Thursday, December 29, 2011


I don't know how many story fragments I have started like this....

The box looked disturbingly like a coffin, barely wider than her shoulders and long enough to lie down in.  She stared at it with measuring eyes.  Once she was in she would not be able to roll over, hell… she would not be able to move at all. 

It was well made, smooth sanded wood, stained and finished to a deep gleaming black.  Heavy brass hinges on one side, and equally heavy latches on the other only added to the sense that is was a coffin.  She had no idea where he had gotten it. 

“You ready?”


“Yeah, now, it’s Friday… we got the whole weekend.”

The whole weekend… just the words made her stomach lurch.  She swallowed and nodded uncertainly.  “What if I can’t?”

“Can’t what?”

“Do it… you know… stay in.  What if I want out?”

“You won’t be able to get out… at least not until I decide.  You knew that was the deal.  You agreed to this.  You knew this was the next step, being boxed.”

Her voice was over loud, more than a little panicked, “I know… I did… I guess I am scared.”

He looked at her, his eyes narrowing, thoughtful.  “I think that you should be afraid.  If you weren’t afraid this would be a little weird.  It is about facing your fear.”  He paused and reached for her, pulling her close, staring deep into her eyes. “…facing your fear and trusting me.  You trust me don’t you?” 

She swallowed hard, trying not to blink to shy away from the intensity of his gaze.  Nervously she nodded, but before she could speak he leaned down and opened the lid, revealing a padded interior.  The lining was black, and contoured to fit a body …a body just like hers.  She looked up at him, all words forgotten.  His eyes were proud, “I had it custom fitted for you.”

It was upholstered with soft black fabric.  It looked soft.  Oddly she felt a strange impulse to touch it, and glancing at him as she tentatively leaned down and touched it.  It was soft… on the surface but the padding was firm, yielding only gradually to the firmest of pressure.  Her voice was soft, introspective, “For me?”

“Yes… I know your measurements and it’s that new space age foam, the stuff they make those new expensive mattresses out of.  They made it a little tight but it is supposed to mold around you… hold you tight.”

“How will I breathe?”

He pointed at the heavy lid, “See, here, over your face there is a mesh.  There is a little fan built into the box but even if the electricity went out there would be enough air to breath.”

“Would you be able to hear me?”

“Of course.”

Her voice trembled with the next question, “How long?”

“If I told you, then you would know.  It is the not knowing… that is the test.”

...stories about boxes and blindfolds... ear plugs and restraints... fantasies of confinement.
I stop and think... in may ways I am confined.  Trapped in a small box of my own making.  Bound by routine and convention.  In my slow tranformation to fit his expectations... my world has constricted down and down and down. 
Master's preference is the predictable, the controllable... he has little patience for novelty... anything new is met with suspicion, analysis and almost universally found unsatisfactory.  So I am surrounded by sameness.  And I has slowly sunk down... my imagination starved and shrunken... it is all two eggs and hashbrowns, sitting in the same chairs, watching the same television shows... the exercise of repeated perfection of the same two steps of the same dance... performed to the same notes of music. 
So I am bound... boxed... confined... and surprisingly... not particularly unhappy about it.  Time passes in my little box... very little surprising or disturbing manages to leak in.  Small changes loom large... things so trivial they seem ludicrous... a willingness to try a new brand of hashbrowns... directing me to drive once... a different shirt. 
I suspect if something or someone lifted the lid to my box, I would be the first to reach up and pull it shut again.  After all it has grown familiar and oddly comforting.