Give it Your All

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Exhibitionist and Voyeur  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Mandy and her friends are big into escape rooms. They've travelled across the country doing different rooms and breaking records. Now they face their biggest test: an Ultra Mega Escape Room the size of a warehouse. And for some reason, a lot of the puzzles seem to require removing items of clothing...

Stephen, Thomas, Mandy and Caroline were gathered outside of a large building in the industrial section of town. Inside was an escape room.

The four friends called themselves the Escape Artists. Once a month, they'd get together to do an escape room in one of the many fine venues in their city and the surrounding area. Occasionally they'd even taken weekend trips away to try famous escape rooms in other states. They loved new challenges, but would also get together to break records on rooms they'd done before. The four friends loved the intrigue, the fiendish puzzles, the thrill of accomplishment and the stress of the time limit.

This month, they were trying out a room that had just opened up and was getting a lot of buzz on all the escape room chats and forums. It billed itself as a Mega Escape Room. Built in what had previously been a large abandoned warehouse, it was a single challenge encompassing many different rooms, and was said to be the most expansive of its kind. Due to its massive scope, there was no hard time limit.

"Ready for this?" Stephen asked the assembled group. "The time to beat is five hours. I think we can do it."

"You bet," said Thomas, adjusting his glasses. "I was up all night practising Mensa puzzles. And then I slept until noon to be fully rested."

"I'm always ready," said Mandy, cool and collected. "Never yet found a room I couldn't beat."

"I brought snacks!" said Caroline, grinning widely and brandishing a cooler bag. "If it takes us five hours, we'll probably need them."

"Good thinking, Caro," said Thomas. "You're the best."

Mandy and Stephen exchanged glances. Thomas was much more into Caroline than he was into her, and his sweetness could sometimes be quite sickening. But so far he hadn't made things awkward by declaring his love for her or anything, which was good, because both were integral parts of the team.

Thomas had a methodical approach and a wide knowledge of puzzles, and Caroline would always come up with solutions none of the others thought up. Stephen was a natural leader, able to prioritize tasks and delegate appropriately, and Mandy had a dogged persistence that would lead her to hammer against a puzzle long after the others had given up. They were a strong team, and had broken many records together.

The four Escape Artists headed for the entrance to the warehouse. Stephen produced the barcode he'd printed from their ticket and held it against the scanner next to the door. It beeped, flashed green, and clicked open.

The four stepped into the warehouse, finding themselves in a small room with four doors and a few lockers. An end table was set against one of the walls, on top of which was an ancient metal device with a speaker and some buttons.

"What's that?" asked Mandy, who was the youngest of the group at twenty-three.

"Tape player," said twenty-eight-year-old Stephen, walking over to the device and pushing down the play button. "I think my parents had one of these once."

The speaker crackled. Soft, atmospheric music began to play. Over the top of the music came a man's voice, speaking slowly. "Welcome. Please place phones and other electronic devices in the lockers. Your challenge has already begun. You will now be trialled separately. The challenges ahead will require everything you have.

"Each member of the team must choose a door and go through. Should you fail to follow this first instruction, the room will be rendered unsolvable. You will meet again for the final challenge."

"Ah, so that's why they specified a team of four," said Stephen.

"It's a bit strange that there's no reception, or anyone to greet us," said Caroline.

"That's the brilliance of it!" countered Stephen. "Where other places would waste precious space on reception areas, this one is all escape room. That's how they can fit this much in! And the atmosphere of it all, very immersive. It's like we really have to escape from here."

As Stephen said this, there was an audible click from the door behind them. "Ha! Brilliant! Alright team, you heard the tape, let's go." He was already opening a locker.

Suppressing their misgivings at being locked in, the other three dutifully placed their phones and other valuables into the lockers at one end of the room and set the combination locks for them. They all had a lot of experience with combination locks.

Now in challenge mode, the Escape Artists formed a line in front of their four doors, started the timers on their smartwatches, saluted each other, and descended into the bowels of the warehouse. Only Caroline displayed a moment's hesitation as she opened her door, but Mandy gave her a reassuring look before they lost sight of one another.

The room Mandy now found herself in was done up like an old-fashioned study, with plush armchairs, an antique desk, bookshelves lining the walls, and even a crackling fireplace. There were a bunch of papers on the desk, most of them blank, but one had some gibberish written on it in large letters.

CORROGS Y HAXXUAMNY

The wall was hung with paintings and a clock on the wall was stuck at six.

Mandy knew a Caesar Cipher when she saw one. It was time to get to work. Feeling a bit hot, Mandy removed her cardigan and tied it by the arms around her waist. She then fished around in the cardigan pocket for her notebook and pen, and started shifting letters back by six, producing the following:

WILLIAM S BURROUGHS

Mandy scanned the titles on the bookshelf for one by the author, and soon found Naked Lunch. She reached out to take the book. As soon as she pulled it, the fireplace went out, and the whole bookcase shifted sideways, revealing a gap in the wall.

Impressed at the production value but slightly disappointed at the simplicity of this first room, Mandy proceeded through the gap.

The next room had no furniture, save for a trampoline against the far wall that took up half the floor space. There was nothing on the floor or walls, save for a sign next to the trampoline, which said not to wear shoes when jumping.

Mandy removed her chunky black heels and stepped onto the rubber surface in stockings. She bobbed up and down tentatively a few times, slowly increasing the tempo, and then she was jumping, sailing up in the air, coming down again, hitting the trampoline, going higher every time, feeling the wind in her air.

From the summit of her jump, she saw that the wall to trampoline's left did not come all the way to the ceiling. This had not been obvious from the floor, due to the room's poor lighting. If she timed her jump correctly, she could sail over the low wall and into the next room, which appeared to contain a large pile of pillows.

Mandy bent her knees deep and sprung off the trampoline, sailing over the wall in a graceful arc and landing headfirst in a pile of pillows. It was more of an athletic challenge than she'd been expecting from an escape room, but it had proven easy enough. She rolled across the sea of pillows and onto the floor beyond, taking a moment to adjust her skirt as she stood up. It was just as well that they'd been separated for this part of the escape room, or the boys might have seen her panties.

This side of the wall had better lighting. Beyond the big pile of pillows, there was a wall that was sectioned into square blocks with different letters on them. There were twenty six in all, containing the whole alphabet in a random order. Pushing on a block caused it to recede into the wall. Pushing on a second block would reset the first.

Clearly some kind of password was needed. Mandy looked around for other clues that might help her figure out what it was. She hoped it wasn't something from the previous room, as that inaccessible with no trampoline on this side. The feeling of smooth wooden flooring reminded her that she'd left her shoes there.

There was nothing in the room that could help her, not even under any of the pillows. She faced the wall again. Shrugging, she pressed down O-P-E-N. All four blocks remained depressed, but nothing else happened. So she was on the right track, but needed more.

On a hunch, she pressed down the S block. Immediately, the E block released, but the others stayed in position. Now she was sure of the answer. E-S-A-M-E. Open sesame.

And indeed, as she pressed down the E block for the last time, the room began to rumble, and the wall rose up before her eyes, coming to about waist height before stopping. This escape room's theatrics were honestly wasted on such easy puzzles. She ducked under the raised wall and into the next room.

As with all of the previous rooms, this one appeared to only contain one thing. Mandy couldn't quite decide if this was lavish or wasteful. This room was, at least, somewhat smaller than the others. One wall was dominated by a large plaid pattern which, on closer inspection, appeared to be made up of a number of cut up sheets of fabric. The plaid formed an unbroken mass, except for a rectangular hole in the middle. A message was written on the exposed section of wall, which read, "With what you have, complete the pattern."

"With what I have..." Mandy said aloud. "What do I have? There's nothing in here."

A thorough search of the room revealed this to be almost true. There was the wall of plaid, and on the adjacent wall, there were three hooks, with a pair of scissors, a hammer and a bag of nails. In the remaining wall, there was a nondescript locked door.

The wall she had passed under was still raised, so she returned under it and took another look in the previous room. Nothing except pillows, and none of the pillows had the same pattern as the wall. But there was something terribly familiar about it.

Mandy looked down at her stocking'd feet and then it came to her. This plaid was the same pattern as her skirt! She rushed back through to the plaid room and held her skirt up to the wall. It was a definite match! What's more, the hole was below her waist.

What a strange puzzle this was. Shrugging, she walked over to the hole and pressed her butt up against it, completing the pattern with her body. Above the exit door, a green light went on, and she heard the click of a lock disengaging. But as soon as she stepped away from the wall, the light went out the lock re-engaged.

"Huh," said Mandy, scratching her head. She backed up to the wall again, and again the light went on the lock disengaged. Then she sprinted for the door.

Mandy slammed into unyielding wood. She rattled the door on its hinges, but it remained firmly locked.

If only the door were a little closer, she could probably reach it in time. But it was just slightly too far away. Mandy returned to the wall and watched the light turn on again. Then a strange thought came to her. She considered it for a moment, and then became very indignant.

"Ahem," she said, enunciating for the microphones she assumed were in the ceiling. "I don't know what you think this is, but I am not going to take my skirt off for an escape room puzzle!"

If anyone heard her, they didn't respond.

"If this is your idea of a joke, it's not funny!" she shouted. "I'm out, I quit. This isn't a puzzle, it's demeaning. Whoever designed this place is a sick pervert!"

Still there was silence. Mandy harrumphed and folded her arms across her chest. "A gross, disgusting, vile pervert!"

Silence.

Mandy stood and waited for five minutes. Then ten. Then she lowered herself onto the floor and sat for another fifteen minutes. Nothing happened.

This escape room didn't have a time limit, she recalled. It was an ultra mega deluxe room. No time limit, no hints. Only for the hardest of hardcore escape room aficionados, like herself. If she didn't solve it, there was no telling how long they'd let her sit here. And the rest of her team probably wasn't sitting around wasting time like she was. At this rate, they'd never beat the record, and it would be all her fault.

"Please, Mr Gross Pervert, please tell me there's another way!" she cried. "I'll solve a harder puzzle, give me anything, anything but this!"

Again, there was no response. The silence taunted her.

"Fine!" she said. She would play it their way, if she had to. "But when I get out of here, you're going to hear from my lawyer! Emotional distress, sexual harassment, the works!"

Mandy's hands shook as pulled down her skirt. Her cardigan was still tied around her waist, so it could act as a sort of makeshift skirt, but it didn't cover her all that well, especially not from the front. But her button-up blouse was fairly long and kept her panties hidden, just about. She was definitely glad the boys couldn't see her doing this.

This was the first time an escape room had compelled her to take off clothing. Come to think of it, she was still walking around in her stockings, having left her shoes in front of the trampoline.

Mandy held her skirt over the gap in the plaid wall and heard the click of a lock disengaging. But she knew it would disengage as soon as she stepped away. She would need to hold it in place, using the hammer and nails provided. It wasn't be enough just to hold her skirt up to the wall. She would need to make it part of the wall. And leave it there.

Grumbling loudly, Mandy picked up a handful of nails and the hammer. One by one, she nailed the corners of her skirt into the wall. When she was done, she released the skirt from her hand. There was no second click. The door was unlocked, and Mandy was free to proceed, minus one skirt.

Mandy pushed through into the next room. The door instantly locked behind her. This place was definitely designed by a pervert. But she was an escape room veteran. Many are the times when she'd found clever alternative solutions to the puzzles presented to her. Though she may have been outwitted so far, there was still much to come. She resolved to beat the next puzzle that required her to remove some item of clothing with her own solution. If she could finish this escape room with only her shoes and skirt missing, that would be a win. Never mind that she usually finished escape rooms with all her clothes still on...

The puzzles in the next room followed a more conventional escape room format. There was book cipher and a puzzle involving the directions on a compass, along with some boxes with combination locks which opened to reveal keys to boxes which opened to reveal combinations. Mandy worked through these diligently, though it took her longer than it would have had she been working with the other Escape Artists. It made her feel kind of lonely.

Eventually, she found the final key and unlocked the next door. This appeared to be a kind of break room, with a small table in the middle that was flanked by water coolers on each side. The table was set with a white tablecloth and plates piled up with pretzels, peanuts and similar snacks. Feeling a bit peckish, Mandy helped herself to a few handfuls.

All the snacks were quite salty, so Mandy soon found herself turning to one of the water coolers for refreshment. She had a cup under the spigot and was just about to press the spout when she noticed something odd about the water.

It looked... dirty. The water in the coolers was more brown than clear, and it had weeds and other detritus floating in it. Mandy wrinkled her nose at the thought of drinking it. But she was still thirsty.

She looked down at her feet and remembered something she'd once read in a magazine article. Among many other strange and wonderful things, pantyhose could be used to filter water. So much for not removing any more clothes.

"Even the break room? Really?" Mandy yelled at the ceiling. "What is wrong with you?!"

But the room's mysterious creator, if they were even listening, remained silent, while Mandy remained thirsty. Cursing, she wriggled her pantyhose down her legs and pulled it up. After wiping it off against her blouse, she stretched it over her cup and hit the water button. 

Gross brown water flowed from the water cooler's spigot and through Mandy's pantyhose into her cup. Once the cup was full, she pulled the pantyhose away and was delighted to see clean, clear water.

Her thirst was well slaked, but her pantyhose were soaked and muddy. She didn't really want to put them back on, or carry them around. And it was only a matter of time before they got totally destroyed with her walking around in them sans shoes.

It's not as if they were covering anything vital anyway. And maybe they could still serve another useful purpose. Mandy gathered up the soaked pantyhose and walked towards the next door. She pushed it open and stepped through, but before she released the door, she balled up the dripping pantyhose and shoved it in the lock.

As the door shut softly behind her, she realized she was now missing almost half of her clothing. She had her underwear, her blouse and the cardigan tied around her waist. From the thighs down, she was bare. The escape room had triumphed again. But no more! She vowed not to lose any more clothing, and she was serious this time.

 

 

II

Mandy stood in a room containing a fire alarm, a lighter and a small stool. Her woollen cardigan tickled her bare thighs, and the floor was cold against the soles of her feet. The fire alarm was placed just out of reach, so that flicking the lighter on and waving it beneath the alarm wasn't enough to trigger it. When Mandy stepped on the stool, two of its legs instantly snapped, and she had to react quickly to avoid falling on her face.

Mandy picked up a stool leg and saw the remains of glue on the part where it had connected to the seat. It had been broken before, and in fact was probably supposed to break. It was long and thin. If she held it up, it would probably reach the fire alarm. She glanced around the room for anything flammable. Of course, there was nothing of the sort. The intended solution here was obvious.

"If you think I'm going to burn my clothes, you've got another thing coming, buddy," she said to the ceiling.

Mandy then returned to the door she'd come though, pulled it open, and marched into the break room. She grabbed the ends of the white table cloth and yanked, sending metal plates and salty snacks flying. Then she returned to the fire alarm room, wrapped the tablecloth around the end of the stool leg, and lit it on fire.

The cloth burned easily, and she waved it in front of the fire alarm.

There was a brief, ear-splitting whine, and then the door on the other side of the room swung open. Mandy walked towards it, brandishing her torch. It led into a deep, dark tunnel, so she would need to keep the light with her. She also popped the lighter into her blouse pocket, just in case her torch went out.

As always, the door shut and locked behind her. She cursed herself for forgetting to jam something into the lock again.

The tunnel was cramped, but with high walls and ceilings, and made a lot of twists and turns. At the first fork in the path, Mandy realized she was dealing with a maze. After hanging her torch on a hook in the wall, she produced a notebook and pen from her cardigan pocket and began to draw.

Mandy traced out the maze on her paper as she went. It was large and full of dead-ends. There wasn't enough space to sit, so her legs were getting quite fatigued. And what was worse, her light was starting to get low.

Worse still, the lighter seemed to be dead. Mandy clicked a few times in increasing frustration before tossing it against a wall. She glanced at her torch and the scant remains of the tablecloth. She would soon need to burn something else or be plunged into darkness.

There weren't many pages left in Mandy's notebook, and she didn't yet know how many she'd need for the maze. The door at the start of the maze was locked tight, and it would be a while yet before she found the end. The idea of being plunged into darkness in this twisting, claustrophobic maze was horrific, unimaginable.

Mandy had always been terrified of the dark. She looked at the fading flame on her torch and imagined it snuffing out, leaving her in blackness so complete she would be unable to see her hand in front of her face. She imagined stumbling forward, blind, losing her place in the maze. She imagined the walls closing in...

Mandy needed light, and there was only one way to get it. Hands shaking, she undid the knot in the sleeves of her cardigan and pulled it from her waist. It was made of red wool, and had gone quite nicely with her plaid skirt and her white button-up blouse. Oh well, this outfit was doomed anyway. 

The room had better reimburse her for all these lost and destroyed clothes, she thought wryly, wondering if the other members of her group were experiencing similar travails. Wincing, she held the cardigan to the flame and then wrapped it around the stool leg. The air felt cool against the back of her thighs.

The torch roared to life, and Mandy continued mapping the maze. She was now down to three items of clothing: bra, panties and blouse. Hopefully she wouldn't have to burn any of those.

Mandy went down to the last page of her notebook mapping out the maze. The light from the torch was low again when she finally saw another light—the light signalling the end of the maze. Overjoyed, she rushed towards it, crossing the threshold just as her torch died. "Yes, yes yes! Haha yes! I made it! And I only burned... my cardigan... I really liked that cardigan. You'll be hearing from my lawyers!"

Mandy blinked in the bright light of the new room, which felt positively cavernous after all her time in the maze. There was a large, comfortable-looking armchair against one of the walls, which Mandy sank into gratefully, having not had enough room to sit while in the maze. From this comfortable vantage point, she let her eyes adjust to the light, and then looked out at the room beyond her.

After filtering water and setting off fire alarms, this again looked like a more conventional escape room area. There were some weird symbols on one of the walls, a map full of drawing pins on another, a few tables with scattered papers, and a whole lot of locked boxes. Mandy sighed in relief at this reprieve from clothing damage puzzles, and, after luxuriating in the chair for another minute or two, got up to start solving.

RIIIIIP. Mandy's heart skipped a beat at the sound, suddenly feeling the air somewhere new. Scared of what she would see, she slowly turned her head back. Then she screamed.

Caught on a pin jutting out of the chair's upholstery was a substantial portion of the pink cotton that once made up Mandy's panties. The whole left side, including a substantial area of the seat, had torn clean off. Mandy pulled at the loose ends, but the garment's structural integrity was now thoroughly compromised. Without her hand in place, it slipped limply down her thigh.

"What. The. Fuck. That wasn't even a puzzle! It's not fair!" Mandy glanced down at the remains of her cute pink panties. They were beyond salvation.

She assessed the situation. Her blouse was just about long enough to cover her pussy and most of her ass, as long as she moved relatively carefully. But now, for the first time, she was really exposed. What would the others think once she finally rejoined them? It was one thing to walk around without a skirt, but having no panties on either was a whole new level. Maybe, if she was really careful, they might not notice. She could only hope.

Mandy picked one part of her panties up from the floor and the other part up from the chair, scrunched them up, and put them in her blouse pocket. There was no point in worrying about them for the moment, while she was still alone. The need for worry would come later.

For the next half-hour, she diligently worked across the escape room puzzles, trying not to think about the breeze between her legs, or the way her blouse would rise up on her ass when she crouched down to open a lock box. There was no-one there to see her like this, or so she hoped.

Finally, Mandy found the final number for the combination lock attached to the next door, unlocked it and proceeded through.

A fashion mannequin stood in the middle of the next room. It had on a plaid skirt, stockings, chunky black heels, a cardigan tied around its waist, and a fishing rod in one hand. Mandy squealed with delight and ran towards it. "Guess you guys don't want legal action after all!" she yelled at the ceiling.

But when she tried to take the clothing off the mannequin, it wouldn't budge. The arms of the cardigan refused to come untied, and the skirt and shoes remained stubbornly in place no matter how much she pulled. Mandy crouched down and looked under the mannequin's skirt, confirming the presence of pink panties, which appeared to be glued on like the rest of the outfit. "What kind of sick joke is this?!" she cried, feeling the beginnings of tears in her eyes.

As she stood back up, she noticed a message scrawled across the mannequin's torso. It read, "COMPLETE ME." It was a female mannequin, with two plastic bumps on its chest. The meaning was clear.

It was then that Mandy realized the escape room had won. Despite her minor, temporary victory in the fire alarm room, she had lost garment after garment, and was now required to shed the garments that remained to solve this hopefully final puzzle.

In vain she searched the room for some alternate solution, or an additional puzzle to distract her and delay the inevitable, but there was only the mannequin, and there was only one way to proceed. She fingered the top button of her blouse.

No, no, no, this couldn't be what she was about to do. She couldn't let this escape room strip her of everything. She paced around the room again, looking high and low for something, anything that she had missed. It was then that she realized that there was a window in set into the top of the door to the next room. On the other side, she saw room filled with racks of clothing. Dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, shirts, jackets, and everything else one could want.

Well, that was some relief. And if she just solved this puzzle, she could get into that room. Considering things logically, it seemed worth it. To trade her blouse and bra for a full outfit, at the cost of a few seconds of nudity. That felt... acceptable.

Still, Mandy's hands shook as she slowly undid the buttons on her blouse, one by one, until it hung open, exposing her bra and bare, shaved pussy to the world. She then undid her bra and walked over to the mannequin still holding it up to her chest. After a deep breath, she switched the lacy pink undergarment from her chest to the mannequin's in one quick movement. There was a sense of relief as her breasts dropped—she often took off her bra at home after a long day at work—but that was more than counteracted by the shame she now felt at standing exposed in the middle of a weird warehouse.

As she snapped the bra strap closed, a single green light above the exit door lit up. A second light next to remained dark. Just to be sure, Mandy walked across the room, open blouse billowing behind her, and tried the door. Locked. One more item of clothing was required, of course. In her open blouse, she was already functionally naked. Now it was time to get fully naked.

Mandy returned to the center of the room. She let the blouse slide off her shoulders and down her arms, and then placed it on the mannequin. She buttoned it up to the top and smoothed it out, then took a moment to look at it. Collared white blouse, blue plaid skirt, red cardigan tied around waist, sheer stockings and black shoes. This giant plastic doll was now dressed exactly as she had been upon entering the escape room. And she was not dressed at all.

She took the scraps of pink fabric that had been her panties out of the blouse pocket and turned them over on her palms. She could try to put them on somehow, but this seemed pointless with the clothing room just up ahead. So she sighed and dropped them on the floor.

She'd done a lot of things in escape rooms over the years, but this was the first time she had been naked in one. Would she tell the others about what had happened to her today? They'd probably ask why she was wearing different clothes when they saw her. Once she was safely dressed, this could be quite an amusing story, and it would certainly demonstrate her dedication to the team. Though it might give the boys ideas for future rooms...

The second green light had come on, and the lock on the exit door had disengaged. Mandy skipped hurriedly to the door, taking a few fervent glances back at the mannequin wearing her clothes. By now she knew better than to try to remove any of them before leaving.

Mandy opened the door slowly, cautiously peering around it. She hadn't seen a single person since entering her chosen door from the first room. But now that she was totally naked, a natural caution overcame her. She knew that she'd rejoin the others at some point, and she couldn't just barge in on them in the all together. Imagine if they were in this clothing room! She shuddered, but consoled herself with the thought that, should that be the case, she would be able to make a dive for one of the racks.

"Hello?" she asked cautiously.

There was no response. After five seconds, she decided it would be safe to proceed. The clothing on the racks looked warm and inviting. Already she could see a skirt similar to the one she'd previously been wearing, and a blouse that looked a little better than the one she'd left on the mannequin. If the room would let her keep what she chose, maybe there wouldn't be a need for a lawsuit after all. Well, she might still sue for emotional distress.

Mandy stepped through the doorway, eyes focused on her prospective outfit. But as her feet crossed the threshold, they gave way from under her.

The floor! The floor was falling! And so was Mandy!

 

 

III

Mandy screamed as she fell. The clothing room disappeared from view and was replaced by pure darkness. Her butt hit smooth, slanted plastic, and she began to slide down a long, winding tube, screaming the whole way. "My clothes!"

After what seemed like an eternity of skin sliding down plastic, the ride came to an end. The tube stopped abruptly in the middle of a dusty room and Mandy shot off the end of it, landing face-first on a slightly uneven surface of soft rubber. She lay still for a while, wondering if she'd broken anything. But her body felt fine, if a little cold.

"Uurgh," she groaned, finding the strength to roll over onto her back. She blinked her eyes rapidly, only to suddenly have them filled with a blinding light.

"Mandy!" shouted a familiar voice. "Holy shit!"

She put up a hand to shielded her eye from the light, which quickly receded. Then her brain connected the dots of what was currently happening to her. The voice she'd heard belonged to Stephen, leader of the Escape Artists. He had been shining a flashlight in her face. And now he was shining it on her body. Her naked body.

"Eek!" she squealed. But before she could move her arms to cover herself, she felt hands clasp each of hers and hold her arms out to the side.

"Mandy, whatever you do, don't move," said Caroline. "Thomas, hold firm to that arm."

Mandy whimpered. What the hell was going on now?

The light shone on her body again, moving around slowly and methodically, a little too slowly, really. "Yep," said Stephen. "It's all over her."

Thomas gasped, "Oh shit, Mandy, I didn't realize you were... um, totally, uh..."

"What happened to your clothes?" Caroline asked. "Wait, you can tell me later. What's important for now is that you don't touch yourself."

The boys snickered.

"Ew guys, get your heads out of the gutter. Mandy, look down."

Mandy did as she was commanded. She saw her an expanse of pale flesh. Breasts, stomach, pussy, legs, all exposed to the eyes of her friends. And across her bare torso, an intricate series of markings in glistening purple ink. "Is that... a map?" she asked.

Caroline nodded, fixing Mandy's gaze. "It's the map we need to solve the final puzzle. And the ink is still drying. Hence, don't move."

"But Caroline, I'm—"

"Naked, yes, I can see that. But we only have one copy of this map, and we're mere minutes away from solving this room in under four hours. Just keep still, and we'll beat the record. By an hour!"

Mandy glanced at the timer on her watch, the one covering she had managed to retain. With everything else that had happened, she'd totally forgotten to check the time. The timer read 03:47. Caroline was right.

Thomas shone another light on Mandy's back. "There's some back here too, guys. This is a pretty big map."

"And it's got a lot of intricate details," added Stephen. "We'll have to study it carefully." He was already paying intense attention to the markings across Mandy's breasts.

Caroline rolled her eyes. "Try to focus on ink parts, guys. And Mandy, just hold still. If we want to beat the record, we've all got to work together."

For the next few minutes, Mandy sat, and then, when it was pointed out that some of the map had printed on her ass, stood in silence. The rubber press that she'd landed on seemed to be single-use, crushed by her weight, so the map really was only on her body. A rolled up sheet of white paper lay unused in one corner of the room.

Mandy was thankful for the room's dim half-light, which shrouded her from view in the brief moments that a flashlight beam wasn't exploring her body.

The other three Escape Artists scurried around, fiddling with compasses and astrolabes and telegraph machines, unlocking boxes and reading clues, and taking every opportunity to study another corner of the map. The boys seemed to divide the bulk of the map analysis between them, with Stephen focusing on the top half and Thomas focusing on the bottom half. Given how often she'd caught Thomas looking down when walking behind Caroline, she figured this had more to do with each one's favourite part of the female anatomy than anything else.

Mandy noticed Caroline throwing a few inscrutable glances their way as Thomas studied part of the map that had imprinted on her ass. Was she... jealous? She didn't even like him!

Stephen's next map consultation took a while longer than usual. Mandy found it best to turn her head to the side and avoid eye-contact, pretend this wasn't happening. The flashlight beam was warm against her chest. "Uh, Mandy, could you..." Stephen asked, determinedly looking her in the eyes. "There's a bit I can't see just beneath your boobs."

Mandy looked down. Stephen's hand was hovering dangerously close to her chest. She cringed and put her hands to her breasts, lifting them so that Stephen could inspect the undersides, which he did for a solid minute, flicking the flashlight this way and that.

"Ah, that's it!" he said at last. "Thanks Mandy, you're a real team player!"

The solution to the final puzzled seemed to have something to do with the distance between different capital cities on the map's imaginary fantasy landscape. "We'll need to check the scale, just to be sure," Thomas said, pointing towards the scale marker printed on Mandy's left hipbone. He and Stephen locked eyes in a silent challenge. Mandy gulped.

"I'll do it!" cried Caroline, to mixed disappointment and relief. Then, acting with clinical quickness and precision, she measured the size of the scale between two figures and quickly jabbed those across Mandy's belly, breasts and back, rattling off numbers.

"That tickles!"

Stephen and Thomas grumbled to themselves, but then set about putting Caroline's numbers into the final lock. They were correct. The padlock clicked open, the final box was opened and the final key produced. Stephen held it aloft, like King Arthur wielding Excalibur, and clicked it in the lock of the final door.

There was a brief buzzing sound as the door swung open, and then a mechanical voice spoke from the ceiling. "Congratulations, your time was... three hours, fifty-eight minutes, twelve seconds."

The Escape Artists looked at each other. They had succeeded in beating the previous record by more than an hour. "Yes!" shouted Thomas. "We did it! And by a whole lot!"

The team ran around high-fiving and hugging each other, elated by their victory. "Yes yes yes! We did it! We really did it!" Mandy was just as happy as the rest of the team, and, as she normally did after they beat a record, started dancing around madly. Then she felt the eyes of her teammates on her body, remembered her state of undress, and immediately turned bright red. "Uh, guys, could—"

Mandy's words were interrupted by the entrance of a stranger, who now stood before the team, slow clapping. It was a woman in her forties, dressed in blue overalls. "Congratu—oh wow, are you... what happened?"

Mandy blushed deeper and wrapped her arms around herself. The light pouring in from the entrance made her state of undress abdundantly clear.

"Uh, well, uh," the woman continued, her composure shattered. "Right, well. Uhm. Your team, the Escape Artists, has set a new record for the completion of my Mega Ultra Escape Room, beating the previous record by over an hour. This is highly unusual, but I'll grant that it may be possible. Please, tell me how you did it. Starting with you." Her gaze settled on Mandy.

"Could I get something to wear first?"

The woman put a finger to her chin, a funny look in her eyes. "No, I think you can stay like that a while. At least until I figure out whether or not you're a cheater."

Mandy's previous stridency withered at the woman's penetrating gaze. Her friends made no move to contradict the lady or insist that she get some clothing before saying anything. The boys obviously wanted to keep her this way as long as possible, those dicks, and who knew what Caroline was thinking. Mandy was starting to realize she didn't really have anything in common with these people apart from their shared love for escape rooms. And hers had taken a heavy knock today.

The woman in blue overalls appeared very serious and proper, completely unlike the fat, perverted old man Mandy had been imagining as the room's creator. She thought back to the curses she'd leveled at the room's designer and suddenly felt very small. Then, with a quaver in her voice, she recounted how she'd solved her portion of the escape room. She recounted every puzzle, every point at which she'd lost some piece of clothing. Reliving the whole thing in her mind while standing naked in front of everyone was humiliating, and she was relieved that the woman didn't interrupt her with questions.

"... and then I got the map all over my skin and the others told me not to move because the ink was still wet."

"Extraordinary," said the woman. "Those are some very... unorthodox... solutions. I wonder why Paul didn't alert me earlier?"

"P-Paul?" asked Mandy.

"He's the control room guy. Watches the teams and opens the doors, resets the puzzles, that sort of thing. You wouldn't have met him, there's no intercom system because we don't do hints for this room."

Mandy shuddered. So this Paul was the one she'd been shouting at all day. The one she'd been... stripping for. On camera. She felt a bit better about the cursing.

"Well, he probably didn't want me to spoil the show," the woman continued, raising an eyebrow. "Although really, I ought to disqualify your team for your use of personal items, but... no, I don't think that would be in the spirit of the room. You certainly displayed ingenuity and no small amount of bravery!"

Mandy couldn't believe what she was hearing. "What? Unorthodox solutions? What are you saying? But... but my challenges were designed so that losing my clothing was the only solution!"

The woman cocked an eyebrow and looked at the rest of Mandy's team members. "You three would have encountered some of the same puzzles, but you're all fully dressed, so far as I can tell. Perhaps you could explain this to your friend."

"The plaid wall... I solve that by pulling up some of the cloth that was already on the wall and rearranging it more efficiently," said Stephen. "There was a lot of overlapping and crumpled up fabric. But it took a while to find all the right pieces."

"I solved the maze by keeping my right hand on the wall," added Thomas. "It was weird walking around in the dark though."

All eyes focused on Caroline. "I actually did take my sweater off for the mannequin challenge. But that was just to unlock the window into the clothing rack room. From there I used the mannequin's fishing rod to grab a couple of things and put those on the mannequin. Though it was a bit fiddly and took quite a while to get right."

"And I don't know why you didn't just hold onto your shoes instead of leaving them lying next to the trampoline," said the woman. "But I do apologize about the water coolers and the armchair. I'll get those fixed for the next group."

Mandy let her arms and head slump forward, feeling completely deflated. It all seemed so simple, so easy, so logical, now that she heard other people go through it. "Wait," she said. "What about the fire alarm room?"

The woman chuckled. "Oh, you had the intended solution there. But you didn't need to jam anything in the break room door, that one doesn't lock."

"It's... pretty strange that you would think you had to use your own clothes to solve escape room puzzles," said Stephen. "Almost as if... you wanted to..."

"I did not!" Mandy screamed, somehow blushing even redder. "This is really embarrassing for me!"

"If the shoe fits... take it off!" Stephen chortled at his own joke, Mandy glaring daggers at him.

"Hey, cheer up, you broke the record by an hour!" said the overalled woman, putting a consoling hand out to touch Mandy's shoulder. "It was a stroke of good luck that you chose the door you did—that route is normally the longest by far. And as a show of good faith, I'll pay you back for the destroyed clothing. Now, let's get a team photo!"

The Escape Artists were quickly herded back into the front room where they stood in a row in front of the overalled woman. Mandy found herself crouching in the room's strong light, making herself as small as possible. The woman produced a camera.

"What? No way!" Mandy protested. "I'm still naked!"

"And that's how you beat the record!" replied the woman. "Own it, lady."

Mandy grumbled and wrapped her arms tighter around her body, looking around at her teammates for support. The boys shrugged, and Caroline said, "Well, she does have a point there."

"Caroline!"

"What? Don't you want at least one photo? It'll be a fun memory!"

The boys concurred.

"It's okay, I won't post this one on social media," said the woman in the overalls. "Or anywhere else. You're covered in challenge spoilers, after all." 

"Fine," said Mandy. "One photo. And it's staying on my phone. Maybe Caroline's as well."

The woman snapped a couple of shots before Mandy finally had a moment to convince Stephen to lend her his leather jacket. The woman took a few more photos, and the team did some different poses, Mandy being careful not to flash anything.

"These look good," said the woman, showing them the photos. Three Escape Artists stood beaming, and the fourth stood smiling nervously, desperately covering her body with her arms, skin still blotched with purple ink. In the final few, Mandy looked a bit more at ease in Stephen's jacket, but was still showing a lot of leg.

"Honestly, I liked your outfit better without the jacket," the woman told Mandy, as she was taking her number to send the photos through. "But then, I did design it." She winked. "Actually, you've given me some intriguing ideas for new puzzles. How'd you like to test my next room?"

Mandy gulped. Before she could reply, Stephen butted in and said, "She'll give it her all."

The End


Submitted: August 09, 2022

© Copyright 2022 FinchAgent. All rights reserved.

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