What a nice place!

by Van © 2016

Chapter 1

Dramatis Personæ


Lancashire, United Kingdom

THE SHOP was somewhat difficult to find.  The village of Laytham-on-Ribble was small, bordering on tiny, but the street plan seemed to have more in common with a two-dimensional sketch of somebody's tangled knitting than any sort of rational grid.  Also, whoever was in charge of the street signage either had a wicked sense of humor or was borderline deranged.  Street names seemed to start, stop, then start again in a random fashion, with little concession to either logic or aiding visitors in search of a specific address.

"This place is charming," Cecelia sighed.  As an American tourist, she was having a lot of fun absorbing the rural English ambiance and watching her companion's exasperation in the face of their navigational difficulties.

"Yeah, it's got charming out the wazoo," Cat muttered, running a hand through her short-cropped auburn hair.  Cat was the companion in question and also an American tourist.  Her actual name was "Caitlyn," but she'd gone by Cat since she was a toddler.

Cecelia was Cat's goddaughter, and the blond youngster refused to answer to "Cece," or "Cee," or any other nickname.  She was Cecelia, thank you very much.

Cecelia's parents died in a tragic car accident when she was twelve and she'd become Cat's responsibility until her eighteenth birthday.  That milestone had been reached only a week before her graduation from high school and only a little more than a month in the past.  Cat and Cecelia had always been friends, but now they were no longer guardian and ward but a thirty-something redhead and her
blond sidekick of eighteen enjoying a combination graduation trip for the later and long-planned vacation in England for the former.

Lytham-on-Ribble's longest, straightest street ran along the river Ribble, hence the name.  It boasted a boatyard, a couple of modest warehouses, and a handful of fishing and tourist boats either tied to the ancient docks or puttering up and down the estuary, but the village waterfront was neither extensive nor bustling.

"Well, I like it," Cecelia continued, commenting on the village.  "Very Agatha Christie or Midsomer Murders, with a side of hanging nets, bobbing boats, salt air—"

"And the faint aroma of rotting seaweed," Cat interrupted, eliciting a giggle from her companion.  "If we see Miss Marple strolling in our direction," Cat continued, "we should turn and run.  As American tourists we're prime targets for the local murderer."

"Either that," Cecelia giggled, "or we'd be red herrings and would spend most of the story being interrogated by Detective Constable Clueless."

Cat nodded.  "Even though Miss Marple would know immediately that we're totally innocent."

"Exactly," Cecilia giggled.

"Here it is," Cat said, indicating a small shop.  Above the door hung a sign reading "
Titania's Wardrobe."  From the items on display in the window, it was a boutique specializing in fanciful clothing, especially hats.

"My god, it's true," Cat whispered as they entered to the tinkling of blossom-shaped hanging bells over the door.  "Fairy crap."

"Be nice," Cecelia giggled, nudging Cat in the side with her elbow.  "I like it."

"You would," Cat sighed.

The ceiling was painted a deep indigo with florescent dots and indirect ultraviolet lighting used to create a reasonably realistic depiction of the night sky.  The exposed rafters, if they were, indeed, structural rafters and not pure decoration, took the form of twisted tree branches.  Lighting was provided by dangling fixtures with hand-blown glass shades in the colors and shapes of various flowers as well as strings of countless LED fairy-lights.  The store's racks and cabinets carried forward the natural theme, and the walls were painted in an impressionistic depiction of a woodland glade at night.

As for the merchandise, there were dresses, skirts, cloaks, jackets, shoes, and hats, as well as sets of fairy wings, wooden staffs and wands, leather belts and pouches, and shoes.  In short, everything needed to outfit the fashionable elf-, fairy-, goblin-, wizard-, or witch-about-town.  The preponderance of the garments on display were in children's sizes, but some were clearly meant for adults.

Cat and Cecelia had been warned what to expect, but the reality of Titania's Wardrobe was something to behold.

"Everything's... cool!" Cecelia gushed.

"Uh, yeah," Cat agreed with less enthusiasm, but she had to admit the ambiance and items on sale were tasteful.  Exotic?  Strange?  Yes, but tasteful and, to all appearances, practical.  None of the garments or accessories looked to be flimsy costumes for Halloween or fancy dress parties that would fall apart after a little wear.

A woman in her late twenties (or early 30's), obviously the clerk on duty, approached from the back of the store.  She was a few inches taller than both Cat and Cecelia and had flaming red hair, the fair complexion to match, and what both Cat and Cecelia had to agree were quite attractive features.  "Welcome to Titania's Wardrobe," the redhead said with a dimpled smile.  "You would be the pair of Yanks who want to go birding on the Isle of Caer."

"Mrs. Ingleby warned you," Cat suggested.  Mrs. Ingleby was the proprietress of Lyman-on-Riddle's only hotel.

"She did," the ginger confirmed with a warm, dimpled smile.  "Kadence Harrington," she introduced herself.

"Cat Sinclair," Cat said as she shook Kadence's offered hand.

"Cecelia Harper," Cecelia said when it was her turn.  "I love this place."

"Thank you," Kadence responded.  "Most of our sales are online, but we enjoy a substantial walk-in business."

"A lot of fairies in the area?" Cat inquired with a coy grin.

"Cat!" Cecelia admonished her ex-guardian and friend.  "She's not usually this rude and offensive," she said to the smiling shop girl.  Cecelia was teasing, of course, and was rewarded by the expected eye roll from her auburn-haired godmother.

"No worries," Kadence answered with a chuckle.  "And actually, there are local legends of fey-folk, but I've never waited on a customer with either pointed ears or wings."  She turned to Cat.  "So, you're a birdwatcher?"

"Me too," Cecelia answered on Cat's behalf, "and more than birds.  We like watching all kinds of wildlife."

"Mrs. Ingleby said you have an in," Cat said, "a way onto the island, I mean."

"The guide book says it's not open to the public," Cecelia added.

"It's not," Kadence confirmed, "but I've worked in the castle as summer employment, before I took this job.  Her Ladyship won't mind.  Just stay away from the castle and she won't even know you're there."

Cecelia nodded, but Cat seemed dubious.  "Are you sure we shouldn't call and ask permission?  Mrs. Ingleby said no, but it seems polite."

"Not necessary," Kadence answered, "really.  Her Ladyship won't mind as long as you're approved by the locals, meaning Mrs. Ingleby and myself."

"But how will she know?" Cecelia asked.  "If we run into her, that is."

Kadence's smile broadened.  "That brings us to my fee."

Cat sighed and whispered to Cecelia in an aside, "Here it comes."  Kadence had overheard, of course, but her smile didn't change.  "Your fee?" Cat asked in her normal voice.

Kadence looked Cat up and down in an assessing manner, then did the same to Cecelia.  "Hmm, I think... one hat each, and I have just the things."

"Hats?" Cat and Cecelia said in unison, exchanging a surprised glance.

fairy hatKadence led the way to a display of several unusual hats, then indicated a robin's-egg blue felt cap with a curled tip.  The upturned brim was pierced by small holes and scalloped like the edge of a leaf.  The cord band was decorated with peacock-blue felt feathers or leaves and a matching rosette, as well as black and white actual feathers.  It short, it was a pale blue Robin Hood hat—if the legendary outlaw had been more that a little fey.

"Oooo!" Cecelia gushed, placed the hat on her head, and posed in front of a mirror.  "It's perfect!"

Cat agreed, but did her best to hide her enthusiasm.  "It's a little... blue," she observed.  The cap was, indeed, blue, but the color went with the grinning blonde's hair and complexion and had the special virtue of bringing out the sparkle in her blue eyes.

"I like it," Cecelia sighed, turning to Cat and striking a pose.

Cat smiled—how could she not?—then took the cap from Cecelia's head and examined it closely.

"Hey!" Cecelia objected.

Cat continued examining the cap.  "Cool your jets," she muttered.  The cap looked like the real deal, meaning it was an actual, functional hat.  "Waterproof dyes?" she asked Kadence.

"Of course," Kadence confirmed.  "It will weather quite naturally.  All our hats are made for normal wear."

"Normal?" Cat inquired, then tossed the fey cap back to Cecelia, who giggled and returned it to her head.

goblin hat"Normal, day-to-day wear," Kadence confirmed, then indicated another hat with a graceful gesture.  It was olive green with a pointed, drooping point in the back, felt ivy leaf decorations, and a folded-back brown brim in the front, scalloped and rustic, like Cecelia's fairy cap.  It had ear-flaps and was more of a hood than a cap, but there were strings so they could be tied up in warm weather.  It also had a pair of very short, ivory-colored, felt horns sprouting from either side.  Kadence lifted it off its branch display stand and handed it to Cat.

Cat was intrigued.  The hat was utterly ridiculous, of course, but she liked the forest colors.  She placed it on her head and joined Cecelia in admiring herself in the mirror.

"A goblin hat," Cecelia giggled.  "It suits you."

"It's not a goblin hat," Cat objected, then turned to Kadence for support.  "It's not a goblin hat, is it?"

"Well, yes," Kadence said with a smile, "but the horns are removable.  Under felt flaps on the inside you'll find the ends of the clutch-pins holding them in place.  They can be replaced with a pair of ivy leaves similar to the other decorations."

"Keep the horns," Cecelia giggled.  "They suit you."

Cat rolled her eyes, removed the "goblin-hat," folded up the ear-flaps and tied their dangling strings together across the crown, then returned the hat to her head.  "Okay, I can live with it, the hat and the horns... for now."  Truth be told, Cat loved the hat.  It was absurd, ridiculous, and far too fanciful for wear on the street.  She loved it.  She turned to Kadence.  "And if we buy these things, you'll arrange to get us onto the island?"

"I'll drop you off myself," Kadence confirmed.  "Bob Dootson let's me borrow one of his boats whenever I ask.  I'll meet you at the quayside tomorrow morning at nine.  Will that be convenient?"

Cat looked at the small price tag hanging from her hat, the similar tag dangling from Cecelia's cap, then smiled.  "It's a sale and an appointment," she said, shaking Kadence's hand.

Payment was made, goodbyes were said, and the Americans left the shop wearing their new hats.  Kadence was proud of herself, both of her ability to match the merchandise of Titania's Wardrobe to customers and her ability to help interesting situations develop.  She picked up the handset of the rather antique telephone next to the shop's rather antique cash register and dialed a number.  She waited while the connection was made... then a familiar voice answered.


"Good day, Your Ladyship," Kadence responded.  "Have you spoken with Mrs. Ingleby?"

"I have," Lady Jocelyn Caerwyn confirmed.  "Am I to have visitors?"

"You shall, Your Ladyship," Kadence responded, "with your permission, of course."

"And you personally vouch for their behavior?"

"Oh no, Your Ladyship," Kadence chuckled, "but I'm sure you'll find then entertaining."

"Very well," Lady Caerwyn answered.  "Tomorrow?"

"Yes, Your Ladyship."

"Goodbye, Miss Harrington."

"Goodbye, Your Ladyship.  Best wishes to Elyse and Nora."  Kadence hung up the phone, then smiled as the door opened, bells tinkled, and two women and five small children entered the shop.  The children, three girls and two boys, all probably between the ages of six and eight, shrieked with delight and dispersed among the racks of clothing.  The women, no doubt their long suffering mothers, were doing their best to keep the youngsters together in a manageable herd, but were having limited success.

It was business as usual at Titania's Wardrobe.
♦TOURIST TRAP♦   Chapter 1
Caerwyn Castle
The Isle of Caer, United Kingdom

Lady Jocelyn Caerwyn replaced the handset of the telephone on the side table beside her very comfortable easy chair.  The chair in question was close to both a massive fireplace (unlit, at this time of year) and a bank of windows affording a picturesque view of the distant Lancashire coast, specifically, the wide mouth of the river Riddle's estuary.  On a clear night, the lights of Blackpool and Lytham St. Ann's could be seen twinkling on the horizon, but clear nights were few on the Isle of Caer.  The main virtue of the vista was the ever changing Irish Sea.

The venue was referred to as the "Mainland Parlor."  The large space might more accurately be described as a medieval hall, but it had been labeled a "parlor" during Victoria's reign, and the designation had stuck.  The furnishings were Edwardian, but the plastered stone walls were hung with tapestries, medieval shields and weaponry, and hunting trophies; however, a striking Turner landscape of the island's central valley hung opposite the fireplace.

There was another decoration gracing the parlor: Elyse Harrington, Kadence Harrington's cousin and Lady Jocelyn's current maid.

Her Ladyship was dressed in her usual at home attire for this time of year: sandals, designer jeans, and a fashionable cotton blouse.  Of course, if one or more of her peers were to pay a formal visit, Jocelyn possessed the appropriate clothing by the closet full, but she liked to "putter about the castle" in comfort.  Elyse-the-maid's attire, however, was neither comfortable nor designed for puttering about.

A variant of the traditional black and white domestic uniform?  No.

In point of fact, Elyse was completely naked, except for the several yards of tight, neatly hitched, and carefully positioned coils and strands of conditioned jute rope.  Elyse was a redhead, like her slightly older cousin, and while she had the years to vote and order alcohol in a public house, you couldn't tell by looking at her.  The diminutive ginger's features were both attractive and decidedly girlish.  At the moment, the features in question were hidden behind a tousled curtain of copper-red hair as she squirmed and fought to escape her bonds.  The ginger veil also hid the thick, tight cleave-gag of neatly folded white linen encouraging her to keep any thoughts or comments to herself.

Lady Jocelyn was the author of Elyse' predicament, of course.  It was a game they played on a regular basis.  When the maid's duties and Her Ladyship's schedule allowed, Elyse and Jocelyn practiced their respective hobbies, which were escaping from tight ropes and tying tight ropes, respectively.  Elyse's lack of clothing was to help her concentrate on developing her skills as an escape artiste and certainly not so Her Ladyship could better appreciate the sight of her maid's fit, young, nude body as she writhed and struggled.  Anyway, that was their story and they were sticking to it.

As for the current exercise, Elyse's wrists were bound behind her back with her hands palm-to-palm, her elbows were tied a few inches apart, and lateral and horizontal bands of well-hitched rope bound her upper arms against her sides, her forearms to her waist, and her legs together at the thighs, above and below her knees, her calves and shins, and her ankles.  It was a veritable web of rope bondage, and nothing the twisting, rolling, squirming redhead tried caused any of Her Ladyship's ropes to loosen or shift, and the key knots remained far from the reach of her fluttering, groping fingers.  She'd been attempting to find a means of escape for nearly an hour, and her smooth, peach-pink skin had taken on a slight glow.  That is, Elyse was working up an entirely understandable but nonetheless socially unacceptable sweat.

Lady Jocelyn toyed with a strand of her long, loose blond (with grey highlights) hair and smiled.  She'd done her job well.  Elyse would not be escaping today.  In point of fact, in the two years since Elyse had taken her cousin's place at the castle, Elyse had never escaped Jocelyn's ropes, just as Kadence had never escaped during her tenure as maid.

Just then, Nora Rigby, Castle Caerwyn's Mistress of the Staff, entered the parlor carrying a tray with a complete tea service.  Since the "Staff" in question consisted of only Elyse and herself, Nora considered the title to be a tad pompous, but Her Ladyship insisted.  Tradition.  The thirty-something brunette placed the tray at Jocelyn's elbow, then took a step back and indicated the squirming, struggling Elyse with a nod of her smiling head.  "Harriet Houdini she ain't."

Jocelyn chuckled as she poured tea into the single cup on the tray.  Nora would never be so forward as to drink tea with Her Ladyship, and the same went for Elyse, who, at the moment, wasn't in any condition to drink tea with anyone.  "I'm thinking she might do better with motivation."

Nora crossed her arms and continued gazing down at the wiggling redhead.

Elyse paused in her struggles, shook the hair from her gagged face as best she could, and gazed up at her smiling supervisor.

"Perhaps if she fails to escape by sundown," Nora suggested, "I should give her a spanking, then put her to bed without any supper."

"I think not," Her Lady ship chuckled.  "Elyse missed lunch, and starving one's maid is such bad form."  Her eyes were also on the helpless little ginger on the carpet.

Elyse shifted her sad, blue-eyed gaze from Nora... to Her Ladyship... back to Nora, then heaved a tragically pathetic (and highly melodramatic) sigh through her thick, tight gag.

"Well then," Nora purred, "that leaves only the spanking."  She turned to the mistress of the castle.  "Will there be anything else, Your Ladyship?"

"I'm sorry to announce that the island may soon be infested with Americans," Jocelyn said with a dimpled smile.

"The two Yanks?" Nora responded.  "That hardly constitutes an infestation."

Jocelyn paused for a sip of tea before continuing.  "According to Mrs. Ingleby and our former maid, Harrington-the-Elder, both are quite attractive."

"I'll make sure all is in readiness, Your Ladyship," Nora intoned, sketched her usual shallow (insolent) bow, then made her exit.

Elyse watched Nora depart... then shifted her sad gaze back to Her Ladyship.

"Well," Jocelyn purred, "get on with it... or I'll spank you myself."

Elyse heaved another sigh, then resumed her pointless but highly entertaining struggles.
♦TOURIST TRAP♦   Chapter 1
Cat had enjoyed the boat trip immensely.  As for Cecelia, not so much.  She'd managed to retain her breakfast, but had turned a little green around the gills, as the saying goes.  Anyway, they were now safely ashore on the rocks of the western shore of the Isle of Caer.

Cat realized the weathered stones under her booted feet actually constituted a modest, man-made pier, but the waters were sheltered only by a line of jumbled boulders several yards offshore.  At the moment the Irish Sea was relatively calm, but in any sort of rough weather a boat tied to the "dock" would eventually be smashed to pieces.  Kadence had mentioned that there was a small, well-sheltered harbor below the castle on the island's eastern end, but that was certainly not the case here.

"I'll see you at about this time in three days!" Kadence shouted as she turned the wheel of the borrowed boat and gunned the throttle.

"Don't forget about us!" Cat shouted back.

"Bye!" Cecelia added.

Cat and Cecelia waved as Kadence skillfully maneuvered the boat away from the rocks and turned towards the mainland.  Soon, she was out of sight around the shore.

Her "goblin hat" atop her head, Cat was dressed for the field in hiking boots, wool socks, cargo shorts, a tank-top, and a cotton shirt with its long sleeves rolled up.  Everything was a mix of earth tones: dark-brown, coyote-brown, dark-tan, olive-green, gray-green, etc.  The same went for her backpack and the hooded rain jacket, fleece sweater, and change of clothing within.  Her trusty Vortex Viper (HD) 8 x 42 binoculars were attached to a chest harness of elastic straps and dangled just below the bulge of her modest breasts, ready for instant use.

Cecelia's kit was similar in style and function, but favored the blue end of the spectrum.  That said, none of the shades of navy, denim, gray, or gray-blue chosen would prevent her from fading into the landscape nearly as well as Cat.  The robin's-egg "fairy cap" atop Cecelia's smiling head was the brightest thing she was wearing, but even it would be relatively unobtrusive in the dappled shade under the distant trees.  The young blonde was also wearing a chest harness (adjusted to compensate for her relatively less modest bosom), and attached were the Nikon Monarch Five 8 x 42 binoculars she'd inherited when Cat upgraded to the Vipers.

"Well," Cat said as they shouldered their packs.  "Let's find ourselves a campsite."

"After you, O fearless leader," Cecelia giggled.

Cat rolled her eyes (as expected), and they trudged towards the interior.

The weather forecast was good and they had five days of freeze-dried food in their packs, just to be safe.  Kadence had assured them there was fresh water on the island, and they had the required tablets to make it safe for drinking.  In case of emergency, they had their iPhones and a solar charger, and the phones were loaded with apps to help them identify British birds, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, as well as wildflowers, mushrooms, trees, and other plants.  Both were experienced backpackers and they had an entire island of wetlands, grassy moors, and a forest valley sheltered between a pair of rocky ridges to explore.

What could possibly go wrong?
 Chapter 1
At the usual hour, Lady Carewyn had enjoyed a light supper of Shepard's Pie and salad, accompanied by a delightful rosé.  She was currently in bed, having changed into her usual sleeping costume of frilly, whisper-thin nightie and knickers.  The long, matching robe was draped over a bedside chair.  Reclined against a pile of pillows, wearing her reading glasses, and a with an open book in her lap, Jocelyn was reading Startide Rising by David Brin—rereading it, actually.  Science Fiction was her lifelong passion, frowned upon by her parents and teachers, but her favorite literary genre, nonetheless.

Just then the bedroom door opened and Nora entered, pushing a serving cart.  She positioned the cart near the bed, then removed a plate cover, revealing a roast beef sandwich with leafy green lettuce, sliced pickles, onions, and tomatoes.  Next to the plate was a pint of nut-brown ale.  "I thought I'd bring Her Ladyship a bedtime snack," the smiling Staff Mistress announced.

Jocelyn favored her senior servant with a dubious smile but made no comment.  They both knew this was an absurd assertion.  Jocelyn exercised on a daily basis and watched her waistline with meticulous care.  The sandwich was not for Her Ladyship.  Jocelyn watched as Nora departed the bedroom... there was a pause of several seconds... then the Staff Mistress returned with the still naked and stringently bound Elyse over her right shoulder.

Nora carefully deposited the captive maid on the bed, against Her Ladyship's right side, bowed, and made her final departure, closing the bedroom door behind her.

Jocelyn smiled at her junior servant.  Nora had left Elyse's cleave-gag and leg-bonds intact, but she'd modified the maid's upper-body-bonds into a box-tie of the "sadistic" variety, with her crossed wrists raised and lashed against her spine, just below her shoulder blades.  It would appear the change had been to provide better access to the maid's firm, dimpled buttocks, as Elyse's cheeks and blue eyes were wet with tears and the firm, dimpled buttocks in question were flushed a rosy-pink.  Obviously, Nora had carried through with the promised spanking.

"You poor thing," Jocelyn purred as she slid her bookmark between the pages and placed the book on the nightstand.  Next, she pulled Elyse into a tight embrace and gave her a squeeze, then untied and removed her gag.

Elyse blinked, licked her lips, and worked her jaw before speaking.  "S-she spanked me," the naked and bound little ginger declaimed in a trembling voice.

Jocelyn smiled, but succeeded in stifling an unladylike laugh.  She was sure Nora had, indeed, delivered a spanking to the failed escape artiste, but it wouldn't have been anything Elyse couldn't handle, nor something she hadn't experienced many times before.  Elyse's pathetic display was all part of of the game.

"Poor thing," Jocelyn reiterated as she hugged Elyse's helpless form, again, planted a kiss on her trembling lips, then turned to the serving tray.

Stomach growling and mouth watering, Elyse watched as Her Ladyship lifted half of the roast beef sandwich, held it for her to take a bite... and she did so.  "Ummm!" Elyse mumbled as she chewed.  It was delicious.  Mistress Nora might be a cruel tyrant, but she knew how to throw together a good sandwich.

Lady Jocelyn continued feeding her helpless maid, alternating bites of sandwich with sips of ale.  No further words were exchanged.  At one point a tiny dollop of mayonnaise dripped from the sandwich and onto Elyse's pale-pink left breast and Her Ladyship used a cloth napkin to wipe it away.  She noticed that both of her maid's nipples were erect.  Jocelyn's nipples were also erect, a fact quite imperfectly disguised by the sheer, gauze-like fabric of her nightie.

It was one of the maid's duties, when so ordered, to help Her Ladyship "relax" before slumber, and being a firm believer in noblesse oblige, it was Jocelyn's habit to return the favor.  Elyse was quite sure that tonight would be one of those nights.  Once the meal was over, she'd snuggle her naked, helplessly bound body against Joselyn's side until Her Ladyship decided she'd had enough of her book for the evening, then she'd wiggle and squirm her way between Jocelyn's splayed legs and do her duty.

It was a dirty, rotten job, licking Her Ladyship's pussy and having her own pussy licked in return, but it came with the position.
♦TOURIST TRAP♦  Chapter 1
The End

Chapter 2