Notice: This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, organizations, or persons is entirely coincidental. If this resembles life in your town you are a lot luckier than I am.
"The Frontier Days committee is asking us for volunteers, Barbara, and I told them that you were eager to participate."
"Gee, thanks, Ralph. Like I didn't have enough to do already."
"The personnel department can run itself for a few hours. Firtree Resort is one of the major sponsors of Frontier Days, and our executives are expected to help out. That includes the personnel manager."
"Now it's called 'Human Resources', Ralph. I'm the Director of Human Resources."
"Yeah, and I'm the General Manager, so how about it? Are you willing to help? Ralph didn't say 'or do you want to find a new job', but Barbara could hear it clearly enough.
"OK, what do I have to do?"
"You and Sue are friends, aren't you? She's the publicity chairman, so call her and find out."
Barbara put it off as long as she could, but finally she called. "Hello Sue, this is Barbara."
"Barbara! We haven't talked in almost a month. How have you been? Are you still going with Bob?"
"No, we broke up a couple of weeks ago. I really miss him, but he's just too nice a guy. I'm not saying that I wanted a caveman, but he just wasn't forceful enough."
"You mean that you wanted him to dominate you? He master, you slave?"
"I don't think I wanted to go that far, but there was something lacking in our relationship. I don't really know what I want; my emotions are kind of scrambled right now."
"Did you two ever discuss what each of you were looking for and ways you might find it?"
"No, we tried a few times, but neither of us could seem to find the words. But enough about my love life. Why I called is that Ralph said you needed volunteers for the Frontier Days thing. What would you like me to do?"
"You're going to help? I've got just the thing for you!"
"I don't like the way you said that. You aren't planning one of your infamous practical jokes, are you?"
"How can you think that? I'm responsible for publicity, and I need people. Can you help on Saturday? I need some women to ride on the parade float and then spend some time in a tableaux out at the fairgrounds."
"I could handle that. When and where?"
"Noon. We'll all meet at the Chamber of Commerce office. Do you know where it is?"
"It's located next to the Paycott City Hall, isn't it?"
"That's right. See you Saturday."
Paycott was a mountain resort town. A decade ago it had been nothing more than a village where campers and fishermen bought supplies, but massive development had taken place once the road to Phoenix had been improved.
By Saturday Barbara had forgotten all about her appointment. Sue called her just after noon, and Barbara scrambled to get to the meeting. Even so, it was almost twelve thirty when she parked in front of the Chamber of Commerce office. She entered and found Sue talking to three young women made up as dance hall girls. They were all wearing satin dresses with short skirts and low-cut tops.
Sue exclaimed, "Here at last, Barbara! Here's your costume. Let's go in my office and I'll help you change."
"Hold it, Sue! I won't fit in with these coeds; it's been over fifteen years since I was in college."
"It'll be OK, Barbara. You can be the madam." Sue hustled Barbara into the office and said, "Strip out of your clothes and I'll help you get into this dress; it's kind of tight." She showed Barbara a red satin dress similar to the dresses the other women were wearing.
Barbara took off her shoes, jeans, and shirt and pulled on fishnet stockings and fastened them to a garter belt. Sue had told her to bring shoes with three inch heels and she slipped them on. She stood up and reached for the satin dress, but Sue said, "Take off your bra. This top is low cut and it'll give you all the support and uplift you'll want."
Barbara had her doubts, but she removed her bra and Sue lifted the dress over her head. The bodice was boned like a corset, and Sue laced it tight in the back. Barbara's breasts were supported by the top as though they had been placed on a shelf. Sue helped her pin up her hair and apply theatrical makeup.
"There we are, Barbara. You look just like a retired sporting girl who went into management. Oh, before we go please sign this release."
"What is this, Sue?"
"Just the standard insurance company boilerplate. Whatever happens, it isn't our fault."
Barbara glanced at the form and then signed it. Sue put it into a file cabinet and said, "Let's go, the float is in the parking lot out back."
Barbara paused to tuck in her breasts a bit and then followed Sue out the back door. She stopped in astonishment when she saw the float, which was built on a flat-bed trailer. The back half of the trailer was surrounded by bars to form a jail cell, and the other half had a roll-top desk and a sign that said 'Sheriff'. Sue and a heavy-set man with a gunbelt, white cowboy hat, and a large silver star on his chest stood next to the desk. The coeds were in the cell.
There was a short stepladder next to the 'office' and Barbara climbed the steps. The sheriff leaned over and took her hand and pulled her onto the float. Barbara looked at the coeds; something was different. She jumped when she heard clicking and felt something on her wrists. The sheriff had handcuffed her!
She screeched, "What is this?" She could tell that these weren't modern police handcuffs; the metal was dull and pitted and the shape was different. They were tight, though.
Sue said, "Nothing attracts attention like women in chains. By the way, those are genuine 1890 handcuffs provided by a local collector."
"I don't like this! Get these cuffs off me."
"Be a sport, Barbara. All of the girls are handcuffed. Just consider it part of your costume."
The 'sheriff' spoke up, "I could cuff her hands behind her back, Sue, and we can stuff a gag in her mouth to shut her up." He moved towards Barbara and she flinched.
"That's not necessary, Peter. She'll cooperate; she was just surprised. Right, Barbara?" Sue pushed Barbara into the cell and slammed the door.
The driver of the pickup truck pulling the float started the engine, and Sue scrambled to the ground and tossed the stepladder into the back of the truck. She called, "Stand tall and hold onto the bars, girls. I'll see you at the fairgrounds."
A parade had formed up on Main Street and the float fell in at the rear. It wasn't a big parade; besides the inevitable cars carrying local politicians there were just a few floats, a couple of marching bands, and several groups of marchers on foot and riders on horseback, but most of the tourists and a large number of townsfolk were standing along Main Street to watch it go by. It was a good-natured crowd, and they applauded the bands and cheered the riders. The loudest cheers were reserved for the 'jail' float. Barbara and the coeds stood facing the bars on the each side of the cell and gave the spectators two-handed waves that displayed the handcuffs.
The parade slowly traveled the ten blocks of Main Street and then broke up. The jail float didn't stop; it continued on down the highway towards the fairgrounds which were located just outside of town. The driver kept the speed low, and Barbara and the coeds waved and shouted at the passing cars. When they reached the fairgrounds the float entered through a service gate and stopped behind a row of buildings.
Sue was there to greet them and she set up the step ladder. Peter, the 'sheriff', unlocked the cell and helped the prisoners off the float. When they were all on the ground Sue said, "You all put on a wonderful show during the parade. Now follow me onto the set."
The group formed a line behind Sue and entered a door in the buildings, with Peter bringing up the rear. There was a short hallway, and then they entered a row of rooms that had the wall facing the fairgrounds missing. There was a saloon, a courtroom, and the sheriff's office with a jail cell. The rooms were divided from each other by waist-high partitions and separated from the outside by a wooden railing. The floor was about three feet above the ground.
The jail cell was in the corner of the sheriff's office, and the two exposed sides were made of round metal bars that went from floor to ceiling. The 'dance hall girls' were led to the cell by Sue, and Peter ushered them inside and locked the door.
Barbara asked, "What now, Sue? Do we just stand here in this cage like animals in the zoo?"
"No, we've got something else planned, but it'll take a few minutes to get everything organized."
Barbara watched the activity outside the cell. This was all new to her, because she had managed to dodge Frontier Days until now, even though it was a major event in Paycott. The set she was in was on one side of a large hollow square. The left and opposite sides of the square were formed by booths where artisans were selling crafts. There was a bandstand at the corner, and a bluegrass band was playing to an enthusiastic audience. The right side of the square was formed by carnival and food booths, where the usual games of 'skill' were offered and where cotton candy, corn dogs, fry bread, and other semi-edible substances were sold. Barbara could see the top of a small Ferris wheel above and behind the booths, and she deduced that the other rides were close to it. The square was filled with people, but it wasn't overly crowded.
It wasn't long before the cell's occupants were attracting attention; Sue was right about women in chains. Barbara did her best to avoid eye contact and soon got used to being on display. She was puzzled by a wooden box mounted on the rail in front of the courtroom. It might have held brochures or a schedule of events, but almost all of the people who took a single sheet of blue paper from it were men, and they had a furtive look when they did it.
About a half-hour went by before Sue, Peter, and another man returned to the cell. All three were wearing cowboy hats and had big silver stars pinned to their shirts. Barbara did a double take when she saw that the third man was Ralph, her boss. He gave her a wink and a grin.
Sue said, "It's about time we made the first collection, girls, so let's get you hooked up."
Peter was carrying a heavy canvas bag on a strap over his shoulder and Ralph had a large roll of light steel chain. Peter opened the cell door and led out Barbara. Ralph put a loop of chain around her waist and Peter locked it with a small brass padlock he took from the bag. Whether by accident or design Ralph had trapped the chain of her handcuffs in the loop so she couldn't lift her hands much above her waist. Barbara thought of protesting, but she decided not to; she told herself that she didn't want to make Ralph think she was backing out of her agreement to help.
The coeds were fastened to the chain as well, with about twelve feet of slack between each woman. The excess chain was coiled and the coeds held it so it didn't drag on the ground. Peter took Barbara's arm and led the coffle into the courtroom and down some steps onto the ground. As they went by the mysterious box Barbara read the sign on the front; it said 'Arrest Warrants'.
They wandered around for a while and Barbara was starting to wonder if this was all there was to it when she saw a young man wave a blue paper over the head of a young woman walking a step in front of him. Sue and Ralph went to them and Sue took the paper. She addressed the young woman, "Are you Melissa?"
When the woman nodded Sue said, "I have a warrant for your arrest on a charge of Causing Overwhelming Affection. Will you come along quietly?"
Melissa didn't seem to be too surprised. She answered, "Yes, I suppose it would be futile to resist."
Ralph wrapped the chain around her waist and Peter locked it in place with another padlock.
Sue asked the young man who had given her the warrant, "Tom, is Melissa dangerous, or is minimum security all we need?"
"She can be very dangerous. Don't take any chances with her."
Ralph pulled Melissa's hands behind her back and Peter tied her wrists together with a short piece of cotton rope. He knew what he was doing, and Melissa struggled only briefly before deciding she wasn't going to free herself.
Sue separated part of the warrant and gave it to Tom. "Here's the bail ticket. Don't lose it, or you won't be able to get her out of jail after the trial."
He took the ticket, kissed Melissa, and said to her, "I've got to meet my other girlfriend. If I don't see you tonight I'll visit you later at the state prison."
Melissa glared at him, but as he walked away the glare turned into a smile. She was chained about three feet behind Barbara, and now was a part of the group as they continued to stroll around the fairgrounds.
The next warrant was presented by an older man. He was bald and the woman at his side had gray hair and was a bit on the heavy side. Sue took the warrant and asked, "Are you Polly?"
"Yes, I am. Earl, what have you done now, you old goat?" She gave the man a mock punch in the ribs.
"I have a warrant for your arrest on a charge of Provoking Sexual Desire. Will you come along quietly?"
"I suppose so. I'm getting too old to fight." Ralph moved Polly behind Melissa, and as he wrapped the chain around her waist she said, "Sure you got enough chain there? I've lost my girlish figure."
Sue asked Earl, "Is Polly dangerous, or is minimum security OK?"
"She's mellowed a lot, so minimum security is all you need."
Peter loosely tied Polly's hands together in front, and the coffle moved on. They were attracting a lot of attention, and Barbara was initially embarrassed, but as she got used to the stares she found herself becoming aroused, much to her chagrin.
The next time Sue asked a woman if she would 'come along quietly' she got a resounding 'No!' as an answer. She gave the warrant back to the man and said, "Sorry, this warrant is invalid." and they moved on to the next couple.
The next woman was a brunette in her twenties, dressed in jeans and a tight tee shirt, and she wasn't wearing a bra.
Sue asked, "Are you Maria, and will you come along quietly?" The answer was yes, and when the chain had been locked around Maria's waist Sue turned to the man who had presented the warrant and asked, "Is she dangerous, Ramon?"
"Very dangerous. She has a temper like a wildcat."
After Ralph and Peter had tied Maria's hands behind her back Ramon said, "That isn't secure enough. Give me some rope."
Peter looked at Sue. She evaluated the state of Maria's erect nipples and nodded. He gave a piece of rope to Ramon, who wrapped it around Maria's elbows and pulled until they were almost touching before he knotted it. Maria moaned, and everyone could tell it wasn't caused entirely by pain.
They continued their tour until a half-dozen women had been added to the chain, and then they returned to the courtroom. The prisoners were lined up near the bench and Ralph put on a black robe and got behind it. He pounded a gavel and said, "The Paycott Kangaroo Court is now in session. Bring up the first criminal."
Peter separated Melissa from the chain and moved her in front of the bench. Ralph ordered, "The clerk will read the charge."
Sue replied, "Tom charges Melissa with Causing Overwhelming Affection."
"A serious charge. How do you plead, Melissa?"
"Guilty, I guess."
"The court orders you to return double the affection that Tom feels for you. Is he here to pay your fine? If not, you'll have to go to jail."
There was a pause, but nobody spoke up, and Melissa looked worried as Peter took her arm and led her towards the jail cell. Then a grinning Tom came out of the crowd and said, "I'll pay the fine."
Ralph answered, "Then see the clerk and you can take custody of the prisoner."
Tom went over to Sue's table and dropped money through a slot in the top of a metal box with 'For the Fire Department' painted on the side. Then he claimed Melissa with a kiss that lasted until Ralph banged his gavel. Melissa turn her back to Tom and wiggled her fingers, but Tom shook his head and led her away, still bound.
Sue said, "The next defendant is Polly, charged by Earl with Provoking Sexual Desire."
Ralph humphed. "Polly, just looking at you shows your guilt beyond a doubt. You are sentenced to satisfying Earl's desires."
"Hah, that would kill the old goat."
"Well, be merciful. Next case."
Earl untied Polly's hands and they left the courtroom with their arms about the other's waist. Peter brought Maria before the bench.
Sue's voice was slightly strained as she read, "Ramon charges Maria with Willful Disobedience."
Ralph said to Maria, "You and Ramon must have a special relationship." He signaled Ramon to stand next to Maria. "The court can't judge this case, Maria. Only you can decide what you should do."
Maria stood silently for a moment and then she turned to Ramon and knelt. "I'm sorry, Master. Please forgive me."
Ramon pulled Maria to her feet and kissed her. "I forgive you." The spectators let out a collective sigh. Barbara felt of surge of emotion that she didn't want to examine too closely. It felt like envy, but how could that be?
Ramon and Maria stopped at Sue's table for several minutes as Ramon fed money through the slot in the Fire Department box, and then they vanished into the crowd. After that the next three cases were anticlimactic, and when they had been disposed of the team went back into the crowd to make more arrests.
After a few more hours Sue unchained Barbara and the coeds and took them to the rest room. She removed the handcuffs and they all stretched their arms and rubbed their wrists. Sue said, "Well Barbara, it looks to me like you're having a good time."
"Right, Sue. I just love being paraded around in chains."
"Your lips tell me no, but your body tells me yes, Barbara."
After everyone used the toilet Sue announced, "We still have a few more hours, girls. Back on the chain gang."
They filed back out to the sheriff's office and Ralph and Peter locked the chain around their waists. Sue handcuffed the coeds, but Barbara's hands were free and she was surprised that this made her feel left out of the group. She wasn't going to admit that to anyone, however, and when Sue told her to put her hands behind her back she said, "No way!"
"Come on, Barbara. The women who get maximum security have their hands tied behind their backs, and we need you to set an example."
Barbara was prepared to continue the argument, but Ralph and Peter made the question moot by pulling her arms behind her back and holding them there until Sue had the handcuffs locked on her wrists. Peter dangled a gag where she could see it, so Barbara took the hint and shut up. She also knew that she wasn't as upset as she pretended to be.
The routine of arrest and trial continued. People were starting to get into a more relaxed mood, and some of the later charges were truly bizarre. One of the warrants to arrest a woman was presented by another woman. When the case got to trial Sue read the charge: "Brandi charges Marsha with Topping from the Bottom."
Much of the crowd didn't know what this meant, but those that did roared with laughter. Ralph announced, "I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot dildo. Case dismissed."
At the end of the evening and after the last case had been adjudicated Ralph said, "It's time to adjourn the Kangaroo Court until next year. On behalf of the Frontier Days committee I thank all of you for your help."
Sue interrupted, "Not so fast, Judge. There is one more case to try. Bob charges Barbara with Premature Rejection."
Peter took the chain off Barbara's waist and led her to the bench while Bob climbed the steps to the courtroom to stand beside her. As he passed Sue she gave him the key to Barbara's handcuffs.
Ralph demanded, "Are you guilty, Barbara?"
Barbara looked at Bob and paused for a few minutes while she remembered the good times they had shared. Then she admitted, "Yes, I suppose I am."
Bob said, "I talked with Sue, and I think I understand what you want in our relationship, even if you can't say it yet. Part of the misunderstanding is my fault; I'm normally the take-charge type, but I worked hard to be less aggressive because you always seemed to be so aggressive yourself."
"That's a pose I had to adopt to succeed in business; I just have trouble turning it off away from the job."
"I miss you, Barbara, and I want us to be together again." Bob held up the handcuff key. "Now you have to decide. Either I take off the handcuffs and Sue drives you back to her office, or you go with me as you are and I'll put some structure in your life. If you decide to go with me that will be the last decision you have to make."
Barbara didn't hesitate. "I want to go with you. Master." Bob kissed her, and she felt herself go all squishy inside.
"You can call me Sir for now. We'll take this one step at a time."
Story copyright© 2001 by Zack. All rights reserved.
I welcome your comments. Email me at zack_writer@hotmail. com