© Copyright 2004 - Nickerlas - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; bond; crate; transported; caught; cons; X
‘Hi Nick, its Tony. How are things?’
‘Broke, fucked, otherwise OK. And yourself? Haven’t seen you in ages.’
‘Much the same. Look, I’ve got a problem. Do you still have that old van?’
‘Sure. Its crap but it works. You want to borrow it?’
‘Hire it. And you, if that’s OK. I’ve got a rather valuable piece of furniture to deliver to an address in London and I need someone reliable to get it there.’
‘Shit, that’s a two-day round trip. The money’d better be good. I could make this weekend if you’re in a hurry.’
‘Great! Thanks a million. Fifty quid plus fuel? Terrific. See you round at my place early Saturday then. You’re a hero, chum. Bye.’ The line went dead.
Secretly I wasn’t at all sure that my old stripped-out Combi was up to the task, but fifty quid was fifty quid so I tanked up the beast and checked its oil, water, plugs and other necessities. At eight on Saturday morning I rang Tony to say I’d be with him in half an hour. He sounded sleepy, said he just had to finish crating it up but he’d have it sorted by then. I said fine, rang off, grinned, locked up, stowed the picnic lunch and got the show on the road.
Tony looked hot and sweaty when I arrived and I guessed he’d been frantically working since I got him out of bed. He’d managed it, though. On the floor in the hallway was a huge wooden crate almost 2 metres long with ‘This Way Up’ and ‘Antiques With Care’ stencilled on the lid.
‘Hey, what the fuck have you got in there?’
‘Grandfather clock. Actually belonged to my grandfather, and for all I know to his grandfather before him. I found this…’
‘I don’t remember seeing it before.’
‘It was in the spare room. I found…’
‘Does it work?’
‘Sure it works. Never managed to get the striking mechanism right but it keeps time more or less. I found this woman…’
‘Is it going to keep ticking all the way to London?’
‘No, course not, its bedded in foam and stuffed with blankets. Now will you shut up and listen? I found this woman on the internet who deals in this kind of Victorian stuff and offered me good money for it. She lives…’
‘What, sight unseen?’
‘I sent her images. She says its bodywork is particularly interesting.’ He gave a short laugh. ‘Fancy a coffee before we load it?’
I followed him through into his kitchen, which showed signs of a hasty breakfast with a surprising number of used plates and mugs. He swept them all into the sink and rinsed a couple of mugs. Over coffee Tony produced a careful map of the place I had to deliver to and I checked it against my A-Z from the van.
‘Primrose Hill? That’s quite a posh area.’
‘More like Camden, really, but still fairly select. Amanda’s a smart girl.’
‘You met her, then?’
‘No. No, we just talked on the phone.’
The crate had a pair of handles screwed on at each end, and together we lugged it out to the van, slid it onto the rear deck and lashed its handles to the bodywork.
‘Christ, this thing’s fucking heavy. Why’d you use such thick wood, don’t you trust my driving? Your Amanda’d better be some tough bird or we’ll never get the damn thing unloaded.’
‘You’ll be fine, don’t worry. Give her a ring when you’re nearly there, she’ll fix help if she needs it. The number’s on the map. Drive safely, mate.’
It was a lovely spring morning as I rolled at a stately 60 down the M6 towards Birmingham with my window open and the radio blasting pop music. I pushed the button that switches into local traffic reports and settled back to earn my fifty quid.
‘Radio WM Road Report. An accident at Gravelly Hill Junction 6, two of the southbound lanes closed. Police report a three-mile tailback.’
Spaghetti Junction out of action again. I almost wonder if they do it deliberately to encourage people to use the Toll road, but I wasn’t going to waste any of my fifty quid on tolls. I pulled off onto the M5, making for the M42 circular round the south of Birmingham and, hopefully, a clearer road. I wanted to get past Brum before stopping for lunch.
The roads were OK and the Combi behaving itself so I’d reached the M40 London motorway before pulling into a service area. I locked up and went off to find a loo. I was just getting back when the van sneezed! I walked all round slowly to see if someone was hiding, then opened the rear doors. Everything was just as I’d left it. I closed up and went back to the driver’s door, and the van sneezed again. It had to be the bloody grandfather clock!
I opened the rear doors again, climbed in and put my ear to the crate. There was a rather strangled, breathy noise as of someone desperately trying to stifle a sneeze. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out. Grandfather clock my arse! This was human cargo. Fuck that bastard Tony! I banged angrily on the box.
‘You in there, I don’t know who the hell you are and I don’t fucking care but you’re not going any further in that crate.’ I found a screwdriver in the van’s toolkit and started undoing the big screws holding down the lid.
‘No! No, please!’ It was a small, female voice. Shit, the guy’s shipping women! I paused, then went on grimly unscrewing until the lid came free and I heaved it to one side. A frightened girl’s face looked up at me from a mass of grey blanket and foam padding. We looked at each other in silence for a while, then I slowly pulled away the blanket.
She was completely naked, lying in thick foam that had clearly been cut to fit her shape. Her arms were against her sides, her legs a little apart with a sponge, still dry, wedged between them at the crotch. Leather straps held her tightly in place – above and below her breasts, across waist and hips securing her arms, and around thighs and ankles. She just lay there, staring at me wide-eyed. She was perhaps in her mid twenties, good slim figure, light brown hair with a neat little pubic bush to match. The breeze from the open doors raised the nipples on her breasts. Something stirred in my jeans.
‘OK, give. What the Hell is going on?’
‘Please, I’m cold.’ She seemed terrified, and close to tears. I decided to stop being heavy and start trying to be helpful. I dug my work overalls out of a locker and started undoing her straps.
‘Here put these on, they’re reasonably clean. No underwear I’m afraid, I don’t carry spare panties in this van. There’s a donkey jacket you can wear on top if you want. We’re in a service station on the M40, there’s a loo here if you need it. Join me in the front when you’re ready.’ I left her the clothes, shut up the van, went back to the driver’s seat and sneakily watched her in the mirror. She stretched her cramped legs and arms, then climbed out of the box and fed herself into the boiler suit fastening the buttons right up to the neck. The sleeves and legs were too long, but when she’d turned them up and tightened the belt she looked pretty presentable.
‘Do you have anything to put on my feet?’
‘There’s a pair of workboots, that’s all. In the locker there. And some clean thick socks. Put on two pairs, the boots’ll be far too big.’
I followed her across the tarmac to the service station building, not wanting to lose sight of her in case she tried to escape. She made quite a convincing workie if you didn’t look too closely, clumping along in muddy steel-toed boots and huddled in the donkey jacket. I waited for her outside the Ladies, imagining how she would cope in there with one-piece overalls.
‘Fancy a bite to eat? Burger? Sandwich? Coffee?’ She accepted a burger and glass of milk while I had a coffee and ate my packed lunch. The food and warmth seemed to be doing her good, she looked more relaxed and a much better colour. When she’d finished she sat back and undid the top button of the overall, and I imagined her naked breasts soft below the coarse fabric.
‘Was this your idea or Tony’s?’
The first glimmer of a smile. We were making progress.
‘Mine, actually. Really silly. I read this story about a girl who gets packed up in a box and exported, oh, years ago, and the idea just sort of stayed in my head. Then I met Tony and told him about it when I was a bit pissed one day and it seemed to turn him on too. We built the box together and he said he had this friend with a van. Gave you a good write-up.’
‘He likes men with muscles. Call me Nick, everyone does.’
‘OK Nick, I’m Yvonne. What happens now?’
‘Are you and Tony an item?’ It seemed unlikely. I’d always thought of Tony as being more interested in boys. Yvonne actually laughed, shaking her hair off her shoulders.
‘No way, he’s gay didn’t you know? But really nice with it, he took a lot of trouble over that box.’
‘Tell me about Amanda, this woman I’m supposed to be delivering to in London.’
‘My sister. She’s some kind of corporate solicitor, does contracts for business deals, that kind of thing. Pays in gold bars. Martin’s in the same outfit, that’s her partner.’
Yvonne laughed again. ‘No way, kids are always at least two or three years in the future. Career prospects come first and they have a good lifestyle. I think she’ll leave it till five minutes to midnight on the biological clock.’
‘And you? What’s your setup?’
‘Boys, you mean?’ She shook her head. ‘I’m a nurse. You only meet crumblies and other women, and the occasional insufferable doctor. Stuff that.’
‘You aren’t going to meet people shut up in a wooden crate, either. Come on, we’ve still a long way to go.’
‘I met you, didn’t I?’ as we walked out into the sunshine.
‘Forget it love. If you’re looking for a hotshot legal eagle you’ve made a bad mistake. I’m a dropout jobbing labourer who lives on social security and works for undeclared cash in the back pocket. Strictly a bum.’
‘I like bums.’
‘I’m a tit man myself,’ I said, avoiding her backhanded punch. ‘Neat and firm with big brown nipples, just like yours.’ I unlocked the front passenger door. ‘Hop in, you can ride in a little more comfort till we get to the smoke.’
Neither of us said much for the next hour, we were both doing a lot of thinking. I was planning how I could get her into bed. Maybe she was thinking along the same lines. Somewhere past Oxford I asked her if the event had come up to expectations.
‘At first, yes, it was exciting being fixed into the box and lying there in the dark with only tiny trickles of light coming through the cracks, and keeping dead quiet when you and Tony heaved me into the van. I was shit scared you’d cotton on right at the outset.’
‘I nearly did, to be honest. The kitchen table looked like two people had been having breakfast, and Tony seemed a bit jumpy. But?’
‘You’re very perceptive, for a bum. As you say, but. After an hour or so my legs were agony, all I could smell was oil and exhaust fumes and the draught from your window found every bloody crack in the crate. I was freezing to death and terrified you’d discover me and throw me out on the roadside or something.’
I laughed. ‘Perhaps I should have done.’
‘What’s so funny?’
‘I was just imagining you standing naked by the road wrapped in that blanket hoping you didn’t get fucked by the next lorry driver. Poor Yvonne!’
‘Fuck off.’ Scores about equal, we drove on contentedly.
When we got to somewhere near Paddington I pulled up outside a scruffy transport caff. ‘Nah then, ducks. Fancy a sticky bun an’ a cuppa?’ In my best workman’s voice.
‘You go, I’ll manage.’ She seemed to shrink back in the seat. The place was small and fairly crowded with rough-looking men, they’d have spotted she was a fake straight away.
‘Only joking. I stopped to call your Amanda to tell her where we are. She needs to organise help carrying you in.’
‘But nothing. You’re going right back in that box, my love, just as soon as we get near the house. You started this and you’ll finish it. Me, I’m just an innocent delivery boy. I can get myself to Regents Park and we’ll crate you up there.’
I made the call while Yvonne looked blankly ahead out of the window. I got the feeling that she hadn’t thought much about what might happen when we reached her sister’s house.
Out in the park I ordered her into the back of the van and she reluctantly undressed and clambered into her fitted coffin. I joined her, stowed away the clothes and boots, then leaned over to fasten her straps. She looked terrific – shy, shapely, a bit fearful and eminently fuckable. I stroked her breasts and gave her a light kiss. ‘The prettiest parcel I ever delivered,’ I said, carefully tightening the straps one by one until she was totally helpless. I pulled the blanket right over her face, settled the lid back on and screwed it down. ‘Have a good journey.’
Amanda’s house was an impressive four-storey place in a long, curving terrace. Railinged areas in front gave light to semi-basements and the front doors were up about five steps. I rang the bell and waited. Footsteps sounded on a staircase inside, the door opened and a smartly suited girl looking quite a lot like an older Yvonne studied me cautiously.
‘Amanda Copley? Its Nick with the furniture delivery.’
Her smile of relief told me she knew just what the delivery was.
‘Great. Martin’s away in Brussels this weekend, but I’ve got a neighbour to give us a hand with it. Hang on.’ She stabbed efficient numbers into her mobile. ‘Hello, Charles? That box I was telling you about? It’s just come. Yes, it’s here now. Could you? You’re a darling!’ She rang off. Further up the street a middle-aged man emerged and shambled towards us.
With Amanda holding the doors we managed to struggle up to the big living room on the first floor and dump the crate against a wall. The room was late Georgian with two tall sash windows, the furniture modern and slick. No Victorian clocks. Charles dropped into a Barcelona-style armchair, I sat on Yvonne’s wooden prison. Amanda scuttled about administering cold beers. I chatted on about the uneventful journey, the crash at Spaghetti Junction, the traffic in London and how I’d kept out of the centre to avoid the Congestion Charge until Charles finally drained his glass and left us. When he’d gone Amanda offered me another beer, out of politeness, and I accepted it, out of cussedness.
‘Don’t worry, I’m not doing any more driving today. Tony said you’d let me kip down here on the floor.’ That would have been news to Tony. ‘I’ll get my sleeping bag.’ And I was out of the room and down the stairs before she could think of a plausible objection.
Moments later I was back, lounging on the crate with my refilled glass, enjoying the situation hugely.
‘I gather you’re quite a collector of antique clocks.’
‘Well, er, only in a small way, really.’
‘Tony made you out as something of an expert. Said you thought the bodywork particularly good on this one. I’d like to see your collection if I may, early clocks are fascinating. They’re upstairs, are they?’ I should have taken up poker, my face couldn’t have been more innocent. A tiny sound like a suppressed giggle came from the box below.
‘No!’ She was losing poise and gaining colour. ‘No, I don’t have them here. I kind of buy for other people. You know. Collectors. Dealers. That kind of thing. It’s a hobby only.’
‘Ah well,’ I said, pulling out my screwdriver, ‘At least I can help you unpack it.’ And I started on the screws.
Her voice went up half an octave. ‘No, no! That’s quite unnecessary. Martin will do it when he gets home. No, really!’
‘No trouble at all, miss, I’m nearly done now anyway. Be nice to see it. You sort of feel responsible, know what I mean? Make sure its all arrived safely in one piece, like.’ I could play the thick British workman brilliantly. Face it, these days I was a thick British workman. I finished the last of the screws. ‘Give me a hand with the lid, would you, love?’
Pale and appalled, Amanda ghost-walked across, avoiding my eyes. Taking one end each we lifted off the lid and set it to one side. There was a short silence as we looked at the grey shape inside, both thinking quite different thoughts, both visualising the same body.
I suddenly grabbed the blanket and stripped it right off.
Naked Yvonne smiled happily up at us. ‘Hello Mand, I got here! Hi, Nick!’
Amanda slowly looked back at me. I was grinning from ear to ear.
‘You bastard,’ she said. ‘You bloody, fucking, bastard. You knew, didn’t you?’
‘Not for the first hundred miles, in fairness,’ I laughed. ‘And I may never have found her if she hadn’t sneezed. She spent the last part of the trip up front with me. Demurely dressed in overalls, and very lovely with it!’
Amanda was bright, no question. She looked from my grin to Yvonne’s shining smile and back to me again, cottoning on fast.
‘I’ll have to get some extra stores in,’ she said thoughtfully, her straight face belied by the twinkle in her eyes. ‘I’ll be a couple of hours. Could you get Yvonne out of there yourself, Nick? If she really wants to be got out, of course!’
‘Rest assured, Amanda, I will do whatever needs to be done, to the best of my ability.’
I had my clothes off almost before the front door shut behind her.
I got the idea for this tale from my friend Chum*. He told me he had once intended to have himself dispatched naked by public carrier in a crate purporting to contain a valuable grandfather clock. The box was made, but after the publicity surrounding the ‘Operation Spanner’ S&M case (which included people he knew) dropped the idea as too risky.
*see ‘Night Drive’ in the s/b section