"A lady came up to the farmer's house and said, 'I've just run over your cat and I'd like to replace it.' The farmer scratched his chin, looked at her for a moment, and said, 'Very well, how good are you at catching mice?'" It was an old joke, buried deep in the recesses of Marcia's mind. But when the body is restrained, the mind is free to wander where it will. Marcia's body was definitely restrained, and her mind was definitely wandering. The past thirty hours it had wandered far and wide, digging into the most remote areas of her memory. Sometimes while she dreamt away the agony of the present, sometimes while she absorbed every little nuance of her predicament, every sound in her new world. This old story resurfaced over and over.
His footsteps finally tore her from her reverie, and she watched his approach. There was not much else she could do! He stepped through the last row of corn stalks and grinned. "Ready for a little break?", he asked. A soft moan was her response, which he took for a yes. "O.k., but remember the rules." He stepped forward and undid the leather strap around her neck. Next he carefully rolled up the stocking which he had pulled over her head. This stocking also covered the post against which she strained, keeping her head pinned firmly against it. He rolled the stocking up until the roll pressed across her eyes, forbidding her looking down and offering her very little view any other direction. He undid the strap which held the ball in her mouth; it, too, fastened behind the post and prevented her from turning her head. Free to speak, Marcia desperately wanted to plead for mercy, but not a word came out. She knew the drill; he was going to give her food and water, but if she made a sound, the break was over. So she bit her tongue and stifled her urge.
She could not help herself; she was totally dependant upon his generosity. He didn't seem to have much. He proffered a squeeze bottle of water; she drank greedily. A small whimper escaped her lips as he withdrew the bottle; he ignored it. He spooned some cereal into her mouth. It was already soggy with milk, so she had little problem chewing it enough to swallow, even though her jaw ached. "It has 100 percent of the vitamins and minerals you need every day", he offered. A faint smile crossed her lips, then faded into the reality of her helplessness. He alternated cereal and water, until both were gone. He dabbed up the spillage and gave her a quick kiss. She knew he was ready to replace the gag anyway, so she summoned her strength for one heartrending plea for mercy. It was cut off before it got started as he stuffed the ball in her mouth the first time she opened it enough to do so easily. Her tears were hidden by the rolled stocking as he buckled the strap back behind the post.
He fluffed her hair behind her back, rearranging it to fall evenly across her back. Then he rolled the stocking back down and strapped it into place with the collar. He removed the floppy straw hat she wore, and checked the stocking for rips. There were none, so he replaced the hat, smoothed the stocking over her face, briefly held her chin in his hand, and gave her a gentle peck on the cheek through the nylon. He then set about checking the rest of her bonds.
.... There is more of this story ...