You sit in the garden
Perfectly still as the early evening light begins to fade.
Though you will not feel the chill of the night on your skin for some time the sunlight has already lost its warmth.
It is time to take you back inside but I hesitate.
I know how much you love the garden with its tumbling rose bushes and creaking swing.
I see how much you love the sky and the breath of the breeze on your skin.
But you are weak.
The head cold you had last week is persistent. Your breathing in the night remains irregular and the occasional cough you stifle worries me a little.
I know you hear me approaching but your eyes remain fixed on the setting sun, an orange glow within soft blurred layers of azure pink and grey.
I carefully arrange the woollen blanket around your shoulders.
You do not acknowledge me.
“Five more minutes,” I say quietly before stepping back to allow you the last pleasure of your garden.
You sit, slender and so beautiful on the swing, blanket wrapped around you in your silk summer dress and soft leather sandals.
You are so perfect.
Only the plain silver chain that runs from the metal spike in the ground to the thin collar around your neck spoils the scene but you make even this ugly symbol of your confinement somehow sensual and hauntingly beautiful.
In this forgotten house miles from any other, with its high fences and impenetrable tangled bushes of thorn a Goddess is imprisoned.
And I am her jailer.
It has been over a year since you left your old life behind.
It has been a difficult time for you.
I so wish it could have been otherwise.
A year ago
I drive in silence.
Passing through towns and long grey stretches of suburbs.
The relative quiet of the A roads give way to a sluggish crawl Westwards along the dual carriageway and the motorway.
The afternoon sunlight has faded and the first spots of rain have begun to blur the windscreen.
The traffic slows and finally stops.
In the boot you lie curled still and silent.
The drug will not loosen its grip for at least another three hours.
There is plenty of time.
But minutes stretch out into an hour
The traffic creaks along in first and second gear drawing us ever closer to the moment when you will awaken.
I so wanted to be there when the effects of the drug wore off.
I do not want you to begin your new life waking up bound and gagged in the cold and dark of the car boot.
I have planned for this eventuality but it is not what I would have wanted.
We are now nearly two hours behind schedule but the traffic has finally eased forwards and the speed increases.
I turn off the motorway and though the roads have grown clearer the rain is falling heavily now.
I keet the car to a steady sixty resisting the impulse to try to catch up the time lost.
The space between towns grows and the rain lessens.
It is over four hours since I placed you in the boot of the car.
You must be awake.
I scan the road ahead.
Ten minutes later I find the place.
The rest stop is sufficiently far back from the road for my purpose and at this time of the year deserted.
I pull the Audi to a halt.
I reach down towards the passenger seat and lift up the leather case from the floor. Then I slowly step out onto the gravel of the layby.
I wait for a few moments.
This will be difficult but necessary. Unavoidable.
I straighten my shoulders and move to the boot of the car.
The mechanism opens with a turn of the key gliding upwards.
I zip open the bag and pull it away from your body.
You lie as I have left you. The hood remains around your head and you are perfectly still.
But I am not fooled
The tape around your wrists has begun to come away.
You have been working hard trying to loosen the adhesive.
In another twenty minutes you may have been able to free your hands.
It's fortunate that I am by nature cautious.
I know that beneath the hood you are very much awake.
It must take a lot to remain so still when every instinct will be prompting you to do otherwise.
Such strength and courage.
I always knew that you were special.
I open the leather case.
Inside is small tank, the size of a small keg of beer. It is labelled Drager Vapor 2000.
It is a portable canister.
It's of the kind used in serious car accidents where a fast acting anaesthetic is required.
I've chosen sevoflurane.
Its effects are almost instantaneous and it has fewer side effects than its comparitors.
Alongside the canister is a thin rubber hose attached to a clear plastic mask designed to cover the nose and mouth.
The hose clicks into the canister and I put it carefully down alongside your curled and still form.
The gauge on the canister registers full.
I stare down at you.
Your clothes are crumpled and your jacket has pulled away from your shoulder.
Your skin is the colour of pale honey.
I would love to spend longer but time and circumstance do not permit such an indulgence.
I pull the hood abruptly from your head.
You flinch instinctively, brown eyes blinking in the sudden glare of daylight.
Your hair is damp from sweat and I realise how much effort you have made to work your way free of the tape.
You struggle as I move you onto your back.
You try to talk and though the ballgag muffles the sound I know you are simply saying no.
I hold you on your back with my right hand pressed against your midriff while with my left hand I turn the dial on the canister to full.
Your eyes dart to the right following my movements and you redouble your energies frantically working your wrists against the tape in a sawing motion.
You shake your head, eyes imploring as I very gently place the mask over your mouth and hold it there for a few seconds.
The mask fits securely over the ball gag.
I can see that you try to hold your breath but even now your struggles are weakening.
I feel the fight ebb from you.
Your shoulders slump and your eyes mist.
And finally you sleep.
I fasten the mask in place behind your head with the elasticated velcro strap and wait the required three minutes for the drug to take hold.
Then I turn the dial on the Dragger down towards the minimum merging the now faint stream of sevoflurane with oxygen.
The canister will last until we are home.
As I drive the final one hundred miles at a steady fifty miles per hour my mind revisits the day savouring again every moment.
Each risk weighed and taken.
Your level of resistance was more than I had expected.
I am very proud of you. That you fought so hard.
And with each day will come more discoveries.
The rain passes.
The roads are empty.
We're nearly home.
I reach for the radio and music fills the interior of the Audi.
The journey passes.
The main roads turns to a narrow single route where except for passing points where the road has been widened only one car can go.
Finally we have left the last of the tarmac roads behind and we follow a narrow gravel path through the forest. Steep climbs and uneven surfaces force me to slow to a crawl but the four wheel drive capabilities of the Audi more than cope with the challenge.
The last embers of daylight are fading as we drive up to a tall gate that stands in the middle of the road, dull metal against the dark swirling green of the forest. On each side the tall wire mesh fence, stretches out in each direction encircling the property.
I get out and release the padlock which secures the strong metal gate and marks both the end of the road and the property boundary.
We drive the last mile very slowly until we arrive at the house.
I use the plastic key fob to swipe open the security screen, which in turn disables the alarm and activates the lights.
The house was originally built in the early eighties.
I pass through the house, moving quickly beyond the ornate staircase to the door that stands adjacent to the kitchen.
The heavy reinforced door opens smoothly as I release the lock and the automatic light flare illuminating the long dark stairway that leads downwards.
In the darkness beyond, your prison-kingdom awaits.
I have no need to go further.
Everything is prepared for you in the rooms below.
It has been ready for a very long time.
I make my way back through the house to the car and open the boot.
You are still asleep.
There is no faking this time. The canister of sevoflurane is still three quarters full.
With my grey clasp knife I cut the strands of tape that hold your legs to your breasts and your head rolls back suddenly.
I unfasten the mask and turn the cylinder to off.
I pick you up slowly, effortlessly from the floor of the boot.
Your clothes are damp and in one place wet. Thereis smell of amonia.
But that is understandable.
You have been through so much.
I carefully carry you through the house and descend into the cellar.
I take you straight to the large shower cubicle in the corner of the cellar. It has been fitted to accommodate people with mobility problems and there is a small seat where I place you securing you waist and then your chest with the two straps.
Your head drops forwards but the straps take your weight.
I cut away the the last of the tape.
I slowly undress you placing each item in a neat pile ready for the incinerator.
Shoes, tights, skirt, jacket, pink silk top, underwear and your simple silver watch.
As each item is stripped from your body so you leave your old life behind.
Finally you are naked.
I keep the water warm as I wash you gently and meticulously.
I have no idea about what you prefer to bathe with so I simply bought the most expensive I could find.
I massage the lather into your skin and then wash your hair.
As I rinse the last of the shampoos from your hair. You make a soft almost inaudible noise.
It is nearly time.
Moving more quickly I dry you in large white towel before I carry you to the bed that sits by one wall.
You will soon be awake and given the unexpected level of resistance encountered before I do not want to take any chances.
I have no concern that you might escape, the difference in size and build between us would render that a no contest.
I am more concerned that you might hurt yourself.
And that would never do.
I pull a simple cotton nightdress over your head and smooth it down over your thighs.
Like all the clothes in the wardrobe which occupies most of the far wall, it has been bought online. I have had to estimate the sizes but now that you are here I will be able to take more exact measurements.
I will buy the things that will most suit you.
And I will buy only the very best.
But for now practicalities must be addressed.
The four black calf skin cuffs were another online purchase. One for each wrist and ankle. Though soft and carefully lined they have been specially designed. As I fasten each strap in place there is a small padlock which fastens the eyelet ensuring that the strap cannot work free.
When I'm done I move your arms and legs into a star shape.
Four thin metal chains are fixed to the solid wooden bedframe and I use these to secure you in a spread-eagled position.
Finally I wash the ball gag and strap it in place once more.
And then I wait.
And watch you from the side of the bed.
After several moments your eyes open blinking rapidly.
You moan, an almost anguished sound as you try to sit up.
You are able to move only a few inches before the chains go taut and you slip back onto the matress.
Your eyes focus on me filling with tears.
I let the silence lengthen.
And then I begin.
“You are here because I wish it. There is no one who can hear you and no one who will come to find you.”
I paused scanning your face for comprehension.
“I see you understand me.”
You nod slowly
“There is only me and I have chosen you. I am by any definition a monster because only a monster could do what I have done to you. But I am Your monster.”
You fix me with those perfect dark eyes.
“You are chained to ensure you do not hurt yourself and you are gagged not because someone might hear you but because I do not wish to hear you scream, or plead or even ask questions.”
Your eyes dart slowly around the room taking in the wardrobe, the shower and the two doors, one that leads back up into the main part of the house and the other that leads to the garden I have made for you.
You look down at the plain cotton nightdress.
“You had an accident in the car,” I explain “So I had to bathe you.”
Your eyes widen and I smile.
“Yes I undressed you and washed you but I did nothing else. But we will come to the matter of sex at the appropriate time.”
You have such expressive eyes.
All your emotions are there.
“Every day bad things happen in the world. People wake up, have plans and then along comes the bad thing. They die. The person they loves dies. But the world keeps on turning.”
You move slowly testing the chains.
The early days were always going to be the hardest.
“You need to accept that you have left your old life behind. You are not dead but nor can you ever go back.”
You say something then. A word of defiance.
I smile sadly. “We need to get through this stage first. Your resistance is understandable but we will need to move on.”
You swear again. Unmistakeable even muffled by the gag.
“I was hoping we could wait a bit before this had to happen,” I say standing up and removing the knife from my pocket. Instinctively you pull back against the chains eyes fixed on the blade.
I lean forwards and slowly slice up through the nightdress from the hem to the top. I pull the ruin away from your body.
This has to be done.
I walk to the small fridge and open the door. The light flickers briefly.
“Sex is not that important to me. But it is an effective way of demonstrating to you that I am in complete control.”
I swallow two Viagra tablets washing them down with a bottle of mineral water.
“I've found in life I need a little help,” I explain.
You shake your head pulling against the chains while I wait for the tablets to take effect.
Sitting by the bed I place the packet of condoms neatly to one side.
We can have no accidents.
Then I begin to warm the lubricant between my hands.
You start to weep, head moving from side to side.
And so I begin.
That was a year ago.
Much has changed.
I lead you back down the small flight of stairs from the garden to the cellar gently holding the chain in one hand.
There are some changes within your kingdom-prison
There is now a small bath tub which I installed when I realised you preferred baths to showers.
And I run the water while you sit silently on the bed.
I bathe you and dry you.
You hold up your arms as I place the night dress over your head and secure the collar to the bed with its padlock.
You can move from the bed around the room but you cannot reach the door beyond. There is small switch for you to press to summon me if you need anything but you never do.
You lie in bed and I pull the cover up around your shoulders, brushing a strand of hair which has settled on your face.
“Who are you?” you ask.
I look into your eyes. “I am your Monster. I have stolen you from your life and brought you here.”
“Why do you hate me?” you ask in a tiny voice.
I shake my head. “I do not hate you. I love you. But it is a Monster's love, a harsh and all possessing thing. You are a Goddess in chains. I will care for you but I will never let you go.”
You turn your head away from me on the pillow.
“Sleep,” I say quietly and you close your eyes obediently.
I close the door behind me and walk up the stairs to the main part of the house.
The initial flurry of interest and speculation regarding your disappearance has died down. There has been nothing in the papers or the news but with the anniversary of the event fast approaching there will no doubt be questions asked.
And still the police have no answers.
Just a single grainy CCTV picture of a man who could be almost anyone.
It's time to sleep.
Tomorrow I will read to you again.
And there are recipes that I will cook for you.
I have you.
And I am truly happy.
No monster could be more content.
You were my life before you knew that I existed.
And I will never let you go.
(To be continued?)