I don't know how long I slept, but when I awoke, the quality of light in the room was noticeably different. I glanced toward the window. Through the gauzy privacy curtains, I could see that while it wasn't yet dark, I would have to end my explorations soon if I were to return my horse at a reasonable hour. Carefully, I rose from the bed and took my first real look at the room I had so recently defiled (or sanctified) with my lust.
This was another bedroom, not unlike the first in that it had similar furniture, similar appointments. Unlike the first however, this one had a few additional features, and what features! What looked vaguely like an Egyptian mummy case (but without the fancy paint or hieroglyphics) lay against one wall. A complicated harness of straps and leather was suspended from the ceiling near one corner, and a very unusual looking sculpture hung in the middle of the room at the end of a rod fastened to the ceiling. I took a closer look at this last. It was a bust, or head rather, having a quite realistic human shape, and a stylized woman's face. It had been carved or perhaps cast in some ebon, glossy material. It hung precisely at the level of my own head, it's empty, open eyes staring directly into mine. I shuddered.
This was not intended to be art. On either side of the head, descending from the ceiling on the same sort of rods, were two spheres of the same material, with openings in the bottom. A close look showed that the sculpture could be opened, with a snap catch at one side, and tiny hinges on the other. Opening it revealed a hollow interior padded in red rubber. I touched the lining thoughtfully. The material was warm! I looked about the room, suddenly panicked that someone else had been here, perhaps had watched me while I slept. I saw and heard no one, but my heart would not be still.
I strode to the door (slowly, taking miniature steps) and flung it open. No monstrous intruder loomed over me, no startled footsteps retreated down the hall. I listened, straining my ears for any sign of inhabitants.
All that I heard was the occasional distant creek of a timber, the faintest twitter of a bird outside. Gradually, I calmed myself. There had to be a rational explanation for the warmth of the… whatever-it-was. Helmet I suppose, is the best term. When I got back to it, it was still warm, perhaps just a little cooler than before. The lining was slightly soft and yielding to the touch, like mud shifting under an elastic membrane. The feel of it against my fingers was obscene, yet strangely compelling. I could guess what it was for, of course.
I owned a leather hood (left at home in the states) that had been custom made for me by a craftsman who shared my unusual tastes. He had wet -molded it on a plaster cast of my head, and it fit me perfectly. I wore it often in private dressing-up sessions, enjoyed the feel of the tight fit against my face, the sense of isolation as the thick leather removed sight, dulled hearing. This elaborate device was different. I had assumed from the beautifully sculpted facial features that it had been made for someone specific, yet it seemed to me that the soft interior would accommodate a wide range of head and facial shapes, if perhaps not too many sizes.
I opened and closed the helmet a few times absentmindedly, while gazing around the rest of the room.
Without really thinking about it, I found myself opening it wide and placing it around my head. I stopped suddenly, surprised at myself, my heart thudding.
What was I doing? What if I had put it on, and hadn't been able to remove it? The thought should have scared me silly, but for some reason, the idea of being trapped in the contraption gave me an illogical thrill. I looked at the catch. It was a simple thing, just a button that could easily be operated. It had no lock. Of course, if the victim's hands were restrained, it would be impossible to remove, or for that matter, to move about the room, since the helmet was fixed rigidly to the ceiling. Ah, and if there were a lover present, the person inside would be helpless to resist… he could do anything to her… I caught myself. Once again, my sinful imagination was getting the better of me. Slowly, my hands trembling, I put my head into the helmet, pressing the sides closed. It took some force as the soft interior, still a bit warm but now noticeably cooler, oozed around the contours of my face and head.
Looking out through the open eyes of the helmet, I saw myself in the full length dressing mirror against the wall. It was the only view available after all, since the helmet could not be moved even a millimeter. I made an unusual sight. The helmet might very well have been a part of my suit but for the column rising to the ceiling which held it rigidly in place.
The rest of my body gleamed within a shining black carapace, my compressed waist, normally concealed beneath layers of petticoats and skirts, now plainly visible. Of course, for that matter, all of me was plainly visible, only barely disguised by a layer of thin black rubber.
I kept up the pressure on the sides until the latch closed with a loud *snap*. Startled, I fumbled for the latch, and opened the helmet again with relief. I looked at the shape inside. Each half-shape was recognizably my own. I had "customized" it. I smiled, turning to look guiltily about the room, as if to reassure myself that there really wasn't anyone else about.
My boot heel caught on something and I looked down.
Directly below the helmet was a pair of metal fixtures screwed to the floor. They consisted of a pair of leather and steel straps, perhaps three feet apart, each with a small socket nearby. There was a metal panel set into the floor between them. At first, I couldn't quite fathom their purpose, then inspiration came. I put the toe of one boot under the strap, and let the stiletto-thin heel down into the socket. It fit perfectly. I removed my foot.
Obviously, there was some way it could be fastened to fix a pair of boots or shoes in place. I grinned, realizing I could play out this scene by myself, since I already knew I could get out of it. A pity I couldn't bend over to fasten the latches temporarily. I wondered what the other metal plate was for, but since I could hardly bend over, it was effectively out of reach, and would therefore have to remain a mystery until I was less restrictively attired.
I put first one foot then the other into the fixtures, stretching the skirt tightly to reach the other one, when to my surprise, I heard a loud click. I lifted my foot, or rather, attempted to lift it. I realized with dismay, (and perhaps just a little excitement) that my boots were now firmly fixed to the floor! I struggled with them a moment before admitting that, like everything else I had found in this house, the trap was very well made. I tried bending over to release the mechanism, but as I had already learned, the corset and boots made that quite impossible.
Finally I resigned myself to unlacing the boots and leaving them attached to the floor.
But wait! If I was going to do that I reasoned, I might as well enjoy this situation a bit more first.
It occurred to me suddenly that I was now in the very situation intended by the inventor of this contraption, with my boots properly fixed to the floor. Despite my better judgement, I just had to know what it felt like. Once again, I closed the helmet about my head, with somewhat less effort this time since it had already conformed to my features. The lining was rather cool now, and it was now nearly rigid. Yet once closed, I was perfectly comfortable, since the interior conformed precisely to the form of my head.
It seemed that the mysterious warmth I had felt at first was a riddle I might never solve. I revelled in the strange sensation of having my head held absolutely yet comfortably rigid, encased in a soundless prison.
I was a little embarrassed to discover that I was caressing myself in what would have seemed a very lascivious manner had any witnesses been present, and I shifted my hands self-consciously, running them over the smooth outer surface of the helmet. Near the top of the helmet, my fingers brushed a stud or button on the mounting column, and I felt it move.
There came a distant thump, more a physical sensation than a sound, felt through my feet and in my head through the helmet.
With emerging horror, I watched in the mirror as the metal plate in the floor flipped open, and SOMETHING rose out of it, disappearing beneath the hem of my hobble skirt. I could feel the faintest of vibrations through my boots as the mechanism worked. That was the last straw. Frantically, I scrabbled at the latch of the helmet, but it now seemed locked fast, and would not release! I struggled in vain to escape, but I could barely move at all, held taut as I was between the helmet and the clamps on the floor. I could only stare, mesmerized and afraid, as length after length of something moved past the gap between my skirt and the floor, rising unseen toward my sex. Nearly hysterical, I began chanting a sort of continuous mantra in my head, telling myself that the people who had lived here had been decadent and sexy, but not murderous fiends, that I would not be harmed.
I told myself this repeatedly, but in my predicament, I was not convinced. Slowly, the thing inched upward, and I stared at what little I could see of it, fascinated. It was larger than the hobble skirt, and now I noticed a shape pressing through the rubber as it moved.
Suddenly, I felt something at my crotch. Whatever it was pressed slowly against me, pushing between rubber and flesh, swelling the front of the skirt (I couldn't see the back) and surrounding me from pubic bone in front to tailbone in back, like some sort of obscene bicycle seat.
I don't know what I had been expecting, but this soft yet insistent grip was not it. I relaxed a little. I didn't know it's purpose yet, but it didn't seem to be malevolent. It continued to push against me, lifting me slightly, pulling my legs taught within my boots. At the same time, I felt the helmet exerting a gentle pull upward. Then everything stopped. I was now stretched taught from head to toe, and with the exception of my arms, I was totally immobilized.
Gradually, I gathered my wits and took stock of my admittedly awkward situation. Obviously, I had activated some elaborate and perverse toy installed by the previous owners. Having triggered it, I now had to figure out how one got out of it, if getting out was even possible without aid! It didn't look easy. I wondered how long I would have to be missing before the townspeople came looking for their horse. Then I realized in horror that with their fear of this place, they might never come after me at all!
I looked myself over in the mirror. I had to admit, I made a pretty picture. But erotic as the image was, I had my priorities straight. I had to get out of this thing before I took complete leave of my senses.
As best I could, I examined via the mirror the apparatus holding me prisoner. I wished the mirror were closer, that I might not miss any tiny details of the equipment. Surely, since it was possible to get into it unaided, there was some way to release oneself? Perhaps there was another stud or button on the helmet or it's mount that would release me. I found the original stud, and pressed it again. Nothing happened. I felt around for another. No such luck. Then my eyes fell upon the spheres suspended on either side of the helmet. Each was the same glossy black, perhaps six inches in diameter. Perhaps they were controls of some sort? Gingerly, I reached up and felt around the outside of each one. In the mirror, my reversed movements looked strange. I felt nothing on the outside. I felt the bottom, where I had seen what I thought were openings. Yes, they were hollow. Screwing up my courage, I pushed a hand up inside one of them, felt around. It was lined in something soft, and my fingertips felt a small knob, like a ping pong ball. I pulled it, and it moved, with a detent I could feel, but again, nothing happened. I reached into the other tube, felt another knob. I pulled at it with the same results.
Then, without really thinking about the position I was now in, I pulled both knobs simultaneously. Instantly, I felt the soft lining of each sphere swell and tighten around my wrists and hands. Instantly I yanked downward with all my might, but it was too late- my hands were effectively trapped, and I was at the limit of my reach- I couldn't pull effectively anyway. My unthinking blunder had made my situation even more desperate than before!
At the same moment, I felt a powerful throbbing begin in the seat or clamp which gripped my pelvis. In seconds, I was transported, my body traitorously giving in to the powerful vibrations, and I prepared myself for what I knew would be a tremendous climax. The only thing I could move now was my eyes, and my gaze was held fast by the amazing sight in the mirror before me.
I stood as a bizarre, gleaming black mannequin, transfixed within an elaborate sex toy, with no sign but a heaving bosom that the person inside was rapidly going out of her head with need and desire. The vibrating seat which gripped me was in turn shaking the rods inside me, which responded with their own counterpoint of silent liquid rattling.
For some reason, perhaps because I had so recently enjoyed an unusually powerful series of orgasms, I was not able to come off at first. I became more and more aroused and the tremendous vibrations stimulated me to a point of excruciating sensitivity, but I did not climax for the longest time. It seemed like hours before I finally spent, and when I did, it was a shattering, intolerable release, sweeping me away, and for the second time that day, I experienced "le petit mort" as my thoughts became twisting, slippery things, and I knew no more.
When I awoke, it was nearly dark. I shifted position on the bed, as some elusive memory that I couldn't quite remember nagged at me. Then I had it, and sat bolt upright. Or tried to. My joints were stiff and my clothes weren't cooperating. I let my head fall back on the pillow while I marshalled my thoughts. I remembered the complicated bondage device by which I had so foolishly allowed myself to be trapped. What had happened after that?
The last thing I remembered was being immobilized in the device's fiendish clutches (pardon me if I wax lyrical), and climaxing very, very hard. I looked around. I was lying in the first bedroom where I had dressed. Had it all been a dream? But I knew I had explored those other rooms. I distinctly remembered climaxing as I fell onto the bed in that last room…hadn't I? I thought I had slept there for a while, so perhaps I had dreamt my trials with the bondage device then. But if so, how had I gotten here? I knew that I had to find the answer to this puzzle, but one look at the failing light filtering through the curtains and I knew that I had to get back to town. I could return another day for my answers. Right now, I had to get out of these wonderful (but socially shocking) clothes and into my own petticoats and bustle before I returned to town.
I got out of bed and looked around the dimly lit room. There was no lamp beside the bed, and as far as I could see, no lamps anywhere in the room. I looked up. There was an electric fixture on the ceiling. It seemed unlikely to me that they had the new electric lights in so old a house as this, but I found the switch on the wall, and to my surprise, it worked! It did not occur to me until much later that there were no wires leading up to the house, or for that matter, that the houses back in town used lamps- they didn't even have gaslights!
Now that I had light to see by, I started to undress. But starting was as far as I got. I could not pull down the skirt. The waistband simply refused to stretch, as if it were now made of canvas not gum elastic, and as if I had been sewn into it. Had my clothes taken on a mind of their own?
Not to be thwarted, I reached for the collar of the suit. It stretched no more than the waistband of the skirt. Impossible! I plucked at the glossy material encasing my breasts. It stretched just fine, snapping back with a startling sting that made me gasp. I pulled again at the collar. No. A chill crept up my spine. I grabbed at the skirt again. Despite the gloves and the tight fit of the material, I managed to get a purchase on it and pulled at the seam behind me with all my strength. It did not yield an inch. The lower part of the skirt stretched easily enough, for I could still walk, albeit with the same difficulty as before. But the waistband might as well have been made from cotton duck.
Well, at least I could unlace the punishing corset. After spending the majority of the day in it, I had found that even the slight reduction in size from my usual stays made it uncomfortable after a time. It would take getting used to. I felt behind me for the laces… and could not find them! Stumbling over to the mirror, I stared over my shoulder in consternation. The laces now appeared to be tucked inside in some fashion and there was no indication of knots or ends to be seen. What on Earth had happened?
I felt near to tears. In desperation, I cast about the room for a pair of scissors. No such luck. I looked in the little writing desk, the trunk, even the closet. Nothing, not even a letter opener. And I could hardly remove the boots, since their tops were at my hips, well up inside the hobble skirt. What was I to do?
Forcing myself to remain calm, I considered my options. All right, I couldn't possibly don my riding breeches over the hobble skirt, nor did I care to parade through the sleepy village of Harrowgate in my delightful but perverse finery. I could look for something in this house to wear over these things, and if I couldn't find anything, I would return to town after dark, return the horse, and try to sneak into my rooms, where I could cut the skirt off, unlace the boots, and if I had to, I would cut off the corset and the suit as well. Only then would I be able to remove the tight bloomers (which I was now practically swimming in) with their devilish rods, and finally, finally be able to relax.
Among all of the outre' garments in the armoir, I managed to find a more mundane, and rather attractive white linen dress that fit me a bit loosely, yet covered what had to be covered. The gloves I finally elected to leave on, as I had already been seen around town in my own gloves, and in any case, no one would be able to tell the difference between my own calf riding gloves and these, in the dark. Or so I fervently hoped.
I dressed slowly, my movements hampered by the restrictive skirt and the unusually high heels to which I was still unaccustomed. Once or twice, I stopped, my heart hammering, as I thought I heard voices or laughter somewhere in the house. I knew it had to be my imagination, but in my confused state, I was ready to believe almost anything. I laughed these specters off to nervousness- all save one. That one time, I heard a sound that I have never forgotten. It was perhaps the very thing that caused me to return to this accursed (and blessed) bastion of debauchery. At the time, it simply filled me with a dreadful curiosity and a tremulous longing that I could not explain.
It was a sort of loud, grunting sigh, a unique, recognizable sound. I knew precisely what it was, and what the maker was doing, even if I had no idea who it was, or how I could be hearing such a sound in an empty house. It was the sound of a woman in the throws of passion, a woman climaxing. It was impossible that I should hear that sound there, in that deserted, desolate manse, so I told myself it was only my over-wrought imagination, that I had indulged in the pleasures of the flesh just a bit too heavily.
But even as I did so, another more rational part of my mind whispered to itself, "…I know what I heard."
I paused outside the door, debating whether to go back and look at the other rooms again, perhaps decipher the truth of what had happened earlier, or to just run for the safety and sanity of my rooms in town. I decided I didn't necessarily want to know the truth at that point. I was beginning to believe the place was haunted, and I did not feel up to suddenly confronting Banquo's ghost now that it was nearly dark. With a sudden flash of inspiration, I returned for the bottle of lubricant, realizing that if I did manage to discover a way to remove these clothes without ruining them, the slippery goo would be invaluable if I ever desired to wear them again.
Getting down the stairs to the front door was a struggle, made even more challenging by the fact I was enjoying the process immensely. The insidious rods and the bumps over my nipples still conspired to send paroxysms of pleasure through my body with almost every movement. I'm proud to say that I made it to the foyer without stumbling however, and I paused for a quick look back at the strange place which had made my day so frightful, and at the same time, so entertaining.
As I sent a parting glance around the front hall, I saw something which made my knees suddenly grow weak and my heart leap into my throat. Indeed, I might have collapsed on the spot, were it not for the stiffness of the boots and corset.
I turned and fled through the front door, found the gelding waiting patiently right where I had left him (much to my relief), climbed aboard, and urged him to a canter toward town, rest, and sanity.
You see, where I had looked down the hall, the same hall I had wandered through upon my arrival, the hall where before ten beautifully sculpted statues had stood, there was now a vast, echoing, and very empty foyer, devoid of any sign of statuary.