Alison looked around wildly for somewhere to hide, but the options were few. The door to the kitchen was open and if she tried to cross the hall into the lounge she'd be seen by whomever had just entered the kitchen. There was a cupboard under the stairs, but she didn't think she'd have time, even if there was space, for her to hide in there. The final option was to very quickly dash back to the stairs, keeping close to them and hoping she wasn't spotted while she did so. As she froze in indecision she heard the bedroom door open upstairs, cutting off that line of retreat. All that was left to her was the cupboard under the stairs and as she grabbed for the handle, she heard footsteps on the stairs. She wrenched the door open quickly and jumped in, closing the door behind her.
Alison stood in almost complete darkness, holding her breath. If anyone opened the door she'd be discovered, and she had no idea what the reaction would be. She tried to recall to mind what she had seen of the cupboard in the brief moment that the door had been open and light had illuminated the space. It had been larger than she had thought. There were shelves; neatly stacked with tins and jars; a hoover, a coverless ironing board, some boxes. In the low space, corresponding to the bottom of the stairs was a silvery bundle of some sort, but it had been off to the side and she had only caught a glimpse out of the corner of her eye.
Alison heard a noise outside and her body stiffened waiting for the door to be suddenly pulled open. She decided that if it was, she would shove whoever had opened it and run for the back door as quickly as she could. She briefly considered pulling out her mobile phone and calling for help, but she had forgotten to silence it and the beeping of the buttons would alert whoever was outside. She prayed that no-one called her.
The noise passed and she heard muffled talking in the kitchen. She couldn't make out what was being said, but it sounded like Fiona and Tommy. She allowed herself to exhale slowly, and then to take a deep breath and she realised she was shaking. Her mind was suddenly filled with the fear that Fiona would have a sudden and overwhelming desire to do some ironing or hoovering, but she tried to suppress it. She tried to force herself to relax.
As the indistinct conversation continued in the kitchen Alison allowed herself to breathe a more normally and she made herself relax. The deafening drumming of her heart-beat quietened a little, until suddenly she jumped and yelped. Her hands flew to her mouth as she prayed she wasn't heard, and her heart rate went through the roof. Something had touched her. She was terrified that it had been a rat or a spider. She jumped again, but this time she suppressed her yelp and she lifted a foot out of the way. She looked down, her eyes bulging in fear, but in the darkness she couldn't see anything. She considered screaming, throwing the door open and running for her life, but the thought that Victoria might be disappointed in her kept her in place.
She felt it again for the third time and she squeezed her hands tightly over her mouth as she shook in fear. It was a hand, and it was crawling up her leg. She let out a muffled shriek and she heard the conversation in the kitchen stop. Footsteps approached and stopped right outside the door. Alison was suddenly filled with terror and she prepared herself to burst out as soon as the door opened. The hand crawled to her knee and up under her skirt. Alison leapt out of her skin and her heart nearly stopped when there was a loud hammering at the door which filled the cupboard like an earthquake.
"Be quiet in there, or else..." she heard Fiona shout. The footsteps moved off again. Alison was still shaking and her heart was threatening to burst out of her chest as the hand crawled up her thigh towards her bottom.
Footsteps thundered above her on the stairs and she couldn't take it any longer. She grabbed for the door handle but couldn't find it. Her hands scrabbled at the door searching for some way of opening it, but there wasn't one. She was trapped. The hand reached her bottom and pulled at her knickers and Alison kicked backwards; to the side; stamped. There was a muffled grunt, a groan, a sharp intake of breath. The hand left her, disappearing somewhere in the dark. Alison let out a whine as her hands continued to search frantically for some way to open the door. Her hand brushed something which felt like a switch. She stabbed at it in a panic and suddenly the cupboard was filled with light. She closed her eyes against the dazzling glare and she heard a muffled groan again. She pressed herself at the door, trying to put as much distance between herself and the hand as she possibly could. When she was sure her eyes had adjusted, she opened them again and with great trepidation she looked down.
Alison closed her eyes and opened them again, squinting hard and trying make out what it was she was seeing; trying to calm herself; trying to figure out whether it was real or just her imagination. She took a deep breath and concentrated at the bundle at her feet. Slowly, she worked out that it must be a head, but a head in a bag - no, in a pillow case. A head in a pillow case and it was groaning in a muffled kind of way. Next to the head was a hand; no, two hands, one holding the other at the wrist as if to nurse it. She moved back slightly, further into the corner of the cupboard until she was stopped by the protruding shelves. One of the hands had string tied around it, and she figured that the hands must have been tied at one point but one had managed to get free. To the other side of the head was a silvery substance and bare flesh. Alison blinked and calmed her breathing a little more.
It was just a boy, nothing to be afraid of; a boy who had been tied up and put in the cupboard for some reason. The boy groaned and moved slightly and as he moved the silvery substance shifted and more bare flesh was exposed. Alison realised that it was the cover from the ironing board. The boy must have pulled it off to try and cover his nakedness. She squatted down carefully and put a hand on his pillow case covered head. The boy jumped and groaned loudly "Shhhhh!" said Alison "I'm here to help. I'm not going to hurt you."
The boy stopped groaning but short and rapid mumbling started up. Alison couldn't help herself, she pulled the ironing board cover away leaving the boy stark naked. He was face down so she couldn't see his willy, but he looked to be about twelve years old. The boy shuffled away from her slightly and the mumbling began to sound a little bit more like whimpering. She put what she hoped would be a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"It's okay" she said "I'm going to rescue you." She began work on the knots at the bottom of the pillow case and it took a little while to get them undone. When she pulled it off she saw the boy was still hampered by a blindfold and a gag. She worked on the blindfold first.
The boy's eyes were full of fear and shame in the brief flash Alison had of them before they closed against the harsh light. Alison went to work on his gag, and he took a deep breath once she pulled it free.
"Norman!" she said quietly "What the hell are you doing here?"
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Tuesday, June 19, 2018