© Copyright 2003 - The Sweet Count - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; Solo-F; F/f; boxed; game; cupboard; suitcase; discovery; tease; auction; trunk; transported; locked; encased; stuck; cons; X
Part One - The Auction
Karen made her way slowly up the creaky old stairs to the loft of the magnificent old horse barn. Motes of dust hung in the air, caught in the beams of late summer sunshine, which peeked through the grainy windows. The barn smelled of fresh hay and old leather. Reaching the top of the stairs she peered around at the merchandise before her.
Karen stood 5’8” with shoulder length black hair drawn back into a ponytail and blue green eyes that changed colour depending on what she wore. She wore a pale blue hooded sweatshirt and jeans that had been well loved and hugged the graceful curve of her hips. Cycling and yoga had given her firm and graceful legs. At 21, she was young to be studying for a master’s degree but school had always come easy for her and her program of directed studies had given her much needed moments of free time like this.
Today she had been exploring, taking a bus on a route she had never ridden before deep into the country and wandering around the beautiful estates that lined the pastoral road. When she saw the sign for the estate auction she’d only planned on using it as an excuse to tour the lovely old farmhouse but her curiosity got the better of her. Wandering around the loft of the horse barn she admired wing chairs, a stunning oaken dining table, several armoires, artwork, vases… Then she saw it - an enormous old steamer trunk. It was black with brass reinforcements at all the corners and wooden slats to reinforce the sides. Two thick brown leather straps encircled it, each with double toothed buckles to hold the lid down tight. It was the largest trunk she had ever seen, easily four feet long, three feet high, and two feet wide. Three separate clasps lined the front of it to hold it closed. In between the clasps were two sturdy locks that folded up to snap into place, each with a sturdy hasp where Karen could imagine a heavy-duty padlock fitting, sealing the box entirely. It was the box she had dreamed of, she knew she had to have it.
Ever since she could remember, Karen had always been a bit of a claustrophile. When she was five years old she liked to climb into the laundry basket and burrow down to hide under all the clothes. Her mother thought it was cute and would often play games where she would pretend she didn’t know Karen was there and would throw more laundry on top of her. The weight of the sheets and towels pressing down on her combined with the fresh from the dryer warmth and clean crisp smell were always very soothing to her as she lay nestled down in the darkness.
One day when she was about eight, her mother turned the laundry basket upside down on top of her and sat down on it, all the while calling out, “I wonder where Karen can be? Oh well, I guess I’ll just sit here and read my book and she’ll turn up eventually”.
Karen lay there under the sheets for awhile then tried to push up with her little legs but realized that she had no hope of moving her mother. Somehow knowing that she couldn’t get out made her feel scared and excited and cozy all at the same time. She tried to hold her breath to stifle the giggles she knew would come out but finally could hold it know longer and called out “Mom! I’m under here!”
“Where?” her mother called, feigning innocence and looking all around herself.
“Down here,” Karen giggled. “I can’t get out ‘cuz you’re sitting on me!”
“Oh dear,” her mother replied, smiling. “You are in a bit of a predicament. Well, don’t worry. In about twenty minutes the laundry will be done and I’ll have to get up to go put it away. Until then I guess I’ll just have to play… Tickle the Monster in the Basket!”
“Oh no! Tee hee! No, Mom! Hee hee!”. Her mother’s fingers poked through the holes in the side of the basket, tickling little Karen so she laughed uproariously.
“Now my little monster,” her mother said, standing up and dumping Karen out of the basket, “Go put your clothes away.”
“Okay Mom,” Karen smiled and picked up her neatly folded clothes, climbing up the stairs out of the basement. Her mother was busy with the laundry and didn’t notice how Karen stopped at the top of the stairs to look back longingly at the laundry basket.
A few years later Karen was twelve years old and playing with her older brother, Kevin. Their parents had just bought a new television and like most kids, they thought the box was the coolest part of any new appliance. Karen wanted to play “Fort” so she could curl up in the big box and make it her own private playhouse. Kevin said she could go in, but only if they could play “Prisoner”. In “Prisoner”, Karen climbed into the box and Kevin would fold the lid shut, pretending to shut her up in a little cell. Karen didn’t mind, they’d played this game before and she knew that if she wanted to get out all she had to do was push up on the lid of the box.
As she was climbing in, her Dad came downstairs. “Kids, your mom and I have to go out to the hardware store. You play nice. Karen, Kevin is in charge while we’re gone. We should be back in a couple of hours. Okay?”
“What are you two up to anyway?”
“We’re playing ‘Fort’.”
“You and your boxes. I never knew a girl who liked nesting so much. Well, see you guys later.”
As the sound of their parent’s car faded into the distance Kevin’s face popped into view peeking down into the box.
“Now it’s time to lock up the prisoner!”
Slowly the flaps of the box folded closed, leaving Karen in the dark except for a sliver of light where the flaps did not quite meet. She heard him struggling with the flaps, tucking the last one under to form an over-under-over-under pattern that would not open on its own. Lying on her back, Karen tucked her knees into her chest and got ready to enjoy the cozy darkness.
Suddenly she felt the box moving, sliding over the unfinished floor of the basement.
“Kevin, what are you doing?”
“I’m just moving the prisoner to a more secure location. Heh, heh, heh” he replied with an evil laugh.
She felt the box slide some more, then it was turned around and bumped over something. It began to feel a lot darker in the box. There was a very slow sliding feeling, then a creak-thud-click and she was plunged into complete darkness.
“That should keep the prisoner from escaping,” she heard him mutter but his voice sounded strangely muffled.
She decided to get out of the box to see what was going on but when she pushed up on the lid she couldn’t open it, it wouldn’t move. Poking her finger through the crack between the lid flaps she felt rough, unsanded wood. Then she realized where she was. He’d pushed her into the storage area under the stairs. The box must have been just the right size to fit under the bottom shelf and with the boards of the shelf above her she couldn’t push open the box to get out. He’d tried to keep her prisoner under here before but it was easy enough for her to reach up and open the doorknob. Now with her whole body in the box, she was well and truly stuck.
“See you later, sis. I’m going up to watch TV”. She heard his footsteps going up the stairs then very faintly, the sound of the television. She tried pushing up on the flaps again but it was no use. Shifting her weight, she tried to move the whole box over to the door to bump it open but it was latched tight. She was stuck. Curling up on her side, she felt scared but also strangely safe. Without realizing it, she closed her eyes and began to nap.
An hour later she was awakened by light peeking in from the flap at the top of the box, then the feeling of sliding as Kevin pulled the box back out into the basement. Pushing up the flaps, she blinked as she stood up and looked around the basement.
“Don’t you tell Mom and Dad about this.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t,” she said, stretching. “Maybe we could play ‘Prisoner’ again someday.”
When she moved away from home Karen found her love of enclosed spaces grew even more. In her second year, she moved in with Zoe, a gorgeous young blonde woman who soon aware of her idiosyncrasies. For graduation, Karen’s parents had bought her some huge soft-sided luggage to make the trip away to school. One day while Zoe was out, Karen decided to see if she could fit into the largest suitcase. Laying it open on her bed, she climbed in and curled her knees up to her chest making herself as small as possible. Reaching her hand up she was able to flip the lid over herself then, with a bit of contorting, she pushed the small piece of the two zippers that were visible from inside with her finger until she had sealed herself inside.
She was thrilled, again enjoying the cozy dangerous feeling of being locked up. She went into the suitcase many times until one day she misjudged the placement of it and as she was zipping up, suitcase, Karen and all fell off the bed and landed on the floor of her room. When the suitcase fell, it flipped over, landing Karen upside down and she realized she was unable to reach the zippers to let herself out. For the first time she was really scared.
After several fruitless hours of trying to free herself she heard the front door open as Zoe returned from school. Swallowing her pride, she called out to Zoe for help.
Zoe was shocked at first, afraid someone had attacked Karen. When Karen
explained what had really happened Zoe smiled, then spoke very sternly
“Look, I know this is embarrassing for you but you’ve got to be more careful. If I hadn’t come home, you could have been in real trouble. From now on, whenever you want to go inside the suitcase, you let me know so I can be there to help you if you get into trouble, okay?”
“Okay, Zoe. I’ll be more careful.”
The next night Zoe sat watching TV in the living room when Karen poked her head in. She was ready for bed wearing a pink oversized T-shirt as a nightie and fuzzy bunny slippers.
“Hey Karen, you heading to bed?”
“Um, pretty soon. I was actually… I mean… Uh… remember that thing we talked about the other day?”
Zoe smiled kindly “I think so.”
“Well, I was wondering if you could check on me if you don’t see me in an hour or so?”
“Sure sweetie. Have fun.”
About half an hour later Zoe looked up from the TV. Seeing the time, she crept up to Karen’s doorway and peeked inside. There on the bed was Karen’s suitcase, zipped tight with a large bulge in the middle where her roommate lay curled up inside. Zoe could see where Karen had managed to zip the two ends of the zipper together, even interlocking them so the hoop where a luggage lock would go was exposed. Seeing this, Zoe got a wicked little idea. Creeping into the kitchen, she softly slipped open the drawer where they kept their wax paper, saran wrap, and other storage goodies. Picking out a wire twist tie, she snuck back into Karen’s room and gently fed the twist tie through the loops that held the zippers together, then twisted it off so it couldn’t come undone. Smiling to herself, she crept back out to the living room to continue watching TV.
As “Friends” was ending, Zoe heard a rustling from Karen’s room, then louder, then a plaintive cry “Zoe!”
Sweeping into the room Zoe patted her friend’s form through the suitcase. “Well, look at you. Sealed up nicely.”
“Yes. Uh, Zoe? The zipper seems to be stuck. Can you help me out?”
“Oh no, it’s not stuck Karen. You see, I’ve decided to keep you sealed up inside there.”
“You…what?” Karen began, not believing her ears.
“Yes. You see, I know as long as I’m here nothing bad can happen to
you and I thought it might be more fun for you not to know when you’d be
She stroked Karen’s form through the suitcase once more. “I know for sure it’s a lot more fun for me. I’ll have you out in time for class, okay?”
“Well…I guess so…”
“Excellent. Goodnight Karen.”
Karen saw the light seeping through the zipper dim as Zoe turned her light off then heard the pat pat pat of Zoe’s bare feet as she slipped down the hall into her own bed. All the feelings from her youth came flooding back. It was scary yet so so exciting, knowing she was trapped, knowing there was no way out until Zoe chose to release her. Slowly her hand slipped down between her legs, her fingers stroking gently, then more firmly as the waves of helplessness and passion washed over her.
The lump in the suitcase shuddered, then lay still as peaceful sleep overcame her.
The next morning Zoe came in early and unzipped the suitcase. Karen lay curled up, peacefully sleeping until Zoe gently shook her awake. “Hey, rise and shine sleepyhead”. Karen opened her eyes and stifled a yawn.
“Mmmm… morning already? What time is it?”
“Time to get moving, Miss Sleepyhead. You’re going to be late for class. Here, a present for you.” She smiled and tossed the twist tie to her.
“Amazing what you can do with simple tools.”
That night when Zoe got home there was a small box wrapped in pink wrapping paper waiting for her on the kitchen table. “What’s this?” she asked.
“Open it” Karen said, shyly.
Taking the paper off, Zoe found a little white jewellery box. Opening it, she saw a fine gold necklace with a small key as a pendant. “What’s this for?”
“This.” Karen said, and handed her a small brass padlock. “I figure if you want to keep me sealed up this would be far more elegant than a twist tie”
Zoe looked up at Karen and saw the trust in her eyes. “Thank you.” She lifted the chain and put it around her neck. “So, shall we try it out?” she whispered with a devilish gleam in her eye.
Many more nights were spent with Karen tucked into her case. They tried putting Zoe in once or twice but both girls found they enjoyed it more with Karen locked up. When Karen got her bachelor’s degree Zoe bought her a wooden blanket chest with an old fashioned lock that sealed up with a small cloverleaf shaped key. Since graduating, Karen had gotten used to the inside of that box and the thin ray of light that shone inside through the keyhole.
Which brought her to today. She had to have this trunk. Checking her wallet she was relieved to see she’d brought her VISA card with her. Returning to the main house, she registered for a paddle and waited for the auction to begin.
“…Lot #121 of 300. This handsome steamer trunk, made in 1901. Steel sheeting over wood panelling. Large and secure. An excellent find for any collector. Shall we start the bidding at $50”
“$50!” Karen shrieked, then put her hand over her mouth.
“$50! Excellent, from the nervous young lady in the fourth row,” the auctioneer said with a kindly smile. “Do I hear $60?”
“$60!” A middle aged lady in a floral dress
“$70!” Karen had to have it.
“$100!” Karen squeaked.
“Any advance on $100? Going once…twice…?”
“Too rich for my blood,” floral dress mused, looking back over her catalogue.
“Sold! For $100 to the nervous but charming young lady in the blue sweatshirt”
Karen couldn’t believe it. It was actually hers. She was in a daze as she went to the cashier to pay for the trunk and arrange delivery.
“Can you put a rush on this? I’d really like to have this today.”
“Sure! We have movers on site so they can deliver the trunk once the auction is over. You should have it this evening. Congratulations.”
Karen was so excited she had to have one last look at her purchase before taking the bus back into town. Everyone was still busily bidding on the remaining items as she made her way back up to the loft. Moving over to the chest she gently stroked the outside. In a flash of daring, she gently lifted up the lid. She knew she had to know how it felt to be inside. Glancing around to ensure she was alone, she climbed into the trunk, sat down inside and drew her knees up to her chest. With the faintest of creaks and a sudden <CHUNK> sound, the lid came down and she was inside. It was heavenly. Dark, yet secure, with plenty of air sneaking in through the crack around the lid. Tentatively she pushed and kicked at the sides and lid. It was solid, there would be no escaping from here.
Suddenly she heard voices approaching. “Oh no!” she thought. “Please, oh please, don’t find me here!”
“Lou! Come on! This one has to go out now. Buyer’s in a rush, wants it delivered right away.”
“Okay, let me get this side.”
In a rush, Karen felt the trunk being lifted, with her inside.
“Holy crap! This thing weighs a ton! Careful down the stairs.”
“How come I always have to go backwards?”
“’Cuz you’re the new guy, Lou. That’s why. Damn! I don’t think this is going to fit in the truck with all this other stuff. It’s catching on something…”
“Thanks, brainiac. Oh there’s the problem, the latches are open. Fold those up and this puppy will slide right in”
From inside, Karen heard an ominous SNAP-SNAP-SNAP followed by a BANG-CLICK BANG-CLICK as first the latches then the locks were snapped into place. The trunk was slid into place and she heard the rolling door at the back of the truck slide into place
About an hour later Karen was carried up some stairs and dropped at her front door. She heard a knock, then Zoe’s voice “Yes?”
“Hi, delivery for Karen Henderson.”
“Oh wow! It’s beautiful. I’ll sign for it. Bring it in here.”
Once again she was lifted up and she could feel herself being moved into her own room.
“That’s perfect right there. Oh, are there keys for the locks?”
“That comes under accessories, lady. The auction house is still sorting those out. They’ll courier them over sometime Monday.”
“That’s okay, thanks again. Bye.”
Footsteps… the door closing… then softer footsteps returning…
“Karen? You’re in there already? I should have known. Well, you heard the delivery men. Sounds like someone’s going to be nice and cozy for the next couple of days.”
Zoe’s footsteps receded, then returned and Karen heard a clink followed by a tiny <SNICK>. She realized that Zoe had sealed her in even further by locking the tiny padlock she had bought her so many months ago through one of the hasps on the front of the box.
“Seems like old times.” Zoe chuckled, patting the top of the box. Her footsteps receded again, then darkness came as she turned off Karen’s light.
“Oh, Karen. We’re going to have a lot of fun with this box. Sleep tight.”
story continues in part two - locked inside