A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place

by Van ©2022

Chapter 2

 Dramatis Personæ 


On the one hand... Scotti's first ever Damsel-in-Distress research experiment was going quite well.  She was gathering a lot of good data on both the mental and physical aspects of being an inescapably bound and gagged prisoner.  The neatly folded and tightly tied scarves binding her ankles and knees were tight but not punishing, the leather belt with its double-tongued buckle was pinning her upper arms to her sides and squashing her boobs while being similarly "comfortable," and her bandana cleave-gag (with bandana stuffing) was effective and not as onerous as she'd feared it might be.  And none of the aforementioned bonds shifted or loosened however she wiggled, writhed, squirmed, kicked, rolled, bucked, and/or twisted.  (See also struggled and strained.)  And her fingers and hands were no help whatsoever, seeing as her wrists were crossed, tightly bound together, and pinned to the small of her back by the long, narrow flannel sash of her bathrobe.

On the other hand... the entire exercise was a total and complete debacle!  Sybil (Iris and Amy's mother), had barged into The Cottage (Scotti's new digs and Sybil's property), had quickly surmised the purpose of Scotti's bound and gagged condition, then volunteered to help!  She retied Scotti's formerly semi-loose and escapable wrist-bonds into their current tight and totally inescapable configuration, then added the bonus of using the remainder of the sash to pin said wrists to the small of her back, thus making her hands even more useless!  And then she—meaning Sybil—had left, abandoning Scotti to her under-dressed, bound, and gagged fate!

Seriously, if she'd known Mrs. DuPont was coming, Scotti would have been more that happy to receive Iris' mom as a visitor, no matter the hour, and even if she'd already stripped to her "pajamas" of panties and camisole and gone to bed, she would have put on her robe (the one whose sash was currently binding her wrists), welcomed her 40-something and very beautiful (and statuesque) guest, and they could have had a nice chat.  Unfortunately, as Scotti was only slightly moved in, she wouldn't have been able to offer Sybil coffee or tea, but still, things would have been a lot more... conventional.

Oddly, Sybil hadn't seemed offended or even all that surprised to find her new tenant/guest barely dressed, bound, and gagged, but Scotti had been colossally mortified, a condition from which she still hadn't fully recovered—and from which she feared she might never fully recover.

So here she was... wearing panties and an old camisole, inescapably bound and gagged, waiting for the long, dark hours of her first night in The Cottage to pass, and wondering how she was going to salvage the situation.  Sybil had wished her goodnight and abandoned Scotti to her cruel but instructive fate at least an hour earlier, and while she had to admit she was learning something about being a helpless captive (as planned), she'd just as soon terminate the session and concentrate on being embarrassed, mortified, and flustered.  And then—

Click!  Creee...

The front door opened, revealing a waifish figure with short, tousled hair, wearing a black robe, and, as the moon had nearly set, silhouetted in the last of the moonlight.

"Mrrrf!"  Iris!

It was, indeed, Iris, her ex-roommate and Sybil's youngest daughter!  And now that she thought about it, Sybil had promised that one of her offspring would arrive at some unspecified point to rescue her.  Scotti had assumed (feared) that had meant in the morning, but now would do just fine!  She squirmed, wiggled, and—"Mrrrf!"—mewled through her gag in an encouraging manner.

Iris closed the door behind her—Creee!  Click!—then strolled to the bed and clicked on the reading lamp.

Scotti made a mental note to find a can of 3-in-1 oil and lubricate the door's hinges—then her eyes popped wide in surprise (see also alarm) when Iris removed her robe, (which, by the way, was made from some black, satiny, polyester-blend fabric), revealing that she was totally nude underneath!  And Iris (naked Iris) was climbing into bed with her!  Iris had been Scotti's roommate their senior year at Lewis & Clark, so the Goth-adjacent brunette's habit of sleeping in the nude was no surprise (and no big deal); however, the ex-roommates sharing the same bed was a novel (and alarming) event!

"Mrrrk?" Scotti inquired (in what came out as a bandana-muffled squeak).

"You should have told me," Iris said, lying on her side with one side of her face resting on her palm and propped up by her right elbow.  "If you wanted to do this sort of, uh, research, I would have been more than happy to help.  I know all about rope.  Amy ties me up now and then, and has since we were little."

Scotti blushed and blinked her big green eyes, but was at a loss for words... as well as effectively gagged.

"Anyway..."  Iris reached out and untied Scotti's olive-green cotton bandana cleave-gag, then plucked the wadded brown cotton bandana stuffing from her mouth.  "What have you got to say for yourself?"

Scotti continued blushing and blinking, as well as licking her lips and working her jaw.  "Uh... Iris... when morning comes... after you untie me?"

Iris smiled.  "Yes?"

"Is there a big flat rock in one of your gardens I can hide under?"

Iris' smile widened.  "Don't worry about Mother and Amy.  Like I said, Amy's been doing 'research' on me since we were kids, and Mom makes sure nothing gets out of hand.  We're all very 'research tolerant' around here."

Somewhat reassured, Scotti nodded.  She also stopped blinking (but suspected her blush would take a little time to fade).

"And then, there's our Special Line of furniture," Iris continued, "Mother's catalog of, shall we say, unique items.  That also factors into the research thingie."


Iris reached to the side and turned off the reading lamp, once again plunging the cottage into darkness.  "You'll see.  Amy or I will give you a tour of the storage building in the morning.  Then you'll understand."

"What?  I mean... okay," Scotti responded.  Several seconds passed.  "Uh, Iris?"


"Aren't you going to untie me?"

"And ruin your research?  Don't be silly."

"I don't mind.  I can always, uh, do more research later."

"Do you want your gag back?"

"Huh?  No!  Of course not."

"Okay then.  I'll be right here, keeping you safe.  Goodnight."

"Uh...  Goodnight."

Scotti blinked a few more times, unseen in the darkness, then heaved a sigh and settled in to sleep... if she could.  Iris (naked Iris) was right there, of course, sharing the bed... and keeping her safe... and Scotti was still helplessly bound... mostly by her own hand... and...  This is crazy!

To her infinite surprise, the tiredness of the long drive and the stress of being found in mid-research and rendered truly helpless by Iris and Amy's mom caught up with her... and she drifted off to sleep.

A Quiet Place 
  Chapter 2

Click!  Cree...

Scotti's eyes popped wide as she came awake.  It was morning in The Cottage and someone had opened the front door!

It was Amy, and she was smiling, wearing boots, jeans, and a cotton shirt (in a very pretty blue, green, and brown plaid) with its long sleeves rolled up, and was strolling towards the bed.  And Scotti was still conducting research!  Meaning she was still tied up!  And Iris was still naked and apparently sound asleep.

"Good morning, Scotti," Amy said pleasantly.

Good morning," Scotti returned the greeting (and blushed), then watched as Amy pulled back the covers and gave her little sister's left butt-cheek three resounding slaps!  Whack-whack-whack!

"Ow!" Iris whined as she came awake, blinking sleepily and rubbing her offended posterior.  "Rude much?"

"Get up, untie the ginger, and make sure she finds the kitchen," Amy purred.  "Mother is about to start cooking breakfast."  And with that, she grabbed her little sister's black robe and left, closing the cottage door behind her.  Click!  Creee...  Click!

"You jerk!" Iris shouted after her sister, then sat up, heaved a sigh, and began dismantling Scotti's inescapable Damsel-in-Distress research project.  "Where's my robe?" she demanded when the task was complete.

"Amy took it with her." Scotti answered as she rubbed her wrists.  (And she couldn't help but smile).  "I'll loan you some clothes."

"Don't bother," Iris sighed as she climbed from the bed, stretched, then spun on her bare feet and padded towards the bathroom.  "We usually skinny-dip when we swim in the pond, and streak from here to there.  That's one of the advantages of being way out in the middle of nowhere: privacy.  At least she left me my moccasins."

It was true, a worn pair of pale, nearly-white, doe-skin moccasins lay in a jumble on the floor next to the bed.  Obviously, Iris had been wearing them when she arrived to "rescue" Scotti in the middle of the night, but Scotti hadn't noticed.  However, as Iris' back was turned as she padded to the bathroom, Scotti did notice the pink, not-quite faded palm-print on her friend's pale, firm butt-cheek.  Scotti blushed, but continued smiling.

Eventually, both former roommates completed their morning toilettes—Scottie donned jeans, a blouse, socks, and her trail-runners—and they headed for the main house.  Obviously, Iris was, indeed, an experienced streaker, as she strolled along in her birthday suit and moccasins without apparent embarrassment.  Again, Scotti couldn't help but smile.  She was seeing a new side to her friend, and for some reason it was helping her deal with the residual panic/embarrassment of last night's research debacle.

Breakfast was the traditional bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee, Sybil was warm, friendly, and welcoming, and said nothing about what had transpired during Scotti's first night in The Cottage.  (And Scotti certainly wasn't about to bring it up.)  All in all, it was as if nothing had happened.  Also, Iris had donned boots, jeans, a t-shirt, and work-shirt before joining the family in the kitchen, so that had helped return things to "normal."

Anyway... during the meal the Plan-of-the-Day was established, which, it would appear, was Sybil's job.  Amy had some chairs to finish assembling in the workshop, Iris had some weeding to do in one of the side gardens (weeding being a never-ending task), Scotti had to continue getting unpacked and settled into The Cottage, and Sybil had paperwork waiting in her office (another never-ending task).

Amy casually stated that she'd be sure and make time to give Scotti that tour of the storage building she'd been promised, after lunch, and Iris said she'd go along.  Sybil smiled but didn't comment.

Scotti blinked and nodded.  "Great.  Thanks."  She remembered Iris had mentioned the storage building last night, and it had something to do with... "research"... but she'd been too busy being tied up, helpless, and freaked out to fully register the conversation.  No problem.  She'd find out what was what after lunch.

A Quiet Place 
  Chapter 2

If you factor in the time it took for Scotti to decide how to organize her things in The Cottage's more-than-adequate cabinet, bookshelf, and closet space, unpacking was accomplished in a little more than two hours.  She hadn't brought all that much of her stuff with her, and as it turned out, The Cottage had two fully-enclosed closets.  Both were on the small side, and it was obvious one was organized for clothes while the other was a simple storeroom for empty luggage and boxes.

Once Scotti had added a few personal touches, like draping her favorite throw across the back of the loveseat in front of the fireplace and deploying her miscellaneous knickknacks in various preliminary locations, The Cottage was already beginning to feel like home.

Next, she settled into the office chair, powered up her laptop, and began the task of handshaking with the DuPont Family Wi-Fi server (which, for some reason, was named "Gormenghast").  There was a tiny Wi-Fi repeater discretely plugged into one of the Cottage wall-outlets, so the signal was strong.  And happily, Gormenghast recognized the password Iris had given her as soon as she typed it into the laptop!  Handshaking her iPhone and iPad were similarly painless.  Easy-peasy!

Once online, Scotti checked her e-mail queue, sent a message to her folks, reassuring them that she'd arrived safely, and stating that both The Cottage and the DuPont family were wonderful.  (She did not mention spending most her first night writhing in mostly self-imposed bondage, but after all, her parents didn't need to know all the details of her writing process, did they?)

Then came the solemn task of preparing the desk to serve as her Writing Space.  This took nearly as much time as all of the previous unpacking.  Her reference books were deployed in proper order and within easy reach on the bookshelf nearest the desk.  Her journals and notes were stacked in proper order and also within easy reach.  Finally, her pens, pencils, stapler, paperclips and other paper management tools, as well as her Post-it® pad collection, were given new (and preliminary) homes in the desk's drawers and on its surface.

There were a million more things to do, like notifying various friends, relatives, and businesses of her change-of-address, so she started making a checklist.  She also made a note to ask Sybil about the local banks.  She needed to transfer her account.

And then, Scotti realized it was nearly the agreed-upon time for lunch... with the tour of The Storage Building afterwards... and Scotti still couldn't remember exactly why Iris had said the storage building tour was supposed to be so important.

A Quiet Place 
  Chapter 2

Lunch was tuna-salad sandwiches (on wheat), chips, fruit, and iced tea.  Delish.  The DuPonts had cleaning up after meals honed to an exact science, but they let Scotti ease into their process and help.

And then... it was time for the promised tour.

"I'll be replenishing the hummingbird feeders, then finishing up my paperwork," Mother Sybil announced.  "After that, I'll be in the shop if anybody needs me."

"Okie-dokie," Amy responded. then took Scotti by the hand and led her towards The Storage Building.  As they approached, Amy glanced down at Scotti's trail-runner sneakers.  "We're going to have to find you some steel-toed work-boots if you're going to start helping in the shop."

"Uh, like I said, I really am pretty useless when it comes to stuff like woodworking," Scotti sighed.  "I made a birdhouse once, but it was totally ignored... by the birds, I mean."

"Man-made housing for birds is always an iffy business," Iris stated solemnly.  She was trailing along behind Scotti and her big sister.  "Prospective mamma birds are always very picky with respect to placement and size of the hole, and who can blame them?  Even if you build a lot of houses and blanket the landscape, most of them still get ignored and only a fraction ever actually get used."

"There are exceptions," Amy intoned, "like standardized bluebird boxes on fence posts in the middle big, grassy fields.  Almost all of them get used.  Sometimes even by bluebirds."

"You guys know a lot about birdhouses," Scotti observed.

"Mother started us out on birdhouses," Amy explained.

"No sense wasting good wood on newbies by asking them to cobble something together with complicated joinery," Iris said.

"We still make birdhouses," Amy stated.  "It's a good use of scrap.  Mother even has a cute little DuPont Bird-Abodes catalog."

"And there's a birdhouse section on our website," Iris added.

"And here we are," Amy said brightly.

They had, indeed, arrived at The Storage Building.  The size and architecture of the building was more-or-less identical to the adjoining furniture workshop, with the same barn-style rolling doors and long rows of narrow windows set up near the roof.  They were standing at the end of the building closest to the main house, in front of a conventional door with a solid-looking lock.

Scotti waited for Amy to unlock and/or open the door, but instead, the older DuPont sister was just standing there smiling in her (Scotti's) direction.

"I know what you're thinking," Iris huffed, apparently addressing Amy.  "No."

"It's a perfect 'research' opportunity," Amy purred, still smiling at Scotti.

"She's new," Iris countered.

"So what?" Amy responded.

"What are you guys talking about?" Scotti demanded, her green eyes darting from face to face.  Actually, Scotti was fully aware that she was what they were talking about, but clarification was in order.  (Also, Amy's expression was disturbingly similar to that of a house cat who had just cornered a foraging mouse.)

"Big Sister thinks you'll better appreciate the tour if you're tied up," Iris stated, frowning at the big sister in question.

"T-tied up?" Scotti stammered.

"Tied up," Amy confirmed, then focused on her little sister.  "Rope," she ordered.

"Only if she says it's okay," Iris responded.

Amy shifted her feline focus back to the cornered mouse... meaning Scotti.  "Well?  Are you serious about wanting to research the whole Damsel-in-Distress thing, like Mother said, or aren't you?"

Scotti blinked, blushed, nervously clenched and unclenched her fists at her sides, and looked from sister to sister several times before answering.  "I am...  I mean...  Okay."

"Excellent," Amy purred (in a very feline manner), then refocused on Iris.  "Well?"

Iris rolled her eyes, heaved a sigh, then scampered to the workshop and disappeared through a side door.

"We use braided cotton clothesline, washed on gentle cycle and conditioned with fabric softener, then stained with old coffee grounds and stretched to dry," Amy explained.  "Commercial hemp or jute 'Shibari rope' is just as good, aficionados would probably say better, but cotton is mucho cheaper.

Scotti was too nervous to speak, so she just blinked several times and nodded.

A Quiet Place 
  Chapter 2

It was a short (but nervous) wait for Scotti before Iris returned from the workshop with a large messenger bag of bleached canvas slung on her right shoulder.  It didn't appear to be all that heavy, but was definitely bulging with something, and Scotti had a good idea what that was.  She watched (and tried not to start blinking again) as Amy lifted the bag's flap, reached inside, and pulled out a neatly coiled bundle of closely braided but pliant brown rope about a quarter-inch in diameter.  Amy released the coil, doubled the rope, and found its center.  Scotti estimated the overall length to be something on the order of... long.

"Do you know what a box-tie is?" Amy inquired.

"I've done my scholarly research on the topic with due diligence," Scotti answered primly.  "I always do my homework."

"She does," Iris confirmed with a solemn nod.

"I'll take that as a yes," Amy chuckled, turned Scotti around, folded the ginger's arms behind her back, and set to work.

Scotti found the process of bands of doubled rope tightening around her arms and torso and being cinched in between to be quite... fascinating.  The coffee-stained clothesline was, indeed, soft and pliable, and it made interesting sounds and/or vibrations whenever Amy took a hitch to retain the tension and pulled the remaining rope through the hitch or knot or whatever she wanted to call it.  And Amy did that quite frequently, meaning took tension-maintaining hitches or knots.  She also seemed to be reversing direction a lot during the binding process.  Most of the action was behind Scotti's back so she couldn't follow the full details of what was happening... but she could definitely feel the vibratory slither when Amy pulled the free ends through a hitch or knot.

And then there was the issue of Amy's fingers.  As she worked, the grinning brunette continually slid two crooked fingers between the rope and Scotti's blouse (and skin), straightening the doubled loops, making sure the tension was uniform, and aligning the strands into neat bands.

As for the box-tie itself, Scotti's research had prepared her for the deceptive simplicity of the technique.  The pattern looked complicated and involved, but it isn't, not really.  What she wasn't prepared for, however, was the sensation of the rope hugging and constricting her body, trapping her arms, and rendering her hands useless.  And yet, none of the rope pinched or compromised her circulation or was anything but comfortable.  It was a unique form of comfortable.

Anyway, in a surprisingly short time, Scotti found her arms folded behind her back with rope looped around her forearms from wrist-to-elbow and elbow-to-wrist—neat horizontal bands of rope passing above and below her boobs—and doubled strands yoking her shoulders, cinching the horizontal bands between her upper-arms and torso, and tightening everything up.  There was a nexus of hitches and turns behind her back, running from the nape of her neck to her forearms, but her fluttering fingers and groping hands could find nothing resembling a knot or any free ends.

The DuPont sisters watched as she squirmed, twisted, and tested Amy's handiwork.

So this is a box-tie, Scotti thought as she completed her restrained evaluation of her restrained self.  Wow.  She was, indeed, helpless.  Scotti's heart was pounding and her breathing somewhat rapid, squeezing the ropes against her arms and torso (and boobs) with every breath.  And Amy wasn't done!

The elder DuPont sister had reached back into the bag still on her younger sister's shoulder, rummaged around, and emerged with another coil of coffee-stained cotton clothesline, but this one appeared to be less than half the size of the first... the coil Scotti was currently wearing as her first-ever box-tie.  Scotti watched as Amy released the coil, shook out the rope, looped one end around her neck, and tied a non-compacting knot.  Scotti was pretty sure it was a bowline.

Scotti had a leash!

Scotti was box-tied, and she had a leash, and the end of the leash was in Amy's hand!

The realization didn't do anything to slow Scotti's heart rate or return her breathing to normal.  And once again, Amy was rummaging in Iris' bag!

"Didn't you bring a ball-gag?" Amy demanded.

"No!" Iris and Scotti responded in unison.  (Actually, Scotti meant to say "No!" but what came out of her mouth was something on the order of "Neep!")

"She can't ask questions if she's gagged," Iris observed primly.

"But... research," Amy countered.

Iris rolled her eyes, then focused on her former roommate.  "You're way out in the middle of the deep, dark woods with no potential rescuers for miles and miles.  You can scream all you want and you'll still be the helpless prisoner of the villainess."

"That would be me," Amy purred, raising her free hand.

Iris rolled her eyes, again.  "Anyway... good enough?  You don't need a gag, do you?"

"No, no, not even a little," Scotti agreed enthusiastically.

"Adorable," Amy sighed.

"What?" Scotti demanded, blinking nervously again.

"Nothing," Iris answered (blushing), then scowled at her sister.  "Get on with it."

"Okay," Amy chuckled, then produced a key-ring, selected a key, and unlocked the hefty, heavy-duty, high-security lock securing the door to the mysterious Storage Building.

A Quiet Place 
  Chapter 2

The layout of The Storeroom was simple.  A double row of vertical posts supported the peaked roof and its exposed rafters and a "corridor" ran the length of the building, parallel to the ridge-line and between the posts. The workshop side was divided into a series of open bays defined by waist-high partitions running from the wall to the posts.  A few of the bays were empty, but others held stacks of wooden pallets, rolls of plastic stretch-wrap, or neatly stacked chairs and small tables.  There was also what Scotti surmised was a filled order ready to be shipped, stacked chairs and a dismantled table on a pair of pallets, plastic-shrouded and banded.  The opposite side of the building was also partitioned, but the horizontal wooden boards ran all the way up to the rafters and each "room" was secured by a locked door.

"We'll start at the very beginning," Amy intoned.

"A very good place to start," Iris agreed.

Amy began singing as she walked the length of the corridor with Scotti in tow (literally) and Iris following behind.

        ♫♪♫  Doe, a deer, a female deer;  ♪♫♪

        ♪♫♪  Ray, a drop of golden sun;  ♫♪♫

       ♫♪♫  Me, a name I call myself— ♪♫♪

"Amy!" Iris barked.

"What?" Amy huffed.


"Spoilsport," Amy pouted.

If she wasn't tied up and nervous, Scotti would have been amused.  Amy had a very pretty singing voice, by the way.  Soprano.

They finally arrived at the first room (or stall or partitioned space), the one farthest from the door they'd used to enter The Storage Building, and without Scotti being any the wiser regarding the contents of any of the other rooms (or stalls or partitioned spaces).  There was plenty of light, thanks to the many long, narrow windows set high in the outer walls, and while the partitions' horizontal boards were uniformly spaced about ¼" apart, the gaps weren't wide enough to reveal anything.

Scotti watched (and blinked her green eyes and swallowed nervously), as Amy unlocked the door, then pulled it open.  Her leash snapped tight (sort of) and she was dragged (led) across the threshold and into the space beyond.

The space in question was about 20' x 20' and was occupied by two large objects shrouded by paint-stained drop-cloths.

Amy looped the end of Scotti's leash through an iron ring set in the wall next to the open door, tied a knot, then removed the drop-cloth from one of the objects while Iris removed the cover from the other.  The DuPont sisters did their best to fold and set aside the cloths without raising a dust cloud, but were only partially successful.

Scotti blinked her wide eyes several times, then sneezed.  "Ahchoo!"

"Gesundheit!" the sisters said in unison, but Scotti didn't really hear them.  She was busy staring in surprise (see also horror) at what had been concealed under the cloths.

On Scotti's left was an honest-to-god pillory!  It was a stout, square, vertical wooden post stabilized on a hefty wooden stand, and atop the post was a pair of horizontal timbers, hinged at one end, and with a hasp and padlock at the other, as well as appropriately sized openings in between for its victim's neck and wrists!

On her right were two objects: a set of stocks and a bench!  The stocks was a pair of much shorter vertical posts supporting a pair of thick, stout, horizontal timber boards with a hinge and hasp/padlock, like the pillory, but it had only two openings, obviously intended for its victim's ankles!  The bench was heavy-duty but conventional, present to support the victim's butt with her legs straight and ankles trapped between the thick timbers.

"Mother offers a series of different styles in her Special Catalog," Amy stated, gesturing to indicate both the pillory and stocks, "like Medieval, Chippendale, Danish Modern, etc.  These prototypes are sort of... generic."

"We sell more of these than you'd think," Iris added.

"Both kinds," Amy agreed.

Scotti couldn't think of a comeback, clever or otherwise.  Also, it was now clear why Amy had tied the end of her leash to the wall before the sisters had removed the drop-cloths.  Otherwise, Scotti knew that at this very moment she'd probably be sprinting away down the corridor in wide-eyed panic, screaming her head off!  Thanks to the leash, that wasn't an option.  In point of fact, she had very few options.  One of them was screaming, as she wasn't gagged, but that would be rude.

Amy favored Scotti (who was fidgeting in her inescapable box-tie and trying to control her heart beat and breathing) with a warm (wicked) smile.  "I've got an idea," she purred, "instead of a quick, whirlwind tour of the entire collection, let's pause, continue your research, and let the two of you do some more catching up."

Iris heaved a sigh and rolled her dark eyes.  (Scotti's green eyes remained wide... and blinking.)  "You really think that's a good idea?" Iris asked her smiling (gloating) big sister.

"I think it's a great idea," Amy responded, then focused fully on her little sister.  "Strip," she ordered, still smiling.

A Quiet Place 
 Chapter 2


Chapter 1
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