Safe at Home

“Sit, Bika. We have work to do.”

He did as he was told, settling himself on the large wooden chair in the corner of the room. Michael tossed a set of toy handcuffs in the giant’s lap.

Bika scoffed.“You’re being funny, right? I could break these by sneezing.”

“An uncontrolled bull needs to be tightly bound to protect them. When I control a bull’s mind, the strength and size of the strap is irrelevant. What binds you serves only as a reminder of where the control lies.”

“But these are toys.”

“So are you. Put on the handcuffs. I don’t have all night.”


“Did any part of my response lead you to believe this was a conversation?”

Bika squeezed the plastic cuffs around his thick wrists. They barely clicked in place. Michael stepped closer and presented a pink silk blindfold emblazoned with the words GOODNIGHT SWEETIE in a bold cursive type. The bull sighed softly as his Sir tied the darkness in place.

“you are not controlled by the cheap plastic holding your wrists together. you are controlled by what they represent. And what do they represent, Bika?”

“Your control, Sir.”

Now standing behind him, Michael jerked the bull’s head back and growled. “That’s good. you want me to be in control, don’t you, Bika?”

“Yes, Sir. Control. I’m yours, Sir.”

“How does it feel to be mine?”

“Feels like home, Sir.”

“That’s right, bull. you are safe at home.”

“Safe at home.”

“Yes. Good. I’m going to count back from 10. After every number, I want you to repeat that phrase. Can you do that, Bika?”

“Sure, Sir.”

“Take a deep breath in, as much air as you can hold. Fill your body like a balloon. Good. Now hold it.”

A few quiet seconds pass before he could see Bika’s body begin to shift uncomfortably.

“Hold it, bull. Good. Now I want you to let the balloon deflate. Don’t force the air out, just let it go and feel your body going limp.

The bull followed the instruction. The last of the air escaped from his lungs.


“Safe at home.”

“Safe and protected, bull. 9.”

Bika inhaled deeply.“Safe at home.”

Michael moved closer. He stroked the bull’s beard and whispered, “When you feel safe, it’s ok to let go of the worries and responsibilities. Just let them go. It feels so light and peaceful, doesn’t it, bull?”

“Yes, Sir.”


“Safe at home.”

“7. Where are you?”

“Safe at home.”

“Deep breaths, bull. Fill that balloon and let it go. 6.”

“Safe at home.”

“Weightless and floating, like a balloon on a string. 5.”

“Safe at home.”


“Safe at home.”

your arms are filled with air. 3.”

“Safe at home.”


“Safe at home.”


“Safe at home.”

“Good, bull. That’s very good. you can take off your blindfold now.”

Bika grunted.

“Go ahead, bull.”

“I can’t, Sir.”

“you can’t what, bull?”

“I can’t take off my blindfold.”

“Why not? Did I tie it too tight?”

“I can’t move my hands, Sir.”

“Those handcuffs are cheap dollar store plastic, right? Just sneeze and break them, like you said.”


Michael leaned in close and pulled away the blindfold so that when Bika opened his eyes, he was the only thing in bull’s blurred field of vision.

“you’re a strong beast, but you are only as powerful as I allow you to be. Don’t ever question me again.”

Michael stood and walked toward the door.

“Sir, I need your help to get out of this.”

“your freedom was always a breath away, bull. Just fill the balloon until it bursts.” Sir turned the knob and walked out of the room.

Bika took a deep breath. As he exhaled forcefully, the cuffs snapped and fell to the floor.