As Lori sat helplessly staring at her bedroom wall, she cursed her carelessness. She thought she could get a jump on the week by getting up bright and early Sunday morning and doing a load of laundry. When she'd returned to her apartment, she merely let the door shut behind her and didn't make sure it was shut all the way.
No sooner had she set down the laundry basket down than one of the other girls in her building grabbed her from behind. She wasn't quite sure who it was, as the mystery woman wore a ski mask and didn't say a word.
Directed over to the wooden chair she kept in her bedroom, Lori sat down where her hands were immediately bound behind the back of the chair. A long length of rope then made several trips around her torso and the back of the chair, followed by a few times over the seat. The way her unknown assailant tied the knots, she was almost certain it was Krista. The "intruder" finished off the ropework by tying her ankles together and gagging her with a thick red handkerchief.
Without even taking a minute to gloat, the woman left, leaving Lori in her current situation. That had been an hour ago.
She tried wriggling free several different ways, but the ropes were too tight and expertly placed where she couldn't get enough leverage to free herself.
After several more minutes, she heard the apartment door open and someone walking through her space.
Please be one of the other girls, she thought, momentarily panicked at the thought of a stranger finding her like this.
"Lori?" rang a voice.
Lori recognized Roni's voice and made as much noise as she could through the gag. Roni made her way into the bedroom. She seemed taken aback at Lori's state, but then went over to untie her.
"Damn, she didn't want you to get away, did she?" asked Roni.
"Krista?" Lori asked once her gag was removed.
Roni shrugged. "This looks like her work, and it fits her style."
"How did you know to come over here?" Lori asked.
Roni pulled out her phone and opened up her text messages. A number marked as "UNKNOWN" sent a text message several minutes prior saying, "Lori is having a bad morning. Better check on her."
Once Roni finished untying her, Lori said, "Krista has gone too far this time -- she's really screwing up my Sunday."
"What now?" Roni asked.
Before she could answer, Lori's phone beeped. Again, it was the unknown number, and a text message said, "I was up before Dawn and have been very productive."
Lori showed Roni the message, and the two of them rushed out of Lori's apartment and downstairs to Dawn's apartment.
Roni knocked on the door. No one answered, so she tried the knob, which was unlocked. Both women cautiously entered the apartment. Lori called out Dawn's name.
Hearing noise coming from the living room, they rushed in and saw Dawn lying on the floor, tightly hogtied with several strips of duct tape.
Lori gently peeled the tape away, and Dawn spat out the white handkerchief that had been stuffed inside her mouth.
"Untie me!" cried Dawn.
"I'm working on it," replied Lori.
Dawn's phone beeped, and Roni turned to the other women. "Since Cat, Tia, and Jerrica are out of town this weekend, what do you want to bet that's Krista telling us Piper is in trouble now?"
"Krista?" asked Dawn, as Lori untied her.
"It seems that way," answered Lori, struggling with the knots. "Someone grabbed me this morning and bragged to Roni about it. How did she get you?"
"I wanted to air the place out a bit, so I opened the sliding glass door to the screen. While I was in the other room, Krista must have jimmied the door, because no sooner had I walked back in the living room when a masked figure grabbed me from behind."
"That's the same pattern," said Lori as she removed the last of Dawn's bonds. "Let's see if we're right about that text."
Once freed, Dawn opened her messages and confirmed the unknown sender's message: "The Piper got paid in her own special way."
"That confirms it," said Roni. "Time to go rescue Piper, I suppose."
The girls ran upstairs to Piper's apartment and knocked on the door. As they expected, there was no answer. The door was unlocked liked the others, so they went inside. Not seeing Piper in the living room, they went to the bedroom and then the office, but there was no sign of here in either of those.
"Where is she?" asked Dawn.
"Wait," interrupted Lori. "Hear that?"
The women went quiet and could distinctly hear a sound coming from the coat closet.
They opened the door, and inside was Piper, and she didn't look happy at all. She had been bound at the ankles, knees, and wrists with ropes running from her wrists and knees up to the hanger bar. A folded towel was in her mouth and two loops of rope encircled her head, keeping it in place. The vertical ropes were tight enough that Piper was forced to balance on her rear end.
Dawn ungagged Piper as Roni began untying her legs.
Once she was able to speak again, Piper said, "Since you three are here, that only leaves Krista, right?"
"That's what we were thinking," replied Dawn as she began freeing Piper's wrists. "How did she get you?"
"She got me probably a half-hour ago when I was coming back from checking the mail," answered Piper. "I didn't even see her until she was right behind me."
"I'll give her this," said Roni, "she's been busy this morning. What now?"
Now that she was free, Piper stood up and announced, "I say all four of us go to her place and give her what's coming to her!"
Piper loaded up two bags of ropes, and handed a spare water gun to Roni, keeping one for herself. The women then charged downstairs to Krista's apartment.
They listened at the door a moment, but didn't hear anything.
"Maybe she was smart and left," suggested Dawn.
Roni tested the knob and found the door unlocked. "This seems too easy," she muttered. "Maybe it's a trap."
"There's four of us," said Lori. "Surely she can't get to all of us." Carefully, she opened the door and peeked in. "I don't see her. C'mon... If nothing else, we can set up a surprise for her."
The four girls crept inside, with Roni and Lori taking the lead, Roni in the middle, and Piper protecting the group's rear.
Once inside, Lori thought she heard a noise coming from Krista's bedroom. She strode in, ready to jump Krista if need be, but she was completely unprepared for what she found.
Krista was lying on her bed, with her hands bound behind her back, her knees and ankles bound together and tied to the footboard, and ropes running from the posts of her headboard underneath her shoulders, keeping her pinned to the bed. Several strips of tape covered her well-packed mouth.
"What the hell?" asked Lori. Then she felt a water gun pressed to the back of her head.
"Surprise!" said Roni.
Incredulous, Lori turned around and saw Piper leading Dawn into the bedroom also at gunpoint.
"I should have known you were in on this," said Lori. "You were the only one who didn't get tied up."
Roni laughed. "Actually, most of it was Piper's doing. She was the one who ambushed the three of you while I kept each of you busy 'rescuing' you."
"You wouldn't believe how much time I spent setting up that slipknot in the closet so I could tie myself up for you to find," gloated Piper.
"We're idiots," moaned Dawn. "The mail doesn't even come on Sunday. I should've seen right through that."
"Indeed," answered Piper. "Now, if you would be so kind..."
Dawn and Lori were told to lie down on Krista's king-sized bed with their heads at Krista's feet. Their hands were bound together overhead and then tied to the footboard. Then their ankles were tied together and then to the headboard. Their knees were bound as well to reduce their movement even further. Finally, both women got a rag taped inside their mouths to match Krista.
Admiring her and Piper's handiwork, Roni said, "Well, that was fun."
"Oh, but we're not done yet," replied Piper.
"What else did you have in mind?" asked Roni, turning to Piper, only to have her question answered by Piper pointing a gun at her.
"You bitch!" whined Roni.
Piper smiled. "It wouldn't be fair if you were the only one not to get tied up after all this. So why don't you have a seat?" ordered Piper, shifting a wooden chair Krista kept in her bedroom to the middle of the floor.
Sulking, Roni went to sit down, but Piper stopped her.
"On second thought, turn the chair around and straddle the back," said Piper.
Roni tried to protest, but Piper just pointed the gun at her and repeated the instruction, telling her to grab her elbows when she was down. Roni finally complied, and Piper took a long rope and wrapped it from one wrist around her forearms until she reached the other. She then tied each of Roni's ankles to a chair leg. Piper then tied a rope around Roni's chest and secured it to the back of the chair. To silence her complaints, Piper revealed she had a fifth rag and gave her the same gag as the other three.
"Now we're done," gloated Piper.
She stopped for a second, and went over to the window.
"Hey, it looks like Tia just came home. I wonder if she wants to join our little party," said Piper. "See you in a bit, ladies!"
Piper left the apartment, leaving her four captives to contemplate their bondage. Roni, in particular, felt the angry stares of the other three and wondered what they had planned for her in the future.