McCulloch's Legacy - Part 1
Mr Andrew McCulloch, aged 79, had died alone as he had lived, and when, a week after his funeral, his four bedroomed detached house was burgled, it was assumed that the burglars had picked on an empty house. The fact that nothing seemed to have been taken didn't rouse much curiosity. Then, a week later it was burgled again, in a more determined manner.
In one of the bedrooms, which unlike some others was not carpeted, two men in their forties were surveying the results of their labour. Four floorboards were pulled up and H and C had both put their arms inside and rummaged as far as anyone could reach. All they got from this was some splinters in their hands. Now they, and the woman they knew as P, stood looking at each other querulously. "They definitely have been pulled up. Look at the marks, they aren't old" C was holding forth."Someone's been in here recently, looking for stuff".
"Well maybe old Uncle Mac took something out before he snuffed it. Maybe it's not here anymoreĒ suggested H.† They both turned to look at P for inspiration, or maybe instruction. She was after all paying for their and their skills.
P, whose real name was Patricia Larkman, was not a blood relative, but considered herself to be a legitimate heiress if she could get her hands on certain items before anybody else did. She was in her late forties, whereas H and C were in their late thirties. Both were taller than her, but she had an intimidating manner. She had cultivated this during a relatively short career in teaching, and it had served her well on occasions. She was a well-nourished woman whose round face, rosy cheeks and full lips gave her an expression reminiscent of a grumpy doll. When she was in a position of authority such as today, she made a point of dressing in what she thought of as a professional manner. Today she wore a navy blue suit over a light grey high-necked blouse, with a big matching bow at the neck, and low heeled black court shoes. The two casually dressed men reacted as she hoped, rarely disagreeing with her, seeming childishly pleased when she showed approval of them. They were a criminal team who called themselves H and C, who specialised in robberies. To them this was something of a holiday, where they didn't have to make decisions. However diligently they seemed to follow P's instructions, they were only loyal because of the promised payment. She knew and they knew that if they found any valuables while she wasn't in the room, they would not tell her.
She was about to dictate the next step when they heard a car pull on to the pebble drive, followed by another one. Nobody said a word, they all sidled across the room to the window and, moving the dingy curtain only slightly, H peered out. "We've got company" he said "but they don't look like a threat". He watched as the front doors of the first car opened. A heavily built young man in a pale grey suit got out of the driverís door. The passenger door opened and a short, plump brunette emerged. She was, he noted, quite attractive considering that she must be fifty. Her hairstyle was a shorter version of the beehive that she had always had, and she wore a tan-coloured suit, knee-length skirt and collarless jacket over a white button-down blouse, buttoned at collar and cuffs and fastened with a shiny black oval brooch at the neck. She had good legs, he noticed, in flesh coloured tights and court shoes that matched her suit. The driver of the second car got out and joined them. Another overweight middle-aged woman, he thought, another yuppie businesswoman. She wore a black skirt that finished above her knees, a jacket in a grey and white houndís-tooth pattern, over a white shirt with a shiny silver necktie. She wore her hair collar-length, but drawn back from her forehead and clipped at the back of her head. She wore large round glasses which at first glance reminded him of that dispatcher in the Hong Kong Phooey cartoon. They talked for a moment, and then he saw the woman in the tan suit point towards their car. They all walked over to it, and the man peered inside.
H turned to C and P. "Looks like some people come to look at the house. You know, buyers. I think it's a fat guy and his mum and an estate agent . The woman with glasses is the estate agent maybe. And guess what, they are looking at our car"
"What do we do?" said C, thinking aloud.
P was quick to reply. "If they drive off without coming in, we'll go too. They might bring the law back here. But if they come in and come up here, well, who's to say we aren't estate agents and buyers".
"Pulling up the floorboards, you reckon. And you might look smart, but us two, we're pretty casual" H was doubtful. "Do you think they'll believe that?"
"OK" said P. "I'm an estate agent and you two are looking over it. And if they don't believe us itís the default plan then. You two brought tape and you always carry a knife or a gun or something. We tape them up and carry on searching. I know you two like that. The women anyway". She gave them a knowing smile. The pair exchanged glances. What had they said or done that gave that away, they wondered.
Five minutes later the two parties had met when the legitimate visitors went upstairs. Estate agent Harry Coombs, executrix Ann Liddell and† solicitor Rachel Robinson had confronted the intruders and demanded to know what the intruders were doing there, and why they shouldn't call the police. Solicitor Rachel Robinson, in the check jacket, black skirt and silver tie, had done most of the talking.
Her assertive, or as some saw it, bullying manner had entirely the wrong effect. The burglars, confronted by an overweight bespectacled young man and two middle-aged women, were not intimidated. Instead of fleeing, C, who always played the "bad cop" role, pulled a knife and barked out "We're giving the orders here. Anyone want to argue with me?". Nobody wanted to, so the three, partly disbelieving, partly frightened, were ushered downstairs and into the hallway. H went down first to ensure that nobody made a break for it, but it wasn't necessary. The three had gone very quiet realising that they were now the prisoners of criminals who were armed and meant business.
"I'll tell you what happens now" P began in her most commanding voice. "We're busy, you people are in our way, we need to keep you out of the way and get on with things. Her first" She gestured at the officious Mrs Robinson . H delved into the sports bag and pulled out a roll of silver duct tape.
"What do think you're doing?" said Rachel, watching incredulously as he found the end of the tape and pulled it away from the roll. She had got over the initial shock of being threatened. For twenty years or more, people had treated her with caution, if not respect, because of her confrontational style. Her workmates thought twice before crossing swords with her. Surely these trespassers weren't thinking of tying her up or something like that. That sort of thing didn't happen in real life, certainly not to her. But this man had pulled a short strip from the roll and was about to press it across her mouth. As she went to raise her hands to fend him off, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. It was the woman, not the man with the knife, who suddenly grabbed her hands and pulled them behind her."Mmmmm" she moaned, trying in vain to move away as the first strip of tape was smoothed down firmly across her lips. Two diagonal strips quickly followed, then the man moved behind her. Her wrists were forced together behind her back and she heard the tape being ripped away from the roll. It was wrapped round and round her wrists and forearms, but then it was being wrapped round her body, below her bust, pinning her arms tightly to her sides. Then more tape round her, this time above her bust. How much more tape was there, she wondered. But then the job was finished.
"This way" P held open the door to the large kitchen. H and C ushered the bound Rachel Robinson if front of them, and Ann Liddell and Harry Coombs followed forlornly. C opened the doors of two floor-to-ceiling cupboards, which turned out to be a larder and a broom cupboard of sorts. He glanced at H, who removed Rachel's glasses and put them on a shelf. He pulled a suitable strip of tape from the roll and grinned as she gave him a tearful, pleading look, before he pressed the tape over her eyes. Then he took her by the arm and ushered her into the cupboard. Giving her bottom a hearty smack, C closed the door on her.
Ann Liddell, the lady in the tan-coloured suit, had taken quite a dislike to Rachel Robinson at their first meeting a few days previously, because of her manner. She would have been quietly amused at the treatment that lady was getting except for one thing. With a sinking heart she knew that she was going to be taped up herself, along with the estate agent, Harry. She glanced at him and noticed that he had a faraway expression. But far worse was the idea of being shut in a cupboard. Alone in the dark, trussed up and helpless. Feeling suddenly scared, she blurted out "please don't shut me in any cupboard, will you? Please don't. I was shut in one for ages when I was little. I just can't bear thinking about itĒ. Then, feeling suddenly ashamed, remembering that Rachel had no choice about being shut up in the dark, she said "sorry" in a quiet voice.
"OK" said one of the men."It's a deal. No cupboard, just so long as you keep still and don't struggle while we deal with you " Ann nodded, relieved, and pulled the cuffs of her white shirt down as far over her wrists as she could then clasped her hands behind her back, She tried not to think about the embarrassment of her plight, standing quiet and still while she was being dealt with. While her arms were being taped behind her back she happened to make eye contact with Harry Coombs, who quickly averted his gaze. But she couldn't help noticing his erection. She couldn't help herself, she was blushing furiously. She was nearly old enough to be his mother, and he was getting a hard-on watching as she was being tied up.
She stared determinedly at the floor in front of her while she was being wrapped in tape much the same as Rachel had been. She was perspiring, everything felt tight, the tapes around her and the collar of her blouse, and she was starting to feel aroused. It had been like this that time in the wages department where she worked years ago, when it was robbed. Then it had been ropes, now it was tape, but† she was aware now as then that men were watching and enjoying the sight of her being tied up. What if they started touching her up, she wondered. C spoke, and brought her back down to earth.††††
"Your mate can go in there, you can go on the table" Ann looked puzzled, but before she could ask any questions a strip of tape was pressed horizontally over her mouth, followed by two diagonal strips.† She looked downwards and watched in detached silence as H taped her ankles, then with C, lifted her off her feet and placed her on her side on the kitchen table. They unceremoniously rolled her over, face down. "Lots of tape left, darling, we'll make sure you don't roll off" said the one who had done all of the talking. Soon she was fastened face down to the table with four loops of tape round her middle and under the table, unable to move in any direction. "Comfortable?" asked C. He ran his hand slowly across her upturned bottom then gave it a smack. "Be a good girl or there'll be more of this. In fact, it seems a shame to waste the opportunity, so I won't".
†P spoke up sharply. "Come on, I want things done, remember. You can get your kicks on your own time. Get him taped up and letís get back to work. Them being here has messed things up".
C and H exchanged glances, C moved away from the table. Ann, relieved, rested her cheek on the table, looking away from Harry.
She had been spared the embarrassment of being spanked in front of Harry Coombs. She knew a little piece of her was disappointed by that. She didn't want to watch what was being done to him, so she faced away and stared at the other wall, listening.†
"Right, your turn now mate".† Harry had been watching, trying not to look too interested, taking in the scene as his two female companions were tied up and gagged. He was so turned on by it all in spite of himself. Both women were middle-aged, plump, twenty years older than him, but he had been unable to take his eyes off them. Now he was receiving the same treatment. In less than five minutes he stood in the dark larder, bound gagged and blindfolded like his companions. He was angry and embarrassed, but at least he hadn't had his bottom smacked.
A little over an hour later, Ann Liddell still lay taped face down, listening as her erstwhile captors drove away. Before they left the man who had smacked her bottom came back in, presumably to check that they hadn't got loose. She heard him open a cupboard door, the one where Harry was imprisoned, then quickly close it. Then the other door, to the cupboard where an angry Rachel Robinson† stood inside, bound and gagged and blindfolded. Ann heard an indignant muffled protest, as some part of Rachel's anatomy was being fondled. Then as she knew he would, he came over to her. He felt at the tapes around her wrists and squeezed her hand. Oh no, she thought. I'm going to get groped again. She gritted her teeth as once again his hand rested her bottom. Then after caressing her for a moment he drew her skirt upwards, his hand had found the waistband of her panties and tights and was pulling her them down. It wasn't easy for him because she was so tightly fastened to the table by the tapes round her middle. Once her naked buttocks were exposed he let go of the underwear and brought his hand down hard on her bottom, a loud and stinging smack. Oww, that hurt, Ann couldn't hold back a muffled squeal. She knew she shouldn't have done that, it was just what he wanted. Another slap, then another, Ann found herself counting. At the tenth smack, he said "I don't know what you did to deserve this, you must have been a very bad girl"
Ann was starting to get aroused in spite of herself. How was this going to end? This man could do whatever he wanted with her. But then his nemesis shouted from far away. "Where the hell are you now?"
Like a child caught misbehaving he immediately stopped. He pulled her skirt back down over her bottom and shouted back..Keep your hair on, I'm just making sure these three haven't got loose". Stepping away from her, he opened and shut some more cupboard doors, making a lot of noise. P would hear the sound and think it was him checking the prisoners, rather than spanking one of them. Ann lifted her head and watched as he left the room, trying to memorise as many details as she could about him.
Ten minutes of trying to escape and Ann decided to wait instead. Frantic struggling hadn't worked, and nor had carefully trying to manoeuvre her fingers around the tapes. It occurred to her that more struggling could disarrange her clothes, and the eventual rescuer might see that her panties were pulled down. She didn't want that happening, she wouldn't be telling the police about that aspect of the burglary. One of her colleagues, it sounded like Harry, was banging or kicking against the door of his prison. Surely one of the two would be missed by their colleagues by now. They should have been back at their offices an hour or two ago. She wouldn't be missed herself, she thought resentfully, her husband was not going to be home till much later.
The kicking against the door had stopped. Harry must have realised he couldn't kick the door open. The silence was broken by the sound of a mobile phone ringing, from that cupboard. In Harry's pocket. His colleagues were trying to contact him, it wouldn't be long now. Just lie here quietly and wait to be found and untied she told herself. It wasn't as if she had a choice.