"Prepare the actresses."
Linda liked the sound of the word "actresses," although she was nervous and apprehensive about the following scene. She looked at her mother Doris, looking youthful in her dark blue sleeveless dress, and wondered what she thought about it. She seemed perfectly calm, and Linda wished she could feel the same. With a nervous and uncertain smile, Linda slipped out of the robe and stood in the set--today the dungeon--clad in her strapless dress with the leopard spot pattern.
"This is going to be so much fun," whispered her mother excitedly.
Linda looked uncertainly at the cameras and lights, then at the four manacles, open and unlocked, hanging high on the wall. "I suppose," she said dubiously.
"Come on, Linda," she said breathlessly, placing her hand on Linda’s bare shoulder, "I’ve always wanted to be chained to a wall."
As they approached the manacles, Linda said, "The chains have been here all along, why haven’t you try them?"
"Oh, I don’t know. I guess I never had the nerve. This way, it’s somebody else’s idea."
Linda looked at her father, made up in the role of Rogi, the servant with the misshapen face. Even through the mask, she could see the disapproval of seeing his daughter in her strapless dress, getting ready to film a movie scene while chained to a wall. Lydia Marcel, the director’s wife, had the keys, but Linda wanted to torment her father, who never approved of her being scantily clad. "I think Daddy should do it."
"Yes, George," agreed her mother, "You know how these things work. You should do the honors."
Lydia handed Linda’s father the keys, who lumbered over to the two women standing under the manacles. Linda giggled and lifted her arms up, but before her father could lock her in place, her mother tickled her under her arms. With a quick laugh Linda yanked her arms down and squeezed them against her sides. Everybody on the set laughed too. Her mother was still standing there, ready to do it again. "Maybe you should go first, Mother."
"Give me the keys, George," said her mother in that tone of voice that nobody ever disputed. She took one of Linda’s wrists, lifted it up and wrapped a manacle around it, and locked it in place. Then she did the other one. This time she just touched Linda’s bare underarm, and was satisfied to hear a terrified gasp. She handed the keys back to her husband, stood under the manacles to Linda’s left, and lifted her arms. He chained one arm, then the other. "Oh, George, this is so romantic."
Linda was relieved to see her mother chained up as well. At least she was safe for the moment. Doris tried rattling the manacles, just to get the feel of being chained to a wall. Ordinarily, she could walk across the room, sit down, or simply scratch an itch. Now she couldn’t even lower her arms, unless somebody freed her. Life was not on her terms right now, and the experience was intriguing.
"How do you like it, Mother?"
"It’s certainly out of the ordinary," she said with a smile. "Just think, we’re mother and daughter damsels in distress."
Eric Marcel, the director, came over to them and said, "We’ll start rolling the film in a moment. You’ll both be regaining consciousness, so hang your heads when we start."
"I have a question," said Doris.
"How come we just hang our heads. If we were unconscious, we would be hanging by our wrists."
"Because this is a movie, and this is how it’s done in movies."
Linda said, "Is that kinda like how the girl always makes a fist when trying to pull her hands free?"
"Good point, Linda," agreed her mother.
Both "actresses" hung their heads, and Marcel shouted' "Take one!"
Linda gave it a moment, then slowly and groggily lifted her head and looked around the dungeon. Realizing something was dreadfully wrong, she looked up at one manacled wrist, then the other. She turned her head toward Doris and said, "Mother. Mother, wake up."
Then her mother slowly raised her head and also looked at her chained wrists. "Oh, my," she said, a look of perplexity coming over her face. "Oh, my goodness."
"Where are we, Mother? What's going to happen to us?"
Doris was slowly looking around the dungeon. "From the looks of things, I think somebody is going to torture you."
"Me? What about you? Why just me?"
"Because you're young and beautiful. I'm just a middle aged lady."
"What does that have to do with it?"
Aunt Vivian had just entered the room on cue, with her assistant Rogi, Linda's father, following behind her. Aunt Vivian was wearing extra makeup for the part, and was also clad in a sleek strapless dress. Although in her mid-forties, she still looked quite stunning. "It has everything to do with it, my lovely. Your mother is quite right. I am going to torture you."
"Why?" a terrified Linda asked.
"Because you're young and beautiful, just like your mother said." Aunt Vivian smiled pleasantly. "I am Madame Vivian, and this is my servant Rogi. What are your names, if I may ask."
"I'm Doris, and this is my daughter Linda. Is there any particular reason you have us chained to your wall, and intend to torture Linda?"
"Yes, there is, now that you've asked." Rogi lumbered over to Doris, and looked at her in fascination. "I think he likes you, Doris."
"Oh? Uh, what exactly happened to him?"
"Oh, he had an accident in his youth. He was hit by a bus, and I took him in, poor thing."
Rogi, curiosity in his eyes, reached up and touched the manacle around Doris' wrist. Gently, he ran his fingers down her bare arm. He seemed fascinated by the way her skin showed against the dark blue of her sleeveless dress. Fascinated by the feel of her skin, he kept moving his fingers down until they reached her bare underarm. "Oooh," she said with a smile. Startled, he jerked his hand away.
"Leave my mother alone, you troll!"
Rogi lurched toward Linda, who tried to back away amidst a clanking of chains. He returned his attention to Doris, and touched the inside of her biceps. Again he moved downward until he felt her underarm again.
"Oooh," she giggled. "You brute." No, when chained to a wall, a woman's life indeed was not on her own terms, and wearing a sleeveless dress presented some special vulnerabilities. Few women can keep their hands up when touched under their arms, and in any other circumstances, Doris would have pulled them down and hunched her shoulders protectively. But all she could do is jerk at the chains, and when Rogi touched her bare underarm a third time, she giggled even louder. "Hey, that's no way to treat a lady." Then he tentatively touched her other bare underarm. "Oooh, heeheehee. Stop that, right now. Heeheeheehee."
Rogi grunted and probed the helpless Doris' bare exposed underarms, as Linda watched in fear, just as the script called for. "Well, Mother, and to think that you talk about MY dates!" He was rubbing them frantically now, and her previously controlled laughter was getting louder as she yanked fruitlessly at the chains, trying to pull them out of the wall. They held tight. "Better you than me, Mother."
Madame Vivian said with a smile: "Be patient, Linda, I have some very special plans for you. You won't be left out."
"Tell that freak to leave my mother alone!"
"Why? I think she likes it." And it did look like she did. Her laughter was not the frantic, terrified kind that comes from being tickle tortured; instead it was girlish giggles, like school girls telling stories at a slumber party.
"Hahaha--stop that, you big lug! Heehee." Rogi was now running his fingers frantically up and down her bare underarms.
"Mother! What the hell is the matter with you?"
"Heehee, I'm so ticklish there."
Linda decided to shut up, well aware that she was chained the same way and wearing a lot less clothing. If Rogi got bored tickling her mother, he just might give her a going over she would not be able to endure.
As if reading her mind, "Rogi" turned to Linda and tweaked her sides, which resulted in a shriek. Curious, he tweaked her sides again, and again a yelp. Then he began gently pinching Linda's sides repeatedly, and the screaming echoed off the dungeon walls.
She couldn't believe it. Now her own father was tickling her while she was chained up. "Stophahahah!!!" she yelled. "Daaddddeeeeeee!!!!!"
The tickling stopped.
Eric Marcel said, "He's not 'Daddy,'" in this movie.
Linda looked sheepishly at the director. "I couldn't help it," she said.
"Okay, let's start again."
Rogi started in again on Linda's mother, and again there was the giggling. Linda wondered how her mother could keep it down to a mild giggling, while having her underarms stroked. Even a light tickling would have had Linda trying to pull the chains out of the wall. For a few minutes, the cameras rolled as Linda watched her father in the role of Rogi tickle her mother. It was kind of embarrassing. But even worse was what happened when the filming stopped.
Her father unlocked the manacles holder her mother's wrists, slung her over his shoulder, then carried her out the door. Linda watched in stunned silence. They were too old for that sort of thing. "Hey, how about letting me go," she said, rattling the chains.
Somebody said, "Where's the key?"
Somebody else answered, "Rogi had it."
Great, thought Linda. Her father had carried off her mother and taken the keys, leaving her chained to the wall.
"Let's break for lunch," said Eric Marcel.
Linda watched in amazement as everybody filed out of the dungeon. "Hey, what about me?"
The last person out closed the door behind him.
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