your special bra.”

Susan said “Yessir” and trotted off toward the house. Jason opened the padlock that attached Marilee to the merry-go-round.

Charlie looked down at his woman, and hugged her more tightly for a minute or two until she began to get her tears under control. Then he said “According to your safety phrase, I am supposed to be disappointed in you if you need to be taken out of here. Actually I am more angry than I am disappointed. I can’t leave you here at the mercy of people who are willing to hurt you like that.”

Marilee exclaimed, “No, Charlie! I really need to lose the weight. And besides, you are the one who got me zapped. They have been pushing me hard, but not too hard. I have been able to stay ahead of the zapping system. I would still have been ahead, if you hadn’t gotten in my way.”

“Oh. Uh, Sorry. You really want to stay?”

“I really want to stay. I’m done with my walking for today, anyway. It’s great to see you. How long will you be able to stick around?”

“I don’t know for sure. I’m on call. If another train crew exceeds their legal 12 consecutive working hours and dies on the hog law, I will be needed to bring their train in. I probably won’t have much warning if I have to go to work, so I don’t want to start anything that I wouldn’t want interrupted.”

“Oh, well, stick around while you can. You can at least see where I’m being kept. Jason, Charlie can join us for supper, can’t he?”

Jason said, “He sure can. Guided tour of the facilities first, though. Here comes Susan, ready for her turn on the merry-go-round.”

Susan had changed more than her bra. She replaced her T-shirt with a black string bikini top. The leather bra that Jason had requested was underneath; it had sturdy straps much wider than the bikini strings, and the edges of the breast cups were visible all the way around the bikini. A white tube of some sort was suspended between her breasts.

Susan’s jeans were gone in favor of something much skimpier. A fancy orange rope went around her hips, supporting a strip of soft black plush fabric about four feet long. It was a foot wide at the ends, narrowing to six inches in the middle. The fabric strip was hanging down to about knee length in front. Then it went up over the rope, down between her legs, and up over the rope in back to hang down again. The narrow area was entirely against her body, so the hanging parts front and back were full width.

Despite this rather sexy outfit, Susan obviously expected to be doing some serious exercise. She was wearing sturdy running shoes and heavy cotton athletic socks.

Charlie took one look and asked Marilee “Have they been making you wear chatka and kurla too?”

Susan thought, Yes indeed they are bondage buffs, if they use the Gorean vocabulary. I’m glad that Jason gave me the Gor books to read, and to serve as inspiration when I made these garments.

Marilee answered “No, they've been keeping me in these T-shirts and shorts. Our agreement was for nothing explicitly sexy, and they have been true to that agreement.”

Jason flipped his tool kit open and pulled out a couple of padlocks and a length of chain. He stood behind Susan and put a loop of chain around her left wrist, another loop around her waist, a final loop around her right wrist, and then used a single padlock to connect all three loops in the small of her back. Susan offered no objection to this procedure, but when Jason started to pull her over toward the merry-go-round, she said “Hey! No! Not without the proper equipment. Piccolo!”

“That's supposed to be Marilee’s safeword.”

“I don’t care whose word it’s supposed to be. You know why I designed and built that pipe lock. You know what it means to me. If you padlock me to the merry-go-round with an ordinary lock, I’ll go on strike. I’ll just sit here, screaming when I get zapped and crying the rest of the time and putting on a show that will convince Marilee and Charlie to run for the hills and arrange for your arrest as a spouse abuser.”

Jason looked at the expression on Susan’s face and decided not to argue with that threat. So he fished a clamp tool out of his toolbox, a tool that looked like the ones used for “Slave 628’s” straps in the website story. He turned to Marilee, who was still in Charlie’s arms, and said “I’m afraid you two will have to separate by at least a foot or two. I need to get at that pipe lock.” The pins on the clamp tool went into holes on the opposite sides of one of the pipes, and the lock released with a sharp click.

Susan then yielded without argument when Jason used the pipe lock and its chains to secure her to the merry-go-round. She didn’t object when Jason’s tool kit provided three-pound lead-and-canvas weighted exercise cuffs for her ankles, or when Jason set the computer for 34-second circling times that would require a four-mile-per-hour pace to avoid getting zapped. Marilee and Charlie each concluded that Susan was Jason’s totally obedient and subservient slave, but only under rules that she wrote herself. (Nobody should ever expect that an enthusiasm for bondage must make logical sense.)

Jason said “Now, about that tour. Follow me.” And he led Marilee and Charlie toward the Holodeck Suite. Charlie took Marilee’s right hand in his own left, threaded his fingers between hers, and gripped firmly so that Marilee was unable to escape, even though there were no chains on her body at that moment. Then he followed Jason, taking Marilee along. Susan was left behind on the merry-go-round.

Susan’s exercise lasted one hour. She jogged and walked fast enough to stay ahead of the zap program. This allowed enough time for the others to tour the Holodeck Suite, and for Jason to whip up a batch of his vegetable stew for supper. Afterwards, Jason decided that Marilee would enjoy some turnabout play – Susan would enjoy it too, for that matter – so he left Susan’s hands chained behind her back when he undid the pipe lock and released her from the merry-go-round. Susan then needed Marilee’s help in the bathroom, and Marilee fed Susan her supper one spoonful at a time.

After supper, Jason loaded a DVD of classic Hitchcock movies into the player in the living room, and they all watched 'The 39 Steps' together.

Marilee did not keep her temporary freedom during the movie. 'The 39 Steps' includes a long sequence in which the hero and the heroine fall in love while handcuffed together by the bad guys. Charlie knew about this sequence, and he decided that the best way for a guy and his gal to watch it would be with her wrist cuffs padlocked together around his waist. He just happened to have a padlock in his pocket.

Susan and Jason might have disagreed with Charlie about the best way to watch the movie. They also sat close together, and Susan’s wrists stayed behind her back until Jason released her after the movie was over.

Jason then looked over at his guests, who were still curled up together on the couch. He asked “Would you two be up for some fantasy the next time Charlie visits? The no-sex pledge will certainly hold between Marilee and me, and also of course between Marilee and Susan. But it doesn’t apply between you two, and we can do lots of things with the Holodeck Suite that should be real turn-ons for both of you. How about it?”

Marilee and Charlie exchanged a look, and then they both nodded. Marilee observed, “That sounds like fun.”

The end of the evening was vanilla. Charlie got a back-to-work cell phone call and drove off to the rail yard. Susan put Marilee into the back room of the Holodeck Suite once again. But it was obvious to all concerned that Charlie’s next visit would be very chocolate.

Chapter 4. Susan’s Explanations

The relationship between Marilee and Susan changed after that evening. Marilee had been thinking of Susan as a supervising authority, which made sense since Susan had all the keys and the belt shock control button. But after seeing Susan spend an evening in chatka, kurla, and chains, Marilee began thinking of her as another gal who liked to play the same games.

Marilee became less reluctant to ask somewhat personal questions when Susan was tending her during breaks from walking. And after seeing her behavior on that evening, Marilee did have some questions she wanted to ask. Susan showed no resentment and provided some detailed answers.

Marilee's first question was “I noticed that you borrowed my safeword yesterday. Don’t you have a safeword or safety phrase or something of your own?”

Susan replied, “I’ve got something better. I have a safety file cabinet. It’s a three-drawer fireproof cabinet that Jason picked up at a company-going-out-of-business sale. It sits in an odd corner of the upstairs hall in the house, and the bottom drawer contains a packed duffle bag. There are jeans, blouses, tee shirts, sweat shirts, underwear, socks, bathroom supplies, everything that I would need to wear or use for several days, except for shoes. The shoes are in the middle drawer, along with boots, gloves, warm hat, scarf, umbrella, and a raincoat with a zip-out lining in case I should decide to leave during bad weather.

“The top drawer has the real prizes: my wallet and keys. The wallet has driver’s license, credit cards and a checkbook on accounts that Jason doesn’t have access to, and several hundred dollars in cash. There are keys fit every lock that is used to confine me, keys to all of our vehicles, and keys to every door and gate in this place, including the main front gate.

“Did you notice that I wasn’t carrying a purse, or for that matter anything else, on the day we first met? I have never been outside the fence of this place without Jason since the day we got married. And when Jason takes me out, he has all the money and keys. I couldn’t drive anywhere because I have no license or car keys. I couldn’t even get back in here because he has the gate key. And if I want to buy anything, even a pack of gum, I have to beg Jason for the money. It’s a subtle but effective method of keeping me under control.”

“Yeah, I noticed that. But how does this relate to your lack of a safeword?”

Susan continued, “The cabinet is locked. The key for the cabinet is right on top, under a little puddle of sealing wax. The sealing wax has an impression of a locket that I keep hidden somewhere around this place, so Jason can’t replace the key with one that does not work or empty the file drawers without my being able to tell that he has been cheating. If he broke the key out and later replaced it, the new sealing wax wouldn’t have that locket impression. But I couldn’t get the key out and then cover up my cheating either. The wax also has an impression of an old Belgian military medal that Jason found at a flea market, and I don’t know where he keeps that medal hidden.

“I have access to the file cabinet at times like now, when my only restraint is the perimeter fence. Sometimes Jason gets so busy cutting, grinding and welding in the barn that he wouldn’t notice my going until I was gone. I also have access to the cabinet at night if Jason leashes me to a bracket on the outside of our bedroom door frame, which he does fairly often. That leash is long enough to let me reach the toilet in the bathroom across the hall, in case I need to pee at night, and the file cabinet is close enough to our bedroom door that I can reach it too. Jason is a sound sleeper. I could open the cabinet, take the stuff out, and be gone before he woke up.

“Jason says that every day I don’t use the stuff in the cabinet is another magnificent gift from me to him. But if I used it, I would cut myself off from the times that he locks me where I can’t reach the cabinet. I am completely his at those times, without any reservation or appeal. Then, I get so hot, and I need him so badly. Those times are the best gifts that he gives me.

“He often uses the Holodeck Suite for that purpose. He has a long chain that he can run from the near corner of the front room, through the bathroom, to the far corner of the back room. He uses the chain from a dog leash with it. He puts the long floor chain through the metal circle that used to hold the leather handle of the dog chain, and he padlocks the collar clip end of the dog chain around my ankle. The metal circle then slides along the long chain, and I can go just about anywhere in the Holodeck Suite. But I cannot leave it, and I have to wear the clothes and eat the food that he brings to the suite. I’ve been there for days at a time. Sometimes he doesn’t bring anything, and I stay naked and hungry for as long as he pleases to keep me that way. Sometimes he brings me things, but only as rewards for completing designs on the CAD system that we can put in the front room. That is a damn powerful incentive to get working, and at the same time it gets me turned on.

“Every time I go past that safety cabinet, I think: Not today. Maybe tomorrow.”

Marilee’s other question was “What is so special about the pipe lock? Why did you let Jason chain you to the merry-go-round with that, but not with anything else?”

Susan’s answer to that question was, “I’ll show you tomorrow.” She refused to provide details.

The next day started out in vanilla mode. Marilee woke up to the ring of the telephone, showered, was handcuffed through the hatch and then fitted with the shock belt, was released from the cuffs, and ate her breakfast cookie, all as per usual. There were also no changes from the usual during the first three exercise periods on the merry-go-round.

During the third break, Marilee and Susan watched as Jason drove off in the brand-new full size van that he had bought to haul items purchased at auctions. As the fourth exercise period began, Susan apparently went crazy. She said “Now it’s just you and me, Marilee, and I am not going to release you. Nobody is going to release you. You are trapped, do you hear me, trapped helpless, with no way out, nyahahahahahaah!” Then she gave Marilee a big fat wink, and disappeared into the house.

Susan did not come back at the end of that exercise period. Marilee was glad that her bladder and her intestines had both been thoroughly emptied during the previous break. Susan still did not reappear after the fifth period, when Marilee expected to be transferred to the long chain under the maple tree. The computer program continued to run, although it was supposed to quit automatically. Soon it was demanding that Marilee start an unprecedented sixth exercise period. With walking or being zapped her only choices, Marilee began to walk.

About twenty minutes into her sixth exercise period, the pipe lock spontaneously came undone. Marilee’s wrists were released from her waist, and she was disconnected from the merry-go-round. She stood around for a moment, rather bewildered, before the computer said “Faster, lazybones.” Realizing that she was still wearing the shock belt, Marilee turned to the computer to see if she could figure out how to stop the program. The only display on the computer screen at that moment read “Click here to stop program.” So she clicked there, and was rewarded by the announcement Program stopped.

Susan reappeared from the house. “See? I told you that nobody was going to release you, and nobody has. You got loose without anybody helping you.”

“Yeah, but what happened?”

And Susan began the detailed answer that she had refused to give before:

“I’ve told you about being trapped on the merry-go-round the first time that I used it, and how scared I was that I was about to die. I’ve mentioned that Jason made me spend afternoons on it again several times after he rescued me. I don’t think that I mentioned my panic attack the second or third time that he did that. My sense of timing was off, and I thought that Jason was very late in returning from the store. Actually he was only about half an hour later than he said he would be, but he still found me in hysterics. I resolved then to come up with a safety system for the merry-go-round .

“I didn’t want the bulk or the dripping cold water of traditional systems based on melting ice. But I also didn’t want any complicated mechanical timers or electronic circuits that could malfunction. So I came up with this.”

Susan took a screwdriver, poked it into the end of one of the pipe-lock pieces, and unscrewed something. She tipped the piece, and the lock mechanism slid out. Marilee could see a solid steel hook, some coils of wire, some connecting wires, three AA batteries, and a frame to hold these parts together. Susan pointed out parts with the tip of the screwdriver as she continued her description.

“There is a similar hooking mechanism to this one in the other half, but no more batteries. When you slide the two pipes together, these electric contacts touch a set in the other half, and the locking mechanisms in both halves are activated.

“The springs in these locking mechanisms work backwards from the springs in just about every other lock that I ever heard of. They hold the hooks in release position, not locked. These coils are electromagnetic solenoids, and they pull the hooks into lock position when they are energized. They use electricity constantly, and the only source for that electricity is these rechargable AA batteries. When the batteries go dead the locks have to release.

“I am careful to check the mechanisms for proper lubrication each morning when this lock is to be used. I could imagine one of the hook mechanisms getting jammed, but not both at the same time. If either one of the hooks moves to release position, the lock comes unlocked, so each mechanism acts as a safety release for the other.

“This is now a prototype for several gadgets that Jason and I hope to be selling on the Internet. There will never be another one exactly like this, because this one is too hard to produce in quantity at a reasonable price. To cover the time of a skilled machinist in cutting, and tapping, grinding, and assembling, we would have to put a $500 price tag on them, or else pay ourselves less than minimum wage to make them. We hope to bring that price down about 90% by making the regular production pipe locks from metal-filled epoxy, electrical conduit, and conduit fittings. We are still experimenting with various grades of epoxy and various types of conduit, and we are still trying to work out how to do the remaining metal cutting as simply and quickly as possible. It’s an interesting project.

“I’ve been locking you up in the mornings with the batteries all fully charged. This time, to show you how the safety works, I used half-recharged batteries. I didn’t know exactly when they would run dead. I quit showing up for breaks after your third exercise period because I thought that you might be released at any time, and I wanted you to get loose without any help from me. As it turned out, the batteries lasted for almost five and a half exercise periods. Those are better batteries than I thought they were.”

Susan took the control button for the shock belt in one hand and gave an order: “Jason should be back any time now, and we don’t want you escaping through the front gate when he opens it. So get under the maple tree, and lock your ankle to the chain. I left an open padlock there, waiting for you. We won’t bother with chaining your wrists until it is time to take you back to the Holodeck Suite.”

Chapter 5. Chocolate Fudge

Three days later the first of Marilee’s exercise periods was lengthened to 90 minutes. The other periods were lengthened one by one over the next four days. It was harder for her to keep her pace fast enough to earn TV shows when that pace had to be sustained over the longer periods, but the shows that she got were better. Susan and Jason had paid attention when Marilee said that she liked detective stories. They began to record episodes from all three Law and Order series and from the classic series Diagnosis: Murder to load on the merry-go-round DVD.

For almost a week, Charlie drew locomotive operating assignments that kept him away from Jason and Susan’s place. Fortunately, when he finally was assigned to an eastbound, the assignment included a promise of an overnight layover that would last at least twelve hours. He would have plenty of time to play. He phoned Jason, Susan, and Marilee, and he asked them to get ready.

Susan and Jason had picked a fantasy on the same night that they all had seen The 39 Steps. Jason went to an auction where he found some furniture that would fit that fantasy. He bought additional supplies online and at the local hardware store. Susan would also be playing, and she made herself an appropriate dress, and an appropriate robe for Charlie.

After Charlie called, Susan and Jason worked together to get the Holodeck Suite ready while Marilee was walking in circles and watching Law and Order. Then Susan installed Marilee in the remodeled back room of the Holodeck Suite, and they all waited for Charlie to arrive.

According to the story that was the basis for the evening’s fantasy, candidate priestesses for the Religion of the Sun God wore ankle-length white dresses with narrow shoulder straps and straight-across bodice lines placed low enough to show the candidates’ cleavage. Accessories included leg irons, chain belts, and wrist manacles linked to the belts. Susan would be a temple attendant, not a candidate priestess, so her dress would be red. The original story did not give any other details about the attendants’ outfits.

Attendants could not wear chains, because they needed enough freedom to be able to tend to the priestesses. But could a religion which kept its candidates and priestesses in chains also allow total freedom for their attendants? Susan did not think so, and she designed and made her dress accordingly.

When Charlie arrived that evening, he appreciated the sight of Susan in that dress. It was a simple ankle-length tube of red satin, of constant diameter. Shoulder straps of white satin were attached, with bows where they met the bodice line in front. White satin ribbons also ran all the way around the dress inside both top and bottom hems as drawstrings. The drawstring ribbons were visible only at the bows which adjusted them at top and bottom center.

Susan had adjusted the shoulder strap bows and the top drawstring ribbon bow so that the top of the dress was low enough to show her cleavage. The dress was very tight across her breasts, and again at her hips, and it was quite apparent that she was not wearing any underwear. It was tight enough at her ankles to shorten her stride and affect the motion of her entire body as she walked. Charlie watched her legs pull tight against the fabric – which wouldn’t stretch – with every stride, and he quickly reached the same conclusion that Marilee had reached several weeks earlier: Jason was one very lucky dude.

Susan had met Charlie when he got out of the car, saying, “Greetings, Your Reverence. I pray you come this way, Your Reverence.” And she led Charlie to the front room of the Holodeck Suite and unlocked the door. The same white wall panels were installed as when Charlie saw the room during his previous visit, but the room was candlelit and the furniture had been replaced by a wooden table and wooden chairs with upholstered seats. “Would Your Reverence be hungry for some supper?”

“No, thank you. I have eaten already, at, uh, His Majesty’s Restaurant. I wanted a bigger meal than you served me the last time I was here.” (The usual name of His Majesty’s Restaurant is Burger King, but that name didn’t seem to fit into a conversation with a woman who addressed him as Your Reverence.)

“Oh. Apologies, Your Reverence. We shall endeavor to improve the size of your meals on future occasions. Then perhaps you would wish to perform appropriate ablutions to cleanse yourself after your long and tiring journey.”

Charlie enjoyed the way that Susan was treating him, and he decided to tease her back: “Will you be available to help me with those ablutions, Sun Priestess?”

“Alas, as you know, the first call on the duties of a High Sun Priestess has been granted to His Majesty the King ever since the fateful year that the Tabernacle burned down. King Jason the First currently awaits me, and I must leave you. But I have prepared one of the most beautiful of my sister priestesses to serve you in your bedchamber. I pray you, enter the bedchamber through the bath chamber. Take advantage of the facilities to cleanse your body, Your Reverence, and wear the robe that is hanging by the bedroom door. Here are the keys that will allow you to secure the door from the outside to this room, and the door from here to the bath chamber. You need not be concerned about surprise attacks by assassins.”

Charlie relaxed. He really would not have to be concerned about getting out of the Holodeck Suite in case the railroad had some sort of emergency and called him on his cell phone. He replied “It grieves me that you cannot stay, but we must all be true in our duties to His Majesty. Convey my greetings to him. I bid you farewell.”

“Farewell, Your Reverence.” Susan left. Charlie enjoyed watching her walk out in that red dress, and then he locked the door behind her.

(We may reasonably presume that soon afterward, Jason adjusted the bottom drawstring ribbon of the red dress to further shorten Susan’s stride. He presumably did other things, too. But Marilee and Charlie did not witness any of that.)

Charlie knew that he had all night, so he decided be patient about joining his fiancé. He showered, and put the bathrobe on before entering the back room. The robe proved to be ankle length, and black, with fake ermine lapels. It made Charlie look much more like a High Priest of the Sun God.

The back room had been completely transformed. The cheerfulness was gone. The blue wall panels had been replaced by draperies of mustard yellow, a color that would be associated with the Sun God. The bright lights had been replaced by candles in hurricane globes, hanging in pairs from the ceiling and from brackets on all four walls. The draperies had been pulled back at either side of the panels that supported the lantern brackets, revealing plastic “stone walls” underneath and giving the impression that all of the walls were stone The landscape pictures had been replaced by a single painting that could have been either a sunrise or a sunset. The single bed had been replaced by a king-size bed with a large wooden headboard, the kind of bed that a High Priest would be expected to sleep in. And Marilee was waiting for him on that bed.

She was naked. She wore only a brass-and-leather collar which was padlocked to about ten feet of bronze-tinted steel chain, so heavy that it could have been used to tow a truck. The chain was attached to the wall by the bathroom door, and it was long enough to allow Marilee to use the toilet while she was waiting. There was a convenient hook on the headboard to support the chain so that its weight would not tend to drag Marilee onto the floor.

Charlie paused for a moment to take in this beautiful sight. Marilee’s figure was already noticeably curvier than it had been before her walk to thinness started. He walked over to give her a kiss hello, and her arms went around his neck and would not let go. Things went very rapidly after that. Within fifteen minutes Marilee and Charlie were lying side by side on the bed, recovering from their first orgasms. Charlie hadn’t even had the time to take his fancy bathrobe off.

He said “Wow, you are hot this evening. The books all say that a guy should warm up his gal with some foreplay before going for the big O. You broke the rules.”

“I don’t think so,” she replied. “I must have had over an hour on this bed with nothing to do but wait for you and think about you. Then I had about fifteen minutes of listening to water flow through the pipes and splash around the shower stall. I thought about joining you – this neck leash is long enough, and the shower stall is double size – but I figured that if you wanted me, you would have asked for me. I had to just keep lying here. That splashing amounted to remote control foreplay.”

“Well, we have all night, Sun Priestess. We should be able to stretch the next one out a bit longer, if I slow you down a bit. Is there any appropriate equipment stowed somewhere around these rooms?”

“Indeed yes, Your Reverence. There is a built-in cabinet in the far wall of this room, out of my reach. I believe that it is full of appropriate equipment.”

Charlie went over to that wall, knelt down, and opened a pair of cabinet doors about three feet tall and four feet wide. There were two shelves inside, both piled with neatly-coiled lengths of rope. There were also a few soft leather cuffs and some zip ties for securing them.

Charlie felt inspired. He took out four cuffs and zip-tied them to Marilee’s ankles and to her legs above the knees. He had Marilee lie on her back. Then he began to take length after length of rope out of the cabinet to anchor those cuffs. The first rope tied Marilee’s left ankle to the side board of the bed, allowing about a one-foot margin between her ankle and the edge of the mattress. The second rope was longer; it ran most of the way across the king-size mattress to tie her right ankle to the opposite side board, with her ankles about twelve inches apart. The third and fourth ropes tied her knees to the side boards, also about twelve inches apart, so that her calves were parallel to the edges of the mattress, her knees had to bend, and her crotch had to spread wider. The knee ropes ran diagonally up toward the head of the bed, so that the anchor points on the side boards were opposite Marilee’s waist. Yet another rope tied Marilee’s ankles to each other, and then the ends ran straight down the bed to secure each ankle to the footboard. The final ropes went around Marilee’s chest both above and below her breasts. These final ropes were snug about her body, but there was considerable slack between her body and the anchor points on the side boards.

The total effect of this ropework allowed Marilee considerable freedom of movement above her waist. She could sit about halfway up, and wave her arms around however she pleased, and twist and turn her head at will. But she had almost no freedom below the waist. She could not move her feet, except to wiggle them, and she could not reach them or protect them in any way.

Charlie took off his robe and laid down across the bottom of the mattress, entirely beyond Marilee’s reach. He began to tickle her right foot. She laughed, she screamed, she squirmed, she pleaded, and she had no effect on Charlie’s actions at all. He just kept tickling, until she was totally exhausted. Then he paused to let her catch her breath. He used the pause to switch feet before he resumed tickling. Occasionally he ventured up as far as the backs of her knees, but he knew perfectly well that the most ticklish parts of her body were the soles of her feet.

The relentless attack continued for over half an hour. Charlie understood Marilee’s tickle fetish, and he watched closely until her movements and her cries changed character. He kept tickling until her laughter changed to moans and a flood emerged from her crotch. Then he shifted to gentle caresses until Marilee came down from the a truly glorious climax. There were a series of aftershocks on the way down.

By that point Marilee had realized that “Stop . . . please stop . . . Oh God stop” wasn’t persuading Charlie to abandon his assault. She had had enough and didn’t want him to start up again. So she began to plead “Charlie, come here. Come here. Kisses waiting. Don’t ignore the rest of me.” And after that, he didn’t. He was in her again for her third major climax of the night, and his own second climax.

They were both too tired to continue. Charlie reached down to the sideboards and tugged at the ropes which secured Marilee’s knees. The ropes came undone – he had tied them with bows, which Marilee couldn’t reach anyway – and Marilee gained enough freedom to keep her legs from cramping due to being held rigidly in position overnight. Then they both went to sleep.

The following morning reality intruded before passion could be ignited again. Charlie’s robe began playing “I’ve been Working on the Railroad”, a ringtone that warned of a back-to-work call. Charlie fished his cell phone out of the convenient pocket in the robe than Susan had provided, knowing as she did how important a cell phone could be for a working railroader. He answered the call, untied Marilee, hurriedly dressed, dropped priestly robe and door keyring on the table in the front room, and left.

Marilee soon got out of bed, unhooked her heavy leash from the headboard, extended the full length of that leash from its wall anchor point into the bathroom, and took a shower. When she returned to the bedroom, Susan was waiting, with an outfit that included a front-buttoning blouse instead of a tee shirt. Marilee was able to put it on while still confined by her brass and leather collar and her heavy leash. Then Susan gave her a special breakfast, a scrambled egg and a miniature Danish pastry, served in her bedroom. Susan and Jason understood perfectly well that Marilee would need more than a diet cookie on this particular morning.

After that, the ordinary morning routine resumed. Susan locked Marilee’s hands to her waist with the pipe lock (using freshly charged batteries), and put her shock belt back on. Soon Marilee was marching around the merry-go-round again. She had only a bit of afterglow left to remind her of Charlie’s visit.

Chapter 6. More Fudge

Another week went by. Jason and Susan planned another fantasy for Charlie and Marilee. They gathered the appropriate equipment, and they made a few items that weren’t already available in their storage area.

Marilee’s exercise periods were lengthened, one by one, until all five of them were two hours long. Afternoons under the maple tree ended, because the total exercise time including breaks had stretched to twelve hours and did not end until 8:00 pm. Marilee finished her daily walks after sunset, but evenings were still warm enough in September to allow this. She was too tired to read after supper, and usually went straight to bed.

Charlie called again, alerting his friends and fiancé that he would be visiting the following day starting shortly after 12:00 noon. The following morning, Jason and Susan redecorated the Holodeck Suite while Marilee exercised for two periods. The remaining exercise periods were cancelled for that day to allow time for a proper visit and fantasy.

When Charlie arrived, Jason greeted him, wearing a blue Roman-style tunic with a yellow trim band around the chest. Jason’s greeting was “Tal, Rarius”, and Charlie realized that he was visiting Gor.

As they walked towards the barn, Jason handed a key ring with Holodeck Suite door keys and some padlock keys to Charlie, so that once again Charlie could be certain of an unhampered departure if needed. And Jason provided Charlie with more information about the afternoon’s fantasy: “Rarius, the pretty slave that you were thinking about acquiring has been prepared for you in the back room of this suite. A robe in your colors is waiting for you in the baths. A supper will be served in the front room at about the sixteenth Ahn, which would be six pm according to that Earth-style watch that I notice you are wearing. I will hope to see you then.” Jason then left and allowed Charlie to enter the Holodeck Suite alone.

The walls of the front room had been covered in alternating pale-blue wall panels and mustard-yellow drapes, both recycled from previous back-room color schemes. Charlie put these colors together with the design of Jason’s tunic, and remembered that blue and yellow are the colors of the Gorean Caste of Slavers. The lighting wasn’t very intense, but it was clear white; apparently his hosts were rich enough to afford energy bulbs from the Caste of Builders for illumination. The furniture comprised a wooden table (that had in reality probably come from a breakfast nook somewhere), a counter at a comfortable height for working while standing, and two chairs. Charlie was glad that he would not have to sit uncomfortably on the floor crosslegged in true Gorean style for supper.

Charlie remembered that his previous arrival had been successful in turning Marilee on by what she called “remote-control foreplay”. So once again he began with a long leisurely shower. The robe waiting for him this time was knee-length, and Caste-of-Warriors scarlet.

Not too surprisingly, the back room had once again been transformed. The blue and yellow walls and the low-intensity clear white lighting matched the front room. A platform-style queen bed had a chain and collar attached to its foot, and a narrow cot was placed there, apparently to accommodate in reasonable comfort a slave who was chained to the bed at her master’s feet. The only other furniture was some storage chests.

Marilee was nowhere in sight. There weren’t very many places where she could be hidden. “Uh . . .Marilee?”

“Tal, Master.” The sound of her voice guided Charlie to the built-in cabinet on the far wall. It had also been transformed. The shelf was gone. The lightweight cabinet doors had been replaced by inch-thick plywood panels. The simple spring door latches had been supplemented by heavy-duty round deadbolts, mounted vertically above the doors so that gravity would fight any escape attempts by a captive. One of the doors had an opening, about one foot square, crossed by three solid steel bars. The opening was framed by 2 x 4 timbers which held the bars in place. Marilee looked out at him through those bars.

The rope storage cabinet from the room’s previous incarnation had become a Gorean slave kennel.

Charlie looked concerned. He said “Perhaps I’m not supposed to use the safeword, but I will anyway. Piccolo, Marilee, time out. How long have you been locked in there?”

“An hour, maybe. Since about noon. It’s really not too uncomfortable. There is a layer of foam on the floor, with a blanket on top of it, so I don’t have to lie on bare wood. The space is big enough that I can straighten my knees or my back, though not both at the same time.”

“Well, if you are that comfortable, I suppose I don’t have to hurry about releasing you. Let’s play some more. Slave Girl, you must await my pleasure. I shall rest before trying you out.” Jason walked over to the bed, collapsed across it, and gave a couple of loud snores.

Jason had planned to tease Marilee by lying in bed for about five minutes, but he underestimated his own fatigue and his need for rest. Five minutes was long enough for him to fall asleep. Marilee began to understand some of the passages in the Gor books about confined slave girls howling at the three moons in sheer sexual frustration. She could see the body which she desperately wanted to have pressing against her own, only a few feet away. And there was absolutely nothing that she could do to close the space between these bodies.

Jason’s nap lasted about two hours, two precious hours of their time together. Marilee had been with him on several previous occasions when he really needed his rest, so she knew how disagreeable he could be if he didn’t get it. She waited as patiently as she could until he showed some signs of waking up, and then she started imploring “Please, Master. I beg you to deal with the needs of your helpless slave girl. Please . . .”

Jason finally heard her and shook his head to clear the accumulated fuzz from his brain. He glanced at his watch, came fully awake with a start, and went over to the kennel and lifted the latching deadbolts. He commanded “Crawl out, Slave Girl.”

But Marilee couldn’t crawl out. She had to kneewalk out instead. Charlie discovered that her hands were secured behind her back by a pair of Turian-style cuffs, made from round steel rods and locked by Allen screws. She also wore a matching Turian-style slave collar, plus chatka and kurla at her hips. Her upper body was bare.

Charlie helped her to stand, and he inspected her cuffs closely. The link between those Gorean-style steel cuffs was made of six or seven loops of lightweight steel wire, wrapped through both cuffs and soldered in between them. A wrap of lightweight leather covered the solder and the wire between the cuffs. The resulting link held the cuffs only about an inch apart, with no big protrusions on the inside where a single heavier link loop probably would have been digging into her wrists The cuffs themselves were much more comfortable than typical police cuffs, since they had no hard corners and did not stick out as far from her wrists.

Charlie did not have a little L-shaped Allen wrench. He could not release the cuffs. Marilee’s hands would be confined behind her back at least until suppertime.

This didn’t appear to bother Marilee at all. She had little use of her hands, but she could touch Charlie with her lips, and her tongue, and her teeth, and her breasts, and other parts of her body. He had a perfectly functional pair of hands available for uses such as untying a kurla so that a soaking-wet chatka could be removed, or for help during a potty break. She actually preferred that those hands were Charlie’s and not her own.

Charlie liked this state of affairs also. After some vigorous exercise and several intense orgasms, he lay on his back on the bed, positioned Marilee face-down on top of him, and rested. He thoroughly enjoyed having a beautiful woman who was unable to escape from near-total body contact with him, and who was perfectly content to be there, relaxing in the afterglow of her own passion.

About forty ehn after the fifteenth ahn, Gorean time, or shortly before 5:30 on Earthly clocks, there came a knock on the small hatch between the two major rooms of the Holodeck Suite. Susan’s voice came through in a shout that was muffled by the closed hatch: “Supper in about half an hour”. So Charlie and Marilee got up. Charlie took another shower, and gave one to Marilee. He looked through the chests on the floor of the back room, and found a grey fake-fur camisk – a Gorean style of narrow poncho commonly worn by slave women – that Marilee could wear.

This poncho was rather conservatively cut, for a slave garment. It came down to Marilee’s knees in both front and back, it exposed only a few inches of her skin on either side of her body. It even had sewn-on tie strings at breast level to keep the side gaps from getting too wide there. The belt was made from soft leather which would tend not to slip across the fabric, so the lower part of the garment would also tend to stay in place. Susan had presumably made it, and she apparently didn’t want Marilee to be embarrassed by wearing a too-skimpy garment in front of Jason.

Marilee was still handcuffed, of course. But a camisk is designed to be put onto a woman – or even more important, to be taken off her – with no interference from her shackled arms.

When Charlie and Marilee walked out into the front room, they found Susan and Jason already there. Susan was standing by the counter and tossing lettuce, tomato slices, onions, carrots, and cucumbers together into a salad. She was wearing a gray sleeveless tunic which had broad shoulder straps and a knee-length hemline. A gray steel collar was locked around her neck. Charlie looked at her for a few seconds, then identified her garment and said “Tal, Tower Slave.”

“Tal, Master. Now that you are here, I can demonstrate a marvelous invention from Georgius Foremanius, of the Caste of Builders. He fought in gladiatorial combat, won rich purses, and put the money into this invention. He modified energy bulbs to produce heat instead of light, and now we have this totally flameless tool for cooking bosk steak on both sides at once. I understand that he sold one to Kamchak, Ubar San of the Wagon Peoples, and that Kamchak has found that bosk steak cooked on it with spices from the Lowry Islands tastes much better than bosk steak cooked over a bosk dung fire.” And then Susan put two large steaks into a George Foreman grill.

Jason was working in one corner of the room. He had put a poster stand up in one corner, with a large poster of SSR, a local oldies cover group. Charlie knew the group by reputation. Jason said “We will have an excellent group of musical performers at supper tonight. I am helping them tune up their instruments.” But what he was actually doing was setting up a DVD changer behind the poster. It takes a bit of imagination to enjoy a “feast at the fortress of a rich Gorean slaver” when you are actually on Earth.

The décor had been supplemented by two throw rugs. Each was presumably about three by five feet, but it was hard to be certain about the exact dimensions, because one end of each rug was rolled up to about the center. One of these rugs was at the table, and the other was in one corner of the room. Slave girls could put their knees on the rolled-up portions and be comfortable.

The steaks were cooked very quickly and sprinkled with Lowry’s Seasoned Salt. Susan served both men steak, salad, and a slice of rye bread each, and put a pitcher of beer on the table. Then she retired to the slave rug in the corner to kneel with her legs together and her wrists crossed in her lap in proper Tower Slave fashion. A Gorean tower slave is not permitted to eat at the same table as free men, so she would have to wait for the “leftovers from the feast”. Of course Jason made certain that there was enough uneaten food on his plate to give her a decent meal.

Charlie, of course, fed Marilee one bite at a time from his plate.

The food was excellent, and the conversation was enjoyable, even if the “slave girls” spoke so often that a genuine Gorean master probably would have whipped them. The music was a pleasant background for a very relaxing evening.

In this context, “SSR” stood for “Sixties Soft Rock”, and the music group included a soprano who could sing the Mama Michelle parts, a solid alto who could cover Mama Cass or Mary Travers, a tenor with a better falsetto than Brian Wilson, and several strong male voices with conventional ranges. The program was a pleasant mix of songs originally done by the Smothers Brothers, the Kingston Trio, the Mamas and the Papas, Peter Paul and Mary, and the Beach Boys. Some of the songs were sung by SSR, and some by the original performers. It wasn’t always easy to tell which was which.

Everybody was feeling a bit tired when almost simultaneously Marilee begged her master for a potty break, Susan asked permission from Jason for a potty break, and Charlie’s cell phone played “I’ve been working on the Railroad.” As a result, the party broke up rather suddenly. By the time everything was resolved, Susan and Jason were back in the house while Marilee and Charlie were back in the suite bedroom. And because of the suddenness of this transition, Charlie still hadn’t thought to ask for an Allen wrench. Marilee faced an entire night in handcuffs.

Marilee had noticed the looks that Susan was giving Jason near the end of the party. Less than fifteen minutes had passed since the party broke up, and Marilee was convinced that Susan was already in the house dressed – or undressed – as a passion slave. So when Charlie looked at Marilee’s cuffed wrists again and said “Oh rats!”, she replied “Please Master, I beg to serve your needs in these cuffs.” And she did, for the rest of the night. For about an hour, Charlie placed her lips and tongue and other parts of her body wherever he wanted them. After that, “master” and “slave” fell asleep spooned together, with Charlie’s arms around Marilee and Marilee’s hands on Charlie. The connecting clip between the cuffs was able to slide freely around them, which allowed Marilee to twist her wrists so that both of her hands were palms-out and all of her fingers could be used on Charlie’s body. He fell asleep with a smile on his face.

Charlie’s back-to-work call time was 7:00 am the next day. He did not want to leave Marilee in cuffs with nobody to help her, so at about six a.m.he used his cell phone to call Susan’s cell phone number. Jason answered. Charlie was able to guess why Susan was unable to answer her own phone, but he discreetly did not ask any questions. He did ask for an Allen wrench, so that he could set Marilee free.

Jason replied, in a rather puzzled tone of voice, “Didn’t we put one on that keyring I gave you last night?” And sure enough, when Charlie looked, he found that one of the keys on the ring had a short length of hex rod welded on. He could have unlocked Marilee at any time. He just hadn’t known it, while Susan and Jason both thought that the long stretch in cuffs was deliberate.

Marilee looked up from the bed at Charlie, who had a hex-tipped key in one hand and a chagrined expression on his face. She burst out laughing at the sight. But Charlie had the last laugh. He was still on the phone with Jason, and he said “This slave that I am thinking about acquiring is laughing at me. We certainly cannot allow a slave to laugh at a free warrior unpunished. So I propose that she complete an endurance trial in cuffs. Twenty-four hours. Do not release her until after noon today. And while I am making requests, I would like to give you another one. I have been in contact with my employer, and I have learned that I will probably be back here the day after tomorrow. Have her waiting for me nude and in sirik. I will make the final-final decision about keeping her at that time.”

So Marilee had an extra reminder of Charlie’s visit for her first two exercise periods that day. Her hands were not switched from cuffs to pipe lock until the third period was about to start.

Chapter 7. The Last Pieces of Fudge.

The railroad crew dispatcher for Charlie’s district was very good at his job. He routinely used the company computer system to follow the flow of rail traffic for hundreds of miles in every relevant direction, and his prediction about Charlie’s next assignment was correct. Charlie was back at Jason’s slave dealership two days after his first visit to Gor, and he found an eager slave girl waiting for him nude and in sirik, just as he had asked. The collar of her sirik had been locked to the chain at the foot of the bed, and the chain was short enough that she had to stay there in the cot that had been provided for this purpose.. She knew that it is common on Gor to keep a slave at the foot of the bed, compelled to wait for the master’s invitation – which she might or might not receive – before being allowed into that bed. (Of course Gorean slaves usually aren’t allowed cots.) By the time Charlie arrived, Marilee was quite ready for him.

He was in town only for the legal minimum eight hours, so there was no time for a party. But he found that this slave girl was as much fun nude and in sirik as she had been with hands cuffed behind her back.

Charlie’s job then kept him away for over a week. Susan and Jason had time to plan and prepare for another quite different fantasy.

Marilee had no warning about this one. She learned that playtime had begun again in the evening, when Jason, not Susan, released her from the merry-go-round at the end of her final exercise period. Jason was wearing a white tee shirt, white shorts, white shoes, and a purple velvet scarf tied around his neck.

Jason’s greeting was “Hail, Your Imperial Highness. You have completed the exercises which your father His Imperial Majesty had set for you. I trust that you will now wish to return to your quarters for a bath.”

“Um, yes, thank you.”

“Your Imperial Highness does not have to thank a loyal slave, a humble Exercise Instructor who lives only to serve the Imperial Family.”

Marilee thought that Jason was doing an excellent job of improvising hokey dialog. She replied “By the way, where is the slave who normally handles my release from training?”

“As you requested, she has been promoted to the status of your bedchamber-slave. She awaits you there now.”

So Marilee allowed Jason to escort her to the front-room entrance to the Holodeck Suite. At the door, he said “I will stand here, and guard this door, and watch for any trouble that might disturb Your Imperial Highness. Your loyal slave will be faithful.”

So Marilee entered, locking the door behind her with the key that she found waiting already in the keyhole. The décor was purple velvet hangings alternating with white solid panels. Apparently purple and white were the colors of the Imperial family. The room was brightly illuminated, and the furniture from the party on Gor was still in place. Apparently this time Marilee would be the hostess of another party. There were still only two chairs. Marilee wondered if the men would be kneeling at the feet of the women this time.

The bathroom had also changed; it never had before. The walls were still plain gray, but an old-fashioned claw-foot bathtub had been placed in the double shower stall to convert the room to an actual bath room. One of the shower heads had been removed, and the bathtub spout had been connected to the stub end of the plumbing with a hose. The room wasn’t very wide, and Marilee wondered how the dickens that heavy tub had been maneuvered in.

Marilee thought that she would enjoy a bath, a change from all of the showers. But she needed clean clothes and towels first, and there were none in the bath room. So she walked on through and entered the back room of the suite. She found that it was still a bedroom, and that the king-size bed that had been appropriate for a High Priest of the Sun was also apparently appropriate for an Imperial Princess. The décor was the same as the outer room, alternating purple and white. Even the bed was made up with a purple bedspread and white sheets. (Jason had purchased two hundred-yard rolls of the purple fabric at an auction, and Susan had been very busy at the sewing machine.)

Susan was waiting, kneeling chained by the neck to the base of the bed in a manner that might have been expected of a Gorean slave. She was wearing an interesting version of a slave tunic, again in purple velvet. It had broad shoulder straps that buttoned at the front. The left side was held closed by only two buttons, one below the shoulder and one at the waist, and it extended to her knees. The right side was stitched solid, with no buttons or other fastenings needed, but it came down only to the hip. So the tunic included a split skirt with a very diagonal hem line. Perhaps the bottom of the tunic could best be described as a variant on a man’s traditional tail coat, with the tails turned to one side.

Marilee decided that an imperial princess should be demanding. She said “Slave, where are the bath towels and my clean garments?”

Susan also stayed in character. She replied “Your nightwear and the requirements for your bath are in the tall dresser, Your Highness. I would have them out for you, and I would be ready to help you in your bath, but I am confined here.”

“Where are the keys?”

“They are on the bed.” And indeed there was a keyring with keys near the foot of the purple bedspread.

“Aren’t they within your reach? Could you not you release yourself to be ready to serve me?”

“Oh, Your Imperial Highness, I am but a low slave. I would be severely punished if I so much as touched a key.”

So Marilee had to pick up the keys herself and release Susan from the bed. Susan retrieved some towels and a purple garment from the dresser that was sitting in a corner of the room, and both women went into the bath room. For the next hour, Marilee relaxed and enjoyed herself, while Susan drew the bath, and added hot water as needed to maintain the temperature of the bathwater, and scrubbed Marilee’s back, and washed her hair, and rinsed her body, and dried it with a large soft white towel, and generally behaved as a proper bath slave. Susan avoided touching the most sensitive areas of Marilee’s body, because the no-explicit-sex clause of their agreement was still in force.

After the bath, Susan wrapped Marilee in an Imperial-princess version of her own dress. Marilee had lost enough weight that a dress made from one of Susan’s patterns would fit her, so both dresses had been made from the same pattern. However, the pattern allowed several options. The skirt of Marilee’s dress was very full and ankle length, there were many more buttons holding the left-side seam closed, and white ruffles decorated the bodice.

They went into the back room again, and Susan asked “Is Your Imperial Highness fatigued enough to desire sleep?” She went to the bed and turned the bedspread and sheet down. Marilee hesitated; where would Susan sleep? There was no cot at the foot of the bed, and Susan would be quite uncomfortable in real life, not just in fantasy, if she were chained and compelled to sleep on the floor. Perhaps she expected to be locked into the slave kennel which might be left over from the Gor fantasy. Marilee wasn’t certain about that.

Before Marilee could ask questions and resolve this she heard a tapping on the door which gave direct access to the back room from the barn. This door had never been opened during Marilee’s entire stay. Access to the back room had always been through the front room. Tap, tap, tap ta-ta-tap ta-ta-tap, repeated several times. It seemed to be some sort of signal.

Susan said “Your Highness, perhaps we should find out what is making that tapping noise.” She picked the keyring up from the bedspread where Marilee had left it after releasing her, and headed for the door.

It took Marilee a few seconds to realize that something was wrong. The “low slave girl” who did not dare touch keys for fear of punishment had picked up an entire keyring and was apparently about to use one of the keys. So Marilee reacted as a princess would under these circumstances: “Hey! What are you doing with that keyring?”

But her reaction was too slow. Susan got the door unlocked, and it slammed back against the wall. Jason and Charlie both came charging in. Jason had discarded his purple scarf in favor of a scarlet sash, and Charlie was wearing a similar sash, and they were both shouting!

“Up The Rebellion!”

“Free the slaves!”

“Long live the Sarex Republic!”

“Down with the Imperial Family!”

And they both grabbed Marilee, threw her roughly down (onto the comfortably padded bed), forced her wrists together behind her back, and handcuffed her wrists and her ankles. Then they pulled a black opaque fabric bag over her head and laced the mouth of this bag around her neck. Marilee was no longer able to see, and had to follow further developments by listening.

Susan pleaded, “Please, Jason, don't kill her. She is really a kind person, and she has been as good a mistress as she knows how to be. She just doesn’t really understand how a slave feels.”

Jason replied “You have been with her more closely than any other member of The Rebellion. You shall therefore be her judge. If you believe that she does not deserve death, we shall not kill her. But you have to be completely convinced of this yourself. Susan, do you feel strongly enough about this to put your own life on the line for her sake?”

“I suppose that I must. She has never done anything deserving of a death sentence, and I won’t be responsible for having her killed.”

“If that is how you feel, then we won’t completely abolish slavery in Sarex just yet. We will keep one slave for long enough to teach her what slavery means. Charlie, our friends from the Amalgamation spaceship have loaned us an air car and pilot. Load Princess Marilee into its storage compartment, and take her far away from here. Don’t tell me where; what I don’t know can’t be tortured out of me if the Sarex Imperial Guard catches me. Susan, put your hands behind your back.”

“But I am loyal to The Rebellion.”

“I know you are. I am going to handcuff you, put a bag on your head, wrap you in a blanket, and sneak out of here with you as conspicuously as possible to lay a false trail. Anybody who sees me will think that I am transporting the princess. If the Guard catches me, you will be able to claim that you were kidnapped and are not at fault.”

“Jason, I love you. Please, be careful.” Marilee then heard the ratcheting sound of handcuffs being locked on Susan’s wrists and ankles.

There was a short pause, presumably to allow any pro-Imperial spies to be lured out of position by Jason “escaping” with Susan. Then Marilee felt herself tossed over a strong shoulder and carried out of the Holodeck Suite through the barn. The quality of the sounds around her changed as she was taken outside, and then she was dumped roughly into the “air car storage compartment”. (She landed on several layers of quilted fabric, at least three inches thick.)

The “compartment hatch” was closed. The “air car” began to move, and it was soon cruising away from the “Imperial Palace Suite” with a sound exactly like that of tires on pavement. Marilee had no clear idea of how much time passed before the car stopped, but it was much too long for a trip from Susan and Jason’s farm to any familiar destination. There were several twists and turns. Marilee had no idea where she was.

But the car did finally stop. Marilee heard the rumble of a garage door closing, and then nothing for a few minutes. Then she was picked up over a shoulder and carried somewhere, along a route that involved many more twists and turns.

Finally she was placed on a bed. Her captor secured her in a loose spread-eagle, carefully attaching a broad leather cuff to each wrist or ankle before removing the handcuff on that part of her body. Marilee was never entirely free while this was done. Finally her captor unbuttoned the shoulder straps of her dress and the many small buttons down its left side. He tugged the dress out from under her to leave her naked.

Her captor then spoke, in Charlie’s voice: “Okay, Marilee, the fantasy is over. There is nothing but reality left.” And he removed the bag from her head.

She looked around and found that she was in her own apartment. Charlie had apparently driven there the long way around.

Marilee liked the inescapable bondage that Charlie enjoyed using, and there was no way she could get out of those cuffs. But the attaching straps were long enough to allow her to shift her position so that she didn't get stiff at night when sleeping. And they left plenty of room for squirming when Charlie tickled her.

He began with her feet, then shifted to her underarms, then moved by stages closer to where she really wanted to be tickled. Neither of them had to go to work that morning, so he was able to take his time. He loved to watch her laugh and squirm; by the time he reached the insides of her thighs, he was as ready for sex as she was. They both enjoyed glorious climaxes, and then rested alongside each other, gazing into each other's eyes.

Epilogue. Quotes and Explanations

And so the tale comes to an end, with Marilee and Charlie back once again where they were when it started. But in spinning this tale, several loose ends were left dangling. These loose ends are best picked up by adding some quotes, with explanations as needed.

Marilee, to Charlie, as they drove toward the wedding supply store that was supporting their marriage:

“Before we started our recent adventure, I was warned to expect hunger, and fatigue, and soreness, and pain, and punishment, and they all happened. Nobody mentioned companionship, and friendship, and love, and passion, and fun fantasy. On balance, I’d do it again. But even if none of the good things had happened, it would still have been worth it to see the expression on your cousin Jane’s face a few minutes ago when we picked up the wedding dress for alterations.”

Early part of a phone conversation between Susan and Marilee, about a week after Marilee’s stay at the farm had ended:


“Hello, Marilee, this is Susan. Now that you have had a chance to rest from your recent ordeal, Jason and I would like to offer you a job. Part-time, and short-term, but you did say that you wanted to earn some more money before you get married.”

“What would I be asked to do?”

“We need an assembly tester for the second product that we will be selling on the Internet.”

“I don’t know about that. I’m not very good at mechanical things.”

“Exactly. We are writing assembly instructions. We want to be certain that they can be understood and that the product can be assembled correctly by somebody who has to pause each time they pick up a screwdriver, in order to remember which way to twist to make the screw tighter. If that kind of person can do it, anybody can.”

“I suppose I qualify, then. And I could use the money. What kind of product is it?”

“It’s a forced exercise arrangement for an ordinary exercise treadmill. It will do the same job as our merry-go-round, but it’s for people who don’t have a farmyard to set their equipment up in. Two side rails, with rings that slide freely up and down. A leather belt, with side straps, for attaching somebody between the side rails to those free-sliding rings. Lockable buckles throughout. An end rail, with an electric-shock zapper for anybody who doesn’t walk fast enough on the treadmill to stay clear of the lower end. Customers will have to add their own treadmill. We have several, from different manufacturers, and we are trying to make a product that can be used with any of them. Customers may also want to add their own bondage cuffs, or whatever, to keep the captive from grabbing onto the side rails to stay clear of the electric shocks without exercising properly.”

“That sounds interesting. And you said that this is your second product. What is the first?”

“You’ll see. We’re giving you one as a wedding present. Open it when just the two of you are there to avoid embarrassing questions from family and friends.”

“Okay, then, I’ll do it. What time do you want me to start?”

“Well, you will probably want to be with Charlie when he is in town. We’ll have to work around that . . . “

After one of the assembly-instruction trials, Susan gave Marilee a box wrapped in wedding-style paper. Marilee and Charlie opened it the next time they were together. They found a gray box, about 6 x 6 x 4 inches deep, made from heavy-gauge sheet steel. It might have been manufactured to hold an electrical switch and fuses, or a couple of circuit breakers. But when they opened the box, they found instead small brackets supporting sturdy steel hooks and electromagnetic solenoids on the side of the box and also on the lid. These latching arrangements were clearly descended from those in the pipe lock used with the merry-go-round. There were also an LED, a small switch labeled “shorter/longer”, and some clamping arrangements with a Velcro strap for installing batteries. The lid of the box had a sealing gasket. A folded piece of paper had been placed in the bottom of the box, with the following instructions:

Congratulations on your purchase of a J&S Time Delay Locking Box. It is designed to hold keys or other small items securely for a period of time, and then allow access with positive assurance that the box will open. It contains no elaborate mechanical or electrical timers that might fail. The box will remain locked until the installed batteries are completely drained, and then it will open freely.
There are two versions of this box. Model P (for Premium or Portable) has a sealing gasket that keeps it waterproof. Model B (for Basic or Bolt-on) does not have this gasket and can be opened by immersion in a bucket of salty water, thereby shorting out the electrical latching mechanism.
Model B has four holes drilled in the bottom for convenience in screwing or bolting it to something solid, such as a ceiling support pole or a basement floor joist. It will obviously be difficult to immerse a model B that has been strongly secured to a sturdy pole, so you may wish to do this in order to prevent premature opening. For best security, attach the box with the battery compartment at the top.

WARNING: There is no way to open a model P Time Delay Locking Box before the batteries are drained, short of destroying the box. There is no simple way to open a model B box prematurely without tearing it off of the wall, or the pole, or whatever else it has been fastened to. If long heavy-duty screws or bolts are used, it may be necessary to cause severe damage in order to detach the box. The person who owns or uses this box ACCEPTS FULL RESPONSIBILITY for ANY CONSEQUENCES of inability to access its contents at any time. If a person is trapped behind a locked door without access to food and water, or if a fire should destroy or damage something or someone that is locked up, then the consequences of using this box may be DEATH OR SEVERE BODILY INJURY. This box can be as dangerous as an automobile, or a knife. Use it carefully, not carelessly.

1. Selecting appropriate batteries
The lock mechanism of this box is powered by three batteries, either 1.2 volt rechargeable or 1.5 volt single-use. Sizes AAA, AA, C, and D can all be used. All three batteries in any set should be the same size.
To install a different size of battery, make appropriate adjustments to the battery holder clamps. Loosen screw A (See Fig. 1), slide the lower clamp to the correct position for the new set of batteries, and then re-tighten screw A. Put the batteries in and adjust the Velcro straps in the battery compartment to anchor the batteries securely in position.
As a general rule, larger batteries will last longer than smaller ones, and single-use batteries will last longer than rechargeable batteries of the same size. But the quality of the batteries, any previous use of disposable batteries, the time taken to re-charge reusable batteries, and the number of previous charge-discharge cycles can all affect the time that the box will be locked.

2. Using the shorter/longer switch
When this switch is placed in “shorter” position, a circuit is switched on that drains more power from the batteries. As a result, battery power will be used up more quickly and the box will open sooner. Total time will be about half as long as it would have been with the same batteries and the switch set to “longer”.
If batteries are installed with the door open and this switch set in “shorter” position, the batteries will be slowly drained. This is an alternative approach to shortening the time that the box will be locked after the door is closed.
There is an LED in the power drain circuit which which will illuminate when the switch is set to “shorter”. If it does not illuminate, there is something wrong with this circuit and the box is permanently in “longer” mode. If a quicker release is important, make certain that this led is illuminated.

Using partly-charged AAA reusable batteries and the switch in “shorter” position, we have found release times of about one hour.
Using brand-new D single use batteries and the switch in “longer” position, we have found release times of about one week.
You may wish to run some experiments with your individual batteries (and battery charger) to learn how long your lock box will stay locked.

E-mail correspondence received shortly after the Time Delay Lock Boxes went on sale:

Dear Sirs:

I would like to thank you for an excellent product. Our son is now one of the best-behaved teen-agers in this town.

That hasn’t always been true. He had been running around with a bad crowd. But the last time he arrived home drunk and past his curfew, I took all of the keys for his pride-and-joy customized Mustang, and I locked them in one of your boxes which was fitted with brand-new C cells.

The Mustang sat in our driveway for one entire school week. The box did not open until Friday morning after our son had already left for school. He had to endure the horrible disgrace of walking the mile-and-a-half to school like a little kid. He whined and complained, but we had an answer: “Go whine at the box if you want your car keys.”

He now knows that that box is waiting. He knows that I keep a fresh set of D-cell batteries ready for use. He has found a new set of friends, and his grades have improved.

I never realized that I could get such great results just by Googling “lock box” and following up where that led me.

Thank you again.

Author's Postscript: Intrusions of Reality.

Isembard Kingdom Brunel is the improbable name of a real 19th-century railroad baron, the driving force behind the creation of the Great Western Rail Road. If any of his lines had been built near or through Iowa, then perhaps a town and/or a rail yard in that state would have been named after him. But in reality, he was a British railroad engineer, and his Great Western ran westward from London toward Cornwall and Wales.

Low-priced high-quality synthetic diamonds are real. For more information, Google 'Diamondaura'.

Marilee’s last name is reasonably common in Eastern Europe, where it is spelled 'Czerny'. Apparently when her ancestor came through Ellis Island, an immigration official re-spelled it in bad French. I Googled 'Tchernee', and found nothing.

I have never worked for any railroads, but I am a railfan. My knowledge of railroad working conditions comes from articles in Trains Magazine. I was deliberately vague on which railroad Charlie works for. If any railroad employees read this and conclude that I got something wrong, then Charlie must work for some other railroad.

The Hog Law is real, and that is what railroaders call it. The name probably goes back to the days when steam locomotives were called “hogs”, and it has nothing to do with farm animals or with Harley Davidson. This law sets a maximum working time for railroad engine crews of twelve hours. If the train has not reached its destination when the twelve hours are up, it must stop wherever it is until a new crew can be sent to take over. And when the train does reach its destination, the crew must be given eight undisturbed hours of rest before being called for another train. Crew fatigue is a real problem, and many people have wondered whether the Hog Law should be revised to deal with that problem better.

The 800-calorie diet that Marilee ate is also real, and I did hear about it on a morning talk program. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to remember a website or any other information for tracking the cookies down.

Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw are the chief characters in Isaac Asimov’s novels The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun. If you are a science-fiction enthusiast, you have probably heard of them already.

In a series of stories, Randall Garrett tells of a world where magic works and is accepted as an everyday tool, much like science for us. In that world, Lord Darcy is Chief Criminal Investigator and Sean O’Lochlainn is Chief Forensic Sorcerer to His Grace, the Duke of Normandy,. They are much less well known than Asimov’s characters, but if you like detective stories, they are well worth looking up. Google “Randall Garrett” for titles.

The Sun Priestess’ brass and leather collar is available on the Internet. I found the heavy yellow-finish chain at a local farm supply store.

The window in the Gorean slave kennel was inspired by a computer-art picture by Vanion. Google 'Gorean Voice', click on the first item listed, and then on the Archives button, and then on the March 2006 or June 2006 box, and then on the Gorean Art button.

I welcome your comments. Contact me at