Hanging For The Weekend
A Self-Suspension Fantasy
Please note, this is fantasy, and to try any of the tricks in this might kill you. I can’t warn you any more clearly
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Which would explain why, arriving home on a Friday night, I had tossed my work clothes into thehamper, dressed instead in a ragged strip of grey cloth angled across my hips, and run goose-pimply and bare-
breasted around the empty house making preparations.
Hanging motionless by my wrists, I re-focus my blurred eyes: sighting down the gleaming ravine of myown bare chest, my breasts drawn flat by the strain, nipples poking dark, my ribs in stark relief. And far belowthat, my toes, swinging free, six inches above the concrete floor. For the hundredth time, I tip my head back,
look up at my strained arms. One simple loop of rope around each wrist, trapping my purple-lump hands.
I let my head fall forward again, and hang by my wrists.
I hadn’t meant it to end up like this. I had tied those two loops in the rope with girl-Scout deftness, wideenough for my narrowed hands to pass through, but too tight for closed fists to escape. The theory being that aslong as there was pressure on my hands, they would be trapped. I was right.
I had tossed the free end of the rope over the central rafter in the garage, carefully measured it out so that,
when hanging, my feet would be a delicious six inches from the floor. Then I had tied the rope off around one
leg of a fixed work-bench. A clock was propped against the wall directly in front of where I would hang, tomeasure the duration. With heart fluttering, the first tingles of arousal in my belly, wet between my legs and with
my nipples like stones, I had dragged the laundry bucket underneath the rope, climbed onto it.
Rag? Nah. I had ripped away the cloth. Totally naked was the only way to go. Reaching up, I carefullyslipped my hands through the loops, took a deep breath, and shunted the bucket away with my feet.
It’s hard to imagine the feeling of hanging by one’s wrists, until you actually try it. It is brutal, entirelydifferent from hanging off a bar at the gym. There was so much sheer tension through my shoulders, stretchingout my ribcage, my belly, my spine; my arms clamped either side of my head, immobilised by the weight of my
own body. Breathing was a little laboured, phantom pains flickered down my sides. And of course the burningpain in my wrists, the bite of the ropes.
It was painful, but not unendurable. I let myself hang, pointed my toes towards the floor, stirred my feet.
How exciting for my flexing toes to find nothing to touch. I imagined that I was an Amazon princess strung updeep in a Barbarian dungeon. I imagined that I was a captured soldier about to be interrogated. I imagined that I
was a condemned innocent, and that this was the nature of my execution, slow and cruel.
After a long while, my eyes returned to the clock. 5:12pm Almost two minutes hanging. Amazing how
time passed so slowly as I hung there, fighting the urge to reach for the bucket, as the pain in my wrists grew. Ofcourse, I could have used suspension cuffs, or wrapped my wrists in padding, and probably endured longer; butif women in ages past were hung by ropes or in manacles for hours upon end, the least I could do was spend five
minutes like that.
Three minutes. I closed my eyes. There were new pains in my arms, my shoulders, spreading down mysides. It was enough to start sweat prickling along my hairline, testing my endurance. I shifted my dangling feetagain, and was rewarded by a slow creaking from the rope above me as I twisted.
Four minutes. How had people endured suspension like this? The answer, of course, was that they’d hadno choice. The unrelenting weight of my own body on my arms was draining their strength. I was conscious ofthe cold air of the garage on my naked body, my exposed sides, underarms, breasts, and belly.
Five minutes. At last! With growing urgency, I reached my foot for the bucket. Inadvertently, I kicked
it, and it was shunted a little further away. Shit! The pain of hanging forgotten, I frantically sought the bucket
again with my bare toes. I managed to hook its edge with my toe, and began to draw it towards me.
Then, disaster. I was too hasty, and the bucket tipped over.
“No!” I croaked, but the bucket rolled, just beyond reach of my flailing foot. My leg dropped, and for afew moments, I hung, slowly swinging on the end of the creaking rope, my heart racing.
This was not good. My own panic reaction told me this; the fact that adrenaline had erased the pain for amoment, and that the chill was replaced by an unpleasant wave of heat all over my body. I could feel sweatpricking into existence on the nape of my neck, in my armpits, between my buttocks.
I have to get free. My hands were starting to hurt again. I tipped my head back, looked up the landscapeof my own arms to my roped wrists. All I had to do was pull myself up, slip one hand free, then the other. With
my hands looking like two lumps of purple dough, it was going to be interesting, but desperation gave mestrength. I gritted my teeth, and hauled. It was hard work, after hanging for almost six minutes, but I managed toraise myself to the ropes, the muscles in my arms shaking with the effort. But when I got there, I realised there
was no way I could take my weight on one arm long enough to slip a hand free.
With a gasp, I dropped down to a full hang, faster than I intended. The result was a jolt on my rightshoulder, and the most unbelievable pain. It was searing-hot, spreading from my shoulder all the way up my arm,
down my side, so severe that for a moment I could not even breathe. It was a clue to what torture on the rack
would feel like, and it was agonizing. My feet swung aimlessly for the minute or so it took me to recover.
I was in trouble. Again, I tried for the bucket, but it was truly beyond my reach.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow!!” I whimpered, my wrists hurting badly now. There was a deeper burning in my tautarms, too, the weight of my own body creating a slow racking torture of its own.
I tipped my head again, looking up. The rope was passed over the rafter, stretched behind me to the
bench. Perhaps … I tried to twist my body about, kicking my feet, turning my hips, but I was unable to get any
kind of leverage, squirming from my bound wrists like a worm on a hook, demonstrating my helplessness and
So I hung still, again. I looked at the clock. Eight minutes. I was sweating, I could see its shine in my
own armpits either side of my face. My breathing was shallow, quick with anxiety. Another option dawned onme. Once again, I began to haul myself up to the rope. This time was more difficult than the first, my musclesaching as I raised myself. I managed to get my teeth to the knot, and started gnawing, tugging to loosen it. For
about half a minute, I tried, but my arms finally gave out, and I dropped again.
Far from being a chance to recover, hanging by my wrists seemed to drain more strength by the minute,
and I realised that I was running out of time to free myself. My hands throbbed relentlessly. I had been hangingfor nearly ten minutes, proof that I really was in trouble. I have to try again. I began to haul myself up for a third
time; but this time my arms refused. I got half-way, and my muscles failed. I could get no higher.
For the third time, I dropped, and the jarring halt sent a new flash of agony through both shoulders, sosevere I cried out. New sweat came, prickling down my bare spine, and for half a minute I hung in serious pain.
When it ebbed, the tears came. Frustration, fear, anger at myself for getting into this situation. I had tried
everything; there seemed nothing left to do but cry.
Eventually, the tears stopped. Instead, I hung, motionless, hearing the slow creak of the rope, feeling theburning in my arms. My hands had gone numb; a bad sign, though my wrists hurt as if they were encircled inred-hot steel. Why the hell did I do this stupid stunt?
My roommate Sarah had gone for a long weekend skiing with her boyfriend. I had the house to myself,
and I had suddenly decided to engage in a little self-bondage before curling up in bed with a good vibrator.
Curse my perversion.
Every minute seems like ten. The pain in my arms is getting worse and worse, my feet are tingling. Thesweat on my body is cooling, and stretched naked, I am exposed to the cold. The garage is unheated, thetemperature in here is barely twelve degrees centigrade.
I have been hanging by my wrists for twenty-five minutes, and it has finally dawned on me that I reallyam in trouble. My body is starting to feel impossibly heavy, my arms are straining: I can feel the muscles of mytriceps and forearms quivering as fatigue sets in deep.
What do I do now? I realise that I could simply start calling for help. The neighbours would hear me, they
would come, let me down … and I would have to find a new apartment at once, or die of embarrassment.
The word hits me like a punch to the belly. I had heard that, hanging like this, a person’s breathing iscompromised and they slowly die of suffocation. The agony of crucifixion. Could that happen to me? And even
if it doesn’t, if I don’t get free, couldn’t I die of dehydration? Could my passing fantasy of slow execution, hung
by the wrists, come true?
compromised and they slowly die of suffocation. The agony of crucifixion. Could that happen to me? And even
if it doesn’t, if I don’t get free, couldn’t I die of dehydration? Could my passing fantasy of slow execution, hung
by the wrists, come true?
For a time, despite my pain, I hang, deliberating: humiliation, or possible death? Surely there is analternative to calling out for the neighbours? I try to swing myself around again, hoping perhaps to hook my legover the rope that runs down behind me, but I can’t turn myself – and anyway, the rope would be too high to
reach. The process of kicking and swinging my legs is exhausting, leaving me breathless, sweating again despitethe cold, swinging side-to-side on the creaking rope, my arms screaming pain from the motion.
Ah, fuck it.
“Help!” I call. My voice sounds oddly strangled, the position of my arms affecting not only my breath,
but my capacity for voice. I can barely get any sound, and though I call out again, I realise that the neighbourswill never hear my cries. Maybe if I can find something to kick …? I peer down towards my feet, swinging my
toes about, but in my enthusiasm for self-bondage, I have suspended myself right in the middle of the garage,
deliberately clearing away anything I might have used for support.
I hang helplessly, another five minutes or longer. I can feel the growing exhaustion in my arms as theyfight the strain of suspension. It hurts badly. Through clenched teeth I regard my own naked, dangling body
below me, and wonder how I must look. Pretty damn stupid, I guess. Still, this is what my fantasies have alwaysbeen about; the fact that a simple length of rope, suspending me six inches off the floor by my wrists, can be soinescapable. I might as well have been locked in Alcatraz or sealed in a concrete tomb, the result is the same;
absolute helplessness. My liberty kept from me by one single rope.
I hang by my wrists, because I have run out of alternatives.
There is no fade-to-black, no miraculous passage of time, as Friday evening passes. I am fully awake,
fully aware of every crawling minute, not a second passing in which I am not utterly conscious of the fact that Iam hanging naked by my wrists. The clock ticks faithfully before me, measuring my ordeal, laughing at my
original plan to spend just five minutes suspended.
After about forty-five minutes I feel my arms finally give up. Like hitting the wall when you are running,
my muscles have reached their limit and the fight is over. I can feel my muscles loosen against my will. The pain
of fatigue quickly gives way to a more ominous burning, deep along my bones and in my joints, as my bodyweight is taken up by ligaments alone.
An hour hanging. Dusk is fast closing outside, and the garage is growing dark. It is getting harder to seethe clock. It had not even occurred to me that I might have to spend the entire night hanging here, but as theshadows close in and my vision becomes grainier, I realise it is inevitable. The entire house will be dark; even apassing friend would assume I was out, and not come up the driveway. I let out a groan.
Soon, it is too dark to see the clock.
It makes no difference; I am still hanging from the rope by my wrists, completely helpless, and regretting
the fact that I am naked. Auckland winter nights are not harsh, but it’s cold enough, the chill seeping through thegap at the bottom of the garage door. And, extended and nude as I am, I’m open to it. I feel my skin tighten andcreep with goose bumps, I feel my nipples crinkle and harden, I feel the tiny hairs on my body stand. I try to
move my legs and create some warmth, but that only stirs the chill air and makes it worse, so I let myself hangstill, again.
My wrists and arms burn more and more as the night progresses, but it is pain I can do nothing about, and
I try to focus, try to control the waves of panic that wash over me. All I have to do is endure until – God,
Sunday?? That realisation prompts me to call out again, hoping that the stillness of night time will help my criescarry further. But my voice is choked by my suspension, and nobody comes.
I have never spent a longer night than this one, hanging by my wrists in the garage.
The endless torment of hanging by my wrists is matched, minute for minute, by the cruel wanderings ofmy thoughts. It is impossible to distract myself from my predicament. My biggest fear is asphyxiation; everybreath I draw into my strained ribcage is a relief, but I keep wondering if I am getting enough air. My feet feellike blocks of ice. My toes hurt. Is it lack of oxygen, or is it just slowed circulation? I flex them, on occasion.
My legs are starting to ache. My back and sides are burning from the slow stretching of my suspension. My
shoulders and elbows hurt badly, and I wonder if they might even become dislocated. As for my wrists; the hot-
cold fire reminds me that the blood flow has been seriously compromised. My numb hands might never recover.
Are my nerves already damaged beyond repair? I can’t feel, let alone move, my fingers. How long will my heartbe able to pump blood up my arms?
wrists; the hot-
cold fire reminds me that the blood flow has been seriously compromised. My numb hands might never recover.
Are my nerves already damaged beyond repair? I can’t feel, let alone move, my fingers. How long will my heartbe able to pump blood up my arms?
Hours, and hours, and hours. The longest night of my life.
The chill air torments my naked body, hanging in the darkness. The cold, and my exhaustion, are steadilylowering my pain threshold: I realise this as the agony seems to take hold of me, I cannot bear the pain in mywrists, the burning along the bones and tendons of my arms. Despite the cold my armpits are constantly wet with
the cold sweat of suffering.
Dawn creeps in with incredible slowness. I strain to see the clock; it becomes my single focus, my only
distraction, and as the garage grows lighter with the gradual progression of time, and the birds begin theirchirping in trees outside, I finally read half past six.
I have been hanging for more than thirteen hours.
In all of my fantasies, I had always wondered on the mental state of the suspended prisoner. Not justafter a few minutes, or an hour or two; but given a full day hanging, what would be going on in her head? I hadhungrily read others’ stories; would it be fear, self-pity? Boredom? Blankness, a state of semi-consciousness?
It is all, and it is none. I am not aware of any emotion at all. There is no room for emotion. There is only the pain
in my wrists and arms. Exhaustion, cold, and the strain of hanging take an ever-increasing toll. My brain is
racing with jumbled, unformed thoughts while my eyes, half-open, fix sightlessly on the floor below my
dangling toes. I have not moved in hours, despite the pain.
I hear the sound of suburbia coming awake; an occasional car on the street outside. The cruelty of itworks on me; people are getting up, going about their lives, and here I am, still a prisoner in my own garage, stillkept from freedom by a single length of rope.
Around eight o’clock, I slowly tip my head back. Even that small movement hurts, now, as stiff musclesare forced into action. I look up the landscape of my own strained arms towards my hands and wrists. One slimloop of rope around each wrist, the knot between them beyond reach even if my swollen, purple fingers would
work. My hands themselves look squashed and misshapen, and I cannot move my fingers at all. Fifteen hours,
dangling from this rope, my own stupid fault.
Time crawls, and I hang helpless.
Nine o’clock, and the phone rings. I am again jerked to full alertness, my eyes wide and fixed to the
internal garage door. I kick my feet in some futile escape-attempt, hearing the electronic chirps echo through thehouse. Seven rings, and it goes to message. I let myself hang still again. Then my cell phone rings. I can’t even
remember where I left it, but I can hear it clearly, ringing eight times.
Then, nothing. For a time, my heart still quickened by the phone call, I forget the cold, listening for theringing to start again. Maybe somebody is suspicious? Perhaps they will come to check out the house? But thereis no second call, and ten minutes becomes twenty, twenty becomes forty, and I hang.
Another hour grinds slowly by.
Just before eleven, I hear footsteps in the driveway outside, and hope leaps. Somebody has come! I shiftmy legs, set myself swinging on the creaking rope, and give voice to a weak croak for help. The visitor taps onthe door.
“Hello?” It is Boyd, a guy I work with – and dislike. For the last six months, he has tried unsuccessfullyto get me out on dates, and to rouse my interest in him, and his efforts have been close, at times, to sexualharassment. I never thought I would be pleased to hear his voice.
“Boyd …” My voice hardly registers, but Boyd responds.
“Kirsten?” I hear him try the front door; I left it unlocked, and he enters the house. “Hey, I came by tosee if you wanted to go for lunch …?”
“In the garage!” I croak.
A few seconds later, the internal door opens, and Boyd’s head appears. His expression is incredulity.
“Oh, shit! Who did this to you?”
“I did. Boyd, can you get me down, please?”
Boyd steps into the garage much slower than I want. All of a sudden, I am aware again of hanging: my
wrists are burning, my arms are hurting madly. I am conscious of being naked, but the fact doesn’t really registerbut the fact doesn’t really register
until I realise that Boyd is staring at my dangling body, a disbelieving smile appearing on his face.
“You did it?”
“Boyd, please, it really hurts,” I gasp. “I’ve been hanging here all night! Oh God, it hurts, please hurry!”
“Where’s your roommate?”
“She’s gone for the weekend. Boyd…”
“Yeah, yeah, okay, hold on.” Boyd regards the rope around my wrists, then looks to where I have tied itoff at the bench, and decides to start there.
“What are you doing?” I angle my head back, trying to see behind me.
“The bucket. Give me the bucket, Boyd!”
Boyd stops short of the rope. “You need to pee?”
“No, stupid, so I can stand on it!”
“Oh. Okay.” Boyd abandons the knot, and returns to me, picking up the bucket slowly. His eyes are on
my tight and suspended body in a way that creeps me out completely.
“Can you fucking hurry up?” I bark at him.
“You did this? You did it to yourself?” Boyd stops, still holding the bucket, regarding me. Though I am
hanging with my toes six inches off the floor, our eyes are level; being so helpless while he is wasting time is afrustration that makes me break out in a new sweat. I can feel my face reddening with humiliation.
This time, he takes his time looking at me. He starts at my feet, my drooping toes six inches above theconcrete, more than enough distance to render me completely helpless. My legs, lengthened and danglingslightly parted. His eyes alight for a long time on my pubic bush, perhaps surprised: I never shave it. Then his
attention meanders up over my belly, my ribcage, to my drawn breasts. There is not a damn thing I can do to
stop his inspection. He regards my arms, hard-stretched above my head, my roped hands.
Finally he decides, “I should get something from this.”
“Boyd!” I am humiliated beyond words, angry with him. “What the fuck are you talking about? Put thedamn bucket under my feet, please!” I swing my feet in a feeble attempt to hurry him up, and end up creaking
back and forth like a heavy pendulum. “Oh, God, it hurts!”
“I’ll do you a deal,” Boyd says. “I’ll let you down, if you have sex with me.”
That shuts me up. For a few seconds I hang there, pain forgotten, swinging dumbly, staring at him. Then,
“what? No way! Forget it, Boyd!” I can’t believe he has made such a sick demand. “Let me down!”
“Boyd!” I am frantic, and pedal my feet, helplessly twisting on the end of the rope, my toes still beyond
reach of the floor. “Please, Boyd!”
“Not until you agree to have sex with me.” Boyd can’t resist touching me; his fingers rake up my side,
over my ribcage, and I thrash from the rope.
“No way!” I squawk. “Just let me down, you sick pervert!”
“Hey!” Boyd snaps his hand away, and I can see I have made him angry. “I’m not the one who hungmyself in my garage for kicks! Do as I say, or no deal. … And I want a blowjob, too.”
“Fuck you, Boyd!”
“You need to calm down, girlie,” Boyd says. To my disbelief, he puts the bucket down – well beyond
reach of my feet – and takes a step back. “You’re hardly in a position to get an attitude.”
I am exasperated, now covered in sweat, panting for breath. My arms are burning in agony, and I amdesperate to be let down, but I can’t agree to Boyd’s demand. “Boyd …”
“I’m going to make a cup of coffee. I’ll be back.”
I can’t believe that my one chance of rescue has just walked out of the door. I look up, between mystretched arms, at my own roped hands. I am so helpless. Frustration and misery overwhelm me, and I burst into
tears again. I have been hanging here for more eighteen hours, and Boyd has just abandoned me!
Well, Kirsten, are you happy now? I hear Boyd making himself coffee in the kitchen, while I, thirsty and
hungry, hang a prisoner. The fantasy has progressed to the next level; now I have a jailer, somebody with the
power to release me. Somebody who has chosen not to.
have a jailer, somebody with the
power to release me. Somebody who has chosen not to.
It feels like he is gone for an hour; according to the clock it is only fifteen minutes. Boyd returns, andstands in the doorway, eating a piece of toast, watching me. I can’t bear to look at him. I hang with my eyes
down, my head drooping.
“Well?” he finally asks.
“Go to hell, Boyd,” I rasp.
Boyd finishes his toast and brushes off his hands. “Well, don’t rush your decision. I’ll be back in a fewhours. Until then, you can just … hang around.” Boyd laughs at his own pathetic joke; all I can do is hang,
completely helpless, as Boyd leaves.
The tears roll silently on my cheeks as his footsteps fade.
There is no way I can still be here when he gets back, I realise. My first reaction is to try to reach the
floor – not for the first time. I stretch my toes towards the concrete, as if somehow I could reach across those sixinches. But I have suspended myself too high, and I give up and let my feet swing once more. Once again, I look
up. Perhaps if the rope had been shorter, I would have been able to reach the rafter with my hands, somehowdraw myself up; but there are four inches of rope between rafter and my curled fingers, a tiny distance that I haveno hope of traversing. Even so, I try to pull myself up, but this time I realise with shock that I have no strengthat all. My muscles refuse to stir, my stretched arms exhausted beyond all capacity to move.
With a groan of despair, I resign myself again to the savage pain of hanging by my wrists.
Although I am exhausted from lack of sleep, and physically drained by my ordeal, my mind is still active.
With nothing else to do in my predicament, I begin dazedly ruminating on the concept of pain. It has notlessened. It has not eased. I have not become ‘accustomed’ to it and learned how to endure. I am suffering
through every single moment, the pain beyond my voluntary threshold; and yet, somehow, I have endured it fornineteen hours now.
The hands crawl on the clock.
My mental and physical exhaustion combine to drag me into a kind of daze. Although I am aware ofhanging naked in the garage, my mind finally stops its whirling. The hounding pain is all I can think about. It is
so consuming that I do not even realise I have needed to pee until, unexpectedly, it comes.
Without warning, hot liquid squirts from between my legs, wetting my thighs, splashing my ankles,
splattering to quickly form a puddle on the concrete beneath my swinging toes. I pee for at least twenty seconds
until there is a big puddle beneath me.
As the day drags, the pain burns and tortures me. By three o’clock, I am torn from my daze by therealisation that I am sweating profusely, my bare breasts and arms shining, wetness in my armpits that sendsslow trickles down my ribcage. My shoulder joints now feel as if somebody has hammered nails into them, and
the pain travels in occasional searing flashes down my sides, across my back. My arms are in sheer agony, fromthe constant stretching action of my own body-weight. But as weakened as I am, I have no way to fight it. Igroan aloud, a feeble and pathetic sound. My abs ache, and I realise that I have been using my stomach musclesto breathe, my diaphragm indeed straining to cope with my body’s prolonged suspension.
At 3:37 exactly, I decide that I will do whatever Boyd asks. I no longer care. My whole body is cryingout to be released from this torture, I can feel my sanity slipping as the slow hours crawl by and the pain just getsworse. I begin silently begging Boyd to come back. I will plead with him to let me down; after all, what is theuse of pride if it only leads to this? He can do it to me any way he pleases, I’ll suck his cock dry, I’ll take it up
the arse for him, all he has to do is let me down.
For the next hour, I hang in so much pain that the sweat is dripping off me, and wait for Boyd’s return.
When his car finally comes up the drive, I blink to clear my unfocused eyes, I force a few deeper breathsinto my lungs, even though it sends shocks of pain down my tautened sides. My toes flex above the floor. It hasbeen 24 hours since I kicked the bucket away from beneath my feet.
24 hours hanging by my wrists.
Boyd appears in the garage.
“My,” he says. “You do look fetching. You’ve gone all sweaty.”
“Boyd …” I manage to say, weakly.
“Shut up, let me appreciate this for a while,” he replies. He slowly walks around me, looking me up anddown, openly admiring my oily skin, my taut and stretched body. He remarks on how the muscles of my backand my arms are flattered by the sheen of my sweat. He compliments my lifted ribcage and flattened belly, myelongated legs and down-pointed feet.
down, openly admiring my oily skin, my taut and stretched body. He remarks on how the muscles of my backand my arms are flattered by the sheen of my sweat. He compliments my lifted ribcage and flattened belly, myelongated legs and down-pointed feet.
Click. I don’t need to lift my head to know that he is taking photos of me, hanging here, naked. A coupleof dozen shots. “You look so damn good, hanging like that.”
“Boyd,” I croak. “I’ll do it. I’ll fuck you. I’ll suck you off. Please, untie the rope.”
“Ah. See, I’ve been thinking about that,” Boyd says. “I figured you’d say that. But the problem is, once
I let you down, you’ll change your mind.”
I am too weak to say anything, so I hang there and let him talk.
“I’m not a rapist, okay, so that limits my options.”
“What can I say?” I wail. “Please, Boyd, I’ll do anything! I can’t stand it any more!”
“Okay, then.” Boyd stops beside me. “Give me your ATM card number.”
I manage to lift my head. “What?”
“Your PIN number. Give it to me. I’ll take your card, and you can pay me, say, a couple thousand bucks
for letting you down.”
“Oh, God, why are you doing this to me? Please, Boyd!” My head rocks back, I stare in desperation and
pain at my roped hands. “Just let me down!”
“Give me the number.”
“No, Boyd! Damn you, fuck you, Boyd!” Anger surges, and the adrenalin rush gives me new strength. I
thrash suddenly, flinging my legs about, setting my torso twisting. Boyd takes a step back as I struggle helplessly
where I hang.
“Just for that, I want three thousand.”
“No fucking way!” The pain in my arms is so fierce that I am openly crying, sweat clustering in droplets
on my skin, and I am gasping for breath against an ever-weakening diaphragm. I can’t last much more like this,
but the sheer look of sadistic delight in Boyd’s eyes is, for the moment, more than I can stand.
“Just four little numbers, Kirsten,” Boyd promises. He trails his finger down the cable-tight underside ofmy arm, through my wet armpit, already rough with a day’s stubble, and inspects the sweat he collects. To my
disbelief he sucks it off his finger. “Wow, you taste so sexy!”
He places his hands on my slick hips, staring directly into my eyes. “Give me the numbers.”
“No,” I gasp.
Boyd begins to push down on my hips. The increased stretching of my already-straining arms is pain
beyond belief, and my mouth opens in a wail of agony. Oh, God, Boyd, Boyd, stop! Stop!”
“The numbers!” Boyd pushed down hard. I actually hear my shoulders crack loudly and fire seems to
explode along my arms, all down my back, easily the most savage pain I have ever felt in my life. I let out ascream, the tears spilling down my face. But I don’t tell him what he wants to know, and after a few moreseconds of torture, he releases me with a shove. I swing on the rope, sweat clustering in droplets all over myskin, my feet sweeping back and forth, toes curled. I gasp in disbelief at the pain that still surges in my arms and
“I’ll be back,” Boyd promises. “And I’ll bring something guaranteed to make you talk.”
For a time, I am incapable of saying anything. I barely even notice that Boyd has left. My eyes cannot
focus, tracers whiz across my vision, my ears are ringing. The pain roaring in my arms makes me wonder if my
shoulders have indeed been dislocated.
Gradually, I stop swinging, and hang motionless again. To make matters worse, my head feels as if it has
been split open, a nauseating headache brought on by the lack of water. I had always heard that power overothers sometimes brought out the darkest side of human beings, and Boyd is vicious proof of that.
For the thousandth time, I tip my head back and stare in desperation at my purple-grey hands, but thistime, I don’t even think about how I might free myself. I am utterly resigned to my helplessness. Slowly, myhead rocks forward again, until my chin rests on my sweat-wet chest.
For the longest time, I hang there, aware only of my agonised arms and shoulders, my thirst, my dry and
raw throat. My the lids grate over my aching eyes, and I find focus on my bare toes, still dangling six inches
from the concrete floor.
Darkness gradually falls. I hang in the cold.
As the gloom closes on me, I raise my head slowly, fight to distinguish the numbers on the clock.
6:20pm. I feel removed from reality; the freedom to walk around seems just a dream. A dangling prisoner,
suspended by my wrists from this rafter, is all I have ever been.
Two more hours pass. I have been hanging for nearly twenty-seven hours when Boyd finally returns, buthe has already been moving about the darkened house for some time before I realise. My arms, still consumed by
a fiery agony, are my sole point of focus. My shoulders hurt in slow throbs that tell me Boyd did damage whenhe stretched me. My toes are numb with cold. My skin is rough with goose bumps. I do not bother to lift myhead as Boyd enters the garage, carrying a lamp-stand with him. He positions it, plugs it in, and I am suddenly
bathed in light from two strong bulbs, searing my eyes. I can see nothing beyond them, and it is there that Boyd
makes his preparations.
“Boyd … please, what are you doing?” I moan at one point.
“You’ll see,” he grunts.
I hang. I can do nothing else.
After about half an hour, he approaches me holding a device that takes me a moment to recognise.
The moment I do, a fresh wave of sweat prickles over me, and my heart begins hammering in my chest.
He is holding a long, plastic-handled barbecue-fork; but he has duct-tapped a power extension cord to it. The end
of the cord has been cut off, the wires stripped; one wire protrudes from beyond each prong of the fork.
I can only assume the other end of the cord is plugged into a wall socket. He has made his own electric
Terror and adrenaline steal the pain of hanging away. Instead, my stomach churns, my bowels feel heavy,
I want to pee, but I can’t even move. My whole body feels as if it is made of lead, dangling lifeless by my wrists
from the rope, unable to fight or even to prepare for this.
“Boyd, no! Please, Boyd, please,” I begin to whimper hysterically, as he steps close.
“Your PIN, bitch,” he snarls.
He doesn’t even give me time to reply, but touches the improvised prod into my right armpit.
I have never felt so much pain in my life. It feels physically as if I have been hit with full force in thearmpit with a baseball bat; my whole body jolts hard and fire bursts all the way up my arm, down into my chest
I didn’t even realise I had screamed.
“Wow!” Boyd looks at the fork in amazement. “That really works!”
I am unable to breathe. I feel like I am suspended in nothingness. I cannot move, but my body isshuddering violently. My heart is pounding. Boyd touches the fork to my armpit a second time, and the sameterrible nightmare of agony bursts all the way through my body, ripping another scream from my throat.
“Do you like that, Bitch?”
I can’t speak. Drool is spilling from my mouth. Stars are drifting in front of my eyes. I am fighting forbreath. I am not aware of having moved, but I am swinging violently by my wrists, the rope creaking on therafter overhead. Sweat covers me.
Boyd moves the fork lower.
My breasts are drawn flat on my extended chest, but my nipples stand like cinnamon bolts on my shiningskin. He touches the live wires over the erect stub of my right nipple. There is a bright arc that seems to leapright through my nipple, and a tearing pain sears through my chest. I scream and thrash like a fish on a hook.
Boyd touches my left nipple; another crack of current, another scream. Right nipple, scream. Left nipple,
scream. I am running rivulets of sweat, gasping and twisting helplessly from the ropes I tied.
My heart is hammering so hard in my chest it hurts.
Boyd puts the prongs in my wet left armpit and pain destroys me. Oh my god! The armpits are worse, farworse than the nipples, as the electricity seems to split open the very bones inside my body, and the intensity of
my scream betrays that fact.
Boyd is surprised.
“No shit. The pits hurt more than the tits?”
“Boyd please, please, please,” I am babbling.
But Boyd pushes the prongs again against the wet skin of my armpit and the electricity leaps along
nerves and tendons without resistance: agony overwhelms me again.
“The PIN, Bitch.”
If I could remember, I would tell him, but my mind is roaring with pain and I can gasp helplessly. Boyd
tries to prompt me by touching the prongs to each armpit in turn, again, then again, a dozen times in total. Ithrash and twist and scream. The tiny sparks that jump into my pits are agony beyond belief, tiny wisps of steamrising from each contact. The bright lamps flutter and dim with every shock.
Boyd brushes the prongs against my ribcage, and I jolt sideways, an involuntary muscle spasm that sendsshockwaves of pain all the way up my arms. He jabs my belly button and my body snaps about. He touches mybare thigh, my hip, my ribcage again, each time it is like being clubbed with a sledgehammer. Then he is back tomy nipples, the tempting stubs of my breasts. Left, right, left, right, making me jolt and shriek, until my ownnipples are steaming and burning agony. I hang, moaning in pain, slowly swinging by my arms, my head lolling.
Boyd touches the prongs to my mouth.
It’s as if he hit me with a hammer. It feels like my lips have exploded, my teeth have shattered and jawbeen ripped away, my head snaps back my body arches with my scream of absolute agony.
My bladder releases everything. Hanging by my wrists above the floor, I can feel the pee running downmy bare legs and dripping from my dangling toes. I have peed all over Boyd’s shoes.
“Oh … oh, fuck you!” he growls, and jams the fork in between my legs.
The sound is like frying bacon, I can see the flashes of current reflected off the floor, and the mostunbelievable agony explodes up like a chainsaw grinding into my vagina. My whole body goes rigid, and I givea long scream of agony. The prongs are withdrawn, steaming. My dangling legs twitch crazily. Boyd gives anevil smile, and shoves the fork between my legs again. The current slams into my sex, I give a hoarse scream ofpain, helplessly thrashing on the end of the rope. Boyd is holding the fork there, its prongs buried in my bush,
while 230 volts of wall-socket electricity fuck me.
Boyd withdraws the fork again.
I am hanging there. My breasts and armpits and vulva are burning. My mouth is still numb. I can’t movemy limbs, the strength drained by the constant clenching forced on them by the electricity. I can’t believe Boyd
has actually tortured me. My head is swimming, and my eyes only partially focus on him, standing looking atme, still holding the electrified fork.
“No more,” I manage to say.
“Four – seven – four – six,” I say, surprised that I remember.
Boyd looks uncertain. I know he wants to torture me some more, and my heart still thuds in my chest,
even though I am so weak that I cannot move a muscle any more.
“When did you say your roommate was due back?” Boyd asks.
I hang for a while, not answering him, then finally croak, “tomorrow night.”
“Tomorrow night ...” Boyd looks thoughtful. He regards my drawn and dangling body. “Ok. I’ll be back
in the morning.”
What? I want to speak, but I am too dazed, too overwhelmed by everything that is happening. I just findmyself hanging there helplessly, my body burning and still wet with sweat, as Boyd methodically beginsdismantling his torture equipment. I finally find my voice, weak and quavering: “Please. You can’t just leave
me like this! You promised to let me down!”
“Ok, two things,” Boyd says, pausing to glance at me. “One. I’d be a moron to let you down withoutchecking you’ve given me the right PIN. And two,” he paused, and took a long, lingering look at me, “… you
look so damn hot like that, I can’t bear to take you down.”
“Boyd, please!” The tears were coming, now. “Take all of my money! Just let me down!” I would doanything at all, now; I have been hanging here so long I no longer care about being naked, I no longer care about
my dignity, I just want to be set free.
“I’m off to the ATM to collect my fee,” Boyd says casually. “And after that, I plan on having a fun
Saturday night. I’ll be back tomorrow.”Saturday night. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“Boyd, no!” My voice is a desperate croak. Hanging here by my wrists, I cannot do a thing to stop himleaving. He turns off the garage light, plunging me into darkness.
The door is closed, Boyd’s car reverses down the driveway, and I am left hanging.
The sweat slowly cools on my body. I can’t see; I am aware only of the never-ending pain that ragesthrough my body, the cold that threatens to suck the life from my flesh, the aching of my chilled feet. Phantom
lights flash in front of my eyes. In the back of my mind is the realisation that I have been hanging for more than
The second tortuous night crawls.
Two nights hanging here by my wrists. I would never have believed that this was even possible.
Hanging naked, vulnerable to the cold, my skin is stippled with goose bumps, greasy with old sweat. Mytoes are numb. My hands have no feeling at all; but my wrists hurt as if broken. My arms hurt worst of all, myligaments and tendons burning, as if the bones themselves have been split and my shoulders pulled apart. Mychin rests on my chest, my eyes are open but sightless in the dark. Apart from my slow, shuddered breaths andthe laboured thud of my heart, I do not move at all, hanging motionless.
I am not aware of sleeping, and it can’t really be called sleep; but I do slip into a semi-conscious state
more than once during the long, freezing night. From time to time I experience something close to panic, thesense of a nightmare; but mostly my emotional numbness remains. Is this a normal response to trauma? Have I
already gone insane?
I am vaguely surprised to find myself awake at dawn, and I even manage to make out the time on theclock; just before six. By far the longest thirty-six hours I have ever spent, and somehow my exhausted,
strained, tortured body clings to life.
Sleep-deprived, exhausted, bewildered, now irrational, my emotional drought is over. For a time I slide in
and out of panic and confusion. Am I dying? How long until I succumb to crucifixion?
Evidently, longer than a day and a half. At least for a fit thirty-something woman who goes to the gymregularly, runs half marathons, and practices deep breathing exercises. Hanging by my wrists, my arms’ rackedligaments, with every muscle in my body starting to ache from the spasms and paroxysm of my electric torture, I
am in hell, but I am not dead.
I cry and sob for an hour. Self-pity and misery.
At some point, my misery gives way to a daze from which I am stirred, an hour later, by the sound ofsomebody entering the house.
Boyd gives a whistle from the garage door.
I do not raise my head. I hang as motionless as a carcass of meat.
“You really do look hot like that.“
I say nothing, my lips dry, and swollen from the electric shock to my mouth.
Without hurry, Boyd picks up the bucket, that wretched bucket, upturns it, and sits in front of me. He
looks up at me for a long time.
“We’re going to play a bit of question-and-answer before I let you down,” he says.
Inwardly my heart breaks. I fight the urge to cry again. His procrastination is torture in itself, the injusticetears me up. But I have learned enough to know that cooperation is my only choice. My voice now is weak, and Ican only mumble through swollen lips: “what do you want to know?”
“Well, for a start. Why the hell did you even do this to yourself?”
“It’s a fantasy,” I say, after a time. “Even when I was a kid, I used to fantasise about being hung like thisin a dungeon.”
“So you hung yourself up there, without any way to get down?”
“I was supposed to get down using that bucket to stand on,” I tell him. Every word is an effort. My body
feels so terribly heavy. “It tipped over, out of my reach. I was only supposed to hang for five minutes.”
“Five minutes?” Boyd looks incredulous. “That was when?”
“Friday night.” I have to squeeze my eyes shut against tears.
“Wow.” Boyd sounds amused. “You sure got a lot more than you bargained for.”
Hanging here, talking like this, is strangely therapeutic. His questions are focusing my thoughts, giving
me a purpose, a distraction. The pain seems more distant, even though it rages unabated. I feel humiliated to behanging here naked in front of my work colleague, and yet, somehow confessing my fantasy to him is creating
an intimacy I never expected. My god, is this Stockholm Syndrome?
“So five minutes has turned into two days? How does it feel?”
If not for the pain, I would have laughed. “It hurts like hell.”
“On a scale of one to ten?”
I hesitate. Despite everything, I hesitate. The pain is awful, all-consuming, raging, constant. And yet, I
have borne it now for two days without break. I finally say, “nine.”
“And the electric shocks?”
The question sends a sudden mix of emotions through me. Anger. Fear. Nausea. Humiliation. I cannotbelieve what he did to me. “What the fuck do you think?”
“I think you always fantasised about being tortured, too,” Boyd says. “but you would never have had thecourage to do it. Never.”
He is right, of course. Torture fantasies were my masturbation bread-and-butter. In my mind, being
fucked by electricity was an orgasmic agony. In reality it had been dreadful beyond description. And yet …
thinking back to it now …
Am I actually getting turned on?
“It was a fifteen.”
“Wow.” Boyd looks impressed. “So what was worst?”
There is no question about that. “Armpits.”
Boyd’s improvised prod and its 230 volts of unregulated current had been a horror beyond description,
and he had put it into my most intimate places. He had shocked me straight in the genitals. He had sentelectricity through my nipples. But nothing had been as awful as when the prod touched my armpits. It had even
surprised me; I would never have expected that. “Then mouth.”
Boyd, for the first time, looks uncomfortable. “Yeah … actually I felt bad about that.”
I actually manage to give a half-laugh.
Boyd stands. “I think you’ll be ok.”
“You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t touch your bank account. I didn’t even bother looking for your ATMcard. You see, I’ve been thinking. If I had taken that cash out, I would’ve been screwed. It would be proof that I
came here, and somehow I don’t think the cops would have been too understanding.”
He is walking around me; my unfocusing eyes remain fixed into nothingness as I hang naked in front ofhim. “To cut a long story short: ‘I was never here.’” He twangs the taut rope by which I am hoisted, like a guitarstring. “So you’ve got a decision to make. When your roommate comes home and lets you down, do you go tothe cops, tell your story, become famous on the web, be the butt of jokes and laughter, just to bring a case againstme that you know will never stick? Or do you suck it up and accept that you brought all of this on yourself?”
I do not reply. I cannot reply. I only half hear what he is saying, as panic washes through me at the awful
realisation: he intends to leave me like this!
New adrenaline surges. I manage to stir my feet weakly, even though I hang on dead arms. “No, Boyd,
please …” He reappears in front of me, still looking me up and down. My pleading eyes meet his. “Don’t leaveme like this!”
“You know I don’t have a choice.”
Tears slide from my eyes. I can utter one last word: “Water.”
Boyd gives an apologetic smile. “See, even that. Even water would give it away. For what it’s worth,
you’re going to be ok. Sarah will be home later on, she’ll let you down, you’ll bounce back and be back at work
in a few days.
“By the way, I know a guy with a farm who has a big, old barn. He goes away for long weekends and letsme house-sit for him. You know, if you hung from its rafters, you’d be ten feet off the ground at least.”
As the door closes and Boyd leaves, his words reverberate in my ears. What the hell, is he insane? After
everything I’ve been through?
I am left alone, hanging, naked, cold, in pain. Outside, the day goes on. People go about their lives.
While I continue to be a prisoner here, alone, in a torment of my own making.
I hang on broken arms with shattered bones and dislocated joints, by wrists enclosed in red-hot iron; at
least, that’s how it feels. The pain has not lessened in two days, and I have never grown accustomed to it; mybody still responds. It is the reason why, with my arms clamped either side of my head, I can smell the sournessof constant sweat in my armpits. It is the reason why my heart still slugs against the inside of my ribcage soheavily. It is a physiological response to pain and it is the reason I have not succumbed to the so-called
suspension trauma, the supposed fainting that should come within half an hour of hanging like this, and theeventual death. My body instinctively struggles against the pain, forcing circulation and keeping me awake.
These are the only sensations in my world: the rest of my body feels numb, suspended in the chill air.
My swimming mind realises that, in a perverse way, I owe Boyd a debt of gratitude for introducing me tothe national power grid. The electric shocks sent my muscles into spasms that may have saved my life, kickedmy heart into high gear, sent adrenaline surging. It is a strange realisation.
As if my circumstance could not get more cruel, I begin to hear the patter of raindrops outside, shortly
before 1pm. I do not move or make a sound, but I can hear as the rainfall quickens. Water falling on the tin roof,
water gurgling and sloshing in the downpipes; beautiful water, while my throat is raw with thirst and my lips are
swollen and cracked.
With the rain comes wind, and an icy draft works its way in under the closed garage door. It tortures mefurther, cold encircling my naked skin, drawing gooseflesh and making the fine hairs bristle. I would shiver but
my body does not have the energy, so I merely suffer.
After an hour or so the rain stops and I hang numbly, hearing the slow drips outside.
My phone, upstairs, rings. Then, after a while, again. And again. Message beeps follow. Finally, finally,
somebody is missing me.
Then, nothing more. Either the battery has drained, or whoever was trying to contact me has given up.
The day crawls. For the third time in a row, darkness begins to close in. My roommate, Sarah, shouldhave been home by now; but she is nowhere. As the time approaches 5pm I realise I have been hanging for 48
hours. Two full days. I surely should be dead.
I was not aware that I had passed out, but suddenly I am aware of hanging in a darkened garage, light
flooding through its open door, Sarah’s silhouette. “Jesus, what happened to you?”
The garage light comes on. Sarah rushes to me, her hands go to her face, then to my bare belly while she
tries to decide what to do next. “Hang on, hang on.” I can see tears. She runs to the workbench.
The last two days’ ordeal floods back to me as Sarah tries to untie the rope; eventually, after several
minutes, she hurries from the garage, leaving me hanging as I have for the past two days. “Wait there!”
She is back with a knife, sawing at the rope. It seems to take forever; but suddenly I am a limp, greasy
heap lying naked on the cold concrete floor, my purple and dough-like hands still tightly tied. As Sarah frees
them, revealing deep, raw grooves in my wrists, I almost vomit. Returning circulation sends shards of agony
through my shoulders.
“I’m going to call an ambulance,” Sarah tells me.
“No,” I manage to croak.
Boyd was right. I do not dare take this to the authorities, it would be an ordeal that would make the last
few days look like a picnic. I am alive, I have survived an entire weekend hanging by my wrists; I can leave thisbehind me.
Besides, his words still haunt me: If you hung from its rafters, you’d be ten feet off the ground at least.
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