This was not a nice Monday morning for Martha Johnson. She was lying face down on the carpet in her office at the State Bank of Cortez, Colorado. Her wrists were crossed behind her back and held there by plastic cable ties. Other ties held her ankles together and fastened them to a radiator pipe, and several strips of packing tape kept her mouth shut. She unobtrusively tested her bonds and found that she was completely helpless.
* * *
The previous Friday...
Sally Johnson entered Lucy Garcia's classroom and said, "Hi, Lucy, are you as ready for this break as I am?"
Lucy finished clearing out her desk and put the last pile of papers in a cardboard box. She answered, "Yes, I've got plans. I really like St. Teresa's year-round schedule."
"Me too. When I was teaching in a public high school I had to spend the first two weeks in the fall reviewing everything my students had forgotten over the summer."
"I like it because we start our break before the public schools let out. I can get out in the woods before it gets crowded."
"Is that what you're going to do over the break?"
"Yes, I plan to backpack for four or five days in the San Juan Mountains northwest of Durango."
"Are you and Ranger Bill going to hike together?"
"We were, but we kind of broke up."
"I'm sorry to hear that. What happened?"
"He visited me here last weekend. Saturday after dinner we were fooling around on the couch and he started to tickle me. I was fighting him, and suddenly he handcuffed my hands behind my back! I asked him to take them off, but he just ignored me until I started crying and begging. When he finally released me I ran into the bathroom, and by the time I was able to stop crying he was gone. He hasn't called me and I only get his answering machine when I call him. The handcuffs scared me, but I don't think he really meant to hurt me."
"Even if he didn't, he shouldn't have done anything like that without discussing it with you first. Bondage can be fun, but it has to be done right."
"You sound like you know all about this kinky stuff. Do you let Tom tie you up?"
"Sure. We've been married almost ten years, and it would be boring if we always used the missionary position. Sometimes he ties me up, and sometimes I tie myself up for him."
"That sounds weird. What do you do?"
"Well, the last time was about a month ago. Tom had a rotten week at work and was feeling really down. I tried to cheer him up but he wasn't paying any attention to me, so I went to the bedroom and took off my clothes and put on a disposable dress, and then tied a slipknot in a rope and pulled it around my wrists behind my back. It looked like I was tied up, but I could free my hands easily enough. Then I knelt in front of him and said, 'Please let your slave pleasure you, Master'. He paid attention to me then! The first thing he did was wrap the end of the rope around my wrists and knot it so I was really tied. Then he ripped my dress off and raped me right there on the living room rug. I was glad the kids were spending the night with my mom! We had a wild night, and he didn't untie me until the next morning. My arms hurt, but the rest of me felt great."
"I don't think I could do anything like that, but I miss Bill so much and I so wanted to hike with him."
"Won't you run into him up there?"
"No, he's been working in the Forest Service office in Durango, and I'll start hiking thirty miles from there."
Lucy spent Saturday morning running errands and doing odd jobs around her apartment. Saturday afternoon she assembled her camping equipment and the food she would need for her trip. This was the first time that she had used the equipment since last fall, so she carefully examined each item. When she was satisfied that everything was in good condition she packed it in her car. She wanted to leave Albuquerque before 5 AM so that she could get an early start on the trail.
It was still dark when Lucy's alarm clock got her out of bed Sunday morning, and she left on schedule. The drive was uneventful. Lucy had traveled the route many times, because the mountains of southwest Colorado were her favorite part of the world. The drive to Durango took about three hours, but it took her almost two more hours of driving on primitive roads to get to the trailhead.
The sun was bright, but the air was cool. Lucy walked along the trail and felt her city life dissolve away with every step she took. She asked herself, as she had done so many times in the past, "Why do I live in the city when I only feel alive when I'm out here in the forest?" Then she answered the question, as she had done so many times in the past, "Because I have to work for a living; and the jobs are in the city."
Lucy stopped for lunch. No preparation was needed because she had prepared food before she left home. The trail passed close to a stream that was swollen with snow runoff, and Lucy sat on a rock and watched the rushing water while she ate. She sat so quietly that a small bird landed on a rock in the stream near her, and then ducked under the rushing water. On the trail again, Lucy hiked steadily all afternoon, but she didn't push it. There were still some snowbanks in shady spots, but the trail was mostly clear. The trails in the highest elevations wouldn't be free of snow until July, but she wasn't planning to go there anyway. She planned to camp in the high country wilderness areas later in the summer after the snow had melted.
About an hour before sunset Lucy found a good place for her camp. It didn't take her long to set it up. Lucy spread her poncho and a thin foam pad on the ground and fluffed out her sleeping bag. The forecast had been for clear weather, so she hadn't brought a tent. Lucy's motto for backpacking was 'travel light', and she didn't carry anything that was not absolutely essential. Of course, if Bill was with her a tent would be essential.
She fired up her gasoline stove and heated some water from the stream. When it had boiled for five minutes she mixed some with her dried food and let the rest cool. This would be used to refill her water bottles. She tied a rock to the end of a a thirty foot length of nylon parachute cord and threw it over a tree branch, and then used the rope to pull her pack up out of the reach of animals. Bears usually weren't a problem here, but she didn't want to take any chances. She walked a short distance into the woods to relieve herself and brush her teeth. By the time it was fully dark Lucy was in her sleeping bag and soon she was asleep.
When Lucy woke up the stars had just faded from the sky. The air was cool enough that Lucy wore her jacket, but it was unusually warm for mid-May. She saw a chipmunk sitting on a rock and told it, "This is living. I wish all Monday mornings were this nice. If Bill were here this would be perfect."
* * *
Martha was the bank manager so she was always the first one to reach the bank. She wasn't too awake this Monday morning, and she fumbled with the keys before she could get the bank's side door unlocked. She hadn't noticed the man and woman sneaking up behind her until the man poked her with a revolver and said, "Go on inside, and if you keep quiet I won't have to hurt you."
She gasped and turned to see two people wearing ski masks. The man shoved her through the doorway and the woman closed the door. The man held her wrists and the woman fastened them with cable ties. The man said, "I love these ties. They're as fast as handcuffs, and a lot harder to trace."
Martha was propelled into her office and pushed to the floor. The woman secured Martha's ankles and taped her mouth. The man said, "I expect four more. You stay here and keep her quiet and I'll wait by the door."
The ambush worked perfectly. As each of the staff members walked through the door the man held her at gunpoint while the woman used cable ties to fasten her hands. Then the woman took the captive into the manager's office and taped her mouth and tied her ankles. Soon there were three more women face down on the office floor, tied and taped like Martha.
The woman robber asked, "Didn't you say there were four employees besides the manager? We've only got three here."
"Yeah, I thought there were, but I might be wrong and we can't wait. I'll lock this outside door so we won't be interrupted."
"How much longer until the time lock opens?"
The man looked at his watch and replied, "About five minutes. Let's get ready." The robbers returned to the office and the man used wire cutters to free Martha's ankles. He pulled her to her feet and said, "You're going to open the vault as soon as the time lock releases. If you do as I say nobody will be hurt and you'll be found and released in a few hours. If you don't..."
He pointed to a baby-faced blonde. "She looks like the youngest. I'll show you what will happen if you give me any trouble." The robber put a cable tie around the girl's neck and took all the slack out of it. The blonde whimpered, her face contorted with fear. The man said, "If you don't cooperate that tie will be pulled tight and you can watch the girl choke. And then the next one. Are you going to unlock the vault for me?"
Fear was making Martha feel sick, but she nodded yes. The robber took her to the vault and freed her hands, and Martha dialed the combination and opened the vault door. As soon as it was open the woman robber tied Martha's hands again and took her back into the office. The man went into the vault. He found a money bag and filled it with cash. His face was sweating, so he took off his ski mask. When he had filled several bags with money he put them on a cart and wheeled it out of the vault. He looked through the front window of the bank and saw the surprised face of a young woman looking back at him.
Jane Yazzie was worried. She was late for work again and Martha had warned her that her job was in jeopardy. She forgot her worries when she looked through the front window of the bank and saw a man taking money out of the vault. She ran towards a cafe two blocks away. She knew the cafe had a telephone, and city police and county deputies often stopped there for coffee.
The robber ran to the front door of the bank, and then cursed when he realized it was still locked. He didn't have a chance of stopping the woman now. He grabbed all the money bags he could carry and ran into the office. He shouted, "Somebody saw us! Let's get out of here!"
The other robber ran out of the office and the tied up women lying on the floor heard a car start and roar away. Then everything was quiet except for the muffled sobbing of the blonde.
* * *
The getaway car sped north out of Cortez.. The woman asked, "Why did you go this way, Floyd? The cops will have roadblocks up long before we can get across the mountains."
"Don't worry, Connie. We won't be on this road long. I know this country like the back of my hand. There are forest roads that lead to the highway just north of Durango, and once we're there we can blend in with the tourists."
A few miles later Floyd turned off of the highway onto a gravel road. Even though there wasn't any asphalt paving the road surface was in good condition and he didn't have to slow down. After a few more miles the gravel disappeared and the road got a lot rougher. Floyd slowed to 35 and then to 20 miles per hour. The road turned into two ruts and soon the car was creeping along.
The road descended into a shallow gully and disappeared under a large puddle before it became visible again on the far slope. Floyd could tell that the water was only a few inches deep, so he confidently drove into the puddle. Floyd was right, the surface water was only a few inches deep. Unfortunately, it was on top of a couple of feet of mud, and the car was soon buried up to the axles.
Connie was not happy. "Know the country like the back of your hand, do you? More like the back of your ass. What do we do now, Pathfinder?"
Floyd responded with several minutes of uninterrupted cursing. When he had calmed down some he said, "We'll have to hike. It's only twenty miles or so to the Durango highway. There are other roads too, and we can find a car to steal somewhere along the way."
"It may be twenty miles if you're a bird, but I bet it's a lot longer on the ground. It's midmorning now, so we aren't going to reach the highway before dark. That means we'll have to spend the night in the forest, and all we have for camping equipment is an old blanket and an almost-full bottle of water. Sounds like fun to me."
"Stop bitching and get moving. Move your legs instead of your lips."
"Not so fast, Floyd. The cops will find this car and it has our prints all over it. We'll have to wipe it down."
"Let's just set it on fire."
"Good idea. Then we won't have to hike. We'll get to ride in the police helicopter. There's a rag on the floor of the back seat. Start wiping. I'll get everything out of the car."
It was almost an hour before the car was wiped and Connie and Floyd were on the road on the other side of the puddle. Both of them were smeared with mud and their shoes were soaked. Connie had punched a hole near the top of each of the money bags and used a cable tie to make a belt loop. Floyd had two of the bags and Connie had the other. Connie looked at the name stenciled on the bags. "Cortez State Bank. We might as well be carrying a sign that says, 'I'm a robber, arrest me'. What are we going to do if we meet somebody on the trail?"
"I'll just have to take care of him."
Connie stopped and grabbed Floyd's arm. "No, Floyd. You're not going to take care of anybody. All the cops have so far is a routine bank robbery with nobody hurt and not much money stolen, so they're just going to go through the motions when they look for us. If you shoot somebody here then it's a big time federal case."
"Why is it a federal case?"
"This is a national forest." Connie took the money bag off of her belt. "I've got an idea. You carry all the bags and I'll walk ahead of you. Stay back so you can just see me. If somebody comes along the trail I'll delay them until you can hide in the woods."
"Why don't you carry the bags and I'll walk ahead?"
"Because I look like an innocent out for a walk and you look like a thug on the run. Besides, you're stronger so the weight won't slow you down as much as it would me. We can split the load. I'll carry the blanket and the water bottle." Somehow this didn't sound fair to Floyd, but he didn't have a better idea so he grumbled and went along with it.
After a few miles the road was blocked by a rock slide, but there was a trail that continued in the same direction. Connie and Floyd walked along it separately, and each thought separate thoughts. Connie wondered why it had taken her so long to realize that Floyd was a stupid loser. Floyd's thoughts were more like emotions. In his world-view a woman showed her man respect and did what he told her to do, and she never spouted the constant stream of insults that came from Connie's mouth. He brooded about this for the rest of the afternoon.
* * *
Bill Sherwood was in the Forest Service/BLM office in Durango, and he too was brooding on this Monday afternoon. A voice intruded on his thoughts. "Hey Bill! Are you awake?".
"Oh, Hi, Judy. I was just thinking bitter thoughts."
"You have a problem?"
"Yeah, Lucy and I had a misunderstanding, and I've been trying to decide what to do about it. I was out of town all last week so I didn't even call her. You have something for me?"
"You remember the APB from the Cortez police about that bank robbery? The sheriff's department found the getaway car. It was stuck in the mud, and it was inside our forest."
"Show me on the map." Judy indicated where the car had been found and Bill studied the map. Unlike Floyd, he did know the region like the back of his hand.
"If the robbers are headed east on foot they'll probably take this trail. If I leave now, I can drive to this trailhead before dark. I'll sleep in my truck and hike west at first light."
"OK, but you need a backup. The APB said the robbers were armed." Judy marked the trailhead on the map.
"A backup would be nice, but we don't have anybody available, especially just to check out a guess. I'll take my cell phone and my pistol." Bill was a Forest Service law enforcement officer and he was usually armed.
Judy didn't like Bill being alone, but he was right, there wasn't anybody else available. She approved the plan, and Bill left the office and drove to his apartment. He loaded some food and equipment into his truck and checked his 9 mm Beretta. He was at the trailhead just as the sun was setting.
* * *
Lucy slept late Tuesday morning, and the sun was up before she was. She had slept soundly the night before, and she felt the serenity that was usual when she was in the forest. She cooked her breakfast and packed her equipment, and then walked on with the rising sun at her back. Only the absence of Bill kept this from being a perfect time.
A few miles away Connie was not serene at all. She had spent the night with her back to Floyd and with his hands on her breasts. She had found this repulsive even though she was fully clothed, but the alternative was spending the night without sharing the blanket. Even with the blanket she had shivered all night. They didn't have a campfire because neither she nor Floyd had any matches.
Floyd wasn't happy either. He wanted sex, and Connie had refused to give it to him. He started to brood again.
Connie and Floyd walked east, with Connie out in front. They had gone less than a mile when Connie saw a tall woman walking towards her. She shouted, "Hi, nice day for a hike."
Lucy didn't reply until she was close enough to speak without shouting. She saw that the woman was disheveled and carrying only a rolled-up blanket over her shoulder. She said, "I thought I traveled light, but you've outdone me. Have you been on the trail for a long time?"
"No, just overnight. It's a survival training thing. Do you know how far it is to the road?"
"No, I took a loop down from the north." Lucy looked at her map. "I don't think it's too far."
Connie figured that Floyd would be hidden by now, so she said, "So long. Have a nice day." and walked on. Lucy walked in the other direction. Connie walked a short distance and stopped. She didn't want to get too far ahead of Floyd.
Connie looked back. Lucy wasn't visible, but Connie heard her scream. She said to herself, "What does that idiot think he's doing?" and ran down the trail.
Connie was annoyed but not surprised when she saw Lucy. Lucy was lying face down on the trail and her hands were held behind her back by a cable tie. Floyd was rummaging through her backpack. Connie shouted, "You idiot! What did you do this for?"
Floyd looked up from the pack. "I'm hungry. There's food here, but it's all dried stuff."
Lucy said, "You need boiling water to prepare it. I'll do it if you let me up. The stove is tricky to use." The cable tie was pulled very tight and Lucy's wrists were already hurting her.
Floyd thought a minute and then grunted OK. Cooking was woman's work anyway. Before he released Lucy's hands he hobbled her ankles with a piece of the parachute cord he had found in the pack. Then he cut the tie on her wrists and helped her sit up. He put a cable tie around each of Lucy's wrists and linked them loosely with another tie.
Lucy lit the stove and Connie got a pot of water from the stream. No one said anything while they waited for the water to boil. The only sound was the roar of the stove.
Floyd was almost jovial after he had eaten. He told Connie to clean the pot and pack everything up and she surprised him by doing it. He said to Lucy, "You're a big girl. How tall are you?"
"Six foot two."
"You're big enough to carry some more weight. Stand up." Floyd pulled Lucy to her feet and put the backpack on her back. He took the money bags and fastened them to a loop on the pack.
"You're also big enough to cause trouble." Floyd cut a four-foot piece of rope and tied the middle to the cable tie looped between Lucy's wrists. He pulled the loop closed, bringing her hands together, and tied the rope tightly around her waist with the knot in back. He tied a slip knot in the end of the remaining rope and put it around Lucy's neck. He tugged on the leash and said, "This will keep my pack animal from wandering off. Let's move."
* * *
Bill started walking as soon as there was enough light to see the trail. He looked for fresh tracks but he didn't see any until the trail was joined by a trail from the north. These footprints had an unusual waffle pattern that looked familiar to Bill. He followed the trail trying to remember where he had seen footprints like these before. When he remembered that Lucy's hiking boots had this pattern he quickened his pace.
* * *
It was midmorning when Floyd told Connie to stop. When he caught up to her he said, "We'll stop here for a while. Spread the blanket over by that tree."
Connie spread the blanket, but she got ready to refuse any demand for sex. Floyd took the backpack off of Lucy and led her over to the blanket. He untied the rope around her waist and forced her to lie on her back. Lucy struggled, but Floyd pulled her hands over her head and tied the rope to the base of a small tree.
Connie asked, "What's the big idea?"
Floyd replied, "We're close to the trailhead and we've got to get rid of her. Her body is too good to waste, so I'm going to fuck her before I kill her." He unbuckled Lucy's belt and tried to pull down her jeans. Lucy frantically thrashed her body and kicked her legs. "Keep fighting, Honey. I like it that way."
Floyd carried the revolver in his belt in back. Connie pulled it out and cocked the hammer. She shouted, "Stop! Leave her alone!"
Floyd turned and hit Connie's arm. She fired the pistol, but the bullet went into the tree top. Before she could shoot again Floyd punched her in the stomach. She dropped the gun and curled up on the ground. Floyd put the gun back in his belt and took a cable tie from his pocket and used it to fasten Connie's hands behind her back. He snarled, "I've had enough from you, bitch." He took the leash off of Lucy and put it around Connie's neck.
He forced her to stand and dragged her over to a scrub oak. Floyd reached up and pulled down on a branch, and when it was even with the top of Connie's head he tied the leash to it. When he released the branch it sprang back up and tightened the noose around Connie's neck. She stood on her toes, but she could only get a trickle of air into her lungs. Floyd knew she would slowly strangle, and he would enjoy every minute of the show.
When Bill heard the shot he started to run down the trail. He rounded a curve and saw a man standing next to a woman hanging from a tree. Bill was breathing hard, but his hands were steady when he drew his Beretta and held it in a two-handed grip. He shouted, "Police!".
Floyd was surprised by Bill's shout and made the last mistake of his life when he drew the revolver from his belt. Bill fired twice, and both bullets hit Floyd in the chest. Bill ran to Connie and cut the rope over her head and took the noose off her neck. She started to breathe freely and Bill lowered her to the ground. He picked up the revolver and checked Floyd for signs of life. There weren't any.
Lucy was crying hysterically. Bill went to her and freed her hands and held her until she stopped crying.
* * *
The District Attorney asked, "What's the status on the Cortez bank robbery?"
The Assistant DA replied, "There's no doubt that Floyd was the bank robber. Jane Yazzie identified him and a security camera in the vault got several good pictures of his face. The cops are sure that Connie was his accomplice, but there's no evidence to prove it. She has a record of three arrests, two for armed robbery, but none of the cases went to trial. All the police have is that, plus being with Floyd. No one at the bank could identify her, and there were no prints or other physical evidence."
"How does she explain being with Floyd?"
"She doesn't. When the cop asked her if she understood the Miranda warning she said she wanted a lawyer. That was her only reply to any other question, except when they asked her if she wanted to use the toilet. She said yes to that."
"What does Lucy Garcia say about Connie?"
"I'll read some excerpts from her statement."
Question: Describe your meeting with Connie.
Answer: We met on the trail and had a few minutes of casual conversation about the weather, things like that.
Question: Was she alone when you met her?
Question: What happened next?
Answer: I walked on, and a little while later a man stepped out onto the trail from behind a tree. He pointed a gun at me and I screamed from surprise. He made me take off my backpack and lie face down on the trail. He tied my hands behind my back and rummaged through my backpack. Then Connie appeared. She said something like 'What are you doing?' and the man pointed the gun at her. He made me cook for him and he made Connie clean up. Then he tied me again and put a rope on my neck like a leash.
"That's the main part of her statement. Lucy also said that Connie grabbed Floyd's gun and tried to make him stop raping her."
"If this is all we've got I doubt if we could get an indictment, much less a conviction. Connie also risked her life trying to save Lucy. Drop the charges and release her from custody."
* * *
Several weeks later Bill and Lucy spent the weekend together in Bill's apartment. On Sunday afternoon they talked about their feelings. Lucy said, "Bill, you asked me to give you the honest truth, so here it is. I didn't get any erotic thrill when you tied me up. All I felt was fear and discomfort. The fear may be because of what happened to me, but it's still real. I love you enough that I can tolerate bondage to please you, but it doesn't turn me on at all."
"Thank you, Lucy. I know you gave me a fair chance to show you what bondage is all about. This is a kink that I've had for as long as I can remember, it's an important part of sex for me, and it isn't going to go away. No matter what we do, one of us is going to be unhappy."
Lucy was weeping quietly. She hugged Bill and kissed him goodbye.
They never met again.
Copyright ©2001 by Zack. All rights reserved.
My thanks to Suzi for her editing and expertise.
I welcome your comments. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org