Goose Fair

 

October, Nottingham

 

“Anna, what time did Soo Lin say she would be coming?”  The auburn haired girl called down from her bedroom to her younger sister.

 

“She said it would be about five o’clock, Rachel” Anna called back up.  Anna was 17 years old, in her first year of Sixth Form College, and enjoying the first break she had had since the year started.  She was in the kitchen making some coffee for her and her sister.  Their parents had taken advantage of the fact that she was now of age to take a two week cruise, leaving her and Rachel to look after themselves during their absence.  This was the middle weekend, and coincided with the weekend of the annual Goose Fair, so they had arranged for their mutual friend Soo Lin to come and join them on a trip to the fair.

 

Rachel came down and joined her sister.  She was 19, and in her first year at the local university.  “I see you’ve dressed up for the occasion”, she said.

 

“Do you like it?” Anna said as she did a twirl.  She was wearing a white polo neck sweater, a grey gentleman’s waistcoat and grey slacks, the legs of which were tucked into knee length grey leather boots.  Her blonde hair was held back with a grey silk scarf folded into a band.  Her eyes twinkled behind her glasses as she smiled.  “I know how cold it can get, but given the weather has been so good I thought I could look fashionable for once.”

 

“I approve – you’re sure to make an impression on the boys tonight” Rachel replied as she started to sip her coffee.  She was slightly more casually dressed – a light brown shirt with what is known as a “Granddad” collar, tan jodhpurs and dark brown knee length boots that laced up the front.  She glanced up at the clock on the kitchen wall.  “It’s only four o’clock now – what do you want to do before she gets here?”

 

“I’m not sure – apart from finishing my coffee, that is. How do you want to play tonight?”

 

“I thought we might go for a pizza first, then make our way to the fair and see what happens after that.  Where do you fancy going to?”

 

“There’s that new place in the city.  How would you like to try that out?”

 

“Sounds good to me.”  Rachel drank the last of her coffee.  “I need to go and log off the computer in my room.  Can you give Soo a buzz and let her know what’s happening?”

 

“Sure – my mobile phone is in the lunge, so I’ll go and call her now.”

 

Rachel headed up the stairs, and started to shut the computer down.  She could hear Anna moving from the kitchen to the lounge, and presumed that she would sit there while calling Soo.  Once the screen had gone blank, she went down the stairs again and entered the lounge.

 

“Anna, have you – oh my god!”

Rachel could see that Anna was not alone in the room.  Two other women were already inside, and a third was entering through the patio door that led to the garden and closing it silently behind them.  One of the two was standing behind Anna, holding her tightly by the arms.  The other was pointing a gun at Anna, and now moved to point it at Rachel.  All three were dressed identically in grey catsuits and soft shoes, and they were wearing would looked like soft leather gloves also of grey.  The catsuits were hooded, and all three had the hoods pulled over their heads.  Were their faces would normally be, they were wearing blank masks that made it impossible to identify them.

 

“Rachel, I’m sorry – I was just going to phone when I heard a noise, turned around and they were coming in.  There was nothing I could do, honestly” Anna was softly crying when she said this.

 

“Who are you?  What do you want?  I demand you talk to me!”  Rachel shouted at the three intruders, but all three simply inclined their heads and the one who had just entered put a gloved finger to the lips of her mask.

 

Rachel tried unsuccessfully to suppress a shudder as she realised something.  There had been a spate of robberies recently, where the victims had said all they saw of the perpetrators were

 

“White faces – you’re the China Doll Gang that has been in the news, aren’t you?”

 

The one who had put her finger to the mouth simply nodded.

 

“Oh no – you’re hear to rob us aren’t you?”

 

Again, she simply nodded.

 

“Anna, I’ve read about this gang – they won’t say a word, but they mean business.”

 

“What do we do Rachel?  S…”

 

“There’s nothing we can do, Anna, except what they tell us.  Believe me; if half of what I’ve read is true then we’re better off cooperating.”

 

The one with the gun moved to stand between the two girls, while the third one to enter brought a bag she had been carrying into the centre of the room.  She moved to the window facing the front of the house, closed the blinds, and then nodded to the other two before leaving the room and heading upstairs.

 

The gun carrying China Doll then turned to Anna, and stood with her arms by her side.  Anna swallowed “Do you want me to stand like you?”  The woman nodded, and then turned again to cover both girls with the gun.

 

The first China Doll let go of Anna, went to the bag, opened it and produced a long skein of rope.  “Are you going to tie us up?” Rachel asked, and the gun China Doll nodded.  The first Doll carefully unwrapped the rope, then finding the middle she tied a small loop with a simple knot, and returned to stand behind Anna.

Rachel watched as the first Doll draped the rope over Anna’s shoulders, with the small loop at the back of Anna’s neck.  The Doll then took the two lengths of the rope, and wrapped them around Anna’s arms in a spiral pattern, at the same time pulling Anna’s lower arms behind her back.  Within a few minutes, Anna had her wrists tied securely behind her back, and hitched to the loop of rope at the neck pulling them up her back.  The rope was then wrapped around her upper body, above and below her breasts, so that in a few minutes Anna’s arms were completely immobilised.

 

“Are you all right, Anna?” Rachel asked.  She could see her sister was still crying.

 

“Not really, but there’s nothing we can do, is there?”   Both girls could hear the third Doll upstairs, searching through the bedrooms.

 

The Doll who had tied Anna’s arms and hands now motioned for Anna to sit down on one of the chaise longues that were in the room.  Looking at Rachel, who nodded, Anna sat down and the Doll took a second length of rope from the bag.  Folding it in half, she proceeded to tie Anna’s legs together above her knees, then after cinching that binding she ran the rope down to her ankles and bound them together, making sure they were also cinched.  Not once during this time did either Doll say a word, which made the experience all the more frightening.

 

The first Doll stood up, and took the gun from the other Doll in the room.  She went over to Anna, and satisfying herself that Anna was indeed securely tied, she then motioned to Rachel to stand in the same way that Anna had.

 

“My turn, is it?” Rachel asked sarcastically.  In her mind, the one thought she was having was that they would be gone before Soo Lin arrived, and their ordeal would not last too long,

 

The Doll merely looked at her with her head to her side, and then nodded.  Going to the bag, she produced another long length of rope, and motioned for Rachel to turn with her back to Anna.

 

As a result, Anna could see how she and Rachel had both been bound.  With the rope looped around their arms, it was a simple task for the Doll to lash her wrists together, cinch the wrappings and then loop the lengths of rope through the loop at the back of the neck.  The rope was then passed several times around Rachel’s chest, each time looped through, and finally tied in one very complicated knot out of reach of Rachel’s fingers.  From her own probing, she knew a similar arrangement had been used on her.

 

The Doll motioned for Rachel to sit down, and on doing so her legs and ankles were bound in the same way as Anna’s.  She then took the gun back from the other Doll, who proceeded to search the room.

 

Rachel squirmed in her chair. “Anna, do you have any way of getting loose?”

 

“Not while they’re here, no.  I can’t reach any knots.”

 

Anna then realised that the Dolls were looking at her and Rachel.  The one who tied her came behind her, and removed the scarf that had been used as a headband by Anna.

 

“Oh no – please, you don’t have to do that!” Rachel called.

 

The other Doll merely put a finger to her lips again, as the first one rolled the scarf into a wide band and placed it over Anna’s mouth.  Resignedly, Anna opened her mouth, and the doll placed the scarf band into her mouth and gagged her tightly, tying the knot under her hair at the base of the neck.

 

The first Doll returned into the room, carrying a small canvas sack that had been filled (Rachel guessed) with jewellery and other items from her, Anna’s and their parents room.  She went over to Anna, and checked her bonds as well, then did the same for Rachel.  Finally, she opened the bag and removed something which she held in front of Rachel.  It was a tan bandana, and Rachel watched as she rolled it into a band and tied a knot in the middle.

 

Anna could only watch helplessly as the Doll tied the scarf into Rachel’s mouth, and knotted it tightly behind her head.  All three of the gang now worked together to search the room they were in, while Anna and Rachel could only sit and watch hoping they would go before Soo Lin….

 

Soo Lin!   Rachel glanced at the clock on the fireplace – five o’clock.  Both girls started silently praying that, for once, their friend would be late, but their hopes were dashed as the front door opened and a voice called out “Anna? Rachel? Are you there?”

 

The three members of the gang looked at each other, and then moved to take up positions either side of the door that led from the hallway into the lounge.  The two girls listened as the front door closed, and the voice called out again “Anna? Rachel?  Come on girls – time’s getting on and we need to get going.”

 

The three silent invaders waited as the sound of footsteps approached the door to the room, and then the handle began to turn.  Anna and Rachel both attempted to shout out a warning to their friend, but the scarf gags in their mouths meant that all that came out were low mumbles of noise.

 

The door opened, and an Asian girl walked into the room.  She was 18 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had shoulder length black hair.  Like both Anna and Rachel, she had dressed for the October day, and was wearing a black roll neck sweater and leggings, a pair of black leather boots and a black blouson-style leather jacket.

 

“Rachel?  Are you in here?  I just called out and – oh my god!!  Rachel!  Anna!  What happened?”  The young girl came across the room towards the bound and gagged pair, who shook their heads frantically in a desperate move to alert her to the presence of the other three – but Soo Lin didn’t realise the danger until she heard the door close behind her, and turned around to see the three grey-clad gang members facing her, one holding a gun pointed directly towards her.

Soo Lin stared at the sight before her.  “Please – don’t hurt me or them.  I’ll do whatever you say, but please don’t hurt us.”

 

The Doll holding the gun put her finger to her lips, and Soo Lin stood still.  As before, the third Doll produced a long length of rope from the bag, and proceeded to bind Soo Lin’s upper body in the same way as the other two girls.

 

As she felt her wrists being bound together, she asked the other two girls “Are you both all right?  Have they hurt you at all?”

 

Both Anna and Rachel shook their heads.  Although they felt a little stiff, the bindings were as comfortable as you would expect them to be, given they prevented any movement at all of their arms or hands.

 

The Doll completed binding Soo Lin’s arms, and then indicated that she should sit on the floor.  With that in mind, the Doll held her arm as she managed to sit on the floor, and stretch her legs in front of her.  The Doll holding the gun then handed that to the other gang member, and proceeded to bind Soo Lin’s legs and ankles together.  The original binder left the room for a few moments, and all three girls heard the invader going to one of the bedrooms.

 

“Do they never say anything?” Soo Lin asked, and both Anna and Rachel shook their heads.  Soo Lin suppressed a shudder – she wasn’t sure what was more terrifying, being bound while her friends sat there helpless, or the fact that not one word was being said by these people with the expressionless masks on.

 

As the bindings around her ankles were cinched, the Doll returned from upstairs carrying a black silk headscarf.  She then proceeded to roll the scarf into a band, and tie a knot in the middle.  The Doll went in front of Soo Lin, and placed the knot in front of her mouth.  Realising she had no choice in the matter, she allowed the gag to be placed in her mouth, and leant her head forward as the scarf was tied tightly at the base of her neck.

 

Testing her bonds, Soo Lin realised as the other two girls has before her that she was not going to be able to get free without help.  To her surprise, however, two of the Dolls then pushed her gently down so that she was lying flat on her back, and then rolled her over so that she was lying on her chest.  To the horror of all three girls, who had thought they may have had a chance of helping each other to be free after the gang had left, they then proceeded to bring Soo Lin’s ankles up towards her wrists, and hogtie her by running a length of rope between those bindings around her wrists and ankles.

 

At the same time, the third Doll walked over to Anna, and laid her flat on her back on the chaise.  Rolling her over, she proceeded to hogtie Anna in the same way as Soo Lin was being bound.  Rachel tried to scream out, and began thrashing around trying as hard as she could to loosen the ropes around her, but she was unable to stop the binding being completed on both girls.

 

Finally, the Doll took a length of rope, and secured Rachel’s ankles to the leg of the chair she was sitting in, running the rope up as well and securing it to the rope around her wrists.  This completed, the three gang members completed their search of the room, and proceeded to put the items they had found into the holdall that had held the rope.

 

After a final check on the ropes of all three girls, the Doll that appeared to have been the leader left a folded note on a side table in the lounge.  All three invaders then left silently through the patio window, closing it behind them.

 

The girls lay and sat quietly, until they were sure that the gang had left.  Rachel then began to test the rope holding her wrists to her ankles to see if she could get any purchase in it.  Anna watched from the chaise, afraid to move in case she fell onto the floor and was unable to prevent her from injuring herself.  Soo Lin, in the meantime, tried frantically to see if she could reach the knot holding her ankles to her wrists, but was unable to do so.   All three girls also tried screaming, in an attempt to get attention from someone who may be passing outside, but all that same out of their mouths were sounds like “MMPPPHHH!” and “HLLP S PLSSSS”.

 

After a few minutes of trying, Rachel had an idea.  She shuffled her body forward so that she was perched on the side of the seat, and then simultaneously pushed down with her feet while arching her back.  Soo Lin also realised that there may be strength in numbers, and began to try and inch her way across the floor on her stomach to the other girls.

 

Anna watched as Rachel made several attempts at the manoeuvre she was attempting, and finally she succeeded in working the rope loose from around the leg of the chair.  This gave Rachel a bit more slack and ability to move her arms and legs, and she managed to slide herself onto to the floor.  Anna winced slightly as Rachel hit the floor slightly harder than expected, but was relieved that her sister was unharmed.  Meanwhile, Soo Lin had managed to get close enough to the girls now that Rachel could reach the scarf around her mouth,  and after several attempts she managed to get the knot free from the young Asian girl’s mouth.

 

Coughing and retching slightly after the knot was removed, Soo Lin said “Rachel – try to wriggle round with your back to me, and I’ll see if I can get the rope between your ankles and wrists free.  I don’t think I can do any more than that, but at least then you can move about.”

 

Rachel nodded, and moved around so that Soo Lin could get hold of the knots at one end of the rope.  After some minutes, she was able to get a knot free, and Rachel managed to wriggle free of the loose hogtie she had found herself in. 

 

“Now,  lie down next to me, and I’ll try and get that scarf out of your mouth.”

 

Rachel nodded, and rolled over so that her face was next to Soo Lin’s hands.  Again, it took a few minutes, but eventually the knot was prised from Rachel’s mouth.

 

“Uggh – Soo, I’m so sorry you had to walk into that, but there was no way we could warn you.  Are you all right?”

 

“Apart from being trussed up like a – well, I’m fine.  What time is it?”

“Seven O’clock – that’s nearly two and a half hours Anna and I have been tied.”

 

“Hmmmm!  HMMMPHHH!!”

 

“Anna!  Hang on – I’m coming over!”

 

Rachel shuffled over to the couch that Anna was lying up, and pulled herself up so that she could reach the gag in Anna’s mouth with her hands.  Again, it took a little time, but she finally pulled the grey band from her mouth.

 

“Thank god – I thought I was never going to be able to speak again.  How do we get out of this?”

 

Rachel turned round and looked at Anna’s bonds.  “I think I can get the rope free between your ankles and wrists, but the other knots look horrendous.  Give me a minute, and I’ll see what I can do.”

 

After a few minutes, Rachel finally managed to loosen the hogtie on Anna, and the rope between her ankles and wrists was free.  As Anna stretched out her legs, Rachel then shuffled back to Soo Lin and managed to loosen her hogtie in the same way.

 

As Soo Lin stretched out, Anna turned herself over and managed to move on to the floor.  Shuffling along on her bottom, she joined Rachel and their friend.

 

“If we manage to sit back to back, we may be able to loosen each other’s ropes” Anna said.

 

Soo Lin rolled on to her back, and eventually managed to sit up.  All three girls then shuffled themselves  so that they were sitting in a circle, and got to work on the ropes around their arms and wrists.

 

Some time later, Anan finally managed to shake off the bonds around her upper body, thanks to Soo Lin, and untied her legs.  She then turned and helped Rachel to free herself, before going to try and phone the police.  As Rachel helped Soo Lin to free herself from the leg bindings, Anan came back in.

 

“The phone has been taken – and by the looks of it, so have our mobiles.  Soo – do you have yours?”

 

Soo Lin nodded, and pulled her mobile phone from her pocket.  As she called the police, Rachel stood up and looked at the note that had been left on the table.

 

Dear Girls,

 

We apologise for the inconvenience you have suffered, but know that this was a visit planned for some time, and that you would not have avoided it.

 

What we have taken can be replaced.  If you are harmed physically, then it will heal, but you are alive, and you have to be grateful for that.

 

One other thing.  We in the China Doll Gang understand this is the time known here as the Goose Fair.  Now you have an idea of how it feels to be a Goose as they are prepared for the fair, all bound and unable to seek help.

 

Share this experience with others – if we visit them, then they will know what to expect.

 

Farewell

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