[I was one of the kids in these tales and this is all basically true but I decided to write from Susan’s point of view and that makes it fiction. Let me know what you think.]
I grew up in a strict religious household. In junior high all the other girls started wearing slacks or capri pants. When they wore skirts or dresses they were fashionably short and they got to wear nylons or pantyhose. Not me. Pants of any kind were forbidden and all my skirts and dresses were knee length or longer. Also, no nylons, but socks were required. I had the world’s largest collection of kneesocks. On hot days in the summer I was allowed to wear a pair of Bermuda shorts but still with the kneesocks.
The other girls pretended to understand but I knew they were secretly laughing at me. Most of the boys ignored me too. The usually followed along behind the girls in short skirts and bleached hair like a bunch of homesick puppies.
One summer day, in my plaid Bermudas and kneesocks, I wandered over to Ellie’s to see if she wanted to play a board game (hey, this was a LONG time ago. Phones still had wires and there were like four TV channels).
Ellie was out somewhere but her brother was in the yard with a bunch of other kids. They had one of the boys tied to a tree with jump ropes, watching while he worked himself loose. The tie-up was totally lame and it only took him a couple minutes to get completely free.
Ever since I was a little kid my stepbrothers had been tying me up whenever the parents were away. They’d tie me to chairs, to the coffee table, to the post in the basement, in all sorts of positions on the floor, then watch me squirm and struggle to get free. Nowadays they’d probably be arrested and hauled off to a home for perverts but at the time I just accepted it. In the process I became quite the junior Houdini, usually escaping from whatever torment they dreamed up.
“You guys wanna see how to really tie someone?”
I couldn’t help it. I hate to see people do a poor job at anything.
They were all a couple years younger than me but I could see the lack of respect in their eyes. They all thought I was some sort of dork.
Ellie’s brother Dave was the best of the bunch and he was the one who agreed to let me tie him up. I went easy on the little guy, just a loose hogtie with his wrists and ankles tied together. He started squirming and writhing, trying to break the ropes with his puny little-boy muscles. He rolled around for a while getting sweaty and dirty but nowhere close to loose.
He was fun to watch but took pity on him after about ten minutes and untied him.
“Me next! I’ll bet I can get out of that.” This was Larry. He was a nasty little guy, sort of like Eddie Haskell on TV.
I did him quite a bit stricter, adding a rope holding his knees together and another around his upper arms and chest. He was a stronger lad than Dave so I made sure everything was “pulled down hard and cinched up tight” as my stepbrother put it.
I left him sweating and struggling and went home. I assume some of his friends cut him loose because I’m sure he couldn’t escape on his own.
A few days later I went over again, knowing Ellie was away, hoping for another chance to use my skills. No one was in the yard so I rang the doorbell. Dave answered with his pal Steve.
“Hey Susan. Ellie’s out at drama club.“
“Oh, okay. What are you guys up to?“ I asked.
“Oh just goofing around. Hey, wanna play tie-ups again?” His eyes got big. He liked it enough to want another go.
“I suppose,” I said, playing it cool. “Which one of you wants to go first?”
“I guess I could,” Dave said, trying unsuccessfully to hide his eagerness. “Outside?”
“Why don’t we play in the basement,” I suggested.
We trooped down the stairs and it became obvious what sort of goofing around they’d been doing. There were several pieces of clothesline lying on the floor and up close I could see rope marks on both boys.
“You guys have been practicing, haven’t you?” I said, trying on my grown-up-teacher voice.
They both looked sheepish.
“We just wanted to see if we could do what you did to Larry,” Steve said. “Except we always get loose.”
“Hmm, why don’t you tie Dave and I’ll see if I can help you.”
Steve got a piece of rope and had Dave cross his wrists behind his back.
“Okay, first thing. Crossed wrists aren’t the best way.”
I gently put Dave’s hands together palm-to-palm and wrapped several turns.
“It looks loose now, but wait.”
I used the tails to cinch round the ropes between his wrists, then tied a square knot well out of reach of his fingers.
“Now you do the same thing to his ankles.”
Steve knelt at Dave’s feet and did a passable job.
“That’s it,” I said. “No way he’s slipping out of that.”
Steve puffed his chest out with pride.
Meanwhile Dave struggled helplessly with his bonds. He was standing in the middle of the concrete basement and I was worried he’d topple over so we helped him sit in an old kitchen chair.
“Okay Steve. Let’s you and me get this dastardly villain thoroughly tied to the chair before he has a chance to do any more crimes.”
Steve beamed. “You said it, sister.”
The little guy was definitely getting into it. Meanwhile Dave was looking at us with big eyes, trying to be cool, no doubt wondering what he’d gotten himself into.
Just a few more ropes and he was fixed snugly to the old oak chair, ankles pulled back and tied to a crossbar, waist and chest tied to the chair back. He looked pretty cute as he squirmed around.
“Now that we have him all tied up, what do you think we should do with him?” I asked.
Steve pondered for a minute. “Well, we could give him to the pirates and they could use him as a cabin boy. Or maybe just sell him as meat. You know, for tigers or something. Maybe to some cannibals.”
This kid was a gem. In the end we just tickle-teased Dave a little before releasing him.
I’ve often wondered what sort of imprint my influence made on those boys.