by Simon (Simon@jazzandjava.com)
The handcuffs hurt. Maybe he put them on too tight, or
maybe your wrists are chafing, or maybe they've actually
swollen from the stress and heat, or maybe it's just your
imagination. They're the hinged kind, carbon steel with a
nonreflective nickel finish, ball-and-joint links. Fourteen
ounces, he told you, but they feel heavier as the night
They felt cold when he put them on, but they're hot now, hot
against your wrists and scrabbling fingertips and the naked
hollow above your ass where the open back of the chair lets
your buckled-together hands rest against your skin. Hot and
slick and you don't know because you can't see, you don't
know what color that slick is, if it's red, if your twisting
against the metal has finally rubbed your skin open, or if
it's just the sweat trickling down your back.
What you know is you have to hurry because he'll be back.
You don't know how long. He told you but you don't know.
He told you five o'clock, five in the morning, but there
aren't any windows in this room and there's no clock and he
took your watch off when he put the cuffs on. It was
midnight then ... wasn't it?
You have to hurry.
It couldn't have been midnight because at midnight he was
still fucking your mouth, his hands on the chairback to keep
you from being pushed over by the force of his hips, his
crotch sweaty against your face, your throat gulping against
him. At midnight he was still deep in your mouth and
pushing into you, and the bruises his fingers had left on
your shoulders and neck had purpled but hadn't yellowed yet.
You don't know if they have now. There are no mirrors.
Looking down, you can see the marks of teeth on your
breasts, valleys of broken Morse code skin between welts.
His teeth. His welts.
You're not tired, but that doesn't mean anything. You're
dazed, hazed, in a muddle, and it could be 4:45 for all you
know, it could be 4:57 and you're not free yet and he could
be right outside the door and your back is to it so you
wouldn't even see him, you might not hear him, not until his
hand came around to take you by the throat and pull you
backwards, your fingers still scrabbling at nonreflective
nickel-plating on carbon steel.
And the thing is, you have the key.
You can feel it.
You just can't get to it.
It's a simple key for simple cuffs and all it'll take is one
turn and your hands will be free. He told you this while he
was slitting the skin open in your arm, pocketing the key
beneath it, one little bit sticking out. He did this before
cuffing you, so you could see: that sliver of bloody metal
on your skin, the thin key in your flesh, right there
for you. All you have to do is get it.
All you have to do is get it before he comes back.
You've tested your reach. Once you get the key, it's an
easy thing to unlock the cuffs. It might take a few tries:
you're working backwards, like in a mirror, with things you
can't see. But you can do it. If you get the key.
You can't quite seem to reach, but you know you can, you
know how close it is, you saw. What if it fell out?
Wouldn't you have felt it? Wouldn't more blood be slicking
your wrists now? Maybe not. Maybe it fell out, and it's
right there on the floor, and when he sees it, when he comes
back and sees it he'll laugh at you. Or maybe he'll grab
you by the throat first.
You stroke fingers along your wrist again, and you can feel
warm wet, but what color is it? Is it sweat or blood? All
you can feel is smooth, the fine hairs along your arm, the
small bump of a mole, nothing hard, nothing edged, no metal.
You can't --
Was that it?
It's gone, but for a moment, your fingers craned as far as
they could go, your hands twisted so you could feel the
muscles in your upper arms tensed and protesting, your
breasts pushed forward like you were offering them to be
bitten again, you felt something, something hard, something
cooler. You had it. Almost.
Keep reaching. Find it again. He's coming back. He'll be
It must be almost time. It could be 4:45, it could be 4:57,
and that key card the hotel uses, you won't hear it in the
lock, you won't hear the edge of the door against the
carpeting, you won't hear his soft footsteps approaching, he
could be behind you right now and it could be too late.
He told you. You have until five o'clock and then he'll be
back. If you're not free, if he has to free you himself, he
won't fuck you. He'll just send you home.
Hurry. He's coming.