The lights from the high-rise office behind me light a small wooden
sign: "Walking Trail - Closed at Dusk." I walk past the sign and follow
the trail into the forest. I rationalize that, since it is night,
not dusk, the trail must be open again. I stand a dozen yards inside
the forest, my eyes adapting to the dark. The modern office complex
rambles over acres of land. Swaths of forest separate the offices
and parking lots. The walking trail winds through the forest, presumably
so office workers can stretch their legs during lunch. The forest
grows thick along the trail and blocks most of the light from the buildings.
The architect could hardly have designed a better trail for me.
Not far past the sign, the trail opens into a clearing. Several concrete picnic tables stand in a cluster. I sit down and lay my fanny pack on a table. I sit for while, savoring the night. I hear nothing but night creatures, traffic on a nearby highway and my own somewhat-faster-than-normal breathing. Reasonably sure no one followed me, I open the fanny pack and pull out my gear: an fifteen-inch ankle chain with another eighteen-inch chain attached to the midpoint, a three-link wrist chain with an eighteen-inch chain attached to its middle link, screw-together chain links, a small wrench and a long strip of soft fabric about a foot wide.
I take off my pants and shirt, roll them tight and put them in the fanny pack. Wearing only my sandals, I stand and feel the warm night air wash across my naked body. I toy with the bracelets on my wrists. I made the wrist bracelets (and the ankle bracelets and neck collar) from stainless rod, bent to shape and fastened with allen screws. The allen wrench lies in my hotel room. The rings look enough like jewelry to pass without comment (though not without notice) when I wear them in public to and from the walking trail.
Crickets and tree frogs sing in the trees. I pick up the chains, fastening them to the bracelets with the screw-together links. The longer chain connects my ankles; its center chain runs to a scrotum collar. This center chain holds the leg irons off the ground so they make less noise and won't catch on rocks or sticks. It also tugs deliciously on my balls when I walk. The shorter chain connects my wrists; its center chain leads to my collar. I use the wrench to tighten all the screw-together links tightly except for the one holding the chain to my collar. Now I cannot release the chains with my fingers. I put the wrench in the fanny pack with my clothes. I take the long strip of cloth and wrap it around my hips, tying the two top corners together over one hip. I am not technically naked in public, though I don't plan on testing that assertion with the local police. I double check the fanny pack, making sure it contains my clothes, the wrench and my hotel room key then I zip the pack shut. I hide the fanny pack in a very dark spot behind a large tree. I note the location of the tree so I can find the pack again.
My eyes have fully adjusted to the dark now. I set off down the trail.
The familiar rush comes over me. I am free. I am the slave I was born to be. I am chained hand and foot, walking along this trail, right where I belong. Odd feelings, when you think of it. "I am free" uppermost in the mind of a person wearing chains!
I stroll down the trail, taking short steps just matching the length of the leg irons. The pace comes easily after hours of practice. I set my feet down carefully so the gravel whispers under my sandals. The chains tinkle softly. The traffic on the nearby highway and the night creatures' songs mask what little sound I make. I do not carry a light. I am the stealth slave. Anyone else on the trail tonight will wave a flashlight and crunch noisily down the trail, hurrying in the dark. They fear the dark, fear the ghosts and goblins and creatures hiding in the night. I love the dark. Unhampered by light, my eyes see all around me. No ghosts waif through the trees. No goblins lurk under the tree stumps. The only the frogs and crickets hide in the night. And me. I hide in the night. Do the others fear me? Fear a naked, chained slave, shuffling through the night? Or do they fear the darkness in their own soul, hiding another slave yearning to shuffle in chains through the night?
The trail snakes up a hill and passes near an office building. I stand behind a tree and study the building. Lights illuminate some offices but I see no one inside. I walk past the building, nervous in the light, thrilled at my daring. Away from the building, I slow down and let my eyes readjust to the dark. The trail turns a corner and ends at a street then continues on the other side. A street light illuminates the crossing. During my daylight reconnoitering, I have rarely seen traffic on this street. I pause in the shadows, listening. No car noises come from the street. No headlights wave from either side. I walk quickly but carefully across the street. Halfway across I glance down. Every detail of my body and my bondage stand out in the harsh streetlight. My shadow stretches down the street. "Bondage in public, bondage in public" my mind screams, half accusation, half cheer. I shuffle over the far curb and back onto the trail. The trees close back around me; the dark folds me in its arms. I move on, invisible again.
Another quarter mile and the trail crosses a footbridge. Sometimes the college kids party on the footbridge. Beer cans litter the spillway below the bridge. The trail curves just before it crosses the bridge. I cannot see anyone on the bridge until I step on the bridge myself. But kids partying make noise. I pause for several minutes, listening. The frogs and crickets sing merrily. The highway traffic, fainter now, drones along. No party tonight and the bridge lies too exposed for necking. I walk towards the bridge, moving quietly, my heart thumping. A peek around the corner shows an empty bridge. Pausing in the middle of the bridge, I look across a small lake. My hotel glows at the far end. I survey my dim kingdom. The Night Slave-King. Chained Chairman of the Dark Domain. I raise my manacled wrists in blessing. Sleep well, people of the day.
I continue off the bridge and down the trail. On this side of the bridge, car parks outnumber office buildings. Bright lights stab between the trees in spots. The light-spears play across my body. Will my skin moving through the shafts of light attract attention from the parking garages? During my daylight inspection, the trees seemed thicker. I scan each parking garage as I approach. All lie tomb-quite. After two garages, another office looms overhead. The trail forks, the left fork snaking through the dark woods, the right fork hugging the office building. I brazenly take the right fork. A few overhead and hall lights shine in the building but no bright reading or office lights. The bottom floor stands completely black. I look at my reflection in the glass wall. The slave-rag around my hips looks skimpy. I smile at my modesty.
Halfway down the building, benches provide a quiet spot for stressed office workers. I sit on a bench. Will our celebration of diversity ever allow me to sit here, in chains, in broad daylight? Will I ever sit here, manacled and wearing a slave-rag, between business meetings? Corporate dress codes transform daily. Will corporate America ever allow manacles and leg irons, along with jeans and halter tops, on casual Fridays? Part of me likes the idea. Homosexuals emerged from the shadows and entered mainstream life, why not bondage people? Another part of me enjoys the dark, welcomes the separation. We are different, we people of the night. We stroll calmly where others dash fearfully. I play with the images in my head, stacking them in various ways, a child playing with blocks. After a while, I put the blocks away and continue down the trail.
The trail ends almost two miles from its beginning. The path pops out from behind the trees at a hard-surfaced parking area. Trees screen the parking area from the road. Huge concrete highway dividers stand in rows. Each divider bears a steel lifting eye on top. At the midpoint of my journey, I will pause, undo the chain from my collar and fasten it to a concrete monolith. I will sit down, my wrists bound to its immobile bulk and enjoy the night. I peer out from behind the last tree and stare directly into the back window of a police car. The car sits dark and silent next to the concrete dividers. I pull back behind the tree and freeze. Did they see me? I take a couple slow steps back, ankles apart to keep the chain from tinkling. I peep through the brush. The car remains dark and silent. I wait for several minutes then move back a few yards to another observation spot. The police car door opens. An office gets out and walks to the edge of the asphalt. He relieves himself in the bushes and returns to the car, a picture of boredom. Well, no concrete bondage tonight. I move slowly back up the trail, stopping frequently to listen. The police car sits dark and silent. It occurs to me that I'm enjoying the evening more than those two police officers. I walk back down the trail to my alternate resting spot, a picnic area nestled a few yards off the trail. The picnic area is darker and more secluded but chaining oneself to a picnic table somehow lacks the cachet of chaining oneself to a steel ring on a three-ton concrete block.
I sit on the ground next to a table and remove my sandals. I unhook the chain from my collar and wrap it around a leg of the table. I twist the screw-link shut and tug on the chain. I lie down on the mulch under the table and dream. I doze off.
A crunching footstep wakes me. I freeze under the table and
strain my ears. Frogs and crickets sing in the night. Did I
imagine the sound? I lie still for many seconds before I hear another
footstep. Softer this time, the footsteps crunch slowly down the few
yards of trail separating the picnic area from the main path. I twist
my head slowly around and look under the table. Legs stalk slowly
down the trail. Back-lit by the garage lights filtering through the
trees, the legs stand silhouetted on the trail. I reach for screw-link
to release myself from the table. A twig snaps under my arm.
The legs scuffle in the gravel then freeze. Moments drag past.
The legs stand absolutely still. I lie motionless on the mulch, the
twig jabbing my arm. My nose itches. My heart thunders.
The legs take a silent step back up the trail. I take a slow breath. Dusty mulch floats into my nose. The itch worsens. My eyes burn. Before I can stifle it, a sneeze explodes from my lungs. I jerk my hands to my face, rattling the chain holding me to the table. The legs jump, turn then stumble and fall with a tinkle of metal and a muttered oath.
Distant frogs and crickets sing in the dark. The nearer ones watch the little drama in the picnic area. A voice, squeaky with fear, breaks the night.
"M-me." My stupidity under stress amazes even me.
"Who are me?" She isn't handling the stress any better. I take a deep breath.
"Someone doing the same thing you are, I think." I rattle the chain around the table leg. "My name is Bob." Thank goodness for unimaginative parents.
"I-I'm, um, Tr-, uh, Susan." Unimaginative comes hard when you're stressed. Metal links clink in the darkness. The legs gather themselves and stand. They take a tentative step back then stop.
"Are you really on a bondage walk?" Her curiosity slowly overcomes her surprise.
"Yes, I am. If you'll give me a moment, I undo the chain from this table leg and show you."
"No! No, that's all right. Stay right there. Just tell me what you're wearing."
I describe my chains, omitting the scrotum collar. In most social settings, discussing genitals early in a conversation with members of the opposite sex carries a certain approbation. This meeting doesn't exactly fit under "most social settings" but I go with what I know.
"Can you free yourself?"
"Oh, yes. A screw-link tightened only finger tight holds the chain around the table leg."
"No, I mean the rest of it. Can you take that off? Right here, right now?"
"Oh, that. Well, actually, no. The tools to remove everything else are..." I wonder quickly just how much of my predicament I should tell her. "...hidden, somewhere, else."
She sighs and mutters something that includes the phrase "as crazy as."
"OK, so I've told you about me. How about you?"
"You can't see me?"
"I can see your legs. With the light, I can't see detail, just legs. Uh, but nice legs." Compliments usually help in awkward situations.
"Flattery will get you, well, somewhere, I guess." She giggles at the insanity of following social convention in the present situation, but we keep going with what we know. "You really can't take anything off?" She sounds like she wants to be sure I can't suddenly free myself and run after her. Or she wants to be sure I can't run away when she shucks her gear and runs for help. I decide to err on the side of optimism.
"No, I really can't take any of it off, here and now." I explain how the allen wrench sits in my hotel room, how the wrench sits in my pack. She interrupts me.
"It's you! You're the guy!"
"Well, I have been me all along. I think."
"No, I mean you're the guy wearing the collar and bracelets in public. My friend saw you jogging past the college the other day." I take my morning jogs along the trails, exploring all the forks and routes for my nightly excursions. I got a wild hair one morning and wore my gear for the jog.
"That was me. I was checking out the trails."
"What else were you wearing?" She's still checking on me.
"Um, black shorts and a gray turtle neck sweatshirt tied around my waist. And shoes." The turtle neck sweatshirt hides the collar and bracelets when I go through the hotel lobby.
"OK. You're you."
"Thank goodness. I was beginning to wonder." We both giggle at the ongoing insanity.
"I suppose I should tell you a bit about me." She sounds like she is relaxing. "I'm wearing police transport cuffs with standard leg irons and handcuffs, fastened in front. The leg irons and cuffs connect to my chastity belt. The keys are with, um, right here, with the rest of them." She sounds like a teenager trying to convince a boy that her dad will be along any minute now. "And the key to the belt isn't here. That key is at h-, uh, with the rest of the-, rest of my things, my clothes. So you can't take the belt off, so you can't rape me. I'm wearing a t-shirt." She giggles nervously at having said so much all in a rush.
"Dear lady, rape is the farthest thing from my mind tonight."
"Oh, darn." We both laugh again. "I guess I could let you out from under the table. Since neither of us is legally nude."
I undo the screw-link and reconnect it to my collar. I crawl out from under the table and sit on top so she can see my hands and feet. I look at her. The light still silhouettes her body but I can see enough detail to confirm her description. She wears her hair above the shoulder but full and wavy. She probably thinks her hips and butt are too big but, to my eye, she looks nicely curved with a well-proportioned waist. Judging by the bushes along the trail, she stands taller than average. We look at each other in awkward silence. I try to rebreak the ice.
"So, do you come here often?" We giggle at the come-on.
"Actually, I do. Not as often as I'd like but, yeah, I consider myself a regular."
"I'm new in town. Wasn't sure where the good hangouts were so I tried this one."
"Do you like our little bondage trail?"
"Nice. Very nice. Smooth trail, just enough light, plenty of dark spots to hide. One of the best I've seen." We laugh at the bar-talk. She comes over and sits atop the table next to mine. We talk for a while, mostly the inconsequential chatter of couples on their first meeting. During a pause, she sighs.
"It has been so long. Thinking I was the only one. Wondering if I was insane for wanting.... no, needing, this." She rattles her chains. "Now, finally, I'm talking to a normal person who also wears chains in the dark. Have you ever felt that way, like you're the only one?"
"Sometimes. Mostly it feels exciting, like I'm a vampire, a creature of the night. Wandering through the darkness, invisible to humans. But, you're right, sometimes it feels lonely. But I never expected to meet anyone else, so I didn't worry about it much."
"I know what you mean about being 'a creature of the night.' Other times, I want someone to discover me, to drag me and my chains out into the open, to show the rest of the world who I really am. Times when I get sick and tired of living a dual life, respectable professor by day, bondage walker by night. I want to be normal but I want these," she rattles her chains again, "to be 'normal.'"
"Maybe there is a place where chains could be normal. Some artsy community in California where everyone is so weird, even bondage nuts wandering about in public wouldn't raise an eyebrow."
"Maybe so. We should look for such a place." We pursue the fantasy for a while, carrying the idea to a ridiculous extreme. We laugh at the picture of a bondage walker running for governor of California. And winning. When we calm down, I steer the conversation back to "normal."
"Did you say you were a professor?" I can almost hear her blush.
"Yes. I, uh, teach English and literature at the college."
"Ever bump into your students in the dark? The bridge down the trail seems like a favorite watering hole."
"No, I haven't. I did sneak up on the bridge during a party. I got just close enough to hear them talk. When they griped about teachers, one girl called me a 'tight-assed prude.' I almost ran over and rattled my chains in her face. Prude, indeed." She laughs at the memory. "Lucky I didn't recognize her voice. I'd have said something snide to her in class." She sits silent for a moment, probably thinking about the bridge she's just crossed, revealing her day life to me. "So what do you do?" I tell her. Hired-gun consultant for big corporations. All the travel. My dual life. We talk about our day lives for a while, getting more comfortable with each other. She switches gears again.
"Can I look at your chains? Up close I mean?"
"Uh, sure, OK." She climbs off her picnic table, comes over and sits on mine. She feels my wrists with her hands then stands and follows the chain up to my collar. She slides her fingers around the collar, up the back of my head and through my hair. She shivers then sits down on the bench and feels my ankles. She follows that chain up to my genitals. She jerks her hands away then slides them back up the chain.
"Oh, my, that is wild! Does the chain hurt? What happens when you walk?"
"No, it doesn't hurt. I wear the scrotum collar almost all the time. The chain tugs on it when I walk but it feels nice, a constant little stimulation. The only time it hurts if I step on the leg iron chain while taking a big step. Then it yanks pretty fiercely, but it doesn't really hurt. I guess I've gotten used to it over the years." She pulls very gently on the chain.
"Is this where we screw each other’s brains out?" The question takes me by surprise.
"Uh, yeah, I guess so. That is, if we were in a bondage story. And if we could get your chastity belt off." I reach down to her waist. Her chastity belt wraps around her hips in a wide swath of thick leather with metal reinforcing bands. Her handcuffs thread through a large metal ring on the front of the belt. She holds her wrists up out of the way. I feel down the front shield, also made from heavy leather. I feel only a tiny slit in the shield, about where she would need it to pee. It is much too small for even her slender fingers. She pushes my hands down between her thighs. I feel along the leather strap. A chain leading to her leg irons connects to a metal ring at the bottom of the slit. I feel around the base of the ring. It moves slightly and she moans, low and far away. She turns around so I can follow the strap up the back. Between her cheeks, the strap lies solid all the way to the padlock on the back of the belt.
"You're wearing a plug?" I try to sound clinical or professional or something other than the enflamed I feel.
"Um-hum. Two. The chain. Moves, um, the important one. Moves it in me." She stands with her head tilted back, her breath faster and deeper. I stand up and press gently against her. She presses back. I grope under her t-shirt and fondle her breasts gently. Her hands grope around my thighs and hips, stroking, teasing. I put my manacled wrists around her neck and pull her head close. She wears a collar, wide leather with metal bands, matching her belt. We kiss, a torrid, wet kiss, sucking and probing each other’s lips with our mouths and tongues. She reaches between my legs and pulls on the chain. I steady myself against her, stand on one foot and grab her crotch chain with the toes of my foot. I push the chain down and release it. She groans, a hungry sound. We crush our bodies together, lose our balance and sit down on the bench with a loud rattle of chains.
"Gawd, we'll wake the whole neighborhood." she whispers hoarsely.
"The mulch is pretty soft under the table."
She grabs my crotch chain and stumbles around the table. I follow quickly. We flop down in the soft mulch on our sides and grope for each other.
"Do that again. That thing with your foot on my chain." Her voice pleads in a low whisper. I fumble around with my toes, finally grasp her crotch chain again. Push down, release, push down, release, push down. She flexes her hips in time to my pulls and massages my balls. We wiggle around in the mulch, chains tinkling as we grasp and massage whatever the chains let us reach. Her breath comes faster and faster. I can feel the sweat beading on her skin. She grapples for my hands, presses them down between her legs.
"Rub. Rub me. Keep pulling. The chain." I tug faster on her crotch chain with my toes and fumble around with my wrists between her legs. She presses my wrist manacles against the slit in her belt and massages them against her. He body writhes as she approaches climax. She goes taunt as a bowstring then comes with a shuddering moan. She lies still for some minutes, rubbing herself against me, then slides down her hands down and massages me. She works her fingers sensuously up and down me, her fingers playing quickly around me. As I near my own climax, she rolls across my body and slides onto my upper side. I feel her handcuffs sliding across my thigh. The thought of a chained woman playing with my body sends me over the edge. Fairly safe, almost sane and definitely consensual. We roll to face each other then lie panting and sweating in the warm night air. We kiss, snuggle and doze off.
"Shit!" I wake with a start, her shout in my ear. "What
time is it?" She repeats herself in a whisper. "I mean, what
time is it?"
"Hell if I know." I shake myself awake. I know from experience I do not doze longer than half an hour while chained on the ground. I look up at the sky. A bright star I saw earlier has moved but not far. An hour has passed since I arrived at the picnic tables, two at the outside. "We didn't sleep long. Half an hour. Maybe a little longer." I show her the star. We snuggle and kiss but she still worries about the time. We stand and brush each other off, tickling each other and yanking each other’s chains. Her car lies the same direction as my fanny pack so we amble down the trail together. Just past the office building where I so brazenly marched next to the glass, lies a parking garage.
"Well, this is where I get off." She points to a car parked on the edge of the lot.
"Can I watch?"
"You already did! And, yes, I'd love you to watch me get off again if you'll return the favor."
"OK, it's a date. Gutsy move, parking your escape in all that light."
"Yes, but the shadows go to the edge of the lot. I've only seen one other person here at night. He didn't even look around. Just got in his car and left."
"Afraid of creatures hiding in the night."
"I guess so."
We stand for a while, fidgeting like teenagers, knowing the evening is over but not ready for it to end. We exchange email addresses. Hers is long, with numbers on the end. I say it five times through so I'll remember it. I watch her walk to her car, open the door and get in. She starts the car without undoing her cuffs, leaning forward to reach the ignition, then steering with her hands on the bottom of the wheel. She probably left the keys at home and must drive back before she can free her self. Double gutsy move. She flashes her headlights good-bye and drives off. I walk down the trail, over the bridge, across the road and back to my fanny pack. I sit in the dark. I am not alone. Others wander the night. Our paths will cross again. I remove the chains, put on my clothes and return to my hotel room.