| by Van ©2012
wide with alarm, Gwen screamed through the ball-gag
plugging her mouth. "M'mmpfh!" The many holes
piercing the thick-walled, hollow sphere allowed significant
volume to escape, but it was a gag. Unless Clem
and/or the campus cops were in the hallway immediately below the
Room of Requirement, Gwen doubted they'd be able to hear
anything. The sinister intruder in black could
hear, of course. Whoever she was, she straddled Gwen's
squirming body with her black knee-boots, dropped to her
leather-clad knees, and settled her weight on Gwen's tummy,
pinning her on her back. "Mrrrrrf!"
"Quiet," the masked stranger said. "I'm not going to hurt
you, I promise."
Gwen continued squirming—"Mffff!"—then froze when the stranger
clamped a gloved hand over her gagged mouth.
"I said be quiet, Gwendoline," the stranger chuckled.
Gwen's green eyes locked with her captor's blue eyes. She
knows my name! Somehow Gwen could tell the
apparition-in-black was smiling, despite the mask.
"You may call me... The Phantom," the stranger purred. Her
voice was (Gwen had to admit) pleasantly soprano, maybe
mezzo-soprano. "You have my solemn word as a sinister
archetype that I'm not going to hurt you." She took her
gloved hand from Gwen's ball-gagged mouth.
Gwen's heart was hammering, but somehow she managed to control
her panic. She watched as her captor grabbed the chin of
her mask and lifted the mask and hood from her head. She
shook out her shoulder-length, blond hair and smiled.
"Mrrrf?" Gwen recognized the intruder's decidedly pretty
face... sort of.
"I can tell you recognize me," the blond purred.
She's old, Gwen noted, girlish, but old... like
twenty-five or something.
"Yes, you know me," the catsuited blond continued, "but we've
never been formally introduced." She placed her gloved
hands on either side of Gwen's gagged head and leaned close
until their faces were less than a foot apart. "My name is
Inga Berg. I'm a graduate student of English Literature
and Cultural Semantics."
That's where I've seen her! Gwen realized. She
was at that guest lecture on Semiotics that Clem and I sat in
"I've been watching you and your roommate play," Inga said, then
leaned even closer. "It's not like I've been stalking
you," she whispered, and kissed Gwen's ball-gagged lips.
She then sat upright and began untying the rope knotted through
the D-ring in the collar of Gwen's bolero straitjacket.
"Okay," Inga chuckled, "I suppose I have been stalking
you, by any reasonable definition of the term, but I assure you
my intentions are... honorable." She finished untying the
tether, then tied a complicated, decorative knot at the very end
of the rope and tossed it aside.
Gwen noted her captor—Inga! Her name's Inga!—was
also wearing a black leather fanny-pack. She'd missed that
detail earlier because: (1) she'd been too busy FREAKING OUT!
and (2) the fanny-pack's leather and hardware matched the rest
of Inga's Leather Bitch Goddess outfit. She watched as
Inga spun the pack around so it was riding her tummy instead of
her fanny, then lifted a booted, leather-sheathed leg and
reversed direction. Most of her weight settled back onto
Gwen's naked waist, but now Inga was facing her feet.
And speaking of feet, Inga unzipped the fanny-pack and pulled
out a pair of black leather cuffs. They were joined by
something like ten inches of stiff bungee cord, elastic rubber
clad in black fabric. It was coiled around itself like a
spring or a hangman's knot.
Once Gwen realized Inga was buckling the cuffs around her
ankles, she tried to resist—tried and failed.
Inga reversed position again, then smiled at Gwen. "We
need to get out of here, but first..." Her smile
broadened. "Will you agree not to scream for help?"
Gwen's heart was still hammering, and the way Inga's lips curled
when she smiled was kinda cute. Okay, really cute,
and... What was the question? "Mrrpfh?"
Still smiling, Inga heaved a theatrical sigh, reached back into
the open fanny-pack and produced a rectangular sponge and a wide
roll of black, PVC tape.
Gwen's eyes popped even wider. "NRRRrrrrr." Inga had
clamped the sponge over her ball-gagged mouth, freed the end of
the tape with her teeth, and was now wrapping turn after tight
turn of tape around her head, over her mouth, the sponge, and
her tousled hair! "Nrrrrr!" Inga stretched the tape as she worked,
causing the shining black bands to grip Gwen's lower face
something fierce. She used the entire roll, giving
Gwen the most stringent multilayer gag of her young life!
Okay, it was the first multilayer gag of her young
life. She'd multi-gagged Clem back in the dorm, but this
was Gwen's first. And one thing was absolutely
true—"M'mpfh!"—it was pretty damn
"There," Inga chuckled as she returned the roll's cardboard tube
to the fanny-pack. She then produced a thin, black leather
leash and clicked its terminal clip through the jacket collar's
D-ring. "Time to go." She pulled the hood and mask
back over her head, then stood and took a step to Gwen's
right. The loop in the far end of the leash was in her
right hand and she gave it a firm tug. "Up you come."
Gwen struggled to her feet. What choice did she
have? She certainly didn't want to make Inga angry.
She yelped through her gag when Inga embraced her from
the side, cupped her left breast, and gave it a gentle squeeze
with her gloved hand. "Mrrrrpfh."
"I know you're scared," Inga whispered. The lifeless lips
of her mask were inches from Gwen's left ear. "I swear,
I'm not going to hurt you, or your roommate. You like this
game. You know you like this game, and we're going
to play." She released her embrace, including Gwen's
breast, then started for the stairs. Tap, tap, tap...
The leash snapped taut—"Nrrr!"—and they were off. The hobble allowed only
very short steps, but it wasn't as stiff as she thought it would
be, and it stretched more than she'd expected, as well.
Gwen managed not to stumble.
Truth be told, Gwen did like this game—Duh!—but HOLY
CRAP! She was being kidnapped FOR REAL! By a
STRANGER! Granted, a cute—okay, hot—slightly older
stranger, but a STRANGER! And where the hell is Clem?
|Oh, the Humanities!
up the front steps of Nicholson Hall. Night had finally
fallen, a pulled pork sandwich (with peppers and caramelized
onions) and a side of double-dipped fries from the Sac were
digesting in her stomach, and it was time to either let Gwen
go... or do something nasty to her. Clem hadn't decided
which, but was leaning towards "something nasty." After
all, why take Epic Revenge on your BFF if you weren't willing to
go overboard and do unspeakable things to her you'd regret in
the morning? She reached into her jeans pocket and pulled
out her keyring, selected the key for the front door, and—
"Excuse me," an alto voice called from somewhere behind Clem's
Clem nearly jumped out of her proverbial skin, but managed not
to drop the keys. She turned to find a campus cop smiling
up at her from the sidewalk. The cop was female, blond,
thirty-something (possibly late 20's), and pretty, in
Clem's opinion—pretty in a butch, tomboy,
could-kick-my-ass-without-breaking-a-sweat kinda way.
"What is your business in Nicholson Hall?" the cop
inquired. She was in uniform: tan shirt, brown jeans,
boots, wide cop's belt with pistol, flashlight, handcuffs,
etc. Her badge was clipped to the belt and the name tag
over her right breast read "BALLANTINE."
Clem swallowed, then realized she had no reason to be
nervous. "Uh, I'm working for Dr. Pappas, inventorying the
furniture before the contractors start the renovation, and I
need to do something."
The cop climbed the steps and smiled at Clem. "At this
Clem swallowed, again. "I forgot to check the closet of
one of the classrooms. Sometimes people shove broken desks
into closets rather than reporting them to Maintenance and... I
need to check."
The cop held out her right hand. "May I please see your
"Uh, sure." Clem pulled her wallet from the side pocket of
her messenger bag, extracted her student ID, and handed it over.
The cop had pulled what looked like a rubberized iPhone from a
case on her belt. It had a built-in card-reader and she
swiped Clem's ID, then read whatever was being displayed on the
device's small screen.
Clem waited... nervously... even though she'd already decided
she had no reason to be nervous. Some students,
mostly the party animal types, considered the campus police to
be buzz-kills, but Clem had always found them to be polite,
helpful, and professional. And why should—Clem read the
cop's name tag again—"Officer Ballantine" suspect Clem was up to
something? So, her roommate was naked, strapped into a
borrowed straitjacket, gagged, and locked in one of the attic
rooms, and Clem had done the deed. Big deal.
"Okay," the cop said. She handed back Clem's ID.
"With the campus more or less shut down before the start of
Summer Quarter, we have to be extra vigilant against
break-ins. Do you expect to be long?"
"Uh, no," Clem answered, "not at all." So much for
tickle-torturing Gwen 'til dawn, she thought.
"I'll be patrolling this side of campus if you need assistance,
Clementine. Thank you for your cooperation."
"Clem. Call me Clem."
The cop extended her hand and they shook. "Tori
Ballantine. Pleased to meet you."
"Same here," Clam answered. Officer Tori Ballantine had a
firm grip. I bet she works out, Clem decided,
watching Tori descend the stairs... then walk away. Hmm...
maybe I ought to buy a pair of handcuffs. Gwen and I can
play cop. She turned back to the door and inserted
the appropriate key in the lock.
|Oh, the Humanities!
along in Inga's wake, taking the short, abbreviated steps
allowed by her hobble. Her leather-clad captor was setting
a reasonable pace, but Gwen's heart was hammering. It had
never stopped hammering.
After all, Gwen was virtually naked, strapped in a skintight
bolero-jacket, stringently gagged, and being led on a
leash by a masked, leather-wearing villainess down the dark,
echoing corridors of a totally deserted Nicholson Hall! To
coin a phrase: HOLY CRAP!
After descending the stairs from the Room of Requirement to the
top floor, Inga had locked the door, then headed for one of the
building's back stairwells. The only sound was the tap,
tap, tap of her boots. Gwen's bare feet made no
sound on the smooth, cool floor.
They descended to the next floor... then the next... then the
next. The hobble stretched as required to make a safe
descent possible. Gwen realized the coiling was just to
keep the bungee cord off the floor. Clever!
Also, she noted the way her tits flopped against her folded and
leather-encased arms as she dropped in altitude, step by step,
but there was nothing clever about bouncing boobs.
Where is she taking me? Gwen wondered. Suddenly,
something she'd just seen registered: Inga has a key to the
Room of Requirement! Where did she get a key to the Room
They arrived at the ground floor and approached a solid door
bearing the sign "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY." Inga
produced her keys, again, and unlocked the door. Beyond
was a landing and yet another set of stairs. She closed
the door—"Urrr!"—and they were plunged into
"Easy, Gwendoline," Inga's voice chuckled, then a small LED
flashlight winked on.
Gwen watched as The Phantom locked the door behind them, then
headed down the stairs. The leash snapped taut and Gwen
dutifully followed. She knew Nicholson Hall had a
basement, everybody knew Nicholson Hall had a basement;
but it was off limits to students and locked up tight.
More darkness loomed at the bottom of the stairs, and beyond was
dark, empty space. There were boxes and stacks of what was
probably more furniture, but Inga kept the light on the dusty
floor. Speaking of which, Gwen realized the soles of her
bare feet were probably now black with dirt. Funny
what you worry about when you're naked, bound, gagged, and in
the process of being abducted, she thought.
The parade of two continued through the basement, the tiny pool
of light just ahead of Inga's feet the only illumination.
Indistinct shapes hinted at more clutter, but Gwen still
couldn't make out any details. She isn't going to
leave me down here, Gwen worried, is she? How
will Clem find me?
The journey continued. Gwen was convinced they should
be running out of basement, and then they did. A concrete
wall loomed, and set in that wall was a steel door studded with
bolts, the sort of thing Gwen would want between herself and a
horde of rampaging zombies. Enough! Gwen chided
herself. Focus! You're being kidnapped!
She watched as Inga turned the lock and pulled it open.
Beyond was more darkness and yet another set of stairs leading
down, this time cast in concrete with textured steel treads.
Down they went, pausing only long enough for Inga to close and
lock the door, and Gwen found herself in... a tunnel? Inga
clicked off her flashlight. It was no longer needed.
Dim, widely separated industrial lights glowed overhead,
shedding more than enough light for The Phantom and her prisoner
to avoid bumping into the walls or the many pipes and conduits
traveling in steel brackets on either side and overhead.
Gwen was amazed. Secret tunnels under the
campus? That's sooo cool! It was also
terrifying, but Gwen couldn't do anything about it. She
was helpless. She was Inga's captive. The Phantom
said she wasn't gonna hurt her, and for some reason—for no good
reason, actually—Gwen believed her. She kinda had
to believe her, and follow her lead (her leash, actually), and
hope for the best.
As she minced along down the seemingly endless tunnel, a curious
but generous thought entered Gwen's mind. Poor
Clem! What's she gonna think when she finds me
gone? What's she gonna do?
|Oh, the Humanities!
at the empty futon cushion in disbelief. The white cotton
rope that should have been tied through the D-ring in the collar
of Gwen's straitjacket was in her right hand, and she was
examining an elegant, flower-like knot tied in its very
end. It was like macrame, or some other kind of craft
thing, and Clem realized it was a message. Gwen couldn't possibly
have squirmed her way out the jacket, and with her fingers
trapped in the sleeves, she couldn't possibly have tied
the knot. Nor could she have tied the knot with her lips
and tongue, not with the ball-gag strapped in her mouth.
That left her toes, but there was no way Gwen could tie
this knot with her toes.
Someone else had tied the knot! And that someone had taken
What to do? What to do? What to do?
Clem's heart was thumping and she knew she was on the verge of
panic. Stop it! she chided herself. Clem
knew she had to calm down, think, and do
something! But what?
Clem dropped the rope, spun on her heels, and sprinted for the
stairs. If she called for help she'd get in trouble, but
so what? Someone has taken Gwen! She bounded
down the stairs, sprinted down the hall to the main staircase,
then hurried down to the ground floor. By the time she
reached Nicholson Hall's front door, hit the panic bar, and
threw it open, her heart was really hammering and she
was gasping for breath. She bounded down the front steps
and looked around. The campus appeared to be completely
"Clem, is something wrong?"
Clem spun around again to find Tori Ballantine stepping from the
shadows. Apparently—make that obviously—she'd been leaning
against the trunk of a tree and Clem had missed her. Clem
tried to speak, but all she could do was pant.
"Easy," Tori said, and placed a reassuring hand on Clem's
shoulder. "Deep breaths."
Clem nodded as she continued gasping for air. Finally,
after a few seconds she was able to speak, after a
fashion. "S-someone! Wheeze. Took! Wheeze.
My roommate! Wheeze. Gwen!"
Tori frowned. "Your roommate?"
"Gwen was upstairs," Clem explained. "In the attic.
And she's gone! Someone took her!"
Tori gestured towards the building. "Show me."
They hurried up the front steps, Clem unlocked the front door,
and she led Tori as quickly as she could up to the Room of
Tori looked around at the strings of purple icicle lights
dangling from the rafters, the futon cushion on the floor, and
the long, tangled rope with one end tied around a support column
and the other tied in a decorative knot.
"Uh, this is our study nook," Clem explained, pointing at the
reading lamp in one corner.
"Study nook," Tori muttered.
"Uh, yeah. Only I have the key and—" She shook her
head, nearly losing her glasses in the process. "That's
not important." She used her right index finger to seat
her glasses against the bridge of her nose. "Gwen, my
roommate, was up here, and somebody took her!"
"Somebody took her?"
"I'm serious!" Clem blurted. "The door was locked, and she
couldn't have gotten away—I mean, she couldn't have left
on her own."
"The door was locked."
"And only I have the key!"
"Because of the inventory," Tori suggested.
"No! I've been the only one with a key all year!"
Clem watched as Tori pulled her rubberized iPhone thing from her
belt and began tapping the keys. "She... someone has
to have taken her!"
"I'll put out a campus bulletin and then you can give me a full
report," Tori said as she continued tapping and sliding her
finger. "I assume you mean Gwendoline Percy?" She
held the device so Clem could see the display of Gwen's student
ID photo on its small screen.
"Yeah, yeah, Gwen Percy," Clem nodded.
"Okay." Tori continued tapping the screen. "What was
she wearing the last time you saw her?"
Clem's blushed, then swallowed. Here goes everything,
she thought. "Uh, she was wearing a black leather
straitjacket... but was otherwise naked."
Tori stopped tapping the screen and stared at Clem.
"Okay, okay, we were, uh, playing," Clem admitted.
"Please. Somebody's taken her. She couldn't have
gotten free on her own."
Tori returned the iPhone-like device to her belt. "Let me
get this straight. You've established a private,
unauthorized 'study nook' in a classroom building, you had your
roommate naked and strapped in a straitjacket in said study
"And gagged," Clem interrupted. Her cheeks felt like they
were about to burst into flame, and she'd like nothing better
than to sink into the floorboards. "She was gagged."
"A ball-gag," Clem confirmed. "It was hers. It was her
ball-gag. She bought it." Clem's eyes popped
wide. Tori had reached behind her back and produced her
handcuffs. "Uh, look, I know I'm in trouble, but—No!"
Tori had spun Clem around, pulled the messenger bag off her
shoulder, slammed her against the support column, and was
cuffing her wrists behind her back. Click-click-click.
"You're in trouble all right." Click-click-click.
"Please!" Clem tugged on the cuffs. They were the
hinged kind, the kind without the little connecting chain.
"Somebody took Gwen! I don't care what happens to
me, but we have to find Gwen!" Tori spun her back
around. She watched as Tori pulled a large bandana from
her hip pocket, shook it out, and crumpled it into a wad.
"What are you gonna—No! M'mmpfh!" Tori had stuffed
the bandana in her mouth, and was holding it there with one
"Don't worry, Clem," Tori said as she reached into her pocket
and produced a roll of half-inch wide, black electrical
tape. "I'll take care of everything." She
freed the end of the roll with her teeth, planted the strip
across the wad and between Clem's gaping lips, then began taking
turns around her head.
Tori continued wrapping bands of stretched tape, firmly
anchoring the wad in place and giving Clem a tight, no nonsense
cleave-gag. "There," she chuckled as she snapped the roll
free and returned it to her pocket. "Now you won't be
disturbing the peace."
"Mfffh!" Tori had plunked her on her butt at the base of
the column with her back and cuffed wrists against the hard,
square wood, untied the rope from the post, and was using it to
lash her in place! "Mrrf?"
With practiced competence, Tori took three turns around Clem's
squirming body and the column, hitched the rope bands between
Clem and the wood, then tied a knot somewhere behind the
column. She then untied the decorative knot in the other
end of the rope, pulled Clem's ankles against the wood and
lashed them together and to the post. "That should hold
you," Tori purred as she stood. She took a step back and
smiled down at her prisoner.
"Nrmpfh?" Tori's smile was... disturbing. Is
she the one? Clem wondered. Did she take
"I think I may know where to find your friend," Tori said, then
turned and walked towards the stairs. "Don't go anywhere."
"Mffh!" Clem squirmed and fought her bonds as Tori
descended the stairs. She heard the door close, and
then... silence. Clem fought her bonds, again, but it was
hopeless. She wasn't going anywhere, as per Tori's mocking
instructions. All she could do was wait, and wonder—
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??
|Oh, the Humanities!