Leigh growled softly, straining hard against her ropes.  She and Audrey rocked back and forth in the tub, as the two of them had been doing nonstop for what now seemed an eternity.  Leigh was starting to feel extremely seasick from it and wanted to stop, but every time she'd tried, a frightened Audrey had kept rocking, jerking her involuntarily back and forth hard, so Leigh had eventually given up and had reluctantly continued rocking with Audrey just to maintain some control over the situation.  "Come on, Audrey, this isn't working!" she thought mentally to her fellow captive, "We've got to come up with a better solution to this!"  

Offhand, though, she didn't know what that solution was.  Her ropes were tied bone-crunchingly tight and refused to give an inch no matter how hard she pulled on them.  If her hands had been tied behind her back, she might have been able to work with Audrey to get loose, but with them tied in front of her, they were pinned helplessly in her lap.  And with her hands tied to her feet, that restricted her ability to move either of them, especially in the narrow confines of the tub, which was serving well as a natural prison for them with the shower curtain closed, Leigh grimly acknowledged.  Their kidnappers were professionals, she could tell, and knew how to make their captives as helpless as possible.?

On and on she and Audrey rocked and rocked and rocked, endlessly going back and forth over and over again without respite.  Leigh felt like throwing up both from motion sickness and from the oil soaked rag trapped in her mouth under all the tape covering it.  Countless hours had almost certainly passed now since she'd woken up here in the tub; it felt like a lifetime by now.  She had no further clues as to where they were, and had been able to make no progress with getting her blindfold off to aid that quest either.  She knew they were alone, though, as only Audrey's struggles and cries filled the bathroom they were imprisoned in besides her own.  But how close were the other girls to them?  And were they as helpless as she and Audrey were?

She raised her head at the sound of a key turning in the bathroom door, which was then flung open.  Audrey finally stopped rocking at this, screaming hard into her gag towards the newcomer.  The shower curtain to Leigh's left was flung open.  "Hello again, ladies," one of their abductors greeted them, "Don't want to disturb your peaceful solitude, but just want to take care of some business with you, and do a quick check while I'm here."  ?

"MMMMMEEEEEEEEZZZZZZ  NNNNNNNNNNNIIIIII ZZZZZZZZZZZZ, MMMMMMMEEEEEEZZZZZZ!!!" Audrey muffledly begged him.  Leigh felt him tug hard on the knot to her blindfold, testing that it was still tight on her eyes, then slapped at the tape encircling her lips to make sure it still stuck well.  He then tugged at the knots to each of the set of ropes binding her.  "Good, still tight," he mused, "OK, let's make a call..."  

Leigh heard him dialing a phone.  After two rings it was picked up.  "Hello" came the worried voice of her superior Mr. Mitchell on the other end.  

"Is this Mr. George Mitchell of the Terrell Island Lifeguard Department" the kidnapper asked him.  

"Yes.  Is this about...!"  

"As a matter of fact yes, we do have two of your lifeguards with us, although not directly together,"  the kidnapper said, "They're quite nosy girls, really, sticking their noses into what didn't concern them..."  

"Please, whoever you are, don't hurt Donna and Leigh," Mr. Mitchell begged them, "They're two of my best lifeguards; I want them and the other girls back safely...!"  

"Well if you want your lifeguards back safely, Mr. Mitchell, there will be a cost," the kidnapper cut him off, "I give the Lifeguard Department seventy-two hours to pay us twenty million dollars, ten million for each girl.  Miss Lawrence and Miss Arnold's families are also to pay us an additional ten million each.   As for the other girls we currently have, we've already reached out to Miss Caroline Plummer's family for her ransom.  For her friends, we want fifteen million from Theresa Porter's family, and ten million each from the families of Amanda Stinnett and Audrey Klaussen..."  

"MMMMMMMM, MMMMMMMM!!!!" Audrey protested fearfully behind Leigh, kicking her feet hard off the tub floor.  The kidnapper paid her no heed.  "We'll call again with drop instructions," he continued to Mr. Mitchell, "Don't try and send out rescue parties for the girls; they're safely locked up where you can't find them, and unable to move a muscle, so they're not escaping before the drop.  Fail, and you get your two ace lifeguards back in pieces.  We'll be in touch."  

He hung up.  "Well, you two should count yourselves lucky that you're so pretty," he stroked Leigh's hair, "High ransoms for you two make sense.  OK, keep sitting tight in there; you're going to be there for a while, and I'm sure you realize now you'll never get loose."  

"MMMMMM NNNNNNNNNNUUUUHHHH LLLLLLLLLLLL OOOOOOO FFFFFFFFF IIIIIIIIII OOOOOOO GGGGGGTTTTT RREEEEEEEE!!!" Leigh bellowed through her gag at him.   "Sticks and stones will not break my bones, Miss Arnold," he taunted her, rubbing her shoulder, "You could struggle for years, but you're not getting out of those bonds."  

"They still good" another kidnapper could be heard from the doorway.  

"Yep, they're still mummies; they're not going anywhere," the first man confirmed for him, "And we're set to get a fortune from their families and the Lifeguard Department."  

"Excellent; I'm sure they'll pay a lot for their employees," the second man said, thrilled, "In fact, you know, why stop with just them  Why don't we go and bag a whole set of pretty lifeguards"  

"Well, I don't know, especially with this set of girls still under wraps..."  

"Oh come on, if we can get a fortune from the Terrell Island lifeguards, we can get a fortune from other lifeguard departments in the area.  Let's at least do a reconnaissance up the coast, see if any stick out.  If they do, let's lure three or four pretty ones out and snatch them too, then ask their department for a fortune."  

"Well, we'll run it over with the boss and see what he says.  If the risk's low and the reward's high, though, maybe it would be worth it.  In the meantime, sit tight, ladies," he told Leigh and Audrey, pulling the shower curtain back closed and locking the bathroom door behind him.  Audrey screamed in terror and started rocking hard back and forth again.  Leigh reluctantly joined in with her, her mind racing in fear.  Her family could never find ten million dollars for her in just seventy-two hours, and she worried the Lifeguard Department would be unable to do the same.  She and Audrey--and Donna and the other girls--were probably as good as dead, then.  They had to escape somehow--but how...  


Miles away, Terri was wondering the same thing as she struggled hard with her own bonds.  She been pulling and straining for hours on end with all her strength, but it hadn't seemed to make any difference--not only had the ropes not loosened at all, but they'd seemed to get even tighter the more she struggled.  Terri now had no feeling in her hands and feet, the ropes effectively cutting off the circulation there, and the numbness was starting to spread down her arms and legs.  

"Please, please, loosen!" she begged the ropes, straining with all her might.  But it was simply no use; they were far too tight and only getting tighter.  Terri simply could not move a single muscle in her entire body at all--she couldn't even more her tongue, which was tightly pinned against the back of her mouth by the two huge wads of cloth filling it.  She was utterly and completely helpless.  

"OK, Terri, shut it down for now," she glumly told herself, "Save your energy for later; maybe something'll come up then to get you free.  You're just wasting your strength keeping this up."  

She stopped struggling and slumped her chin down on the floor, heavily depressed.   Across the chamber from her, her friends were still struggling.  Closer to Terri, Mandy hissed softly as she pulled systematically at her bonds; Terri could hear Mandy's ropes stretching and relaxing every few seconds, although they did not sound like they were about to break at all.  Far across the room, though, Donna was still in complete hysterics; indeed, Terri was afraid the blonde lifeguard was having a full fledged panic attack.  Screeching into her gag in pure carnal fear, Donna was thrashing wildly out of control with her bonds, audibly terrified beyond words.  "Poor Donna," Terri thought sadly, "As a lifeguard, she's used to being the strong one, the one in control.  Being reduced to utter helplessness like this has to be frightening for her."  

She exhaled sadly, wishing she could get to Donna and comfort her.  But she could not move from her current position at all; though she'd tried to move, she'd only been able to roll around in place like a top.  The three of them could not help each other.  

She sighed again, trying to block out the horrific pain throbbing in her elbows and knees from her hogtied position.  Hours had passed without any point of reference.  Terri knew they had to have been prisoners for at least twelve hours now, if not longer.  Did the authorities have any idea where they might be  That might be their only hope if they couldn't free themselves.  

"Why!" she thought grimly, "We're just an ordinary group of girls who were out to enjoy spring break!  Why do we have to end up like this!  Oh Carrie," she thought worriedly for her best friend, "I hope they haven't hurt you....!"  

Slowly her mind started drifting away--she was sitting on her bed in the apartment she shared with Carrie and Mandy just off campus, going over maps of Terrell Island, excitedly going over everything they wanted to do on spring break.  They'd been so excited then, with no thought whatsoever that this would happen to them.  The scene changed...she was still in her bathing suit, lounging with Carrie in the latter's swimming pool the summer before their senior year of high school.  The two of them discussed college, how excited they were to enter the real world.  Carrie had expressed concern they'd have to go their separate ways.  Terri had reassured her that she'd always be there for her.  And she had been--until now, when Carrie needed her the most.  And with that, she floated back to the grim present:  her eyes and mouth tightly wrapped in at least a dozen layers of tape, the rest of her body painfully hogtied with miles of rope, imprisoned in a cold metal room, stranded miles out at sea, far from any help.  There was no way she could help Carrie, Terri sadly knew.  Only Carrie could help herself now...


Carrie at the moment was as terrified as Donna was in Terri's prison.  Screaming hard at the top of her lungs into her gag, she threw herself around wildly, trying to find any slack to work on the ropes with.  Like Terri, however, this was a losing battle, given she simply could not move at all under all the ropes and the net she was cocooned in.  Still, Carrie kept thrashing around hard, desperate to make any progress with her bonds.  Pure terror and panic was overtaking her; she was losing her control.  

On and on she thrashed widly, straining and struggling with every bit of her strength, screaming as hard as she could even though her throat was bone dry and her lungs felt like they would burst from all the screaming.  The gag severely muffled her cries to low, weird animal-like sounds, and all the cloths were hurting her mouth from how tight they were.  The gag hurt her mouth, the blindfold hurt her head, all the ropes dug hard into her body--Carrie was in agony at the moment.  But she was too terrified and panicked to stop.  

"Please somebody help me!" she thought fearfully, "I don't know if I can do this on my own; please somebody help me!!"  

Why her, she thought fearfully to herself  Was she too pretty, too wealthy, too...who knew  Why did it have to be her snatched like this  Was it simply bad luck, or had she been stalked  And unless she got free or was rescued, did it even matter  

Her eyes started welling up with tears behind the blindfold.  She'd had a good life--no, a great life.  Being able to grow up in a mansion with two loving parents and a strong circle of friends, with Terri being the best friend anyone could have.  And being crowned state beauty queen her senior year, that had been an honor beyond words.  It had been a great life.  But now it was in grave danger of being snuffed out at only twenty.  Would she ever see her family and friends again...  

With a wail of grief, Carrie broke down and started crying uncontrollably.  She was utterly terrified and wanted to go home, but there seemed to be no way she could.  She was alone and helpless, and no one could save her.  She was as good as dead...  



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