Down Under






“Hey – sleepy head, it’s time to wake up.”


I shook my head and looked over to see Cassie smiling at me.


“I was sleeping?”


“Oh yes – but we’re about ninety minute out now.”


Looking at my watch, I said “how long was I out for?”


“You fell asleep as soon as they served breakfast – so it’s about four in the afternoon where we are going.  Mum said to wake you up so that we have time to get cleaned up.”


I nodded as I stood up and stretched, Mum smiling at me as I made my way to the toilet.  We were nearly there – Australia…  We’d left home at five o’clock in the morning – yesterday now – and taken off from Heathrow at nine in the morning to fly to Singapore.  The flight was about thirteen hours, but with time zones and all that we’d landed at six in the morning in Singapore, then had a short break before we switched planes and took off again.  So to me, it was after ten – and I needed my sleep.


After I had taken a moment, and splashed some water in my face, I got a bottle of water from the cabin area and went back to my seat.  Mum was taking David to the toilet, as Dad gave June some fruit.


“Granny and Granddad will meet us at the airport,” Dad said as I sat down, “and we’ll eat when we get to their place.”


I nodded as I took a drink of water.  I was actually still wearing what we left London in – a loose fitting tunic top over a pair of leggings, while Cassie had on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans.  Our shoes and coats were in the overhead locker, waiting for us to put back on as soon as we landed.


“Ladies and Gentlemen,” a voice said over the speakers, “this is your captain speaking.  We will be landing in an hour or so, and the cabin crew will be coming round soon for one last opportunity to purchase duty free goods…”


“Soon be time to land,” Mum said as she stood up, and took June’s hand.  “Come on little one – your turn now.”





We’d been planning this trip for months – we’d never visited Granny and Grandpa Carter in their home, and with me starting at sixth form after the long holidays Dad said it was a case of now or never. 


So here we were, as the stewardesses walked round and made sure everything was back in place, and I switched off my phone.  The plane was starting to descend, as I fastened the seatbelt, and we heard June talking quietly to Mum…



Eventually, we felt the bump and then I was pushed back into my seat as the plane touched down, and very quickly was in a slow crawl as it moved along the runway.


“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Sydney Australia, where it is a cool 58 degrees.  Please remain seated until the plane has come to a complete stop, and on behalf of Singapore Airlines, thank you for choosing to fly with us…”


“Stay in your seats once we come to a stop,” Dad leaned over and said, “I’ll get your bags from the locker, but we need to make sure the twins are ready before we get off.”


I looked at Cassie as we both nodded, and sat back as outside the window we approached the terminal building, the plane stopping as Dad stood up and got our shoulder bags from the overhead locker.  Once he and Mum had David and June ready, we stood up and walked off the plane.  I felt a bit stiff, but as we walked into the terminal building that soon wore off, Cassie and me holding our young brother and sister’s hands as we joined the queue at Passport Control.


Okay, I’ll be honest – I expected to see men wearing our funny hats and those khaki shirts at the passport area, but instead it was a woman like the one in London, who smiled as she looked at our passports, stamped them and then waved us through.


“Okay – we’re going to need this,” Dad said as we waited at the baggage claim, and he picked up the double stroller, Mum putting it up and sitting the twins in it as Cassie came over with a luggage trolley. 


“Do you know what I’m looking forward to the most,” she said to me as we watched the rest of the luggage start to appear.


“No – what?”


“Fresh air.”


I had to nod in agreement on that, as Dad started to put our cases onto the trolley, and then looked at us.


“Right – ready to see a whole new country?”


“Have you ever been here Dad?”


“Nope,” he said as he started to push the trolley, “so this is as exciting for you as it is for me.”  We looked at each other and nodded as we walked through the Customs area, and the large glass doors opened as we walked through.




“Hello Mum,” Mum said as she walked over with the twins, and hugged the elderly couple standing outside.  “We’re finally here?”


“And you look fantastic,” Granny Carter said as we walked over.


“George, June – you both look fantastic,” Dad said as he hugged them both.


“So do you – are you too old now to give your grandmother a hug, Jenny?”


“Of course I’m not,” I said as I hugged them both, and then they hugged Cassie.


“Right – let’s get these out to the car,” Granddad said, “and we’ll get you to our place.  I think a lunch, and then a walk is the best thing you can all do this afternoon.”


“Sounds good,” Mum said as we made our way out of the terminal building, and to the car park.


Now, I’ve watched my fair share of bad Australian soaps in my time, but seriously – I was shocked at just how blue the sky was as we walked outside.


“I thought it would be warmer,” Cassie said.


“Winter here doofus,” I said as I nudged her in the ribs, and we walked to where a large SUV was parked.  As Granddad and Dad loaded the cases into the back, I helped Mum to put the twins into the seats at the back, and then we all sat in as our grandparents sat at the front.


“And away we go,” Grandma said with a smile as we moved off.


“Jess and Patty send their regards,” Mum said as we left the airport.


“How are the renovations going?”


“Not too bad – they’re off to Orlando in a week’s time with the Riggs.”


Patty, aka The Human Tornado, and her friend Rachel had been the centre of a lot of media attention recently, when purely by accident (according to them anyway) they stumbled over where a kidnapping gang were holding Debbie Dee, the child star, hostage.  They both got a medal, as did Charlie Williamson, but they also shared a very large reward.


“Well, I can understand them not wanting to come over here,” Granddad said, “they were in the news over here as well.  Must be something in the water over there, that means you girls keep getting into trouble.”


“No comment,” I said with a laugh as we went along the road.  “I just want to enjoy the holiday over here.”


Famous last words…





“Are we there yet?”


It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was Cassie saying that, and me – but this was David speaking as we went along a very straight, very long road.


“We’re there now,” Grandma said as we turned up a dirt track, and I saw a large bungalow appearing at the end of the drive.  And when I say large, I mean large – it seemed to go on forever, as Granddad pulled up outside a large veranda.


“Okay then – everybody out, and stretch your legs,” he said as he turned the car engine off, and I opened the door, feeling the cool air on my face as we stepped out.  The land all round was fairly flat, with some hills rising in the distance, and as I looked round there were a number of similar houses in the distance.


“Nice,” Mum said as she held David, “I thought it would be hotter.”


“Well, it is winter here,” Grandma said with a smile as Cassie rolled her eyes.  “Come on – let’s get the bags in, and then I’ll get supper sorted out.”


“Let me give you a hand with them,” Granddad said as he and Dad started to bring our cases in, while Jenny and I took June’s hands as we walked into the house.  The door opened onto a large open area, with a few seats and a large rug on the wooden floor.


“Put the television on if you want,” Grandma called through from the kitchen, “I’m sure there will be something on.”


“Like what,” I said as I turned on the television, and then smiled as both David and June said “Mickey!”


“The Disney Channel, perhaps,” Grandma said as they sat on the couch.  “Do you girls want to come and have a drink?”


“Sounds good to me,” Cassie said as we went into the kitchen – and then out into the back yard, where Grandma and Mum were sitting under a very familiar looking umbrella at the table.


“You have a swimming pool,” Cassie gasped as we looked at the yard.


“Oh yes – did we forget to tell you,” Grandma said with a smile as she poured some lemonade into two glasses, and looked at us.


“What’s wrong Grandma,” I said as she looked at us.


“Look at you – you’re turning into young women now.”


I looked at Cassie, in her t-shirt and jeans, and then at me – and she had a point.  Without realising it, we had become young women – and Cassie was realising this as well.


“Tell me about it,” Mum said with a sigh as she sat down, “but I am so proud of them.”








“Hey there – how was the flight?”


“Long, boring,” I said as I looked at Colin on the laptop screen, “but we’re here now.  How’s the weather in Holderness?”


“We’re having a heatwave,” he said with a smile, “but I guess you are as well?”


“Nope – it’s like a spring day here, but it’s the middle of their winter,” I said with a smile.  “Are you seeing Bobby and the others today?”


“That’s the plan – once I’ve had my breakfast of course,” Colin said with a grin.  “What about you?”


“I’m going to head to bed in a little while – the twins are being settled now by Cass.  After that – I have absolutely no idea.”


“Well, I’ll talk to you later in the week – Dad’s calling me down,” he said as I heard the voice off camera.  “Stay safe – love you.”


“Love you too,” I said as I ended the call, and then sat back, suddenly realising how tired I was.


“Call done?”


“Call done,” I said as I looked at Mum.


“Look – I know you’re not going to get much of a chance during this trip, but Cassie wondered if you wanted to be like her tonight – nothing major, but still…”


“Yeah – yeah I’d like that,” I said with a smile.


“Well, get changed, come and have a drink – and then we’ll get you ready.”


I nodded as I stood up, and changed from my clothes into a vest top and a pair of shorts, before I joined the rest of the family in the front room.


“I thought we’d take a trip to the beach tomorrow – let the youngsters run riot while you older girls get to relax,” Granddad said as I accepted a mug of cocoa.  “Sound good?”


“Sounds good to me,” Cassie said, “how far away is it?”


“There’s a little beach a lot of the local families go to about thirty minutes away,” Grandma said, “you might see some of the other neighbours there as well.”


“Great,” I said as I yawned, and then took a drink.  “I’m more tired than I thought.”


“Well, drink up,” Dad said, “and then into bed.”



A short while later, I was lying in my bed, watching as Mum wound the white tape round my ankles, and then around my legs above and below my knees.  My wrists were already taped together in front of me, and a band of tape was around my arms and stomach as I lay there.


“All right then – Cassie is almost out anyway,” Mum said as she tore a long strip of tape from the roll, “so when you wake up in the morning, just wait and Dad or me will come and get you free.”


I nodded as she pressed the tape firmly over my lips, and then left the room, turning the light off as she went out…  I wriggled round, as my eyes slowly closed…







“You’re finally awake?”


I opened my eyes to see Dad standing there, and mumbled “whttmst?”


“Nearly eleven – but don’t worry, Cassie is only just awake as well.  So I’ll cut you free, you can shower and put on something suitable, and then we’ll head to the beach and eat there.”


I nodded as he cut the tape away – and a short while later, we were in Grandpa’s van as we drove along the road, and then into a small car park.  Mum and Grandma unloaded a couple of bags as Dad helped Grandpa carry a small barbecue onto the golden sand, while I held the hands of the twins and Cassie brought along some blankets.


“Wow,” I said as I looked at the sea at the shore, “want to go and have a look?”


The twins nodded as we walked down – we were all barefoot, so they stood on the shore and giggled as the water washed over their toes.


“Hello there.”


The American accent took me by surprise, as David and June turned with me to see the young boy standing there.




“Hello Jenny,” the toddler said, “are you on vacation as well?”


“I am,” I said with a smile, “so who else is here with you?”


“Sarah, Mummy and Daddy – want to see them?”


“Hello Bart,” June said as she held my hand, David kicking at the waves as they lapped at his feet.


“Hello June…”


“Bart, who are you…  Jenny Craig?  What brings you to this part of the world?”


I smiled as I looked at the tall Australian.  “Hey Brian – my grandparents live nearby, and we’re here for a long holiday before my results come out.  I guess you’re here on holiday as well?”


“Yeah – it was getting a little too warm in Maine for us, so I suggested a couple of weeks in my home town.          So your family live nearby as well?”


“Yeah – Mum’s parents.  They’re over there,” I said as I pointed to where Dad and Granddad where working on a barbecue.


“Okay then – we may pop over and say hi later, but for the moment, I’ll let you keep an eye on the youngsters.”


“On the…” I looked at June and David as the waves washed over their legs, making them laugh as I said “fair point – we’ll see you later.”




“Now this is what I call a holiday,” Cassie said as she lay back on the blanket, “hot dogs, hot sun, and not a care in the world.”


“I agree,” Mum said as she looked over from her chair, “I can see why you love it here Mum.  It’s like a little piece of heaven.”


“Oh it can be fun at times – Christmas it gets incredibly hot,” Grandma said with a smile, “but that is what air conditioning is for.”


“I agree – trust me, if we were at home it would be going full blast.”


The American accent took us by surprise, as Mum sat up and removed her sunglasses.


“Sarah!  Jenny said you were here – it’s good to see you again,” Mum said as she stood up and hugged the brunette, “how have you been?”


“Oh busy with this and that,” Sarah said with a smile.  “Hi you two – Brian said he had seen you earlier Jenny.”


“Do you want to play in the sand,” David said to Bart and Sarah, the twins nodding as they went off with him and June.


“Hey Sarah,” Dad said as he looked over, “where’s Brian?”


“Collecting our things together.  You must be Jennifer’s parents – I’m Sarah Holderness-Carter, they’re Bart and Sarah, and the tall hunk walking over with the bags is my husband Brian.”


“Holderness-Carter – do you know Lord and Lady Holderness,” Grandma said as she looked over.


“He’s my cousin,” Sarah said with a smile, “we got married at Holderness Manor.  Brian, meet Jennifer’s parents.”


“Hey there – Brian Holderness-Carter.  Good to meet you.”


“June – and that’s my husband George trying not to incinerate the food with David,” Grandma said.  “You sound as if you are from around here?”


“I grew up nearby,” Brian said with a smile, “but I met Sarah in the US.”


“And you got married in England?  How did that happen?”


“Long story – so you and the family are over for a few weeks Jennifer?”


“Yeah – you?”


“A few weeks away from the heat – in the slightly less heat,” Sarah said with a smile.  “Listen – why don’t you and David join us for a meal one night?  We know a great place that’s a short drive away.”


“Won’t you need to find babysitters,” Cassie said, and then as she looked at me she said “oh – let me guess.  We look after Bart and Sarah?”


“Well, we can watch over David and June,” Grandma said, “if you want.”


“We’ll make it a date then,” Brian said.  “Come on you two, we need to get home.”


“Bye Bye David,” Sarah said as she and Bart came over, the twins waving as they walked off with Brian and Sarah.


“We need to head off in a little while ourselves,” Grandma said, “I want to see if you three are up for a challenge tonight, if the boys don’t mind watching the twins.”


“What sort of challenge,” Cassie said as she looked over.


“You’ll see…”






“All right Grandma,” I said as I helped to clear the supper dishes away, “what’s this challenge?”


“Well, I know you girls have been very good in terms of not playing your games,” Grandma said, “but…   Well, your grandfather has also tied me up a few times now.  I was wondering if the three of you were up for watching a film with me while we can’t comment.”


“Are you sure you want to do that Mum,” Mum asked, “and if so, remember just what these two can get up to.”


“Well, if you’re up for it,” Grandma said, “as tightly as you want.”


Cassie and I exchanged a look as Mum said “if that’s what you want – but we’ll need Dad and David to do it to us.  You girls should go to the toilet and get changed – then your dad can show Granddad what to do.”


“Okay Mum,” Cassie said as we went off.  “Grandma wants to go full job,” she said as we went to the room we were sharing.


“Not full full job,” I said as I looked at her, “but we can go as if it was Jay Edwards.  No further – agreed.”


“Agreed,” Cassie said as we went to get washed.




“So, your grandmother wants to be like you two and your mother – what does that mean,” Granddad said as Cassie and I came in, wearing long sleeved tops and leggings.


“I’ll show you George – if I do things to Jenny, you do the same for Cassie, got it?”


“Okay,” he said as Dad handed me two sponge balls, and Granddad did the same to Cassie.  We made two fists as Dad covered mine with tape, then handed it to Granddad before he pulled a pair of white socks up my arms.  He then took the tape back and secured the topes to my arms, waiting until Cassie was the same as me.


“Right then,” he said as he handed Granddad a length of rope, and took one himself, “hands behind your backs girls – you know what to do?”


We both nodded as we crossed our wrists, and relaxed as we felt the rope pulling our wrists together.  Granddad copied Dad as he wrapped the rope around and between our arms, and then round our waists to lock them against our backs.


“Okay – I see how they won’t move their wrists,” Granddad said, “what next?”


“Making sure they really cannot move their arms,” Dad said as he handed him a much longer length of rope, Cassie and I looking at each other as we felt our arms pulled into our sides.  Dad wrapped it round above and below my chest, Granddad doing the same to Cassie as he said “are you sure they’re going to be comfortable with this?”


“Don’t worry Granddad,” Cassie said with a grin as he pulled the ropes tighter, “we can live with it.”  I had to admit, it felt nice to me as well, as Dad tied my ropes off, and then used two smaller lengths to tighten the bands between my arms and my body.


“All right girls,” Dad said as he looked at us, “sit down on the long couch, and we’ll get those legs secured as well.”  We both sat down, watching as he and Granddad tied our ankles together, and then our legs below the knees, taking the rope between our legs each time.


“Okay – I guess you two are staying there now,” Granddad said as he stood up.


“Don’t say that Dad – these two could still move around given half a chance.”


I laughed as Mum came in, wearing a pair of light blue pyjamas, followed by Grandma wearing a knee length white nightie and white leggings.  She looked at us on the couch, and said “are you sure those ropes are not too tight?”


“No, they’re fine Gran,” I said, looking at Cassie and knowing just how much tighter they could have been.  We watched then as Dad and Granddad handed them the sponges, and said “your turn now…”


We watched as both Mum and Grandma were bound as tightly as us, and they Mum sat next to me, and Grandma next to Cassie, as their legs were secured.  “Well, I see why you might like this,” Grandma said as her legs were tied below her knees.  “So how are we going to be kept quiet?”


“Like this,” Dad said as he and Granddad folded four clean handkerchiefs.  “Well, to start with anyway.  Open wide, all of you.”


“What are we watching anyywweegrnnnee,” I said as the cloth was pushed into my mouth, and then Dad used a knotted strip of an old tea towel as a cleave gag.


Hmnntshrr,” was her reply as Granddad gagged her and then Mum, and Dad took care of Cassie, before the each took a roll of the white tape and started to wrap it tightly round our heads, covering our mouths as well as the cleave gag tied round our heads.


Hmmfflssdfrnt,” Grandma said, the three of us nodding as Dad picked up the roll of silver duct tape, and we each had a band pressing down on the white band as well.  Dad then folded four white scarves and tied them tightly over the tape, before Granddad folded four of Grandma’s scarves into triangles and tied them over our heads, the ends knotted under our chins.


“Now then,” he said with a smile as he turned on the television, and put a disc into the player, “I think you should all enjoy this.”


We looked at each other, before the titles rolled on the film – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  It was certainly a different film, as we listened to the music, and then Mum and Grandma started to sing along.


Whnufgtwres, lthnsndtherre
Smsthlp, ekn, dwntwn




Mum looked at Grandma and then sang “Ucnfrgttlurtrbls, frgtllurcrss


Nfnnrrplsfrshr, dwntwn, frrfngswtnngfru…”


The two of them looked at us, as Granddad put the subtitles on, and we both joined in.

Thrrrmuffeshws, dwntwn
Whrrthnfrcls, dwntwn



Ucnfrgttlurtrbls, frgtllurcrss


Whrllthelhtsrbrht, dwntwn
Wettnfrutnht, dwntwn
Urgnnnbllrht, dwntwn

Dwntwn, Dwntwn!”


We looked at each other and then hummed along before we sang


Wcnfrgttllrtrbls, frgtllrcrs

Dntwhhetementmr, dwntwn
Freefnswetnfru, dwntwn…”



We all cheered then, as I rested my head on Mum’s shoulder and we all watched the film, my eyes slowly closing…





“Good morning everyone,” I said as I walked into the kitchen.  “Slept well?”


“Well I did,” Mum said as she gave David and June a glass of milk.  “What about you Mum?”


“Never better,” Granny said with a wink.  Dad had come into our room as we woke up, still bound and gagged from the previous night, and untied me so that I could start to get ready before he released the still slightly asleep Cassie.  I had showered, and changed into a white sundress before coming in for breakfast.


“Where’s Cassie,” Mum asked as I sat down.


“Still having a shower.  So have you decided when you are going to go out with Brian and Sarah?”


“Your dad’s talking to them now,” Mum said as I saw Dad in the main room.  “We’re going to go into the city today, have a look round the shops.”


“Sounds like fun,” I said as I sat down and poured some juice into a glass.  “So I’ll go and babysit while you and Mum go with them?”


“That’s right.  Now eat up – Cassie will be along soon.”




As we pulled into the large car park, I looked round.  It looked a lot like the malls Heidi and the other girls went to, but with a more… homely feel.  I got out, and pulled down the pleated skirt I was wearing, a white vest top and brown sandals completing my outfit.  Cassie was wearing a short-sleeved blouse as shorts, like Mum and Granny, while Dad and Granddad had on polo shirts and slacks.


We out Dave and June into the strollers, and then headed into what was really a large street, with shops on both sides.  They were really the same – except the clothes were more like autumn cloths than summer ones.  I know it felt like our summer – but it was winter there.


Confusing, isn’t it.


Anyway, we walked round, and then had lunch in a roadside café.  As we were eating, we saw some policemen walking quickly over.


“I wonder what’s happened,” Mum said, but Granddad shook his head, and said “not our problem…”





Cassie and I looked at the single storey home as we walked up the path with Mum and Dad.  Granny had dropped us off, but as we walked up Sarah opened the door and said “come in.”


Mum was wearing a short sleeved white dress, and Dad a jacket, shirt and trousers – while we saw Sarah had on a light pink sundress, and Brian was dressed the same as Dad.


“There you are – the twins have had their dinner and bath,” Brian said with a smile as we saw Bart and Sarah in their play pen, “and we won’t be too late.  Contact numbers are by the phone.”


“Go – have fun,” I said as they left the house, and Cassie looked at Sarah.  “Would you like a bedtime story,” she said, both of them nodding as we picked them up and sat with them, while Cassie read.


Eventually, they fell asleep, and we carried them to their rooms, putting them both in their beds and fixing the safety sides up.  “I’ll go and sort out some drinks,” I said as Cassie went to the bathroom, and I went to the kitchen, opening the fridge and taking out two bottles of coke.


Then stopping as I heard a man behind me say “don’t move girlie…”


“Oh great,” I thought to myself, “we go half way round the world, and what happens?”


“Slowly, close the icebox door, and turn round.”


As I turned, I saw a man standing there, with grey stubble on his face, wearing a black leather jacket and jeans.  He also had a very real looking gun in his hand, as he looked at the two bottles of coke and said “You got company?”


“My little sister – she’s upstairs.  Who are you, and what are you doing in this house?”


“Well – I did something I should not have done earlier today, and I need a place to lie low for a while.”  He looked round the kitchen, and said “got any duct tape in the house?”


“I don’t know – we’re babysitting for a friend, and this isn’t my house.”


“You’re a Pom, aren’t you?”


“Guilty as charged,” I said as Cassie walked in.  “Got that…”  She looked at me, at the man, and at the gun, before she raised her hands and said “what’s going on Sis” in her best scared voice.


“Anyone else in the house, girlie?”


Cassie looked at me and raised an eyebrow as she said “only the babies – and they are asleep, so we’re going to talk quietly.”


“You’re not going to talk at all,” he said as he walked over and grabbed Cassie, putting his large hand over her mouth, “look for tape.”


“all right, all right, don’t hurt my sister,” I said as I looked in the cupboards, and found a large roll of silver tape.  Standing up, I held it in the air, as he said “good – tape your sister’s wrists together behind her back.”


I nodded as he let Cassie go, and she turned round, holding her hands together as I tore the end of the tape loose, and secured her wrists behind her back, praying she was thinking the same thing I was.


“In there,” the man said as he waved to the front room, Cassie nodding as we walked in, and she sat down in the long couch.   I knelt down and taped her ankles together, before he said “lie down.”


Cassie and I exchanged another look, as she lay down, and I pressed a single strip of tape over her lips.  The man then took the tape and secured my wrists together behind my back, before he made me sit in the chair and taped my ankles together, then over my mouth.


“Stay put,” he said as he looked at us, and then he went to the rear of the house, Cassie and I looking at each other as she said “Whhttemmrreeen.”


I nodded, but we waited before we heard water running, and moved.  As Cassie managed to get the tape off her wrists, I got up and jumped to the phone, looking at the contact numbers and then picking up the handset, before I jumped over to where Cassie was waiting, and dialled a number.


“Brian,” she said quietly.  “Sorry to interrupt the meal, but any chance you can come back for ten minutes or so?  A nice man has us hostage, and is in the shower now.


“No, the twins are asleep, but if you can?


“Thanks – we won’t do anything,” she said as she nodded, and I ended the call, taking the phone and putting it back before I returned, and pressed the tape back over Cassie’s lips, and then sat down.


The shower was still running, as we looked at each other, and tried not to laugh at the situation.


“We have got to stop meeting like this girls.”


I looked suddenly to the side to see Brian there, his finger to his lips as we all heard the footsteps.  Nodding, he slipped quietly out, waiting until we heard the intruder say “Wha th…” and then the thump before we started to free ourselves.


“Mind if I borrow this?”


“Not at all,” I said as the tape fell from my mouth, Brian smiling as he took the duct tape, and I got myself free.  Cassie was doing the same, as Brian came back in and said “I’ll call a friend in the local police, who’ll come and get this guy.  I have a pannacotta waiting for me.”


“Tell our parents we’re fine,” Cassie said as we collected the tape, Brian smiling as he left.  We cleared the tape away, and started to have our drinks before there was a knock on the door.


I opened it to see a man in a blue shirt, dark trousers and peaked cap there, a car with flashing lights behind him.


“Let me guess – you’re Jenny?  Brian said you had a pick up for me?”


“In the back room,” I said as he and another policeman came in, carrying the unconscious and tape bound intruder out of the house as they returned.


“Who is he anyway,” Cassie asked.


“He robbed a bank in town earlier today – you girls did well to capture him.”


“It’s a knack – Brian will see you later?”


“Yup – have a quiet night girls,” he said with a smile as he walked off.






“I don’t believe it – even in Australia, someone does that to you?”


“I’m afraid so,” I said as I looked at Alicia on the laptop.  It was the next morning, and Mum had gone with Granny and Cassie into town, while Dad and Grandpa watched the twins.


I was in a halter neck top and shorts – and something else, as I squirmed round.


“Don’t tell me you’re…”


“A bet with Colin – so how did your holiday go,” I said with a smile as I looked at my best friend, in her polo shirt and skirt.


“Not bad – Angela and I spent Independence Day at Heather’s place, and she and Eddie are making the final preparations to go to Chloe and James’ wedding next week.”


“Sounds fun!”


“It was – I’m meeting Martin in thirty, so I’ll let you get back to your day and fun.”


“See you Alicia,” I said as I ended the call, and then stood up, stifling a slight moan as I walked slowly to the kitchen, and started to make some sandwiches.


“So how are the Bowdens,” Dad said as he came in.


“Wishing they were still on holiday,” I said with a smile, “but I wish Colin was here?”


“Well, he did get that summer job,” Dad said with a smile as there was a knock on the door, and we heard the sound of “Cooeee.”


“That you Helen?”  Grandpa came in and greeted the grey haired woman who walked in, wearing a short sleeved blue blouse and tan trousers.  “John, this is my neighbour Helen – Helen, my son in law John, and this is my oldest granddaughter Jenny.  I thought you were on holiday?”


“I was – but Dana was taken ill, so I have to look after her daughters for a few days.  I knew you had relatives, so I thought you could meet them.  Come in girls.”


I looked over as two girls came in.  One looked to be a little younger than Cassie, and had her red hair pulled back in a ponytail, the front of her blue sundress open.  The other girl looked to be about ten, and was wearing a powder blue top and shorts.


“Kylie, Danni, this is Jenny.  I’m hoping you can become friends?”


I looked at the two girls, who in turn were looking at me as if I was something they had never seen before – and then the younger girl said in a broad Australian accent “Strewth Kyles – she’s old.”


“Old?”  I raised an eyebrow and looked at both of them as Cassie came through, and said “oh – and who is this?”


“Cassie, meet Kylie and Danni.  Girls – my younger sister, Cassie Craig.”


Cassie looked at them, and then said “hey – you live round here?”


“We’re visiting our gran,” Kylie said as she looked at us.  “you?”


“Snap – we just came a bit further.  Want to sit down and have a drink?”


The two girls nodded as Granddad poured some cold milk into four glasses, and we carried them into the front room.


“So you girls visiting our grandparents,” Danni said as she looked at me.  “Where do you live?”


“Near London,” Cassie said with a smile, “you?”


“Perth – so it’s a cross-country trip for us as well.  Who else is here with you?”


“The twins,” I said as I looked to where David and June were sitting, playing with some bricks.


“Cute,” Kylie said.  “Want to go for a walk - leave the oldsters to talk?”


“Why not,” I said as I called out “We’re going to go for a walk with Kylie and Danni!”


“All right – don’t be too long,” Mum said as we went out and along the path.


“Have you guys been into the bush out there yet,” Kylie said as she pointed to a small copse of trees nearby.


“Nope – want to explore?”


“We know a great place in there,” Danni said as we walked in, hearing the sounds of the birds above before we came into a small clearing.


“Nice,” Cassie said as I felt the sun on my cheeks.


“Hey – we know a neat trick,” Kylie said as she looked at her sister, “want to see it?”


We looked at each other, and then said “sure – what do we need to do?”


“Close your eyes,” Danni said as she looked at her sister.


Cassie and I looked at each other – probably having the same thought – as we closed our eyes and I said “go on then – what’s the trick?”


I’ve been in this situation enough times with the Tornado Twins and their friends to make me suspicious of what was happening next – so it wasn’t a surprise when I feltsomething restricting my movement.


It was the fact that my arms were pulled into my sides, and I heard Cassie call out “what the…”  As I opened my eyes, I saw that one of the girls had dropped a lasso over me, and it was pulled tight round my stomach, as Kylie and Danni whooped and wound the rope round us.


“We got them,” Danni said with a smile as Cassie and I allowed them to continue.  They wound it round us several times, and then Kylie said “we’ve caught the dangerous criminals – let’s leave them here and call the police.”


“Got it,” they said as we were helped to sit on the ground, and they played the rope out, tying our ankles together as Cassie said “you’ll never keep us here.”


“Well, no one of your bad guy friends are going to come and help you,” Kylie said as she tied the rope round my ankles, and they walked off, giggling as they talked to each other.


“Well now,” Cassie said as she looked at me, “this is bringing back a few memories.”


I nodded and said “Hmmhmm – so here’s the thing, sis – should we stay or should we go now?”


“There’s a song in that you know,” Cassie said as she wriggled a bit, and the coils of rope fell down her onto the ground.  Reaching down and untying her ankles, she watched as I followed suit, standing up and brushing myself down.


“Well,” I said as I looked round, “they want us to play the game.  I wonder how much they want to play?”


“Are you thinking what I’m thinking,” Cassie said with a grin, a grin that got wider as I nodded.





“Cassie, Jenny – hope you’re ready to be taken back,” Kylie said as she and Danni came into the clearing – only to look round at the empty area.


“They got free?  How did they ge…”


Kylie heard Danni begin to ask the question – and then there was silence, as she turned round and saw Cassie holding her younger sister, her hand covering her mouth.


“Oh goody – our captors did come back for us.”


Kylie looked at me as I held the two coils of rope, and stammered “how did you…”


“Oh we know a few things, especially when it comes to young sleuths,” I said with a smile.  “Now, I think you two need to be shown how to do this properly.  You’re not going to give us any trouble, are you?”


Kylie looked at Danni as she shook her head from side to side, and said “do your worse – we’ll get free just as you did.”


“Want a bet?” Cassie said as she grinned at me.  “If you can get free before we get back to Granny’s house, you can name the forfeit.”


“And if we don’t?”


“We’ll name the forfeit,” I said with a smile, “do we have an agreement?”


The two younger girls looked at each other and nodded, as I made a loop in one end of both ropes, and passed one to Cassie, before I slipped the rope up Kylie’s arm, and pulled it tight just above her elbow, before I and Cassie fixed their arms to their sides in a classic double figure of eight tie.


Something neither girl had obviously experienced, as Danni wriggled round while Cassie tied the rope round her other arm.  “Golly – this is different,2 she said as she looked at Kylie.


The older girl was biting her lower lip, as I folded her arms behind her back, and tied her forearms together, before I wrapped the last of the rope round her waist and tied it off.


Cassie did the same to Danni, as I said “right -time to head home I think, don’t you agree Velma?”


“I do agree Daphne,” she said with a grin as we walked with the two girls, making sure they didn’t stumble as we made our way back to the house, seeing how red their cheeks were as they wondered if anyone would see them.




“There you are,” Granny said as I opened the door to the kitchen, “we were about to…”  She then stared as Kylie and Danni walked in, their arms well secured.


“Are the girls there,” Helen said as she came through, stared at her granddaughters – and then burst out laughing as she sat down.  “Did they pull the captured villain trick on you?” she eventually said.


“Oh, so we weren’t the first,” Cassie said with a smile as they stood there.


“Oh no you’re not – and I should have warned you,” Helen said as she kept laughing, “but…  but it seems you more than met your match girls!”


“We did Gran,” Kylie said as she wriggled round, “and we promised we would pay a forfeit if they managed to get us back.”


“Okay – and that forfeit is?”


“May we come and visit them tomorrow,” Cassie said with a smile, “and we’ll make sure they do not disturb you for the morning at least?”


“Sounds good – if you girls are in agreement?”


Kylie and Danni nodded as we untied them, and handed their ropes back to them.  “We’ll see you then,” we said as they went off with their grandmother, Mum and Granny looking at them.


“They really have no idea what they just agreed to, have they,” Mum said.


“Nope – no idea at all…”




The next morning, after we had eaten breakfast, Cassie and I walked to the house next door, with me carrying a holdall with some supplies in them, and I waited as Cassie knocked on the front door.  We were actually dressed a little conservatively, wearing jeans and sweatshirts, because in some ways we were going to be the adults.


Yeah – Cassie as the adult…


Anyway, a moment later Helen opened the door, wearing a shirt sleeved coat dress with a blue floral pattern, and smiled as she said “come in girls – they’re waiting for you in the front room.”


“Thank you,” I said as we walked in – and found Kylie and Danni waiting for us, as their grandmother had said.  Only they were not dressed in the way we expected.  In fact, they were dressed in older clothes – but while when Cassie and I had done it, it was Edwardian or Fifties clothes, the girls were in Seventies style clothing. 


Kylie was wearing a short sleeved dress with a skirt that came to above her knees, Purple on one side and the opposite sleeve, and with a psychedelic print on the other side and sleeve.  A pair of knee length black leather boots came to her knees, and she had a purple scarf tied as a headband.


Danni was wearing a long sleeved mini dress, with a metallic sheen and a swirled pattern, and a matching scarf as a headband, with knee length white leather boots.


“That’s a different look,” I said.


“Yeah – we wore these for a friend’s party, and wanted to be dressed up for today,” Danni said as I looked at their grandmother.


“Your grandparents say you know what you are doing – but I’ll check in a little while,” Helens aid as she left, closing the door behind her.  Cassie smiled, and said “so – ready?”


“We’ve both been to the toilet,” Kylie said quietly, “so where do we start?”


“Well,” I said as I put the bag down and opened it, “we need to make sure you cannot disturb your gran, and we will – but let’s take it one step at a time, and step one is making sure you can’t use your hands.”


“But if you tie our hands, we can’t use them,” Danni said.


“I suspect you can,” Cassie said with a smile as she took out four sponge balls, “so we start by asking you to make a fist with these in your hands.”


“Why,” Kylie asked as the two girls came over, and then held the sponges in their fists – before Danni said “oh” as Cassie took the roll of duct tape from the bag, and then turned their fists into silver boxing gloves.


“Okay,” Kylie said as she looked at her hands, “this is different.”


“Oh we know,” Cassie said with a grin as she pulled a pair of white sports socks over Danni’s hands, and then taped them to her arms using some white tape.  As I did the same to Kylie, she grinned as she said “you knew we could help each other, didn’t you?”


“Oh yes,” I said as I went to the bag, and took out two lengths of white cord before handing one over to Cassie.  “So – now we begin.  Cross your wrists behind your backs please.”


The two girls looked nervously at each other as Cassie walked behind Danni, and I took up position behind Kylie, then crossed their wrists before we doubled the lengths of cord over, and began to bind their wrists together.


“That’s not too bad,” Kylie said quietly, “I thought it was going to hurt.”


“I’ll let you into a secret,” I said as I divided the ends and passed them between her arms, “do it properly, and it doesn’t hurt, but it will hold secure.”




“Have a go,” I said as I tied the ends off, watching as Kylie tried to move her wrists apart.


“Wow – that really is tight,” Danni said as she looked over her shoulder, Cassie nodding as she took more rope, and then tied it round the young girl’s waist, fixing her wrists against the small of her back.


“Hey – why did you do that,” Kylie whispered as I did the same to her.


“IT means you really cannot move your arms easily at first,” I said with a smile as the sisters looked at each other.  Before we came over, Cassie and I had a word about just how far we were going to take this – and this was the stage 1 stopping point.


“Okay – we’re in for an interesting time,” Kylie eventually said, “so what happens now?”


“We make sure neither of you can move,” Cassie said as she looked at the room.  “Can you both sit on that couch please, and put our feet up on the coffee table?  I promise, we won’t tell your gran.”


“Okay then,” Danni said as she walked over and sat on the low couch, putting her feet up on the edge of the wooden table as her sister joined her.  They then watched as we crossed their ankles, and used a fresh length of cord each to start to secure them together.


“Oh THAT’S how it works,” Kylie whispered as she watched me pass the ends through the centre of the rope, and pull tight, then wind it round in neat bands before I separated the ends and pulled them between her legs.  Tying the ends off, I waited until Cassie had finished, before I wrapped a longer length around Kylie’s legs below her knees and tied them together.


“Wow – I really can’t move them apart,” Danni said as Cassie secured her legs, the leather of her boots squeaking as she tried to move them apart.


“That’s kind of the idea,” Cassie said with a grin as she tied the rope off, and we both stood looking at them.


“How on earth did you learn to do this anyway,” Kylie said as she looked over.


“Well, being robbed and kidnapped a few times helps,” I said as they both stared at us.


“How many times…”


“Enough not to be afraid,” Cassie said with a grin.  “Now, we need to ask you girls a question.  We can make your arms even more secure – if you want.”


“Go on – it’s not like we can argue,” Kylie said, so I handed more rope to Cassie, and we secured their arms to their sides with the classic double figure of eight tie, around their stomachs and just below their elbows.


“So,” Cassie said as she looked at them both, “I think that’s secure enough.”


“Strewth, you’re not joking,” Kylie whispered as she tried to twist round.  “Wait until Gran gets a look at us.”


“Which means we now need to ask the difficult question,” I said with a grin, “how to keep you quiet?”


“What – tie a scarf over our mouths and stop us speaking,” Danni said as she twisted round.


“Nah – doesn’t work,” Cassie said as she took two clean white cloths from the bag, and handed one to me.  “As we were taught, to keep you really quiet, we need to stop the tongue moving, the lips moving, and your voice getting out.”


“How have you been gagged in the past,” Kylie asked as she looked at us.


“Story for another day – for now, I want you both to open your mouths. We’ll put these cloths in, then give you a couple of minutes to get used to them.”  Neither of us wanted to scare them by trying the full works gag – but I had an idea of how to take it to look like that.


“What do you say Sis?”


“Go for it,” Danni said as she opened her mouth, allowing Cassie to put the folded cloth in before she closed her lips, and said “Hcummnnhwgnn…. Hmmmgddd.”


“Okay,” Kylie said before I eased the cloth into her mouth, and waited for her to close her lips over it.


“So, the cloth presses your tongue down, and stops the noise escaping – next, we take care of moving the lips,” I said as I took a roll of our special white tape from the bag, tore a long strip off, and then pressed it over Kylie’s lips, making sure there were no creases and air bubbles.  Danni giggled, and then let Cassie press a length over her own mouth, before she tried to speak, only hearing “hmmmssfftt.”


“So, there is one more touch we wish to make for now,” I said as I nodded to Cassie, and we removed the headbands, using them as over the mouth gags and covering the tape as we secured the ends at the base of their heads.


Swwhttnnwww,” Kylie said as she twisted round.


“Now – take time to enjoy your position,” I said before the door opened, and I heard Helen say “I thought you two girls would like a drink.  How are they?”


Nttreebbllgreennn,” Kylie mumbled as their grandmother cam round and looked at them.  I noticed she had also dressed up – wearing a brown suede waistcoat and mini skirt with a tassel fringe, a mustard coloured jumper underneath, and knee length brown leather boots.


Cassie and I took a glass of milk as Helen looked at both.  “I guess you finally met your match, right?”  As both girls nodded, she said “could they be more secured?”


“Well yes,” I said, “but we didn’t want to go too far.  I guess we could get them to lie down, and secure their ankles to the ropes round their stomachs…”


Both girls nodded as they heard that, before Helen said “Well, if you‘re going to do that, I want to make it a challenge – see who can get free first.”


“Out of all three of us?”


“Do you want to be tied exactly like them,” Cassie said quietly, “you should have a look at their hands first.”


Helen walked round and looked at them, before she said “well then, we set a time limit.  See who can last the longest.


“So, girls – get started on me…”


As Kylie and Danni wriggled on the couch, Cassie fetched two more sponges and gave them to Helen to hold, before I wrapped the rope round them, pulled a fresh pair of socks over her hands and up her arms, and used the white tape to secure them to her arms.


“Hmmm – certainly makes it more difficult to get free,” she said as she twisted round.  She then crossed her wrists behind her back, as I doubled some rope over and started to bind her wrists together.


“You seem relaxed about this,” I said as I wound the rope round her sock covered arms, “can I ask when the first time someone tied you up was?”


“Oh I wasn’t so calm then,” Helen said with a smile as I cinched the binding, and then passed some rope around her waist to lock her arms in place.  “I was about Kylie’s age, and I had been out with my mother.  That was when Crochet was queen – I was wearing a long sleeved blue jumper and a crocheted skirt made to look like a mountain scene, black tights and brown go-go boots.  Hmmm – that does seem to keep my wrists in place.”  As she looked at her granddaughters, she said “you can bind my arms to my sides as well – properly.”


“Why don’t you sit in the chair,” Cassie said, “and I can start to bind your ankles as well.  What was your mother wearing?”


“Oh a real monstrosity,” Helen said as she sat down, and I doubled a long length of rope over, passing it round her under her chest before I pulled it tight, forcing her waistcoat to the side.  “It was a striped dress, with shorter sleeves.  A riot of shades of blue.”  She looked at Kylie and Danni as I wound the rope above and below her chest, and saw their look as she said “do you want another band of rope around our upper arms, like me?”


As they both nodded, Cassie said “if you’re happy with that, I can take care of that now Helen.”


“Go on – and make sure you cinch it under their arms as well,” Helen said as I pulled the rope tighter.  “Anyway – we had been out and come home – my dad was away on a business trip – and walked in on a robbery at home.  There were two men – one of them grabbed me and covered my mouth with his hand while the other grabbed my mother, and told her to do exactly what they said or I would get hurt.”


I watched Cassie as she wound the rope around Kylie’s arms, and then using two small lengths under her arms as her eyes opened wide, before I used two shorter lengths of rope to tighten Helen’s bands.


“Let me guess – that happened to you as well?”


“More times than you might want to know,” I said as Cassie giggled.  “So what did they do next?”


“Well, the one who had my mother forced her up the stairs, while the other man told me to do as I was told and be quiet.  I remember the stale alcohol on his breath as he talked, and the rough hand, so I just whimpered and nodded.  He pushed me onto a long couch – like the one the girls are sitting on – and pulled my hands behind my back before he tied them together with twine.  It hurt – a lot more than this – and he wasn’t as careful about what he did either.


“So he tied my wrists together, and then my ankles – that was when I first heard the squeaking sound you girls are making.”


Kylie and Danni giggled as they tried to move their legs, the leather squeaking, as I knelt down with some more lengths of rope, and crossed Helen’s ankles before I started to bind them together as well.


“Yeah – like that.  Anyway, he then rolled me over, and stuck a strip of brown sticking plaster over my mouth, before he sat in a chair and just watched me.  I tried to memorise as much about him as I could…  Oh now that is tight.”


“Thank you,” I said as I passed the rope between her legs, and then began to bind her legs together below her knees.  “So what happened?”


“A while later, the other man brought my mother back down – her wrists were also tied together behind her back, and she had plaster over her mouth.  He pushed her into a chair, tied her ankles together, and then the two of them left, as we looked at each other.  I tried to find the knot, but it was either out of reach of my fingers or it was too tight.


“Eventually, my mother managed to stand up and jump to a bureau, and find a pair of scissors there that she used to cut her wrists free, then she freed me before she called the police.  This, compared to that, is very, very comfortable indeed.”


“We need to keep you quiet before we do the rest,” Cassie said as she took a clean cloth from the bag.


“Agreed – so girls, one hour maximum, and if any of us manage to get free they are the winner, although something tells me that is not going to happen.”  Kylie and Danni looked at each other and nodded, as Cassie held the folded cloth in front of Helen before she said “open wide please…”


Helen allowed her to push the cloth in, and then closed her lips as I covered them with a long strip of the white tape.  Cassie looked in the bag, and took out a brown scarf which she folded into a wide band, and then tied tightly over Helen’s mouth before we moved the coffee table out of the way.


Muuhhfurerssttt,” Helen said as we helped her to kneel on the floor, and then lie down, the two young girls watching as Cassie bent her legs back and I tied them to her chest ropes with a final length of rope.


Uhhrrturrnnnw,” she said as she looked over, and we helped Kylie to hop to one side of her, then lay her down and hogtied her, before we placed Danni on the other side of her.


I went to the kitchen, and set the timer for one hour, leaving it where they could see it before I started the clock and said “have fun.”  Helen started to wriggle round, but there was no give in the ropes, Kylie and Danni struggling as well before Cassie sat down, and I took the dishes to the kitchen to wash them.





When I heard the alarm go off, I came back to see Cassie removing the over gags from three rather sweaty people, their boots squeaking as they tried to move their legs.


“Wow,” Kylie said as Cassie peeled the tape away, and removed the soaking wet cloth from her mouth, “that was AMAZING!  Are you all right sis?”


Danni nodded as Cassie started to remove her gag, and I allowed Helen to speak again.  “That was intense,” she said quietly as she worked her mouth.  “If you can untie me, I’ll get some lunch sorted out for all of us – and then I wonder if Cassie and Jenny can help us to play a slightly different game.”


“Sure,” I said as I started to untie her, waiting as she stood up and stretched out before I uncovered her hands, and she went to the kitchen.


“You two are amazing,” Danni said as she stretched out, “I wonder what Gran was talking about though?”


“We’ll find out soon enough,” Kylie said as she ran to the door.


“Toilet break?”


“Toilet break,” Danni said in reply to Cassie as we made our way into the kitchen.





“Thank you, Helen,” I said as I pushed the plate away, “that was a wonderful lunch.”


“Well, I think you both deserve it,” Helen said with a smile as she collected the plates.  “Now, let me load the dishwasher, and then I’ll explain what it is I want you to do for us.”


“Don’t tell me we’re going to be tied up again this afternoon, Gran,” Danni said with a smile, and then she saw the look on Helen’s face.


“We’re going to watch a film together, but I want us to be relaxed, so I want you and your sister to go upstairs and have a shower, and then come into my room in your pyjamas.  I’ll shower and change as well, and then you will see what I want the girls to do.”


“Okay Gran,” Kylie said as the two girls went off, and we looked at her.


“How much tape do you have in that bag,” she said with a smile.


“Plenty,” Cassie said with a grin, “why?”






“Okay – that’s the film set up,” Helen said as she put the remote control on the bedside table.  She had changed into a knee length white gown, while Kylie and Danni were wearing light blue t-shirts and shorts.  “So, Jenny, will you take a roll of the tape please, and tape my wrists together in front of me?”


The two girls watched as I took a roll of blue tape, and taped their grandmother’s wrists together in front of her, before I wrapped the tape round her waist so that they were kept in place.  I then passed the tape to Cassie, as Helen said “all right girls, let young Cassie do the same to both of you.”


“So what are we going to do Granny?”


“Lie on the bed together and watch the film,” Helen said with a smile as I took another roll of blue tape, and wound it round her so that her arms were held to her sides above and below her chest, the fabric stretching over her.  The girls nodded as Cassie taped their rams in the same way, while Helen walked over and sat on the bed, pushing herself up so that she was sitting against the headboard in the centre.


I started to tape her ankles together as Kylie walked to her right-hand side, sitting down next to her as Cassie started to tape her ankles, while I taped Helen’s legs below her knees.  I then stepped back as Danni sat on the other side of her grandmother, Cassie walking round and taping her legs as well.


“Would you ask your grandmother to come in a couple of hours, and cut us free,” Helen said as she looked at me.


“Of course I can,” I said with a smile, as I tore a strip from the roll of tape, and pressed it over Kylie’s lips, then passed it to Cassie as she taped Danni’s mouth.  I then tore one more strip off as Helen leaned over, and covered her mouth, before she pressed her taped lips on the heads of both girls, and then took the remote from Cassie.





“There you are,” Gran said as we came in, “have you had some lunch?”


“We have,” Cassie said as she took the bag to our room, and I sat to watch Gran cooking.


“Helen wants you to go in a couple of hours and make sure they’re okay,” I said as she looked over.


“Oh?  What did you leave them doing?”


“Watching a movie – quietly – in the main bedroom.”


Gran looked at me and shook her head, as she said “all right – want to help me with the scone dough?”





The thing is, we should have expected some sort of return engagement, but we didn’t see them for a couple of days – we went to the city for a couple of days, and it was when we came back that we saw Kylie and Danni playing in their front yard.



They waved at us as we got out of the car, and then their grandmother appeared.  “June,” she said with a smile, “got a minute?  I want to ask you a favour.”


“Sure – you girls help your father with the bags, and we’ll be along shortly,” Gran said as she went to the next door house, and I helped Mum with the twins while Cassie brought in the bags with Dad.  And we thought nothing more of it – until there was a knock on the front door.  I went to see how it was, and Kylie smiled as she said “Hi Jenny – are you and Cassie free for a while?”


“Go on – your mum and I can cope,” Dad said as Cassie and I went next door – both of us in shorts and polo shirts, like Kylie and Danni.  “Gran wants to invite you all round for a Barbie this afternoon,” Kylie said, “and she asked us to pass on the invites – but I’m afraid she and your gran can’t talk to you at the moment.”


“and why not,” Cassie asked, even though I could guess the answer – and sure enough, Gran and Helen were sitting back to back on the floor, their legs bent, their wrists secured together with rope and then tied to the rope holding their legs together below their knees, and their ankles secured as well.  Knotted scarves were acting as the gags, as Granny said “Uhddbuttrrtlllurpurunntss.”


“One of you can,” Danni said as she stood behind us, “and tell them to come round in a few hours.  The other one is staying here – as insurance.”


I looked at Cassie, and said “you’d better go – ask Granddad to come round in an hour, so he can help the girls sat up the barbecue.”


Guhssfhhhknn,” Helen mumbled as she nodded, the knot getting noticeable darker in her mouth.


“Okay then – have fun,” Cassie said as she walked off, and Kylie held up a length of rope.  “Hands together please,” she said with a smile, and then she started to tie my wrists together.


“Aren’t you afraid I am going to get free,” I said with a smile.


“Nope,” Danni said as her sister cinched the ropes, “lie down on that.”  I saw a long couch with wooden armrests, and a cushion on one end, and guessed what was coming as I walked over, resting my head on the pillow as Kylie took my hands above my head, and tied them to the armrest.


Danni then tied my ankles together, and secured them to the other armrest, while Kylie rolled up a blue scarf and tied a knot in the middle.  “Open wide,” she said with a grin, and as I did so she eased the knot behind my teeth, the taste of clean cotton on my tongue as I closed my lips over it, and she tied the band round my head.


Now, I have been tied loosely, and I have been tied so tightly one wrong move made me feel – well, let’s not go there.  But this was one of the most effective simple bindings I had experienced – the knot was out of reach of my fingers, and even if I could reach it, it was above my head.  I just had to lie there, Gran and Helen quietly laughing, as the knot soaked up the saliva in my mouth.


And I plotted my revenge…






“No problem Helen – how much longer do you want to be left,” Granddad said as he came into the front room.  Gran looked at the clock, and said “nffrhrr?”


“Fair enough – you okay there Jen?”


I nodded, surprised he was calling me by that name instead of Jenny, but then I looked at myself – I guess I really was a young woman now, and not a kid.  So I stopped struggling for a moment and watched Gran and Helen as they looked round, in the quiet, in the silence…


Eventually, Kylie came in and released them, Gran easing the soaking wet and knotted scarf from her mouth as she came over and ungagged me.  “Well, the barbecue should be nicely warmed up now,” she said as she untied me, “and the others will be over soon.  Let’s clean ourselves up and get ready…”





A few minutes later, I came out to see David and June playing on a mat, while Cassie sat with Kylie and Danni, and the older generations were sat at a long table talking.


“Hey sis,” Cassie called out, “have a nice nap?”


“Well, it felt good to stretch out,” I said as I looked at the other two girls.  “I feel they should both enjoy the sensation as well.”


Cassie looked at me, then at Kylie and Danni as they said “Oh…  Ah…”  and then saw the lengths of rope in my hand.  “Well…”


“Oh, are you scared,” Cassie said in her sing song voice – and that did it, as both the girls held their wrists out, and we secured them together in front of them.


“It’s too nice a day to go inside though,” Danni said as Cassie cinched her binding.


“Who said we were going inside – Cassie, do you see the croquet hoops?”


She looked over and smiled as she walked over, picked up a mallet, and hammered two hoops in, before I walked the girls over and made them lie on the cool grass, and then tied their wrists above their heads to the hoop before they were hammered further into the ground.


With Cassie’s help, I then stretched them out, and hammered two more hoops into the ground before their ankles were secured and tied to the metal.


“Oh you look so cute lying there,” Cassie said.


“And what are you going to do about it,” Kylie said as she looked up.


“oh, she had to ask, didn’t she?”


“Yeah, she did,” I said as I showed them the pair of sports socks I had found, and we pushed one into each of their mouths.  “and now – let the tickle torture begin!”


Ah, I had missed the sweet sound of muffled laughter such as they started to make – and then the twins crawled over and tried to tickle them as well, as both girls wriggled round and laughed.


“Careful,” Helen called over, “they may get too hot.”


“Are you too hot?  Maybe we should cool them down,” Cassie said, and then both Kylie and Danni shook her head as she pulled over the garden hose, and I turned the water on…





“All right, you win, you’re the best,” Kylie said as we ate the burgers at the table, the two girls drying out in the warm sun.


“Why thank you,” Cassie said, “we have had plenty of practice.”


“Is it true you’ve slept tied up and gagged?”


As I nodded, Kylie said “we’d love to try that – want to have a sleepover?”


And of the mouths of the innocent came the spark for the strangest night of our holiday…




I’m sorry it has been so long since I continued this story.  Something – well, something happened, and I’ll tell you about it another time, but it hurt some of us a great deal, and we needed to get over things first.


So – when I was last writing, Kylie and Danni had suggested that Cassie and I come for a sleepover at their house, having discovered that we had sometimes spent the night very tightly bound and gagged.  I looked at them, and said “let me ask your grandmother and my parents,” standing up and walking over to where the grownups were sitting, having a drink and talking.


“Well, I guess it will be all right,” Mum said as she gave June a drink, “but not too heavy, all right.”


“Why don’t you come round for the evening as well June,” Helen said, Grandma nodding as she said “All right then – we’ll leave the twins with their parents and grandfather.”


So I went over and said we’d come and do what they asked, the girls high fiving each other as Cassie shook her head.




It was about nine o’clock that night, and Cassie and I were sitting in Kylie and Danni’s bedroom, looking as the girls finished changing into matching peach coloured pyjamas.


“Now, this is the last chance – are you both sure you want to do this,” I said quietly, but both girls nodded as Cassie said “Well, we gave them the option” and opened the bag we had brought, taking out four half sponges and saying “all right then – take these in your hands and make fists.”


“So that we cannot untie each other?”


“Or yourself,” I said to Kylie as Cassie wound silver tape round their fists, turning their hands into silver boxing gloves before I pulled long bedsocks over their hands and up their arms, and I used the silver tape to secure them to their arms.


“Nice,” Danni said as she looked at them, and then watched as I crossed her sister’s hands behind her back, and then used the first length of rope to secure them together, making sure I cinched the binding, then a second length of rope round her waist to lock them in place.


“Your turn now,” Cassie said as she made sure Danni’s wrists were secured as well, while I doubled over a longer length of rope, and tied Kylie’s arms to her sides, making two bands above and below her chest.


“This feels nice – funny, but nice,” she said as I tied the ropes off, and then cinched the bands with two smaller lengths between her arms and body.  As she twisted round, I heard Danni gasp, and I looked at her as Cassie cinched her arm binding.


“Don’t try to move too much,” I said with a smile, as I looked at them, and then at Cassie.


“No – not those.”


“Not what?”


“It’s not important – you still won’t be able to move,” I said as I looked at both of them.  “Now, sit on your beds, and we’ll get your legs secured.


I heard a door outside the bedroom open and close, but didn’t think anything of it as Kylie sat down on the side of her bed.  I took the next length of rope, and used it to bind her ankles together, making sure the rope went round and between her legs so that they were comfortable, but firmly secured.


“So what are we going to be like,” Danni said as she watched Cassie tie her ankles together.


“Secured, and very very quiet,” Danni said with a smile as she started to tie Danni’s legs together below her knees, and I did the same for Kylie, the two girls talking to each other for a little while as we made sure they were both secured.


“And now,” Danni said as she stood up, “time for you both to be quiet.  We start with these.”  She held up two folded pieces of clean cloth, handing one to me as I tied a band of towelling round it, making a knot and keeping the cloth in the centre before I said “open wide now.”


“We’ll still talk,” Kylie said as she opened her mouth.


“Really?  We’ll see,” was my reply as I pushed the cloth and knot into her mouth, behind her teeth before tying the towelling strip tightly round her head.  Danni grunted as Cassie di the same to her, and then she picked up the roll of white tape, and wound it tightly round Danni’s head, covering the cloth gag and her mouth.


Handing me the roll, I began to wind it round Kylie’s head as she picked up the duct tape, and wound that round the younger sister’s head as well, the white edge still visible as Danni said “hllrhhttmhbbeehhchnntthkk.”


“Oh who said we’re finished,” Cassie said with a grin as she tore the tape free, patting it down and handing me the silver tape as she picked up a white scarf and folded it into a tight band, and then tying that over Danni’s gag.  Her eyes opened wide as she did this, and then she watched as I did the same to Kylie.


“Right then,” I said as I looked at them, “lie down on you sides on the beds – it will be more comfortable that way.”


As the girls lay down, I waited with Cassie, another length of rope in hand, before we pulled their ankles behind their backs and tied them to their chest ropes, the girls giggling as they tried to move.


“Now, enjoy the evening – we’ll be keeping an eye on you,” Cassie said as she looked at them, the girls nodding as she changed into blue pyjamas, and I put on a red nightdress.  Turning the light off, we left the room, and closed the door.


“We’re going to need to be free, aren’t we?”


“I guess so,” I said as we went into the front room, and I called out “Gran?  The girls are settled – what do you want to do now?”


The thing is, there was no answer – and a quick search of the house told me neither Gran nor Helen.


“Funny,” Cassie said as she looked at me.


“Maybe they’re outside,” I said as I went into the back yard, but there was no sign of them – and as I came back in, Cassie said “Gran’s handbag is still here.”


“Maybe they went next door,” I said as I picked up the telephone, and dialled a number.


“Granddad?  It’s Jenny – are Gran and Helen there?”


As he answered, I looked at Cassie, and I said “you and Dad had better come round – something’s wrong…”





“I don’t understand it,” Grandad said as he looked at us, “where were you?”


“Taking care of Kylie and Danni,” I said as Dad came back in.


“The girls are asleep – best not to disturb them.  George, where could they have gone?”


“Did you girls check the basement?”


“There’s a basement,” Cassie said as she looked at me.


“All these buildings have basements – the door’s in the kitchen.”


“I’ll go – come with me Jennie,” Dad said as I stood up and followed him.  Truth to tell, I’d never noticed the door, but it was open now, as Dad grabbed a torch and we walked down.


“June?  Helen?”




I looked at Dad as he shone the torch round, and his face paled, before he said “Jenny, go and tell your granddad to get down here – and stay upstairs.”


“Got it” I said as I walked back up – trying hard not to burst out laughing when I did so.  Dad and I had just found Gran and Helen lying on a mat in the basement, looking at us over the band of duct tape that encircled their heads.  Both of them had their legs bound at the ankles and knees, and their hands behind their back, wrists and ankles linked – but while Helen’s looked neat, Gran’s was a little makeshift.


Almost as if she had tied up Helen, and then tried to tie herself up…


“What’s happened,” Cassie asked as I came back into the kitchen.


“You really don’t want to know,” I said with a grin.  “Granddad, you’d better go down and help Dad.”  We both watched as he walked down the stairs, and then heard him burst out laughing, before after a few minutes they all came back up.


“That was – embarrassing,” Helen said with a smile as I handed her a hot drink.  “Your grandmother offered to show me how she had been left once after the girls surprised us this afternoon, one thing led to another, and…”


“Say no more,” Dad said with a smile, “although I think tomorrow, you two should show these three a little escape challenge.”


“If Helen is all right with that,” I said, and as she nodded I yawned.  “Right,” she said quietly, “you two get off to bed – we’ll see what happens in the morning…”





When we both came into the kitchen, Helen looked over from the stove and said “how are the girls?”


“Still asleep,” I said as I sat down, and she handed me and Cassie some cereal.  I noticed she was wearing an outfit from the Sixties – a sleeveless blue jumper, a matching short skirt, and knee length white boots.


“Good – because I want you two to hold the three of us captive this morning.  Consider it a last gift, before you have to pack and head home.”


Cassie and I looked at each other – it hadn’t struck us this was our last full day, but she was right!


“So what do you want the girls to wear,” Cassie asked.


“I’ll put some clothes out for them – and then I want you to start by making sure I can’t leave the kitchen table.  Once they are dressed, being them in and do what you need to do.  I called your grandparents, and they know you won’t be back until lunchtime.”


“Okay then,” I said as I stood up, “supplies?”


“There’s a box over there,” Helen said with a smile.


“Okay then – have a seat in the chair please,” I said as Cassie stood up, “and put your arms round the chair back…”





“Good morning,” I said as I went into the bedroom, “sleep well?”


Yhsswwhdhhdd,” Kylie said as she and Danni looked at me over their gags.


“Right – I’m going to untie you,” I said as I started to release Kylie, “and then you both need to go to the bathroom and shower.  Your grandmother wants you to put on the clothes that are laid out there, and Cassie is cooking breakfast.”


Whresgrrhn,” Danni asked as she sat up.


“You’ll see – she wants you to have a special morning.  So let me untie you, release your hands, and then you can remove your gags before you get ready.”   Both girls nodded and waited as I released them, neatly coiling the ropes, then watched them as they both ran to the bathroom.  Picking the ropes up, I carried them to the front room…


“Morning, Granny – and…”  Both Kylie and Danni stopped in their tracks as they walked into the kitchen, Helen looking over and saying “Ghdmhrrnn” through the knotted blue scarf that we had tied into her mouth.  Her wrists were tied behind the chair back, and her ankles tied to the front legs, while there was rope around her waist and upper arms.


“Ah good, the other hostages are here,” Cassie said as she stood at the table, “both of you sit down, and we’ll secure you to the chairs.”




“Yup – we’ve escaped from the prison in the sixties, and are holding the lady and her granddaughter hostage all morning,” I said as I looked at them.  Danni was wearing a white sleeveless blouse, shorts and a pair of short white leather boots, while Kylie was in a brown mini-dress and knee length brown boots.  Both had a white band holding their hair back.


Dhhsthesehh,” Helen mumbled as we both pulled a chair out, the girls grinning as they sat down and put their hands on their heads while we tied them to the chair back with rope around their waist.  We then tied their ankles together, as well as their legs below their knees, before pushing their chairs in and serving them some cereal and fruit juice.


“How long are you going to hold us, your fiends,” Kylie said with a grin.


“We’ve got someone coming to pick us up at lunchtime, so until then,” Cassie said quietly, “and no tricks – understand?”


“We’ll be good,” Danni said as she started to eat, Helen smiling over the gag as she watched them.  “What are we going to do once we have eaten?”


“Watch some television, nice and quietly,” I said with a smile.  “You’ll see…”


As they ate, Cassie said “was I like that as well?”


“Three words – Patty and Rachel.”


Cassie nodded as she said “we are definitely growing up, aren’t we?”


“Oh yes…”




When both girls had finished, Cassie said “right – we’re going to gag you now, like your grandma, and then you’ll all go through to the front room.”  We both took a white silk scarf and rolled it up, before tying a knot in the middle of it, and then easing that knot into their open mouths before we tied the band round their heads.  I then removed the gag from Helen, the damp knot sitting on the table as she said “you both are very brave girls – we’ll get through this together, all right?”


Yhhssgrhhnnee,” Kylie said as I allowed Helen to have a drink, while Cassie untied the ropes holding her upper body to the chair.


“Lean forward and put your hands behind your back,” she said quietly, and as Helen did this she crossed her wrists and tied them firmly together, before using more rope around her arms and upper body, above and below her chest, while the others watched.


“You’ll both be like this as well,” Helen said as she looked at them, the two girls nodding as I untied her legs, and said “watch them” to Cassie while I walked Helen into the front room.


“Are you all right so far,” I asked, and as she sat down she said “I am – and I’m sorry I and June scared both of you last night.  June thought she would be able to get free before you came back out – guess she was wrong.”



“Well, no harm done,” I said as I took toe of the ropes from earlier, before crossing Helen’s ankles and tying them together, and then securing her legs together below her knees.  “Do you want to be able to talk until the girls come in?”


Helen nodded, and then said “thank you for doing what you have done for them.  Hopefully they’ll be a little better at it now – I know I feel more comfortable supervising them.”


“It’s been great – it’s just a pity we go back tomorrow.”


“Well, you have an appointment, I believe?”


I nodded as I looked to the door, and said “who’s coming first?”


“You decide,” she said quietly as I turned the television on, and went back to the kitchen.


“All finished?”  As both girls nodded, Cassie untied the rope from around Danni’s waist and helped her to stand up, before she took her arms behind her back and tied her wrists together, and then tied rope around her waist to keep them in place.


“Come with me,” I said as I helped her to jump into the front room, Helen smiling as she said “you can take the gag out – she won’t call out, will you Danni?”  As she shook her head, I removed the gag, and then started to wrap the rope around her upper arms and body in the same way as Helen.


“This is fun, Gran,” she said with a grin as I pulled the ropes tight, and then helped her to sit next to Helen, while Cassie brought Kylie in, her wrists also behind her back.  She then removed the scarf from her mouth, tied her arms to her upper body, and helped her to sit on the other side.


“Right, if you promise not to call out, you can watch some television while we get ready,” I said, both of them nodding as Cassie sat to watch them, and I went to make a drink…





As the clock got closer to twelve, I said “they’ll be here soon – we need to make sure these three cannot raise the alarm.  You two,” I said as I looked at Kylie and Danni, “on the floor, back to back.”


“Please, we’ll be good,” Helen said as she wriggled round, but Cassie smiled and said “sorry lady – we need to do this.”  She nodded, and then kissed them both on the head before she said “do as they say, girls.”


“Yes Gran,” Kylie said as they wriggled forward and slipped onto the floor, then shuffled round so that they were back to back.  Cassie then tied more rope round their waists to hold them together, while I helped Helen to lie on her side, and then said “you all need to be quiet – open wide.”


The girls turned their heads and watched as I pushed a folded cloth into Helen’s mouth, and then tore some sticking plaster from a roll and pressed it over her lips.  Thlkktulhtrtt,” she mumbled as Cassie and I then did the same to Kylie and Danni, covering their mouths with the brown fabric before I left a pair of scissors behind Helen’s hands.  We both then waved to them as we went back next door.


“There you are,” Gran said as we came in, “all done?”


“All done.”


“Good – lunch is an hour, but you need to go and help your mother with the packing now...”






“I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly,” Mum said as she hugged Gran and Granddad.


“I know, but you all have things to do, and people to see,” Gran said with a smile.  “I’m glad Helen and the girls got to wave you off though.”


“Yeah,” I said as I held David and June’s hands.  “Now a long flight, and then…”


“Good luck,” Granddad said as he hugged me, “and let us know the results.”


“I will,” I said quietly, a tear coming down as we waved goodbye, and then made out way through Passport control, on the way home…





“The traveller returns,” Alicia said as I walked into the school gymnasium.  “Recovered?”


“Just about,” I said with a nervous smile as Cathy and Mary came over.  We were all wearing sweatshirts, jeans and ankle boots, nervously looking at our classmates as they came in.  “So, shall we do this?”


“I guess so,” Cathy said as we walked towards the tables, Aunt Jo looking at us as she said “are you all ready?”


“No – but let’s do this anyway,” Cathy said as she handed each of us an envelope with our names printed on it.  We went to a corner, looked at each other and said “on three, ready?”


We nodded, and counted down before we opened the envelopes, looked at our results, and then at each other…







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