Chapter 4 - Sunday

Susan awoke, passed quickly through the usual disorientation, and spat water out of her mouth -- rain! It was raining lightly, though still warm. The ground around her, even underneath her, was already mud, so it had been raining for a while, she had no idea how long.

She realized the light looked wrong. It clearly wasn't nighttime anymore, but it was not exactly daytime either. Last night the sky, with its thick cloud cover, had reflected a uniform soft glow from the city lights. Now it was visible tufts of charcoal-gray cotton, barely brighter than it had been at night.

As she twisted around to try to see the dial of the combo lock, a gust of wind came and overstayed its welcome, rushing through the trees around her, making the branches wave as if they were trying to get her attention. With the wind came a sudden chill.

She knew what was coming, and a hollow formed in the pit of her stomach. I deserve this, she told herself, for refusing to check any weather forecasts.

Still twisted around at the waist, she sought the combo lock with her hand, trembling with fear rather than cold. She was sure before even looking that there wasn't enough light, but she had to try. 10-35-24. 10-35-24. I know how to get free but I need more light! she told herself. There was a picnic area with tables sheltered under a roof nearby. If she could just get herself loose from her hogtie and anchor, she could hop to it in less than a minute. She couldn't hear any sounds suggesting any early risers had come to the park yet. It probably wasn't officially open for the day yet, and in any case the weather surely must be discouraging any potential visitors. Susan could get to the picnic area with no one to see her, but she had to free herself from the anchor first.

She strained to try to get her eyes closer to the combo lock dial. She could see the dial itself, a black circle against a silvery outline, but couldn't make out any markings on it.

She shook the lock in frustration, as if that would help. The storm was coming through at exactly the wrong time. It was daytime, the park was deserted, and she could open the lock and get out of here, if the weather would just cooperate! Maybe, she thought, this will blow through quickly and I'll still have time. But I need light!

As if mocking her, the sky lit up for just a fraction of a second. A few seconds later, a staccato burst of sound was followed by a prolonged rumble.

She heard the heavier rain before she felt it, a steady, building, hissing sound. And then it was on her.

She had hoped the leaves above her would protect her, but all of the many gaps through which she had seen the sky last night were pathways for the rain to fall unimpeded, and all of the water diverted by leaves still had to reach the ground eventually, by a more circuitous route that often ended at Susan. In a few places the leaves served as funnels, concentrating waterfalls that Susan couldn't completely escape -- wriggling away from one only brought her under a new one, and several were hitting her at any one time.

She was shivering within seconds, and unable even to think about dialing the combination, even if she could see the dial. This rain was much heavier than the downpour last weekend, and Susan was suddenly overwhelmed by a mental image of her enclosure of bushes somehow holding all of the water within and filling to drown her. Near panic, she wrapped her shaking fingers around the anchor chain and yanked on it as hard as she could, over and over, though the sliver of her rational mind remaining told her that even if she could free herself of the anchor holding her here, the bushes forming the enclosure were too close together to allow her to slip out between them while lying hogtied on the ground. She gave in to random attempts to free herself from her bondage -- she knew she had tried every possibility last night, but that, she reminded herself, was before I thought I might die here if I don't get loose.

The storm played games with her, often giving her plenty of light with which to see the combo dial, but only for a split second at a time, and so bright it forced her to keep her eyes closed anyway. She wished she could close her ears as well.

Giving up on getting loose, she still had to keep her body in constant motion to generate heat as the rain poured down on her. She turned her head to face the ground to keep the water from running up her nose, keeping her head lifted as the water began pooling underneath her.

She had no way to measure the time the rain continued pouring down, but remained aware that her window was closing for avoiding being trapped all day nude and bound in a busy public park. If the rain stopped right this second, she thought, and the sky got brighter, I could probably be out of here before people start coming to the park. But the time is running out.

Her teeth were chattering by the time she saw, with hope, that the sky to the west was lightening, and she could see detail in the clouds there. A few minutes later the downpour was reduced to a steady light rain. Minutes later it was only a heavy mist, and she twisted around to look at the combo dial again. She could see vague markings around the perimeter now, but still not make out specific numbers. With better eyesight, she thought in frustration, I might be able to read it now, but my vision is what it is.

And she was still shivering, her hand trembling so that she didn't yet have the delicate control needed to manipulate the dial with the needed precision. Come on, she thought, come on, I've probably got only a few minutes now.

The temperature, though cooler than it had been for days, was warmer now that the rain was stopping, but it didn't help that there was now a half inch of standing water all through Susan's enclosure. She realized she must be in a slight depression, which had been impossible to perceive before. She recalled how the ground all through her trip to the park had seemed a little moist. The rain earlier in the week, she realized, had probably left it saturated, unable to absorb more water.

There was blue sky to the west, now, the first break in the cloud cover in more than a day. The sun, however, was in the east, still well hidden, and the daylight still dim.

Straining, as she had before, to get a closer look at the dial, her body squishing through water-covered mud as she moved, Susan was able at last to make out the small rounded numerals that had to be 00. She spent a minute or so wriggling strenuously, trying to warm herself enough to get control over the shivering, and finally was able to start trying the combination. She spun the dial several turns clockwise, stopped at 10, and began turning counterclockwise towards 35. Halfway there, a spasm of continued shivering made her hand shake, and the dial jiggled slightly clockwise. She gritted her teeth in frustration, and decided to continue. She completed the combination, and as she expected, the lock failed to open.

I should have just started over as soon as I messed up, she told herself angrily. I knew it wasn't going to work.

She spun the dial again and started over, and again lost control before reaching 35. She started over immediately this time, increasingly feeling the time pressure.

On the third try, she got to 35, and then the dial jiggled during the short clockwise run to 24. She stopped at 24 anyway, and tried opening the lock. Nothing.

The sky was much brighter now, though probably, she told herself in frustration, not much brighter than it would have been an hour ago if the storm hadn't been passing through. The misting had stopped, and the air continued warming. Susan wriggled again for a time, and finally was able to stop shivering. She felt the familiar tingling between her legs, now, ignited by her struggles against her bondage, and forced the feeling away. I don't have time for that now!

And then she heard the thump of shoes running on asphalt. She froze, her heart pounding, but the thumping sound soon faded into the distance. A minute later she heard another runner.

Susan let out a sigh and subsided against the wet ground, as if she were a balloon whose air had all leaked out with the sigh. Too late, she moaned to herself. Joggers. The park is starting to fill with people.

Her background anxiety level rose higher than at any time yesterday, or last weekend. She'd spent hours beside the park during the daylight hours yesterday, but none of it this close to all the activity.

She still needed to open the lock quickly, so that she could sit up in the muck instead of wallowing in it. A further motivation was that if she were going to be discovered here in her hiding place, she wanted at least to be a little less helpless than she was now.

Twisting once more to see the dial, and squinting to pick out where 00 was again, she began once more to manipulate the dial. Less than a minute later, the shackle released with a satisfying chink sound. She dropped the combo lock on the ground, and unwound the hogtie chain. Free to straighten her legs now, she did so very gradually and carefully, aware that the pain of doing it suddenly, after her legs had been bent double all night, would probably make her scream.

Now I could leave the bush enclosure if I wanted to, she thought dispiritedly, and hop away. But not without being seen.

She was hungry and thirsty. At least she could do something about that.

She was no longer hogtied, but her hands were still trapped behind her. As before, she ate from the pile of nuts, now an island surrounded by the shallow lake the ground had become. She drank a full bottle of water, in the same way she had yesterday, having to grip it by her teeth as she drank.

She sat upright now, though in a slouched posture to avoid raising her head too high.

Nothing left to do, now, except pass the time -- fifteen or sixteen hours, she guessed -- until the park lights were turned off. And hope like hell this enclosure was as opaque as it seemed to be.

*   *   *   *   *

Susan learned how slowly time can pass when there is absolutely nothing to do. She couldn't even distract herself today by watching the tennis -- yesterday she had been far enough away in the dim recess of the woods that she felt relatively safe from observation, but today felt far too uncomfortable with the idea of sticking her head up above the level of the bushes forming the wall of her enclosure, and the entire park around her was invisible to her -- not that she could use that blindness to her surroundings to convince herself there weren't dozens, perhaps hundreds of people near her, since she could easily hear all the activity. She simply sat and listened, leaning back against the bush behind her as a prickly cushion, tensing whenever a sound seemed too close, as one did every few minutes.

Yet as physically miserable as she felt, and as frightened as she so often was, the background level of sexual arousal never entirely let go, always present if not always conscious. She could, at any instant, bring it to the forefront of her mind simply by pulling lightly at her wrist cuffs, or twisting her feet around in their restraints. She had to tell herself to stop doing it, because giving herself release by masturbation now was out of the question -- she never felt sure exactly what sounds she had been making after each of her orgasms the last couple of days, except to be fairly certain they would be too loud now. She promised herself she would seek out that release as soon as she could establish some distance from anyone who might hear.

The sun had emerged at last, and disappointed Susan by telling her it was still morning -- she'd thought, or hoped, it must be late afternoon by now. The tree leaves above her, which had done such a terrible job protecting her from the rain, at least gave her some protection from sunburn now -- only small bits of direct sunlight found the gaps between the leaves, making sparkling and erratically moving spots on her skin. The temperature was tolerably warm, and her shivering had eventually stopped, but it worried Susan a little to note that the weather front that had brought the storm had considerably dryer air behind it. She knew what that meant for tonight's temperatures: though the season for freezing nights was long gone, the inability of dry air to hold onto the heat of the day meant tonight was going to be uncomfortably cold.

Near noon, Susan found she needed to pee, and her first reaction was only resignation to the need to empty her bladder without the convenience of a toilet, an idea to which she was growing accustomed, but a sudden realization sent her mind spinning, searching for an acceptable solution: she was still sitting in a puddle of standing water that she couldn't get out of. The puddle covered the entire area she could physically reach, since even though the anchor chain was no longer holding her, she couldn't leave the safety of the enclosure with so many people around. Her only choice was to pee into the puddle, and afterward sit in toilet water for the rest of the day!

Could she leave her fortress even if she wanted to? She considered pushing through the bushes on the side away from the park, but they were packed too close together to let her through in a sitting position no matter how she tried it, and even from behind the enclosure she risked being seen from the jogging trail, at the least. She couldn't even take the chance of rising high enough to peek over the tops of the bushes in front to see whether anyone was in a position to see her: someone might be looking in her direction just at that moment. Standing upright, the only way she could leave the enclosure, was not under consideration.

And the food! It was sitting in the puddle too! Even though most of it was still piled in a tiny hill that stood above the water, she was sure she wouldn't be able to make herself eat it once it was surrounded by diluted urine.

To solve that much of the problem, at least, she squirmed up into a hunched-over kneeling position, bent down and took in several mouthfuls of the trail mix, more of it than she felt she really needed just now, eating quickly because her bladder wasn't going to let her wait much longer. The salt in the nuts made her suddenly thirsty, but her willingness to take in any more water just now was limited. A drink could wait: the bottles wouldn't be hurt by a little pee on the outside.

She sat abruptly as a new idea struck her. Scraping first her heels, and then the outer side of her right foot against the ground, she tried to force the mud into a pile that stood above the puddle. Gradually, as she fought off pains from her bladder and clamped down as hard as she could, she formed her mud sculpture into a circular island about six inches across, and then pounded down with her heel in the center to make a cup-shaped depression. She got up onto her knees once more, again careful to keep her head down, knee-walked towards the pile and then directly over it, and finally let go, a cascade of pee running into the depression.

The piss pooled in the depression, and then quickly sank into the loose soil. And probably, Susan thought, out through it into the rest of the puddle, but I'm going to say it didn't. I did the best I could. I'll sit down and not think about it. But I'm not touching any more of the food. That lunch I just ate is going to have to last me.

She sat down gingerly, shrugged, and leaned back against the bush once more, trying to let her mind go blank and time pass.

*   *   *   *   *

Letting her mind go blank, she decided eventually, left her open to falling asleep, which she was afraid to do, in case she slid over onto her side and drowned in the puddle. She pulled against the chains, which once again elevated her arousal to the point of wanting more, wanting orgasm -- another of her fears. She finally focused on the slowly moving spots of sunlight on the surface of the water surrounding her, watching each until it either blanked out or left the enclosure before picking out another one. Around her, she could hear all the same sounds as yesterday -- the joggers, the tennis players, the baseball games in progress farther away -- all of which maintained a background level of dread that she could only push away by observing that in all this time she hadn't been seen, and that as long as she remained as motionless as possible, nothing bad could happen to her.

She had mixed feelings about finding she had to pee again. As before, she couldn't simply do it sitting where she was, and over the hours she had found a feeling of relative safety in sitting perfectly still. Yet it did give her something to do, and using her self-constructed toilet had proven safe in the past.

She was relieved, in more than one way, afterward. She resumed her posture as a seated statue.

*   *   *   *   *

Susan knew the sun was close to setting, now. She couldn't see it through the bushes, but the light was dimming, and had progressed through yellowing to reddening. No clouds were responsible for the loss of light. It's for real, she told herself, marveling that no matter how slowly time passes, it does eventually pass. Any past life before her sojourn in her fortress of bushes seemed imaginary, as if all her real life had been spent here.

As the sky began purpling, Susan became aware of a new silvery light above and behind her, partially visible through the gaps in the leaves above her as the sun had been earlier. She worried for a time that a brand new lamppost had been constructed during the day without her noticing the activity, which would make her visible to one and all, but the light seemed a different color from that coming from the park's lights. It occurred to her at last that it was the moon, missing behind the clouds all though last night, and invisible to her personally the night before because of her blindfold -- it would have set by the time she got the blindfold off. Last weekend the moon had been a useless thin crescent Saturday night, setting a couple of hours after the sun, a non-factor all through the night. Now, eight nights later, it was more than half full, and trailed the sun by about nine hours. It would reach its high point in the sky at around 10 o'clock -- just about the time the park lights would go out, allowing her to leave her enclosure. At least she hoped she could leave it then. The moon might hurt her by making her visible, or it might help by making her surroundings visible to her. It depended on how bright it was.

As the sky slowly, so slowly, darkened, Susan felt an odd buildup of conflicting emotions: relief that she was safer from detection than before, as long as she remained within the darkness of the bushes; excitement that she would soon be able to move; fear of what would happen when she did. She was still trapped in the enclosure. She could hear the sounds of tennis balls against cement and racquet continuing unabated under the lights, and occasional passing joggers along the well-illuminated path, and any of these people would easily spot Susan if she rose to a standing position right now.

The air was getting noticeably cooler. It was a good thing, she decided, that getting back to her apartment was going to take a lot of physical effort -- being out naked on a night like this, she was going to need to generate a lot of body heat.

The thought of all that effort renewed the tingling between her legs. She thrust the image of her return trip out of her mind.

*   *   *   *   *

Once the sky, to the extent it was visible through the leaves, turned black -- what would that make it now, she wondered, about eight-thirty? -- Susan listened intently to the sounds around her to judge their decline. The sounds of tennis continued for, she estimated, a half-hour to an hour, but stopped at last. Conversations from the court went on, and she wondered whether another group would start play momentarily, but she felt a thump of excitement when the court lights suddenly went out. Someone, of course, might still arrive to turn them back on, but that seemed unlikely -- it was probably too late to begin a match, and there was always tomorrow. The general lighting of the park was still on, and joggers still passed, but less frequently, at intervals of several minutes.

Susan felt cold, now -- already the temperature was clearly lower than it had been at any time in these last three nights. She wished she could get moving toward home, just to warm up, but that was still impossible. An alternative way of warming up -- masturbating -- was also out of the question. Too many people still close enough to hear the sounds she knew she couldn't help making.

After an extended break between joggers, the park lights, at last, went out. It's time, Susan thought, I can get out of here! Before she made a move, a memory came back from last night, and she froze, ordering herself to wait.

As unwelcome as her experience last night in the restroom had been, Susan was very grateful for it now, as she knew to expect the footsteps she heard now on the jogging path, walking rather than running. The beam of a flashlight passed directly over her hideout for an instant -- exactly where she would be standing now if she hadn't stopped herself. Minutes later she heard a voice, from the direction of the restrooms, call out "Anybody here?" -- the same voice that had panicked her last night, checking for occupancy of the room. The call was repeated a minute later, for the men's room. Afterward she could barely hear footsteps going away, the sound diminishing, gone.

Now it was safe to move. As far as she knew. Though she told herself to continue waiting. The safety, she was sure, would gradually increase as time went on.

Resigned to waiting out a short interval before emerging from the bushes she had hidden among for twenty-four hours, Susan wasn't prepared when her background level of sexual arousal, never at any time absent as long as she was in any way bound, exploded within her. She had been holding it down, with effort, with promises to take care of her need as soon as it was safe. That time was now, the need told her, and it didn't want to wait any longer. Unexpectedly it went on to remind her that the hogtie chain was still here, the anchor chain was still here, and the combo lock was still here, and it would be so much more thrilling to be hogtied! As exciting as it always was to be bound, it would be still more exciting to be bound more!

Susan shook her head vehemently, as if it had been an audible voice speaking to her. It was not, and it didn't seem to be Suzy either. The thrill of bondage had always been one of the two most basic, fundamental pieces of Susan's identity, along with her shyness. Suzy was new. Susan's fascination with bondage was not.

It was the two most central parts of Susan's selfhood that were at war now -- her need to be walled away from human contact, against her need to be helpless against limitations to her own movements.

Unable to stop herself, she wriggled across the enclosure now towards where she knew the hogtie chain to be, invisible in the darkness under the still-present-but-thinning depth of rainwater. She felt under the water, in the mud, with her fingers, searching... there it was. She pulled it free of the mud, immediately lay on her side, and pulled one end of the chain through the padlock holding her wrist cuffs together.

Shy Susan, the part of her that needed to get home to the safe harbor of her apartment, desperately outlined all the reasons against what Bondage Susan was doing. I can't open the combo lock at night! she reminded Bondage Susan. I'd very likely be stuck here another twenty-four hours, all through a day that would undoubtedly be even busier than today in the park, probably the busiest day of the year, because it will probably be unsafe to leave these bushes once it's light enough to see the lock dial! And I don't have any food! It's all ruined in mud! And I'd have to spend all the hours of darkness lying in this mud puddle, unable to sit up, and I'd have to pee sometime, adding urine to the water I'm lying in! Remember that? Remember why I made the toilet? Which I can't use if I'm hogtied? And I'd be lying in piss, and that's way worse than sitting on my butt in it! I'll spend twenty-four hours starving after lying awake all night so I don't drown in toilet water! And I wouldn't be able to get home until the wee hours of Tuesday! Just a few hours before I have to show up at work! I'd be a total zombie at the library, if I can even get there!

A further thought made Susan gasp. It's going to get colder, Shy Susan told Bondage Susan, and if I spend the whole night lying in this water I could die of hypothermia! Please, please don't do this!

Bondage Susan continued, immune to any rational argument, intent only on reaching that explosive orgasm she knew she could have, wanting it, needing it. Bending her lower legs back, bringing her feet within reach of her hands, threading both ends of the chain through the padlock between her ankle cuffs in opposite directions, pulling them through, feeling through the mud for the combo lock -- there it is! -- and the end of the anchor chain -- found it! -- threading the shackle of the padlock through a link of the anchor chain and the links of the chain going both to her ankles and from her ankles. Adrenaline flooded Susan's body, making her tremble all over, and her hips twitched with a tingling that was almost a buzzing between her legs, building stronger by the second as she started to squeeze the combo lock closed.

Susan cried out suddenly as an agonizing cramp seized her fingers, all of them at once, making her automatically straighten them out to stretch the muscles, to relieve the pain. And Shy Susan felt a mandate -- without words, but as close to resembling an audible voice from within that she couldn't help thinking of it that way -- to work herself to her orgasm now, while her body felt helplessly hogtied but the lock was not yet closed.

Susan worked every muscle in her body rhythmically, rocking back and forth on the ground, softly moaning with the buildup of arousal, receiving and collating sensations from every part of her body -- the hands trapped against her back despite every effort of her straining arm muscles, the feet she couldn't separate or draw away from her butt though her thigh and calf muscles tried so hard, and above all, amid the twitching of her hips, that crotch chain that made her tingle, then buzz, then quake between her legs...

She spilled over into orgasm, every fiber of her existence quivering in flames and ice, feeling again that there was no hostile universe around her because all of the universe was inside her, not surrounding her but herself surrounding it.

She fainted.

*   *   *   *   *

Susan came awake, still glowing in the residual heat of her climax, immediately aware of still being hogtied, and knowing she had to get herself out of it while Bondage Susan was basking in the sexual satisfaction that now dominated Susan's emotional state.

She felt for the combo lock, terrified that she might have closed it while her body had overwhelmed her mind during the orgasm, and was intensely relieved to find it still open. Yanking it free of the links of the chains, she quickly squeezed it closed and dropped it on the ground, and untangled the hogtie chain, straightening out her legs once more.

Safe now from self-imposed disaster, Susan blinked at a sudden insight into what had just happened. As she had felt earlier, and believed even more strongly now, it was not Suzy who had just now been making her act without regard for consequences. On the contrary, it was Suzy, acting on some sort of self-preservation emergency powers, who had blocked Susan from taking the final action of closing the combo lock that her bondage compulsion was pushing her towards, a compulsion Susan herself had been utterly unable to fight against on her own. It was Suzy who had seized control of her hand to stop Susan when Susan had tried to close the lock, and it was Suzy who had told her how to block the compulsion by seeking out the sexual release she craved before it would have dire consequences. Though Suzy knew that the element of danger, and helplessness in the face of it, was required in order for Susan to reach the ultimate heights of sexual satisfaction, and had therefore put Susan in exactly that danger and helplessness, Suzy had seen that Susan was now going well beyond the boundaries of Dangerous and invading the land of Stupid. Suzy wanted Susan to be able to get maximum enjoyment out of her bondage fetish. The next twenty-four hours wouldn't have been enjoyable at all, and would put Susan in imminent danger of losing her job, and perhaps her life.

Susan was more strongly determined than ever to trust Suzy. Always trust Suzy.

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